25 Best Things to do in Koh Samui


Thailand is one of the favorite tourist destinations in South East Asia. Known formerly as Siam, the Kingdom of Thailand attracts travelers from all over the globe to its exotic sandy beaches, Buddhist temples, water sports, Muay Thai boxing matches, nightlife, tattoos, world-famous Thai cuisine and of course the traditional Thai massage. People often seem to visit Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, and Krabi. However, there are many other beautiful places that prove to be a good reason to visit Thailand. 

 Ko Samui, Thailand’s second most popular island destination, is one such place worth visiting. Located in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui is known for its world-famous white-sand beaches, coral blue waters, spectacular viewpoints, mountainous rainforest, elephant trekking, plus luxury resorts, and posh spas.

The island of Koh Samui is a haven for honeymooners, families, and friends. And it is very hard to categorize the places depending on the type of travelers since all places are so good that you would not want to miss any of them!

If you have planned a visit then these are the “Things to do in the Koh Samui” list which will help you to select the perfect destinations suitable to add to your final bucket list.

You can also easily rent two-wheelers for just 350 Baht on a per-day basis and explore the whole city with your valid Indian License itself!

So, pack your bags and get set!!!

Places of Worship to visit in Koh Samui:

1. Wat Phra Yai or the Big Buddha Temple

The Big Buddha Temple is Koh Samui’s most famous landmark. The temple sits on a small rocky island and the golden 12-meter tall seated Buddha statue is one of the most popular attractions and a visit there is one of the top things to do in Koh Samui. 

The Big Buddha sits with the right hand facing down and the left hand’s palm facing up resting on the lap. The pose is a symbol of steadfastness, purity, and enlightenment. By night, the Big Buddha is bathed in the golden glow of spotlights, making for a holy and exotic sight.

It’s a religious place so one has to dress respectfully with shoulders and knees covered.

Timings: 7AM to 10 PM

Entry Fee: Free

How to Reach: Bus from South Pattaya 

2.  Wat Plai Laem 

 Wat Plai Laem,  a modern Buddhist temple on Samui’s north-east coast, is one of the places to visit in Koh Samui. The main statue, which is in Chinese style, is a form of the bodhisattva of compassion and mercy, This form of the deity is known in Chinese as “Guanyin with eighteen arms”. 

Guanyin is believed to be a source of unconditional love and a protector of all beings. The eighteen arms are believed to encompass all and protect them. She is also seen as a fertility goddess and people come here to pray for her help in bearing healthy children. 

Timings: 8AM to 5PM

Entry Fee: Free

How to Reach: Rent a car or take a Taxi and drive via route 4169 and 4171

3. Wat Khao Hua Jook 

If you are in Koh Samui, don’t miss this temple or Wat as is popularly known. Sitting on top of a hill, Wat Khao Hua Jook is known for its famous monument, a replica of Buddha’s footprint, which is kept inside the temple.  You can also visit the room beneath the pagoda which has many interesting artifacts.

This gold Pagoda on the top of holy Chom Daow Mountain is revered by all and a peaceful environment is a perfect place for meditation. Illuminated at night, this golden pagoda is breathtaking. The top of the summit provides visitors with a spectacular view of the stunning sunset across the Bay.

Timings: 24 Hrs

Entry Fee: 50 Rupees per person

How to Reach: Advised to rent a car or take a taxi

4.  Wat Khunaram – A Buddhist Temple with a twist:

A Buddhist temple with a difference. The shrine of “The Mummy Monk” at Wat Khunaram offers a unique insight into Buddhist and Thai culture and hence one of Koh Samui tourist attractions.

One of the best places to visit in Koh Samui is the  Wat Khunaram. You will find an unusual sight of a monk Luong Pordaeng who died in the year 1973 seated in a meditative position and as directed by him his body has been on display in an upright glass case at the temple, as a reminder of Buddhist philosophy.

For Thai people, the life and death of Loung Pordaeng serve as an inspiration to follow the Buddha’s eightfold path of Dharma.

Timings: 6 am to 6 pm

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Places to visit in Koh Samui for it’s Natural Beauty:

5.  The Angthong National Marine Park:

The most beautiful marine park in Thailand is the Angthong National Marine Park. With its pristine archipelago of 42 islands in the Gulf of Thailand, Ang Thong National Marine Park features towering limestone mountains, thick jungles teeming with wildlife, white-sand beaches, waterfalls, hidden coves and lakes to explore. The Angthong National Marine Park

The list of activities one can engage in is snorkeling, hiking, sea kayaking, diving, and simply relaxing. 

One of the must things to do in Koh Samui is to visit Angthong Park, which is a  day’s trip from Koh Samui and capture the perfect picture postcard moments.

Timings: 24 Hrs

Entry Fee: 710 Rupees per person

How to Reach: Waterway from Koh Samui

6. Grandma and Grandpa Rocks (Hin Ta & Hin Yai)

An object of mirth and wonder on the island of Koh Samui. Hin Ta and Hin Yai popularly known as the Grandfather & Grandmother Rocks are located along Koh Samui’s eastern coastline of Lamai. Hin Ta & Hin Yai

The unusual rock formations are said to be 1000’s of years old and formed due to glacier deposits and erosion of the granite boulders. However, there is also a myth attached to it as evidenced by the description on a signboard near the rocks that tell about a marriage proposal and death of the grandparents in the sea who turned into rocks resembling the male and female genitalia. This unusual sight has been a source of curiosity from the people visiting. 

The place is beautiful and definitely one fun place to visit in Koh Samui.

Timings: 24 Hrs however advisable during day time

Entry Fee: Free

How to Reach: Hiring taxi or driving a rental car  is the best way

7. Koh Madsum or Pig Island 

A secret island off the coast of Koh Samui’s south, Koh Madsum is a tiny and lovely island with a lovely beach inhabited by friendly swine. This is the reason why it is famously known as Pig Island!

Koh Madsum

You can enjoy a picnic at the serene white sand beaches, and also go snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, and not to miss its spectacular sunset. You can also spend some playful moments with the pigs which are harmless and friendly.  There are a few bars on the beach that serves food and drinks.

A day trip on a long-tail boat to this secret island should definitely be one of the things to do in Koh Samui.

Timings: 24 Hrs

Entry Fee: Free

How to Reach: Waterway from Koh Samui

8. Na Muang waterfalls

The most scenic waterfalls in Koh Samui are the Na Muang waterfalls. Set in the lush jungles, Namtok Na Muang, is in fact 2 waterfalls, Na Muang 1 and Na Muang 2. The larger of the two waterfalls and the most famous waterfall is Na Muang 2.

One of the top things to do in Koh Samui is to visit these amazingly colored waterfalls. At Na Muang 1, the frigid water flows from the island’s highest points at full speed onto the rocks and flows downhill towards the sea. 

At Na Muang 2, the water cascades over purple rocks, to land in a superb, large pool where you can even swim. Since the path is challenging and slippery, proper shoes and gears are recommended. 

Timings: 9 AM to 5:30 PM

Entry Fee: 70 Rupees per person

How to Reach: Hiring a taxi or driving a rented car is a good option

9. Tan Rua Waterfalls 

Tucked away in the lush jungles is a splendid and charming waterfall little known to the tourists. One of the best waterfalls in Samui. Its official name Tan Rua is little known and the locals prefer to call it the Secret Falls. Tan Rua waterfall is located in a picturesque area, surrounded by cliffs, tall trees, and vines. You have to traverse the rocky paths to reach the bottom of the waterfall where a small pond is formed in which you can swim. A perfect picturesque spot. The spectacular scenery and the awe-inspiring view makes it an instagrammable place to visit in Koh Samui. 

Click away to your heart’s content.

Timings: 24 Hrs

Entry Fee: Free

How to Reach: Hiring a taxi or driving a rented car is a good option

Places to visit in Koh Samui along the Ocean:

10. Chaweng beach

Thailand and beaches are inseparable. Koh Samui in Thailand has its own share of awesome beaches, the most popular being the Chaweng Beach, with its stretch of powdery white sand. 

As the most popular resort town in Samui, Chaweng has something for everyone. The beach offers great swimming, snorkeling, and plenty of water sports for children. For those who are more enthusiastic jet-skiing, catamarans, banana boats, and kayaks are also some other available things to do in Koh Samui’s Chaweng Beach.

For a fun holiday and to laze around soaking up the sun, Chaweng beach is one of the must-see places to visit in Koh Samui. 

Timings: 24 Hrs

Entry Fee: Free

How to Reach: Hiring taxi or Renting Cars are the best options

11. Lamai beach 

The second largest beach in Samui, Lamai Beach is famous for its superb beaches dotted with peculiar rock formations and viewpoints. Located on the east coast of Samui Island, Lamai beach is quieter and less bustling than Chaweng Beach. One of the most popular places to visit in Koh Samui, Lamai beach offers a lot of activities like diving, snorkeling, cycling along jungle rocks. The famous Thai massage is also done by experienced masseurs in any of its spas.

This beach is ideal for families and older travelers with plenty of shopping options, great spas, and tourist sites waiting to be explored. Definitely a place worth visiting if you are in Koh Samui. 

Timings: 24 Hrs

Entry Fee: Free

How to Reach: Hiring a taxi or driving a rented car is advised

Festivals in Koh Samui:

12.  The Unique Buffalo Fight Festival:

To know the culture and traditions of a country, experiencing festivals unique to that country is very important. Buffalo Fight Festival, a century-old tradition of Koh Samui, is one such festival. 

One of the most unique Koh Samui tourist attractions, The Koh Samui Water Buffalo Fighting Festival of Thailand is held on special occasions such as New Year’s Day and Songkran. The water buffaloes are decorated with jazzy ribbons and gold-painted leaves on their horns and holy water is used to bless the animals before the fight. This festival features head-wrestling bouts in which two male Asian water buffalo are pitted against one another. The first Buffalo to turn and run away is considered the loser, the other buffalo the winner.

This festival is one of the things to see in Koh Samui. This festival usually takes place at the Chaweng Stadium. The fight usually starts in the evening.

Entry costs: 100 to 200 Baht for tourists.

13.  Experience Songkran Water festival or Loy Kratong:

The temples in Thailand serve as a major center for cultural festivals and Big Buddha Temple in Samui is no exception. During Songkran or  Loy Kratong,  the temples are crowded with people offering prayers, enjoying the food and markets set up for the celebrations. One of the things to see in Koh Samui and experience first hand and join in the celebrations.

The Buddhist New Year festival is usually associated with spring cleaning at home and welcoming the New Year. The Thais spend time with their family and seek blessings from their elders. They gently sprinkle or pour warm water on relatives, close friends, and neighbors to wash away the bad luck of the previous year and usher in a fresh start for the upcoming year.

Loy Kratong is the most important festival in the whole of Thailand which is celebrated on the 1st of November every year. One should definitely not miss this unique Koh Samui tourist attraction. Do join in the celebrations when you are in Koh Samui.

Less traversed places to visit in Koh Samui:

14. Bophut Fisherman’s Village 

With its rustic style buildings, boutique shopping, restaurants, and weekly market,    Bophut Fisherman’s Village located on Samui Island’s north coast is a popular tourist destination. 

The old part of Bophut Beach takes its name from the fact that it was once home to a thriving fishing community. A visit to the Fisherman’s village in Bophut is one of the must-do Koh Samui activities. Every Friday, the quiet sleepy town turns into an open-air bustling walking street market where you can buy from a wide variety of fabrics, jewelry, herbs, etc, and you will also get to see street performers performing traditional Thai dances, kickboxing, and fire shows. 

Beautiful beaches, the gorgeous sunset, delicious food, and fantastic bars are added attractions.

Timings: 5PMt to 11PM

Entry Fee: Free

How to Reach: Hiring taxi or driving a rented car is the best way to reach there

15. Samui Elephant Sanctuary

Visiting the Land of elephants and not seeing them from near? Head straight to the Samui Elephant Sanctuary and see for yourselves this retirement home for the elephants.

To rehabilitate the elephants and provide them a natural habitat, and to improve the lives of the elephants who have worked exhaustingly for the tourism and logging industry, the  first elephant sanctuary was opened in Koh Samui.

This sanctuary is one of the places to visit in Koh Samui where you can feed the elephants, walk with them, and observe them playing in the mud, bath in the pool, and enjoying the peaceful life that they deserve.

Timings: 9 AM to 5 PM

Entry Fee:  Around 4000 Rupees per adult and 3500 Rupees per kid between 4 to 11 yrs

How to Reach: Hiring a taxi or driving a rented car is a good option

16. Watch a Muay Thai Fight

Popularly known as Thai Boxing, it is an extremely popular sport in Thailand. Watching the professionals competing at Muay Thai boxing in Chaweng Stadium is a very popular pastime for the locals and visitors alike. It is a thrilling experience one can ever get anywhere. If you are heading to Koh Samui, this has to be one of the things to do.

Muay Thai is one of the oldest martial arts and is steeped in the Thai tradition. It is an energetic fight involving the use of fist, elbows, knees, shin, and feet during the combat. During the fights, you’ll see an exciting display of technical skill, agility, brute force, blood, and cold hard knock-outs. So it’s not surprising then that this is the hottest place for martial art lovers. So, do not miss this out of your list of Koh Samui activities.

Timings: Begins approximately from 9 PM 

Entry Fee: Approx 1000 to 1500 Rupees per person

How to Reach: Hiring a taxi or driving a rented car is advisable

17.  Thai cooking classes:

 When you think of food, think Thai cuisine. The cooking classes in Samui are a great way to learn about the culture and history of a country.

Koh Samui cooking classes are becoming a trend of the newly found favorites of the Koh Samui tourist attraction list. If you are fond of Thai food then one of the activities to do in Koh Samui is to enroll in one of the classes for a great day of cooking, eating, and learning. You get to learn a variety of dishes both vegetarian and non-vegetarian alike, like Thai soups, salads, stir-fried noodles, stir-fried dishes, Thai pad, tom yam, som tam, and curry dishes. The experienced instructors, teach you and give you some secret recipes which you won’t find in a cookbook.

 Go ahead and learn and impress people back home.

18.  Enjoy a unique game of Football Golf:

Samui Football Golf Club, the place of origin of football golf in Thailand,  is gaining popularity all over the world for this unique game, which is a combination of football and golf.

In Football golf the players steer the football into 18 holes in the golf course with as few kicks as possible. The one who scores less is the winner. All the holes are named after famous footballers, such as Beckham’s free-kick, Maradona’s hand of God to name a few.

At this distinctive and popular Koh Samui tourist attraction, you will not only enjoy the game with your family and friends but also enjoy the course where the game happens which in itself is like a mini natural park and is home to over 350 species of tropical plants, birds, insects, and lizards.

19.  Spa and Thai massage:

Feeling tired? Then a spa or a good Thai massage is what you need!

The most popular and happening Koh Samui sightseeing place – The Chaweng Beach is just the place for you. There are spa and massage parlors on the main road or you can even get a massage done on the beach.

Some of the massages that are popular are traditional Thai massage, oil massage, foot scrub, and many treatments to destress and pamper your body and soul. The one massage that is a novelty here is the Fish massage, where your feet are immersed in an aquarium filled with small fishes who eat away the dead skin cells. However, the Aloe Vera Massage wins hands down for its effect on sunburnt skin.

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Adventures & Nightlife Activities:

20. Experience Scuba diving in Koh Samui

Scuba diving in Koh Samui, one of the must-do activities for anyone visiting Thailand. With crystal clear water and amazing marine life, Koh Samui is one of Thailand’s most popular holiday destinations and a great base for diving.

Koh Samui, a diver’s paradise is an extremely popular destination for both experienced divers and beginners. The Chaweng Beach, Coral Cove, and several other places with their shallow calm waters are ideal spots for diving. Whether it’s your first time or you are a serious enthusiast, you won’t be disappointed by the quality or quantity of diving spots around Samui.  

Rush to the cove for a spectacular diving experience.

21.  Experience Snorkelling at Koh Taen

If you are a nature lover and enjoy underwater activities, then Koh Taen is one of the best places to visit in Koh Samui. A tiny island on the southern tip of Koh Samui, it’s an amazing place for those who like snorkeling, white sandy beaches, and some peaceful atmosphere. 

To enjoy a walk in the mangroves, you will have to head towards the west and if you are a beach monger then head towards the eastern part where a stretch of a long beach awaits.

The southern part of Koh Taen is rich in marine life. The underwater world has a lot of coral reefs, different types of fish, some stingrays and if lucky even a few barracudas. So what are you waiting for? Wear your gear, and enter the water.

22. Enjoy the Nightlife in Koh Samui

One of the premier holiday destinations in southern Thailand, Koh Samui is home to a variety of nightlife entertainment. Featuring a number of lounge clubs, naughty bars, beach bars, and discos- Chaweng, Lamai, Bophut, and Maenam have interesting nightspots to be discovered. 

You can see the crowd enjoying the live performances by the locals or International DJs at the open beaches or in any of the beachfront clubs. As one of the best things to do in Koh Samui, you can also join and dance through the night.  Enjoy the thick spread of the menu from western dishes to Thai specialties. Not to miss the drinks too which include beer, soft drinks, and spirits, as well as a great list of excellent cocktails.

Whatever you choose, go out and have fun in Koh Samui.

23.  Ziplining at Maenam:

Get ready for an adrenaline-filled activity at Maenam in Koh Samui. An adventure that takes you zipping through Thailand’s most beautiful rainforests. A must on an adrenaline junkie’s list of the best Koh Samui tourist attractions.

Canopy Adventures in Koh Samui offers a ziplining experience through Koh Samui’s tropical jungle. You will be hooked onto a cable that’s attached to high trees and/or towers above the jungle. This thrilling cable ride gives you a bird’s eye view of the lush jungles, scenic beaches, breathtaking secret waterfalls, and wildlife.

Don’t forget to handover your cameras to the instructors who will capture you soaring through the jungles, Tarzan style!

24.  Kite Surfing:

One of the adrenaline-pumping activities in Koh Samui is Kitesurfing or Kiteboarding. It is an extreme sport that combines surfing and paragliding.

The temperature in Samui is ideal for this kind of activity. Maenam in Samui is one of the favorite spots for Kitesurfing due to its excellent location featuring perfect wind conditions. The main Kitesurfing center in Maenam is Samui Kiteboarding Club which also sells all the equipment necessary for kitesurfers.

The best time to try kitesurfing is from November to February.  A popular activity in Koh Samui, there are instructors to guide you to enjoy the sport safely. The best itinerary a sports enthusiast could have on his list of the best Koh Samui tourist attractions.

25.  Samui Regatta:

A regatta is a sporting event consisting of the boat or yacht races. Koh Samui Regatta is the biggest Regatta in all of Asia attracting competitors from Thailand and beyond. Not only the competitors but also this unique Koh Samui tourist attraction attracts tourists from all over the world to witness the spectacle.

Sounds exciting, isn’t it? Then what are you waiting for? Visit Centara Grand Beach Resort, one of the organizers of the event, for experiencing amazing sailing skills, and the island’s hospitality for a whole week. Great sailing, excellent beach parties and a chance to connect with sailing enthusiasts from all around the world in the evening make it one of the best places to visit in Koh Samui.

Koh Samui Regatta is the ultimate sailing destination festival to sample the island’s sun, sea, and sailing for the perfect getaway. This usually takes place during the months of May and June and the Entry fee for this festival will approximately be around 1000 Baht per person.

Final Thoughts:

There are a lot of things to do and places to visit in Koh Samui. From crazy beach parties to Reggae Bars, Jet Skiing, dirt biking, safari excursions. Getting a great and relaxing Thai massage, lounging on the beach, scuba diving, are some of the best parts of a vacation in Koh Samui. 

A place that is recommended to anyone for a quiet family or a cheesy romantic break away. But, the main reason some of us lose heart to go to such off-beat places is regarding the planning. However, we at Dimaak will guarantee a tension-free vacation just the way u want it!