Thailand’s second largest island, Koh Samui, has inviting white sand beaches and a lush jungle interior to explore. Adjacent to the Ang Thong National Marine Park, the archipelago of tiny islands around Koh Samui is a world-class attraction for divers. Warm, crystal clear waters and plenty of coral are the big attraction for lovers of all manner of water adventures.
A huge array of accommodation and dining options, as well as exciting activities, are packed into this gorgeous destination. Partygoers make the most of the Chaweng bars, while those who love peace and quiet head to the serene resort areas north and south. Visitors can also enjoy the authentic Thai way of life by visiting its temples, markets or learning to cook scrumptious Thai food.
A picture of Koh Samui
All the beach action and nightlife can be had at the west coast Chaweng Beach, and its slightly quieter sister beach, Lamai. With the widest range of dining, shopping and accommodation choices there’s something for everyone. Plus every kind of water-sport available, from stand up paddling to jet-skis, and easy access to the day tour options.
For those who crave peace and quiet, Maenam Beach on the north coast, with its shady palms and shallow waters is great for families with kids. Bophut Beach combines a more traditional village feel with upmarket shopping and dining.
The south coast is where relaxation gets serious. The area offers fewer resort options but is the place to find the most tranquil and relatively untouched beaches of the island, like Taling Ngam.
Wherever you stay on Koh Samui, a day trip to the spectacular Ang Thong National Marine Park or other outlying islands shouldn’t be missed.
Samui has a different wet season to other regions in Thailand. Dry from April through September, its wet season comes later than Phuket and Bangkok and lasts from October to December.
Diving is possible year round, but best months are June through August.
Get to Samui Island by air or by ferry from the ports of Surat Thani on Thailand’s mainland. There are no direct flights from Australia to Samui International Airport (USM), however, the island can be reached via stops in Asia as well as domestic flights from within Thailand.
Your holiday package may include airport transfers. Otherwise fixed price taxis and shuttles can be arranged at the airport. Other private shuttle services or drivers can be booked before travel.
Koh Samui is about 25km long and 21km wide, making it a compact destination. Resort areas are scattered along the coasts. Travel the island by hiring a motorbike, bicycle or electric bike. Taxis are everywhere but don’t always use their meters. Download the Navigo Samui app to access what travellers say is the most secure and efficient taxi service.
Things to do!
Visit the colourful Big Buddha Temple with its 15m golden Buddha.
Take a farm to table Thai cooking class at the organic farm of Island Organics Thai Cooking Class, Chaweng.
Discover the uninhabited islands, peaceful lagoons and deserted beaches of Ang Thong National Marine Park on a kayak and snorkelling tour.
Book a romantic dinner at The Boudoir French restaurant in Maenam.
Enjoy the peace and quiet to doze or read your book at secluded Bang Po Beach.
Snorkel or dive the crystal clear waters of Koh Tao on a small group day trip with 100 Degrees East. Or charter one of their private speedboats.
Take the family for a round of football golf at Samui Football Golf. Using feet instead of golf clubs! And the balls are soccer balls.
Meet travellers from around the world, take an interactive cocktail class and feast at The Thai Experience dinner party.