Explore Samui’s Sights and Wonders
With such an array of excursions to choose from, we have highlighted some recommended local attractions and activities to assist you in any holiday planning.
Big Buddha is one of Samui’s most famous landmarks. Sat proudly 15 meters tall with an impressive presence over Bang Rak and Plai Laem Bay. The stunning views of the surrounding islands and Samui beaches, combined with Big Buddha shimmering in golden glory, are all worth a look.
Wat Khun Aram and The Mummified Monk is home to the ex Abbot, Khru Samathakittikhun. A devotee to Buddhist monkhood, he was renowned for his meditation practice. It is believed that his meditation practice is an inherent reason for his body’s slow rate of decomposing. He is sat upright, in the meditative posture he passed away in, inside a glass casket at the temple, to be viewed by all.
Na Muang 2 is an impressive waterfall spread over 140 rai and is the gateway to the islands jungle interior. A sanctuary for many different types of animals the waterfall has a new superstar, ‘Kwan Samui,’ meaning gift from Samui, a gorgeous baby elephant, the first to be born on the island. The park also boasts guided elephant trekking through the jungle fringes to the cooling fresh water pool for that rewarding swim, a fun day out for all ages. Four slides have opened up the top of the waterfall and are not for the faint hearted. A small restaurant in the ‘drop off’ pool is ideally located should you wish to just observe the fun.
The Hin Tai & Hin Yai are 2 rock formations that have been given the Thai names of grandfather and grandmother rock. The local tale tells of the tragic loss of an old Samui couple that drowned at sea when caught in a storm whilst fishing. After the island learnt of their loss the phallic rock formations, that are 50 meters apart, were discovered on this stunning rocky coastline.
The Secret Magic Garden close to Ban Saket, was created and carved on one of Samui’s highest mountains by a local man, Nim Thongsuk. Living by the stream he began to recreate his spiritual dreams through his carving work, with artistic statues in this mountain stream sanctuary.
For those wishing to exercise, mountain bikes with excellent local beach and mountain bike trails are a fun pursuit to get that heart rate up in tropical surroundings.
Guests can also enjoy the ever-popular beach games of volleyball and badminton, ideally played at sunset.
This setting is also perfect to practice yoga. Complimentary mats are available should guests require. Alternatively, Villa Kalyana offers a comprehensive list of experienced yoga instructors who can come and teach at the villa.
For the very active ones, a personal trainer of Muay Thai (Thai boxing) instructor can be summoned for a private session within the garden or on the beach.
Santiburi Samui Country Club is an impressive 6,881-yard golf course stretching along the hills of Samui’s northern coastline, seamlessly integrating with the island’s natural habitat. This masterpiece of a golf course, designed by Piirapon Namatra and Edward Thiele, is widely regarded as one of the best conceived, and conditioned golf courses in Asia. The Par 72 course with spectacular elevation changes, ranging from 30 to 190 meters above sea level offers an aesthetic feast for the golf connoisseur and it’s no wonder the Bangkok Open is held here.
The Royal Samui Golf & Country Club, is making waves of its own with its breathtakingly designed course unfolding across a mountain top in Lamai, steeped in wrap around views for that unique golfing experience.
Bophut Hills Country Club, is a well thought out 9 hole, par 3 course, elegantly designed on the hillside in the jungle interior. This course is particularly suited to beginners and groups before choosing to move on to the larger courses on the island.
The Paradise Park Farm treats you to an interesting setting away from the sun-splashed beaches, high in the mountains in the middle of the island. Spread across twenty acres of fantastic landscape, the farm is home to birds, deer, parrots, gibbons, peacocks and iguanas, docile and interesting enough to capture kids curiosity and make for a safe playful experience. The farm has a small restaurant with and an infinity pool with unique views from the highest mountain in Samui. It’s a great family day out!
Canopy Adventure is the only one of its kind, with the newest twists and thrills through the jungle. Securely harnessed to zip lines, journeying through jungle treetops on a three hundred meter steel cable, what better way to take in the beauties of the tropical forest.
Ang Thong National Marine Park consists of forty small deserted tropical islands making up this stunning archipelago, which is only an hours speedboat ride from Samui. The snorkeling out at the Marine Park is simply gorgeous, with crystal clear waters; kaleidoscopic reefs and turtles just passing through. Mae Koh Island has the most spectacular viewpoint that you climb inland to, and as you ascend you take in the blue lagoon in the centre of the island, which is particularly breathtaking. As a protected Marine Park, exploring the caves by kayak or submerged in the sea snorkeling, it’s an incredible experience.
Koh Samui Go-Karting. Located in Bophut, the track is fairly impressive in size and has varied levels dependant on how challenging a circuit you would like. There are differing choices in carts, ranging from the gentle and smaller carts, for young kids, to larger lower and much faster carts, for the thrill seekers amongst us. It can be excellent fun for both adults and children alike.
ATV Quad Biking. Tour through Samui’s tropical rainforest interior and discover some of the beauty of jungle life with exciting bike trails. Tours operating from 20 minutes to 2 hours, have you enjoying Samui’s interior in quad biking style.
With Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao in such close proximity of each other, diving in the gulf of Thailand has never been so popular. Diving destinations from Sail Rock, the home of the Whale Shark, to the National Marine Park with its sloping coral reefs and an abundance of exotic and colourful marine life, to the important breeding ground of the Hawksbill and green turtles in Koh Tao. All this, with minimal currents, diving conditions couldn’t be more promising.
100 Degrees East is a great diving company with years of experience, located in Bang Rak. Competent experienced instructors with a dedicated team and their own luxury speedboat make this an ideal choice.
Splash & Fun
An island would not be complete without it’s fair share of water sports. Fortunately, most beaches on Samui offer varying types of water activities available to rent for differing amounts of time.
Water Edge Sports located not far from the villa in Lamai, specializes in providing the latest and coolest water sport equipment in Asia. As an exclusive Asia distributor for the unique Jetlev-Flyer, this amazing water-propelled jet pack is a thrill seeking adrenalin rush toy. Also boasting, the underwater scooter for that amazing ride of the deep, and Powerdive from Australia that lets you conveniently dive without tanks, the underwater entertainment has only just begun.
The sailing scene on Samui offers you the opportunity to castaway in endless bays and rocky coves. Many of which are only accessible by boat. Surrounded by white sandy shores and turquoise seas, making it one of the best places to charter a yacht, with mildly challenging sailing conditions by day and beautiful tranquil anchorages by night
Samui Ocean Sports. Sail around Samui archipelago and discover magical places on one of Samui Ocean Sports private sailboat charters or on a more action-packed sailing tour! Visit remote beaches and enjoy the warm tropical waters off your own private yacht.
Hip Horizon. Discover the Gulf of Thailand aboard this luxury Sports cruiser travelling in comfort, privacy and style. Customs made packages for up to 12 guests are available for your own private tour of neighbouring islands, with fun packed water sports and delicious refreshments.
Red Baron is an impressive sailing junk yacht with its spacious wooden decks, vast sun and massage lounge and open air dining area. Private charters are available for up to 40 people as you take a gentle sail through the azure waters of the Gulf of Siam.
Kamalaya is the world class award-winning Wellness Sanctuary and Holistic Spa located in Laem Set, at a stunning beachside location. With an extensive range of holistic medicine, spa and healing therapies, Kamalaya is the ultimate pampering treat. The Daily Holistic Schedule is the programme of events published on their site weekly and makes the spa an ideal pampering destination.
Tamarind Springs Spa is located amidst lush coconut groves gently sloping into a valley of huge granite boulders in Lamai. Massage treatments are conducted in open-air pavilions and guests can enjoy drifting between the herbal steam cave and cooling waters of rock plunge pools.
Nikki Beach, located close to the villa, is a beach club of global acclaim set along the shores of Lipa Noi beach, in the South of the island. Inter-mixed with Nikki's signature chic and sexy style, days can be spent sipping champagne on oversized day beds around the central pool with chilled tunes filing the air. The incredibly popular Sunday Brunch, is an all day exquisite buffet filled with culinary delights to tempt guests.
Beach Republic, in Lamai, marries a contemporary and hip Mediterranean beach club lifestyle with a twist of fun and sophistication for that cosmopolitan feel. The Ultimate Sunday Brunch Club™ is top rated by Fah Thai Magazine, as ‘Samui's best brunch just got better!’ The buffet is exquisitely prepared with delicacies like roast Wagyu beef, roast lamb, Sea Bass, Foi Gras station, Fine De Claire oysters, Maine Lobster and Alaskan King Crab. Just a few of the mouthwatering treats that can be enjoyed lounge style next to the pool and beach.
Shop till you drop….
There are infinite shopping bargains to be found on Samui, at almost every corner of the island.
The Capital of Samui is considered to be shopping central for locals, a real hub of activity. The two main roads are filled with shops and stalls selling silk goods, shoes, souvenirs and funky boutiques with the Samui Hot Club boasting 3 floors of summer clothing. Pricing for the bargainers amongst us are often cheapest in Nathon.
A smaller shopping district with the main section along the beach road, parading a selection of shops and restaurants. Most shops here open after lunch as the days heat lessens.
The best way to truly appreciate the many different shops and stalls Bophut has to offer is to park outside the Fisherman's Village and stroll up and down the main beachside street. Lined by old wooden Chinese shop-houses, interspaced with super styling shops, gorgeous bars and restaurants that match the tone, retaining a distinctly Thai feel with great bargains.
The Chaweng beach road is an Aladdin’s cave of shopping madness. Six kilometers of road adorned with long thread like bazaar shops selling beach ware, jewelry, sports shops, nik-naks, and unlimited copies, the entire length of the road. Working with the local demographic, shops open midday and stay open long into the night.
Walking Street Markets are held all over Samui on specific nights of the week. The bustling markets are lined with cheap and unusual eats and treats for all to indulge in and enjoy. It’s a great market filled with atmosphere and entertainment and should be experienced by all.
- Nathon: Sunday
- Maenam: Thursday
- Bophut: Friday * the busiest and best to date
- Chaweng: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
Not always the best combination on a tropical island, fortunately the sun is usually never far away. Checking yourself into a spa for a day of pampering is always a good way to tackle the wet weather. A few rounds of bowling at the Tesco Lotus alley and perhaps some cinema with a round of private karaoke, aided by a cocktail or few, not too bad an alternative to the day at the beach.