The island of Koh Samui is one of Thailand’s most popular holiday destinations. Travellers with a range of budgets, from backpackers to luxury holidaymakers, will find that there’s something for everyone. Single people, groups of friends and families can all find the perfect holiday on Koh Samui. Whether they enjoy sports, nature, parties or just lounging on the beach, there’s fun everywhere. There are plenty of things to see and do, including many that you just can’t leave the island without experiencing.
The Big Buddha statue is possibly Koh Samui’s most famous landmark. The statue is located on a small rocky island, just off Koh Samui’s northeastern point. Far from being an ancient landmark, the 12-metre golden statue was built in 1972. Locals know it as Wat Phra Yai, and you can reach it by a causeway connecting it to the main island. If you arrive in Koh Samui by aeroplane, the Big Buddha may be one of the first things you see as you arrive. You can see it from a distance of several kilometres. The Big Buddha temple is not just an artistic attraction though. The temple is a sacred place, so be sure to dress appropriately when you visit.
Ang Thong National Marine Park
Credit: Sarah Ackerman
Staying in Koh Samui, you are within sight of the Angthong National Marine Park. This protected stretch of more than 100 square kilometres of land and sea is an archipelago of 42 islands. The variety of sealife and wildlife on these islands and in their surrounding waters will thrill nature lovers. A visit to Ang Thong is usually in the form of a day trip from Koh Samui, or from Koh Pha Ngan, but you can also stay overnight. Rent a bungalow or tent from the park headquarters if you want to extend your stay.
Though there are many beaches to choose from on Koh Samui, Maenam Beach provides a bit of peace and quiet away from some of the busier places. There are plenty of villas in Koh Samui with a view of the beach if you want to stay right beside it. Many of the resorts on this beach afford a degree of privacy that others don’t hold, due to their location at the ends of long paths. Both budget and luxury accommodation is available around Maenam. So whether you’re on a budget or have a bit more cash you’ll find something for you.
Na Muang Waterfalls
here are two Na Muang Waterfalls, found about 12 kilometres southeast of Nathon Bay. These waterfalls are two of Koh Samui’s most beautiful and are a must see. The first waterfall, Na Muang 1, flows into a natural pool that you can take a dip in if you’re feeling warm. You’ll find Na Muang 2 by walking further uphill for about half another, where the smaller waterfall will be waiting for you. Families in particular enjoy swimming at the waterfalls. And you can organize an elephant ride through the jungle at the nearby safari camp.