The island is a postcard paradise known for its natural beauty; from its long stretches of white-sand beaches, turquoise waters teeming with marine life, to its rocky mountainous interiors and hidden waterfalls. You’ll want to tick it off your Thailand bucket list!
Options for a luxurious stay are boundless, from sprawling beachside resorts to secluded villas with a private pool, cosy bungalows to private mansions; you’ll be sure to find your own slice of paradise. Because Koh Samui hotel deals are not hard to find, we always recommended to shop around for the best prices. Finding out where to stay in Koh Samui will depend on the type of holiday you’re yearning for – relaxation, adventure, or a bit of both?
Koh Samui is not all glitter and gold. It’s also a centre of cultural and religious significance. The island is home to the iconic 12-metre high golden Big Buddha sitting atop a colourful stairwell and a few interesting Buddhist temples like the Wat Khunaram where a mummified monk is on display.
For foodies looking to sink their teeth into Thai delicacies, Bophut’s Fisherman’s Village offers a plethora of eateries, including food stands serving pad Thai, banana pancakes and tempura seafood, as well as high-end haunts dishing out haute-cuisine.
1. Visit the mystical world of the Buddha Secret Garden
The Buddha Secret Garden was built in 1976 by a local farmer. Venture into the hidden hills of Koh Samui and wander through the landscaped gardens, miniature waterfalls and clusters of statues arranged to depict scenarios and creatures of Buddhist mythology, which a tour guide will explain.
2. Take a boat tour around Ang Thong National Marine Park
The pristine 42-island archipelago offers over 100 square kilometres of unspoilt white-sand beaches, waterfalls, hidden coves and cliffs. The park is a paradise for wildlife lovers as exotic animals like spectacled langurs and hairy-nosed otters can often be spotted in their natural habitats.
3. Chase waterfalls
Na Muang Waterfalls or ‘Purple Waterfalls’ are Koh Samui’s hidden secret, nestled in the lush jungle a few kilometres south from Nathon. You’ll find a green oasis with two stunning waterfalls over 20 metres high, that cascade over purple coloured rocks and flow into natural pools at the base where you can take a dip and relax after a hike.
4. Visit the mummified monk
Wat Khunaram is a gilded red and white Buddhist temple where the remains of the highly revered ‘Mummy Monk’ are displayed in a glass case. The monk died in 1973 in a seated meditative position and shows minimum signs of decay apart from his eyes which are covered by dark sunglasses. Visitors to the temple can tour the site and learn about the life of this religious icon, before watching local Buddhists praying.
5. Hit up Bophut’s Fisherman’s Village
It was once home to a thriving fishing community, but the Fisherman’s Village is now Koh Samui’s bustling centre where visitors flock to shop boutique stores and markets, dine at trendy restaurants and grab a drink from quaint bars on Beach Road. Every Friday, the whole strip turns into a market where vendors sell local wares and artefacts, trinkets, clothing and delicious street food.