Thailand is a popular tourist destination because of its culture, temples, people, and, most importantly, its renowned paradisiacal islands. The second-largest island in Thailand, Koh Samui, is described in this post along with things to do there.
After touring the Andaman Sea islands, I read several times while planning my vacation to Thailand that Koh Samui was not worth it (where the Phi Phi are located). Nevertheless, we made the decision to give it a shot and stay in Koh Samui for a few days before returning home.
In the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui is situated close to the islands of Koh Tao and Koh Pha Ngan (where the famous Full Moon Party is held). Compared to the Andaman Sea, it is a separate region. Instead, anticipate peaceful beaches with palm trees, woodlands, night markets, and jaw-dropping temples. Don’t expect to see big rocks sticking out of the water.
When to visit Koh Samui
Thailand has three distinct seasons:
- The hot season (March to May)
- The “cool” season (November to February)
- The monsoon season (June to October) (March to May)
Tropical and humid conditions prevail in Koh Samui. The ideal months to visit the island are December through February, when there is essentially no rain and the temperature is moderate but not suffocating like in the summer.
Almost every day between September and November will likely see rain and storms, so pack accordingly. While it is likely that you will pay less to travel during the rainy season, you should be aware that there may be delays on the boats due to weather.
How to get to Koh Samui
Depending on your location of departure and budget, there are a variety of methods to travel to Koh Samui. Here are a few possibilities:
Although Koh Samui has a private airport, Bangkok Airways is the sole airline that uses it. Even though the costs are typically extremely high, it is the most convenient and quick way to go to Koh Samui.
The alternative is to fly to Surat Thani’s airport and then take a boat to Koh Samui from there.
Online tickets for the ferry from Koh Samui to Surat Thani (or the other way around) are available through Lomprayah. I had no issues using this catamaran firm to go between various islands in Thailand. The cost of the ferry ticket, which also covers transportation by bus or cab to Surat Thani Airport, is roughly 700 Baht (one way). Koh Samui to Surat Thani Airport travel time is two hours and thirty minutes.
The least expensive way is to take a bus from Bangkok to Surat Thani and then a ferry to Koh Samui. Although it is inexpensive, I do not suggest this alternative because it takes around 10 hours to get from Bangkok to Surat Thani and an additional 2-3 hours to travel by boat to Koh Samui.
How to get around on Koh Samui
You may think the island is small, but it is about 30 km wide, and you will want to travel to different parts of the island to view the numerous beaches. There are several ways to get about Koh Samui:
- Rent a motorcycle: Why not rent a motorcycle if you can drive? Rent is available in the same hotels on the island, and if not, in any position. Finding them is not difficult, and using them to tour the island is an affordable and comfortable option.
- Rent a car: The choice to rent a vehicle or jeep is available if you are ready to spend a bit extra. Although it is a comfy choice, I don’t think it is worthwhile.
- Songthaew: This is the action to take I advise. Open-backed vehicles called songthaews are utilised for public transportation. You approach them on the street, explain your plans, and settle on a price. Along the journey, they assist others.
Where to stay on Koh Samui
As you can see, the island features a number of beaches and lodging options.
Chaweng is the most well-liked beach with the largest lodging choices. There are several restaurants, stores, hotels, and travellers in this region.
- Amari Koh Samui: I recommend staying at the Amari hotel if you plan to visit Chaweng. This hotel chain consistently provides excellent service. The Amari Koh Samui boasts large, contemporary rooms and is located directly on the beach.
- UBOX Hostel: This hostel is great if you want to socialise. It features a pool, a bar, and all the vibes and is only three minutes from the beach! You won’t find anything finer for only $10.
- Hotel Ibis Samui Bophut: The hotel chosen for the Koh Samui trip was this one. The location is excellent because it is directly on the beach. The price is reasonable for a beachfront motel; a double room is approximately $30 USD per night.
- Six Senses Samui: I recommend this hotel if you want a couple of days of total luxury and leisure. It is situated directly at Koh Samui’s easternmost point. They are lovely villas with breathtaking views that are perfect for relaxing and savouring Asian luxury.
Maenam Beach, home to a number of opulent resorts and villas, is a very calm beach. Though less popular and in a bit more distant location, there are several eateries there. The second most visited beach on Koh Samui is Lamai Beach. While there are still plenty of places to stay, eat, and buy here, it is a little calmer than in Chaweng.
What to do in Koh Samui
Enjoy the beaches
Obviously, Koh Samui’s beaches are its biggest attraction. Touring each one may take days. Chaweng, Bophut, and Lamai are the most well-known beaches, as I have indicated. But there are also other, more sedate beaches, such as Mae Nam, Coral Beach, or Silver Beach (a 200-meter stretch of very picturesque and serene beach).
The size and amount of visitors were the only real differences I saw across the several beaches. With white beach and a turquoise sea, they all appeared to be rather lovely.
You may enjoy water sports like jet skiing, kayaking, parasailing, stand up paddle boarding, or even seawalking if, like me, you can’t bear spending too much time on the beach.
Big Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Yai)
The Temple of the Big Buddha is another of Koh Samui’s main draws. It is a Buddhist compound featuring a golden Buddha statue that is roughly 12 metres high. On the beach known as Big Buddha Beach, there is a statue of the Buddha. When you reach the temple’s peak, the sea is beautifully visible.
Wat Plai Laem
You must see this magnificent Buddhist temple before leaving Koh Samui. You have undoubtedly been to a lot of temples in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, but this one is unique and well worth a trip.
The figure of Guanyin, the goddess of mercy and compassion with her 18 arms, is the most noticeable one in the compound. It’s also really remarkable to see the statue of Budai, the Buddha who smiles and in Chinese culture is a symbol of riches and success.
The Fisherman’s Village on Bophut beach is one of my favourite places to visit on Koh Samui. Previously known as the tiny fishing hamlet of Koh Samui, this region is now a popular tourist destination with a variety of stores, eateries, and a night market.
You might argue that it is Koh Samui’s hippie-chic neighbourhood because there are so many stores, art galleries, and restaurants with sea views there. Except for restaurants, most establishments are closed throughout the day. However, starting around 5 p.m. every Friday, people, vendors, and food booths throng the streets. Take advantage of being in Koh Samui on a Friday by visiting the Fisherman’s Village market.
How to get to Koh Samui Lamai Beach?
If you’re looking to enjoy some stunning views while basking in the sun on Koh Samui, then Lamai beach is definitely worth a visit. Located just minutes away from the city centre, this sandy beach is well-known for its crystal-clear water and dramatic cliffs. If you’re feeling adventurous, be sure to take a hike up one of the nearby peaks – the views are simply incredible!
What to expect at Koh Samui Lamai Beach
If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway, Koh Samui Lamai Beach is well worth a visit. With crystal-clear waters and white sand beaches, it’s easy to spend an entire day lounging on the shore. But don’t forget to explore the island – Koh Samui has plenty of attractions to keep you busy. There are also many restaurants and nightlife options in the surrounding area, so you can revel in your beach vacation without feeling too confined. Just remember to pack sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat – Koh Samui Lamai Beach is perfect weather-wise, but there’s always a risk of getting caught in a rainstorm!
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