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Nestled in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui is renowned for its palm-fringed shores, crystal-clear waters, and lush landscapes. With its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and diverse range of activities, Koh Samui offers something for every traveller.
To make the most of your visit to this tropical paradise, join us as we unveil a handpicked selection of our favourite experiences, eateries, beach spots, and more!
Indochina Time (GMT+7)
Best Time to Go
When it comes to the best time to visit Koh Samui, it really depends on what floats your boat. December to February offers the perfect weather that’s perfect for hitting the beach and doing water sports.
If you’re on a limited budget, consider going in October or November. Although there may be occasional storms, the rain showers don’t stick around for long and you can still do the usual beach activities — at a fraction of the cost!
|Local tip: Consider your vibe – whether you dig the sunshine and action-packed dry season or don’t mind a bit of rain during the wet season. Think about the crowds, budget, and what activities you want to do.
Things to Know
Currency: Thai Baht
(Check the current exchange rate)
Calling Code: +66
Payment Options: Cash is the preferred option in smaller establishments and local markets. Major credit cards are also accepted at most hotels, restaurants, and shops.
How to Get to Koh Samui Beach
To get to Koh Samui Beach, you have a few transportation options depending on your preferences and budget.
Plane: The most convenient way is by flying to Samui Airport (USM) from your departure city. Several airlines offer direct flights to Koh Samui from major cities in Thailand and neighbouring countries.
Ferry: Another option is to take a ferry. If you’re coming from the mainland, you can fly to Surat Thani International Airport (URT) and then take a taxi or shuttle to Donsak Pier, which takes about 1 hour.
From there, you can board a ferry to Nathon Pier in Koh Samui.
Estimated Travel Time: 1.5 to 2.5 hours
Costs: 400 THB to 800 THB (approximate)
Bus and ferry: If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, you can consider taking a bus and ferry combination. From Bangkok or other major cities, you can take a bus to Surat Thani Bus Terminal.
From there, transfer to a shuttle or taxi to Donsak Pier, which takes around 1 hour. Then, you can board a ferry to Nathon Pier in Koh Samui.
Estimated Travel Time: 7 to 10 hours
Cost (Approximate): 600 THB to 1,000 THB
|Note: The travel times and costs mentioned are approximate and can vary depending on factors such as departure location, transportation availability, and season.
How to Get Around
Songthaews: Songthaews are basically converted pickup trucks, and you can flag them along the main roads by waving at them. Remember to confirm the fare before boarding, as they generally operate on a shared basis.
Taxis: Taxis in Koh Samui are usually red or yellow, and they operate on a metered system. They’re a common sight at popular tourist areas, hotels, and the airport.
Motorbike/Scooter Rental: Renting a motorbike or scooter is a popular option for exploring Koh Samui independently, given you have a valid driver’s licence. There are numerous rental shops across the island where you can find a wide range of bikes available for hire.
Car Rental: Renting a car is another convenient way to get around Koh Samui, especially if you prefer the comfort and flexibility of a private vehicle. Two reputable car rental service providers in Koh Samui are CarFlexi, and SamuiCars.
Where to Stay in Koh Samui
Lub d Koh Samui Chaweng Beach
Pricing: ฿ (Rates start at 1,00 THB per night)
Lub d Koh Samui has a vibrant and social atmosphere that immediately makes you feel like you’re part of a travel community.
Plus, the range of amenities, including the pool, common areas, bar, and restaurant, adds an extra touch of convenience and enjoyment to your stay.
The best part about Lub d Koh Samui is its prime location. It’s situated near the beach, giving you easy access to the sun, sand, and surf.
Samui Paradise Chaweng Beach Resort
Pricing: ฿฿ (Rates start at 3,100 THB per night)
Samui Paradise Chaweng Beach Resort’s spacious and well-appointed rooms and villas offer a level of comfort and elegance that exceeds expectations. And for the ultimate relaxation, some of the rooms even come with private pools!
Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui
Pricing: ฿฿฿ (Rates start at 7,400 THB per night)
Tucked away in a secluded corner of the island, Garrya Tongsai Bay offers an intimate and peaceful getaway.Surrounded by lush tropical gardens, you’ll feel like you’ve entered a private paradise.
The highlight of Garrya Tongsai Bay is its private beach, where you can unwind and soak up the sun in tranquillity. Don’t miss out on its on-site restaurant, where you can indulge in mouthwatering Thai cuisine while enjoying breathtaking views of the bay.
Pricing: ฿฿ (Rates start at 3,800 THB per night)
Everything about Hansar Samui spells luxury, from its amenities to its spa services. Its proximity to the Fisherman’s Village will allow you to explore charming shops, restaurants, and night markets.
Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui
Address: 219, Surat Thani 84140, Thailand
Pricing: ฿฿฿ (Rates start at 33,000 THB per night)
In Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui, each villa has its own private infinity pool where you can enjoy the stunning views of the gulf. Its opulent facilities within a secluded and laid back atmosphere offers the perfect setting for a luxurious vacation.
Take the experience to another level by booking a spa treatment! We suggest going for their Secret Garden Massage for a traditional Thai massage but with the added twist of medicinal plants and spices.
Where to Eat in Koh Samui
Lamai Night Market
Operating Hours: Daily 3PM to 12AM
Category: Street food,Thai food restaurant
Lamai Night Market comes alive in the evening, offering a wide array of local street food and affordable eats. Explore the various stalls and vendors selling grilled seafood, traditional Thai dishes, noodle soups, fresh fruits, and delectable desserts.
Tree Tops Signature Dining
Operating Hours: Daily 6PM to 10PM
Category: International and Thai food restaurant
Ascend to the treetop canopies at Tree Tops Signature Dining and indulge in a culinary journey like no other – cooked by a two-time Iron Chef Thailand winner!
You can immerse in an intimate setting, surrounded by nature’s beauty, as you savour exquisite flavours. Just note that reservations are essential so you should book ahead via their website.
The Road Less Travelled Cafe Bar
Operating Hours: Monday- Closed; Tuesday to Sunday- 9AM to 4PM
The Road Less Travelled is a cafe bar in Bophut that embraces a rustic and bohemian vibe. Our favourite thing about this spot is that we can just relax here while enjoying the good food.
If you’re a coffee lover, you shouldn’t miss out on their coffee selection as it’s pretty impressive!
Operating Hours: Daily 10AM to 10PM
Category: International and Thai food restaurant
Perched on a hilltop, Jungle Club offers panoramic vistas of the lush jungle and stunning coastline. You can savour a variety of Thai and international dishes, including fresh seafood, grilled meats, flavorful curries, and even vegetarian options!
Don’t miss out on its regular live music event as it makes it a perfect spot to unwind and enjoy good food.
Dining on the Rocks – Six Senses Samui
Operating Hours: Daily 6AM to 10:30 PM
Category: Thai food restaurant
Dining on the Rocks – Six Senses Samui is located on a headland, offering breathtaking ocean views and a unique dining setting!
They’ve got a creative menu that serves up the most delicious authentic Thai and regional dishes. The best part? Dining on the Rocks – Six Senses Samui offers a wide selection of wines to pair with your meal.
What to Do in Koh Samui
Visit the Big Buddha Temple
You can’t visit Koh Samui without checking out the iconic Big Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Yai). This massive golden statue is a sight to behold, so it’s definitely worth a spot in your itinerary!
When you get there, take your time to admire the intricate details up close and enjoy the stunning views from the elevated platform. Plus, you can explore the area and browse through the cool souvenir shops.
|Local tip: Remember to dress respectfully and keep your camera ready for some incredible shots!
Take a dip in the Na Muang Waterfalls
Need a break from the tropical heat? Head straight to the Na Muang Waterfalls and cool off like a local! These beautiful waterfalls are a true oasis in the middle of Koh Samui’s lush greenery.
I suggest exploring both Na Muang 1 and Na Muang 2 waterfalls. The first one is easily accessible, while the second requires a bit more of a hike.
Take a dip in the crystal-clear pools, capture some Insta-worthy pictures, and just soak in the peaceful vibes.
|Local tip: Don’t forget to pack some snacks and water for a picnic by the waterfalls—it’s the perfect way to enjoy this hidden gem!
Enjoy water sports and activities
Calling all water sports enthusiasts! Koh Samui is your playground. Get ready for some serious fun as you dive into thrilling activities like snorkelling, diving, kayaking, paddleboarding, and jet skiing.
Trust me, the underwater world is a vibrant wonderland with its colourful coral reefs and diverse marine life. And if you’re up for an adventure, don’t miss the chance to go island hopping and explore hidden coves and pristine islands nearby.
Visit the Fisherman’s Village in Bophut
Let me take you on a journey to the heart of Koh Samui’s cultural heritage: Fisherman’s Village. This shopper’s paradise in Bophut oozes charm and history, and boutique shops, art galleries, and handicraft stores await you at every turn.
But wait, it gets better. Come on a Friday night and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Fisherman’s Village Night Market.
Indulge in mouthwatering street food, find unique souvenirs, and groove to live music performances.
Experience the vibrant nightlife at Chaweng’s bars and clubs
Chaweng Beach is where the party’s at! Get ready to explore the vibrant streets packed with bars, clubs, and awesome entertainment spots. From live music to DJ sets, fire shows to themed parties, you won’t run out of options.
Sip on a refreshing cocktail at a beachfront bar, dance like there’s no tomorrow at a thumping club, or simply chill and soak in the electric vibes.
Take a day trip to Ang Thong Marine Park
Embark on a day trip to Ang Thong Marine Park, a stunning archipelago consisting of 42 tropical islands.
It’s only a boat ride away from Koh Samui and you won’t believe your eyes when you see the stunning landscapes, picture-perfect beaches, and waters so clear you can see right through them.
Go snorkeling, kayak through emerald lagoons, limestone cliffs, and hidden caves. Or, simply relax on the sandy shores and soak up the sun.
Explore the local markets
When you’re in Koh Samui, you’ve got to check out the local markets! You can wander through the stalls and discover all kinds of cool stuff like local handicrafts, trendy clothing, unique accessories, and awesome souvenirs to take back home.
The street food scene is also a must-try. It has all sorts of mouthwatering delights like sizzling skewers, flavorful noodles, and crispy snacks.
Relax with a spa or wellness treatment
Koh Samui is renowned for its spa and wellness offerings. From traditional Thai massages that work magic on your tired muscles to rejuvenating facials and invigorating body scrubs, you won’t regret blocking some time for these!
Our favourite part is that Koh Samui’s massage services take spa experiences to a whole new level. You’ll find treatments using natural and organic ingredients too!
Best of all, you can opt for a beachfront massage or have ultimate privacy from your own spa villa.
Visit the Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks
Get ready for a playful sightseeing adventure at the Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks, also known as the Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks. These natural genital-like formations will leave you with a cheeky smile.
Where to Shop in Koh Samui
Fisherman’s Village Walking Street
Located in Bophut, Fisherman’s Village Walking Street is a vibrant market that comes alive in the evenings. Stroll along the charming streets lined with boutique shops, art galleries, and handicraft stores.
Central Festival Samui
For a modern shopping experience, head to Central Festival Samui in Chaweng. Inside this large shopping complex, you’ll find stores like H&M, UNIQLO, Adidas, Starbucks, KFC, and Auntie Anne’s, along with a cinema and a bazaar.
Lamai Fresh Market
Lamai Fresh Market is a total sensory overload in the best way possible! Trust me, the juicy fruits, aromatic herbs, and exotic spices will have your taste buds dancing with excitement.
And when your tummy rumbles, follow the incredible aromas to find delicious sizzling grills and steaming noodle carts.
Nathon Night Market
You shouldn’t miss out on Nathon Night Market! Like most night markets in Thailand, it has clothing, accessories, souvenirs, and local handicrafts.
Explore all the stalls and shops while munching on street food fare. Don’t forget to haggle!
The Wharf Walking Street
Wharf Walking Street is an adorable shopping and dining area that looks like a quaint fishing village.
The best part? You won’t go hungry here as it has a whole bunch of dining options to satisfy your cravings. Whether you’re in the mood for Thai street food or craving some international flavours, you’ll find all here.
Which Beaches to Visit in Koh Samui
Chaweng Beach is the most popular beach on Koh Samui. Throughout its 7-kilometre stretch, you’ll find powdery white sand, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and a range of beachfront amenities.
It’s pretty hard to top the atmosphere here, too, since it has numerous bars, restaurants, and shops! But the party starts in the evenings, when the area comes alive with parties, fire shows, and live music.
Located south of Chaweng, Lamai Beach offers a more relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. You’ll find its palm-fringed shoreline a fantastic area for swimming, sunbathing, and beachfront massages.
Bo Phut Beach
Bo Phut Beach, also known as Fisherman’s Village Beach, has quaint streets lined with boutique shops, restaurants, and traditional wooden houses.
You should go here on Friday evenings, when the Fisherman’s Village Walking Street comes alive!
Choeng Mon Beach
Choeng Mon Beach is a picturesque and family-friendly beach at the northeastern coast of Koh Samui.
It’s relatively secluded, offering a peaceful retreat away from the busier tourist areas. The beach features shallow waters, making it ideal for little ones to swim and play safely.
Maenam Beach is a serene and less crowded beach at the northern coast of Koh Samui, so it’s a favourite of those looking for a peaceful time by the beach.
You don’t need to worry about the amenities, though, since there are a handful of local restaurants, beach bars, and massage huts!
Lipa Noi Beach
Lipa Noi Beach offers a peaceful setting, with soft white sand and calm waters. It’s known for its stunning sunsets, making it a popular spot for evening strolls along the shoreline.
Although this particular beach is relatively untouched, you’ll find a few beachfront resorts and restaurants in the area.
Do you want to discover a hidden gem? Then head on to Silver Beach, or Haad Thong Ta-khian, which is between Lamai Beach and Chaweng Beach.
Here, you’ll find a tranquil and intimate setting, away from the crowds. But if you want to liven up your stay, visit the beachfront bars and restaurants serving Thai and international cuisine.
What to Expect from Koh Samui Weather
Koh Samui’s weather is generally warm and tropical throughout the year, but it’s important to note that the island experiences distinct seasons.
Here’s what you can expect from Koh Samui’s weather:
Dry Season (December to February):
During this period, Koh Samui experiences its peak tourist season, thanks to the favourable weather conditions.
It’s a great time to visit if you prefer drier weather and want to enjoy the island’s natural beauty and water sports.
Hot Season (March to August):
The hot season in Koh Samui is characterised by high temperatures and increased humidity.
While it can be hot and humid, the island’s coastal location provides a refreshing sea breeze.
This season is popular among sun seekers and beach enthusiasts, but be prepared for occasional short showers or thunderstorms, usually in the late afternoons or evenings.
Rainy Season (late October to mid-December):
The rainy season in Koh Samui brings more frequent rainfall and higher chances of tropical storms.
October tends to have the highest rainfall, while November marks a transition towards drier conditions. During this season, expect intermittent showers, often lasting for a few hours, but the rain is usually followed by sunny intervals.
Despite the rain, there are still plenty of activities and attractions to enjoy on the island, and accommodations and travel rates tend to be more affordable..