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Ko Samui

Things to see and do

  • (Stand Up Paddling) at Naish SUP
    3.5 stars

    It's easy to learn, and those with a little experience can try their paddle at smaller and faster boards. Some boards even have clip-in sail attachments for a seamless transition to windsurfing. Naish SUP at the end of Chaweng Beach offers a free beginner SUP lesson, but it will cost you 300 baht ... read more

  • Guan Yu Shrine
    3.5 stars

    For now, you'll have to settle on an enormous red statue of Guan Yu's head, which peeks over the top of the new Chinese-style shrine where the statue will eventually be. Although now viewed by many Chinese as something of a deity, Guan Yu was an actual historical figure who died in the year 219 ... read more

  • Paradise Park Farm
    3.5 stars

    Adults will appreciate the cooler air and spectacular views over Samui's west coast and the Five Islands, while kids will be engrossed by the furry and feathery friends. An aviary is home to multi-coloured doves and parrots that are versed in both Thai and English. Visitors can walk right ... read more

  • Coco Splash Waterpark
    3 stars

    There's also a huge jacuzzi, paddle pool, and water playground for kids complete with swings, a zip line and a large bucket raised above the water that gradually fills up before emptying onto unsuspecting passersby. A handful of bamboo salas surround the park, some with tables and some with ... read more

  • Muay Thai
    3.5 stars

    Two large stadiums are found in Chaweng: Petch Buncha stadium is near Laem Din market and the newer Chaweng Stadium behind Solo Bar in the busy Soi Green Mango area. A couple of smaller Muay Thai venues are also found in Lamai. Being the newest, Chaweng Stadium feels almost like a nightclub with ... read more

  • Thong Krut
    3.5 stars

    There’s not a lot in Thong Krut but that’s not a bad thing; anyone who complains that Samui has become too developed and commercialised need only head down to Thong Krut for a day to appreciate the quieter side of island life. With its brightly coloured fishing boats and backdrop of small ... read more

  • Detox programmes
    4 stars

    While the touristy areas of Ko Samui can be known for their partying, the island is also popular for its detox retreats. Here are a few to choose from. Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary For those wanting to brush shoulders with the rich and famous, Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary in Ko Samui's south is ... read more

  • Big Buddha, Ko Samui
    3.5 stars

    Located on tiny Ko Phan Island and accessible via a causeway and a long staircase protected by two colourful naga serpents, Big Buddha sits around 15 metres tall and 12 metres wide and is depicted in the 'subduing Mara' pose with fingertips of one hand touching the earth. Construction of a ... read more

  • Waterfalls on Ko Samui
    3 stars

    All are far more impressive in wet season. Both Na Muang 1 and 2 have pools to swim in when there is enough water, and the former also has elephant riding nearby. Hin Lad requires a longer walk from the end of the trail and good footwear is a fine idea. Once there, the waterfall is pretty and ... read more

  • Mummified monk at Kunaram Temple
    3.5 stars

    Although this temple is popular with locals, sensitive visitors may be a little disturbed by the open display of the monk's well-preserved body, still sitting in a meditation position -- he died more than 20 years ago. It is quite amazing how well-preserved he is, dressed in his orange monk's ... read more

  • Viewpoints on Ko Samui
    4 stars

    The most popular is Secret Garden, a large sculpture garden off the airforce road towards the centre of the island. Built by a fourth generation Samui native who died a few years ago, the sculptures are based on the Buddhist scriptures and are certainly worth taking a peek at. The big selling point ... read more

  • Thai boxing on Ko Samui
    3.5 stars

    Two large stadiums, one in Chaweng near the lake, and one in Lamai, host fights between foreign and local champions. The bigger matches are broadcast live on UBC and Fox television, and draw a huge following. Tickets to the big fights can be pricy, but for those with a mild interest, cheaper ... read more

  • Hin Ta Hin Yai
    2 stars

    Hin-Ta and Hin-Yai, called Grandfather and Grandmother rock respectively, have been naturally formed by the elements to resemble male and female genitalia, and are sometimes referred to as the 'rude rocks'. This is a popular tourist location for photo opps, as well as being popular with local ... read more

  • Wat Hin Lad
    3.5 stars

    Hear the waterfall and river in the background as you walk on moss-covered paths, past inspirational signposts nailed to trees and visit several temples on the grounds. Signs indicating 'shoe parking' ask you to leave your shoes outside as you enter temples to ask a monk for a blessing or prayer. ... read more

  • Chinese Temple at Mae Nam
    4 stars

    This temple is Samui's focal point for Chinese New Year celebrations in February, with lion dancing, drums, acrobatic performers, and the smell of sulphur heavy in the air from endless crackers going off. You will get caught up in the festivities, and there is nothing peaceful about the temple ... read more

  • Wat Plai Laem
    3.5 stars

    Repainted and repaired after the March 2011 floods, the wat houses two impressive statues vying for attention – the laughing Buddha, and the 18-arm strong Buddha. Each statue is approached by way of a tiled bridge over a large lake that is teeming with super-sized fish waiting to be fed. For ... read more

  • Thai cooking classes
    4 stars

    Samui's most famous cookery school is SITCA – the Samui Institute of Thai Culinary Arts. SITCA offers two cooking classes a day from Monday to Saturday, one starting at 11:00, the other at 16:00, at a cost of 1,950 baht. Each day the menu is different but you can make your choice from the ... read more

  • Samui Institute of Thai Culinary Arts
    4.5 stars

    Beach holiday destinations like Ko Samui aren't usually bastions of authentic Thai cuisine, yet this extremely professional and well-respected cooking school is among the top choices in all of Thailand for those who are serious about learning to cook Thai. A course at SITCA doesn't just show ... read more

  • Buffalo fighting
    3 stars

    No spears, swords or people -- except for those bellowing from the sidelines -- are involved, and neither buffalo ends up dead. There are a few buffalo rings scattered around the island. If this is your cup of tea, keep an ear out for promotions for time and location details. It's generally ... read more

  • Sailing
    4 stars

    Northeasterly winds are predominant between December and April, with stronger westerly winds from May to November. Several sailing charter companies exist on the island, but the best by far is Samui Ocean Sports. The owner, Kunta, has been sailing Samui's waters for more than 15 years, first ... read more

  • Diving
    3.5 stars

    Many offer PADI dive courses, with training in resort swimming pools before venturing into Samui's clear waters. Once you are qualified, join a dive charter to explore excellent diving locations not far from Samui. These include Ko Tao, Sail Rock as well as the Angthong Marine Park. Many of the ... read more

  • Elephant trekking on Ko Samui
    3 stars

    Visitors get a chance to explore the forest atop Asia's giants, in specially designed seats strapped to the elephant's back. Despite their huge size, elephants are incredibly sure footed, as they amble along jungle paths and across rivers and rocks near the waterfalls. Standard trips last half an ... read more

  • Massages
    4 stars

    Options range from cheap beach sala massages starting at only 200 baht, to those on offer at exclusive spas and hotels, each vying for customers with their signature treatments. While a treatment can set you back thousands of baht, with some more worthwhile than others, a day of pampering at a good ... read more

  • Canopy rides
    3.5 stars

    See Samui the way a gibbon does! Explore the jungle while whizzing along a zipline. The trip included a 4x4 ride to the location, a short trek through the forest, followed by six cable rides to platforms high up in the trees. At the end, cool off in the waterfall, or calm the nerves in the bar next ... read more

  • Kayaking
    4 stars

    Kayaks can be rented quite cheaply from most beaches. This is a fun way to see the sights from the water while getting a good upper body workout. Blue Stars Kayaking offers trips to the Angthong National Marine Park. Explore bizarre rock formations, hidden caves and inlets. See marine and bird life ... read more

  • Shell museum
    2.5 stars

    For 100 baht, visitors gain entrance to this fascinating place, and William offers a tour, sharing his vast knowledge of the ocean and marine life.

    His passion is contagious as he tells you not only about the life of the molluscs, but also how to prepare, cook and eat them!

  • Magic Alambic Rum Distillery
    3 stars

    Magic Alambic is a small Ko Samui distillery producing exceptionally good rum in various flavours. Stop by and see how they produce their rhum agricole by distilling fresh, fermented cane juice brought in specifically from a farm in Nakhon Sri Thammarat. It’s well-worth a visit to Magic ... read more

  • Monkey work coconut
    2.5 stars

    It might be fun for kids, but otherwise it's not really worth stopping to see. Real working monkeys are abundant, and can be seen on the back of pickup trucks atop a huge pile of coconuts, on their way to or from work. They are generally well looked after, as they are good income earners for ... read more

  • Butterfly Farm
    2 stars

    The farm breeds its own butterflies, and has a fair selection of caterpillars, cocoons and adult butterflies. Go early in the morning as it is a steep climb to the top and it can get very steamy, especially for kids. At the top you'll also find a small bee-keeping display and a souvenir shop ... read more

  • Chai Dee Samui
    3 stars

    Part small petting farm, part cookery school and part restaurant, Chai Dee is a good spot to bring kids for a pat, play and meal, though you'll want to be the kind of person who doesn't mind chickens, dogs or even a pig waiting for scraps at your table. You'll find a little black piggy with pink ... read more

  • Samui Aquarium and Tiger Zoo
    Half a star

    Nevertheless it remains a popular attraction for the Samui-in-a-day-style tours.

    We do not recommend this attraction, as besides being ridiculously overpriced, the tigers are kept in small enclosures with concrete floors, and aquarium tanks are so small the fish can barely turn around.

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