Famous with tourists around the world, Koh Samui continues to evolve, with stylish and upmarket resorts sitting happily alongside street-side food stalls.
Well known for its golden, sandy beaches the island is a cosmopolitan melting pot, hosting both budget travellers looking for fun in the sun and big spenders who are craving exclusivity and luxury. Add to that the friendly locals and you’ve got the recipe for one of the most enjoyable and exciting holiday destinations around.
Traditional culture, water sports or meeting the locals, we’ve picked some top activities and things to do:
- Discover the island’s hidden side with a 4WD jeep jungle tourOpens external site
- Cook up some tasty, local delicacies with a half-day Thai cooking classOpens external site
- See the island’s highlights with this cultural and interesting round-island tourOpens external site
- Get off the beaten track and discover the Ang Thong national marine parkOpens external site for the day
- Indulge your inner child and ride a ziplineOpens external site through the rainforest tree tops.
Although only 25kms long, this palm-fringed island has an array of beaches, towns and areas worth visiting.
Koh Samui's beaches
Chaweng is not only the biggest but the most exciting and developed town on the island. Located on the east coast, its sandy beach is popular for all kinds of fun activities including banana boat riding and parasailing. As you’d expect with this kind of tourism, you’ll find the usual dive shops, souvenir shops, internet cafés and tour companies.
Once a favourite for backpackers this beautiful beach, with its cosy and easy-going ambience is still quieter than Chaweng but lately has enjoyed a more sophisticated visitor and the opening of a number of luxury resorts, trendy cafés and restaurants to cater to their needs.
On the northern coast of Samui lies Bophut, made up of two places: Bophut Beach, which stretches several kilometres between Big Buddha and Maenam beaches and the well preserved Fisherman's Village situated in the middle section of the beach. With its old wooden Chinese shop-houses and fishing boats coming and going this picturesque fishing village is a true taste of local Samui life.
From the airport
If you’re hotel or accommodation doesn’t arrange transfers, an inexpensive and reliable minibus service serves all major beach towns around the island. Tickets can be bought in the arrivals hall. Alternatively you can hire a car.
In and around the island
Samui’s only public transport are the colourful ‘song-teows’ – converted pickup trucks that ‘run’ 24 hours. The cheapest and fastest way to get around is by motorbike taxi. Metered taxis are also available but at present it’s a miracle if they turn the meter on for you therefore to bargain and agree on a price beforehand is a must.
Disclaimer: ^ You must be a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program to earn and redeem Qantas Points. A joining fee may apply. Membership and Qantas Points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program terms and conditions.
** Prices are per room, per night and vary depending on date of check in, length of stay and room type. Conditions apply.
~ Qantas activities are provided by Viator. Conditions apply.