Thailand’s second largest island (after Phuket), Koh Samui lies in the Gulf of Thailand on the country’s eastern seaboard. Formerly a pleasure centre for backpackers, these days Koh Samui is more about opulent relaxation in elegant and airy resorts than full moon parties. If you are looking for attentive staff, top line facilities and endless pampering in an environment of pure white beaches, tropical rainforests, coconut palm-fringed lagoons and aquamarine seas, then this is your island of romance. Mix in an infinity pool, a few cocktails and some tranquil sunsets and you have the destination of your dreams. Koh Samui’s luxury hotels cater for sophisticated travellers who want to escape the crowds and cocoon themselves in quiet, reflective surroundings where they can unwind from the stresses of modern life and return to a more relaxed and energised frame of mind. That’s not to say that Koh Samui lacks excitement. On the contrary, hand in hand with the seclusion and contemplation are some of Thailand’s best restaurants and most exciting nightlife. All you need to do is decide how much, or how little, excitement you need in order to achieve a perfect balance.
Staying in a luxury hotel is just one part of a tropical island getaway, and Koh Samui has a diverse range of activities on offer. So, whether you’re after an activity-packed adventure or a peaceful, low-key beach getaway, you’re bound to have a fantastic vacation here. Check out some of our favourite Koh Samui experiences. 1. Visit Fisherman’s Village (Bophut) Bophut beach is one of the most loved spots on the island. You’ll find a mix of Chinese and Thai architecture in this hip area that creates a distinctive look and feel to the small Fisherman’s Village. There are also many exotic local markets and trendy beach resorts that adorn the 3km long golden sands. Bophut comes alive around sunset, especially on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays when the night market is on. 2. Explore the hidden waterfalls Samui has several waterfalls hidden in the centre of the island. The most popular and picturesque are the two Na Muang waterfalls. The name translates to ‘Purple Waterfalls’ as the rocks here have a distinctive purple shade. These natural water spots have a natural feel as the rocks and tree roots form a natural staircase leading to the large pool and fall at Na Muang 1. Then, if you continue trekking for another 20 minutes, you’ll come to Na Muang 2, which is even more beautiful than the first. 3. Dive amongst the vibrant coral reefs If you’ve never scuba dived before, Koh Samui is an ideal place to try. The diving companies here will take you 60 kilometres out from the island to the best diving spot, teeming with colourful marine life. The experienced instructors will teach you all you need to know and keep you completely safe as they take you down into the aquatic wonderland. 4. Check out the island’s quirky rock formations In the northeast of the island, you’ll find Lamai Beach and its famous granite boulder rocks. The two most unique rocks are Hin Ta and Hin Yai, located at the southern end. When you see them, you’ll quickly realise why they are so famous. The rock formations are naturally shaped to look like male and female genitalia, and therefore have become a funny, fascinating sight for all. 5. Take a day trip to Ang Thong Marine National Park The oceanic area of Ang Thong Marine National Park consists of 42 protected islands full of untouched beauty and wildlife. You can take a day trip here to island-hop and explore the caves, viewpoints, monkeys, and hiking trails. Plus, there’s a hidden saltwater lake in the centre of one of them, which you’ll recognise if you’ve seen the movie ‘The Beach’. While you won’t find any resorts here, some beaches do permit camping ‘Castaway’ style. You’ll be left to fend for yourself overnight and picked up the following day! 6. Indulge in a luxurious Thai spa experience Many of the luxury hotels in Koh Samui feature top class Thai-style spas. Along with a traditional Thai massage, you can indulge in coconut oil massages, body scrubs, and other wellness treatments. These luxury spas make for a blissful spa day either on your own or with a loved one. A few of the most popular ones are Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary in the southeast, Anantara Spa in Bophut, and Banyan Tree Spa close to Lamai Beach. 7. Unwind at the trendy beach bars It’s no secret that Koh Samui has a fantastic night scene. However, there is so much more to the island’s nightlife than the tourist party town of Chaweng. You will also find many upmarket beach bars around the coast, such as the world famous beach party spot, Nikki Beach in Lipa Noi. Another chic bar is Woobar in Maenam that has trendy seating areas around an impressive infinity pool and panoramic views of the ocean.