9+ Unusual Things to Do in Koh Samui

Unveil Koh Samui's artistic soul as you scout local galleries; each piece tells a story, but one holds a secret...
Date Published
March 8, 2024

Table of Contents

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So you think you've seen all the beauty the world has to offer? Hold your coconuts, because Koh Samui's going to make you think again. This gem of an island is like that secret ingredient in your grandma's recipe—oh, so special and bursting with flavors you can't find just anywhere. Lush jungles, mystical temples, and a street art scene that'll knock your flip-flops off—Samui's not your average tropical retreat. It's a canvas of cultural charm, with a rhythm of life so enchanting, even the waves dance along.

Brush up against the vibrant hues of Koh Samui's art galleries, float on the calm, turquoise wonderland that is Thongtakian Bay, or paddle the jade waters surrounding the majestic Angthong Marine Park. Feeling adventurous? Chase the whispers of local lore to track down hidden masterpieces in the Samui street art scene or meander through the mystic trails leading to the Secret Buddha Garden. Eager for a taste of island life? Sip on local legends at the Samui Rum Distillery, or turn fruits into sculptures at a carving workshop. And if you're craving authenticity, throw some punches at a traditional Thai boxing camp or simply kick back on the silken sands of Silver Beach. Every nook


Scout Local Art at Samui Galleries

Imagine strolling through a serene gallery, with the vibrant colors and unique perspectives of Koh Samui's local artists absolutely demanding your attention at every turn. That's exactly what you'll experience at the island's art galleries. You're not just looking at art—you're getting a taste of local culture and creativity that's as refreshing as a cool breeze during a fiery Thai summer day.

Now, you're probably wondering which Koh Samui art galleries to hit up, right? Let me tell you, there's no shortage of spots where you can feast your eyes on stunning artworks. Start your artsy adventure at the heart of it all. Whether you're an early bird catching the morning light or a night owl soaking in the vibrant evening ambiance, there's a gallery with open doors for you.

Head over to places like the Samui Art Gallery or La Luna Gallery, where you'll find contemporary pieces that showcase the brilliant talent of local artists. Think about it—this isn't just art you're observing; you're peering into the soul of the island, one brushstroke at a time. It's intimate, it's inspiring, and trust me, whether you're flying solo or dragging the fam along for the ride, you're all going to find something that speaks to you.

Sneak a peek at the rich tradition and modern flair that blend so effortlessly here. And who knows, you might just find the perfect piece to take home, sparking joy and jealousy alike in your friends who missed out on this hidden gem of Koh Samui.

Set aside an hour or two for this escapade. It's not just a visit; it's an indulgence in a sensory banquet that'll stay with you long after you've left. Vibes? Sophisticated yet accessible. And that's what makes this island's gallery scene a treasure trove for art lovers and culture hounds alike. So pull out those walking shoes and prepare to be dazzled—because Koh Samui's art galleries are waiting to surprise you with every masterpiece.


Relax at Thongtakian Bay

Imagine a tranquil hideaway where the water's so clear, you can see the fish darting below your feet as you wade in. This is your reality at Thongtakian Bay, locally known as Silver Beach. It's a sliver of tropical paradise that offers the ideal setting for some relaxing snorkeling. You're floating on the gentle waves, the sun's warmth on your back, face down watching a whole other world teeming with life beneath you. Stop imagining, because you need to see this place for yourself.

What's unique about Thongtakian Bay isn't just the vibrant marine life: it's the feeling of discovery it imparts, as it's somewhat hidden away from the more bustling beaches of Koh Samui. This spot is a treasure for both locals and savvy tourists who want a quieter place to soak up the sun or explore underwater wonders without a crowd.

You might be asking, "How long should you spend here?" Well, that's like asking how long you should spend in a comfy hammock – the answer’s obvious, right? As much time as you can! The bay's secluded nature means it's perfect for a half-day or full-day excursion, where you can snorkel, sunbathe, or simply get lost in the pages of your favorite book on the serene shore.

Who's it great for? Everyone really, but especially couples looking for a romantic retreat or solo travelers seeking a peaceful corner to reflect in. Families with kids will also love the shallow, calm waters. While there isn’t a wild adrenaline rush here, there is the thrill of finding a slice of solitude on an island that can sometimes feel a little too well-trafficked.

Remember to pack some snacks, a good drink, and maybe that book because once you're nestled in the soft sands of Thongtakian Bay, leaving will be the last thing on your mind. This isn’t just a place to see – it’s a place to be.


Explore Angthong by Kayaking

Imagine paddling through the crystalline waters of Angthong National Marine Park, the golden sun spilling over towering limestone cliffs, and secret lagoons begging to be discovered. Yes, you've just pictured kayaking around Koh Samui, and it's as magical as it sounds!

Kayaking is the ultimate way to get up close and personal with the park's stunning archipelago of 42 islands. Each stroke of your paddle brings you closer to the remote beaches, hidden coves, and exotic marine life that make Angthong a kayaker's dream.

Here's what makes kayaking here an unusual, yet unforgettable adventure:


  • Paddle at Your Own Pace: Whether you're a pro kayaker or a first-timer, the calm waters of the park are welcoming to all. Go slow and soak in the serenity, or challenge yourself to reach unseen corners of the islands.
  • Eye Candy Guaranteed: The vistas here are insta-worthy, my friends. The emerald-green sea contrasts with the sheer cliffs and untouched beaches. It's a live action painting you get to be a part of!
  • Wildlife Wonders: You're not alone here. Dolphins might race you, and the occasional reef shark may give a curious glance. Above, sea eagles swirl in the open sky.


And don't worry, you don't need to bring a kayak on your flight here! You can easily join an ang thong marine park excursion which often includes kayaking in their itineraries along with other activities such as snorkeling and sightseeing.

Depending on your energy level, you might want to dedicate anywhere from half a day to a full day for this adventure. There's so much to see, after all. Kayaking around Koh Samui is not just an activity; it's the secret key to unlock the mysterious beauty of Angthong.

Perfect for solo explorers looking for reflection, couples seeking a romantic escapade, or families ready for an adventure - kayaking in Angthong is for you if you're itching to add a splash of the extraordinary to your Koh Samui story. Just remember to slap on the sunscreen and let the rhythm of the sea guide your journey. Happy paddling! 🚣‍♀️✨


Track Down Samui's Street Art

Did you just stumble upon a spectacular mural that stopped you in your tracks? Yep, you're smack-dab in the middle of the samui street art scene that's been exploding with color and creativity. Picture it: bold, intricate pieces sprawling across old buildings or tucked away in alleys, each telling its own vibrant story. The best part? This open-air gallery is free to explore, and you'll feel like you've cracked a secret code with each new discovery.

Now, you're probably wondering, "How do I find the best street art in Samui?" Easy peasy! Just poke around the corners of the Fisherman’s Village or the artsy recesses of Chaweng and boom—a feast for your eyes. These hotspots are buzzing with jaw-dropping pieces crafted by both local and international artists.

Not only does this urban treasure hunt give you Instagram gold, but it’ll also zigzag you through some of the island’s coolest neighborhoods. You'll bump into quaint coffee shops, funky boutiques, and local bites that call for a pit stop. The cherry on top? Each piece of wall wizardry captures a bit of Samui's soul, giving you a taste of island life beyond the beaches.

Spend an afternoon immersed in the kaleidoscope of the streets. Remember, art has no curfew, so take your time marveling—there’s no rush. The Samui street art scene is a magnet for the curious, perfect for solo art aficionados, packs of pals, or even folks with kiddos in tow.

Heads up, art hunter! This is not just sightseeing; it’s a bona fide cultural safari. And remember, keep those peepers peeled; you never know when a new masterpiece will pop up overnight, making your next stroll an all-new adventure. So lace up those sneakers and elevate your tropical vacay with a splash of Samui's finest urban artistry.


Wander the Secret Buddha Garden

Have you ever walked right into a postcard? That's the Secret Buddha Garden for you. Tucked away in the hills of Koh Samui, this place is like stumbling onto a treasure trove that the island hid on purpose. But we found it, guys – and oh boy, is it a gem!

The story goes that a local farmer started placing statues here in 1976, and since then, it's become this enchanting mix of art and nature. Jungle vibes, with a side of serenity, sound like your thing? Then let's get trekking. Aim to spend 1-2 hours here to soak it all in, it's the sweet spot for full immersion without overdoing it.

The garden is full of twists and turns, and each one brings a new Buddha statue or piece of art that'll make you go, "Wow, would you look at that!" It's the ultimate hideout for solo adventurers or those sweet, soul-searching wanderers. It's also pretty peaceful, so if you're tagging along with the fam or your partner, there won't be any "Are we there yet?"

What's the crowd vibe? Picture this: nature lovers with cameras at the ready, and folks looking to connect with something a little mystical. It's not your average thrill-seeker adrenaline pump, but it's got a charm that'll make your heart race with wonder. And once you're done exploring this hidden world, the rest of Koh Samui is just a stone's throw away. So, you can dive right back into whatever's next on your island checklist.

So what do you say? Ready to add a dash of adventure to your Insta stories and make your friends a tiny bit jealous? Trust me, Secret Buddha Garden is an off-the-beaten-path must-do, and it's the kind of place that stays with you. Now, get out there and discover the whispers of the island waiting for you in this magical spot.


Swing by the Samui Rum Distillery

Picture this: You're strolling through the lush greenery of Koh Samui when the sweet scent of sugarcane wafts by. Follow that tantalizing aroma and you'll find yourself at the Samui Rum Distillery, a place where magic happens and sugar transforms into liquid gold - rum, that's right!

This isn't your average rum factory. At the Samui Rum Distillery, they take a homegrown approach to craft a variety of flavored rums that'll dance on your palate. Think tropical—lemon, orange, coconut—these flavors marry the spirit of Koh Samui in every bottle. And here's the cool part: you can witness the whole fascinating process from cane to bottle.

So, how long should you hang out here? Give it a couple of hours; there's no rush. The tours are short and sweet, but after, you get to play the most important role: the taster. Take your time savoring the spirit, and who knows, maybe you'll fancy a cocktail made from the freshest ingredients available right there.

This spot is perfect for anyone with a curiosity for craft spirits or just looking for a laid-back afternoon. Singles, couples, friends, onlookers – everyone is welcomed with open arms and a shot glass. Even if you're not a drinker, the charm of this place is intoxicating enough.

Oh, and before you swing out, make sure to grab a bottle from the gift shop to bring a piece of the island home with you. This is more than just a souvenir; it's a tale of your travels, a reminder of that sweet, sweet Koh Samui sun melting into a sea as blue as the summer sky.

Bottoms up and savor the island vibe at the Samui Rum Distillery, where every sip is like a sunset over the ocean – unforgettable and endlessly beautiful. Cheers to making memories!


Engage in a Fruit Carving Workshop

Imagine transforming a simple watermelon into a blossoming flower or carving a delicate rose from a humble carrot. You can turn this imagination into reality by getting your hands into a fruit carving workshop in Samui. These workshops are a delightful dive into Thai tradition, and you don't need to be a pro chef to join in the fun!

Fruit carving in Thailand isn't just about slicing and dicing; it's an art form with deep cultural roots. Originating in the 14th century, it was an aristocratic pursuit that has now become a treasured craft for all to enjoy. And what better way to immerse yourself in the local culture than by learning this exquisite skill?

At a fruit carving workshop, which typically lasts a couple of hours, you'll:


  • Get an introduction to the history and significance of fruit carving in Thai culture.
  • Learn the basic techniques from skilled local artisans.
  • Work with tools that will turn fruits into intricate sculptures.


By the end of the workshop, irrespective of if you're a solo traveler seeking a unique skill, a couple looking for a quirky date activity, or a family wanting to engage kids in something hands-on, you'll have your own edible masterpiece to admire (briefly) and then enjoy. It's not just a skill; it's a unique souvenir from your travels, an experience you can take home and share with friends and family.

So, roll up your sleeves and let your creative juices flow, quite literally, at these lively fruit carving workshops!

Pro tip: Don't rush through your creation. Take your time to enjoy the process, it's a form of meditation. Plus, it's a great way to spend a rainy afternoon on the island, or to escape the midday tropical heat. Ready to wield a knife in a way you never expected? Check out the fruit carving workshops in Samui, and who knows—this might just be the beginning of a newfound hobby!


Learn at a Thai Boxing Camp

You know what's cooler than watching a Thai boxing match? Getting in the ring yourself! And when in Koh Samui, you've gotta seize the opportunity to learn the ropes at a thai boxing training camp. It's not just about throwing punches and kicks; it's about embracing a slice of Thai culture that’s as authentic as it gets.

Now, imagine you're lacing up your gloves, the warm breeze tickles your skin, and that heady mix of excitement and nerves churns in your belly. You're about to learn Muay Thai, the national sport and cultural martial art of Thailand, in its homeland! These training camps cater both to beginners and seasoned fighters, so don't sweat about your skill level.

Want to know what's in store for you? This is not your typical vacation activity. These camps are rigorous—think punching, conditioning, and mastering those lightning-quick kicks. But you're not in this alone; seasoned trainers will guide your every jab and hook. It's more than just a workout; it's about discipline, technique, and the spirit of Muay Thai.

Only have a few days? Not a problem. Most camps offer programs that range from a single day to several weeks. Not only will you get fit, but you'll also gain stories far beyond your standard tourist fare. Plus, they say sweating together is an instant bond—so expect to make lifelong buddies here.

Suitable for all ages, it's a hit with the solo adventurers, families, and let's say it - even those who fancy themselves a bit of a ninja. And after you've worked up a sweat, nothing beats reliving your training tales over a delicious Thai meal with your fellow warriors.

So, wrap your wrists, ready your fists, and dive into a thrilling world where every punch bags a bucket-load of memories. Don't leave Koh Samui without having lived the true Muay Thai experience!


Unwind at Silver Beach

Imagine the soft, white sand between your toes, the calm turquoise waves lapping at the shore, and the sun gently warming your skin. You're at Silver Beach—and trust me, it's relaxation goals. This little slice of serenity is where you can just kick back, let the soothing sounds of the sea wash over you, and forget about your to-do list.

Silver Beach, also known as Thongtakian Bay, is your secret hideaway made for unwinding. Here's why this place is a chill-seekers' jackpot:


  • Snuggled between two headlands: The beach is guarded from big crowds, making it your own quiet spot for peace and quiet.
  • Shallow crystal-clear waters: Perfect for a gentle swim or snorkeling to spot the vibrant sea life—especially inviting for beginners.
  • Lined with cozy eateries: You can grab some fresh seafood or a cool drink without wandering far.


On Silver Beach, time slows down. Couples love the romantic vibes, and families find it's safe for the little ones to frolic in the shallows. Solo adventurers? Bring a book, or just gaze out over the sea—the view's a stunner.

You won't need more than a few hours to soak it all in, but don't be surprised if you linger longer. Those nearby massage huts might just tempt you to stay till the sun dips below the horizon.

And the best part? It's all wrapped up in the warm embrace of Koh Samui's easy-going atmosphere. You're not just sitting on a beach; you're melting into a blissful Thai experience that rejuvenates the soul. You'll leave feeling more Zen than a yoga retreat, trust me on this one.

Take my advice: slip off those flip-flops, find that perfect spot in the shade of a palm tree, and just... breathe. Welcome to your pause button in paradise.


Attend a Samui Cultural Performance

Feel the rhythm, embrace the grace, and get ready to be dazzled by the vibrant spectacle of a Samui cultural performance. Oh, you're in for a treat! Imagine the air buzzing with traditional Thai music as dancers in shimmering costumes glide effortlessly before your eyes, telling ancient tales through their movements.

Forget your typical Friday night; this experience is a slam dunk for anyone looking to dive headfirst into Thai culture. Performances typically last around an hour or two, so you can still plan for an evening stroll along the beach afterward. And it's perfect for everyone – romantic for couples, enriching for solo travelers, and totally eye-opening for the kiddos.

Aside from the enchanting dance, you may also witness heart-pounding martial arts demonstrations or even a local play. You'll leave not only entertained but with a deeper appreciation for Thailand's rich cultural tapestry. Make sure you check out the schedules in advance – these performances are gems but can be as elusive as a moonlit beach if you don't plan ahead.

And here's a pro tip: if you want to really soar into the cultural stratosphere, ask about classes or workshops! Some venues offer the chance to learn a few traditional dance moves yourself. Who knows? You might just find your next great party trick—or at the very least, a priceless memory to take home with you from Koh Samui.


Discover Nathon Town's History


Picture this: You're strolling through the quaint streets of Nathon Town, where every corner whispers tales from a bygone era. This is not your usual beach day; it's a trip back in time. The best part? It's perfect for history buffs or anyone looking to spice up their island experience with a dash of the past.

Nathon Town's storied past is nestled within its serene waterfront and old Chinese shop houses. This historic walk is a must for anyone with a heart for culture and a curiosity for Koh Samui's roots. When you're done with snorkeling in Thongtakian Bay, wander over to Nathon for an afternoon. Trust me, the contrast is like flipping the pages of a living history book!

Here's what makes Nathon Town so darn special:


  • It's a refreshing change of pace from Koh Samui's party scene.
  • You can dive into Samui's history without the crowds you'd find at more popular attractions.
  • The walk is doable in 1-2 hours, perfect for a leisurely afternoon.


The historic walk through Nathon Town isn't just easy on your schedule; it's a cultural treasure trove. You'll want to take it slow and soak up the serenity of the old-world architecture. Bring your camera; the vintage vibes are Instagram gold!

Nathon Town is a slice of heaven for those who appreciate the quieter things in life. It's suited for solo explorers, couples, and families with older kids who can appreciate a good story. It might not be the adrenaline kick of kayaking around Koh Samui, but it's an enriching experience all the same.

Once you've had your fill of history, there's a friendly local cafe nearby where you can muse over your discoveries. Spend about an hour or two here, then catch a glorious sunset by the pier. And when the day is done, you'll leave with the satisfaction that you've touched the true spirit of Koh Samui.


Volunteer for a Beach Clean-Up


Ever imagined you could be a hero in flip-flops? Welcome to Koh Samui's beach clean-up squad! When it comes to unusual things to do, joining forces with a volunteer group to give back to Mother Nature is both rewarding and invigorating. It's not just picking up trash; it's an act of love for our planet and a brilliant way to meet like-minded travelers and locals.

Getting your hands dirty might not sound like your typical vacation activity, but here's the twist: as you scoop up litter from the powdery sands, you'll feel an unmatched sense of accomplishment. You're making a direct impact on the environment, and that feels fantastic!

So, what can you expect from a beach cleaning event in Koh Samui? These events often run for just a few hours, so they're easy to slot into your sun-soaked itinerary. They are perfect for anyone, from solo backpackers to families with kids, wanting an eco-friendly way to connect with the community.

While you're there mingling with fellow eco-warriors, you'll find that the camaraderie is as refreshing as the ocean breeze. These clean-ups usually focus on popular beaches, which means you'll not only leave the place better than you found it, but you'll also have time to enjoy the blue waters and stunning views once the work is done.

Whether you're a party of one or rolling with your crew, volunteering for a beach clean-up is a unique way to make your mark on Koh Samui. Plus, it's a fantastic workout – bending, walking, lifting – who needs a gym when you've got a beach and a cause?

Ready to trade a morning of leisure for a dash of altruism and adventure? Find out more about local volunteer opportunities and let the feel-good vibes roll in as you do your part for paradise.



Q: Things to do in Koh Samui for couples?

A: Chill on the quiet Lamai Beach, adventure with a jungle safari, or pamper yourselves at a luxury spa.

Q: Free things to do in Koh Samui?

A: Explore crystal-clear waterfalls like Na Muang, check out Big Buddha, or relax on beautiful Maenam Beach.

Q: Things to do in Koh Samui at night?

A: Hit the night markets at Chaweng for tasty street food, visit a beach club, or enjoy fire shows on the beach.

Q: Pig Island Koh Samui?

A: Set sail for a day trip to Pig Island to see the swimming pigs or snorkel in the serene surrounding waters.

Q: Things to do in Koh Samui when it rains?

A: Visit the Samui Aquarium, indulge in a cooking class, or explore the island's temples and cultural sites.

Q: Things to do in Koh Samui Reddit?

A: Redditors suggest island hopping to Ang Thong Marine Park, trying delicious street food, and enjoying the nightlife at Chaweng.

Q: Is there a lot to do in Koh Samui?

A: Absolutely, Koh Samui offers a ton of activities from beach hopping and snorkeling to temple tours and nightlife exploration.

Q: How many days are enough for Koh Samui?

A: You'll want at least 3 to 5 days to soak in the beaches, culture, and adventures that Koh Samui has to offer.

Q: What is Koh Samui best for?

A: Koh Samui is best known for its stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and lush tropical landscapes.

Q: What is Ko Samui Thailand known for?

A: Ko Samui in Thailand is famous for its gorgeous palm-fringed beaches, coconut groves, and dense, mountainous rainforest.


Final Words

Okay, you've just had a whirlwind tour of Koh Samui's vibrant local art, relaxed at Thongtakian Bay, and kayaked around the stunning Angthong Marine Park. Plus, you've uncovered some of Samui's coolest street art, trekked to the Secret Buddha Garden, and sipped some local spirits at the Samui Rum Distillery. Not to mention, you've carved some fruits, danced around a Thai boxing ring, chilled at Silver Beach, soaked up culture at a local performance, delved into history in Nathon Town, and even gave back with a beach clean-up.

Let's be real—this place has got it all, and you've explored the best of it. Remember, the magical wonders of Koh Samui aren't just things to do; they're memories to make. So, go on, get out there and live every last bit of this Thai paradise!

Meet the Author
Aria Ohlsson
Aria Ohlsson, the Instagram storyteller extraordinaire, takes you on adventures through her enchanting narratives. An avid hiker, she scales peaks and weaves tales of mountaintop triumphs. When she's not conquering trails, you'll find her immersed in classic novels, finding inspiration for her next tale.
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