When it comes to breathtaking tropical island holidays, Thailand is a true paradise. Thai islands such as Phuket, Koh Lanta, Koh Phangan, Koh Samed, and Koh Chang are simply stunning. Thailand is the ultimate destination for a tropical island holiday 🧔🏆
One of the most visited and special Thai islands is Koh Samui. Sat in the heart of the Gulf of Thailand and known for its vast abundance of natural beauty, fantastic beaches, 5-star beach clubs, world-class resorts, and scintillating holiday atmosphere, when you want to bask in tropical brilliance while enjoying all the modern amenities a holidaymaker can imagine, Koh Samui Island is a holiday destination for the ages.
Here are some of the most famous and popular things to see and do in Koh Samui. I hope you enjoy my Koh Samui attractions guide 🧔
Chewang is Koh Samui's most prominent and busiest town, spread across a 5 km stretch of white sandy beach. If you are a fan of beaches, then you should definitely visit this place. This part of Koh Samui is famous for its vast accommodation choices, nightlife, drinking, and dining. You can indulge in water sports or find a spot on the soft sand and lay down to enjoy your surroundings. If you want to be away from the crowd, just head south to Chaweng Noi and enjoy the calmness and quiet there 🥇
While enjoying your stay at the beach, you can have snacks and ice creams from the beach vendors without moving an inch and also get a beach massage right there from a lovely masseuse. Before heading for a swim, you should check the signs for big waves because Chaweng receives bigger waves than any other beach around. If you want to stay out of the sun, you can hire a sun lounger or an umbrella to protect you from sunburns.
If you want to indulge in watersports, you can have a go at catamarans, windsurfing, waterskiing, wakeboarding, parasailing, and kayaking. You can also hire a jet ski, a banana boat, or a speed boat for the day 🧔
Within reach of Lamai beach, just off the main road, is the Lamai Viewpoint. A 10-minute uphill climb takes you to the viewpoint where you are met with a cafe and bar. You can have stunning views of three natural attractions and a chance to ride a zipline over the valley 🏅
From this viewpoint, you can witness the Valentine stone that has a natural shape of a heart. The close-by viewing point to Siva Tara Waterfall, which has freshwater flowing down the rock face, provides an excellent photo op. There is a splash pool as well where you can enjoy the fish spa. You can also soak in the views of Lamai itself from this viewpoint.
If you are an adventure seeker, you can take the zipline, which is a short walk from the Lamai viewpoint. This ride comes in two 450-meter-long stretches; first, you glide atop the jungle canopy and then across the valley at a dizzying height of 80 meters before dropping you off at the Lamani viewpoint. Lamai viewpoint is the ninth-best attraction because you can enjoy the views and indulge in a little adventure as well 🧔
The Pink Elephant Samui Water Park is one of the two water parks in Samui 🥇 and is open for visitors all week from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm. The park is conveniently a short distance from the main Samui ring road.
Pink Elephant Samui Water Park is a treat for families, especially children, with high-speed rides and 15 slides, including twister and super bowl; this facility promises fun and safety for all. This includes a 12-meter-tall speed slide and a super bowl slide for thrill-seekers, a wave pool, and a 'kiddies lagoon' for the little ones, all going around a lazy river. Slides and rides are supervised, and they also give you advice on how to have more fun out of it.
There is a large restaurant at Pink Elephant Samui Water Park with all sorts of menus for all kinds of visitors and has an all-vegan and kids menu 🧔 As for adults, there are bars serving beer and wines available in the park. Other facilities include an adult jacuzzi and baby feeding rooms.
When you are in Samui with friends or family, the Aquarium and Tiger show is not to be missed. Located in Samui Orchid Resort on Ban Harn Beach, Laem-set Road, the Samui Aquarium & Tiger Zoo is open all week from 9:00 - 18:00 hours.
Among the zoo animals on display are tigers, leopards, otters and monkeys, and colorful birds, including parrots, hornbills, and sea eagles. In addition, there are birds and Sea Lion shows performed daily by trained professionals. However, the main attraction of the zoo is the Bengal Tigers and leopards. For a little extra charge, you can have a memorable photo with these majestic animals 🥇
In the aquarium section, primarily marine life native to the Gulf of Thailand is on display. Its large tanks are filled with a range of marine life, including nurse sharks, leopard sharks, manta rays, catfish, and many kinds of tropical fish. There is an area where visitors can feed the sea turtles. There is a diving facility for young and old as well to get up close to sea life 🧔
Bophut beach fisherman village is located on the northern coast of Koh Samui 🏅 It was once a bustling fishing community, but they have long moved on. It is 15 minutes away from the airport by bus or taxi. Its rustic appearance, a vast selection of boutique shopping, dining and accommodation options, and, of course, the weekly market, Fisherman's Village Bophut, is particularly popular with all sorts of visitors, locals, and foreigners.
Each Friday, the whole area becomes the site for the Fisherman Village Walking street market. Many tourists are attracted here, and it is one of the best dining and shopping scenes in Samui. Most of the restaurants have seafront views, and some have tables close to sandy beaches. When you are here, the local Thai food is a must-try, and you can also find delicious international cuisine as well 🧔 With many bars, restaurants, resorts, and villas, you can stay here as long as you want, and you will never get tired of this place.
The Lad Koh Viewpoint is also known as the Zenith Viewpoint and is one of the most stunning Koh Samui attractions 🏅 It is probably one of the easiest to reach and breathtaking viewpoints on the island. It is located just 2 kilometers from Chaweng as you are driving along the ring road towards Lamai. Samui really smartened up this viewpoint several years ago where they made it far more modern and easy to find. You can park relatively easily and walk to the edge to see a spectacular view of the whole of the Chaweng bay area.
Looking down you can see the crystal-clear water crashing onto the rocks at the bottom of the viewpoint. It really is a stunning sight, so do try to get there on a clear day to get the full view of the lush green island, golden sand beaches, and the warm blue sea and sky! Don’t be surprised at the cars and bikes all beeping their horns as you are enjoying the view.
A few meters along from the viewpoint is a small temple that was set up in respect of all the people who have lost their lives on the ring road. A few years previously there were many spirit houses set up to house these souls, now since the renovations, there is a well-maintained shrine where you will see Thai people visiting and leaving flowers. When you want to experience one of the most aesthetically brilliant Koh Samui attractions, Lad Koh Viewpoint is highly recommended and takes fifth place for its natural beauty 🧔
This amazing temple is located just a kilometer from Big Buddha on the north-eastern coastline of the island, but it is often overlooked by the tour companies which really is a shame. Upon arriving at the temple, you will see the giant Buddha statue in white with its many arms which are around 20 meters in height. Each arm represents a different area of Buddhism. To get to the statue, you cross a charming white stone and marble bridge as the statue itself is located in the center of a lake. It certainly is a stunning representation and one that you would definitely want in a backdrop of your holiday photos 🥇
There is more to see within these amazing temple grounds. A second temple is also on the lake which has hundreds of tiny golden bells hanging from the roof that make a delightful sound in the breeze. If you are looking for the most breathtaking Koh Samui temples or you only have time to visit one while you are here, a journey to Samui without coming to see Wat Plai Laem Temple would be a real shame 🧔
There are several waterfall locations on the island of Koh Samui and certainly, Na Muang is one of the most impressive and well developed. When it comes to Koh Samui attractions, waterfalls are one of the most popular 🏅
Located in the southern part of the island, this famous Koh Samui Waterfall is about 10 kilometers away from the port town of Nathon. The waterfall is actually in two parts. The first is very easily reached by car while the second is much further upstream and involves a bit of a walk to reach it. The first waterfall is around 18 meters in height and is also well catered for with lots of small stalls and a café to sit and enjoy a cool drink after a dip in the water.
The second waterfall is a bit more isolated but is much more dramatic with a height of 80 meters 🧔 You will find plenty of the locals here on holiday as they all love a dip in the cool stream waters. Always be sure to take note of the season when you are visiting the waterfalls as in the rainy season a heavy downpour can make these waterfalls a bit dangerous, so we would not advise visiting at that time. May to November is the best time for visiting waterfalls.
Hin Ta Hin Yay is an unusual rock formation on the outskirts of Lamai and is a great spot to visit during your stay on Koh Samui. To reach the rocks, you need to watch for a small road about 1 kilometer west of the end of Lamai 🥇.
The Grandfather and Grandmother rocks are so named for two reasons. The first reason is their quite graphic similarity to the human genitalia, and the second is that the Samui people believe that they were born from the rocks themselves. There is a tale of how the rocks came into existence. There was a young couple desperately in love on the mainland, but their families refused to let them marry. They ran away and came to the island of Samui, so they could be together, but their families chased them and instead of being separated they threw themselves from the cliff.
After which, the Hin Ta and Hin Yay rocks sprang up as the representation of the young lovers. A sad story - kind of an Asian Romeo and Juliet! This natural depiction of love takes the second spot on my top 10 Koh Samui attractions 🧔 On the rocks, you will also find lots of small cafes and shops. Take some time to have a browse around all the knick-knacks and unique gifts that you can bring home for mementos of your holiday. Or you can just sit in a café and enjoy a cool fruit shake in a completely different type of environment!
The impressive giant golden statue of Big Buddha is probably one of the most well-known Koh Samui attractions and is located at the north of the island at the north-east of the island near to Bophut. Visitors flock from around the world to pay respect to this 12-meter-tall representation that also sits on a raised peninsula, giving visitors a fantastic view of Koh Phangan and the surrounding beaches. Due to the positioning of the structure, you can actually see it from some distance away which makes it an excellent landmark to get your bearings 🏆
The statue itself was built in 1972 and is reached by climbing a long staircase that has carved dragons flowing down. At the top, there are several bells hanging surrounding the statue that you can gently ring and sound out your prayers to Lord Buddha. Leaving your shoes at the base of the steps is expected so be careful on a hot day as you may find the steps a little warm, to say the least! If you want to sample the most fascinating Buddhist monument in Samui, nothing can match the amazing Big Buddha temple and monument.
Being the most popular tourist attraction, Big Buddha Temple takes the first spot on my list of Koh Samui attractions 🧔.
Koh Samui is one of the largest islands and most visited tourist destinations in Thailand. When you are in Koh Samui, don't miss the top 10 attractions I have shared with you to make your visit enjoyable.
So keep exploring the beauty of Thailand until I share another destination with you 🧔.
Guinness Bear EN
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