A Day in Ang Thong Marine Park

There are various day trips to Ang Thong Marine Park that leave from Koh Samui, each with their own unique package deals, such as lunch, kayaking or snorkelling.

Angthong Marine Park Koh Samui

Angthong Marine Park Koh Samui

The park consists of 42 different islands, each with their own landscapes, caves and indigenous wildlife. A complete tour of the Ang Thong would actually take weeks due its sheer size and fascinating views. Here is a guide for how to make the most of one day at Ang Thong Marine Park.

Departure

After transferring from the villa to the pier, most tours will depart between 8am and 9am to make the most of the day. They will also a include a light breakfast of croissants, fruit and tea or coffee. If the tour is for specific activity, such as kayaking or scuba diving, they should also come with their own equipment. The best way to travel is by speedboat, as it only takes 45 minutes to reach the park this way.

Koh Mae Ko and Koh Wao

Upon arriving in Ang Thong, the tour boat will dock at either Koh Mae Ko or Koh Wao. Koh Mae Ko is known for its beautiful Emerald Lake, a saltwater lake surrounded by huge limestone cliffs. The Emerald Lake is a spectacular spot with a great view, which can only be reached by hiking up the steep cliffs, through its jungle terrain and squeezing through a deep crevice on the cliff. The reward is an amazing view of the entire Ang Thong archipelago. Swimming and diving is forbidden here

Koh Wao has beautiful turquoise blue water, coral reefs and coves – all these are the homes of interesting marine life, making this little island an excellent spot for snorkelling and diving. The coral is as diverse as the sea life in this crystal clear water. There will be something new for everyone to see.

Explore Ang Thong

Later in the morning, tours will dock at Ang Thong and leave tourists to explore the island. The ‘Golden Basin’ has steep limestone cliffs, some reaching over 400 metres in height, and features four distinct types of forest; dry evergreen, beach, limestone and Mangrove. Each forest is home to many different animals, such as monkeys, otters, eagles, iguanas, pythons and many many more. The surrounding sea is also home to marine life such as sea turtles and many colourful fish. This is a popular spot for snorkelling and swimming.

Lunch

The majority of tours will include lunch. This can vary from a buffet on the seafront or a traditional Thai meal on the tour boat as it cruises through the park. Fresh fruit is also included.

Koh Sam Sao

After lunch, some tours go on to Koh Sam Sao for kayaking. This island receives very few travellers so if the tour passes through here, visitors can enjoy unobstructed swimming, kayaking and snorkelling in the abundant coral reefs and hikers can explore the numerous caves and caverns, or climb up to the vantage points and enjoy the views.

Overnight Accommodation

After visiting a third island most tour boats will take everyone back to Koh Samui and transfer them back to their accommodation, but the fun need not end here. Koh Wua Talap is the island’s camping headquarters. It has six bungalows, which can be rented for 500 Baht per day (for a two bedroom cottage) and plenty of camping space. The cost of hiring a tent for two people is 250 Baht. Additionally, Koh Wua Talap has a restaurant, which is open from 7am until 10pm, a first aid tent and kayaks for rent if guests wish to continue exploring the islands.

The facilities at the island are very basic. Visitors should note that the electricity generator is switched off at 11pm, but it adds to the appeal of camping in a barely inhabited island. No reservations are required for camping but if guests wish to book a bungalow in advance, this can only be done via the Thai government website: http://www.dnp.go.th/parkreserve/reservation.asp

All boats leaving the Ang Thong National Marine Park leave at 3pm daily. Overnight guests can leave by speedboat at 3pm the next day.

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Things to Do in Maenam, Koh Samui

Maenam beach an ideal destination for those in search of a quiet beach retreat away from Samui’s busy tourist hot-spots. Here’s a look at things to do when you visit…

Maenam Beach

Maenam Beach

Maenam beach is the epitome of perfection as it stretches 7km along the coast with its white, sandy shores lined with coconut trees. Relatively undeveloped, the area is truly charming with exquisite island vistas from every direction.

Samui Disc Golf

Disc Golf originates back to the beginning of the twentieth century but it only started gaining popularity in the 1960s. The aim of the game is to get the disc into the basket – a simple goal, but to win players must achieve this in less throws than their friends and family. Samui Disc Golf has nine baskets to challenge groups and this makes for a great day of friendly competition for friends and family. After the game, visitors can refuel with homemade pizzas, wings and meatballs subs, or the venue will organise a BBQ for the group if they are given 24 hours notice.

Samui Canopy Adventures

The best way to see what Koh Samui has to offer is in style! Samui Canopy Adventures is the most exhilarating way to travel through Samui’s rainforests and lush tropical scenery. Soaring over treetops at nearly 50 mph is something that only monkeys and birds have had the privilege of experiencing, until now. After departing from Maenam Hinterland, a packaged tour includes a 4×4 pick up to base camp, full training and safety instruction, a cable ride to the secret waterfalls of Koh Samui and a complimentary Thai lunch. Canopy Adventures is 2000 metres of zipping fun that no one will want to miss.

Kitesurfing

Kitesurfing and kiteboarding are very popular water sports in Maenam – its shallow waters, steady wind and warm water make this a year-round activity. It’s popularity means that there are a few schools on the island to teach beginners to master the techniques of this sport. Koh Samui Kiteboarding provides lessons with instructors certified by the International Kiteboarding Association and each lesson is assisted by a rescue boat with a graduate instructor certified in first aid. Everything is in place for novices and experts to enjoy a day out on the ocean.

Black Rose Bar

Being a small area with not much traffic, the nightlife in Maenam would not appear to be as vibrant as that of Chaweng and Bophut. However, this does not mean that the evenings here are dull. The Black Rose Bar is a hidden gem on the western end of Maenam beach, right on the beachfront and it has a great view of the sunset. This Thai-Reggae themed bar has a rustic look, with its thatched roof and furniture made from recycled driftwood. The menu features local Thai food, classic cocktails and beverages and there is also a pool table to complete the low key night out.

Maenam Walking Street

This is a delightful combination that is unique to Thailand; part street party, part farmer’s market. This event happens every Thursday evening around six, but if visitors are driving in then it would be best to arrive early to secure a parking spot as this event is widely popular. Come hungry, with plenty of cash – in addition to stalls selling crafts and trinkets, the walking street includes snack vendors and even mobile cocktail bars selling signature drinks at possibly a quarter of the price of nearby five-star hotels. On some nights there may even be music played by enterprising teens. This lively stroll down the street is an interesting way to spend an evening, where interesting souvenirs are sure to be found.

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Tours in Koh Samui

With miles of stunning coastlines, impressive jungles, gorgeous villages and nearby islands, Koh Samui boasts some of the most beautiful sights in the world. Here’s a guide to the best tours in Koh Samui.

Elephant Tours in Koh Samui

Elephant Tours in Koh Samui

 Jungle and Island Safari Tour

Travel on an off-road mountain vehicle to the highest viewpoints in Koh Samui. This tour packs everything into one unforgettable day, including visits to popular tourist attractions like the Big Buddha temple, Grandfather and Grandmother rocks and the Wat Khunaram to see the famous Mummified Monk. Additionally, this tour also includes a visit to monkey and crocodile shows, 15 – 20 minutes of elephant trekking and an afternoon at Namuang Waterfall – the highest waterfall in Koh Samui over 80 metres high. If you had only one day to see the best of this island, this is the way to do it.

Adult: Around 1850 Baht. Child: Around 1400 Baht

Ang Thong Marine Park

The Ang Thong Marine Park consists of 40 little protected islands of outstanding natural beauty. All but one of these islands are uninhabited and undeveloped. The one inhabited island is like a time window into the past where the “sea-gypsies” still make a living through fishing. There are several ways to explore these islands – a speedboat is comfortable and will take you to the park in less than an hour. The speedboat tour can include kayaking and snorkelling, making the most of the clear blue water. But for a slower and easier tour, the Samui Island Tour Co also offers a slow boat tour to the Ang Thong Marine Park. This tour does not offer snorkelling, but does include a visit to the Lotus Caves with stalagmites and stalactites.

Speedboat Tour: Adult; 2000 Baht. Child; 1400 Baht

Slow Boat Tour: Adult; 1700 Baht. Child: 850 Baht

Crazy Horse – Private Charter Around the Islands

Sailing on a Crazy Horse is an interesting and unique sailing experience. It’s a 27ft, twin mast catamaran, known for winning international Regattas. This boat is easy to handle and can be commissioned privately for island hopping around Koh Samui. The Crazy Horse can be hired for half a day (four hours), for a sunset cruise (between 4pm to 6:30pm) or a full day charter around Koh Samui (10am to 5pm). Transfer from hotel, soft drinks and snorkelling equipment are included, so this is a perfect way to go snorkelling on coral reefs and visit the scenic coastline at your own pace.

Prices vary depending on season and number of people hiring the Crazy Horse

ATV Jungle Adventure

These quad bikes and Buggy’s are tough enough to withstand the high mountain terrain, but so easy to manage that only a ten minute lesson is needed before setting off to explore Koh Samui’s vast jungle. Follow your fellow adventurers on a trail through the jungle, passing by some high points at the centre of Koh Samui, stop for a delicious Thai lunch at the top of the mountain, then finish off the day by swimming in the Namuang Waterfall. For more information visit Samui Link.

Prices vary depending on type of bike hired and how many seats needed.

 Tailor Your Own Tour

Do you think the jungle tours don’t include enough history? Did you enjoy the elephant trek but wish you could have seen more animals? Tailoring a private tour ensures that there is a little something to leave everyone happy, and it may turn out to be cheaper depending on your group size. The lovely team at Samui Link will put together a VIP itinerary for your group according to everyone’s interests and budget. The more details you give them, the more personalised your tour will be. The cost includes a tour guide, a choice of private car or luxury minivan and the opportunity to make your own schedule. There are many choices of activities and attractions to include in your tour, such as elephant trekking, visiting the Butterfly Garden, seeing a 164 year old Chinese Temple, swimming in the Namuang Waterfall or a tour of a rum distillery, among many others. This tour will make you feel like Koh Samui’s guest of honour.

Cost:  1-2 people: 6900 Baht, Additional person: 800 Baht

When you stay in one of our luxury Koh Samui villas you can rest assured you’ll be located close to everything the island has to offer. Our Koh Samui vacation rentals offer all the facilities you need, in the most gorgeous spots on the island, for the ultimate tropical island break.

 

 

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Top Things to Do in Lamai, Koh Samui

The area of Lamai is a simply stunning vacation destination with plenty to do during your stay. Here’s our guide to the top things to do in Lamai, Koh Samui.

Grandma and Grandpa rocks at Lamai

Grandma and Grandpa rocks at Lamai

From spas, restaurants and shops, to popular historical sites such as Hin Ta & Hin Yai and Wat Khunaram, Lamai is home to plenty of interesting things to see and do. It is well worth hiring a jeep or motorbike to explore the surrounding environs, as many interesting attractions are located on the outskirts of Lamai. Some of the island’s most popular tourist sites are located here such as the phallic Hin Ta and Hin Yai rocks and Wat Khunaram, the island’s famous mummified monk – so if you can bear to leave the beach, you could easily fill a few days exploring the area.

Hin Ta and Hin Yai

The Hin Ta and Hin Yai are fascinating rock formations located on Koh Samui’s south coast. These phallic shaped rocks have been a source of wonder since they were discovered by the locals more than 100 years ago. These rocks, known as Grandpa and Grandma, look vey much like male and female genitalia! Entry to the rocks is free of charge and available all day in daylight hours. the rocks are located on Samui’s south-east coast, about two kilometres south of central Lamai Beach.

Lamai Night Plaza

 This nighttime bazaar runs every evening from 5pm at the Lamai Central Plaza. Here, shoppers can find locally made goods such as handmade fans, wooden elephants of all sizes, sarongs, purses and T-shirts and much more. Do not pay the expected price on any of these items; vendors expect a little bartering for their merchandise, which means that everyone can go home with a bargain. Once all the bartering is over there is a food centre and several pubs to finish off an exciting evening.

 Coco Splash Adventure & Water Park

For a day of water-filled fun, turn left at the McDonald’s sign located off Samui Ring Road and follow the signs for Coco Splash Adventure & Water Park. This park is 10,000 m2 of fun, laughter and thrilling high speed slides that will bring the whole family together. In addition to the water park, Coco Splash features thrill-seeking activities such as a bungee trampoline, an air bag jump and a tree-to-tree adventures involving aerial rope courses and zip lines. Little adventurers will leave this park happy, exhausted and with their hearts racing.

 Lamai Overlap Stone

 The Lamai Overlap Stone is one kilometre south of the popular Hin Ta & Hin Yai rocks. Making the journey to this landmark is an adventure in itself – the best way to travel up the dirt-track road is by 4×4 or a dirt bike, with the last stretch being walked on foot. For those who are looking for more of a challenge, the hard twenty minute climb can be done on foot and there is a refreshment stand waiting for anyone who succeeds in making it to the top. Whatever the route taken, the view at the top is a just reward for the steep trek.

 Samui Rock Bar

After visiting the famous Grandfather and Grandmother Rock, the best place to go for lunch is the Samui Rock Bar, where chilled reggae tunes play on the bar’s private beach from 2pm until the early hours of the morning. The bar has typical Thai decor, made from driftwood and recycled material and has a small terrace between two giant boulders with great views of the sea. Come here for live music, nightly fire shows and delicious Thai and international food.

Hua Thanon

Located south of Hin ta and Hin yai, this quaint fishing village still retains a quaint, old-time Samui feel, with rickety wooded houses lining the road, plus some great seafood restauraunts and ethnic clothing and jewellery boutiques. Check out the teak houses put to modern use, with the play station arcades and cars parked in the front rooms!

The Swing Bar

 This is the largest club at Lamai Beach, named after the fitted swing seats in the interior. Guests can lounge on the swing seats with a cold beer or a tasty cocktail while enjoying a 180 degree view of the ocean. The menu includes a wide variety of curries, burgers and even a few breakfast options. In the evenings there is a nightly fire show and beach parties happen on Monday and Friday nights for everyone to let out their inner party animal.

Laem Sor Pagoda

This beautiful pagoda is situated at the southern tip of Koh Samui at Bang Kao Beach. The pagoda’s entrance is guarded by two ‘Yak’ (giant) warrior statues with huge swords, colourful clothing and scary faces. Buddha stands in the doorway to the rear, making a great sight and photo opportunity. It’s located eleven kilometres south of Lamai with a tour available via Half Day Samui Adventure

Silver Beach

This gorgeous bay is located just off the main road as you drive into north Lamai from Chaweng. There are three resorts on the beach which means it can get crowded in high season, but it is well worth a visit for the exquisite scenery. Crystal clear waters and white powder sand, bordered by craggy limestone rock formations and lush hills make this beach one to remember.

 

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Reasons to Visit Choeng Mon

The gorgeous area of Choeng Mon is located on the northern coast of Koh Samui. A series of powder white bays with plenty of things to see and do – this area is the perfect destination for those in search of a relaxing tropical island vacation.

Choeng Mon Koh Samui

Choeng Mon Koh Samui

Choeng Mon is off the beaten track, but this magnificent beach-based destination is within 10-15 minutes of the lively resort of Chaweng, 5 minutes from Big Buddha and near to the charming Fisherman’s Village. Choeng Mon boasts wide sandy beaches with rock formations on one side and a small island you can paddle out to on the other.

Water Sports

Choeng Mon is protected from open water by a headland which makes it a calmer destination for watersports. Tourists can enjoy swimming and snorkelling on the beach and the Searobin Samui PADI Diving Centre offers a full range of scuba diving courses and fun diving tours to suit everyone. Choeng Mon beach is also perfect for sunbathing and just lounging on the seafront, lazing the days away in true tropical island style.

Wat Plai Laem

Big Buddha is not the only major landmark within driving distance of Choeng Mon. Wat Plai Laem is a temple famous for being home to hundreds of big fish – they live in the lake at the temple living off the food fed to them by tourists. Wat Plai Laem offers an insight into Chinese-Thai culture and features some elaborate and very colourful Buddhist architecture. The most striking piece is the towering statue of Guanyin, Goddess of Mercy and Compassion, bearing 18 white arms to the sky. Guanyin is believed to be a source of unconditional love and her arms represent her ability to reach out and give help all across the world. Plai Laem beach is also a relaxing spot to swim, sunbathe or read a book.

Art Samui

The Art Samui museum in Choeng Mon is a popular interactive attraction for art lovers and novices alike. It has 65 vast artistic backgrounds complete with areas for tourists to become part of the art, making for some great photos! Surf the Samui waves, stampede with elephants or fly on a magic carpet with dragons chasing from behind, the choice is yours! The museum offers packages for almost two hours of fun, with tourists taking their own snaps. The staff are very friendly and accommodating which is sure to make a unique day out even better. Address: 37/45 Moo 5 | Bophut SubdistrictChoeng Mon, Ko Samui 84320.

Imperial Spa

Located at the Imperial Boat House Beach Resort this stunning spa experience refreshes mind, body and soul. A wide range of treatments are available including couples massages, coconut body wraps, Thai massages, facials, full body scrubs with various spices and steam rooms. The therapists aim to restore the body’s natural balance by incorporating the seven elements of Thai astrology (earth, wood, metal, ash, water, air and fire) into their essential oils and treatment products. Visitors are sure to leave with a renewed sense of inner balance and peace. Treatments can even be tailored to the day of your birth for a more personal reharmonisation. Address: 83 Moo 5, Imperial Boat House Beach ResortChoeng Mon.

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Animal Attractions in Koh Samui

In Thailand there are more than 163 species of snake, over 900 types of birds, approximately 250 wild tigers and around 650 species of freshwater fish, just to name a few! A visit to Koh Samui is a chance to get to know not only the charming locals, but also some of the native animals that make this island such a unique and memorable holiday destination…

Animal attractions in Koh Samui

Animal attractions in Koh Samui

Paradise Park Farm

High in the mountains, overlooking the Gulf of Thailand, lies Paradise Park Farm. This is one of the highest points in Koh Samui and the beautiful waterfalls, rivers, canyons and rainforest covering make it one of the most picturesque spots on the island. Paradise Park Farm is home to several local animals such as ponies, deers and pygmy goats (which can be petted and fed), friendly monkeys and even Molly and Marcha, the bilingual parrots who will speak to you in either English or Thai! Additionally, the park has two on site restaurants and bars, a children’s playground, jungle and river walks and plenty of rest areas. There is a swimming pool which can be enjoyed at no extra cost, but guests should bring their own towels. At only 800 Bahts for a visit to the park alone, this is one of the cheapest parks to visit, and it certainly keeps everyone entertained.

 Butterfly Garden

This beautifully maintained tropical park is home to hundreds of butterflies, bees and moths. While visiting an insect habitat might not be high on everyone’s list of things to do in Koh Samui, the Butterfly Garden is a popular attraction with adults and children alike, and in particular with aspiring photographers. Not only is this a breathtakingly gorgeous nature walk with waterfalls, lush tropical plant life and colourful flowers, it is an intriguing insight into insect life. The butterflies are unafraid of human contact and will happily land on walkers’ shoulders and heads, sometimes long enough to take a quick selfie. Watching these little creatures flitter from flower to flower and sip at the nectar is a delightful experience. If there is a keeper nearby, they will be happy to answer any questions about the species and habits of each butterfly you see. An insect museum at this location is an extra treat for enthusiasts and it is also a great place to purchase fresh honey made on-site by the bees seen on your walk.

Bannchang Elephant Park

Most tours offer elephant trekking as part of a package and it is understandably popular with tourists. Baanchang Elephant Park is a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing a good life for these majestic animals and rescuing elephants from bad conditions such as circuses. The organisation is funded exclusively by visitors so the park ensures that your time is certainly worth your money. Instead of merely riding the elephants (although this is also an option) visitors are educated on elephant feeding, their daily habits, elephant’s body language and how the trainers create a relationship of respect with their charges. Visitors will even have the opportunity to bathe, brush and feed their elephant and be taught basic riding skills. Certainly a more memorable and fulfilling experience than mere elephant trekking.

Koh Samui Tiger Zoo and Aquarium

There few other zoos in Koh Samui that offer such an up-close and personal experience as the Tiger Zoo and Aquarium. If visitors are not satisfied with seeing a large variety of sharks, manta rays and catfish, they can complete their marine encounters by feeding sea turtles. If seeing Bengal tigers perform feats of agility is not thrilling enough, for a few extra Baht, visitors can have their picture taken with these impressive animals or even feed their cubs a bottle of milk. There are even photo opportunities with owls, parrots and other exotic birds.

Ang Thong National Marine Park

The Ang Thong Marine Park offers more for the active visitor such as snorkelling, kayaking or diving in the clear blue sea, or hiking through the jungles, mountains and waterfalls. Because it is such a large and undeveloped area, Ang Thong is home to a wide variety of marine life and wildlife – it is up to the visitors to see how many they can find. Bats, otters, sea eagles, hornbills, sea turtles and pythons are some of the wildlife occasionally seen in the forests. Crabs, oysters, butterfly fish, sting rays and angelfish are but a few of the residents of the coral reefs.

The many animal attractions in Koh Samui are a great way to discover the island and learn more about the local wildlife. Our luxury villas in Koh Samui are easy to reach from anywhere on the island and offer the perfect base from which to head out and about.

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Is It Safe in Koh Samui?

Like with any holiday destination, it is important to be aware of the local dangers and to keep yourself and your belongings safe. Koh Samui is just as safe as any European city – the island has some of the friendliest and most helpful locals that you will ever encounter – so no one should feel unsafe during their stay. That said, accidents can happen so visitors should exercise the same caution here as they would at home.

Staying Safe in Koh Samui

Staying Safe in Koh Samui

 Pick-pocketing and Petty Theft

This is not considered a real problem in Koh Samui, but the island is a place where tourists out-number the locals. Theft in busy places such as the full moon parties is more likely to be committed by foreigners than locals. When visiting a busy place such as a nightclub, bar, shopping centre or marketplace it is advised to bring only the money that you intend to spend and nothing else. In general it is not a good idea to walk around with an open handbag. Valuables, passports and other travel documents should be kept in a hotel safe but it is a good idea to keep a copy of your passport on your person.

Road Accidents

Scooters and motorbikes are the most common vehicles on Koh Samui and are the cause of most road accidents. When riding a scooter, be sure to wear a helmet and keep an eye out for dogs running out into the street as well as any other hazards. Be aware of sand on the road, as most accidents occur when the driver loses control in loose sand. Riders should also beware of the ‘Samui Tattoo’ – a burn on the leg calf caused by hot exhaust from the scooter.

Safety When Walking

While most areas are well lit by street lighting, the overall public lighting at night can be sporadic, leaving pedestrians invisible to drivers. In some places this can be exacerbated by potholes and erstwhile traffic. Visitors are advised to wear bright clothing at night and to carry a torch in their bags. Women are especially advised to walk in groups after dark.

Beach Safety

As with any other beach holiday, protection from sun damage is very important. Be sure to stay hydrated, wear a sun cream with a high SPF factor and in particular apply it to the back of the neck and ears when snorkeling. When enjoying water sports such as kayaking, always ask for a water jacket. Remember to pay attention to the flag warnings before stepping into the water. The sea may appear calm, but underlying rip currents do exist. During monsoon season waves can get very high so do not venture out if you are not a strong swimmer.

Scams

Unfortunately this is one of the bigger problems in Thailand, but they are easy to avoid when you take the right precautions. When renting a car, scooter or a jet ski, it is wise to take pictures of their condition before taking them out for a ride. It is not unheard of to be overcharged for damages that were caused by previous users. It may be better to rent these through your luxury villa in Koh Samui instead of with an independent seller. Do not assume that someone is not scamming you because they are not from Thailand; foreigners are just as likely to be scammers as the locals. Never take anyone up on a “great deal” – there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Koh Samui is a wonderful place to visit and is well known as being a very safe and friendly holiday hotspot. Like with any trip abroad the best thing to do is be cautious and exercise common sense.

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Historical Sights in Koh Samui

Koh Samui may be a mecca for swimming, sunbathing, shopping and spas, but it’s also known for its stunning historical sights.

Historic sights in Koh Samui

Historic sights in Koh Samui

The island is home to an array of temples, natural attractions and charming villages such as Bophut Fishing Village which serves as a window to the past. With so many places to explore here are some of the most popular historical sights in Koh Samui.

Big Buddha Temple

Built in 1972, this 12 metre high, golden statue is the first sight most tourists see as they fly into Koh Samui. It remains a popular attraction with both tourists and locals, as both gather together to light incense and make offerings of fruit and flowers to the immense sitting Buddha. The stairs leading up to the Buddha’s elevated platform are decorated with fearsome dragons and the platform itself is adorned in blue and gold. It is a beautiful and impressive feat of architecture.

Around the base of the platform is a courtyard where tourists can buy amulets, religious artefacts and other souvenirs, as well as food and refreshments. All tourists are welcome to observe the daily religious rituals, but it is advised to dress respectfully – cover knees and shoulders – as this is a place of worship. Nearby there is also a beach, which has come to be known as Big Buddha Beach thanks to its proximity to the attraction. This is a much calmer location than Chaweng Beach, which is not too far away but far livelier.

Hin Ta Hin Yai (Grandfather & Grandmother Rocks)

Set along the rocky coastline between Lamai Beach and Hua Thanon are the unique rock formations affectionately known as Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks. While it may seem strange that a rock formation would attract the interest of so many tourists, it is understandable once they are seen in person. Even the most mature of visitors may find themselves giggling like little children at the rocks that look suspiciously like male and female genitalia.

This formation is so famous with the locals that, inevitably, legends have been told about how the rocks came to be shaped this way. The most popular story tells of an old couple, Hin (Grandfather) Kreng and Yai (Grandmother) Kreng, who felt it was time for their son to get married. They sailed to a neighbouring province to find a suitable bride, but their boatt was caught in a terrible storm and the old couple died at sea. It is said that their bodies turned into the suggestive rock formation as proof of their real intentions.

To reach these rocks, tourists pass through a narrow passage lined with small shops and souvenir stalls. The beach at this location is rocky but the water is clear enough to see a multitude of marine life.

Mummified Monk

When the mummified monk Loung Pordaeng was alive, he was a native of Koh Samui. After a prosperous younger life, he left home at the age of 50 and dedicated himself to the life of a Buddhist monk. He practised many meditative techniques in Wat Khunaram and it was believed that he developed the ability to foretell his own death once he mastered these techniques. In 1973, Pordaeng died while seated in a meditative position. Now he is known as Koh Samui’s famous Mummified Monk.

It is said that when Pordaeng predicted his death, he instructed his followers to cremate him if his body decayed. Otherwise, he was to be kept in a glass casket in the temple as an inspiration for future generations to follow the teachings of Buddha. Since his death, the only parts of his body to have dried out are the eyes. This does not make for a pretty picture, which is why the Mummified Monk now wears sunglasses. Wat Khunaram is an active temple since most people come to pray to the Mummified Monk.

Visiting a corpse on display may seem like a strange tourist attraction but to the local Thai people, death is seen as something to be honoured and revered. In Buddhism, death is accepted as a natural part of life and most Buddhist Thais view it as getting a step closer to nirvana, or an opportunity to be reborn into the next life.

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Sports in Koh Samui

Muay Thai boxing

It may be famed for its beautiful beaches and relaxing spas but there are plenty more things to do in Koh Samui than just lazing the days away.

The island boasts a multitude of activities offering something for everyone. Here’s a quick guide to the best activities and sports in Koh Samui… Continue reading

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Ladyboys in Koh Samui

Ladyboys in Koh Samui

Ladyboys (or katoeys) are the famous third sex of Thailand; effeminate men who dress up as beautiful women to entertain locals and visitors alike.

Ladyboys are an accepted part of Thai culture –  and are often so beautiful as girls that it’s hard to imagine otherwise.

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Why Book a Vacation in Koh Samui?

watstosee3

With year-round sun, stunning beaches and endless activity and entertainment offerings Koh Samui is a dream vacation destination. Why book a vacation in Koh Samui? Read on to find out…

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Top 10 Things to Do in Chaweng

Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

Chaweng is the most popular beach on the east coast of Koh Samui boasting 6 kilometres of white sand packed with a variety of activities to suit every kind of traveller. Here’s a guide to the top 10 things to do in Chaweng.

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Top 5 Nightlife Attractions in Koh Samui

Koh Samui Nightlife

Koh Samui is an exciting place to explore during the day, with plenty of beaches, shops, historic villages and temples to see – but at night a whole new side of the island is revealed. Here’s our guide to the top 5 nightlife attractions in Koh Samui.

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Visiting Bophut – Koh Samui

Thong Krut

Bophut Koh Samui is a large and beautiful beach in Koh Samui, spanning over two exquisite locations – here’s a guide to visiting this exquisite area.

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Etiquette in Thailand

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When travelling to any country, there are a number of customs that should be carefully observed. Here’s a short guide to etiquette in Thailand. Continue reading

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Getting Around in Koh Samui

Getting-Around-in-Koh-Samui

Koh Samui is just 25 kilometres long and 21 kilometres wide with a ring road linking its beaches and other attractions.

You can rent a car and drive around in little over an hour – or travel by scooter, taxi, songthaew, bus or boat. Whatever you decide to do and no matter what your budget you’re sure to find an easy way of getting around in Koh Samui Continue reading

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Wildlife in Koh Samui

baby-elephant-and-mother-samui

The wildlife in Koh Samui is as diverse as the island itself – and you needn’t go all the way to a zoo to see it!

You’re sure to spot plenty of native creatures during your Koh Samui vacation, here’s a short guide to making the most of what you see on your travels… Continue reading

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How Big is Koh Samui?

Bophut-travel-guide

Koh Samui is located in the Gulf of Thailand just 80 km from the eastern coastline of Southern Thailand. At 25 km long and 21 km wide, Samui is big enough for some serious exploration but can be circumnavigated in just a couple of hours by motorbike or car.

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Top 10 Restaurants in Koh Samui

Top 10 restaurants in Koh Samui

There are a plethora of superb restaurants in Koh Samui, catering for all tastes and budgets. Whether you want a romantic ocean front venue or a BBQ on the beach the island offers something for everyone. Here’s a guide to the top 10 restaurants in Koh Samui to help you find your way around.

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Packing for Koh Samui

Packing for Koh Samui

Before going on Koh Samui villa vacation it’s a good idea to know before you go what to pack and what not to! Here’s a handy guide to packing for Koh Samui to make your departure as easy as possible. Continue reading

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