Food

20 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do in Koh Samui

Last Updated: August 21, 2017

Written by Seth Lui

Koh Samui, or sometimes spelt Ko Samui, is an island in the gulf of Thailand, and is well-known for its beautiful beaches. Its an island to have a very relaxed holiday that is tranquil and calming.

Amazing white sand beaches, clear warm waters surrounded by tropical foliage, its a great place to just chill at the beach. However, if you’re restless like myself and need to find some activity other than building sand castles, here’s my suggestion of things to do in Koh Samui.

1. Lounge the whole day at the Amazing Beaches

things to do koh samui beach

Let’s get the most basic must do activity in Koh Samui out of the way: the beach. The fine white sand with clean waters is an excellent location to suntan and take a swim.

Alright, this is something most of you knew about Koh Samui, but read on and you’ll find some amazing activities.

2. Flyboard like a Superhero in Koh Samui

Other than the usual water sports, another interesting water activity you could do in Koh Samui is Flyboarding.

The Flyboard rider is strapped into and stands on a board connected by a long hose to a watercraft, and water is forced under pressure into a pair of jet nozzle boots underneath the board, which provide propulsion for the rider to fly up or dive into the water head first. There is also a Jet Pack variation where instead of under your feet, there’s a water jet pack that’s strapped to your back.

It costs about 4000 THB for 30 minutes, and you can check out Aqua Man Samui Beach Club on booking this activity.

3. Visit Erotic Natural Rock Formations

things to do koh samui grandpa rock hin ta

One of the most famous attractions on Koh Samui is this pair of  “Grandpa and Grandma Rocks” (Hin Ta and Hin Yai).

The folklore behind this formation is that of an old couple who lived with their son in the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat. Since their son had come of age, they felt that he needed a bride.

So one day, they decided to sail to the neighbouring province of Prachuap Khiri Khan to seek a man’s daughter’s hand in marriage. During their boat journey there, they were caught in a storm. The old couple perished at sea, turning into rocks as proof to the would-be bride’s parents of their ernest intentions.

These rock formations in Koh Samui are famous for well, looking like genitalia. Depicted above is the ‘Grandpa rock’ with its phallic looking tip.

things to do koh samui hin yai thailand

And just close by is the ‘Grandma rock’ formation, with a crack that looks like the naughty bits of a lady. The locals either have some fascinating imagination, or are perhaps marketing geniuses.

Hin Ta Hin Yai: Maret, Koh Samui, Surat Thani, Thailand

4. Eat Fresh Black Tiger Prawns

renaissance koh samui skyscanner-1802

About 75% of farmed shrimp is produced in Asia, with China and Thailand being 2 of the largest producers – Thailand is the largest exporter of shrimps in the world. Since Koh Samui is so close to the source of production, it is no wonder that the tiger prawns here are amazingly fresh and taste excellent lightly salted and grilled. Be sure to order these prawns when in Koh Samui.

5. Visit the Only Thai Rum Distillery and Drink Thai Rum

things to do koh samui rum distillery magic

Visit the only rum distillery in Thailand at Magic Alambic Rum Distillery. This distillery was set up in 2003 by a couple who decided to brew alcohol from the abundance of local sugarcane available to pass their days. More an artisanal brewery, the fastidiously- flavoured rums have been a hit, with visiting tourists and dedicated customers located throughout the region.

koh samui thailand rum sangsom

Also, you don’t want to miss trying out SangSom (แสงโสม), a Thai rum distilled from sugarcane and wildly popular locally. It has even won gold medals in overseas liquor competitions despite being relatively unknown out of Thailand.

What better place to enjoy this local alocohol than at the pool or beach, or even at one of the many beer bars at Lamai or Chaweng.

Magic Alambic Rum Distillery: 44/5 Moo 3, Ban Thale, Koh Samui., Thailand | Tel: +66 (0) 7741 9023

6. Join a Muay Thai Camp or Watch Muay Thai Boxing

things to do koh samui muay thai camp boxing

Muay Thai boxing has become a very popular sport and hobby all over the world as people find it challenging while keeping in shape. Koh Samui has quite a couple of well-maintained gyms that are devoted to Muay Thai training, offering training sessions for members of the public as young as 10 years old.

The Lamai Muay Thai Camp for example, offers classes starting for 300 THB for an hour lesson, as well as other more gruelling bootcamp packages.

If you’d rather be a spectator, Chaweng boxing stadium near the Reggae Pub is the biggest stadium on Koh Samui and hosts all the major fights on the island.

Lamai Muay Thai Camp: 82/2 Moo 3 Lamai Koh Samui Thailand | Tel: +66 (0)87-0826970 | Website

Chaweng Stadium: 3/7 Moo 2, Chaweng Lake Side, Tambon Bophut, Koh Samui

7. Shop for Trinkets at Fisherman’s village (Bophut Beach)

things to do koh samui fisherman's village bophut beach

Fisherman’s Village is located in the centre of Bophut Beach and isquickly gaining a reputation for being well-maintained and offering knick-knacks of all kinds. It’s also wear a bought a pretty fine straw hat for about 280 THB.

With old wooden Chinese shop-houses on both sides of the road, Fisherman’s Village retains a distinctly Mediterranean feel as it was the main French outpost on the island for many years before.

fisherman's village koh samui bophut beach

What you can find here are several boutiques shops, selling souvenirs, clothing and jewellery as well as a few bars and restaurants. The dive shops in the area are also available for those who want to do snorkeling or scuba diving.

Fisherman’s Village: Moo.1 Bophut Koh Samui Surat Thani 84320, Thailand

8. Visit a Cafe by the beach

koh samui kalasea cafe by the beach

Kalasea cafe is a hidden gem located along Bang Makham Beach. From humble beginnings as a wooden shack, to occupying two beach houses on the shore, its charm has been a constant.

Kalasea translates to “sailor” in Thai, and the nautical stripes, ship’s navigation wheel and shell curtains are in keeping with the whole sea marine theme. The menu consists of local specialties, salads, beverages and sweet treats which you can enjoy at the lovely beachside deck with breathtaking views of the pristine ocean. It’s also perfectly positioned to catch the sunset over the ocean horizon while sipping on their coffees.

Kalasea Coffee & Chill:  4169, Ang Thong, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84140, Thailand

9. Admire the Samui Cultural Center and Fine Art of South East Asia

things to do Samui Cultural Center and Fine Art of South East Asia

A Cultural center constantly in construction which depicts a historic mix of culture and religion in Thailand. It’s owned and funded privately by Khun Chart who was born and raised on Samui and has nursed the idea for the Cultural Center from an early age.

All the statues at the entrance are made by Khun Chart, which depicts Gods and Angels from all the cultures of the Thai region and relate to myths and legends told and re-told down through the centuries.

renaissance koh samui skyscanner-1817

Replica garments worn by the royal family are also displayed in one of the huts located here.

In the Samui Cultural Centra, the cultural influence and history of Southeast Asia is shown here. Iconic Buddhist and Hindu images have been interpreted in different ways at various points in history and even in Bangkok you can see the styles of Thai, Burmese, Indonesian, Balinese, Laotian, Cambodian and Chinese builders and designers. So what started off as an interest in Thai history and culture by Khun Chart became a study of the whole of Southeast Asia which is what he wants represented in this centre.

A note though that the small site is still an ongoing project and you will see scaffolding and various unfinished works.

Samui Cultural Centre: Lipa Noi, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani, Thailand

10. Relax with a Full Body Thai Massage

renaissance koh samui skyscanner-2086

Along the streets of Chaweng beach, you’ll find tons of massage parlous offering rates as low as 200 THB for an hour of massage. At such prices though, don’t expect too much from their skill.

For a more decent massage place, try Carnation Samui Massage Service, which is also near Chaweng Beach with prices for a full body Thai massage going for about 490 THB per hour. For a 100 THB more, they can even pay you a house/ hotel visit.

Carnation Massage: 94/15 Moo 3 Ring Road, Chaweng Noi, Koh Samui 84320 Ai Thailand

11. Shop at Central Festival Samui

things to do kok samui central festival mall

Not really my idea of fun, but if you had to visit a shopping centre in Koh Samui, try Central Festival Samui which is one of the newest open-air malls to open in Koh Samui.

central koh samui-1886

Touted as ‘Asia’s Largest Beachfront Shopping Complex’, in Thailand’s Eastern Region, Central Festival Shopping Complex spans across a seven-storey building along the beach.

Over 200 chic fashion outlets and boutiques and a wide range of exquisite dishes in hip restaurants lining the beachfront and offering you an exceptional al fresco dining experience. It’s pretty much your typical modern mall.

Central Festival Samui: Amphoe Koh Sa-Mui, Surat Thani, Thailand 84140

12. Shoot Real guns at the Rifle Range

things to do koh samui shooting range

An interesting activity that will definitely prove more a novelty to Asians than Westerners (who have shooting ranges back in their countries), bullets are not cheap though – prices start from 1230 THB for 10 bullets for a small handgun

renaissance koh samui skyscanner-1749

Prices vary according to what firearm you choose to fire from, with various guns from Dessert Eagle Magnums to Sniper Rifles. Regular range shooters will complain about the lack of procedure and the state of the range, but if you’re up for a bit of danger and something new to try out not available in your country, the Shooting Range is the place to go.

Samui Shooting Range: Moo 6, 4169 Ring Road, BoPhut, Samui Thailand

13. Watch a Ladyboy Cabaret

koh samui ladyboy cabaret show things to do

Photo: meetyouinthecafe.wordpress.com

Donning colourful and extravagant costumes,with songs dedicated to mostly every nation, excellent lighting and sound system, and great performances from a group of glittering ladyboys dancers whose genuine smiles show that they are happy to show their talents on stage.

This isn’t for everyone, but the ladyboy cabaret sure is one of the most unique attractions in Thailand you won’t find anywhere else in the world. There are more family-friendly cabaret options or as the night gets darker, more adult-oriented shows. There are quite a couple of cabarets along Chaweng Beach:

Starz Cabaret is one of the leading cabaret shows on the island. Here you will find a more comical show than at other ladyboy clubs. Expect the ladyboys to poke fun at each other or to pick on an unsuspecting member of the audience, all of which makes for an absolutely hilarious night.

Moulin Rouge is a popular cabaret show and bar that features three shows nightly at 20:00, 21:30, and 23:00. Some 20 performers bring out their inner female with song, dance and fabulous costumes. The earlier show is a more ‘soft and sweet’ performance suitable for families, while things heat up for the later shows. It’s also the only free entry cabaret, but drinks are considerably pricier.

Starz Cabaret: Chaweng Beach Road, next to Khun Chaweng Hotel

Moulin Rouge Cabaret: Central area of Chaweng Beach Road, (down the soi opposite Khao San Restaurant and close to Burger King)

14. Take a Thai Cooking Class

renaissance koh samui skyscanner-2000

Many tourists are very curious about Thai cooking which is a big contrast to western styles of cuisine with its flavorful robusts flavours. As such, demand for cooking classes have been on the rising, resulting in several cooking school catered to tourists in Koh Samui.

One of the most popular culintary schools here is the Samui Institute of Thai Culinary Arts (SITCA).

SITCA’s Thai cooking classes are taught in an modern air-conditioned facility. Everyone is equipped with their own burner at the stove, and everything needed for a complete hands-on experience with ingredients provided. You also receive a recipe cook book which is yours to make notes in and keep.

Other popular culintary schools also include: Ying’s Thai Cooking Home and Smiley Cook.

Samui Institutde of Thai Culinary Arts: 46/6 Moo 3 Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui, Suratthani Thailand | Tel. +66 77 413 172 | Website

15. Get Drunk on Craft Beers at Bees Knees Brewpub

bees knees brewpub things to do koh samui

The first and very newly opened craft beer pub in Koh Samui, Bees Knees have been critically acclaimed by scores of tourists who have boldly labelled Bees Knees as having the best beers on Koh Samui, an honor which I have to agree.

There are a few varieties of beers available here on tap: wheat, pilsner, English-style, and porter, all of which are brewed right here in this little craft brewery.

Hospitality is warm and friendly, with the owner explaining passionately about their brewing process and the different beer yields produced. A spot not to be missed for the beer enthusiast.

Bees knees Brewpub:  83/3 Moo 2, Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand | Tel: +66 (0) 855372498 | Website

16. See a real Mummified Monk

Samui-mummified-monk3

Visit the Mummified Monk, the remains of Phra Khru Samathakittikhun, the ex-abbott of Wat Khunaram on Ko Samui. He wasn’t always a monk, for the first fifty years of his life, he was just like any one of us. But on the 1944, he was ordained and dedicated the rest of his life to monkhood.

Thereafter, he was known for his intricate meditation practice that have garnered him numerous disciples of buddhists monks and laymen. He also had another ability, which was how he foresaw his own death in 1973.

Samui-mummified-monk-incense

He was then mummified and done so in an upright position according to his wishes, to symbolise the righteous buddhist values and to continuously inspire the future generations to follow the path of buddhism.

Here, you can offer donations, incense, pray or simply just visit.

Wat Khunaram (Phra Wihan Luang Por Daeng): Route 4169, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani, Thailand

17. Binge on Loads of Coconut

Samui-hinta-hinya-coconut-sweets

Koh Samui is abundant with coconuts and they are nuts over that fact. Milking the situation, the creative locals come up with local sweets made up of coconuts, like the coconut caramel shown above. Imagine a 9 layer cake but more chewy and sticky, with the coconut and sesame fragrance.

Not forgetting the coconut ice cream of course, you can choose the toppings and dig into this heat relieving dessert that will keep you coming back for more. Oh and have I mentioned how amazing their coconut juices are? It’s straight from the husk and any fresher than that, you’ve definitely gotta go pluck it yourself.

So if you’re a coconut fan, get a one way ticket to Koh Samui right about now.

18. Visit the Pier

Samui-old-village-pier

An old local community leading up to the pier, it is filled with a rustic charm that you wouldn’t get in any cosmopolitan country. Think rows and rows of dandy little shops dedicated to serving their own communities’ needs of local products and also the first producer of their simple yet functional white tshirt.

Samui-old-village-fish

The end of the road is a pier where you can take a boat to central Koh Samui or simply relish in the pier side businesses manned by locals. Fresh from the sea, you can even spot a little boy trying to catch some fish, though I highly suspect he was doing it for leisure purposes but let me be delusional.

19. Visit Guan Yu’s Shrine

Samui-guanyu

You must be wondering why is there a Guan Yu shrine in Thailand, Koh Samui. But who can get enough of loyalty, righteousness and honesty. So here we have the Koh Samui Guan Yu Shrine, just south of Lamai, in Hua Thanon.

Samui-guanyu-offerings

Though the shrine is incomplete as of now, once done, you can expect a 20 million baht bronze statue of Guan Yu that is  16-metre tall, which adds up to it being four metres taller than the current Big Buddha. There are old histories of Koh Samui hanging on the wall as well, informing of the old Samui – Chinese Hainanese heritage for whoever who is interested in it.

Lamai Guan Yu Shrine: Hua Thanon, Chang Wat Surat Thani 84310, Koh Samui.

20. Play Golf With A View

Samui-golfcourse-view

Santiburi Samui Country Club promises a scenic view while you casually play golf. Due to it being near mountainous areas and it being the only championship 18 hole course in Koh Samui, it is stunning in view, spectacular in its contour and exceedingly tranquil. Even if you’re not a golfer, you could just drop by for the view because yes, it is that beautiful.

Santiburi Samui Country Club: Ko Samui District, Surat Thani, Thailand |Tel: +66 77 425 031 

Related Guide: 16 Reasons to Love Bangkok Once Again

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