Top Things to Do in Koh Samui

Are you planning a holiday to one of Thailand’s most beautiful islands and looking for a few tips on things to do? If so, keep reading. You can book yourself into some of the most beautiful Koh Samui beachfront villas and spend your days soaking up the sunshine. But, make sure you get out and explore more of what this island has to offer. Here are a few essential things to do in Koh Samui.

Visit Wat Phra Yai (Big Buddha):

Big Buddha

Big Buddha, a 12-metres tall golden statue of Buddha, is the most iconic attraction. Located on a small island, Wat Phra Yai is connected to Koh Samui by a short causeway. The statue represents Buddha in the seated position and symbolises the rejection of temptation. You’ll probably see the statue when you arrive at the airport. Visitors can spend time at the cafes and restaurants near the statue and enjoy fantastic views of the coastline.

Take a Sunset Cruise:


A range of tour companies provide sunset cruises on a variety of vessels from yachts to catamarans and banana boats. You can find different businesses advertising around the beach, and a typical trip tends to last around an hour. Some of the more expensive ones include dinner on a luxury boat as you watch the sunset over the horizon. Many travellers who experience this say it’s one of the highlights of their trip, and it’s undoubtedly one of the must-do things on Koh Samui.

Take a Thai Cooking Lesson:

Thai cooking

People around the world love Thai food. So when you’re on your dream trip to Koh Samui, why not join a cooking class to learn how to prepare the delicious local cuisine when you return home? There are a range of lessons from a single three-hour class to a two-week intensive course. Whichever you decide, you’re guaranteed to come away with a unique cultural experience and the skills to cook some of your favourite food. Many of these classes have an online presence.

Play a Round of Golf:

golf course

Koh Samui has a few 18-hole golf courses, which attract wealthy golfers from around the world. The most famous is Santiburi Samui Country Club in the lush mountains. Some are quite expensive, though they do provide a cabbie service. If you’re a fan of this sport, enjoying a game or two on one of the most beautiful courses in the world is a must do.

Visit Na Muang Waterfalls:

Namuang_Waterfall, Koh Samui
Makim Sundukov at Wikimedia Commons, licensed under

Na Muang Waterfall consists of two falls in the central jungles of Koh Samui. Visitors enter a park and trek through the rainforests for a short distance before reaching Na Muang 1. This flows into a small pool at the bottom, which is a particularly favoured spot for locals to go swimming, away from the crowds at the beach. The water is also much cooler helping you feel refreshed after the sweaty hike. The second one, Na Muang 2, is further up the trail. As you’re walking through the jungle, keep your eyes open, and you may see a variety of birds and other types of wildlife.

A trip to see the waterfalls is a great way to spend the afternoon and avoid the crowds. You’ll also find a few vendors selling drinks and snacks at the start of the trail. A popular activity is to bring a picnic, hike to the falls and relax for an hour or two in the pool.

Explore the Secret Buddha Garden:

Hidden away in the centre of Koh Samui is a hidden garden full of Buddha statues. A local resident decided back in the 1970s to dedicate his land to Buddha and has since accumulated a large number of icons over a period of time. Today, this is far from the tourist trail, and very few tourists make it here to experience the secret garden. As a result, it feels like a privilege to witness Mr Nim Thongsuk’s creation. The views from the top of the hill of Koh Samui below are spectacular on a cloudless day.

A word of warning – the Buddha Garden is challenging to reach and involves a drive up steep roads that aren’t in the best condition. If you want to visit, either hire a taxi driver to take you or ride your motorbike if you’re feeling adventurous. However, it’s not advisable to attempt the journey in wet weather.

Rent a Motorbike and Explore the Island:

A 51 kilometre (31.6 miles) ring road extends around the perimeter of Koh Samui. One of the best ways to explore the island is to rent a motorbike for around $15 per day and take a day trip along the road. You’ll pass all the major beaches, Big Buddha and most likely have the time of your life. The scenery is impressive, the coastlines are breath-taking and the opportunities to stop to get a perfect photograph are endless. As you’re driving, you’ll pass several cafes and restaurants to stop at for a refreshing drink or snack. If you’re adventurous and confident on a motorbike, driving around the ring road will be an unforgettable experience.

Whether you want to relax on the beaches or see a giant Buddha statue, Koh Samui has something to suit everyone’s interests.

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