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Thailand

Koh Samui Holidays

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Koh Samui? Sorted.

Holidays to Koh Samui are the stuff that dreams are made of. Thailand’s second largest island – after Phuket – it’s been attracting holidaymakers to its shores for years. And it remains one of the country’s most popular destinations. Its sun-soaked beaches are lapped by warm, gentle waves, while the interior of the island’s cloaked in verdant jungle. If you’re feeling active, head off on a hike – or get another perspective by zip-lining through the trees. There’s no shortage of activities to keep you occupied on a Koh Samui holiday. There are spas and wellness retreats aplenty, yoga sessions on the beach, and opportunities to test your fitness at muay Thai classes.

But the fun’s by no means limited to dry land. If you want to make the most of Koh Samui you need to head out into the water. Located in the Gulf of Thailand, just off the mainland’s east coast, this island offers waterports galore. Rent a jet ski at Bophut Beach, go surfing at Chaweng Beach or spend a day snorkelling in the crystal clear waters of Ang Thong National Marine Park. There’s also fantastic diving to be found near to Koh Samui’s sister islands, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan, which are easily accessible by boat.

You’ll find most resorts in Koh Samui dotted along the coast, so wherever you stay you’ll almost certainly have easy access to the beach. But if you can tear yourself away from the sand, you’ll find there’s even more to this island than meets the eye. Fisherman’s Village in Bophut is a historic neighbourhood where old wooden shophouses sit side by side with modern restaurants and boutiques. While it’s changed since its heyday, when it was home to a thriving fishing community, the village still retains an authentic charm. And no holiday to Koh Samui would be complete without a visit to Wat Phra Yai. Also known as Big Buddha Temple, this is the island’s most famous attraction. Set on Koh Faan – a small island connected to Koh Samui via a causeway – it’s so called on account of the 12-metre seated Buddha statue that adorns it.

Beaches

Waterfalls

Things to do

Best time to go

Best beaches in Koh Samui

Koh Samui holidays centre around one thing – the beach. And there are many picture-perfect stretches of sand to choose from. Chaweng Beach, on the east coast, is the island’s biggest and busiest beach. It’s a great place to see the sunrise, and also for people-watching. Lively Chaweng Beach Road is the epicentre of Koh Samui’s party scene. It’s lined with all manner of bars and nightclubs, serving up cheap drinks and loud music. Lamai Beach, just 10 minutes to the south, is slightly smaller and quieter, but still has its fair share of resorts and restaurants.

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Mile-long Bophut Beach is another popular choice. Located on the island’s north shore, its shallow waters make it one of the best beaches in Koh Samui for families. While still bustling, it’s decidedly calmer than Chaweng Beach and Lamai Beach, and nearly all the hotels here are elegant and upmarket. Those seeking a slower pace and somewhere all together more tranquil should consider Mae Nam Beach or Choeng Mon Beach.

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Koh Samui waterfalls

Head into Koh Samui’s jungle-clad interior and you’ll find a hidden world of waterfalls. They may not be the tallest in Thailand, but they are some of the most picturesque. The most famous falls on the island are the Namuang Waterfalls. Just a short walk inland from Nathon Beach, their name translates to ‘Purple Waterfalls’ – so called because of the distinctive colour of the rock face that the water flows down.

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Although close by each other, there are considered to be two waterfalls here – Namuang Waterfall 1 and Namuang Waterfall 2 – as there are two separate streams, each flowing into their own natural pools. The pools are a great place to cool off in the heat – go for a dip or have some fun by jumping off the rocks. Other popular waterfalls on the island include Hin Lad Waterfall, Tartain Waterfall, and Tan Rua Waterfall – often referred to as Secret Falls. If you go on a Koh Samui holiday during the wet season, you’ll find the waterfalls are all the more impressive. The cascades will be stronger and the pools more full.

Show More
Show Less

Things to do in Koh Samui

While a lot of your time here will no doubt be spent on the beach, there are plenty of things to do in Koh Samui other than topping up your tan. Discover the interior of the island on a jungle trek, or head out to the spectacular Ang Thong National Marine Park. This pristine archipelago of 42 islands is home to limestone forests, white-sand beaches and hidden coves. Take some time to explore the islands on foot, or spend the day snorkelling, kayaking or diving. Other options for day trips include Koh Samui’s sister islands of Koh Tao and Koh Phangan, or Koh Faan where you’ll come face-to-face with the Big Buddha.

Show More
Show Less

One of the top things to do on a Koh Samui holiday if you’re an animal lover is to visit an elephant sanctuary. There are a number of ethical ones on the island – like Samui Elephant Haven and Samui Elephant Sanctuary – where you can rest assured that the animals are well-treated.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to visit Koh Samui

The island enjoys a tropical climate and stays warms virtually all year round, but January to March is the best time to visit Koh Samui. Daytime temperatures are around 26-28°C, with about seven-and-a-half hours of sunshine each day. Unlike the rest of the country, it’s unaffected by the southwest monsoon which brings wet weather between May and September. So if you’re thinking of going on a Thailand holiday at this time of year, Koh Samui’s one of your best bets. However, that’s not to say that Koh Samui stays dry for 12 months of the year. It has its own wet season, between September and November. And if you’re planning to spend Christmas abroad, be aware that accommodation prices peak at this time of year, and some beaches can be particularly crowded.

Show More
Show Less

Beaches

Best beaches in Koh Samui

Koh Samui holidays centre around one thing – the beach. And there are many picture-perfect stretches of sand to choose from. Chaweng Beach, on the east coast, is the island’s biggest and busiest beach. It’s a great place to see the sunrise, and also for people-watching. Lively Chaweng Beach Road is the epicentre of Koh Samui’s party scene. It’s lined with all manner of bars and nightclubs, serving up cheap drinks and loud music. Lamai Beach, just 10 minutes to the south, is slightly smaller and quieter, but still has its fair share of resorts and restaurants.

Show More
Show Less

Mile-long Bophut Beach is another popular choice. Located on the island’s north shore, its shallow waters make it one of the best beaches in Koh Samui for families. While still bustling, it’s decidedly calmer than Chaweng Beach and Lamai Beach, and nearly all the hotels here are elegant and upmarket. Those seeking a slower pace and somewhere all together more tranquil should consider Mae Nam Beach or Choeng Mon Beach.

Show More
Show Less

Waterfalls

Koh Samui waterfalls

Head into Koh Samui’s jungle-clad interior and you’ll find a hidden world of waterfalls. They may not be the tallest in Thailand, but they are some of the most picturesque. The most famous falls on the island are the Namuang Waterfalls. Just a short walk inland from Nathon Beach, their name translates to ‘Purple Waterfalls’ – so called because of the distinctive colour of the rock face that the water flows down.

Show More
Show Less

Although close by each other, there are considered to be two waterfalls here – Namuang Waterfall 1 and Namuang Waterfall 2 – as there are two separate streams, each flowing into their own natural pools. The pools are a great place to cool off in the heat – go for a dip or have some fun by jumping off the rocks. Other popular waterfalls on the island include Hin Lad Waterfall, Tartain Waterfall, and Tan Rua Waterfall – often referred to as Secret Falls. If you go on a Koh Samui holiday during the wet season, you’ll find the waterfalls are all the more impressive. The cascades will be stronger and the pools more full.

Show More
Show Less

Things to do

Things to do in Koh Samui

While a lot of your time here will no doubt be spent on the beach, there are plenty of things to do in Koh Samui other than topping up your tan. Discover the interior of the island on a jungle trek, or head out to the spectacular Ang Thong National Marine Park. This pristine archipelago of 42 islands is home to limestone forests, white-sand beaches and hidden coves. Take some time to explore the islands on foot, or spend the day snorkelling, kayaking or diving. Other options for day trips include Koh Samui’s sister islands of Koh Tao and Koh Phangan, or Koh Faan where you’ll come face-to-face with the Big Buddha.

Show More
Show Less

One of the top things to do on a Koh Samui holiday if you’re an animal lover is to visit an elephant sanctuary. There are a number of ethical ones on the island – like Samui Elephant Haven and Samui Elephant Sanctuary – where you can rest assured that the animals are well-treated.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go

Best time to visit Koh Samui

The island enjoys a tropical climate and stays warms virtually all year round, but January to March is the best time to visit Koh Samui. Daytime temperatures are around 26-28°C, with about seven-and-a-half hours of sunshine each day. Unlike the rest of the country, it’s unaffected by the southwest monsoon which brings wet weather between May and September. So if you’re thinking of going on a Thailand holiday at this time of year, Koh Samui’s one of your best bets. However, that’s not to say that Koh Samui stays dry for 12 months of the year. It has its own wet season, between September and November. And if you’re planning to spend Christmas abroad, be aware that accommodation prices peak at this time of year, and some beaches can be particularly crowded.

Show More
Show Less

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We recommend

Chaweng Beach

Get up early one morning and head to Chaweng Beach to watch the sunrise. Or, if you’d prefer to take it easy, spend a day sunbathing on this long stretch of sand.

We recommend

Namuang Waterfalls

These famous falls near Nathon Beach make for a great holiday photo – the water looks purple thanks to the unique rock face behind it.

We recommend

Ang Thong National Marine Park

Spend a day snorkelling, swimming and kayaking among 42 beautiful islands. You’ll find tucked-away beaches and plenty of tropical fish.

We recommend

Wat Phra Yai

Also known as the Big Buddha Temple, this gold, grand landmark is a must-visit. The 12-metre high statue is the most popular attraction in the whole of Koh Samui.

We recommend

Island hopping

Why not visit Koh Samui’s sister islands? Koh Tao has some of the best diving sites in the world, while Koh Phangan is filled with rich jungles.

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Whether you're looking for luxury or simplicity, we've got the perfect holiday for you.

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Travelbag is fully protected by ATOL and ABTA, so your booking is completely secure.

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