To truly explore Koh Samui, which is one of largest islands of Thailand, you would benefit from a local guide or concierge and at least a week or two. There are hundreds of attractions and must-visit places. Here is a list of the top seven places to visit in Koh Samui.
1. Golden Buddha
One of the most famous landmarks in all of Thailand, the 12 metre high Golden Buddha is situated on the northern coast of the island, and visible from miles away. Do not forget to buy a charm for good luck or a magnet for the memory in one of the local shops on the exit to support the upkeep of this beautiful attraction.
2. Tiger Show
Another attraction, exciting for both children and adults, is the grand Tiger Show. There are numerous zoos in Thailand; however, tourists should always be very aware to only support and attend the ones which look after their animals and care for their welfare. As opposed to being a “circus” trapping, these shows are more friendly as a type of tiger training school, and they have exotic south-eastern Asian tigers, as well as gorgeous parrots, and impressive elephants.
3. Cabarets in Chaweng
Another unusual entertainment (only for adults really), are the Ladyboy Cabaret shows. These are all over in Thailand, and also in little Chaweng beach, where you may be surprised with the variety of places where gorgeous young women make an exotic performance. In fact, at least half of these beautiful feminine girls are not girls at birth and are transgender, with it being particularly difficult to tell which! There is also the usual parade of stunning costumes, song and dance.
4. Hin Ta and Hin Yai
Not only the people, but also seemingly Mother Nature has a particular sense of humour in Koh Samui! There are few other places in the world where you may find something so unique and extraordinary as Hin Ta and Hin Yai. These entirely natural sculptures are also known as Grandpa and Grandma rock formations… and they look like male and female genitals. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
5. Secret Buddha Garden
Secret Buddha Garden is the ultimate proof that humans thrive on artistic creation. In 1976, the famed Nim Thongsuk started creating statues and temples in his garden hidden high away in the jungles. Nowadays, this secret garden is open to the public. The breath-taking panoramic view along with amazing sculptures in the middle of the jungle delights the eyes and inspires the soul.
6. Snake Farm
Would you like to get an up-close-and-personal look at the most dangerous and poisonous snakes in Asia? Then you should visit the Snake Farm in the South of the island. Besides observing them in their terrariums, visitors may also watch a thrilling snake-handling show. But wait, is that excitement or fear I am feeling?
7. Samui Aquarium
Koh Samui’s aquarium is particularly sought-after, as it has a special variety of rare leopard and black tip sharks. Fun for all the family, make sure the kids don’t fall in and be in awe of these magical creatures from the deep!
And, finally, although this may be biased, but my personal winner among the top places to visit in Samui was the Villa Samujana 30 that we stayed at and deserves to be an attraction in itself! This stunning white palace, visible from all over the island being built atop one of the highest peaks, has a 360-degree view over the Gulf of Thailand. This gives an almost Greek God type feeling with an unforgettable experience of staying on the semi-open rooftop and feeling yourself like Zeus on Olympus. At least we did!
Overall, Koh Samui is a perfect holiday destination, with something for everyone, so do go and experience it for yourself.