There is a lot to see on Koh Samui, like waterfalls,
temples and jungles as well as a butterfly garden, an
aquarium and tiger zoo, monkey theater, snake and
crocodile farms and a tropical zoo to name some. Day
tours to the neighbor islands of Koh Phangan, Koh Tao
and the Angthong Marine National Park are well worth to
Samui's fame as the beach and coconut island is
widespread, but few visitors realize that it also has a
wealth of Buddhist culture. From ancient Buddha images
to modern colorful temples, there is a vast selection of
interesting sites to visit and sights to see. Here are
our suggestions. Please remember to dress politely (no
beachwear or revealing clothing) and to behave with
respect in temple grounds.
Bang Kao Beach
Locatd at the south coast of Koh Samui consists of some
smaller beaches with breathtaking views to the islands
dotted at the horizon. A famous landmark is the Laem Sor
Chedi sitting at the rocky water’s edge. There are lots
of luxurious boutique resorts and private villas
offering a tranquil atmosphere with beachside
restaurants and spas to lift your spirit and body.
The Samui Butterfly Garden and Samui Aquarium are just a
stones throw away while the nightlife and shopping area
of Lamai can be reached within 15 minutes.
Bang Por Beach
In the north of Samui, is a
very quiet part of the island with small tranquil
beaches scattered along the coast. Boutique resorts and
luxurious villas guaranty a relaxing vacation and
amazing sunsets can be watched while enjoying a
delicious dinner at a beachfront restaurant.
It is only a 10 minutes drive to Nathon, the capital
of Samui, to do some shopping, banking or strolling
through the market.
Big Buddha Beach
Is located in the Northeast of Samui has smooth sand,
good swimming preferences and safe for children. From
here you have fantastic views over the 12 meter high
golden Big Buddha and Koh Phangan. Big Buddha Beach has
everything to offer like restaurants, bars and shopping
opportunities and all kind of accommodations from simple
beach huts to tropical resorts catering to all budgets.
The nightlife of Chaweng is just a 15min drive away and
daily boats to Koh Phangan and the monthly Full Moon
Party are leaving from here.
Located in the North of Samui. Between Maenam and
Chaweng, Bophut consists of the Fisherman's Village and
the beaches West of it. The beach at the village is
small and not to suitable for swimming as there are many
tour and diving boats going from here to other islands
It still conveys the atmosphere of a small fisher
village but there are plenty of restaurants and shops as
well as cafes and bars to enjoy a beautiful sunset with
Koh Phangan at the horizon.
Chaweng Beach is the most popular area with 6km of a
white sandy beach and clear waters. With plenty of
hotels and resorts, restaurants, spas, discotheques,
bars and shopping facilities it is the main tourist
center and nightlife area.
As the sea is partly shallow most of the year it is
the perfect place for families with small kids and all
kind of water sports can be enjoyed. After a relaxing
day on the beach you can have a dinner in one of the
seafood restaurants, sip a drink at a bar or just stroll
along the beach road to fulfill your shopping desires.
The secluded beach, 4 km north
of Chaweng Beach and 5 minutes from Bophut's Fisherman's
Village, is the perfect beach for families and couples
who want to enjoy peaceful and quiet beach holidays. The
water is comparative shallow and makes it safe for
children to play and snorkelers can explore the colorful
underwater world right from the beach.
Accommodations dotted along the coastline catering for
all budgets. Water sports, like wind surfing and
canoeing, and other activities are readily available as
well as some shopping opportunities and restaurants.
Hua Thanon Beach
A 10 minute drive south of Lamai is the home of the
Muslim fishing community with a daily fresh seafood
market and dozens of colorful longtail-boats. The Samui
Aquarium and the Butterfly Garden are located there.
Luxurious boutique resorts on the tranquil beaches of
Laem Set, Bang Kao and the hillsides offer scenic views
to the nearby islands of Koh Tan and Koh Matsum and the
mainland at the horizon. There is no nightlife but all
for a relaxing and quiet holiday.
Lamai Beach is the second popular beach after Chaweng
and stretches over 4km along the East coast. The beach
is not as wide as Chaweng and the sea gets quickly
deeper making it perfect for swimming and water sports.
At the southern end of the beach the famous Grandfather
& Grandmother rock formations called Hin Ta - Hin Yai,
stretch their bizarre shapes in the sky. Restaurants,
spas, bars and shopping opportunities are plentiful and
the nightlife is just second to Chaweng.
Lipa Noi Beach
Lipa Noi Beach or Sunset Beach, is the most serene and
untouched beach at the west coast of Koh Samui just 5
minutes from the ferry pier. It is the place for
peaceful and quiet beach holidays away from the crowds
with beautiful sunsets and scenic views of the Angthong
National Marine Park and the mainland.
As there are
only a view resorts along the beach you will have plenty
of space on the crystal clear sea. There is not much
around but Nathons shopping area is only 4 km away.
Maenam Beach is located in the North of Samui with
smooth sand and good swimming preferences. Maenam beach
is perfect for families with small children as the water
is shallow and there is no noise from nightlife or
At Maenam pier speedboats leave daily to
Koh Tao and shopping opportunities as well as
restaurants are located in the area. It is just a 20
minute drive to the action in Chaweng and 10 minutes to
Bophut's Fisherman Village for some fine wining and
The capital of Koh Samui has
still preserved its charm as a harbor town and is
scattered with all kind of shops, markets, banks and
restaurants. Nathon is the major harbor for the ferries
from the mainland, the boats to Koh Phangan, Koh Tao and
the Angthong National Marine Park and is the main hub
for goods from the mainland.
There are only a few hotels mostly used as a
stopover for early transfers to other destinations.
Taling Ngam Beach
This pristine bay stretching along the south-west coast
of Samui is still unspoiled and has spectacular views to
nearby islands and the mainland. Coral reefs just a
stones throw from the beach makes it a paradise for
Luxurious resorts along the beach offer all the
facilities you might need and the restaurants make for
some fine wining and dining experience. It is about a 20
minute drive to Nathon if you need to do some shopping
and 30 minutes to the bustling nightlife of Lamai or
Thong Krut Bay Beach
Thong Krut Bay Bech
Located to the South of the island next to Taling Ngam
Beach, this bay offers golden opportunities for fishing.
Boat services to Ko Taen are also provided from here.
Angthong National Marine Park
Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park covers a total area of 102
sq.km and consists of 42 islands. This fascinating
group of islands, within sight of Samui to the north and
west, is geographically different from the other islands
in the region. The Ang Thong islands rise from the other
islands in the region. The Ang Thong islands rise from
the seas as dramatic walls of rock soaring hundreds of
meters high. Besides the many small coves and beautiful
little beaches, erosion has shaped some strange
formations. One island has a mysterious sink hole,
completely enclosed by walls of sheer rock, in its
center. Definitely worth a daytrip, and instead of the
, put together a group of friends to
charter a boat and explore the islands and beaches in
your own time. There are also Kayak tours available if
you wish to explore some of the caves hands on.
Koh Phangan, world famous for the monthly full moon
party at Hat Rin beach, still has some remote beaches
with a laid-back atmosphere if you are not in a party
mood. In recent years more hotels, from simple bungalows
to 4 stars resorts, have been built to respond to
everybody’s idea of an unforgettable beach vacation.
Enjoy a relaxing massage in one of the spas, explore the
underwater world or meditate at the hilltop temple
called Wat Khao Tham. Koh Phangan can easily be reached
by boat from Koh Samui in 30 minutes
- Haad Mae Haad
A beach with white soft sand
and designated as a National Marine park due to its
richness of sea life in the coral reef. The island of
Koh Ma right in front of the beach is connected by a
sandbar so you can easily walk over there to enjoy some
snorkeling or diving. During December till March it is
good for swimming while on the other seasons the sea is
shallow. There is a small village, Ban Mae Haad, where
you can do some basic shopping and accommodations are
available along the coast.
- Haad Rin
In the southern part of Koh Phangan
consist of two main beaches: Had Rin Nai (sunset beach)
on the west coast and Had Rin Nok (sunrise beach) on the
eastern coast. Had Rin Nok is the home of the world
famous Full Moon Party and is good for swimming and
snorkeling. - Ao Srithanu
It’s just a 10 minute drive from Thongsala to Ao
Srithanu and is the main fishing port in the area with
Ban Sri Thanu as the market center. Here you can still
find the real Thai life with cheap noodle stalls,
karaoke bars and Thai style shopping. Swimming is good
at the northern end of the beach, lined by Pine trees,
but there is also a lake - Laem Son Lake – providing all
year round freshwater swimming. There are some low
budget bungalows with fan as well as some midrange if
you need air-conditioning. - Laem Son
Lake On hot days the lake is an oasis for everybody to
sit under shady trees and take a swim to cool down.
- Thong Sala
The capital of Koh Phangan and the place where the
ferries from Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Chumphon arrive. You
can find travel agents, banks, restaurants, motorbike
and car rentals as well as accommodation in this town
which also invites you for some shopping.
Koh Tan & Koh Matsum
Koh Tan makes a fine day trip from Samui. Located just
2km. from the southern end of Koh Samui, Koh Tan, or
"Koh Katen", as it is sometimes known, offers a long
sandy beach and good oral off the eastern and southern
coasts. It is surrounded by four other little islands
that also await exploration. If you get tired of
sunbathing, diving and snorkeling, there's always
hiking, fishing, bat caves and just plain sight-seeing.
Next-by is Koh Matsum,
Koh Tao & Nang Yuan
Koh Tao, or Turtle Island,
is a divers paradise just a 2 hour boat ride north of
Koh Samui and the best dive site in the Golf of
Thailand. Beautiful bays with tropical resorts and
crystal clear water surround the island and it is only a
step from your hotel room to the colorful underwater
world. There are plenty of diving schools to refresh
your skills or you can take a longtail boat to magical
Koh Nang Yuan for a day of snorkeling. After sunset
enjoy a delicious seafood dinner, have a drink in one of
the bars and clubs at the beach and go shopping for some
souvenirs. Many international diving agencies are
represented on this small island, including PADI, SSI,
IANTD, BSAC & NAUI.
- Nang Yuan Island
This unique island, with its
triple-connecting beach, is just a short boat ride of
Koh Tao and has only one dive resort catering for all
budgets. A perfect place for a day of snorkeling or to
chill out after the day tourists have left. Nangyuan has
one of the most beautiful beaches where you can sit and
enjoy quiet sunsets on the beach, no cars or hustle or
- Sairee Beach
Sairee's white sandy beach
stretches about 1.7km over most of the west coast,
interrupted only by a few huge boulders. Mae Haad is
only a 10 min walk away. Being the most popular area on
Tao, Sairee offers a huge range of aaccommodation, dive
centers, restaurants, shops, beach bars, travel & email
services, nurseries, etc.
- Mae Haad Bay
All boats arrive here. Naturally
highly developed, but still managed to keep some of its
old fishing village charm. Money exchange, post office,
government office & health center are in Mae Haad. Most
dive centers have an office here, lots of travel agents,
email services, supermarkets, bike rentals, good
restaurants and party venues. A few up-market resorts
are located on the southern end.
- Chalok Baan Kao
Third largest beach, located
on the southern coast facing Phangan and Samui. This bay
is smaller than Sairee, but offers a similar range of
accommodation, eateries and nightlife. It is beautifully
framed by Taa Toh lagoon to the east and Saan Jao beach
to the west.
- Tanote Bay
Well preserved bay away from the
crowds with excellent snorkeling, 5 laidback resorts, a
German dive school and a dive resort / water sport
center with kayaks & water ski.
Wat Phra Yai is in the Northeast of Samui on route 4171
near the airport at Big Buddha Beach. This temple is the
home of Koh Samui's most famous landmark the Big Buddha.
Most Visitors come to marvel at the sheer size and
beauty of this remarkable statue at some point during
their holiday. Visible from several kilometers away and
even from the air when arriving on or leaving the island
, the 12 meter tall golden image stands proud.
Especially impressive when lit up at night. At the base
of the structure, several shops and restaurants cater to
the needs of devotees and tourists alike.
Buddha's Footprint is not signposted but can be found by
going up a concrete slope on the left, two kilometers
West of the turnoff for the Butterfly Garden on the 4170
road. There are actually four foot-prints here,
superimposed one on another. Each one is artistically
en-graved. They are housed in a modest shrine 150 steps
up a steep hill, which also offers a great view across
the plains to the mountains opposite, and to the sea
over the tree tops.
Maenam Chinese Temple
Location: Maenam, near Maenam Pier. Another small and
beautiful dcorated Chinese temple well worth a visit.
Hua Thanon Chinese Temple
A small Chinese temple which does not like
like one from the outside. The temple is run by the
Hanainese Temple Association of Hua Thanon.
Formerly one of Samui's main attractions, this small,
dilapidated statue is now only visited by Buddhist
devotees. Although it is in a state of disrepair, the
Coral Buddha is still revered and is a place of worship
for the monks from nearby Wat Sumret. The only direction
sign is a small tatty board parallel to the road which
is easy to miss when driving past. It is on the 4169
ring-road approximately 800 meters West of Hua Thanon.
Hailam Nathon Shrine
Jee Kong Chinese Temple
next to Laem Din Market
A small but beautiful and
colorful decorated temple
Luang Pho Khao Khwang
Phra Chikong Ko Samui Shrin
Wat Bang Rak - Wat Bencha Thammaram
Wat Bophut Tharam
Samui Ring Road, Bo Phut. Moo 2, Tambon Bo Phut, Koh
Samui, Suratthani, 84320 Thailand.
Thaweeratphakdee Road, Nathon. Moo
3, Tambon Angthong, Koh Samui, Suratthani, 84140
Wat Khao Chedi
Also in the Wat Laem Sor grounds, but a fair distance
away lies the Khao (mountain) Chedi. Until a few months
ago, this ruined monument had been forgotten about for
many years. Now, the overgrown path leading to the chedi
has been cleared and there's easy access. About 300
meters West of the Laem Sor Chedi there is a hill. At
the base of the hill a small hut can be seen, and 100
meters to the right of this dwelling, the path is
visible. It leads to a stairway which takes about 10
minutes to climb. At the top, the peaceful ruins of the
Khao Chedi greet the intrepid explorer. The panorama of
Laem Sor Bay and the nearby islands from here is
Wat Khao Hua Juk
Wat Khao Hua Juk is located
on the hillside above northern Chaweng, Near Q Bar. From
here you have good views over the Samui Airport to Koh
Phangan and the Chaweng Lake area. The temple houses a
replica of Buddha's footprint.
Located between Namuang waterfalls and Hua Thanon. Samui
Ring Road, Namuang, The body of Samui's most famous
mummified monk, Loung Pordaeng, is on display here in a
specially constructed building. When he died more than
20 years ago, he was sitting in a meditation position.He
is still in that same position and his body shows few
signs of any major decay.
Moo 4, Tambon Taling Ngam, Koh
Samui, Suratthani, 84140 Thailand.
Wat Kiri Wongkaram
The mummified body of the Buddhist monk Loung Por Ruam
can be viewed here in a glass case. He was placed in it
upon his death 25 years ago and his body is still in
remarkably good condition. The temple can be located by
following the 4170 road South from Ban Saket and then
turning right between tow giant elephant statues. It is
a further kilometer along this road on the right hand
Thaweeratphakdee Road, Nathon.
Moo 1, Tambon Angthong, Koh Samui, Suratthani, 84140
Wat Laem Sor
It's at the far South of the island off the 4170 road
between Ban Tale and Ban Pang Ka. Follow the track with
a sign that reads "Waikiki Bungalows", and It's at the
end of that. In the grounds of Wat Laem Sor, this
ornately designed Chedi (Pagoda) sits at the rocky
water's edge. Covered in countless small yellow tiles,
it appears golden when viewed from a short distance.
Lamai Ring Road at Baan Lamai. Wat Lamai Temple is not
only the main temple of Lamai but is also home to a
small cultural museum featuring artifacts from Samui's
past. and a cultural hall where the locals meet for
weddings, funerals and other social activities.
Wat Na Pra Larn
Samui Ring Road, Mae Nam Moo 4, Tambon Mae Nam Koh
Samui, Suratthani, 84330 Thailand
Tel: 0 7742 5387
Moo 2, Tambon Lipa Noi, Koh
Samui, Suratthani, 84140 Thailand.
Wat Phu Khao Thong
Samui Ring Road, Mae Nam.
Moo 1, Tambon Mae Nam, Koh Samui, Suratthani, 84330
Located approximately 1 kilometer from Na Mueang
Waterfall is a monastery built at the end of
Ayutthaya Era. The temple is believed to be the
first temple on Ko Samui. At present, it is where an
ancient wooden scripture hall used in storing
Buddhist scriptures is located.
Wat Plai Laem
Wat Plai Laem is located in the north of Samui on road
4171 from Big Buddha to Choeng Mon Beach. The temple is
famous for the hundreds of big fish enjoying their live
in the lake of the temple and waiting to be fed (Food
for the fish is available at the temple for a small
donation of 10 Baht per pack). Wat Plai Laem is one of
the most colorful temple on Samui and features an 18
arms strong Buddha statue set in the middle of the lake.
Wat Sa Ket
Samui Ring Road, Taling Ngam. Moo
5, Tambon Taling Ngam, Koh Samui, Suratthani, 84140
Wat Samut Tharam
Angthong, Moo 4, Tambon Lipa
Noi, Koh Samui, Suratthani, 84140 Thailand.
Wat Santi Wararam
Moo 5, Tambon Taling Ngam,
Koh Samui, Suratthani, 84140 Thailand.
Wat Sawang Arom
Chaweng, Samui Ring Road, Bo
Phut. Moo 2, Tambon Bo Phut, Koh Samui, Suratthani,
Wat Sila Ngu
On the 4169 ring-road south of Lamai and one kilometer
South of Hin-Ta Hin-Yai on the beach. Said to contain a
relic of the Lord Buddha, the golden chedi facing the
temple's entrance is a popular place of worship. Many
local travelling shows and even visiting TV stars
sometimes use the temple grounds here for their
performances. Wat Sila Ngu is
Wat Si Suwannaram
Wat Si Thawip
Thaweeratphakdee Road, Nathon.
Moo 3, Tambon Angthong,Koh Samui, Suratthani, 84140
Hua Thanon This relatively old temple houses a marble
Buddha image brought from Burma and many other old
Buddha images. One building contains many different
Buddha images. One is in the reclining position and the
tallest, which stands three meters, was transported all
the way from India.
Buffalo Fighting Stadium & Traning Center
These heavyweights are mostly involved in fighting as
there is no (rice) farming anymore on Samui. This is a
sport specific to the south of Thailand, and on Samui it
generates a great deal of excitement. There are about a
half dozen rough " stadiums" around the island, most
being no more than a cleared area under the palms with a
wall of bamboo matting or coconut leaves to hinder the
view of those who haven't paid for a seat.Great crowds
gather when a fight is on, and while men pay about 100
Baht, women enter free.
Usually, the more
aggressive the buffalo, the greater the crowd's
delight.The fight ends when one animal turns and runs,
usually well before either animal gets hurt. But for the
peace-loving ones there is now the "Living Thailand
Buffalo Show" - which is located at the road 4173 to Ban
Thale. Features are a Thai farming museum, a buffalo
theater showing paddy ploughing and rice planting and a
ride in a buffalo cart.
Located : Namuang, Buffalo
Fighting Stadium & Training Center.
Paradise Park Farm
Located at Lipa Noi in the hills. Open daily 9am - 5pm.
Tel.: 077-918351, 08-48496233.
Surround yourself by
water falls, small rivers, canyons and exotic birds and
wildlife. Have fun among the ponies and deers, visit the
aviaries filled with hundreds of birds or simply laugh
at the emus and Pygmy goats.
Samui Aquarium and Tiger Zoo
A spectacular collection of tropical fish and
innumerable other colorful aquatic creatures, such as
turtles and a lot of other beautiful sea life, which you
personally can hand feed. The tanks also house many
varieties of rocks, multi colored coral to create
natural surroundings. There is also a Tiger Zoo with
Royal Bengal Tigers and young Leopards and a large avery
of exotic birds.
Located at the Samui Orchid
Resort at Ban Harn beach (Hua Thanon). 33/2 Moo 2,
Tambon Maret, Koh Samui, Suratthani, 84310 Thailand.
Open daily 9am - 5pm. Tel: 077-424017-8, 077-232198.
Samui Butterfly Garden
Located at Natien Beach opposite Centara Villas Samui,
the southern coast near Hua Thanon. Open daily 8:30am -
5:30pm. Tel.: 077-424020 Besides observing at close
range some of the region's most beautiful butterflies,
you can witness the breeding cycle of some species that
are raised on the spot. Also featured are insects, moths
and a bee house.
Samui Crocodile Farm
Located behind the airport. - Open daily, Showtimes:
Crocodile show: 12am, 2pm, 4pm. Snake show: 1pm, 3pm,
5pm. Tel.: 077239002 On an area of 7,000 sqm you can
find app. 100 animals of various kinds like Siam
crocodiles, caimans, Saltwater crocodiles, snakes,
lizards, monkeys and many others.
Samui Monkey Theater
Located behind Bandon Hospital. Open daily. Showtimes:
10.30am, 2pm, 4pm. Tel.: 077960128 Funny monkey shows,
monkeys pick coconuts and an elephant show.
Samui Snake Farm
Located at Talingngam on the south of the island. Open
daily. Showtimes: 11am &
2pm. Tel.: 077423247 As
its name implies, it is where all kinds of snakes and
reptiles are gathered.
Lat Ko Viewpoint
Lat Koh Viewpoint, also known as "Zenith viewpoint"
offers a splendid view over the whole Chaweng bay area
and you can watch the sunrise from here. Located : Samui
Ring Road on the way to Lamai.
Hin Lad Waterfall
Hin Lad Waterfall is located 2 km south of Nathon
Town.He can be reached by a 3-4 kilometer walk down a
country foot walk. In evergreen, rain forest setting
with palms and creepers, the waterfall have several
levels with a cool pool for a fresh water swim.
Hin Ta Hin Yai
Strangely shaped rocks at south Lamai. A local story
tells of an old couple whose ship was wrecked in the
bay. Their body's were washed ashore to create the rocks
Namuang Waterfall is located 10 km south from Nathon at
Ban Thurian. There are 2 waterfalls. Na Muang one is 18
meter high and can be reached by vehicle. Na Muang two
is about 80 meters high and can only be reached by a 30
minute walk. The waterfalls are the most scenic on the
A house made of teakwood without any nails at Ban Thale
is the oldest house on the island. It was built
approximately 150 years ago, is constructed of teak
planks and shows off many beautiful woodcarvings.
Ban Lamai Cultural Museum
Located at Wat
Lamai. Serving as a folk museum, the Hall houses many
local ancient objects. Interesting objects on display
include earthenware, household utensils, hunting weapons
and equipment used in coconut planting.
Location: Taling Ngam.
Magic Garden (Secret Buddha Garden / Khun Nims
The "Magic Garden" or "Secret Buddha Garden" is located
in the hills of Samui. A Samuian fruit farmer, Nim
Thongsuk, started to build the garden in 1976 when he
was 77 years old. To get there is a bit difficult as the
only concrete road leading there is a military road and
is not accessible by "normal" people ( in the last
couple of month the guards let you pass if you want to
visit the garden....so give it a try). So, the only way
to get there is through the jungle, rivers and mountains
by a four-wheel-drive jeep. The journey takes about 2
hours starting at the back of the Lamai temple and is
only recommended for experienced "outdoor" drivers.
Another way to get to the garden is by joining one of
the safari tours. It's quite worth a visit and on the
way you can make a stop-over at Samui's highest point
overlooking the island from north to south, the
surrounding islands as well as the mainland.
The Brahma of Sawadee is an important being..a central
image for reverence and faith. The number of visitors is
rising every day because people have faith in His
greatness extending out kindness and mercifulness and
thus creating happiness and peacefulness to to those
coming to pay Him respect.
The Eight-Headed Coconut Tree
This is a rare
and exotic coconut species. To see it for yourself,
follow the sign posts on the No. 4169 southbound ring
road to Na Thon Bay.