Koh Samui, tucked between the cerulean expanse between Indonesia and Indochina, is an often over-looked tropical treasure. If you visit Koh Samui, a small island off the coast of Thailand, you will discover small villages built entirely of bamboo; lush jungle interiors; turquoise-fringed beaches. Samui’s amazing landscapes are just a fraction of the appeal: the local culture gives you a taste of the region’s Asian traditions and a unique heritage preserved in hidden Buddhist temples with their iconic, gilded-red roofs, and resilient fishing villages on the Southern coast. While tourism and a burgeoning bohemian class of artists has brought a wave of new resorts and international restaurants to the dusty white shores, Koh Samui still offers a casual, relaxed alternative to more traditional beach vacations. Family-owned seafood restaurants still offer authentic, unadulterated Southeast Asian cuisine, even while neighboring boozy nightclubs and upscale boutiques. Our Koh Samui travel guide highlights the best of this Thai island, whether you’re looking for a modern spa getaway or seeking to slip back into the age of coconut harvesting and the Muay Thai martial arts.
Things Not to Miss in Koh Samui
When traveling to Koh Samui, you may tempted to spend your trip draped over a chaise lounge at one of the island’s top resorts. But these top sites and attractions are not to be missed. Don’t worry: wherever your exploration takes you, you’re never far from another golden-sand beach.
• Big Buddha
• Hin Ta Hin Yai (Grandfather & Grandmother Rocks)
• Ang Thong National Marine Park
• Elephant Rock
• Laem Sor Pagoda
• Elephant Rock
• Koh Samui Waterfalls
• Koh Phangan Full Moon Party
• Fishermans Village
• Wat Plai Laem
• Namuang Waterfall
• Hin Lad Waterfall
When to Go to Koh Samui
When you visit Koh Samui, be careful to check the weather. The wet season, from September to mid-December, is often marked by heavy rains and tropical storms. June is ideal: perfectly dry and with daytime temperatures around 79 degrees. It’s also right before tourists begin arriving in droves: from July to August. The hottest months are from March until May, making the winter (mid-December to March) another peak travel window.