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How to Explore Koh Samui

Embrace the Tropical Beauty of Thailand

By william barryPublished 4 months ago 3 min read
Fabio Achilli from Milano, Italy, From Koh Samui to Koh Tao (48107564893), CC BY 2.0

A million people travel to Koh Samui in southern Thailand every year, from backpackers to holidaymakers seeking luxury. The stunning sandy beaches, blue waters, and palm trees are the biggest draw for travellers. That said, there’s also been a bit of a construction boom over the years. Planning to visit this stunning island on your next holiday? Then this guide is for you!

Getting to Koh Samui

If you don’t have to worry about a budget, fly straight into Koh Samui. The island boasts an international airport, tucked between Bophut and Chaweng. And if you're hopping over from another region of Thailand, there are many domestic flights.

On the other hand, if you're in Thailand and fancy a bit of an adventure, then hop on a ferry from the mainland. There are buses and minivans that'll get you to the ferry dock. Plus, there's a regular ferry service between Koh Samui and its neighbours, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan.

While flying is the quickest way to get to Koh Samui, consider giving it a miss. To experience real Thailand, you should consider getting here by ferry or other modes of public transport.

Getting Around

If you want a bit of freedom while getting around Koh Samui, hiring a scooter is your best bet. But a quick heads up: if you're not a seasoned scooter rider, tread carefully. Koh Samui's roads can get a tad busy, especially compared to the quieter islands.

For a local touch, hop on a Songthaew bus. They do rounds on Koh Samui's main route. Remember, it's a bus, so expect the usual stops to pick up and drop off people.

If you're after a more direct route, there are private songthaews, taxis, and even motorbike taxis you can flag down.


Being one of the most visited travel destinations in Thailand, Koh Samui offers a wide array of accommodations to suit every traveller. From Koh Samui beach resorts to budget guesthouses, there’s a lot you can choose from. The likes of Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort are often a popular choice among those who fancy a bit of comfort coupled with convenience.

To find the best place to stay at the lowest possible price, start your accommodation search as early as possible. Loads of hotels and resorts offer discounts, especially during the low season. And there are all-inclusive packages as well.

How Many Days Should You Spend in Koh Samui?

Koh Samui is a large island, so you need at least five days to explore everything it has to offer. You should sign up for a day trip to one of the nearby islands too. Anything less than five days wouldn’t be enough.

Things to Do

Koh Samui is buzzing with things to do and experiences to dive into. Whether it's snorkelling amidst the vibrant marine life, pampering yourself at the top-notch spas, trekking with elephants, or letting loose at beach parties, there's never a dull moment here.

Just a stone's throw from Koh Samui lies the Ang Thong National Marine Park, spanning over 100 square kilometres of both land and sea. This protected haven boasts a diverse range of unique wildlife and marine life. At Ang Thong, you can indulge in snorkelling, hiking, sea kayaking, and diving. Or you could just kick back and relax.

You can also embark on a shopping spree while you’re here. Some of the best places to shop in Koh Samui include Central Festival Samui, Lamai Walking Street, Fisherman's Village Walking Street, Chaweng Beach Road, Lamai Night Plaza, Chaweng Walking Street, and Wharf Samui. You don’t necessarily have to bargain in malls, but bargaining becomes necessary when shopping in street markets.

Best Time to Visit

The ideal time to visit Koh Samui is during the dry season from December to August. During these months, you can expect warm, sunny days with average temperatures hovering around 30 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, the wet season, spanning September to November, brings with it heavy downpours and a spike in humidity.

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