In Southern Thailand is the unbelievably beautiful island of Koh Samui.
Koh Samui is particularly renowned for its beautiful, white sandy beaches, and the beaches are an attraction all to themselves. But if you need some activities mixed in with your relaxing holiday, this island in Southern Thailand has much more to offer than blue seas and swaying coconut palm trees.
Read more about some of the things you can do in Koh Samui below.
On the north-eastern end of Koh Samui sits the Big Buddha Temple. The complex is actually located on a small island named Koh Farn, which is connected to Koh Samui via a road.
At the temple, which is also known as Wat Phra Yai, sits a 12-metre high golden Buddha. This enormous monument can be seen from several kilometres away – and even from the air by tourists coming to the island by plane.
A good time to experience the Buddha is in the evening, as it is particularly gorgeous at sunset. After sunset, the Buddha is illuminated by spotlights, which gives it a strong golden sheen.
If you would like to experience the life and activity of the temple, the morning will be the ideal time to visit the complex. Here you can get a unique cultural experience, as the locals come with offerings to the temple and food for the monks at this time of day.
Tip: When you visit temples and religious areas in Thailand, you must wear clothes that cover your shoulders and knees. This applies to both men and women.
From Koh Samui you can also take a one-day tour to Ang Thong National Marine Park, which is a clear must-see for nature lovers!
The national park covers 18 km2, and consists of 42 small green islands, all of which, save for one, are uninhabited. The islands consist of green-clad limestone cliffs that break through the clear, blue water. On some of the islands, you can find small, hidden sandy beaches and grottos.
The national park offers such an incredible number of beautiful lookout points, such as the Wua Ta Lap Viewpoint. To get to the lookout point, you first climb a steep route for 500 m, and although the trip can be tough, it’s worth it. Because at the top, your reward is a panorama view of the park’s green islands and turquoise waters.
With a bit of luck, you may spot some dolphins in the turquoise surface of the water, or you may see snakes or monkeys hiding in the green treetops.
Some places in the park also allow you to go snorkelling or diving in the park’s clear water. Beneath the surface, you can experience Thailand’s colourful coral reefs.
Tip: Visit the park between January and October – During the last two months of the year, November and December, the park will be periodically closed due to weather.
Surrounded by Thai jungles are two gorgeous waterfalls known as Na Muang 1 and Na Muang 2. The first waterfall is about 18 m high and drops into a small pool, where you can take a dip.
The top of Na Muang 2 is about 30 minutes on foot from Na Muang 1, and this waterfall has a drop of about 80 m. You can see both waterfalls on one day trip. The waterfalls are clearly worth a visit due to their placement inside the jungle and the magnificent view that awaits you when you reach these incredibly beautiful waterfalls.
At the falls there are many exciting hiking trails that will take you on adventures through the forest.
Tip: If you visit the waterfalls by taxi, then you should agree to have the driver wait for you until you return, as not many taxis come out there. It is also a good idea to agree on the price for the whole drip beforehand.
If you’re fascinated by the beautiful, majestic elephant, then the Samui Elephant Sanctuary is a must-see!
The centre is an elephant care home for working elephants rescued from the tourism industry. Although the elephants in the sanctuary are still a part of the tourist industry in a sense, the purpose of the Samui Elephant Sanctuary is to create an ethical elephant tourism.
At Samui Elephant Sanctuary, you can feed and walk the elephants, and watch them as they bathe in the lake of the reserve. There are plenty of opportunities to get up close to these massive animals, such as when they are fed.
Tip: In the peak season from December to April, it is a good idea to book a week in advance.
On the north-eastern end of Koh Samui (and up close to the Big Buddha Temple) is the temple “Wat Plai Laem”, which was constructed in a Thai Chinese style. Here you can see 15-metre high statue of the goddess of compassion and mercy, Guanyin.
The goddess is depicted in a seated pose with her 18 arms stretched around her body. Worship of Guanyin started in ancient China, and has since spread across all of Southeast Asia.
In the complex you will also see another massive statue depicting a fat, smiling Chinese Buddha. It is said that this Buddha has grown so large because he “swallows” the suffering of the living.
Aside from these very different statues, you will also find an exciting Buddhist temple decorate with all kinds of shining flourishes. The temple is constructed in such a way that it appears to float on the lake nearby. Therefore, the temple is also known as “Samui’s floating temple.”
Tip: In the water around the temple, there is an incredible amount of fish and turtles, which were put there by the Thai people. For 10 baht, you can buy feed for the fish, which can be a fun activity for children.
Koh Samui is filled with beautiful beaches, and the beaches are also – for the vast majority of people – the biggest reason to visit the island.
Chaweng Beach is an unbelievably beautiful white sandy beach, and it is the perfect place to relax and enjoy these lovely surroundings. When you’re at the beach, you are always right up close to amazing restaurants, where you can taste Thai specialities while enjoying the soothing view of the ocean.
Chaweng Beach is a very child-friendly beach, as there are several stretches where the water is shallow along the coast.
Lami Beach is the most popular beach on the island after Chaweng Beach. Here you can also find a white sandy beach with beautiful, still, blue waters. There are fewer resorts, which makes this beach more peaceful than Chaweng Beach
Tip: If you prefer calm surroundings, Chaweng Noi, which is a part of Chaweng Beach, is the perfect place to spend your days by the ocean.
Whether you wish to experience Thai culture and Buddhist monks or if you want to explore amazing national parks, then there is definitely something for everyone at Koh Samui.
With Asiatours, you can conclude several of our tours to Thailand with a beach holiday extension to Koh Samui, or you can select our island hopping, in which Koh Samui is one of two islands you will visit.
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