Koh Samui is a breathtaking island of natural beauty which can sometimes be overlooked in favour of its buzzing shopping malls, restaurants and bars. For those in search of the natural attractions in Koh Samui, head away from the main tourist towns and you’ll find sights that will leave you breathless with awe
Deep in the lush jungle just off the main ring road Route 4169 about halfway between Nathon and Lamai Beach lies the exquisite Namuang Waterfall. Namuang is a set of two cascading waterfalls, each falling and collecting into two different pools. Namuang 1 falls into a natural pool, providing a cool escape from the Thai heat. Namuang 2 falls 30 feet up the hill by foot and is a smaller, but equally refreshing pool. The water cascades down a cliff, turning them a striking shade of purple that earns the name ‘Purple Waterfalls’. This is a popular place for families to swim and relax and there is an elephant safari camp nearby where visitors can organise a trek through the jungle.
Ang Thong Marine Park
The Ang Thong Marine Park consists of 40 little islands of protected nature. 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 by 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. Whilst on site visitors can enjoy snorkelling, diving, sunbathing and exploring the stunning park.
Hin Lad Waterfall
Do not make the mistake of thinking all waterfalls in Koh Samui are the same. Hin Lad boasts lush terrain known for its exotic flowers and excellent hiking paths through the jungle ideal for elephant trekking. This is the perfect spot for a picnic and there is a trail which leads to the Hin Lad Waterfall Temple, which boasts beautiful Buddha sculptures and a lovely garden that can serve as a relaxing meditation space. The waterfall itself is gorgeous, and the most popular time for tourists to come is during the rainy season, as it grows with the recurring rainfall.
There is more to Elephant Rock than the sheer size of it, which inspired its name because it’s as big as a Thai elephant. The terrain is rocky, which makes it an ideal destination for rock climbers and hikers who fancy a challenge. The view at the top is stunning, and well worth the effort to make the climb. Photographers can take some excellent panoramas from multiple angles. This is a beautiful sight, easy to access from nearby Chaweng and Lamai Beach.
Hin Ta Hin Yai
Local legend 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. Even the most mature of visitors may find themselves giggling like little children at the rocks that look suspiciously like male and female genitalia. To reach these rocks, tourists must pass through a narrow passage lined with small shops and souvenir stalls. The beach is ideal for water sports, and the water is clear enough to see an array of exotic marine life floating past.