Koh Samui is the second largest island in Thailand, after Phuket, and encompasses a whole host of treasures waiting to be explored. Not only is there a big backpacker scene thanks to cheap accommodation and great nightlife, but Koh Samui also caters to the luxury crowd with gorgeous boutique hotels and spa resorts. It takes around an hour to drive around the entire island and there’s a lot packed into its small size. There are plenty of reasons to choose Koh Samui for your next vacation – here are just a few.
1) Sailing the Koh Samui Seas
What’s a vacation if you can’t indulge a little? Hiring a luxury yacht or catamaran is affordable and easy on Koh Samui. You can get one privately for a small group or join an organized tour to explore the waters of the Ang Thong Marine Park, or the shallow waters around Koh Samui itself. It’s a gorgeous way to spend the day, cruising around with some champagne and a hamper full of picnic food, stopping to swim and snorkel.
Image via Jude Freeman/ Flickr
2) Cabaret Nights
You haven’t had a fun night out in Koh Samui if you haven’t been to a cabaret – one of the best is the Starz Cabaret night on Chaweng Beach. This glitzy, glamorous spectacular has to be seen to be believed, and it is certainly different from anything you will see at home. Once you have seen the show on Chaweng Beach, head to one of the beach bars or onto a club in this lively part of the island.
3) Big Buddha Temple and More
This is the landmark of Koh Samui and one of the most impressive statues you will see on the Thai islands. The Big Buddha is 12 meters tall and the centerpiece of an important temple in Koh Samui. You’ll want to climb to the top of the steps to see the Buddha up close and to take in the temple. Make sure you have your shoulders covered and you take lots of water with you because it is a bit of a long walk. There are also other temples in Koh Samui that are worth a visit, and which will make your vacation more cultural and interesting. The Wat Khunaram temple, in particular, is interesting and is also a working temple where you can see people going about their daily worship.
4) Eating and More Eating
Koh Samui has some amazing restaurants with some truly wonderful food you just have to taste to believe. Thai food is particularly flavorsome and full of spice – but if you don’t like it hot, you can always tone it down. As well as traditional Thai favorites you can also find dishes from around the world on Koh Samui. Plenty of restaurants cater to international tastes and you can eat out at a different – great – restaurant every night for a year and not get bored.
5) Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks
The Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks in Koh Samui may not seem like much but they are one of the island’s biggest and most famous attractions and one of the best things to do in Koh Samui. Why are they so popular? Because they, put gently, look like the male and female genitalia. The rocks are located near Lamai Beach and attract a lot of visitors every day.
6) Super Spa Days and Nights
If you want a massage, you’ve come to the right place – Thai massages are excellent and completely relaxing, and you can get them everywhere you look in Koh Samui for a very small price. But if you want something a little more special, Koh Samui has some wonderful spas where you can stay the day – or the night – and get truly pampered. These range from the luxury and expensive to the chic and cheerful. You can also get individual treatments without having to spend much money at all, like hot stone massages and facials. Many Koh Samui hotels have their own spas attached or you can go to a separate establishment.
Image via Lim Ashley/ Flickr
7) Beach Time
And, of course, one of the prime draws of a Koh Samui vacation is the beach. Or that should be beached. Koh Samui has a number of different beaches with their own unique charms, from the private and secluded to the lively and fun. You’ll want to explore and find your own little piece of white sand paradise on your next Koh Samui vacation.
For more information on Koh Samui and Thailand’s largest island, Phuket, visit PhuketOn. With accommodation, trip advice, things to do and more, PhuketOn is your guide to Phuket, Koh Samui, Bangkok, Pattaya, Hua Hin and other Thai treasures for more inspiration for your next vacation.