Exploring Koh Samui, Thailand: A Guide to Island Adventure

Koh Samui

Islands have always given us a sense of wonder, and we love them! The idea of relaxing on cool, fresh sands, hearing the meditative sounds of the waves, feeling the touch of the breeze on our skin, and basking in the energy of the sun is simply irresistible. As we’re currently in Cambodia, we’re already planning our next move to Asia, and we know that our next destination will be either a great beach or an awesome island. We’re hungry for those feelings of relaxation and excitement, and we want to experience them soon.

Considering Koh Samui, Thailand

Though we’re not sure where we’re heading next, we’ve already taken our “rusty” bathing suits out of the bottom of our backpacks so they can see some daylight. On the one hand, we’ve considered heading south of Cambodia to see what the fuss is about in Sihanoukville and the nearby beaches. On the other hand, we’ve heard so many great stories about the islands of southern Thailand, especially Koh Samui. From what we understand, Koh Samui is more developed and touristy, and you can easily book packages or deals online.

The Best of What Any Island Can Offer

Though we mainly prefer budget traveling, Koh Samui has many activities to offer its visitors. Keep in mind that some sites are more touristy than others, so if you’d rather stay off the beaten path, you’ll pay less and feel less crowded.

Food in Thailand

In general, the food in Thailand is great, and you can find almost anything on skewers. Thai people love skewers! You can find fruits, meat, vegetables, seafood, and more on skewers. Here’s a great movie we found on YouTube that demonstrates Thailand’s island cuisine.

Tips for Enjoying Koh Samui

If you’re planning a trip to Koh Samui, here are a few things you might find helpful to cover some of your days:

  1. Enjoy a cool ride on a songtaew, which is a Thai taxi truck.
  2. Explore Koh Samui’s forest on the back of an elephant.
  3. Watch an elephant show. Sounds really cool!
  4. If you prefer the roar of the motor, try discovering the island by a 4×4 vehicle. Though it’s more costly than the elephant ride, you may get a faster-paced adrenaline rush.
  5. Rent a moped and drive to Big Buddha, which is located on the North Coast of Koh Samui.

Two Other Places You Don’t Want to Miss

Magic (aka Secret) Buddha Garden

The Secret Buddha Garden is hidden away high in the hills of Koh Samui’s interior, offering majestic views and an unusual collection of statues amid lush jungle surrounds. The gardens are the creation of an old Samui fruit farmer, Khun Nim Thongsuk, who, in 1976, began erecting several statues and temples around his family’s verdant land. The statues depict a number of animals, deities, and humans in various poses, including one of Khun Nim himself, in a relaxed position sitting on a rock. Khun Nim continued to work developing his garden until his death at the age of 91.

Angthong National Marine Park

Only 28 kilometers from Samui, Angthong National Marine Park is a pristine archipelago of 42 islands in the Gulf of Thailand, with towering limestone mountains, thick jungle, white-sand beaches, waterfalls, and hidden coves, and lakes to explore. Within sight of Koh Samui, Angthong park is a protected area of more than 100sqkm of land and sea and home to a wide variety of exotic wildlife and sea creatures.


We’re still debating where we’re going next, but Koh Samui may be it. Do you have any island advice to give us? We’re happy to learn from those who have been there before us. And, as we always say, no matter where you roam, remember: “Take only memories, leave only footprints.”

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