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The Ultimate List of Things To Do in Koh Samui

Koh Samui

Welcome to this guide revolving around what Things To Do in Koh Samui, Thailand, and that you can see here. Koh Samui is a tropical paradise located in the Gulf of Thailand, making it easily accessible by air and sea. There is also an international airport where you can get direct flights from international destinations. In this guide, I will cover some must-visit attractions, some not-so-well-known areas, and experiences that you can try out to make your trip memorable.

Beach And Seaside Things To Do in Koh Samui

Let’s first go over some beach activities that you might enjoy in Koh Samui.  Koh Samui island boasts an array of different beaches, each with its own uniqueness. Since visiting the beach is such a large and popular activity in this region, it’s necessary to discuss the popular beaches and the activities you can enjoy on this island.

Silver Beach Northeastern Coast

Silver Beach Northeastern Coast

Silver Beach is also known as Thongtakian Beach and is one of the more beautiful beaches to visit here you’ll see the best things to do in Koh Samui.  This peaceful oasis is tucked away between the busier Chaweng and Lamai areas and is perfect for those looking to escape from the crowds.

Ideal For:

This beach is well suited for couples seeking a bit of romance or anyone who is looking for a more laid-back and chill atmosphere. Families with children will also find it appealing because of the calm water.

Activities on Silver Beach

  • Relaxation and Sunbathing
  • Swimming and Snorkeling
  • Water sports – Jet Skis, Floats
  • Dining – There are so many beachfront restaurants you can choose from, take your pick.
  • Spas/Yoga – Pick a resort-you’ll find the spa, or heck, find the massage table on the beach-so worth it!
  • Footgolf – Who knew this was a thing, but it sure looks like fun!

Footgolf-A Koh Samui Journey

  • Where to stay – The place to stay, just because it made me that happy, is called The Privilege Ezra Beach Club. Right on the beach, beautiful rooms next to the pool and room/pool service that rivals none other.  I’m so ready to go back!

koh samui food

Lamai Beach Southeastern Side of Koh Samui

Lamai Beach Southeastern Side of Koh Samui

Lamai Beach is a bit busier than Silver Beach, with a wider range of beachgoers. Here, you can find a range of activities, entertainment, and adventure Things To Do in Koh Samui.

Ideal For

This beach pretty much caters to everyone, making it suitable for a wide range of travelers. So, it doesn’t matter if you are solo, a couple, or a family, Lamai has something for everyone.

What’s there to do:

  • Sunbathing and Swimming 
  • Water Sports – Jet skis, windsurfing, parasailing, and snorkeling
  • Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks – There are some huge rock formations that you can check out, and there are some local legends that make them famous.
  • Dining and Nightlife – Here, you can find bars, nightclubs, restaurants, and beach clubs.
  • Lamai Walking Street – On Sunday, you can find the Walking Street Market, which is a good area to visit to find souvenirs, local street food, and the local culture.

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  • Religious sites – Wat Lamai Temple is also nearby and is well-known for its intricate architecture.

Overall, Lamai is still in a situation where it is underdeveloped, which gives it a more traditional island setting.  

Chaweng Beach on the Eastern Coast

Chaweng Beach on the Eastern Coast

This vibrant and bustling beach is accessible from the island’s airport and ferry terminal, its central location makes it ideal for your first beach to visit.  

Geared towards

Lamai Beach, like other beaches we’ll discuss, is a diverse beach where most travelers will go to find excitement, nightlife, dining, and shopping. It is also considered to be family-friendly, with plenty of activities for the kids (if you happen to bring them). 

What to do:

  • Beach Fun – Pick your spot and grab your blankie
  • Island ATV TourTour the island, waterfalls, and you name it on a 6 hr tour.
  • Water Sports – Jet skis, banana boats, and parasailing
  • Shopping – Here, you’ll find a ton of smaller shops where you can find local handicrafts and international brands as well.
  • Dining – You can find a wide range of dining options, from beachfront seafood to international cuisine and local food stands.
  • Nightlife – As with other areas, you can find beach clubs, bars, and nightclubs.
  • Chaweng Walking Street – Opened on Friday, you can find a bustling market to get local Thai dishes, souvenirs, and live performances – just make sure you verify the opening time before you head out. 

Chaweng Beach has a vibrant energy and endless entertainment options available during both the day and at all hours of the night.

Read More: Koh Samui Travel Guide

Thai Cultural Experiences

If you want to visit cultural sites, I have a ton of recommendations for you as well!

Big Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Yai)

Big Buddha Temple

Big Buddha temple is located on a small island just off the northeastern coast. This is a colossal 12-meter-tall golden Buddha statue that is a sacred site for the locals. To get there, you can take a taxi or scooter – just click on the Grab app, and they’ll scoop you up from wherever you are, or hop on a tour to see it all. The best time to visit is in the morning or late afternoon when the temperature is not quite as excruciating and when the lighting is good for photos. Admission to the temple is free, but donations are always appreciated.

Cultural Significance

The Big Buddha Statue is not just a magnificent sight but also a place where cultural and spiritual importance is placed in the local Buddhist community. It is important to show respect and wear modest clothing when visiting the temple.

Secret Buddha Garden (Tarnim Magic Garden)

Secret Buddha Garden

Located deep inside Koh Samui is the Secret Buddha Garden.  It is known locally as the Tanrim Magic Garden. This hidden sanctuary is a testament to the island’s cultural richness.  You can find the Secret Buddha Garden high in the hills of Koh Samui’s interior, not far from Muang Waterfalls.  When you get there, you’ll find a variety of statues, sculptures, and structures, all crafted by Nim Thongsuk. 

Nim, a local farmer, spent his later years focused on creating this garden. The entrance fee is only 80 baht, and it is worth it to maintain this lovely garden. 

Note* Remember to take some mosquito repellant-you’re going to need it!

Fisherman’s Village Walking Street

Fisherman's Village Walking Street

Fisherman’s Village is a lively market that you can find in Bophut on Koh Samui. In this market, you can explore Thai culture, Thai dishes, and various shopping experiences. The market is open every Friday from 5 pm to 11 pm (validate that before you go). You can find many different activities to do here, ranging from shopping for souvenirs like handmade Thai-crafted goods, clothing, jewelry, and art. If you get hungry, there are various food stalls and small restaurants offering many Thai dishes, from seafood to street food and international dishes. You can also enjoy a wide range of cultural performances and live music here (anything from classic rock to reggae), you just never know.


  • Arrive early and take cash, most shops will not accept credit cards!
  • Don’t be afraid to haggle goods, even if it’s 20-50 baht cheaper, most are willing to budge, and many times they’ll start with the foreigner price anyway. 
  • Come with an empty stomach to try the different foods!
  • Look to spend an hour or two here- you’ll find plenty to keep you busy. 

Adventure Activities on Koh Samui

If you are looking for a bit of adventure, Koh Samui also has a great opportunity to view the wildlife/nature along with some exciting experiences like diving, ATVs, and ziplining.

Jungle Excursions

Jungle Excursions

There are a range of options if you want a safari-type experience.  Here, you can book a guided jungle tour that will take you through Koh Samui’s hidden waterfalls and various viewpoints that will make your eyes and your heart happy. Some popular spots for hiking include Na Muang Waterfalls and Hin Lad Waterfall 



If you are looking to get some adrenaline pumping and not too scared, you can also try out ziplines in the jungle canopy. 

Here are some notable operators that offer ziplining that won’t kill ya: 

You will find a range of prices for each different operator. It truly depends on the duration of the flight, the location, and the ambiance of the surrounding area, which will determine which one you would want to try out.

Snorkeling and Diving

If you’re looking to explore the underwater world of Koh Samui you can do this either snorkeling or diving. Here, you get to choose how you would like to see the colorful coral reefs, exotic fish, and the occasional sea turtles.  Some of the popular areas for diving include Sail Rock, Green Rock, and Koh Tao.  It is also another activity where it is important to choose a well-known diving operator with significant experience. Overall, there are well over 10 diving sites around Koh Samui, so your choice is not limited, and they are all phenomenal. 

Rock Climbing

Rock Climbing

This, my friends, is still on my bucket list.  Whether you are a beginner or an expert, you will find a number of excellent limestone cliffs to climb in Koh Samui. Here, you can certainly find numerous opportunities to climb with experienced guides who know the well-maintained routes. Some of the more popular areas for rock climbing are Ton Sai Silver Beach and Koh Tao, with walls ranging anywhere from 8 to 40 meters high.

ATV and Off-Road Experiences

If you are looking for some enjoyment on off-roading, there are plenty of tours to do so.  You can traverse rugged trails, explore remote areas, and pump up your adrenaline as you race through Koh Samui. But as always, remember safety is paramount, and listen to the tour operators’ precautions and instructions before venturing out. To book – click here.  

As you can see, Koh Samui is a tropical paradise with tons of options to keep busy and has activities that will suit almost any traveler to make a memory for the rest of your life. Whether you just enjoy nature, the food, adventure, or just the overall beach life, Koh Samui has something for everyone.  If that isn’t enough, make sure you hop on a speedboat and head over Pig Island, where you can swim with Wilbur and Porky.  It’ll be silly enough to keep you fully entertained while you’re there! 

A Koh Samui Journey
Credit: Get Your Guide

But no matter where you travel to pigs and all, always remember to Travel Till You Drop! 

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About Jill

Hi, Jill Here

Hi! I’m Jill, a Dallas, Texas girl traveling the world. After a career in the Air Force and touring over 50 countries later, my need to explore keeps going! It’s time to rock & roll and find all those places I never knew I was missing.

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