Koh Samui Island is one of the most popular sun and beach tourist destinations in Thailand. Located in the Gulf of Thailand, 700 km from Bangkok, it is the third-largest island in the country behind Phuket and Koh Chang. It is a relatively large island, with an area of 247 km. square, full of coconut trees and with white sandy beaches and crystal blue waters ideal for bathing. Discover in this Koh Samui guide everything about this island.
Koh Samui Island has everything that any tourist could want. Beaches with a great atmosphere and other tranquil ones where you can relax, jungle, natural marine parks where you can snorkel or scuba dive, very good restaurants, a wide range of complementary and leisure activities, a very lively nightlife, and accommodation possibilities for all budgets. It is undoubtedly one of the best places to spend your beach days in Thailand.
Until recently, it was a totally unknown island and before the arrival of mass tourism, it must have been one of the most beautiful islands in Southeast Asia. In recent years, it has had a spectacular growth that has made it almost as well-known as Phuket and has made what were once postcard beaches a bit ugly.
However, despite the urbanizing fever of recent years, Koh Samui Island still retains the beauty of its natural environment. Fortunately, on the seafront, an urban model of low buildings integrated into tropical gardens has been chosen, so that even if you are on the most bustling and urbanized beach when you look back, you see palm trees and lots of green. On the other hand, you will never feel confused when you are sunbathing. No beach is crowded with people.
How to get to Koh Samui Island?
Koh Samui Island has an airport so the most comfortable way to get there is by flying. However, flights to Samui are among the most expensive in Thailand. Prices for flights purchased in advance are between 3,000 and 4,500 baht.
Alternatively, there is an airport in Surat Thani (on the mainland) that low-cost carriers such as Nok Air and Air Asia cover. From Surat Thani, you have to take a bus and then a ferry to Samui.
The transfer is perfectly organized and the price is much cheaper. In fact, the same companies offer it to you included in the price of the flight or you can manage it at the same airport upon arrival.
Another option to get to Samui is to use land means such as the bus and the train from your place of origin until you reach Surat Thani and from there take the ferry to Koh Samui Island. A fairly popular option is to travel by train or bus at night and connect the next day with the ferry.
How to move inside Koh Samui Island?
Samui taxis are among the most expensive in Thailand. You will hardly get a meter, so it is better to use other cheaper means of transport whenever possible. A good option is to use Songthaews (trucks that carry people) since they are much cheaper. E.g. the journey between Chaweng and Lamai will cost you a maximum of 100 baht depending on how you negotiate.
The best and most popular way to get around is by renting a motorcycle, so in this Samui guide, we recommend it. A simple 125cc motorcycle will cost you between 200 and 250 baht per day. If you negotiate well or rent it for more days you can get better prices.
Try to rent from popular places to avoid scams. It is also a good idea to rent a car. Prices for a tiny car can be between 800 and 1500 baht per day. The best-known international companies are present on the island.
What is the Weather Like?
As in much of Thailand, Koh Samui Island has a tropical climate where the humidity is high and the average temperature does not usually drop below 28º, the climate throughout the year is usually good. You can differentiate between 3 seasons throughout the year:
From December to February: This is the dry season, temperatures are somewhat colder than the rest of the year, there is little rain, the wind is light and the sea is usually calm, it is usually the best time to visit the island. It is the high season and when the accommodation costs more money.
From March to September: It is the hot season, the hottest months are between March and April, the minimum temperature is around 30º, from the end of April there are usually rains and from May to September you enjoy a strong sun during the day and as the end of the afternoon approaches, some thunderstorm falls.
From September to November: The season that people like least was missing, yes, the rainy season 😥 with daily rains and a somewhat more agitated wind, the weather can be unpredictable. If you want to dive on Koh Samui Island, this season is the worst of all. This would be the low season of the island and it is when you can find accommodation cheaper.
“So Post Journal, when do you recommend visiting on the island?”.
The best time, according to my experience, is from December to April, when there is a lot of suns and little rain, although the rainy season from May to November can also be a good time if you want to save more on accommodation and have quieter beaches. Even in the rainy season, the sun rises every day.
The best beaches in Koh Samui Island
The beaches of Koh Samui are characterized by a landscape full of palm trees, fine and very white sands, and fantastic turquoise waters for swimming. There are beaches for all tastes, some very lively, others really calm, and intermediate options. Samui’s most important beaches are:
Chaweng Beach is one of the best beaches in Samui and the most developed. It is characterized by its very white sand and turquoise waters that are one of the best for bathing on the island. Combine super-luxury resorts with an abundant offer for backpackers. It is the center of Koh Samui’s nightlife.
The second most touristy beach on the island. Still, it is much quieter than Chaweng and its beach is much less crowded. There is everything but in fewer doses than Chaweng. It is an excellent beach, ideal for those who want to enjoy relaxing beach days without giving up amenities and a good range of activities and leisure.
A small paradise beach (undoubtedly one of the most beautiful on the island) located between Chaweng and Lamai Beaches.
Silver Beach on the island is a 250m long tropical paradise that is located in a small bay in front of Lamai beach. This beach is shared by four hotels that occupy the entire length of it, a very beautiful beach that invites sunbathe, swim and snorkel. The beach is small but in its favor, it has not yet been well known, you can even take some kayaks for a walk on the water or enjoy a massage on the beach.
Choeng Mon Beach
Choeng Mon Beach is one of the most beautiful in Koh Samui Island. Located in the northeast of the island, it is small and very quiet. Here are some of the most exclusive resorts on the island.
This beach on the island is much more expensive than its neighboring Big Buddha Beach. Choeng Mon Beach is formed by a series of bays in the northwest point of the island where you will find several 5-star resorts, you will not find much entertainment outside of the resorts but you can enjoy private beaches.
Known for its fishing village, it is a pretty, quiet beach with a very family-friendly atmosphere where boutique hotels are flourishing. It has a good culinary offer.
Mae Nam Beach
A beautiful beach on the north coast and one of the calmest. It is very popular with families and older couples.
Big Buddha Beach (Bang Rak)
Where the Big Buddha is located. Despite the fact that it has developed a lot in recent years, it is a beach that lacks attractiveness.
One of the fastest-growing areas, perhaps part of this is due to its nearness to the airport and Chaweng Beach. It is the best place if you want to catch a ferry to travel to Koh Phangan. You’ll find mid-priced accommodations, dive shops, supermarkets, and plenty of nightlife options. Most of the tourism on this beach is usually backpackers, although more familiar tourism is beginning to be seen in the area. Near this area, you will find the most popular tourist attraction on the island, a 12-meter-tall Buddha that attracts visitors from all over the world.
The south coast
This part of the island is very quiet and in addition to fishing villages, there are also some small beaches that, although not the most beautiful on the island, are worthwhile such as Ban Hua Thanon, Na Khai Laem Set, Bang Kao, and Thong Krut.
The west coast
It is the favorite part of Thai tourists. It is the wildest part of the island and where you can most enjoy the contrast between the beach and nature. On the west coast of Samui, you can enjoy the best sunsets and views of the 5 islands. Among the most outstanding beaches in this area are Lipa Noi and Taling Ngam.
Lipa Noi Beach
Lipa Noi beach is less known than the previous ones but its fine white sand, its turquoise waters and the fact that there are no rocks or corals in the water make it a good place to spend the day, the water is shallow up to a maximum of 100 meters away. It is a very quiet area where you can spend several days of relaxation enjoying a pleasant and relaxing feeling in a tropical paradise.
What to see and do in Koh Samui Island?
The main reason to visit Koh Samui Island is to enjoy its beaches. There are not many cultural things to see, but there are a lot of activities. In this Koh Samui guide, we recommend some:
Beaches: There are all kinds of beaches, from the liveliest like Chaweng and Lamai to the quietest ones like Choeng Mon and Mae Nam.
Waterfalls: There are several waterfalls, in some of which you can bathe. The most interesting waterfalls on the island are Nam Tok Na Mueng and Nam Tok Hin Lat.
Grandfather and Grandmother’s Rocks: Between Chaweng and Lamai, there are two very curious rock formations reminiscent of the genital parts of men and women.
Big Buddha: The Big Buddha is one of the best-known attractions in Samui. It is a 15-meter-high Buddha statue.
Eating well: One of the great pleasures of this island is its gastronomy. In Samui, you eat very well and at a good price, whether it is fish or seafood, Thai cuisine, or one of its many international restaurants.
Diving: Without being Koh Tao, Koh Samui offers good possibilities to learn and practice scuba diving.
Enjoy the nightlife: Samui is one of the most nightlife beach destinations in Thailand. Chaweng and Lamai are the best places to party.
Massages and Spas: Whether on the beach itself or in one of its renowned spas, you can enjoy excellent massages.
Excursions: Among the most popular excursions are the Ang Thong Sea Park, with its 42 islands, and the islet of Koh Nan Yuan in Koh Tao, one of the most beautiful corners of Thailand.
Temples: There are some temples that without being as important as others in Thailand deserve a quick visit. The most interesting is Wat Khunaram, famous for its mummified monk, Wat Phra Yai, where the Big Buddha resides, and Wat Laem Sor.
Where to eat in Koh Samui Island?
One of the best things about Samui is its restaurants. There is a huge variety of restaurants, both Thai and international, and many of them of high quality. In Samui, you eat honestly well. Chaweng and Lamai have the best gastronomic offer, with the permission of Bophut, which has a very good reputation in this regard. The island’s specialty is fish and its seafood.
You cannot miss a dinner in one of the many restaurants on the beach that set their tables on the sand itself. Many of these restaurants offer you a menu based on fresh fish that they have exposed to the clients’ view on the same beach and that you can choose yourself, grilled meats, and Thai dishes.
Recommended restaurants in Koh Samui
Koh Samui is a tourist place in Thailand, fully recognized for the good taste in the dishes it offers and for the friendliness with which it receives all its visitors at any time of the year
Restaurant recommendations to go daily for their good prices
1- Supattra Thai Dining
Supattra Thai dining dishes are dimensioned in typical Thai food, having the peculiarity of cooking in front of the customer. It is a cozy place with staff always attentive to its customers, offering excellent quality products at incredible prices.
Address: 32/6 Moo 4 Bangrak, 84320 Thailand
2- Fi Greek Restaurant
If you like to live good culinary experiences on your travels, when you arrive at Fi Greek Restaurant, you will feel the best of its flavors and Thai specialties asking for its preferential menu, the chicken and lamb kebabs.
Address: 2/56 Moo 6, Chaweng, Bophut 84330, Thailand
3-Spices Cafe Samui
It is one of the restaurants where you can go without getting tired of its Thai flavors, they show exclusivity in their dishes such as spicy salad, explosive flavors and a component of friendliness that identifies them, without a doubt, you will love it!
Address: Ring road | from Santiburi, direction Nathorn on the right, Koh Samui, Mae Nam 84330, Thailand
Recommendations for luxurious restaurants and high-quality food
1- Coast Beach Club & Bistro
They highly value hot, fresh and very tasteful food; It has different characteristics in your recipes and it is a restaurant where you can choose multiple menus, but Italian food, seafood, and the Mediterranean for those who do not want to dare a new flavor.
Address: 38/2 Moo 3, Chaweng Beach Road Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui, Chaweng, Bophut 84320 Thailand.
One of the special choices of this summer restaurant is its proximity to the sea, it is ideal if you want to enjoy a peculiar dish such as its large breaded chicken fillet or a Thai breakfast on the shore of the beach with a very relaxing sound.
Address: 127/64 Moo 3, Lamai Beach, Maret 84310 Thailand
3- Dara Serene Restaurant
Dara Serene Restaurant is an establishment with an international boom but with Thai and Seafood specialties. Ask for one of their best dishes, seafood with lobster. You’ll love it! Do not forget that to enter, you must book in advance for the exclusivity of its services.
Address: 162/2 Moo 2 Dara Samui Beach Resort, Chaweng, Bophut 84320 Thailand
Where to Sleep in Koh Samui Island?
Koh Samui Island has a vast hotel offer of more than 60,000 rooms with possibilities for all budgets. There is a huge offer for backpackers, medium ranges, and also a large number of super-luxury hotels.
If you are looking for lively beaches with restaurants, services, and nightlife. Chaweng and Lamai are the best options. If, on the other hand, you want to enjoy a quiet stay, Choeng Mon, Mae Nam, and the south and west coasts are ideal.
Bophut would be in an intermediate position, quiet but with good restaurants, and services. If you want to increase the information that we provide in this Koh Samui Island guide, you can open this link on where to sleep in Koh Samui Island.
You can find a good accommodation offer at the following link:
Map of Koh Samui Island
Here you have the map of Koh Samui Island.