Discover Koh Samui

Family-friendly palm-lined luxury island escape

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    Located in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui is a southern island popular for those seeking relaxing luxury escapes with its palm-lined calm white sandy beaches and clear waters. It offers some good snorkelling, waterfalls, temples and shrines along with a full range of dining and shopping. Resorts in Koh Samui offer all the amenities for a very comfortable stay for families, honeymooners and everything in between.

    Besides chilling on the beach, swimming or having a massage, there is an abundance of things to do in Koh Samui. For culture vultures, you can visit some Buddhist temples or Chinese shrines, with the most impressive being the 45 metres high white Big Buddha overlooking the sea or the nearby Chinese shrine that pays homage to the Goddess Quan Yin. For something more unusual, Wat Khunaram houses a mummified monk, encased in a class box, sitting in a classic meditation position. Another place to see is the Bophut traditional fishing village for an insight into the local Samui fishing community.

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    THG Recommended Hotels in Koh Samui

    Nora Beach Resort & Spa
    The resort enjoys a spectacular hillside setting, overlooking a secluded bay just north of the world-famous Chaweng Beach.
    Premium
    BANYAN TREE SAMUI
    Set on an exclusive beachfront along Lamai Bay, Banyan Tree Samui offers 5-star villa accommodation with private infinity pools. It features a world-class spa, 5 dining options and free Wi-Fi.
    Premium
    VANA BELLE, A LUXURY COLLECTION RESORT KOH SAMUI
    Vana Belle, A Luxury Collection Resort, Koh Samui is situated on Chaweng Noi Beach. It offers luxurious suites and villas with a private pool and free WiFi. At Vana Spa, guests can fully indulge in deep relaxation with massage treatments.
    SHERATON SAMUI RESORT
    Sheraton Samui Resort is located on Chaweng Noi Beach in Ko Samui. This family-friendly resort features a free-form beachfront infinity pool and a salt-water garden pool with a spa pool area.
    BURI RASA VILLAGE SAMUI
    Located northwest of Koh Samui on the beachfront of Chaweng Beach, Buri Rasa Village offers an outdoor pool, spa and a hot tub. Rooms feature a private terrace and free Wi-Fi.
    PEACE RESORT SAMUI
    Peace Resort is a 7 minutes walk from Walking Street at Bophut's Fisherman's Village. It is within a 14-minute drive from popular Chaweng Beach and Samui Airport. For added convenience airport transfers can be arranged for an additional charge.
    CHAWENG GARDEN BEACH
    Chaweng Garden Beach Resort is just a minute's stroll from the restaurant and bars lining Beach Road. It is a 15-minute drive from Koh Samui Airport and provides free parking.
    Muang Samui Spa Resort
    The impressive, Local Thai décoration and sevices make this a desirable location. For your reservation at Muang Samui Spa Resort

    Discover more hotels in Koh Samui

    Additional things to do in Koh Samui

    Laem Sor Pagoda

    Located near Bang Kao Beach within the Wat Laem Sor complex, the yellow tiles of this pagoda give it a golden glow that goes nicely with the oceanside scenery. It also features a Boat Hall popular with locals eager to pray and make wishes

    Chaweng Walking Street

    Visitors eager to visit this place should expect something that is one part food court, one part night market. Here, shoppers can find dine on local street food while browsing, among other things, the clothing, counterfeit watches, souvenirs

    Na Muang Waterfalls

    Also known as Namtok Na Muang (Purple Waterfalls) due to the purple colouring of their rock faces, these two waterfalls located about 12 kilometres inland from Nathon Bay are popular spots for visitors to relax or swim on Koh Samui.

    Crazy Golf Samui

    This mini-golf course features nine holes within a landscaped garden filled with various obstacles. Older visitors can head to the bar area, which includes a table football set, a pool table, and television sets to go with drinks and snacks.

    Thong Krut

    This relatively quiet fishing village serves as a departure point to Koh Tan and other small islands off Koh Samui’s south. Visitors may be interested in seeing kor lae and the local Muslim culture, going fishing, or admiring the view

    Elephant Rock

    For those wondering, this rock formation takes its name from its large size rather than any particular resemblance to the animal. Visitors can also hike within the rocky terrain or head to the summit for a view of the Gulf of Thailand.

    Summary continued

    For nature lovers, the Na Muang Waterfalls are a must. Set in the lush jungle, this majestic set of two cascades is a popular place for families to cool off and swim. Visit September through November, when the waterfalls are in their full glory. Hin Lad Waterfall and Temple are tranquil places to visit in the lush tropical forest, easily accessible for all levels of fitness and a small pool of cool water to swim in at the site. The nearby quaint Buddhist temple is a local place of pilgrimage for those seeking solace.

    As Koh Samui is situated in the Gulf of Thailand, day trips to other picturesque paradises are so easy. Ang Thong National Park is 28 kilometres away, made up of an archipelago of 42 islands, including the famous Phi Phi islands. This area is truly a diving and snorkelling mecca.

    Koh Phangan is closer at about 12 kilometres away and is world-renowned for its monthly Full Moon parties. Besides that, it has pristine white sandy beaches, untouched wilderness, and the crystal clear waters with over 20 dive sites.

    Koh Taen is just a few hundred metres from the Southwest coast of Koh Samui. This unspoilt small island is visited for its rich marine life in its protected reefs.

    For best areas to stay, Koh Samui beaches are varied. Chaweng and Lamai beach can be fun for families and couples, as well as backpackers and solo travellers. Maenam Beach is a favourite with backpackers and offers budget shopping and no-frills dining, fun activities along with a good range of less expensive beachfront hostels and hotels.

    For a more authentic experience of Thai island life, Bophut fishing village on the north coast is filled with traditional shop-houses, a weekend market so you can shop like a local, and a good mix of more modern shopping and restaurants overlooking the sea. The beach is not the greatest, but the atmosphere is laid back, quiet in the evenings and very family-friendly.


    Frequently Asked Questions

    How to get to Koh Samui?

    Koh Samui is easily accessible by plane via its international airport. You can also take a train or bus from Bangkok then a ferry to the island. From Phuket, you can catch a 55-minute flight or you can travel overland by bus then ferry from Don Sak pier, which will take about 7.5 hours with transfers. Alternatively, for those travelling in large groups or for families with children, a private car then ferry may be the best option, taking around 6 hours.

    Is Phuket or Koh Samui better?

    Koh Samui vs Phuket is a common discussion among travellers. Each destination has something special to offer, but Koh Samui is better for a quiet, more relaxing style holiday. Its beaches are quieter, smaller and seas are calmer than the beaches of Phuket. For those wanting more of a party scene, more water sports and just “more” in general- choose Phuket.

    Is Koh Samui expensive?

    Compared to Phuket, the prices are a bit cheaper, but more expensive than the mainland and the northern part of Thailand. Koh Samui resorts and hotels range from three- to five stars, with some hostels and cheaper hotels options for those on a tighter budget.

    Where is the best neighbourhood to stay in Koh Samui?

    Chaweng Beach is the busiest with lots of dining options, bars and a lively party scene. Nearby Lamai is a less crowded version of Chaweng, whereas Choeng Mon is a laid back, quiet beach, with no traffic or party scene. It’s situated on a series of bays on the northeastern tip of the island, with a few three to five-star resorts catering to an older crowd. Bophut is a fishing village with more sophisticated dining options but the beach is very average. It has a more authentic Thai atmosphere to it being an active fishing local community. Its neighbour Big Buddha beach, has a similar beach to Bophut and is home to one of the island’s main attractions, the Big Buddha. Maenam Beach is full of luxury resorts and some budgets options, with a chilled vibe and no nightlife besides restaurants.

    Is Koh Samui dangerous?

    It’s a safe place to visit in Thailand and very family-friendly.

    When is the best time to visit Koh Samui in Thailand?

    Koh Samui weather has a dry season from December to February and this is also the high season. The hot season from March to August is sweltering during the day and balmy at night. September to November is the rainy season, with frequent downpours and the seas become more choppy.

    What is there to do in Koh Samui Thailand?

    Besides chilling on the beach, swimming or having a massage, you can visit some Buddhist temples or Chinese shrines, with the most impressive being the 45 metres high white Big Buddha overlooking the sea or the nearby Chinese shrine that pays homage to the Goddess Quan Yin.
    For nature lovers, the Na Muang Waterfalls are a must. Set in the lush jungle, this majestic set of two cascades is a popular place for families to cool off and swim or take a day trip to Ang Thong National Park which contains 42 islands, including the famous Phi Phi islands. Koh Phangan is closer and is world-renowned for its monthly Full Moon parties. Koh Taen is just a few hundred metres from the Southwest coast of Koh Samui. This unspoilt small island is visited for its rich marine life in its protected reefs.

    What are the most popular areas in Samui?

    Chaweng and Lamai beach areas can be fun for families and couples, as well as backpackers and solo travellers. Chaweng is definitely the busiest beach on the island with lots of water sports and the centre of Koh Samui nightlife. Maenam Beach is a favourite with backpackers and offers budget shopping and no-frills dining, fun activities along with a good range of less expensive beachfront accommodation. It also caters to the higher-end market with a range of premium five-star resorts, fine dining options and quieter cosmopolitan nightlife. Bophut fishing village on the north coast is filled with traditional shop-houses, a weekend market so you can shop like a local, and a good mix of more modern shopping and restaurants overlooking the sea.

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