Ko Samui is truly an island getaway, laden with luxury 5 star resorts and beautiful sandy beaches. Making the most of this island needs some careful planning, knowing some Thai customs and really immersing yourself in the Thai culture.
- Na Muang waterfall 2
There are two Na Muang waterfalls and the first is pretty crowded and very touristy. Drive down 15 or so mins and you will come to Na Muang waterfall 2. It can be a bit of steep walk up but the views are incredible and imagine having all that waterfall to yourself if you come early. We were the only ones there and only saw one couple making their way back. A slice of tranquility and peace with so many tropical butterflies just flying around. I felt like I had travelled to a utopian untouched gem.
- Grab a scooter.
Taxi fares in Koh Samui can be extortionate for even a 5 minute ride to the next beach. Getting a 250-300 baht rental scooter will outweigh just 1 or 2 short taxi journeys! The best thing about this feeling the wind in your hair as you drive down and up the coastal road, take in the amazing coast views and turquoise waters and stop wherever you want to soak in the atmosphere. There are no parking charges and you can park virtually on the side of the road. Filling up is pretty simple and easy. We loved the freedom to move from one beach to the next, even the most secluded ones and park so close to the beach!
This narrow road leads straight to the beach. Imagine driving down, parking right near the sand.
- Beach hopping
Having a scooter really allowed us to explore nearly all of Koh Samui’s beaches. The best, by far were Maenam beach, Chaweng Noi , Choweng Mon and Bang Po.
Having a large stretch of unspoilt beach to yourself really makes you feel like you are on your island getaway.
- Songthaew (tuk tuk)
When we travelled from Chaweng, where we returned our rental scooter to coming back to the hotel, we opted for the Songthaew; the Thai local bus. These are a cheap, efficient way of going around the island if you don’t have access to a scooter. The Songthaews on Ko Samui travel the outer ring road clockwise and anti-clockwise. However, they don’t travel all the way so be sure you can still get to to your hotel. We had to then take a taxi from Nathon. Songthaew prices can really vary from as cheap as 30-40 baht to much higher. Some drivers will see tourists and bump up prices. It can be a really long journey too as it keeps stopping to pickup passengers.
5. Thai Massage
I’ve read so many experiences that authentic thai massages on the beach or in the massage shops are so much better than the resort massages. They cost around 300-350 baht as a starting price and are very relaxing, after those days hiking in jungles, seeing waterfalls or to stretch your muscles after laying on the beach all day. Be prepared, as you might feel sore afterwards, but you will feel so energised and refreshed a while later. These massages are great to also get when its pouring down and you are waiting for the downpour to stop so you can carry on your sightseeing/beach lazing/hiking.
6. Visit a local village
When coming to Ko Samui, its easy to forget that this haven is actually a home for so many Thai people who still live a very simple life around agriculture, fishing and farming. Seeing this first hand and hearing the sounds of cattle, chicken grazing amongst small hut like cafes, and everyone stopping what they are doing as they hear the call to prayer is a mesmerising experience.
7. The unbelievable sunsets
Try and see as many Ko Samui sunsets as you can. There is a reason why Ko Samui has a reputation for its sunsets. As you travel around the island, make sure you know sunset times and what parts of the island are the best to capture those pics. Usually, its to the West of the island, particularly Taling Ngam and Lipa Noi. Sip on a cocktail and enjoy the views…
Hope you enjoyed this post on tips and tricks to make the most of Ko Samui.
Let me know what you think in the comments below…