Koh Samui’s crowded streets and souvenir shops have earned it the nickname “Little Bangkok”. There are still enough places on the island, however, to avoid the bustle. For example, you can relax on one of the tropical beaches, visit the surrounding islands, head into the mountains, swim underneath waterfalls and visit beautiful temples. Enjoy Koh Samui’s diversity – we know we did!
Are there still nice and unusual places left to visit on Koh Samui? Absolutely! We rented a house there for almost two months and have been all over the island, which resulted in this awesome top 10 for Koh Samui, in completely random order. Enjoy!
1. Bo Phut
If you’re on Koh Samui, you really should visit Bo Phut, a hip and trendy former fishing village with lots of nice restaurants and little shops. There’s a fun evening market every Friday night that’s worth recommending as well. During the day you can relax on the beach while at night you dine in style. Bo Phut is near Koh Samui’s airport in the island’s north.
Ang Thong National Marine Park
Visit Ang Thong National Marine Park, and you’ll understand straight away why this is one of southern Thailand’s most popular day trips. Imagine dozens of small tropical islands, plus clear blue water, pearly white beaches, and viewpoints that will take your breath away. We totally recommend a visit to this beautiful marine park to anyone staying on Koh Samui!
3. Wat Plai Laem
Wat Plai Laem is, without a doubt, Koh Samui’s most fun temple complex, with a huge 18-armed Buddha as its showpiece. Don’t forget to take your shoes, or flip-flops, off before heading towards the statue along the scaffolding. The only downside is the presence of thousands of pigeons, making stepping on bird droppings unavoidable. But if you’re OK with that, then this is a fun little excursion. Across the street from the temple complex is a school with pupils playing soccer in the playing yard.
4. The Jungle Club
Do you have experience riding a motorbike? Then rent one and try to reach the Jungle Club by taking a narrow, winding road that goes upward. Go from Lamai to Chaweng and right before Chaweng, take a left and head into the mountains. Though everything is indicated with signs, it still took us quite a while to find it. The easier thing might have been to call the pick-up service to come and get us! We had lunch and a drink there and enjoyed the view. It’s also a great place to spend the night. We highly recommend it! Click here for more information about the Jungle Club!
5. Hin Lad Jungle Temple & Waterfall
Earlier on we wrote about the gorgeous waterfalls we visited. But situated near the waterfall at Hin Lad, right in the middle of the jungle, is also a remarkable temple. Removed less than three minutes from the roadside, the signs with wise and philosophical sayings on them will lead you past lots of small temples. The calm, the sounds of the jungle, the beautiful statues and the deserted little houses in the middle of the jungle are what made this visit so special. Afterwards, if you have the energy, you can take the trail that leads to the waterfall. It’s worth it!
6. Secret Buddha Garden
Hidden amongst the green hills of Koh Samui is the Secret Buddha Garden – a name which is not coincidental. Should you be able to find this magical garden, get ready to be treated to an oasis of calm and amazing panoramic views of the island. Perfect for people who like photography, adventure, and unique places. Good luck on your quest to find it!
7. Relax on one of the beautiful beaches
Everyone comes to Koh Samui for the beaches. Who can blame them; the choice is endless! It offers everything from the quiet and calm beaches in the island’s south to the beautiful, but busy, beaches of Chaweng and Lamai. We preferred the beaches in Koh Samui’s north, like Bophut Beach, Mae Nam Beach and By Beach. Read more about Koh Samui’s most popular beaches here!
8. Mangrove forests of Koh Tan
Ending up in Koh Tan’s mangrove forest completely unexpectedly, was one heck of an experience! We loved it and would recommend it to anybody. All you have to do is brave a few loose boards and your adventure can begin; walk through the mangrove forest in less than 15 minutes. We don’t recommend doing this without anti-mosquito spray, however, so make sure you bring some with you! Besides walking through the mangrove forest, you’ll also have the opportunity to chill out on a deserted beach. Read more about our experience in Koh Tan’s mangrove forest!
9. Phra Phuttha Teepangkorn
On the day after Christmas, we went on a walk through Koh Samui’s mountains, a walk which, two hours later, led us to misty Phra Phuttha Teepangkorn. We were completely alone when we arrived at this impressive Buddha statue. The weather was rough – it was raining and windy – still, we enjoyed the moment intensely. Five minutes later, we were surprised by the arrival of a bunch of tourists in a jeep at the foot of the temple. Moments after they’d taken all their selfies, they were gone again, after which we went back as well – on foot.
10. Take diving classes
You’re on a tropical island, so you might as well explore the underwater world. The best and most famous diving school on Koh Samui is Calypso Diving. They have English speaking diving instructors. Perfect for both beginners and advanced divers. Especially when you find out that Thailand is one of the cheapest countries in the world to earn a PADI-certificate. Enjoy!