10 Things you didn’t know about Koh Samui in Thailand.
1. Koh Samui is considered one of the best islands in Thailand, Asia, and anywhere in the world!
Maybe you’ve heard of Koh Samui, one of the nicest tropical island destinations in Thailand. But did you also know that Koh Samui is one of the largest islands in Thailand, spanning 228-square kilometers off the Eastern coast of that country? And with some of the nicest whte sand beaches you’ll find anywhere, like Chaweng Beach, Lamai Beach, Bophut, Maenam , Ban Tai Beach, and plenty of others, Koh Samui is considered one of the best island destinations in the entire world!
2. You might catch a glimpse of Buddha!
That is, a statue of course. In fact, Koh Samui has several revered Buddha sculptures including the enormous laughing Buddha at Wat Plai Laem, and the Big Buddha, a 15-meter high Buddha on the northeastern tip of the island at Wat Phra Yai. Seated and covered in gold, the Big Buddha, first built in 1972, is a prominent landmark that visitors spot as they fly into the island’s airport. (Of course visitors are always expected to respect places of worship in Thailand and conduct themselves and dress accordingly.)
Thai food is world-renowned as some of the finest cuisine anywhere on the globe, and now you can learn to cook local recipes, not just eat it. The Samui Institute of Thai Culinary Arts (SITCA) offers cooking classes for chefs and amateurs of all levels, taught in modern, air conditioned facilities, and Ying’s Thai Cooking Home and Smiley Cook offer more authentic cooking experiences.
4. Samui has the most charming airport you’ll ever see.
Flying into the diminutive Koh Samui airport is a pleasant experience unto itself. Privately owned by Bangkok Airways (and only a 45-minute hop from the capital city), many people consider the tiny Koh Samui airport one of the nicest and most charming in the whole world, known for its pristine gardens and open-air tram. Arriving visitors get a free Thai SIM card and departing tourists can visit the airport’s outdoor mall or snack on some complimentary beverages and food. They even have aquariums built into the walls in the bathrooms!
We love Muay Thai! But you don’t have to go to Bangkok or the too-crowded Phuket to see a great Thai boxing fight. Chaweng boxing stadium is the biggest stadium on Koh Samui and plays host to all the major fights on the island, but there are plenty of smaller stadiums and open-air ring matches on Saturday nights. Or if you prefer to train and compete like a real Thai fighter, you can take advantage of the island’s Thai training camps, like Saman Muay Thai and many others.
6. Koh Samui has its own rum distillery and craft beer brewery.
Magic Alambic Rum Distillery, Thailand’s only rum distillery, was started in 2003 by a couple who wanted to take advantage of the island’s abundant sugar cane. Twelve years later, the distillery still produces flavored rums that are popular with tourists and locals, alike. But if beer is more of your thing then visit the Bees Knees craft brewery, with its wheat, pilsner, English-style, and porter beers that please the pallets of visitors.
7. The natural beauty of Koh Samui doesn’t end with the beaches.
White sand beaches are just start of the natural beauty of Koh Samui. Visitors can also check out the amazing Na Muang Waterfalls, the Secret Buddha Garden, lush jungle hiking trails, local fauna, and unspoiled remote villages, all bidding you welcome.
These regal and extremely gentle (thankfully!) sharks are most commonly spotted from March though October. Known as the biggest fish in the world (whales are mammals), they are harmless to humans and a marvel for divers and snorkelers who can get up close and personal. But if you don’t dive, there are also boating trips and whale shark sighting expeditions to help you catch a glimpse of these exotic and rare marine creatures.
9. Koh Samui is a great starting point for island hopping.
You probably won’t want to leave Koh Samui, but the good news is that you can take a ferry or take a boat trip to plenty of nearby beautiful islands like Koh Tao, with the best scuba diving in Thailand and only two hours away, Koh Phangan, the island famous for its full moon parties, and the island paradise of Koh Nang Yuan.
Looking for some serious relaxation? Be sure to visit Beach Republic, the world-class luxury resort that also offers food, drink, and entertainment specials nightly. Veteran Koh Samui visitors, island newcomers, and locals all rave about Beach Republic’s Soulful Saturdays and daily Sunset Chill out Sessions with the best drink specials and live DJs in Thailand, as well as the famous Beach Republic brunch on Sundays – an island institution that’s not to be missed!