26 Oct Koh Samui island
Koh Samui, Thailand: An Exotic and Relaxing Holiday Experience
A trip to Thailand must include a tour of the spectacular boutique Koh Samui Island. The fabled Gulf of Thailand Island is about 700 km from Thailand’s capital, Bangkok. It’s the third largest of Thailand islands and the country’s second most popular resort island after Phuket. The island’s popularity stems from among other factors, its scenic landscape and stunning natural resources; magnificent coral reefs, and beautiful white sand beaches. Koh Samui Island is indeed a fabulous cosmopolitan melting point attracting all kinds of fun seekers from around the world.
5 Amazing Attractions in Koh Samui
Koh Samui Island, Thailand means different things to different travelers. Whether you are looking for a relaxation getaway or a wild adventure, the island has something for you. Koh Samui has a variety of attractions but here are some of the most popular:
- Magic Buddha Garden/The Secret Buddha Garden. Hidden in the mists of the island’s hillside jungle, the Secret Buddha Garden is a great place to connect with nature and just relax. In this mystical anomaly, some majestic statues and sculptures depict various deities, animals, human beings and other mystical creatures. The serene garden and the peaceful waterfall nearby will help you relax and recharge.
- Beaches. Koi Samui white sandy beaches are a major hit. There is a variety of beaches depending on your moods. Available options range from white sands with no crowds to beaches overlooking ratty-looking beach bars. Most popular beaches include Chaweng Beach, Lamai Beach, Choeng Mon, Lipa Noi, Bophut, and Maenam. The busy Chaweng Beach is a bit over-crowded and over-developed but still the center of the action. Pick it if you love action and wild fun. Lamai Beach is the second most famous beach. It’s great if you like action but no wild nights.
- Ang Thong National Marine Park. The naturally gorgeous marine park is a protected area. It spans in an archipelago of 42 largely uninhabited and undeveloped islands. There are stunning secluded lagoons, forests, wildlife and white sandy beaches under spectacular steep cliffs. Most Koh Samui travel agencies and hotels provide a variety of Ang Thong tours.
- The Big Buddha/ Wat Phra Yai. The Big Buddha is a golden 12-meter seated Buddha statue. There are two more Buddha statues set in pavilions and a colorful staircase with striking dragon design. The monumental landscape also encompasses a courtyard and vendor area at its base as well as temples. Buddha devotees congregate here to make daily offerings. Tourists love observing the locals perform their graceful rituals. The Big Buddha is an excellent place to get an insight into the local culture. The platform also offers travelers an excellent beach and sea view.
- Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks AKA Grandpa and Grandma Rocks. Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks are fascinating and picturesque rock formations on the island’s south coast. The Grandpa (Hin Ta) and Grandma (Hin Yai) appears like male and female genitalia respectively. The first time you see this unique and titillating sight, you will chuckle for sure. You will also enjoy listening to a local legend on how the rocks formed.
Transportation to and Around Koh Samui
- Airlines. Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways operate flights to and from the Thai’s capital. Bangkok Airways also operates direct flights between Singapore and Hong Kong. The airline also has daily flights between Bangkok and Koh Samui. If you are accessing Koh Samui from Kuala Lumpur, you may also fly via Firefly airlines.
- Airport transfers. Most Koh Samui hotels offer airport transfers. However, it’s cheaper to use the official airport taxi service.
- Ferry. Ferries service the mainland Surat Thani- Koh Samui route. Buses make the trip to Koh Samui regularly.
- Car rentals. If you plan to sight see a lot, renting a car is a good option. The airport has many rental counters. Avis, Hertz, Europcar, and Budget offer a fleet of jeeps, sedans, SUVs and mini-vans. A small sedan costs about 1,500 baht per day. You can also rent from local car hire services such as TA Car Rent. Local hire companies typically offer lower rates and flexible vehicle drop-off and return locations.
- Motorbikes. Motorbike rentals are very popular with Koh Samui tourists. You will need around 150-250 baht to rent the bike for one day. The price may depend on the scooter’s condition and your negotiation prowess.
- Local Transportation. A songthaew (converted red pickup) is a cheap mode of transportation. Just flag one of these non-scheduled public transportation vehicles and it will drop you at your preferred destination. The trucks charge 30-80 baht per short distance ride. If you want to travel a longer distance, the usual prices are a 100 baht from one beach to the adjacent one.
Fun Things to Do in Koh Samu
Apart from sightseeing partying and relaxing on the beach, there are many fun activities to do in Koh Samui Island, Thailand.
- Kiteboarding. If you love this exciting watersport, Koh Samui’s optimal wind conditions are perfect for kiteboarding. If you are new to the sport, Kiteboarding Asia can give you lessons.
- Golf. You can enjoy some teeing off at Koh Samui’s mountainside golf country clubs of Santiburi and the Royal Samui Golf.
- Sailing. You can sail as a group or just charter a private boat. Island hopping is a magnificent idea.
- Other fun activities include snorkeling, dive trips, jungle hikes and some relaxing Thai massage.
Koh Samui Dining, Accommodation Options, and Nightlife
Koh Samui is an excellent fine dining destination. Popular dining options include H Bistro, The Larder, Shambala Restaurant, Krua Chao Baan, and Orgasmic by Chef Wally.
Luxury hotels include Four Seasons Koh Samui Resort, Banyan Tree, Conrad Koh Samui, and W Retreat. Mid-range accommodations include Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa, and Jungle Club. Budget but comfortable hotels include CocoPalm Beach Resort, Chaweng Garden Resort, Iyara Beach Hotel.
For an active night try the following options: 9Gems, Reggae Pub, Q Bar, and Ark Bar.
Travel Tips to Get You Around
When visiting, sacred places such as temples, dress politely. When touring the Big Buddha temple wear shirts or scarves that cover your shoulders, and trousers or long shorts. Beachwear is not acceptable.
Negotiate With a Smile
People may want to take advantage of your tourist status. Many services and items have no fixed prices. Bargain politely and with a smile.
Go to Taling Ngam if You Love Uncrowded Beaches
The most popular beaches are quite loud and crowded. If you want a quiet beach visit Taling Ngam.
If you visit the Fisherman’s Village, avoid swimming. The sea is usually cloudy and murky and not very safe.
Beware Of People Asking for Money at Beauty Sites
Koh Samui’s beauty is free. However, at the Namuang Falls, someone may ask you to pay an admission fee or offer to act as your guide.
Stretching Your Dollar When in Koh Samui
For many years, Koh Samui was a backpacker’s destination. Today, it attracts all types of travelers. If you are traveling on a budget, select the cheaper but good quality options. If you look around, there are hotels, restaurants, car rentals that offer great bargains. Look out for discounts and offers. Negotiate for prices where applicable and if you can, book in advance and travel during the low season.