Koh Samui, also known as Samui, is a small island off the east coast of Thailand belonging to the Chumphon Archipelago in Surat Thani Province.
Today, Koh Samui is one of the most developed tourist regions in Thailand. The constant influx of tourists enjoys not only excellent weather conditions and sandy beaches, but also a large selection of attractions such as waterfalls, forests, marine reserves, beaches, parties, temples, and much more.
So, are you planning to visit Koh Samui? Then get acquainted with the sights “registered” on the island. In this post, we will share with you the top 12 tourist attractions in Koh Samui that will leave you with unforgettable memories. Read on!
Anyone passing through Koh Samui cannot fail to stop in the shadow of the statue of the great Golden Buddha.
This huge and magnificent 12-meter high temple was built in 1972 and has since become one of the most loved and visited attractions on the main island of Koh Samui. In addition to being visible from a great distance given its elevated position on a huge rock in the northeast region, it is also one of the first things that attract the attention of tourists arriving aboard an airplane or a cruise ship.
Sitting in his mara position, with his left palm resting on his knee and his right hand looking down, the statue represents the Buddha’s journey to enlightenment after successfully defeating the temptations and dangers of the world thrown at him by a demon Mara. The position indicates harmony and strength, purity and attainment of a higher state of consciousness. Thai tourists and local people from the island come every day to pray to the statue and make offerings of flowers, fruit, or incense, which gives it a lot of life.
In addition to being a camera-worthy spectacle, the Big Buddha is surrounded by delightful little shops where you can indulge your shopping craving and find the perfect souvenir for your vacation.
2. Chaweng beach
Chaweng beach is famous for the beauty of its pristine waters and sands that sweetly descend into a perfect sea. It is not only the best and most developed, but also one of the best beaches on Koh Samui.
This beach, which is divided into four parts (Chaweng Noi, North Chaweng, Central Chaweng, and South Chaweng), is the largest in the eastern part of the island, with 7 kilometers of coastline. This is the ideal place for a swim or for organizing parties that take place from morning to night.
Food lovers can find almost anything here. There are good restaurants serving Thai, Western, and seafood specialties. In addition, you can enjoy the nightlife from the many restaurants and bars operating along the beach.
3. Lamai beach
Another recommended Koh Samui beach is Lamai Beach: Calmer than Chaweng, but also very touristic. It offers a beautiful headland with transparent and crystalline waters. Still, it should be noted that some parts of the beach have rocks. In fact, it is here where, by the sea, you can see the famous Grandfather and Grandmother rocks, which are reminiscent of the genital parts.
Around the beach, you can stay in some of its luxurious resorts or enjoy the cuisine of Koh Samui in one of its restaurants. This beach is also close to the airport since if you want to take the opportunity to go to the beach before leaving the island, Lamai beach is a good option
4. The rocks of Hin Ta and Hin Yai (Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks)
This attraction has become famous all over the world. Many tourists head to Koh Samui specifically to see the outlandish cliffs and take pictures of this place. Why? The Grandmother and Grandfather are two rocks of an unusual shape that resembles that of male and female genitals.
As expected, in order to give this place a greater tourist hype, Thai guides have come up with several legend stories. One of them is that a Thai couple wanted to marry off their son, who had come of age. To do this, they took a boat and set sail to the village where the girl’s family was to ask for her hand in marriage. Unfortunately, their little boat capsized in the middle of a storm, and the couple died. Legend has it that they were washed ashore on Samui and turned into rocks.
Located at the southern end of Lamai beach, the views from the two rocks are beautiful, and you will find a small patch of sand in an area that, although not suitable for swimming, you can dive between the rocks and enjoy the underwater life in totally clean waters.
5. Fisherman's village
A short distance from the Temple of the Big Buddha is another of the best places to see in Koh Samui: The Fisherman’s Village. This is an extremely popular outdoor shopping and entertainment complex. Initially, this place was really a quiet village of fishermen, but then the authorities of the island decided to give an additional boost to the development. This made this place have restaurants, cafes, and shops.
Every day from 17:00 to 23:00, Fisherman’s Village turns into a pedestrian zone, where a brisk trade in all kinds of tourist stuff is in full swing. In addition to the possibility of buying a variety of souvenirs.
“Fisherman’s Village” is a very good place where you can have a tasty, stylish and interesting evening. In addition, there is a beach with a ruined jetty that adds a beautiful touch to the photos at sunset
6. The Nang Muang waterfalls
In a place where it is hot most of the year, it is normal that among the best things to see in Koh Samui is a natural pool of freshwater that is formed by the contribution of a beautiful waterfall. Here, you will find two waterfalls: Na Muang 1 and Na Muang 2
The Na Muang 1 waterfall is the largest (in terms of the height from which the water flows) and photogenic in Koh Samui. It is spectacular, and the pool it forms is large enough for a dozen or twenty people to bathe at the same time without problems.
Even in the dry season, Namuang-1 is quite full-flowing (unlike most other waterfalls on the island, which at this time turn into stunted streams).
On the other hand, to get to Na Muang 2, you have to walk about 30 minutes along a jungle path. Na Muang-2 consists of two cascades, and the total length is about 80 meters. The top of the waterfall is not very visible from below, as it is hidden behind greenery. To get a good look at the waterfall, you need to climb the path to about the middle of its height. Keep in mind that at the very end of the trail, you will have to jump a little over the rocks.
7. The Magic Budha Garden
It is a small and quaint, but very photogenic attraction. In a picturesque mountain hollow, along the bottom of which a river runs, one aging gardener realized that the place where he lives is truly heavenly, and what was missing was only sculptural decorations.
Although he was not a professional, it took a long time to create the sculptures. Moreover, he alternated work on his creations with a long meditation for a week or two. After his death, his ashes were buried in one of the Magic Garden houses, and the heirs decided that the place could bring money. And now, it has become one of the main man-made attractions of Samui.
A stone staircase leads from the parking lot to the garden, stepping on which you immediately find yourself in a special world. Everything around is buried in tropical greenery, and there is some kind of almost mystical silence.
8. Paradise Park
This is one of the few places on Koh Samui where you can entertain children who are bored on the beach. For some reason, the lion’s share of entertainment on the island is focused on adults. Paradise Park is a petting zoo where you can not only look at the animals, but also touch/pet them. However, the assortment of animals is not very wide: deer, goats, parrots, turtles, and some other representatives of the tropical fauna.
The park is located in the mountains in the central part of the island, close to the Magic Garden of Buddha and the Namuang waterfalls. So these Samui attractions are convenient to visit in one trip. The road that leads there is quite decent.
9. Ang Thong Marine Park
This is one of the most beautiful places not only in the Gulf of Thailand, but, perhaps, in all of Thailand. If during your vacation in Koh Samui you are not very inclined to go on numerous excursions and would like to choose one thing, then there is no better place than the Angthong Marine Park.
Angthong is a multitude of picturesque islets scattered in the sea northwest of Koh Samui. These islands are uninhabited, and you can get to them in two ways: either as part of an organized excursion or by hiring a private boat. If the first method is quite affordable for the average tourist, then the second can already be attributed to a VIP-class vacation with completely different prices.
Angthong Marine Park features stunning seascapes, secret grottoes, mountain lakes, and heavenly white-sand beaches. During the excursion, you will definitely be given free time so that you can climb to the observation deck located at the top. Those who do not want to climb up the trail can spend this time on the excellent beach.
10. Wat Plai Laem
Wat Plai Laem is one of the brightest and most interesting sights of Samui. It is no coincidence that it is included in the programs of all sightseeing tours around the island without exception.
During the construction of the temple complex, Thai architect Khun Charit Phumdonming freely interpreted the canons of Buddhist architecture. As a result, an extremely original landmark appeared on the map of Samui, and that is the White Temple in Chiang Rai.
Wat Plai Laem is an artificial lake, where a beautiful Buddhist temple rises on three islands and two 12-meter statues: the Chinese goddess of mercy Guanyin and the “laughing Buddha,” a popular character in Japanese netsuke figurines.
11. Secret Garden of Buddha
An extremely unusual and interesting place, the owner decided to build something completely unique: the Secret Garden of Buddha.
This is a collection of statues closed in the heart of the island of Koh Samui, surrounded by jungle and enriched by the presence of nature. The statues are the work of a local fruit producer, Nim Thongsuk, who has carved them since 1976. They depict animals, gods, people in various activities and positions. Also, there’s even one that portrays the author himself, who continued to work on his dream until he died.
To reach this place, you can take a taxi or come on organized tours.
12. Take a Climb to See Khao Hua Jook Chedi
It is the second-largest Buddhist stupa on Koh Samui and one of its best viewpoints. The stupa rises on a hilltop west of Chaweng and offers excellent views of Chaweng Beach, the lake of the same name, and Samui International Airport.
Those who like to watch the planes come here especially to watch the planes taking off and landing from above. This spectacle becomes especially impressive in the evening and at night when planes come in with bright lights. On a fine day, from the Khao Hua Jook stupa, you can also see the Big Buddha on a tiny island near Bangrak.
As you can see, Koh Samui is the perfect island destination in Thailand for anyone who wants to add fun to their dream vacation. You will have a lot of choices in terms of places to visit and admire so you too, can get into the Thai mindset and experience the beauty of the island. Finally, Have a safe trip and don’t forget to bring your camera.