Koh Samui is one of the very famous islands, mainly because there is everything for everyone. Samui is Thailand’s second largest island and it houses all the good things, from lit parties to buddhist temples and fishing village. It can be a bit confusing, so let us help you through it.
When to go?
Samui features a tropical climate so it’s pretty humid and warm all year round with the average temperature of 28 degree Celsius. The driest months with least rainfall would be February to April, whereas months with heaviest rainfall are September to November. Though, the rest of the year, some rain is expected.
How to get there?
There is an airport in Koh Samui (USM) in which you could fly directly from Bangkok, other domestic cities and from few other countries as well. There are also few airports nearby, like the ones in Chumpon and Surat Thani.
- Seatran Ferry
- Donsak – Nathon
- Raja Ferry
- Donsak – Lipa Noi
There are 2 ferry services from Surat Thani to Koh Samui, which both of them operate hourly from 5 a.m. – 7 p.m. and journeys are about 1 hour 30 minutes. Ferry is good for those who are connecting from closer towns or for those with vehicles.
3. High Speed Catamaran
Lomprayah is a company that operates High Speed Catamaran between many tourist destinations, including Samui Island. The service of Lomprayah includes all transits like airport transfer, buses, trains and piers. They offer many routes and tours to choose from as well.
Lomprayah also offers free transfers and pick-ups between your hotels and the piers for those who book the ticket through their official website; www.lomprayah.com. This kind service is only for those in Koh Samui.
How to get around?
1. Airport Transfer
There are several van services that take you and other passengers to hotels and they are always there for all flights.
2. Public Buses
Buses in Koh Samui are red pick-ups with specific route labeled. These local buses costs around 20 baht to 100 baht, depending on the distance. However, they do charge a bit more during the night hours. Remember to check the price with the driver before you hop on.
3. Songthaews (Taxis)
These Taxis look pretty much the same as local buses but they have no sign of their specific routes. These Songthaews have no fixed price and they don’t work with metres, so you’ll have to negotiate with the driver before you hop on. This could be a cheaper alternative if you have a lot of companies.
5. NaviGo Samui
This is a mobile Taxi application, just like Uber. It’s a cheaper alternative as fares are metered. It’s a very convenience option for those with Internet data.
You can rent motorbikes with many rental providers and it shouldn’t cost you more than 200 baht for a day. To rent one, the provider will usually take your passport as the deposit. There are many gas stations and shops that sell gasoline by bottles around the island.
They are few bicycle rental places in Samui and there are even areas where there is proper bicycle lane.
If you are traveling in a big group or with family and you plan to go around the island a lot, then you might want to consider car rental. They are many providers, including Avis. Fares should be around 1,300 baht to 1,500 for a day. Again, they might take your passport as the deposit.
Where to go?
- Chaweng Beach
- Green Mango Street
- Paris Follies Cabaret
- Ark Bar Beach Resort
- Football Golf Club
- Wat Khao Hua Jook Temple
- Central Festival
- Chaweng Night Market
- Lamai Beach
- Grandmother and Grandfather Rock (Hin Ta and Hin Yai)
- Thong Takian Beach (Silver Beach)
- Mae Nam Beach
- Pink Elephant Samui Water Park
- Bo Phut Beach
- Wat Phra Yai Temple (Big Buddha Temple)
- Lad Koh Viewpoint
- Fisherman’s Village Walking Street
- Coco Tams
- Laem Set Beach
- Taling Ngam Beach
- Hin Lad Waterfall
- Na Muang Waterfalls
The most popular beach of Samui is definitely Chaweng Beach. Apart from great sand range, it’s also the house of all big parties and nightclubs, especially at Green Mango Street. You might also want to check out Paris Follies Cabaret.
The most famous bar is also here; the Ark Bar Beach Resort. You don’t have to stay here to enjoy the best party on the island. This is the place if you want to chill and drink around pool table with your mates. You can even arrange your own tournament. But when you are ready, the beach dance floor is all yours. They even have the fire dance show!
If you are up for some fun, you might want to spend your time at Football Golf Club. Here, you don’t use club to hit the ball, you just kick it. It’s really simple and good for everyone. But, if you want to stay on the beach and surrounded by warm water then you might like Aquapark. There are massive inflatables, which are not only great for kids.
However, if you want a little bit of culture, you might want to visit Wat Khao Hua Jook Temple. The pagoda stands tall and elegant. This place also offers a great view of the beach.
But if the heat becomes too much and you want to be inside an air-conditioned shopping complex, then you could spend few hours shopping or eating at Central Festival Koh Samui. However, if you are looking for cheaper and great food then Chaweng Night Market is a place for you. There are street foods, drinks and souvenirs.
At Lamai Beach, there are also many bars and nightclubs but what makes Lamai famous are two genital-shaped rocks; Hin Ta and Hin Yai. These rocks form a small and transparent pool in the middle.
Within the area of Lamai, there is a small beach; Thong Takian Beach. It’s not very known, so there is not many people here. This is a golden secret location as you can bring your own snorkeling equipments and explore! There are also few scuba diving centres.
Mae Nam Beach is the quieter beach in Samui, so a walk along the beach is just amazing. Personally, I think this is the cleanest beach in Samui. In the area, there is Pink Elephant Samui Water Park. Again, it’s great for kids and for those who just want to drink beers and relax in an adult-only Jacuzzi area.
At Bo Phut Beach, there is Wat Phra Yai Temple, which is a place you shouldn’t miss. There is a massive buddha that can be seen from many viewpoints, but at this temple, by the Buddha, you can witness some great view as well.
However, for me the best viewpoint in Samui is the Lad Koh Viewpoint. This is because there are short trekking routes taking you from the road to the rocky curves and formations that you could carefully explore. It looks really good!
If you’re up for a more relaxed night out, Bo Phut is the place as there is the Fisherman’s Village. Here, you could spend your night walking around, getting some drinks and absorb evidences of fishermen’s life. The most amazing beach bar right by the village is the Coco Tams. It’s an easy-going place with tents, pillows, swings and beanbags for you to sit and relax. They also have shisha.
Leam Set Beach is one of the smaller beaches with little people. It has white sand area, but the water can be a bit tricky to swim as only 100 metres out in the water, there is a shallow coral reef. So, if you are not an expert or if you are with small kids, I’d suggest some sort of feet protection so you don’t cut yourself while swimming or snorkeling.
Taling Ngam Beach is another option for those who really want to relax. It’s about an hour by car away from other main beaches like Chaweng. Here, you can see more traditional houses and less luxurious resorts.
If you feel like switching into soaking up the fresh water, then there are 2 waterfalls in Samui for you. Firstly, Hin Lad Waterfall offers a small jungle trail and refreshing pool to sink in. It’s so much fun to explore the area and visit the Hin Lad Temple. Along the way, there are pretty walking paths.
The other bigger waterfall is Na Muang Falls. It’s massive! You’ll enjoy swimming, hiking, picnicking and seeing some animals as well.