Koh Samui Island is a vibrant tropical island in the Gulf of Thailand, located in the Pacific Ocean. This place combines natural attractions, Thailand’s cultural heritage, and numerous exciting activities. Picturesque beaches, bustling waterfalls, majestic temples and Buddha statues, unique jungles, and water-based entertainment are just a small part of what you can do on the island. The high season on the island starts in mid-December and lasts until April. Accordingly, during this period, the weather is most comfortable for leisure.
While preparing for the trip, many tourists spend a long time choosing points of interest on the island since the map features numerous intriguing towns. However, it is not necessary to limit oneself to one place: to fully explore the island, it is important to gather information about different towns bit by bit. We will tell you in the following sections of the article where to visit and how to manage to see all the locations.
Located on the southeastern coast of the island, Lamai is renowned for its vast sandy beach and tranquil, friendly atmosphere. Here, you can enjoy picturesque views, swim in the crystal-clear turquoise water, and indulge in a variety of activities. The markets reflect the spirit of the town: you can purchase souvenirs, clothing, and local cuisine products. In addition to this, Lamai is home to attractions such as the Wat Khunaram and Wat Lamai temples, as well as the Hin Ta and Hin Yai rocks. Evenings often feature concerts, festivals, and fairs, allowing you to learn more about Thailand’s musical culture.
Frequent travellers often refer to Chaweng as the best resort in Samui. This town is located on the northeast coast, presenting one of the liveliest spots on the island. Beach relaxation in Chaweng goes flawlessly, as it has all the necessary attributes: an ideal sandy beach stretching for several kilometres, azure water, and the availability of comfortable sun loungers and umbrellas. The infrastructure also has plenty to amaze. Here, you will find a vast number of restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and shops that can diversify the nightlife even for the most ardent partygoers. In the immediate vicinity of the beach, you can explore the local architecture: the Buddhist temple complex of Wat Plai Laem and the Khao Hua Jook Pagoda are open for visits.
This city is the administrative centre of the island, although the overall atmosphere in the city is characterised by tranquillity and cosiness. The beach here, despite its two-kilometre length, is quite secluded, with crystal clear water and stunning landscapes. Bo Phut is also famous for its fishing village — the best place to acquaint oneself with the local fishing industry and taste fresh seafood. The nearby cafes and restaurants are uniquely styled to represent different eras and cultures, which sets them apart from other establishments and attracts tourists. Additionally, the town is filled with shops, authentic markets, and boutiques — souvenir enthusiasts will be delighted.
The village is located in the northwestern part of the island and distinguishes itself from the surrounding areas with its uniqueness, and sometimes even wildness. Here you can find plenty of cosy beaches, surrounded by green hills and coconut palms. However, be prepared that not all of the territory is well-maintained. Sometimes you can come across overgrown areas or notice washed-up seaweed on the shore, but if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of civilization, Lipa Noi will certainly do you a favour. For those willing to engage in active pastimes, kayak and jet ski rentals are available. You can take a stroll and admire the beauty of nature and architecture in places like Hin Lad and Wanorn Waterfalls, Hin Lad and Koh Samui temples, and the Chinese temple in Nathon.
Another option for a cosy family or romantic getaway is Maenam. The essence of it is that daytime activities in the city are presented in all their richness, but as darkness falls, it becomes quiet and tranquil. Along the perimeter of the beach, you’ll find many charming bungalows, and a little further away, there are coconut groves. When planning your stay here, pay attention to the ancient Buddhist temples of Wat Na Pralarn and Wat Pukhao Tong. These places fully convey Thailand’s identity.
Located in a remote part of the island, this tiny town boasts several beaches, piers, and quite interesting attractions. Meanwhile, all the necessary infrastructure for living and leisure is present here: tour agencies, rental offices, massage parlours, restaurants, and markets. The Full Moon Party festival takes place quite nearby, so returning to the more tranquil atmosphere of Bang Rak after a noisy party will be particularly enjoyable. A must-visit is the statue of the Great Buddha, also known as the Big Buddha. It is within walking distance, so you shouldn’t miss such an opportunity.
How to find time to see all the cities of Koh Samui
Since the island is rich in landmarks and iconic places, visiting all of them is quite a challenging task. However, with careful preparation, you can effectively manage your time for trips and embark on a comprehensive tour of the cities in Samui. First and foremost, determine how much time you can allocate for the journey, and then pay attention to the points listed below.
- Itinerary planning. Study the island map and determine which cities you would like to visit and in what order. Try to estimate how much time you can spend in each place, taking into account the distance between the points of departure and arrival. Leave some extra time in case of unforeseen circumstances and emergencies.
- Car rental. Rush and delays are not the best companions for travel, especially when you need to visit multiple places at once. Car rental in Koh Samui solves the problem of associated inconveniences by allowing you to quickly move from one city to another. Moreover, you can choose a preferred model and find an option that suits your budget. The best cars in Koh Samui can be rented on the website of LocalCarRents.
- Time planning. Traffic jams and travel between cities take more time than it may initially seem. Although Samui is not a large island, the roads can still get congested during rush hours or in the high tourist season. Align your leisure time with the travel time to ensure you have enough time in each city.
- Holiday planning. Exploring all the cities in Samui can be exciting and fulfilling, but it is important to find time for relaxation and rejuvenation. Indulge in the beaches, local cuisine, and spa treatments to experience complete bliss during your journey.
A well-planned itinerary and good preparation for your journey will make your holiday fulfilling and productive. Almost every place in Samui possesses a unique charm, so it is definitely worth visiting as many locations as possible. Nevertheless, amid the hustle and bustle of travelling, try to allocate some time to immerse yourself in the spirit of these places, as well as the culture and customs of the locals. In Samui, there are no best or worst places — here, everyone will find something for themselves.