Koh Samui had no roads until the early 1970s. A night boat from the mainland was the only way to get there, and going from one side of the island to the other required hiking through thick jungle. In 1967, island leader Khun Dilok Suthiklom decided something had to be done, and turned to the Thai government to help develop the island. These days, it’s a thriving tourist destination.
You can see Big Buddha Temple’s 12-metre golden Buddha from miles away. Set on a small island just off the mainland, this temple also has a number of smaller Buddhas and shrines. You can also visit Wat Khunaram Temple and see the Luong Pordaeng, the mummified monk who remains remarkably well-preserved even after 30 years.
Beach lovers can rest assured there’s a seaside spot here for everyone. Chaweng Beach is a six-kilometre strip of sand where you can test your skills on a surfboard or your courage with a bungee jump. Palm-fringed Lamai Beach has some interesting rock formations (check out the Grandma and Grandpa rocks) as well as the striking, colourful pagodas and temples and great shopping and dining nearby.
Koh Samui is one of Thailand’s biggest and best nightlife destinations. There are full moon beach parties, seaside and lakeside bars, lounge bars, discos and places that are a little saucier.
Need more activities? Catch a Muay Thai boxing match. Check out the two cascades of the Nu Muang Waterfalls (also known as “the Purple Waterfalls” due to the tint on their rock faces). Meditate in the Secret Buddha Garden, a collection of Buddha, deity and animal statues surrounded by jungle.
Shop at the three-storey Central Festival shopping complex, the Chaweng walking street or one of Ko Samui’s many other markets or plazas. Ko Samui has many great restaurants. Enjoy fine dining in a treehouse, eat in a jungle setting with a great view of the ocean, and enjoy affordable, authentic Thai delights.
To get here, book your cheap flight to Ko Samui with us to go with your Ko Samui accommodation. Just make sure you stay long enough to experience the variety of this island’s one-of-a-kind experiences.
Hotels in Koh Samui Islands start at AU$14 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.