Koh Samui

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About Koh Samui

When we think of vacationing on islands, we often have preconceived notions about all islands being similar, but the array of activities Koh Samui Tourism has to offer will make you rethink! Thailand's second largest island (Phuket being the first), Koh Samui, is a popular tourist destination for one and all. The sprawling palm-fringed beaches, tropical rainforests, coconut groves, and untouched beauty here, make for an ideal vacation spot.

Best visited in the dry season, around December to February, or in summer, between March to May, Koh Samui has a host of activities suitable for all ages. The turquoise waters of the beaches are the best place to be if you’re looking forward to swimming amidst the rare aquatic life while indulging in snorkelling and scuba diving. Diving spots like White Rock and Chumphon Pinnacles and snorkelling spots like Coral Cove and Choeng Mon should top your list for a unique underwater experience.

You can also witness the magnificence of the elephants as you trek on elephant-back through the dense forests of Namuang Safari Park. Seek some thrill as you go kitesurfing and zip lining through Koh Samui’s forests, spend the afternoon relaxing on Chaweng Beach and Lamai Beach, stroll through the picturesque Fisherman’s Village and end your day dancing the night away at one of the many pubs that brighten up the city! Bars like Coco Tams and Ark Bar ensure you have the best night! If you’re on your honeymoon book a private cruise or a candlelight dinner by the beachside to make memories for a lifetime. Most importantly, don’t miss out on all the local Thai eateries that are a highlight of the island.

There are luxury resorts to relax at and posh spas to rejuvenate you, coupled with pristine beaches, adrenaline-pumping water sports, quaint villages, and nightclubs. Koh Samui simply has so much to offer that there’s never any dearth of things to do here. Now you know what makes it a preferred destination for tourists from across the globe, don’t you?

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Koh Samui FAQ's

When is the best time to visit Koh Samui?

Koh Samui is like a piece of paradise that is great to visit almost all year-round. But this does not change the fact that just like every other tourist destinations, Koh Samui too has its best and not-so-great times. Make sure you time your holiday based on the weather and seasons there.

Monsoon (September to November): Probably the only time Koh Samui isn’t as tourist-friendly is during the monsoons, precisely because the island receives a whole lot of rain which can hamper your trip. The waters are unsafe to plunge into, cruises are risky, and there is barely any visibility, which is why most tourists shy away from visiting Koh Samui during these months.

Dry Season (December to February): Supposedly the best time to visit Koh Samui is during the months of December to February, when the weather isn’t too hot or humid, neither is there the slightest chance of rainfall. All tourist spots are serviceable and the weather is just right to make the most of everything the island has to offer!

Summer (March to August): If you’re looking to take back home a good tan as a souvenir, this is the ideal time to explore the best of Koh Samui Tourism. It is extremely hot, with warm breezes, yet the weather seems nice. Tourists spots are also fully functional at this time of the year. Light showers begin from May, so if you aren’t a big fan of the rains, you can visit this destination through March and April.

April is also the prime season as Koh Samui celebrates its local Songkran Festival, the highlight of which is the massive water-fight. Make sure you book well in advance if you want to join the celebrations!

How to reach Koh Samui?

By Air: One of the easiest ways to get to Koh Samui is by flight. Although there aren’t any direct flights between India and the island, you can opt for a flight to Bangkok and then get aboard a connecting flight to Koh Samui.

This is the quickest route, owing to the fact that there are at least 19 flights each day from Bangkok to Koh Samui and the entire duration is approximately 11 hours, including the stopover.

By Road: If you want to give the connecting flight a miss, you can choose to take the more scenic route by bus once you land in Bangkok. This is one of the cheapest options to travel by, but also the most time-consuming.

Buses don’t ply directly between Bangkok and Koh Samui, but instead, stop at the ferry terminal in Surat Thani, following which you have to traverse 1.5 hours by ferry to get across to Koh Samui.

By Water: Another great option is the boat-ride/ ferry from Surat Thani to Koh Samui. Take a flight to Bangkok, then another flight to Surat Thani. Once at Surat Thani board a bus from the airport to the pier and then get onto the ferry to Koh Samui for a fun ride!

This might seem longer than taking a direct flight to Koh Samui,  but it does work out as a cheaper option and the panoramic view along the ferry ride is breathtaking!

Which are the major tourist attractions in Koh Samui?

Brimming with life and a rich culture, Koh Samui is a perfect holiday destination offering multiple options for all kinds of travellers. Koh Samui offers a lot of different experiences and has gorgeous and unique attractions that will leave you delighted.

  • Ang Thong National Marine Park
  • Big Buddha shrine
  • Bophut Fisherman’s Village
  • Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks (the Grandpa and Grandma rocks)
  • Koh Tao or ‘Turtle Island’
  • Wat Plai Laem Temple
  • Na Muang waterfalls
  • Secret Buddha Garden
  • Wat Khunaram
  • Samui Aquarium and Zoo
  • Maenam Beach
  • Laem Sor Pagoda

What are the things to do in Koh Samui?

Koh Samui is one of the most visited islands in Thailand. Being a famous beach and party destination there are numerous things to do here that will keep your adrenaline pumping.

  • Watch the Ladyboy Cabaret Show at Chaweng Beach
  • Explore the Secret Buddha Garden
  • Visit the Koh Samui Snake Farm for various performance by trained professionals
  • Go Scuba Diving near Koh Samui
  • Party at Chaweng Beach
  • Go on a ‘Thai Experience’ dinner
  • Zipline at Canopy Adventures
  • Hike around Elephant Rock
  • Go karting and ATV Rides
  • Mountain biking in Maenam Valley
  • Sea Walking in Koh Tan, Koh Nang Yuan and Koh Tao
  • Camping near Hin Lad Waterfall
  • Parasailing and Paragliding
  • Canoeing in the Ang Thong National Marine Park
  • Windsurfing and Kiteboarding
  • Kayaking at Coral Island
  • Elephant trekking at Namuang Safari Park
  • Jet skiing at Koh Tan
  • Sky fox rides
  • Sail and explore the exotic islands
  • Stand up paddling at Big Buddha Beach
  • Deep Sea fishing near Ang Thong Marine Park

What is the local food of Koh Samui? Which are the best places to taste this food?

An integral element of Koh Samui Tourism is the food here, which is everything that you've been looking for. The food offers a burst of the perfect balance of flavours. Koh Samui’s local Thai cuisine includes seafood incorporated into dishes like Khao Phad which is Thai fried rice, Phad Thai, which translates to stir-fried noodles and Massaman Curry.

Other popular dishes are the Tom Kha Kai which is chicken soup spiced with galangal, Satay served with peanut sauce, and the very popular Som Tam, a cold salad best enjoyed with rice and chicken. End your meal with Kalamae, a sweet sticky dessert prepared with rice flour, palm sugar and coconut cream.

Some of the best places to try out Koh Samui’s Thai specialities are:

1. Green Bird: This extremely hygienic restaurant is very simple and popular among the locals, owing to the friendly service and reasonable yet delicious food it provides. Noodle Soup and Food: Known for the best noodle soup, much as the name suggests, the restaurant is lined with trophies that validate the scrumptious food it serves. If you’re on the lookout for a complete local feel then you can’t afford to miss this diner.

2. DARA Kitchen: A symphony of old-school meets new-world is what best describes this restaurant. The menu seems small, but it has some of the best options to gorge on like the fried rice, seafood, and noodle soup, which makes it a favourite among tourists and locals.

3. Trang Samui Pochana: If you’re on the lookout for the best Thai food at the best prices, we’ve found just the place for you. You’ll find some local favourites here including dishes with duck and beef, cooked to perfection. The restaurant seems simple, set up within a garage, but the bright interiors and exemplary Thai flavours will make you fall in love with it.

4. Phen Restaurant: Located along the road that borders around the island of Koh Samui, Phen Restaurant is among the more high-end places to dine at. The interiors boast of traditional touches, while the menu comprises international flavours as well as Thai delicacies, making sure there’s something for everyone. In spite of the upscale atmosphere, the prices are pretty low and the staff, warm and friendly.

5. Surat Restaurant: This is a tiny eatery with the most basic decor, but the flavours it serves up make up for everything else. The Pad Khapao and Fried Clams are a must-try here!

What is the best public transport to commute around Koh Samui?

Below mentioned is the best public transport to commute around Koh Samui:


  • Songthaew - The main ring road for Songthaews is 51km and cuts through every major beach town. It is the most popular and convenient way around Koh Samui.
  • Taxis- This is the best way for a little far off destinations or routes. Although you need to bargain and set the rate in advance so as not to be fleeced.
  • Scooter taxis - These are the best way to travel for a wilder experience of Koh Samui.
  • Rental bicycles - If you’re feeling particularly energetic and eco-friendly, there are some shops available for renting bicycles, also making it the cheapest way of moving around Koh Samui.

What is the local language in Koh Samui and which are the most commonly used greetings?

The official language of Koh Samui is Thai. Most locals also understand and converse in English, but you too can learn some colloquial terms and greet them like a local! Some of the most commonly used phrases are:

- Hello:
S?w?s?d? (pronounced “Sah watdii”)

- Thank You:
K?hxbkhu? (pronounced “Koopkhun”)

- Please:
Pord (pronounced “Pord”)

- Good Morning:
S?w?s?d? txn chê? kh?a (pronounced “Sah watdii twaan chaao”)

- Good Night:
R?tr? s?w?s?d (pronounced “Ra-trii sahwat”)

- What is the price of:
R?kh? thè? h??r? (pronounced “raker thao hai”)

- How do I go to:
C?h?n ca p? d?? x??ngr? (pronounced “chan cha pai dai yangrai”)

- How far is:
K?l khæ? h??n (pronounced “Khlai ken hai”)

Which are the best shopping places in Koh Samui and what are they famous for?

Below mentioned are the best shopping places:

  • Central Festival Samui - This mall describes itself as 'the most complete and largest lifestyle shopping complex in Samui’.
  • Koh Samui’s capital Nathon Town - There are Chinese shop houses that sell a wide range of goods including lots of gold. If you are looking for souvenirs this will be the cheapest place on the island to purchase them.
  • Lamai Walking Street (aka Lamai Jai Dee Walking Street) - This is held every Sunday on Lamai Beach Road. The road is closed off to traffic and is full of stalls selling clothes, handicrafts and local street food
  • Chaweng Beach - There is a market nearby that sells traditional items as well as various crafts and fabrics.
  • Fisherman’s Village Walking Street - It brings the quiet, sleepy town of Bophut to life every Friday from 17:00 to 23:00.
  • Elephant Walk Koh Samui - It is a small night market which opens every night in Fisherman’s Village which is a fun and quirky shopping experience in Bophut and a good place to find some interesting souvenirs.
  • Lamai Night Bazaar - A mini-version of Bangkok's Patpong night market. With lots of pirated goods, copied clothes, trashy 'Swiss' army knives, the usual displays of flip flops.

Which are the most popular beaches to visit in Koh Samui?

Koh Samui beaches are world-famous for their fine white sands and crystal clear waters, as well as the wild parties under the soft light of the full moon. Fringed by coconut palm trees and various adventure activities, the beaches in Koh Samui are worth a visit

  • Chaweng Beach - From beachside hotels to sophisticated cocktail bars, Chaweng is the busiest and most popular beach in Koh Samui. Chaweng's nightlife is streets ahead of anywhere else on Samui.
  • Maenam Beach - If you are looking for a cheaper location on the island to stay and also hang out on the beach, this would be the ideal choice.
  • Lipa Noi Beach - is the most child friendly of the beaches on Koh Samui, the water is completely clear of rocks and coral and the water remains shallow for a very long way.
  • Bophut Beach - It sweeps down several kilometres between Bangrak and Maenam beaches. It is also famous for the charming Fisherman’s village which is probably one of the oldest places on the island.
  • Lamai Beach - It is a lot quieter and not as busy as other beaches. You can enjoy swimming here or just relax at the various beach bars and restaurants, sipping on cocktail and tasting great food.
  • Choeng Mon beach - It is made up of a series of bays on the northeastern tip of Samui Island. Dominated by a handful of three- to five-star resorts, it is a still a quiet beach where you can enjoy snorkelling as well as kayaking to its nearby islets.
  • Silver Beach is a 250m-long tropical beach paradise set in a charming little bay located just north of Lamai Beach. You can enjoy good sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling here.

Which are the best scuba diving and snorkelling locations in Koh Samui?

The best spots in Koh Samui for snorkelling are:

1. Ao Phang Ka: A square shaped bay which seems to be the perfect tropical getaway. The best snorkelling spot here is situated at the southern tip of Ao Phang Ka.

2. Coral Cove:
Named after the beautiful corals housed amidst these waters, Coral Cove is one of the most frequented spots by sports enthusiasts.

3. Taling Ngam:
A long beach tucked away in Koh Samui, with barely any development, but the entire coast makes for an ideal snorkelling spot.

4. Choeng Mon:
a marvellous series of bays along the Northeastern coast of Koh Samui, this area isn’t just popular for snorkelling but a host of other water-sports like kayaking, scuba diving and more.

If you’re looking forward to scuba diving, head to Koh Tao, 70 kms north of the island. Some of the best diving locations here are:

1. Chumporn Pinnacles:
Known to be one of the most challenging spots, the water is 20-35 metres deep, with strong currents.

2. Southwest Pinnacles:
Amidst natural rock formations lie sea-flora in vivid colours and black, bushy corals. That’s what adds to the beauty of this already pristine place!

3. Green Rock:
The depths here are 4-25 metres and you swim against remarkable sea-life like blue-ringed angelfish and moray eels

4. White Rock:
Explore submerged summits that lie 22 metres underwater. Swing among butterflyfish and angelfish and watch out for sea snakes and stingrays.

Which are the best cycling trails in Koh Samui?

Koh Samui offers much in the way natural beauty, with tropical vegetation, hidden waterfalls, indigenous species and fascinating rock formations most of which remain unseen by most visitors to Samui. Cycling Tours will take you beyond this to immerse the unspoilt beauty of the island.

  • A half day cycling tour will take you by beautiful and quiet southern beaches, Coconut trails and tracks, through beautiful rubber plantations, you can also visit the amazing Pagoda Temple etc. You can also cycle through and see the exotic Five Islands of Koh Madsum, Koh Rarb, Koh Tan and Koh Phang.
  • For a full day cycling tour you can Ride through the Muslim Fishing Village market and Mosque, Ride around the Southern reservoir, Visit beautiful quiet southern beaches, Ride along the Coconut trails and tracks, Visit small Fishing Villages, Ride through beautiful rubber plantations, Visit the amazing Pagoda Temple, Short walk to the Golden Buddha, White Pagoda and most southern point on Samui, Ride into Phang Ka Bay etc

Which are the best places for water sports activities in Koh Samui?

Below mentioned are the best places for water activities in Koh Samui:


  • Stand up Paddling at Ban Tai, Big Buddha Beach, Taling Ngam Beach and Lamai Beach
  • Kayaking and Canoeing at Coral Island as well as the Ang Thong National Park
  • Kiteboarding in Maenam, Bophut and some other beaches
  • Windsurfing is perfect on the East Coast beaches of Chaweng, Lamai, Bophut and Maenam.
  • Sea Walking in Koh Tan, Koh Nang Yuan and Koh Tao

Where can I enjoy golfing in Koh Samui?

Koh Samui has several golf areas and green regions to best enjoy golfing. The golf courses have 9 hole courses where anyone, from a novice to an expert can enjoy playing. The famous golf courses in Koh Samui are :

  • Santiburi Samui Country Club which is currently the only 18 hole golf course in Koh Samui and has earned its nickname as the beast of Samui.
  • Royal Samui Golf & Country Club is a 9 hole golf course is located between Chaweng and Lamai

Where can I experience elephant trekking in Koh Samui?

A very popular feature of Koh Samui Tourism, elephant rides and treks offered on the island are great fun to be a part of.

1. Namuang Safari Park:
This safari park is amidst lush coconut plantations and the tropical jungle. Ride an elephant who will tread along the winding trails and guide you to the Namuang Waterfalls. You can even feed and take photos with these loveable creatures after your ride.

2. Elephant trekking with Mr. Ung:
Available twice a day, this unique trek picks you up from your hotel in a safari jeep, takes you off-roading and then you travel on elephant-back through the jungles. These are memories that you’ll treasure for a lifetime!

Which are the best sites for fishing in Koh Samui?

For those ardent and passionate fishing experts, Koh Samui is just the right place. You'll love Big Game Fishing here with an experienced captain and crew. This tour will take you to the richest waters around Samui to where the big underwater game is. Live bait, great atmosphere, on-board lunch and excitement guaranteed.

  • The best places for fishing in Ko Samui are at the Ang Thong National Park, and along the islands of Ko Mudsoom, Ko Rarb, Ko Tan as well as Wang Bay.
  • The regular catches include barracuda, cobia, shark, mackerel, sailfish, snapper, grouper, trevally and many more.

What are the most adventurous aerial activities to do in Koh Samui?

Koh Samui Tourism isn’t very well-known for its aerial sports, but it does offer some really exciting options to look forward to.

1. Kitesurfing: As a kiteboarder, you harness the power of the wind that propels you to ride the waves as you balance yourself on a board, while hanging on to a kite. Koh Samui’s shallow, flat waters, make it just the spot to try out this uber cool activity.

2. Zip-lining: Don’t just want to walk or drive through forests? No problem! Manoeuvre yourself from tree-to-tree in Koh Samui’s rainforests as you glide through on zip-lines, experiencing the various levels of the sport and soaking in the panoramic beauty of the island.

Which are the best wildlife experiences in Koh Samui?

The Koh Samui islands apart from having a gorgeous landscape and rich culture is also home to wildlife and unique vegetation. Some of the best wildlife experiences in Koh Samui are

  • Samui Aquarium and Zoo - You can see leopard sharks, catfish, tropical fish, and manta rays and feed the sea turtles here. After the aquarium you can head to the zoo which has many different species of animals, but most people come here for the majestic Bengal tigers which take part in a live show each day. You can also have your photograph taken with the tigers if you are brave enough.
  • Koh Samui Snake Farm- Here trained professionals put up shows with snakes such as the king cobra and giant python. The snake wranglers find a way to make the snakes show off their fighting moves in front of an excited audience. You may also touch and hold some of the less dangerous snakes here.
  • Ang Thong National Marine Park is a protected area of more than 100 square kilometres of land and sea, and home to a rich variety of exotic wildlife and sea creatures. You can hike through anyone of its various trails to see animals like dusky leaf monkey, long-tailed macaque, leopard cat, fishing cat, wild boar and smooth-coated otter etc. This is also an amazing place for rare bird watching.

How is the nightlife in Koh Samui? What are the most happening things to do at night in Koh Samui?

Being one of the prime holiday hotspots of Thailand, Koh Samui offers some of the best nightlife. Featuring a myriad of clubs, bars, beach entertainment and discos, Koh Samui is just the place to be if you’re looking for a wild night in the town. Here are some of the must visit places:

1. Ark Bar, Chaweng: Ideally located on the beachfront, Ark Bar is one of the oldest and most popular party places in Koh Samui. You’re welcomed by fire dancers and artistes who showcase fire shows. There’s a chill vibe all around as you drink and dance the night away!

2. On Street Bar, Chaweng: This unique bar offers a one-of-a-kind nightlife experience, with its corrugated iron and recycled wood-painted interiors. Everything here is revamped, recovered and antique and that’s what makes it stand out amongst the other clubs in the vicinity.

3. Coco Tams, Bophut: A lively place to chill at, Coco Tams’ vibrant beach bags lining the beach, bar swing seats, sheesha and a wide screen makes it the talk of the town. The space has a sophisticated look and feel, and plays some relaxing tunes while patrons sip on some chilled cocktails and enjoy the soft breeze.

4. Legends Bar, Chaweng Beach: Located in the heart of this beautiful city, Legends Bar is popular for its classic music from the yesteryears, especially from the 60s’ to the 90s’. There’s rock, pop, jazz, blues and every other kind of easy-going LIVE music. So if you’re someone who has an ear for music, you’re going to love being here!

5. Bar Solo, Chaweng: Being at this modish two-storey bar is one of the best ways to kickstart your night. The pub has numerous wide screens, showcasing LIVE sports and offers happy hours for most of the day, which make your afternoon all the more wonderful! It is also equipped with a dance floor and a pool table offering a sleek look, while the speakers blast funky tunes that liven up the night.

Koh Samui Reviews

Adhithya Jayakumar
Reviewed: 06 Nov 2023
The whole experience was great starting from the 1st day till the last. I personally feel that time was the only thing that was missing out as all of these places were too good & we couldn't have much time to spend. The iteration was well planned & the local staff was so supportive to help us at any... Read More
Adhithya Jayakumar
Adhithya Jayakumar
Adhithya Jayakumar
Adhithya Jayakumar
Adhithya Jayakumar
Adhithya Jayakumar
(13+)View All
Reviewed: 05 Mar 2024
Hotels were gud. The iternary was good but more focus was on travelling and less on sightseeing 
(5+)View All
Udhaya Kesavan B
Reviewed: 06 Mar 2024
Simplyyyy wowwww!! The trip was well planned and all the local staff was well knowledgeable and helped us a lot. It made a memorable experience 
UdhayaKesavan B
UdhayaKesavan B
UdhayaKesavan B
UdhayaKesavan B
UdhayaKesavan B
UdhayaKesavan B
(2+)View All
Hemant Kumar
Reviewed: 02 Mar 2024
Thrillophilia gave us very beautiful memories  Trip was very smooth we just have to book from them and they will take care of everything it was a great experience and got some good friends will travelling thrillophilia in group
Hemant Kumar
Hemant Kumar
Hemant Kumar
Hemant Kumar
Hemant Kumar
Hemant Kumar
(2+)View All
Divam Singh Nagpal
Reviewed: 02 Mar 2024
Good experience with local staff and local teams all were cooperative and kind and take care of everything 
Divam Singh Nagpal
Divam Singh Nagpal
Divam Singh Nagpal
Divam Singh Nagpal
Divam Singh Nagpal
Divam Singh Nagpal
(2+)View All
Alisha Chaturvedi
Reviewed: 30 Apr 2024
Local staff, good accomodation, good internal transfers, local food was excellent. Made wonderful memories! Support staff was also helpful Itinerary was good, except there should have been one more day in Koh Samui and 1 less day in Krabi Also, we spent the whole day reaching Koh Samui. If travelle... Read More
Alisha Chaturvedi
Alisha Chaturvedi
Alisha Chaturvedi
Alisha Chaturvedi
Alisha Chaturvedi
Alisha Chaturvedi
(1+)View All

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