The best things to do in Koh Samui include varied and interesting highlights that range from splendid natural features to manmade attractions. Beyond the gorgeous beaches where you can spend a day out under the tropical sun, there are attractive waterfalls and much more to explore. Leaving the navigation to the experts with a half-day city tour around the island to Buddhist complexes, viewpoints, famous landmarks, and a short hike through mostly untouched jungle to the island's largest waterfall, there's nothing to stop you from having an amazing time!
Samui Island Half-Day City Tour
Leave navigation to the experts and visit Koh Samui’s signature attractions in six hours on this door-to-door guided tour. Traveling in a group with no more than 15 participants in the comfort of an air conditioned vehicle, see Samui's best-known landmark Big Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Yai), the colourful and interesting Buddhist temple Wat Plai Laem, Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks (Hin Ta and Hin Yai), Wat Khunaram home to Koh Samui's famous Mummified Monk, and Samui's largest Waterfall in Na Muang. Along the way, soak up island vistas from the Lad Koh View Point.
1. Big Buddha - Wat Phra Yai
The Big Buddha on the northern coast of Koh Samui is one of Thailand's famous shrines and probably Samui's best-known landmark. The 12-metre-tall golden Buddha statue can be seen from several kilometres away. The Buddha figure sits in the Mara posture, depicting a time during Buddha's journey to enlightenment where he successfully subdued temptations and dangers thrust at him. The pose is a symbol of steadfastness, purity and enlightenment.
Inside the surrounding temple are many different shrines and other smaller Buddhas. There's also a small market selling a wide range of lucky charms and other souvenirs, alongside numerous food stalls.
2. Wat Plai Laem
Wat Plai Laem is a colourful and interesting Buddhist temple near the Big Buddha in the north of Koh Samui. The temple features very ornate decor and art, an 18-armed image of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, and a large, white, Chinese Buddha set on a lake.
Wat Plai Laem is a living and active temple. It's where devotees come daily to pay homage to Guanyin and the Buddha, who is also depicted in a number of statues and murals around the temple. The art techniques used in its creation are centuries old and based on ancient beliefs. Adding to its feel of tranquillity, the temple is surrounded by a lake, which is teeming with fish. Visitors who make a donation to the temple are given a bag of food to feed the fish.
3. Chaweng Beach
Lat Ko Viewpoint one of the best and most straightforward places in Samui to get a great panoramic view of Chaweng Beach and the beautiful east coast of the island. Located right by the side of the Ring Road between Lamai and Chaweng, you can park your bike and walk along the paved path overlooking the coastline, going down to the coast.
The greyish beige of the boulders, the turquoise water, and the clear blue skies above Chaweng beach offer a really pleasant sight. The location of Lat Ko Viewpoint also allows you to catch the stunning sunrise here.
4. Hin Ta Hin Yai
The Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks are some fascinating rock formations at the southern end of Lamai Beach on Koh Samui. They've been a source of giggles and wonder on the island since they were discovered by the locals many years ago. Known as Grandpa (Ta) and Grandma (Yai ), the rocks look, respectively, like male and female genitalia.
A signboard near the rocks tells of the legend of an old couple by the name of Ta Kreng (Grandpa Kreng) and Yai Riem (Grandma Riem) who lived with their son in the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat. The views from the rocks and the area around them are spectacular, stretching across the sea to nearby islands
5. Wat Khunaram
Wat Khunaram, home to Koh Samui's mummified monk, is an unusual sight yet it offers a unique insight into Buddhist and Thai culture. The monk, Luong Pordaeng, died in 1973 in a seated meditative position, and ever since his body has been on display in an upright glass case at the temple. Remarkably, even after several decades, the monk's body shows little sign of decay.
For some visitors, having a dead man in full view might be a shocking sight. But for Thais, it's something to reflect upon and revere. Far from being frightened by death, most Buddhist Thais are highly accepting of the end of life as the natural order of things and they view death as an opportunity to be reborn into a better place, one step closer to nirvana.
6. Na Muang Waterfalls
The Na Muang Waterfalls are among Samui's most picturesque waterfalls, though it's technically 2 consecutive falls. Its name refers to the massive purple rocks at the waterfalls. Rocks and tree roots form a natural staircase that leads to the base of Na Muang 1. A large natural pool sits under the waterfall. A ten minute walk further up the mountain leads to Samui's most beautiful waterfall, Na Muang 2.
Pay a visit to the famous Big Buddha, experience a living and active temple at wat Plai Laem, soak up the vistas at Lad Koh Viewpoint, drop by Grandmother and Grandfather Rock formations, visit Wat Khunaram (the Temple of Samui's mummified monk) before heading to Koh Samui's largest waterfall. This 6 hour half-day tour is a great option for visitors who want to see the very best of the island.
Departure & Return
You will be provided with an exact pick-up time confirmation once your reservation is received. If you’re staying at private accommodation, please provide a contact number for the property you are staying at as soon as possible. Alternatively, allow the tour operator to speak to one of the staff members who work at the property. Please note that an address is insufficient to locate a property on Koh Samui.
An air-conditioned vehicle will drop you back to the hotel or accommodation you were collected from. All other participants of the tour will be dropped off along the way until the entire tour group has completely reached their accommodations.
This tour operates 7 days per week.
Price and booking is provided by Viator
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
Pay a visit to the the famous Big Buddha and Wat Plai Laem, drop by the Grandmother and Grandfather Rocks, visit the Khunaram Temple, Lad Koh Viewpoint and Koh Samui's largest waterfall with this sight-seeing packed half-day tour!