Ko Samui is so big, we've split it up into areas, select one of the below for detailed accommodation and food listings in that area. Sights and general overviews for Ko Samui as a whole can be found via the icons above. Don't know where to start? Read an overview of Ko Samui's different areas.
Exploring Ko Samui’s beaches, towns and interior makes for uncovering quite a few out-of-the-ordinary sights. Here we showcase a selection of the type of things you might see while tripping around — go on, snap more than the usual holiday pictures while you’re here.
Above you see a pig-tailed macau monkey, used as a coconut harvester. These are not rare monkeys and are working animals in the same way that a dog would be used to herd sheep. The monkeys are trained on the mainland, at Surat Thani, to judge whether a coconut is ripe, to bite and twist to remove it, and to stack and pack a pickup. Training takes three to five months, and a good monkey can pick up to 1,000 coconuts a day — a whole lot more than a human with a pole and loop can do.
Driving around Ko Samui you’ll see banana trees everywhere. Please don’t pick them, as they have owners who are probably waiting in anticipation for them to be ready so they can sell them along the roadside. This bunch above must come close to world record as the biggest bunch of bananas. Sadly, the week after this photo was taken, the tree fell over from the weight of the bunch, even though it was propped up with a stick. Thais believe that mischievous female spirits reside in banana trees.
Beach food is a version of street food, and on most Samui beaches you will find vendors selling grilled corn, barbecue chicken, sticky rice, papaya salad, and fresh fruit. Usually these vendors carry their ‘kitchens’ along the beach, with one side of the yoke having the hot coals, and the other an ice box with ingredients. This innovative vendor above decided to save energy and place his kitchen on a paddle boat, and paddles up to his customers.
A relatively new road cuts across the island joining Lamai with Mae Nam. The road shows the old Samui, as there is very little development so far. Views are spectacular as the road winds up and down hills. At one point, for whatever reason, this toilet has been built, no walls. Just the toilet. It makes a great photo.
“Coconaldo” is the mascot of Samui Football Golf in Choeng Mon. This is a fun take on regular golf, whereby a football is kicked from hole to hole, with similar rules to regular golf.
Paradise Park Farm is home to these ‘painted doves’. After doing some research, we found out that they are apparently fed egg yolk with food colouring to produce these colourful birds. Feathers, beaks, feet — all coloured. Quite bizarre, really.
Wat Hin Lad in Nathon has a cute way of ensuring that their visitors abide by the rules of no shoes when entering. Please do remember to dress politely when visiting temples.
Water buffalo can be seen all over Samui. You may see them grazing in fields, wallowing in mud, or being taken for a swim by their handlers. They are used for buffalo fighting, but it’s not violent like Spanish bull fighting. Basically, they stamp their hooves and bump heads a bit, and the first to run away is the loser.
Fresh markets are great places to explore, see new foods, mix with locals and take photos. Here we see some eggs being delivered to the Bophut market.
Be sure to keep your camera (or camera-phone) handy at all times on Samui. For as many interesting photos we have here, there have been just as many missed opportunities when the camera was just out of reach… like the time we saw an elephant on the back of a truck and a fridge being transported on a scooter. Happy snapping!
By Rosanne Turner
Last updated on 4th June, 2015.