Tropical and laid-back, Koh Samui is an exciting destination where endless white sand beaches share the landscape with jungle-matted peaks and abundant groves of coconut trees. Visit striking Buddhist sites and enjoy exploring options, including elephant riding through the island’s rainforest, taking in sublime ocean views from the Lad Koh Viewpoint, also known as the Zenith Viewpoint and one of the easiest-to-reach stunning viewpoints, and splashing in the pools of Na Muang Waterfalls. Na Muang Waterfalls consists of two cascades found about 12 kilometres south-east of Nathon Bay. Reached by a walking path from the entrance to the park, Na Muang 1 flows down into a natural pool. The smaller Na Muang 2 is a 30-minute walk further uphill. Another popular and whimsical attraction on the island is Hin Ta and Hin Tai, or Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks, a pair of rocks whose shapes suggest male and female anatomy.
Chaweng Beach and Chaweng Road
Among the highlights of your holiday in Koh Samui are the island’s endless powder-sand beaches, including the 7-kilometre Chaweng Beach. The fine sands and warm waters of palm-fringed Chaweng Beach offer the perfect setting for lazy moments. As the final rays fade, Chaweng Road invites you to join in the vibrant nightlife. Chaweng Road has dining options galore, from seafood restaurants to eateries serving casual fare, and the island’s largest choice of bars and clubs.
Wat Plai Laem
Like the nearby Wat Phra Yay, Wat Plai Laem is a modern temple which has become popular for its giant white 18-arm image of Guanyn, the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion. This active and living temple is surrounded by a lake that is teeming with fish, adding to its tranquil ambience. Those who make a donation to the temple are given a bag of food to feed the fish.
The fisherman’s village of Bo Phut is a charming, laid-back place dotted with traditional Chinese shophouses. Perfect to spend a relaxed evening enjoying a choice of cuisines at intimate beachfront eateries and great cocktails at friendly bars, the Fisherman’s Village is also a prime shopping destination. Lively and fun, the Friday night market offers great cocktails on the go and tantalising street food.
Central Festival Samui
Absolutely modern, yet retaining a tropical feel, Central Festival Samui undeniably is the most complete shopping and lifestyle destination on the island, offering over 200 international and local designer brands. This themed destination is divided into four zones, Chaweng Port, Bird Cage, Fisherman Village, and Beach Town Market, and has a large entertainment area, spas and hair salons, a food court and a myriad of restaurants, and a supermarket. Located in the northern end of Chaweng, Central Festival Samui is less than 10 minutes away by road.