Attractions on Koh Samui

What to see and experience

Heading to Koh Samui? – get an overview of some of the island’s best attractions and experiences.

Attractions on Koh Samui

Grandma & Grandpa (Hin Ta & Hin Yai)

Grandma & Grandpa temple, in Thai called Hin Ta and Hin Yai, are some pretty fascinating rock formations located in southern Lamai.

The rocks have caused a lot of amusement and not least speculation when they were discovered many years ago by the locals.


The legend of the 2 rocks is as follows:

An elderly couple lived with their son in Nakhon Si Thammarat province. When the sons grew up, they thought it was time for him to get married.

The couple decided to sail to a nearby province to ask for the hand of the daughter of a man named Ta Monglai.

Along the way, their boat creaked in a storm. As the elderly man and his wife drowned in the sea, they turned into rocks as proof of their good intentions towards the future bride’s parents. 

The story can also be read on a sign by the rocks.

Big Buddha temple (Wat Phra Yai)

Big Buddha temple is located on a small rocky island off the northeast corner of Koh Samui. The 12-meter “gold” buddha statue was built in 1972 and is the island’s most popular attraction.


The Buddha can be seen from several kilometers away and is probably the first thing you see if you fly to Koh Samui.

In the area around the Buddha there are several small fine temples. In the courtyard with the colorful stairs up to the Buddha, everything from amulets & various religious items, to clothing and souvenirs are sold.

Travel Tip: Remember to bring a scarf or blouse with sleeves. It’s an insult if you walk around the area with bare arms. And you will be stopped by a monk.

Duration: You don’t have to spend a whole day, just an hour or two.

Na Muang Waterfalls

Der er flere vandfald på Koh Samui. Et af de flotteste er Na Muang vandfaldene som ligger ca. 10 km syd for Nathon.

Fra Na Muang parkens parkeringsplads skal du kun gå ca. 100 m før du kommer til det første af de 2 vandfald. Det ca. 18 meter høje vandfald.

There are several waterfalls on Koh Samui. One of the most beautiful is the Na Muang waterfalls, located approx. 10 km south of Nathon.

From the Na Muang park parking lot you only walk approx. 100 m before you reach the first of the 2 waterfalls. An approx. 18 meters high waterfall.


From here there are a further approx. 100 m to the next and largest waterfall of 80 m height. The trip to the largest waterfall can be a little challenging going uphill.

However, it’s definitely the challenges and the 30 min. worth.

Set aside at least half a day for this trip and remember swimwear. You can easily take the tour without guides. There are lots of signs showing the way.

The mummified monk

Experiencing The mummified monk on Koh Samui is simply a must.

The monk Loung Pordaeng died in 1973, in a sitting meditative position. Ever since – and in the same position – he has been exhibited in a glass display in the temple, Wat Khunaram.


What’s remarkable about the monk is that ever since he died, his body has shown no signs of major decay.

This has led to many speculations about the Buddhist and Thai culture.

A bit ironic, the monks have chosen to equip the deceased monk with a pair of RayBan sunglasses, making it all look even more mysterious and comical.

The temple is located 6 km west of Lamai. It’s free to enter the temple, but it’s very welcome to donate a few bahts. Remember scarf or blouse with sleeves.

“Ladyboys cabaret”

On Chaweng Beach Road you can experience a slightly different show, a Ladyboys kabare where nothing is spared.

The entertainment is fun and quite different from what you might just imagine a cabaret.

Thailand is very open and friendly-minded to other cultures and not least sexualities.


In these shows you can see and experience “Katoeyer”, which means the third sex. Close to what we in Europe call “drag queens” and as for generations, has played a major role in Thailand’s entertainment industry.

In Thailand you will find many “Kotoeyer” (ladyboys) who are often far more feminine in their appearance than girls / women would normally be.

It can be very difficult to spot whether a girl is a girl. There have been stories where it has came as a bit of a surprise that there was still some “man” left.

Get a different night on Koh Samui. All performances are interpretations of well-known songs performed in beautiful costumes filled with glitter.

Enjoy the nature

The last but best recommendation I will give you is an experience you must stand for yourself. Koh Samui has an amazing nature that you best experience on your own. Rent a scooter or car and just drive off.


Use your GPS on your mobile and just drive out there. You will be amazed at how beautiful the island is and how few tourists there are, outside the towns and the main roads.

You can probably get a map of the island at your hotel, but you experience a lot, just driving on your own, finding small “hidden” dirt roads.

Arrange your own tours

You can easily arrange trips to the various attractions yourself. Rent a scooter or car, or get on one of the small red “city buses” – also called songthaew.

Another option is to make an appointment with a local. We have been successful asking some beach sellers. It worked perfectly.

It’s always good to support the locals. They are often really good as guides (even though they may not speak English). They have access to places you wouldn’t find yourself and often they can get discounts for at local shopping centres.

In addition, they make a little extra money for themselves, and not for big companies, as it often is.

Booked tours

Sometimes it’s nice from home to have the trips in place. Other times you can sit on your terrace and book a tour for the next morning.

Would you like to book some scheduled trips then there are several options.

Wherever you stay, you can always ask for advice and options at the front desk of your hotel. And, everywhere there are small tour agents selling all kinds of tours.

From home or on the road you can book via Get Your Guide or Viator (affiliate links) – we haveseveral times used both of them on our travels and it has been really good trips.

Another option is Thailand Tours (affiliate links) – a small Danish agency located in Thailand. They also offer many great trips – and again, it’s always good to support the small agencies.

Do you have any input and suggestions for attractions on Koh Samui then feel free to leave a comment below.

When you see (affiliate links) in our articles, it means that if you book tours through our recommended links, we earn a small bit in commission – thank you for your support.