Known for its great flea markets, plethora of street food options, Golden Buddha, and elephants, Thailand has been one of Asia’s hottest tourist hotspots for decades. Whether you’ve already been there or you just heard about it while watching The Hangover’s second installment, there’s no doubt that the Land of Smiles is an iconic destination.
While most travel to Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket because they are widely considered to be Thailand’s three hottest tourist destinations, a hidden gem of an island called Koh Samui can be found off the coast of Kra Isthmus, waiting to reward tourists who are adventurous and patient enough to go looking for it.
Characterized by its flawless beaches, lush forests, and its ability to allow tourists to connect to Mother Earth, this island populated by of 62,500 people hosts some of the world’s most beautiful nature spots.
If you’ve been looking for the perfect getaway, you may want to drop everything and take the next flight out to Koh Samui for an unforgettable experience!
How to get to Koh Samui
You have two options: the first one is to take a flight from Bangkok straight to Koh Samui, or you could go for the more cost-friendly option, which involves flying from Bangkok to Surat Thani, then hopping on a ferry that will take you to Koh Samui from Surat Thani. This ferry makes 21 trips per week, so it’s best to plan accordingly to make sure your trip goes smoothly from point to point!
What to do in Koh Samui
Upon touching down in Koh Samui, dozens of locals may offer to take you on a tour around the city’s most famous spots. But, if you’re into making your own itinerary and exploring by yourself, here are some spots that you definitely shouldn’t miss:
1. Check out the Island’s most stunning beaches
Running out of beaches to go to in Koh Samui is impossible, mainly because you’ll never want to leave the first one you go to! With a choice between the amazing, scenic beaches of Lamai, Lipa Noi, or Maenam, it’s best to test each one first to see where you’ll want to spend the rest of your trip. Every beach is decked out in the purest white sand which makes for priceless views, so make sure to pick up your trash and help keep the beaches immaculate!
2. Pay your respects at breathtaking locations
Aside from breathtaking views, you can also take a trip to the island’s 12 meter-tall Big Buddha at the Wat Phra Yai temple. Here, you should take time to stop and smell the roses. Delight in being able to enjoy a much-needed and unhampered connection between you and nature in Koh Samui. Afterwards,you can check out the Secret Buddha Garden in the hills of the island for a relaxing and fulfilling atmosphere. Don’t forget to completely immerse yourself in the surroundings to get a front-row seat to the island’s amazing array of flora and fauna!
3. Check out the water-based attractions
Aside from the beach, there are other ways to experience the captivating way bodies of water move on this enchanting island. To see Koh Samui’s breathtaking Two Na Muang Waterfalls, head on over to Nathon Bay and then travel by foot to take in the majesty of the waterfalls! The Two Na Muang Waterfalls are a perfect destination for those who want to witness the very best of what the island has to offer. Other than the waterfalls, the Wat Plai Laem’s lake is another must-visit tourist spot, as it houses a one-of-a-kind Buddhist temple surrounded by a serene lake. However, don’t try to feel the fish! Feeding the fish is frowned upon, so it’s best to do as the locals do.
4. Experience the invigorating nightlife
Although Koh Samui is isolated from the rest of Thailand, the island’s nightlife is definitely worth checking out. It carries the trademark spirit of partying in Southeast Asia. Head to Koh Phangan or Chaweng Beach to fully experience Thai nightlife, complete with the right kind of music and alcohol to set the mood.