Updated: Mar 7
Koh Samui the island hub for many tourists and expats from all over the world. This island is located in Southern Thailand and is a gorgeous island with many different beaches, scenery, and a night life scene. I got to live in Koh Samui for the beginning of 2019, so all of this information is from my own personal experience on what I recommend you can do there. 1. Weekend Walking market in Bophut Fisherman's village The market only happens on the weekend and is full of stalls, street food, nightlife, and live music. You can come spend hours here walking, eating, shopping, and drinking. It is a super enjoyable market for all ages.
2. Tan Rua Waterfall and their tree house cafe
The Tan Rua Waterfall was my favorite one because of the scenery. The Tan Rua Waterfall is very high up and a car or motorbike can be taken up part of the way, however the hike can take about 30 minutes to the waterfall. I liked this one the most because of hiking and being able to walk in the jungle. After the waterfall, there was a lovely tree house cafe and it was serene. All that you could see was the jungle and amazing island views around you while sipping on your beverage of choice. The cafe was indeed a tree house and you had to walk across this wooden bridge to sit.
3. Hin Lat and Na Meuang Waterfall if you love waterfalls ;) Yes another two waterfalls, there is a lot of nature on the island and the waterfalls are a fun thing to discover. I recommend this for my nature lovers and those who don't mind a bit of a hike to see them. There are around 10 waterfalls I believe in Koh Samui, so take your pick and you can see as many or just a few waterfalls if you wish on your visit.
4. Sunset on Lamai beach I came here for dinner on the beach side and enjoyed an amazing sunset. It is said that the sunsets are the best on this part of the island. I would have to agree that the view here is spectacular.
5. Nightlife in Chaweng
If you are looking to save money, Koh Samui can be very expensive. Chaweng is a must though if you are looking for the party scene. The most popular bar is Ark bar where they have their own DJs, fireshows, and pool parties. There are so many clubs in Chaweng area and you will sure find what suits you best. There are trendy modern clubs and more Thai bars, take your pick and chug a Leo, Chang or Singha. You can dance your heart out all night and drink from the alcohol buckets. Again, Samui is expensive for nightlife compared to many other places I have been in Thailand and more expensive than even Bangkok. Maybe this will change with the lack of tourism in Thailand currently in 2020.
6. Central Festival in Chaweng Yes, there is a modern shopping mall in Samui and you can buy all of the brands you are familiar with. I often would come to this shopping mall for a movie with my co-workers. At this mall you can buy all that your heart desires. It has a Tesco, Villa Market, walking markets, H&Ms, computer stores to name a few. This mall was surprisingly bigger than I expected and anything and everything could be bought here, from electronics, fashion, food, you name it, they had it.
7. Big Buddha Temple This temple is a unique one compared to other temples in Thailand. The temple is on the water and has such an amazing view of the island paradise. There are many stairs to walk up and it gives you a good above view looking out into the sea. It is truly a picturesque temple worth seeing.
8. The Lookout in Maenam
This is a less touristy place, but since I lived in Samui I can recommend a nice lookout to you that not everyone knows about. This lookout overlooks an amazing sunset view, view of the ferries, and you can see the nearby island of Koh Phangan. I loved to stop here while roaming around on the motorcycles to stop and watch the boats and ferries pass.
Here is the location: 4169, Ang Thong, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84140, Thailand
9. Samui Elephant Sanctuary
Lastly, if you want to see elephants then I recommend here! It is one of the most well known ethical elephant sanctuaries in all of Thailand. It is a big nature park where the elephants can roam freely and have an amazing view of the ocean and Koh Phangan. This sanctuary is truly amazing in every way as it focuses on the betterment of the elephants and eco tourism.
Samui has a very notable elephant sanctuary. If you are an elephant lover and animal activist I recommend seeing Chiang Mai Elephant Nature Park too.
Here is the location for Samui:
Samui Elephant Sanctuary, 43/2 Taweerat Pakdee Rd, Bo Put, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand
Samui Elephant Sanctuary, 43/2 Taweerat Pakdee Rd, ตำบล บ่อผุด อำเภอเกาะสมุย สุราษฎร์ธานี 84320
10. Take a boat or a kayak in the ocean
This one speaks for itself. When on an island you have to go out in the ocean and enjoy the waves and the nature. You have different options on if you want to rent a boat for a day, go kayaking for the afternoon, or even go jet skiing. On pretty much all of the beaches you can find information booths to do this.
I hope this list suits you well for your Koh Samui trip on some ideas from an expat who lived in Samui. Like I said Samui has a lot to offer from touristy things, shopping malls, nature escapes, and luxury resorts. It can suit anything you fancy. If you want to know how to get to the island of Samui you can read about it here. Peace, love, and light. Liz