Koh Samui may be a small island but it packs an intense amount of experiences within its borders. Koh Samui is different for every person – it can be a laid-back romantic retreat or a place to party with friends. It can be the ideal family vacation, or the place to come to chill out on your own. Koh Samui offers a taste of the real Thailand as well as luxury resort developments. You’ll see tiny Buddhist temples as well as big tourist seafood restaurants. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it on Koh Samui. Here are a few ideas for your trip.
Koh Samui beach/ Image via Sarah_Ackerman / Flickr
1) Go to Ang Thong National Marine Park
If you want to experience the true natural beauty of the area surrounding Koh Samui, take a short trip to the Ang Thong National Marine Park. Located 28 kilometers from Koh Samui, this archipelago of 42 tiny islands is just gorgeous. Here you will see huge limestone cliffs, walk along white sand beaches, find waterfalls and maybe even kayak in the mangroves. The area is protected so there is an abundance of wildlife to be spotted. Take a tour on a small boat to make sure you see the area at its best.
2) Visit the Big Buddha
Bangkok has its Big Buddha, so has Phuket. Not to be left out, Koh Samui’s Big Buddha is on the northern coast of the island. The 12-meter Buddha statue is one of the landmarks of the island and can be seen for miles around. Big Buddha is also worth seeing up close. There are many other small shrines around the Buddha and also a market selling souvenirs and food.
3) Check Out the Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks
Perhaps it’s a bit childish to laugh at rocks in the shape of male and female genitalia, but these formations have to be seen to be believed. Located on Lamai Beach in Koh Samui, the “grandpa and grandma” rocks have been around for centuries – and have probably attracted visitors for at least that long. What can we say? It’s a natural phenomenon.
4) Walk to Namuang Waterfall
Koh Samui is blessed with many different waterfalls but the prettiest are probably the two at Na Muang. If you walk 10 minutes up into the mountain you will be rewarded with the second waterfall, which has beautiful natural pools. A great escape from the heat.
5) Check out the Samui Aquarium and Tiger Show
If you are a fan of tropical fish then the Samui Aquarium is the place to visit. You’ll see plenty of exotic Thai favorites including catfish and sharks. There is also a zoo that has a Tiger Show and some wildlife like parrots and sea otters.
6) See the Famous Mummy Monk at Wat Kunaram
The most famous of Koh Samui’s mummified monks is on display at the Wat Kunaram. Perhaps it’s not the reason for a day trip, but it is still an interesting sight.
7) Visit the Samui Snake Farm
If you’re not scared of snakes – or maybe if you are – pay a visit to the Koh Samui Snake Farm. The snakes put on a fine display and you can also check out the scorpions and centipedes. A great place to visit while you are in Koh Samui.
8) See a Ladyboy Cabaret Show
If you’re with young children you might want to give this a miss, but the Ladyboy Cabaret shows in the area of Chaweng Beach are not to be missed for everyone else. These people called the “third sex” are famous the world over and for good reason. If you are looking for fun entertainment that you won’t be able to find anywhere else, check this out.
9) Relax at the Secret Buddha Garden
As an antidote to the craziness of the club and cabaret scene, the Secret Buddha Garden is an exotic hideaway high in the hills, with some great views and a collection of fascinating statues and temples. Come here to get away from it all.
10) See Wat Plai Laem
The ornate temple near to the Big Buddha is a colorful place to visit and you can see a variety of different statues and also a lake full of busy fish.
11) Go to the Friday Night Market
This weekly market at Fisherman’s Village is a great place to go and soak up a little of the Thai culture. You will also be able to pick up some great bargains.
12) Chill Out on the Beach
Of course, one of the main reasons for visiting Koh Samui is to be able to chill out and relax on the white sand beaches. You’ve got plenty of options – practically any beach in Koh Samui is worth visiting. Some are busier than others but most will provide a stretch of sand where you can lie back on a lounger and enjoy some peace and quiet.
Koh Samui/ Image via Chi King / Flickr
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