Koh Samui is one of Thailand’s most popular tourist resorts and as soon as I arrived on the island I could immediately see why. This tropical paradise is located in the Gulf of Thailand and is blessed with gorgeous white beaches, beautiful palm trees and stunning rainforests, making it the perfect spot for a relaxing break. With a wealth of exciting attractions and luxury hotels, Koh Samui has something for everyone, and here are some of the best things to see and experience on Thailand’s second largest island.
Koh Samui may be famous for its beaches, but it also presents a multitude of sightseeing opportunities with the chance to become familiar with the region’s culture. The Big Buddha Temple, also known as Wat Phra Yai, is a majestic sight to behold with its 12 foot golden Buddha that dominates the small rocky island of Koh Fann which is joined to the rest of the island by a causeway. Alternatively, for a completely different aspect of Thai culture, why not attend a Muay Thai boxing match at Chaweng Stadium? Or for an even more unusual yet delicious Thai cultural experience, I attended a Thai cookery class and learned how to make authentic yet simple local dishes – something that every tourist should experience at least once.
Koh Samui has no shortage of luxury accommodation options, from world class hotels and spa resorts to pretty beachside bungalows within easy reach of the water’s edge. I found that one of the best and most authentic ways to discover the island is by staying in a Koh Samui villa rental, either in a peaceful out of the way location or in the heart of one of the bustling resorts, enjoying the complete freedom of independence in luxurious surroundings. What a perfect way to experience the best of Thailand!
No visit to Koh Samui would be complete without spending time on the island’s stunning beaches. While Chaweng Beach is perhaps the best known, I preferred Lamai Beach, with its quieter and more laid-back atmosphere, crystal clear waters and sparkling white sands. After enjoying some peaceful relaxation on the island’s shores, I was ready to see some of the other scenic attractions on a snorkelling trip around the 40 islands of the Ang Thong National Marine Park, on a visit to the famous Hin Ta and Hin Yai rocks, and on a thrilling cable ride through the island’s spectacular rainforests.
While I spent my days on the island sightseeing and relaxing in turn, in the evening I was ready to let my hair down and have fun. While Koh Samui’s famous Full Moon Beach Parties are not quite to my taste, I did enjoy the fun-filled atmosphere of Chaweng’s Ark Bar which came alive once the sun went down with fire dancers, dancing and music.
There are also plenty of places where tourists can see one of Thailand’s world-famous Ladyboy Cabarets, and for those who enjoy combining shopping with nightlife, the island’s night markets are the ideal evening out, especially the picturesque Fisherman’s Village which is particularly pretty in the light of sunset.
Where’s your favourite spot in Koh Samui?! Let me know in the comments 🙂