Mind • Body • Koh Samui

Ang Thong National Marine Park, Thailand

Sun-seeking tourists, world-class cuisines and top-of-the-line wellness retreats & spas. Koh Samui has it all!

Koh Samui has always been a hive of activity where visitors are always spoiled for choice. From snorkelling through the rich marine life to relaxing at the exquisite spas, all the way to elephant trekking and partying hard on the beaches – the list of things to do in Koh Samui seems endless. So, the next time you visit Thailand, head over to Koh Samui and add these things in your itinerary for the perfect holiday!

If you’re looking for sunny days with little to no rainfall, then late December to April are the perfect months to plan a trip to Koh Samui. March and April are great months to enjoy spotting whale sharks, and experience several unique water activities. There are water activities that are absolute favourites among tourists that visit the region. Koh Samui is the perfect place to indulged in these aquatic adventures that are guaranteed to pump your adrenaline to the max.

One of the first Thai islands to be discovered by foreign travellers, Koh Samui offers a great mix of luxury resorts and tranquil beaches, with an international airport and frequent ferry services

Koh Samui’s beaches are a diverse bunch to boot: roll up your beach towel and see what you can find. Make it Coco Tam’s in Fisherman’s village for cocktails and some serious relaxing, Chaweng Beach for sunrise and people-watching, lengthy Mae Nam Beach for peace, or hammock napping under a coconut tree before giving in to a west coast sunset across seas shimmering with bronze.

Snorkelling and Scuba Diving

Gliding through the warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand while witnessing the exotic marine & coral life, and riding the speedboats before diving in the clear waters offer a truly unique aquatic freedom. This makes snorkelling and scuba diving the best among Koh Samui’s activities. Snorkelling tours to Koh Tan, Koh Nang Yuan, Koh Phangan, and Angthong National Marine Park are offered from Koh Samui. Clear waters off the Chaweng beach and the Coral Cove are best suited for scuba diving.

Cruising Through Sea Kayaking

Kayaking is one of the best things to do in Koh Samui specially for couples, solo travellers, friends, and families. Among the most popular water sports in Koh Samui, kayaking offers a chance to leisurely explore the crystal clear waters while getting a glimpse at the surrounding islands, secluded beaches and overhanging coves. A number of Kayaking tours are always on offer in Koh Samui. But the kayaking tours to Angthong National Marine Park, Koh Mudsum, and Koh Tan are most popular.

Your Gateway to a Family Getaway

Treat your family to a dream vacation they deserve. Koh Samui is brimming with world-class seaside resorts and topnotch hotels but none captures the exotic flavour of Koh Samui much like Sheraton Samui Resort does. Bond with the whole family and let Sheraton Samui Resort offer you the chance to escape from the busy city life and feel the tropical summer breeze beside Chaweng Noi beach. The deep azure of the sky and the gentle lapping of warm waves on satin sands are ideal ingredients for the perfect family getaway.

Find yourself enamoured by the sea, and enjoy their special island hospitality as Sheraton Samui Resort offers families a special package for you to spend quality bonding time by the beach while enjoying a vacation full of lasting memories. Wake up to a delectable treat of daily buffet breakfast or get a complimentary upgrade to the next room category (not applicable for Junior Suites and Family Suites) where kids under 12 years old can stay for free with a complimentary roll-away bed. Your memorable stay comes with a round trip airport transfer and a late checkout until 2 pm.

If you’re travelling solo or with some friends, then Sheraton Samui Resort’s Island Escape Promotion is definitely a perfect fit. Book three nights or more and enjoy their special beachfront amenities with daily buffet breakfast at Coco Spice, round trip airport transfers, nightly set dinner, daily drink (beer, mojito cocktail or sodas/juice), special welcome amenities plus a one time 60 minute Thai Massage per person (Promo must be booked and paid in advance and is non-refundable).

If you’re looking for a fix of clear blue waters, vast ocean vistas as far as your eyes can see and natural virgin island living that Thailand is known, look no further than a lesser-known national park situated just off the busy party islands of Ko Pha Ngan (Koh Phangan) and Koh Samui – yes we’re talking about none other than Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park. It’s a lesser known national park but definitely packs a punch in terms of giving the maximum bang for your buck.

Ang Thong National Marine Park is definitely one of the must visit places when you’re in Koh Samui. Comprising of 42 islands, this protected archipelago is a heaven for exotic wild life and rich underwater corals, not to mention several breathtaking viewpoints that are scattered all across the area. 41 out of the 42 islands are uninhabited, which makes it an ideal place for travellers seeking quality tranquil beaches. Locals also believe that “Sea gipsies” are said to live on one of the islands posing as your typical local fishermen.

Even if you’ve spent time in other beautiful corners of Thailand, Ang Thong National Marine Park has that extra-special touch that a lot of the well-known beaches lack. It’s remote location makes it unique from all the other tourist-riddled beaches. Visitors can reach the area a few hours by boat ride from Koh Samui depending on the boat speed, though the islands’ visual composition tends to make it look even more removed. Expect to encounter mountains and limestone rock faces, as opposed to Koh Samui’s rich, orangered, earth landscape. The trip’s highlight is the Emerald Lake at Ang Thong which you’ll likely recognise immediately from a famous Hollywood movie. Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park is the real inspiration for Alex Garland’s novel and film The Beach and not Koh Phi Phi or Krabi like what most people think.

Of course, there will be other people at Ang Thong Marine Park, but the overall atmosphere of the area feels more exclusive compared to the more famous beaches that are completely overrun by tourists. To maximise your day schedule at Ang Thong, consider booking a more personalised charter that allows you to explore more parts of the island. Private charters are available from a number of tour agencies and other booking companies that also offer “more the merrier” mass outings. If you have the cash to burn, opt to rent the smaller, faster boats with more customisable itineraries. Yes, they do cost more but will definitely save you a lot of time.

Group bookings usually depart on a set schedule with designated times at every island stop, with a few hours set aside for a designated activity like snorkelling and diving. If you don’t mind touring with groups and can easily get along with strangers, then you’re assured of a great day throughout your trip. Otherwise, consider a private charter trip to Ang Thong which guaranteed to be amongst the best of Koh Samui’s experiences.

On arrival, you’ll probably visit the largest island, Koh Wua Ta Lap, though most boutique tour operators tend to avoid this busy spot and rather go for the more quieter stops. Wua Ta Lap operates as a sort of “Camp HQ”, with an adjacent museum and a small restaurant where you can have lunch while you prep for more activities ahead of the rest of your trip.

Land Adventures in Koh Samui

If you’re the action-packed type of tourist, why not go trekking or go-karting? Or simply have a nature walk and experience the beauty of the island and the surrounding lush greeneries of Koh Samui. There are plenty of options to cover the major tourist attractions in the island. Among these, motorcycle tours and jeep safaris are the most popular. The Offroad 4WD Jeep Safari takes you through both popular and lesser known areas of the island. From the beach side “Grandmother & Grandfather Rocks” to the mountaintop viewpoints, the jeep safari covers it all. It’s definitely one of the more interesting things to do in Koh Samui with your kids. You could also take day trips to explore more of the island.

Elephants, being a symbol of strength and royalty, is the national animal of Thailand. The island of Koh Samui has a vast area of lush tropical forests concentrated within its centre. A journey through the forest on an elephant takes you through the exotic flora & fauna of the island, passing by refreshing waterfalls and vegetations that are unique only to the forests of Koh Samui.

Secret Buddha Garden

If you have a thing for exploring the hidden gems of Thailand, then visiting Secret Buddha Garden would definitely satiate your soul! The Secret Buddha Garden is hidden away high in the hills of Koh Samui’s inner most jungles, offering majestic views and an unusual collection of ancient statues amid a lush jungle backdrop.

The gardens are a creation of an old Samui fruit farmer, Nim Thongsuk, who in 1976 began erecting several statues and temples around his family’s verdant land. The statues depict a number of animals, deities and humans mimicing various poses, including one of Khun Nim himself, in a relaxed position sitting on a rock. Khun Nim continued to work developing his garden until his passing at the age of 91. The garden surroundings are generally cool and peaceful, with a waterfall and stream flowing through, all covered by thick jungle foliage. The Secret Buddha Gardens are found deep inside Koh Samui’s area to the north-west of Lamai Beach. With the steep and bumpy road, getting up to where the garden is situated can be quite a challenge and is best reached via light vehicles. Many visitors choose to come here on a day trip that includes a tour of the gardens.

Action-packed Crocodile Show

If you’re a wildlife enthusiast or if you have a kid who loves the thrill that the world of reptiles bring, then check out the Koh Samui’s Crocodile Farm – one of the most intriguing places to visit in Koh Samui. The farm has the majority of all the famous species of crocodiles and alligators – from saltwater crocodiles to Siamese ones, along with a wide array of snakes, lizards, monkeys, and even caimans. The shows are held three times a day and are a tourist hot spot. Get up close to these dangerous beasts and enjoy the riveting show that’s full of danger and excitement.

Attending a crocodile show is perhaps among the unique things that you can experience, not only in Koh Samui but anywhere else. Apart from Siamese crocodiles, the farm is also home to caimans, snakes, lizards, monkeys, and other reptiles and wild life that populate the region. Watch with excitement as performers put their hands and face right into the open mouth of the crocodiles or play with the fangs of the snakes. Definitely not for the faint-hearted. Shows open from 10 am til 6 pm with the crocodile shows at 1 pm onwards.

Thai Food and Cooking Class

Deftly paired with the island’s seductive sands, dining is Koh Samui’s other top indulgence. From the simplest of Thai dishes to scorching regional curries and plates hopping with flavour on seaside tables, you’re spoiled for choice. Don’t overlook more anonymous places, the best meals can await in faceless roadside shacks where locals saunter in. The island is stuffed with kôw gang (rice and curry) shops, often a flimsy wooden shack serving southern Thai-style curries. Follow locals to the food markets for more pointers, but if you need atmosphere, it’s hard to miss: romantic, sunset-flecked dinners can be the holiday moment.

Want to impress the people back home by bringing them something special from your Koh Samui trip? We’re not talking about a fantastic tan or a cheap T-shirts or the usual knickknacks and souvenirs; how about showcasing your own Thai culinary skills when you get back home? It’s really worth checking out the many well-priced cooking classes on offer at Koh Samui. You’ll be happy to learn that Thai cooking is not only fun but that Thai food in general is also easy to prepare and takes very little time to execute.

When you are on a long vacation on the island and are looking for things to do in Koh Samui that are perfect for couples, then you should join a Thai cooking class. Even science has proven that cooking together increases love and coordination among couples. So, why not take a chance? You’ll also get to learn a new cuisine. If you are a foodie, then joining a cooking class is a must. Now that you have learned to enjoy Thai cuisine during your stay, why not try to bring the flavour through your cooking skills? The list of dishes on offer varies. They include the classic Thai dishes like tom yam, Somtam (green papaya salad), phad thai, clear soup, stir fries, curries, spring rolls, coconut-based dishes and spicy salads and many more. Many schools have a regular program that runs on a daily basis. Class times last from approximately 90 minutes to three hours. They’re open for everyone regardless of your cooking experience and background. Most venues can arrange intensive cooking classes that last several days or even a week. It’s a perfect choice for those who are interested in Thai cooking. Try Koh Samui’s Institute of Thai Culinary Arts.

Spa Rejuvenation Like No Other

After all the exhilarating activities, the idea of rest and relaxation becomes top priority among tired tourists. Unwind and rejuvenate by taking the many spa treatments available across most of the hotels on the island. Choose from foot to full-body massage packages. There are stand alone spas all over the island if you happen to be far from the nearest hotel.

Add some full-on pampering to the leisurely mix. People come to Koh Samui to see other people looking relaxed and refreshed and to get that relaxed vibe as well, with a pinch of mindfulness thrown in for massaging the soul. Cleansing fasts, yoga, tai-chi, herbal steam treatments and chakra-balancing restore equilibrium to out-of-kilter systems, with flexible arrangements for those who pitch up with the best of intentions, but remember they’re on holiday. And for those who just want to ease away the aches and pains of lying on the beach, Koh Samui’s numerous world-class spas can ease them to the next level of serenity and rejuvenation.

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