Koh Samui Thailand – A Tourist’s Guide

Koh Samui Thailand

Koh Samui is the third biggest Thai island next to Phuket and Ko Chang. Because it has a lot of natural resources, Koh Samui Thailand attracts over a million tourists annually. If you plan to go to Thailand Koh Samui, it’s best to gather as much information as you can to ensure that you make the most out of your stay there.


History of Koh Samui

Koh Samui Thailand was first inhabited by fishermen from the Malay Peninsula and was originally called Pulo Cornam. Koh Samui was a self-sufficient community and had little interaction with mainland Thailand. The roads were built starting around the 1970s which helped boost the coconut and rubber export industry of the island. Because of such development, Thailand Koh Samui eventually became a popular tourist destination.


The Island’s Culture

Koh Samui has a rich Thai culture which can be experienced through their various festivals, food, arts, etc.

Koh Samui’s festivals and other events range from sports to animal related. One of the most well-known ones is the Buffalo Fighting Festival which takes place during special occasions like celebrating the New Year. Although it sounds like something dangerous, the festival is actually harmless as the buffalos are beautified with ribbons and gold-painted ornaments then sprayed with holy water. And, the fight only lasts for two rounds. For sports lovers, you may want to check out or even join the Triathlon Event or the Samui Regatta sailing tournament. Both events are held annually and they bring together participants from all around the globe. For art lovers, there’s the Ten Stars Samui Art Party which is a cultural event that features the original artworks of both local and foreign artists.

When it comes to the island’s cuisine, Koi Samui’s food is more on the spicy side since the cuisine has Malay, Indonesian, and Indian roots. Some of the most popular dishes include chicken biryani, Khanom chin (rice noodles with fish curry sauce), and massaman (Muslim curry, Indian style).


Attractions on Koh Samui

Koh Samui has a lot of tourist spots; it’s a good idea to plan what you want to see and do so you can make the most out of your stay.

Aside from beaches, Koh Samui also has waterfalls. The two most well-known ones are Namuang and Hin Lad. Namuang is composed of two water cascades, Namuang 1 and 2. Namtok Namuang actually means “Purple Waterfalls” and they are named that way because of the purple shade of the rocks there. The Hin Lad Waterfall, on the other hand, has fewer tourists but offers so many stunning sights.

Another popular attraction is the Big Buddha Temple, locally known as Wat Phra Yai. The Buddha statue was built in 1972 and is 12 meters high. The temple is mostly crowded during events like Songkran or Loy Kratong. The base of the statue is surrounded by food stalls, restaurants, and vendors who sell different amulets, religious artifacts, and other souvenirs. Keep in mind, though, that since this is a holy place, you will need to be dressed appropriately when you visit. Make sure that your shoulders and most of your legs are covered. Aside from the Big Buddha Temple, other temples like Wat Khunaram and Wat Plai Laem are also popular among tourists.

Another must-see sight is the Koh Samui’s Hin Ta and Hin Yai rock formations. Translated as Grandpa and Grandma respectively, these natural artworks have awed many people because of how they look: they seem to look like the male and female genitalia. Legend has it that these rock formations were a human couple who died at sea.

If you’re an animal lover, you can visit the Samui Aquarium & Tiger Show or the Samui Snake Farm. The Aquarium has a wide variety of marine animals such as sharks, manta rays, fish, and turtles. The main attractions in the zoo are the Bengal tigers and leopards, but visitors can also see birds and other exotic animals. For a more exciting experience, you can watch the snake, centipede, and scorpion shows at the Snake Farm.



Koh Samui has a variety of hotels, resorts, and villas where tourists can comfortably stay in. Some of the most popular ones are the Samui Honey Tara Villa, Chaweng Lakeview Condotel, Seaview Paradise Retreat, Poppies Samui, Papillion Residence, Panalee Resort, Palm Villas, Kamalaya Koh Samui, Kandaburi Resort & Spa, and Samui Lagoon Bay. Each accommodation offers great views of the area as well as various amenities that can make your stay more memorable.

There are many other attractions and accommodations you can find in Koh Samui and looking for them can be part of your adventure!