Ko Samui, Thailand

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.

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Points of Interest

  • Wat Phrayai (Big Buddha)
  • Chaweng Beach
  • Monkey Demonstration
  • Wat Plai Laem
  • Elephant Trekking
  • Na Muang Waterfall
  • Culinary Arts at Nora Beach 5-Star Hotel
  • The Passage Samui Villas & Resort

More about Ko Samui, Thailand Points of Interest

  • Wat Phrayai (Big Buddha)

    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.

  • Chaweng Beach

    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.

  • Monkey Demonstration

    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.

  • Elephant Trekking

    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.

11 EXCURSIONS

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Best of Ko Samui

6.5 hours | Ko Samui | U S M - 1 0 0
  • Wat Phrayai (Big Buddha)
  • Chaweng Beach
  • Wat Plai Laem

Explore Ko Samui during this full-day, guided excursion that hits the highlights of this island paradise. Experience its spiritual side with visits to Big Buddha Temple, Plai Laem Temple and Guan Yu Majestic Shrine. If shopping's on your agenda, a stroll along Chaweng Beach offers plenty of vendors selling souvenirs.

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Strenuous Activity, Includes meal

From

$99.95

Average Guest Rating

Eco Tour with Local Temple, Waterfalls, and Snacks

4.5 hours | Ko Samui | U S M - 2 2 5

Find out what makes Ko Samui such a fascinating place to visit with a tour that features the "mummy monk" at the Khunaram Temple, fruit picking at Cascade Tara Samui Resort and the chance to recharge with a meditative walk while listening to the sound of the waterfalls.

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Moderate Activity

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$139.95

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Bon Appetit Recommended: Thai Cooking Classes

6.5 hours | Ko Samui | U S M - 3 3 0
  • Chaweng Beach
  • Culinary Arts at Nora Beach 5-Star Hotel

Spice up your culinary skills by learning the secrets of cooking authentic Thai cuisine. You'll join a talented and knowledgeable chef at Nora Beach Resort & Spa who'll share the step-by-step preparation of Thai dishes like deep-fried stuffed crabmeat and pad Thai. Then you'll feast on your delicious creation.

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Easy Activity, Includes snack

From

$119.95

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Samui Elephant Kingdom Sanctuary

3 hours | Ko Samui | U S M - 4 6 1

Come face-to-face with the world's largest land mammal at the Samui Elephant Kingdom Sanctuary! Learn the sanctuary's purpose and mission and how these enormous and intelligent creatures thrive in this environment. Feed an elephant a tasty treat you make yourself and view the herd from the Skywalk.

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Moderate Activity

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$99.95

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Resort & Beach Getaway

7 hours | Ko Samui | U S M - 5 9 0

Grab your swimsuit, sandals and sunscreen for a day at a beautiful four-star hotel at Bophut Beach. Take a few laps in the sparking hotel pool, indulge on a variety of dishes at the buffet, stroll along the coast, or photograph the tranquil surroundings-the day is yours.

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Easy Activity, Includes meal

From

$74.95

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Exclusive Luxury Escape at The Passage of Samui Island

6.5 hours | Ko Samui | U S M - 6 0 0
  • The Passage Samui Villas & Resort

Escape to the refuge of The Passage of Samui Island beachside hotel for a little R-and-R and a little well-deserved pampering. Relax as you soak up the the sun lying on the beach then enjoy a blissful lunch followed by a rejuvenating foot OR neck and body massage.

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Moderate Activity, Includes meal

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$139.95

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Poolside & Beach Retreat in Samui

7 hours | Ko Samui | U S M - 6 0 5

Claim your patch of paradise as you relax on the powder soft sands at Muang Samui Villa Resort, a five-star luxury beachfront resort on Choeng Mon Beach. Blessed with turquoise waters, snow white sand and endless sunshine, it's the ideal beach break.

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Moderate Activity, Includes meal

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$99.95

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Angthong National Marine Park

6 hours | Ko Samui | U S M - 7 7 5

Witness the jaw-dropping beauty of Angthong National Marine Park, a blue-green oasis that's home to some of the area's most breathtaking coastal scenery. A speed boat tour includes stops at Ko Mae Ko Island and a viewpoint that looks out over a stunning emerald lake and Paluai for lunch.

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Moderate Activity

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$199.95

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Tan, Mudsum, and Rap Islands

5 hours | Ko Samui | U S M - 7 8 0

Cruise around Samui's southern islands of Ko Rap, Ko Tan and Ko Mudsum (also known as Pig Island). Stroll or stretch out on the powdery-soft sand, watch the clouds roll by, swim in the crystal clear turquoise waters, or meet one of the resident pigs.

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Moderate Activity

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$149.95

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Ko Samui by Private Vehicle - Van Class Full Day (With Guide)

7 hours | Ko Samui | U S M - 9 0 0

Experience some of Ko Samui's most scenic and fascinating sites from the comfort of a private van on this fully customizable full-day adventure. Design the itinerary yourself for up to nine passengers with ample time to wander from one intriguing landmark to another.

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Moderate Activity

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$599.95

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Chaweng Beach On Your Own

4 hours | Ko Samui | U S M - 9 9 0
  • Chaweng Beach

Enjoy a convenient round-trip mini-van transfer to Chaweng Beach, one of the island's most scenic spots. Relax and choose your own activities at your own pace. Sunbathe, snorkel, eat or shop for local handicrafts and souvenirs offered by local vendors.

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Moderate Activity

From

$39.95

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