Ko (Koh) Samui or Samui Island is Thailand’s second-largest island after Phuket. It is famous for its sandy beaches, luxurious to mid-range hotels, lush vegetation, deep blue waters, and coral reefs. Travelers and tourists around the world visit Ko Samui in large numbers each year and enjoy this beach paradise. Samui was once a fisherman’s community and the signs of it are still visible at Bophut’s village.
Wat Plai Laem
Wat Plai Laem is a Buddhist temple on Samui Island. It features a huge 18-arm white statue of Guanyin. According to the Chinese-Thai tradition, Guanyin is the God of compassion and mercy. There is another equally amazing statue of Budia nearby. The temple is famous for its ceremonial halls beautifully painted with Buddhist and Chinese mythological stories.
Hin Ta and HinYai Rocks – Lamai Beach
Hin Ta and HinYai rocks are located at Lamai Beach on the southern coast of Ko Samui. Ta means grandpa and Yai means grandma in Thai. The rocks are symbolic of the ancient folklore and the story of a couple who drowned in the sea and turned into rocks. It’s a popular sight worth visiting at Ko Samui.
The majestic 12 meters tall statue known as Big Buddha is located on the small island of WatPhraYai near Ko Samui. The golden statue was built in 1972 and is visible from the plane when approaching the island. The nearby beach is called Big Buddha beach because of the proximity.
Ang Thong Marine Park
Ang Thong National Park covers almost the entire archipelago and is responsible to maintain the natural and beach resources of the area protected. A total of 42 Islands are included in the park. Ang Thong is famous for its steep limestone cliffs, beach forests, and diverse wildlife.
Koh Tao Island
Also known as Turtle Island, the Koh Tao Island attracts scuba divers from around the globe to witness turtles, stingrays, reef sharks, barracudas, and other exotic marine life. The most popular activities in this remote island include cliff jumping, rock climbing, fishing, hiking, and snorkeling. Mango viewpoint, John-Suwan viewpoint, and Mae Head beach are the busiest spots here.
Pink Dolphin Spot
Extremely rare pink dolphins native to Samui and nearby islands are the most fascinating creatures to watch and enjoy. Tourists spend considerable money on tours for dolphin spotting and snorkeling. Professional guides can help you spot the dolphins and enjoy the trip. The activity is preferred by families and couples alike.
Mummified Monk Temple
The mummified monk temple of Wat Khunaram is another intriguing place to visit on Ko Samui. In 1973 a monk named Luong Pordaeng died while in a meditative position. 30 years later his body can be seen still in the same position without much signs of decay.
Secret Buddha Garden
The Secret Buddha Garden is located in hills of Ko Sumai among lush vegetation. They are the work of a farmer, who started making statues of animals and deities around his garden. The statues are hidden from the other main landmarks and offer a peaceful sight among the trees.
Na Muang Waterfalls
Na Muang or ‘purple waterfalls’ is a set of two beautiful falls approximately 12km south of Nathan Bay. The first one falls into a scenic pool succeeded by the second one after about some hike up the hill. Walking trails among the forest and rocks can be a peaceful escape from the busy beaches.
Central Festival Samui
One of the largest lifestyle shopping centers in Samui, the Central Festival Samui offers a complete range of restaurants, shops, playgrounds, and an open-air atrium. It’s a 3 storied modern complex and a must-visit spot for shopaholics. It is located near Chaweng’s beach road and is visited by locals and visitors alike.
Maenam beach is one of the budget-friendly beaches to stay and relax for tourists and backpackers. It features some amazing beaches with coconut tree shades and offers more privacy and leisure opportunities. Bungalows are available to stay and absorb the beaches untamed scenery.
Thai style kickboxing is one of the most famous and applauded sports on the island. Several clubs and sports centers show impressive and competitive matches. It’s a dangerous and skillful sport but it is a must-watch in Samui. Some famous Muay Thai camps include Jun MuayThai Camp and LamaiMuay Thai Camp.
Just So You Know:
- Samui has a privately owned airport by a company called Bangkok Airways.
- Ko Samui, like Phuket, is not a province but comes under the administration of Surat Thani.
- During November, the island can experience heavy monsoon rains and storms.
Get Some Culture:
- Thai Festivals: The Chinese New Year and in April and Songkran (Thai New Year) in February are the most celebrated festivals at Ko Samui. These attract hundreds of visitors from around the world.
- Buffalo fighting tradition is an ancient practice among the locals of Ko Samui. The prized buffalos are showcased for fights in stadiums once a year.
Grab A Bite:
- Street Food in Ko Samui: The local cuisine and street food is popular among the visitors specially pad Thai, KwayTiao (noodle soup), and Thai pancakes.
- Tropical Fruits: Exotic delicacies including fresh mangoes, pineapple, pomelo, and dragon fruit are found in abundance on the island and are a must-try in Samui.