The stunning paradise island of Koh Samui is located in southern Thailand, a country with name starting with T. Check Countryaah to find a full list of countries starting with T.
Koh Samui is especially known for its white sandy beaches, and the beaches themselves are one of the island’s attractions. But if you crave a little more activity from your relaxing vacation, this Thai paradise island has much more to offer than clear waters and swaying coconut palms.
Read more about Koh Samui’s most interesting attractions below.
Big Buddha Temple is located northeast of Koh Samui. The temple complex is built on the small island of Koh Farn, from where a road runs to Koh Samui.
In the temple, also known as Wat Phra Yai, you can see a 12 meter high golden Buddha statue. The huge monument is visible for miles – it can actually be spotted as you land on the island from an airplane.
The temple is worth a visit in the evening, when the golden Buddha, painted by the setting sun, is especially beautiful. After sunset, the statue is illuminated with spot lights, which makes the gold shine even more gorgeous.
If you want to follow the life of the temple, the best time to visit is in the morning. You can get to witness a unique cultural experience when the locals arrive at the temple in the morning to donate food to the monks.
Tip: When visiting temples and religious sites in Thailand, wear clothing that covers your knees and shoulders. This applies to both women and men.
Ang Thong National Marine Park
From Koh Samui, you can take a day trip to Ang Thong National Marine Park, an absolute number one destination for every nature lover!
The national park is 18 km2 in size and consists of 42 small green islands, all but one of which are uninhabited. The islands are green-sided limestone mountains that rise steeply from clear blue water. On some islands you can also find small hidden sandy beaches and caves.
There are several beautiful vantage points in the area of the national park, such as Wua Ta Lap Viewpoint. To get to the vantage point, you have to climb a steep path for about 500 meters, and although the route is difficult, the views are well worth the effort. The top offers an incredibly wonderful panoramic view over the green islands of the park and the turquoise water.
With good luck you can see dolphins and otters playing in the water or monkeys hiding high in the canopies of the trees.
In some parts of the park it is also possible to snorkel and dive in the rare clear waters. Beneath the surface awaits you the colorful coral reefs of Thailand.
Travel tip: Visit the park between January and October. During November-December, the park may be closed from time to time due to the weather.
Namuang Falls, located in the middle of the Thai jungle, is prososely known as Na Muang 1 and Na Muang 2. The first waterfall is about 18 meters high and descends into a small natural pool where you can swim if you wish.
The end of Na Muang 2 is about a 30-minute walk from Na Muang 1, and the waterfall of this waterfall falls as far as 80 meters away. You can visit both waterfalls during one day trip. The waterfalls are definitely worth a visit due to their location, among other things: the beautiful waterfalls in the middle of a dense jungle are an impressive sight!
In connection with the waterfalls, there are also several interesting hiking trails that will take you on an exciting exploration trip in the jungle.
Tip: If you travel to the waterfalls by taxi, ask the driver to wait, as taxis are difficult to get on site. It is also a good idea to agree on the price of the whole trip in advance.
Samui Elephant Sanctuary
If you are fascinated by majestic stunning elephants, Samui Elephant Sanctuary is an absolute excursion destination!
The center is a kind of nursing home for working elves who have retired from various duties related to entertaining tourists. Although elephants are still in a way in the tourism industry here, the goal of the Samui Elephant Sanctuary is to create a framework for ethical elephant tourism.
At the Elephant Center, you can, among other things, feed elephants, go for a walk with them or watch them bathing in the elephant reserve’s own lake. Here you can get quite close to these awesome animals, for example, when feeding.
Travel tip: During the high season between December and April, it’s a good idea to book a place a week before your visit.
Wat Plai Laem
To the northeast of Koh Samui (near the Big Buddha Temple) is the Thai-Chinese-style Wat Plai Laem Temple. Here you can see e.g. an impressive 15-meter-high statue depicting the goddess of mercy and compassion, Guanyin.
The goddess is depicted in a sitting position with all 18 arms wide open. The worship of Guanyin originated in ancient China, from where it spread over time throughout Southeast Asia.
The temple complex is also adorned with another huge statue depicting a thick and laughing Chinese Buddha. It is said that the Buddha has grown great because it has “swallowed up” the sorrows of living people.
In addition to many different statues, the area is home to a fascinating Buddhist temple adorned with countless shiny crumb walls. The temple is built to appear floating on the surface of an adjacent lake. That is why the temple is also called the “Samui Floating Temple”.
Travel tip: The lakes surrounding the temple are full of fish and turtles that have been released into the wild by the Thais. At 10 baht you can buy fish food, which especially children like to feed fish.
Koh Samui is full of stunning sandy beaches, and the beaches are the main reason for most to travel to the island.
Chaweng Beach is an incredibly beautiful white paradise beach, perfect for a casual beach holiday and enjoying the picturesque scenery. On the beach, you are also always close to restaurants serving delicious food, where you can sample Thai specialties while your eye rests on the stunning sea views.
Chaweng Beach is a very child-friendly beach because the water is really shallow in many places.
After Chaweng Beach, the island’s most popular beach is Lami Beach. Lami is also a white sand beach bordered by calm blue water. There are fewer hotels and resorts here, so the beach is also quieter than Chaweng.
Travel tip: If you want your own peace, Chaweng Noi on Chaweng Beach is a great place to spend a more relaxed beach day.
Want to travel to Koh Samui?
Do you want to see Thai culture, Buddhist monks or stunning natural parks? Whatever you dream of, Koh Samui is guaranteed to have something for everyone.
Many Asian trips to Thailand can be combined with a beach holiday in Koh Samui. You can also choose our popular island hopping trip, where Koh Samui is one of the two paradise islands on the trip.