Top 10 Attractions And Activities On Samui
A two-hour ferry ride from the coast of Sarat Thani will land you on the banks of Samui, one of Thailand's most popular resort islands which has grown increasingly popular in the past few years. Well-known for its wild parties as well as for its luxurious resorts, stunning coral reef environments and natural landscape, Samui has rightfully earned its place as one of Thailand's most-loved destinations.
Temple of the Big Buddha
The Temple of the Big Buddha, or Wat Phra Yai, was built in 1972 and is one of Samui’s top attractions. In the past few decades, it has become a beacon of prosperity for the island, a sentiment embodied in the 12 metre Buddha statue that sits in
the grounds. There is also a meditation centre on-site that's open to visitors.
Chaweng Beach is probably the most popular beach to visit on Samui. Its clear waters and white sand make it very inviting, and the exciting night life and Muay Thai boxing matches are an added bonus. Choeng Mon is more secluded and offers five-star accommodation,
while the bay of Ao Tong Takian is named after the silver hue of its sand. Lamai Beach is packed with water sports ranging from jet-skis and banana boats to activities like parasailing.
Full Moon Party
Full Moon parties have become synonymous with the hedonistic side of this region. These high-octane celebrations take place once a month on the nearby Koh Pha Ngan. Thousands of foreign tourists flock to the island for what compares to an outdoor, coastal rave. Music blares, prices soar and controlled substances abound. As the popularity of these parties has risen, savvy locals have added an interim Half Moon Party to add an extra weekend of debauchery and partying.
Eating out is one of the simplest pleasures in Samui, with fresh seafood served up in every fashion according to international and local recipes. Visitors will find authentic street vendors selling delicious treats at phenomenal prices, along with more
upscale establishments that sell gourmet Thai dishes as well as international cuisine. One way to treat yourself is to take your dinner on the beach in the comfortable surroundings of a beachside restaurant.
Partying and nightlife
Big Buddha Beach is a good place to spend an evening for families or perhaps for the faint of heart. Many establishments here are laid-back and lack the pulsing music of the more heated parties found elsewhere on the island. Lamai Beach has a thriving
red light district and plenty of go-go bars, while Chaweng Beach hosts a variety of live bands that play a mix of Thai and western covers.
Daytrip down south
For those seeking the less touristy side of Samui, you may consider heading to the south side of the island. There has been less development here, and a daytrip provides insight into what Samui once looked like, as well as offering a glimpse of day to
day life for the locals who don't work directly with tourists. You'll find several enticing, secluded beaches connected by coconut groves and predominately Muslim fishing villages.
It's worthwhile to journey out to one of a few waterfalls on the island. Hin Lat Fall is most conductive to swimming, as there aren't many boulders or sharp edges underwater. Trekkers and groups of elephant riders regularly journey to the Na
Muang Falls system—specifically to the second waterfall, because it's easily accessed by elephants. The first of the two falls cascades magnificently down a steep cliff.
Samui has a firm reputation among snorkellers and divers. Beginners can receive instruction from local gurus that work at one of multiple diving shops. More experienced divers have many options, ranging from the nearby Ang Thong National Marine Park or
Sail Rock, out to the farther but highly esteemed Koh Tao, where divers from all over Thailand gather. In any event, the clear waters and stunning coral reefs make diving a wonderful experience.
Samui is an ideal place for those who are full of energy as there are many adrenaline pumping activities and exciting water sports. You can also get up close and personal with Samui’s local elephants. The less energetic will be content with the
lovely beaches that offer perfect tropical swimming, or a day spent shopping or at a spa.
Samui has every manner of wildlife. Marine life teems at the Samui Aquarium, while snakes and scorpions are employed in death-defying shows at the Snake Farm. The Crocodile Farm has more than just reptiles, with a few monkeys and other animals in addition to crocs and lizards. Violent Buffalo fights are held at one of several buffalo stadiums, while delicate butterfly species can be observed at the Butterfly Farm in the island's southeast corner.
I hate to say it but there is something about Samui which just does not endear me to it…