Other than Koh Samui’s white fine sandy beaches, the island also offers plenty of things to do, perfect for the entire family or group of friends traveling. Here’s our shortlist of just some of the fantastic places to visit and fun adventures to do that Koh Samui plays host to, none of which involve the beach.
1. ELEPHANT SAFARI
Quite popular is Koh Samui’s Elephant Safari: take an adventure in the depths of the island’s wilderness on the back of a massive elephant. Featuring elephant rides and guided tours through some of the island’s most scenic locations, these safaris are an incredible way to experience the beauty both of Koh Samui and see these majestic creatures first hand.
Waterfalls are a beautiful natural wonder, one which almost always makes its home in stunning and eye-catching surroundings. Koh Samui is plentiful with beautiful waterfalls, giving you plenty of options to explore. The Na Muang region contains two waterfalls renown for their beauty. In Hid Lad we find another stunning cascade, perfect for a photo opportunity or a relaxing visit.
Golf is a game best played in a beautiful location – of which Koh Samui has plenty. Experience the green like never before with a stunning tropical backdrop. Koh Samui plays host to some beautifully manicured golf courses, such as the Santiburi Samui Country Club, the Bophut Hills Golf Club, and the Royal Samui Golf Course & Country Club.
4. RUM DISTILLERY
In the entire country of Thailand, there is but a single rum distillery. Known as “Magic Alambic,” the distillery calls Koh Samui its home; the base from which it produces its fine rum. An excellent destination, especially for those with an inclination for a tasty drink! But be warned: a trip to the distillery may well leave you tipsy.
5. WALKING STREET MARKET
The street markets are practically heraldry of Asian cultures, on display just about everywhere. While no doubt a theme common everywhere in the world, it seems almost as if this ancient tradition has reached no greater apex than that found within Thai walking street markets. Browse through an incredible array of sights, sounds, products, foodstuffs, and much more! Koh Samui offers plenty of street markets, so many you could spend practically every day browsing in the hustle and bustle for goodies and excitement!
There are many street markets in Koh Samui, each with a unique flavor to offer visitors. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, the Chaweng market provides all sorts of intrigue and excitement. On Thursdays, in Maenam, we find another well-equipped street market. The Friday Night Market at the Fishermans Village in Bophut is the king of street markets, offering an incredible selection in this historic town. Even on Sunday, the street markets do not rest, with an explosion of activity and commerce in Lamai.
6. MUAY THAI
Muay Thai is a style of martial arts that originated in Thailand. Highly popular among martial artists and often the center of competitive sporting events, Muay Thai is practiced the world over. However, nowhere in the world is the presence and influence of Muay Thai so potent as in its home country. As such, Koh Samui is a fantastic place to take up the art of Muay Thai, polish your existing skills or find yourself training to new levels under the tutelage of dedicated, authentic Muay Thai masters, or watch an exciting fight at the Muay Thai Stadium in Chaweng.
Artifacts of the past, living history, a fundamental connection to the people, their culture and their religion: Koh Samui’s temples are always an intriguing stop on any visit. For as important historically and culturally as these sites are, they are equally brilliantly designed and constructed, providing an endlessly fascinating place to visit.
8. BIG BUDDHA
Koh Samui’s world-famous Big Buddha Temple is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting the island. The temple itself is fascinating – but of course, what draws the attention is the massive Big Buddha statue which sits atop the temple. An incredible achievement of art, finely crafted by skilled artisans, the Big Buddha Temple is a wonderful photo opportunity and a great place to absorb some of the local cultures.
9. BUTTERFLY GARDEN
The Butterfly Garden is an enclosed tropical park, brimming with examples of the incredible flora and fauna which call Koh Samui home. In particular, the garden is plentifully populated by the butterflies which give it its name. A fantastic place for a relaxing colorful stroll or a romantic rendezvous.
10. BUNGEE JUMPING
A perennial classic for thrill-seekers everywhere, the bungee jump takes the form of leaping off a high platform in order to free fall. Attached to a very long and extremely strong elastic cable (the “bungee” cord,) the jumper has his fall reversed once the cord has reached its maximum, resulting in a “bungee” motion of bouncing back and forth. An exhilarating ride, but perhaps not for the faint of heart.
11. ATV ADVENTURES
Take an off-road expedition into the beautiful wilderness in the driver’s seat of a high powered ATV. ATV Adventures are offered from various companies in different locations around Koh Samui. The adventure can be a fantastic way to take in the wonderful natural beauty of the island while having a thrilling adventure. Many guided tours are available, featuring experienced guides who can coach you in the use of your ATV and guide you to the best spots for riding and sightseeing.
Get a look at Koh Samui from above as you sail through the air fastened to a long line. Zip-lines are an exhilarating adventure which not only gets the heart racing but also provides a unique method of sightseeing.
Featured image: Kit Suman from Unsplash