Thailand's third largest island has been attracting international travelers for less than half a century. Before then, this island in the Gulf of Thailand was noted for its coconut plantations and rubber production. Today, Ko Samui's premier charms are its powdery white beaches, its Buddhist temples or wats, and its crystalline waters. Despite the island's increasing popularity, it retains a casual and unspoiled air that offers a bracing tonic to the experienced traveler.
The majority of the island's population resides in Nathorn, Ko Samui's capital. The island's first settlers were a mix of Hainanese coconut farmers and Malay fishermen.
Nathorn is an anchorage port. Passengers transfer to shore via ship's tenders.
This temple on Fan Island has become a major meditation center, attracting locals and foreigners from around the world. It is named after the massive, 39-foot sitting Buddha on the premises.
Situated on the island's unspoiled east coast, this coastline boasts four miles of powdery white sand and crystalline water, with an assortment of resorts, restaurants and bars lining the beach.
For centuries, monkeys were trained to climb the palms and pick the ripe fruit for their handlers. Although rarely being practiced today, you can still enjoy our special demonstration of these creatures harvesting coconuts.
Wat Plai Laem
Once part of the Big Buddha Temple, Wat Plai Laem is home to a superb statue of Kwan Yin (or Guanjin), the 18-armed Buddhist avatar of Mercy.
Ride atop an elephant on a caravan of these mammoth creatures, traveling through jungles or over local plantations for stunning, verdant views.
Na Muang Waterfall
Easily accessible and rarely frequented, these glistening falls cascade down a natural rock staircase that descends to a refreshing pool of crystalline mountain water.
Culinary Arts at Nora Beach 5-Star Hotel
Stop in at one of Ko Samui's premier hotels for a cooking class where passionate chefs teach you the basics of preparing Thai dishes such as stuffed crab, pan-fried Thai noodle (Pad Thai).
The Passage Samui Villas & Resort
Escape to the exotic natural hideaway beach resort at Laem Yai Beach in Koh Samui. This upscale boutique resort overlooks a national marine park with nearby snorkelling kayaking, beach biking and hiking for you to explore the area.
Take a narrated drive around the island and discover the people, history and culture of Ko Samui on this half-day excursion. You'll visit two of Samui's most important temples and then visit a local venue to delight in a demonstration which shows the efficiency of the furry workers: the monkeys who harvest the coconuts.
Sun and fun await on the white sands of Bophut Beach. Travel to the northern coast of Koh Samui, famous for its extensive stretch of coastline. You'll have access to a luxury resort including the use of the pool and other amenities. A Thai buffet lunch can be enjoyed at your leisure.
Experience Thai culture, Ko Samui-style at Island Safari, Funny Days Safari or Na Muang Safari Cultural Theme Park. Watch a demonstration on how monkeys are trained to harvest coconuts. Ride an elephant through the island's local garden, and explore the island's most prominent Buddhist temple.
Discover the culture and people of Ko Samui at Island Safari Cultural Theme Park or Na Muang Safari Park. Watch a Thai-cooking demonstration and go on an elephant trek to a scenic viewpoint. Then, head to the beautiful falls of Na Muang Falls for some tranquility.
Indulge in Ko Samui's highlights during this full-day, guided excursion. Visit temples featuring breathtaking Buddhas. Tour a local venue where a demonstration of trained monkeys will harvest coconuts. Enjoy lunch at an upscale resort and a beach break at Ko Samui's most popular beach.
A little piece of heaven awaits on this full-day excursion to Nora Beach Resort & Spa in Koh Samui, the third largest island in Thailand. Learn how to cook traditional Thai food, enjoy your gastronomic creations, and go for a swim in the pool (no guarantee of beach chair or umbrella).