22 Best Things to Do in Koh Samui, Thailand | 2024 (with Photos)

Ata Ahmadi

Ata Ahmadi - Travel Writer

Published: August 28, 2023

Hey! How’s it going? I’m Ata, an avid traveler and adventure seeker. Join me as I share my top recommendations for the best things to do in Koh Samui, Thailand, based on my personal experience and love for the island's stunning beaches, vibrant culture, delicious cuisine, thrilling water activities, and serene nature spots.

 Things to Do in Koh Samui, Thailand

Welcome to Koh Samui, the stunning tropical island paradise that should be on every traveler's bucket list. If you're looking for a dreamy vacation spot with white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, Koh Samui is the place to be.

Whether you're a beach lover, an adventure enthusiast, a foodie, or a culture vulture, Koh Samui has something for everyone.

In this article, we will take you through our list of the best things to do in Koh Samui so that you can start planning the perfect vacation to this beautiful Thai island.

Get ready to be inspired by all that Koh Samui has to offer.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Visit Ang Thong Marine Park

Top Choice Hotel

Seabreeze Resort Koh Samui.

Our Top Choice Restaurant

The Dining Room at Rocky's

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Ark Bar

Best Time to Visit

Perfect climate and fewer tourists in November-February.

Average Temperature

Tropical and warm climate, averaging 28-32 degrees Celsius.

Transportation Options

Taxis, scooters, songthaews, bicycles, rental cars, private drivers.

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

Koh Samui, a tropical paradise in Thailand, offers endless opportunities for a memorable vacation. Spend your mornings basking in the golden rays of the sun on the stunning Chaweng Beach, while indulging in refreshing coconut water straight from the source.

In the evenings, take a stroll along the vibrant Fisherman's Village, where the air is filled with the aromatic scent of mouthwatering street food and the vibrant colorful lights illuminate your path, creating a truly magical atmosphere.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Passport
  2. Travel insurance
  3. Cash and credit cards
  4. Lightweight clothing
  5. Swimsuit
  6. Sunscreen
  7. Comfortable walking shoes
  8. Insect repellent
  9. Adapter for electrical outlets
  10. Travel guides or maps

What Not to Miss

  1. Wat Plai Laem temple
  2. Ang Thong National Marine Park
  3. Bophut Fisherman's Village
  4. Big Buddha Temple
  5. Hin Ta and Hin Yai rocks
  6. Chaweng Beach
  7. Namuang Waterfall
  8. Lamai Beach
  9. Secret Buddha Garden
  10. Maenam Walking Street Market

What to Avoid

  1. Overpacked tourist areas
  2. Scams and pickpocketing
  3. Excessive partying and late-night activities
  4. Unlicensed tour operators
  5. Overpriced souvenirs and goods
  6. Violating local customs and etiquette
  7. Trying street food from unhygienic stalls
  8. Swimming in unauthorized, dangerous areas or during monsoon season
  9. Renting motorcycles without proper licenses and insurance
  10. Taking part in illegal activities or drug use.

1. Hit The Night Markets

Hit The Night Markets

Night markets are a popular feature of many cities and towns around the world. These vibrant, bustling night markets come alive at night and are a hub of activity, offering visitors a unique shopping and dining experience.

At a night market, you'll find a wide variety of vendors selling everything from clothing and accessories to food and beverages. The atmosphere of a night market is lively and energetic, with music, colorful lights, and crowds of people browsing the stalls and sampling the food.

From savory snacks to sweet treats, you'll find something to suit every taste at a Koh Samui night market.

2. Relax on Koh Samui's Beautiful Beaches

If you are making a list of things to do in Koh Samui, visiting beautiful beaches should be on the top. Koh Samui is home to some of the most stunning beaches in Thailand, each with its own unique charm and character.

And for those who want to party, there are plenty of beach clubs along the coast, offering music, drinks, and a lively atmosphere.

  • Lamai Beach, located on the south coast of the island, is one of the longest and most popular beaches, offering plenty of opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.

Lamai Beach

  • Chaweng Beach, located on the east coast, is another popular spot with a lively atmosphere and a wide range of beachfront bars, restaurants, and shops. Chaweng Beach is known for its bars, parties, and stunning scenery.

Chaweng Beach

  • Meanwhile, Maenam Beach, located on the northwest coast, offers a quieter and more secluded setting, ideal for those who want to escape the crowds. Maenam Beach is a picture-perfect beach on Koh Samui.

Maenam Beach

  • Bophut Beach also has a more relaxed and laid-back vibe, with a charming beachfront village and a variety of small shops and cafes. Nearby, Bophut Beach Road is a charming and picturesque street with an array of cafes and shops, perfect for strolling and taking in the local culture.

Bophut Beach

  • For those looking for more exclusive things to do in Koh Samui, Choeng Mon Beach, located in the northeast, is home to some of the most luxurious beachfront resorts and private villas on the island.

Choeng Mon Beach

3. Visit the Big Buddha and Buddhist Temple

Big Buddha Temple

Big Buddha and the Buddhist Temple are among the most significant cultural and religious landmarks in Thailand.

Located on the northeastern coast of Koh Samui, Big Buddha Temple is a stunning temple complex featuring a 12-meter-high golden Buddha statue that is visible from miles away.

The Buddhist temples in Thailand are places of worship and meditation, offering visitors a glimpse into the country's rich religious and cultural heritage.

4. Snorkel At Silver Beach Or Coral Cove

Silver Beach

Silver Beach and Coral Cove are two of the most iconic beaches on Koh Samui island, located on the east coast. Both beaches boast crystal-clear waters and stunning views, perfect for swimming and snorkeling among the sea creatures.

Nearby, visitors can explore the Khao Hua Jook Chedi, a hilltop temple with panoramic views of the island. Foodies can also try the delicious Thai green curry at one of the beachfront restaurants.

For those looking for more things to do in Koh Samui, there are plenty of nearby attractions to explore, including Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, both known for their breathtaking beaches and underwater activities.

5. Take A Day Trip To Ang Thong National Marine Park

Ang Thong National Marine Park

Ang Thong National Marine Park is a stunning archipelago of 42 islands located in the Gulf of Thailand, off the southern coast of Thailand.

The Ang Thong National Marine Park is renowned for its crystal-clear waters and abundant marine life, making it a popular destination for scuba diving and snorkeling.

Visitors can also explore the beautiful beaches of Ang Thong and the lush jungles of the islands, or relax at one of the luxury resorts located in the park. Ang Thong National Marine Park is easily accessible from central Koh Samui, making it a popular day trip for tourists.

Overall, Ang Thong National Marine Park is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the natural beauty of southern Thailand and Southeast Asia.

6. Book an ATV Tour

ATV Tour

Opting for an ATV tour is a thrilling way to explore the lush jungles and towering limestone mountains of Koh Samui and the surrounding Surat Thani region of southern Thailand.

Visitors can ride through the palm trees and rugged terrain of Koh Mae and visit local landmarks such as Wat Plai Laem, a stunning temple known for its ornate architecture and intricate carvings.

For an early morning adventure, riders can head out to explore the scenic countryside and watch the sunrise over the mountains.

If you are looking for fun and adventurous things to do in Koh Samui, the ATV tour is a perfect way to experience the natural beauty and cultural richness of this vibrant Thai island.

7. Check Out the Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks

Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks

The Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks are natural rock formations located on the southern coast of Koh Samui. Known as Grandfather and Grandmother rocks, these unique formations resemble male and female genitalia, making them a popular and unusual attraction for visitors to explore Koh Samui.

In addition to The Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks, visitors can enjoy the natural beauty of the island, including the lush tropical forests and stunning beaches with clear waters for swimming, swimming pool, and sunbathing.

Alternatively, visitors can relax at a luxurious hotel with a swimming pool and enjoy the breathtaking views of this beautiful island. While exploring the area, visitors may also encounter a Buddhist monk, who occasionally blesses travelers with holy water.

8. Koh Samui's Beach Bars

Koh Samui's Beach Bars

Koh Samui's beach bars offer a vibrant and laid-back atmosphere for visitors. With their tropical charm, these bars provide a perfect blend of relaxation and entertainment.

Nestled along the island's pristine beaches, they serve refreshing cocktails, ice-cold beers, and delicious local cuisine. You can unwind on comfy lounge chairs in Koh Samui, Thailand, and soak up the sun while enjoying breathtaking views of the turquoise sea.

Koh Samui's beach bars often feature live music, fire shows, and beach parties, creating a lively and memorable experience for tourists looking to embrace the island's beach culture.

9. Hop Over to Koh Tao for Diving and Snorkeling

Hop Over to Koh Tao for Diving and Snorkeling

Koh Tao, located near Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, is a world-renowned destination for diving and snorkeling, with crystal-clear waters and an abundance of marine life.

The island is home to many dive sites, including coral reefs and shipwrecks, making it a popular destination for both novice and experienced divers.

For those visiting Koh Samui, Koh Tao is easily accessible by boat and can be visited on a day trip or as part of a longer itinerary.

While Koh Samui has its own attractions, such as Koh Taen for snorkeling, Koh Tao is definitely worth a visit for those interested in exploring the underwater world of Thailand.

10. Visit Wat Plai Laem and Wat Phra Yai temple

Wat Plai Laem Temple

Wat Plai Laem and Wat Phra Yai are two of the most famous Buddhist temples in Koh Samui, Thailand.

Wat Plai Laem is known for its stunning statues and ornate architecture, while Phra Yai is home to the iconic Big Buddha statue, which stands 12 meters tall and is visible from miles away.

Both temples offer a peaceful and spiritual retreat for visitors, with beautiful gardens, intricate carvings, and a sense of tranquility that is often lacking in the hustle and bustle of modern life.

11. Eat and Shop at Fisherman's Village Bophut

Fisherman's Village Bophut

Nestled along the northern coast of Koh Samui, Fisherman's Village in Bophut beckons with its charm and allure.

What was once a bustling fishing village has transformed into a sought-after destination, providing visitors with an authentic and laid-back experience on the island.

Meander through its narrow streets and discover quaint shops brimming with unique finds. Indulge your taste buds at local restaurants, savoring the tantalizing flavors of fresh seafood and delectable Thai cuisine.

If you are looking for serene and picturesque things to do in Koh Samui, Fisherman's Village in Bophut invites you to immerse yourself in this Thai Island.

12. Hike the Elephant Rock

Elephant Rock

Elephant Rock is a natural rock formation located in a lush jungle area of Koh Samui in Thailand. You can hike through the jungle to reach the rock and take in the stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

After exploring Elephant Rock, visitors can head to nearby Walking Street, where small food stalls offer a variety of delicious local cuisine, giving visitors a taste of the local culinary arts.

The area is also known for its palm trees, adding to the tropical paradise vibe of this beautiful Thai island.

13. Marvel at Laem Sor Pagoda

Laem Sor Pagoda

Laem Sor Pagoda is a beautiful and historic Buddhist temple located on the southern coast of Koh Samui in Thailand.

The pagoda's stunning architecture and intricate details make it a popular destination for visitors seeking to immerse themselves in Thai culture and spirituality.

The temple is situated on a cliff overlooking the sea, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

14. See the Mummified Monk at Wat Khunaram

Mummified Monk at Wat Khunaram

Wat Khunaram is a temple located in the southern part of Koh Samui, Thailand. One of the main attractions of this temple is the mummified monk body of a former monk, which has been on display for over 40 years.

The mummified monk, who passed away in 1973, is said to have achieved a state of enlightenment, and his preserved body serves as a reminder of the impermanence of life and the importance of spiritual practice.

15. Visit Nathon Town

Nathon Town

Nathon Town is the administrative center of Koh Samui in Thailand, located on the west coast of the island. It is a bustling hub of activity, featuring a variety of shops, restaurants, and other businesses.

You can explore the town's narrow streets, lined with traditional Thai houses and buildings, browse the local markets for souvenirs and handicrafts, and eat classic Thai food.

16. Discover the Secret Buddha Garden

Secret Buddha Garden

The beautiful Secret Buddha Garden is a hidden gem located in the hills of Koh Samui in Thailand.

Created by a local fruit farmer in the 1970s, the Secret Buddha Garden is home to a collection of beautiful statues and sculptures depicting Buddhist deities and mythical creatures.

The Secret Buddha Garden is a serene and peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the tourist areas on the island and is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking spiritual things to do in Koh Samui.

17. Enjoy A Full Moon or Half-Moon Party

Full Moon Party

The Full Moon and Half-Moon Parties, renowned events held in Koh Phangan and Koh Samui, Thailand, lure in a global crowd seeking unforgettable experiences.

These legendary gatherings radiate vibrant energy and boast mesmerizing decorations that bedazzle the night.

The Full Moon Party transforms the beach into an enchanting spectacle, illuminated by moonlight and neon lights, while DJs keep the rhythms alive until dawn.

With thousands of attendees, these parties create an electrifying atmosphere, making them a must for those craving thrilling nightlife and memorable moments under the moonlit sky.

18. Cool Down at the Na Muang Waterfalls

Na Muang Waterfalls

Nestled amidst the verdant jungle of Koh Samui, the ****Na Muang Waterfalls offer a captivating escape from the vibrant tourist hubs.

These majestic falls beckon visitors with their serene beauty and refreshing cascades. Embark on the walking trails that meander through the lush forest, immersing yourself in the sights and sounds of tropical flora and fauna.

Let the rhythmic sound of rushing water soothe your senses as you marvel at nature's masterpiece. The Na Muang Waterfalls is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking relaxing things to do in Koh Samui.

19. Shop at Fisherman's Village Walking Street Market

Fisherman's Village Walking Street Market

Experience the vibrant atmosphere of Fisherman's Village Walking Street Market in Koh Samui. This bustling market offers a delightful mix of local handicrafts, trendy fashion, and mouth watering street food.

Stroll through the colorful stalls, haggle for unique souvenirs, and sample delectable Thai treats.

With live music and cultural performances adding to the ambiance, the Fisherman's Village Walking Street Market is a must-visit destination for shoppers and food enthusiasts looking for things to do in Koh Samui.

20. Take a Cooking Class

Take a Cooking Class

Thai cuisine is renowned for its bold flavors and use of fresh herbs and spices. Visitors to Thailand can take a Thai cooking class to learn how to prepare some of the country's most beloved dishes, such as Pad Thai, Tom Yum soup, and Massaman curry.

A cooking class typically takes place in a relaxed and friendly environment, with experienced chefs guiding participants through each step of the cooking process.

21. Koh Taen

Koh Taen

Nestled off the southern coast of Koh Samui lies the serene and captivating Koh Taen. This small island, with its unspoiled charm, beckons travelers with its crystalline waters and vibrant coral reefs, making it a sought-after haven for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts.

Embark on a day trip to Koh Taen and discover its pristine beaches, immerse yourself in the local fishing villages, and indulge in the mouth watering flavors of fresh seafood dishes.

Let the tranquil beauty of Koh Taen enchant you, offering a blissful escape into a tropical paradise just a stone's throw away from Koh Samui.

22. Explore Surat Thani

Surat Thani

Nestled in the south of Thailand, Surat Thani serves as the enchanting gateway to the Gulf of Thailand's breathtaking islands—Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao.

Though not as renowned as its island neighbors, Surat Thani provides a captivating glimpse into authentic Thai living. Explore vibrant markets, marvel at ornate temples, and savor the delights of local cuisine.

Immerse yourself in the charm of this city, and let Surat Thani be your starting point for unforgettable island adventures and a deeper appreciation of traditional Thai culture.

FAQs Regarding Things to Do in Koh Samui

Let's look at some of the most frequently asked questions relating to things to do in Koh Samui.

How many days are enough for Koh Samui?

While it ultimately depends on individual preferences and travel styles, most people find that spending at least 4-5 days in Koh Samui allows for enough time to explore the island's beaches, attractions, and cultural sites.

Is it worth going to Koh Samui?

Yes, it is worth going to Koh Samui. The island is known for its beaches, vibrant culture, delicious cuisine, and a variety of Koh Samui activities and attractions. Whether you're looking to relax and unwind or embark on an adventure, Samui has something to offer for every type of traveler.

What can you do in Koh Samui in 4 days?

In 4 days in Koh Samui, you can explore the island's beaches, visit its cultural and religious sites, take part in water sports and outdoor activities, and enjoy the local cuisine and nightlife at a night market.

Is 3 days enough in Koh Samui?

Although Koh Samui has much to offer, three days can provide a taste of its wonders. Within this time frame, you can indulge in the rich Thai culinary arts, embark on a thrilling sea kayaking journey, explore the lush jungle and tropical forest, and consider day trips to nearby islands. Scuba diving, relaxing by a swimming pool, and even trying a cooking class are also great options.

Summing Up: Best Things to Do in Koh Samui

As you can see, there is a huge variety of fun and exciting things to do in Koh Samui, Thailand. With its stunning beaches, lush jungles, vibrant culture, and delicious food, Koh Samui is a perfect destination for travelers looking for a tropical getaway.

If you're planning a trip to Southeast Asia, make sure to visit Koh Samui and experience the beauty and charm of this amazing Thai island.

Remember to check out some of the most famous Koh Samui attractions like the Secret Buddha Garden, Lamai Beach, and Koh Samui's Fisherman's Village, and explore the delicious world of Thai food while you are in town. Book any experiences you simply must have before you go.