Dieser Artikel ist auch verfügbar auf: Deutsch

Koh Samui is one of the most popular destinations when it comes to holidays in Thailand. Situated in the Gulf of Thailand, the island offers many sights and activities for visitors. Many of the tourists come because of the beautiful beaches of Koh Samui, but the sights don’t come off badly, too.

Koh Samui – 7 free sights to visit on the tropical island

Some of the attractions of Koh Samui have an entrance fee. What many visitors don’t know, there are a lot of sights, which are worth a visit and free of charge. In this list you will find out which of the sights of Koh Samui are free to visit and definitely not to miss.

How to get to Koh Samui

Accommodation in Koh Samui – our hotel tip

The swimming pool of the Amari Koh Samui hotel directly at Chaweng Beach
Swimming pool of the Amari Koh Samui directly at Chaweng Beach

Koh Samui: Tours and tickets

1. Grandmother and Grandfather Rock

Hin Ta and Hin Ya, Grandfather and Grandmother Rock in Lamai on Koh Samui

The rocks Hin Ta and Hin Yai, as this attraction is called in Thai, are located at the southern end of Lamai Beach. They are also signposted under this very name on the large ring road of Koh Samui.

The two rocks are one of the most photographed sights on Koh Samui and also free of charge. Even many locals come to this place because a legend says that ages ago a married couple shipwrecked here and now the locals believe that the visit increases the fertility.

However, the parking of a scooter or car isn’t free. The price for that is 10 and 40 baht (€ 0,25/€1,00), which is alright in my opinion.

2. Lat Ko Viewpoint with a view at Chaweng Beach

The Lat Ko Viewpoint with view at the Chaweng Beach

Between Chaweng and Lamai, also on the big ring road, there is the Lat Ko Viewpoint located on a hill. From here you have a wonderful panoramic view over the Chaweng Beach and surrounding areas.

From the beautifully designed viewpoint a path leads down to the rocks by the sea. This is also a popular viewpoint to see the sunrise. Of course, everything is free of charge.

Tip: At the parking lot of the Lat Ko Viewpoint you can find an ice cream truck on a daily basis, which offers delicious coconut ice cream. Absolutely recommendable.

3. Big Buddha

The most famous landmark of Koh Samui, the Big Buddha

The 12 meter high Buddha statue is one of the landmarks of Koh Samui. It is located in the Wat Phra Yai temple and was built in 1972 on the small island Koh Fan, which can be reached via a causeway from the village of Bangrak.

You can visit the temple complex for free, however a donation for the preservation of the temple is always gladly seen. The best times to visit the temple would be the early morning as well as the late afternoon, as the steps to the Big Buddha will be too hot to walk on during noon. As usual in Buddhist temples, you are only allowed to enter the temple without shoes.

It is also surrounded by some souvenir shops or vendors that sell drinks and some snacks, if you are looking for that during your visit.

4. Wat Plai Laem

The Bodhisattva Kuan Yin in the Wat Plai Laem on Koh Samui

Built in 2004, the Wat Plai Laem is one of the most fascinating temples of Koh Samui. On site you will find a huge “fat” Chinese Buddha as well as a statue of Kuan Yin with 18 arms. It is the Chinese Buddha of compassion and is especially worshiped by the Thai-Chinese residents.

The fat Buddha in the Wat Plai Laem on Koh Samui

There is also a large lake with turtles and fish, which you can feed for a donation of 10 baht. The temple complex is still being extended so that there will be more statues of Buddha and temple buildings over the years. The entrance is free of charge, but a donation for the preservation and expansion of the temple is very welcome.

Note: You can also visit the Wat Plai Laem in combination with the Big Buddha on a Off Road Island Safari around Koh Samui.

5. Sunset at the Big Buddha Pier

Sunset at Big Buddha Beach (Bangrak Beach) on Koh Samui

Most of the visitors only come to the Big Buddha Pier in Bangrak to take the Haad Rin Queen ferry to Koh Phangan or because most of the Ang Thong Marine National Park day trips start over here.

Due to the boat traffic by both tour operators and local fishermen and lack of shady spots, the Big Buddha Beach isn’t suitable for a relaxing day at the beach or to go swimming. But if you like to see a beautiful sunset, it’s just the right spot.

Not many beaches on Koh Samui, apart from those at the west coast, offer a nice sunset view. You can buy a drink in the nearby convenience stores and make your self comfortable at the beach or the pier and watch the sunset behind the hills of Koh Samui.

6. Namuang Waterfall 2

Koh Samui's Namuang Waterfall 2

The Waterfall 2 is one of two Namuang waterfalls and in my opinion the more beautiful one. At the end of the waterfall there is a small natural pool where you can have a quite nice but cold swim.

It’s also signposted at the big ring road of Koh Samui. Before you get to the waterfall, there is the Namuang Safari Park where most of the people park their motorbikes and go on with an off-road jeep to the waterfall for a fee of 100 baht.

You can easily save your money when you turn the next street right after the parking lot and don’t stop over there, if you are not visiting the waterfall on a tour. If you follow that very street you will find a road fork. The way up leads to a higher entrance of the waterfall, which has a water slide etc. But there you have to pay an admission. If you follow the way down the road, you can visit the waterfall for free.

7. Wat Khunaram and the mummified monk

The mummified monk in the Wat Khunaram on Koh Samui

The Wat Khunaram temple is located near the entrance to the Namuang Waterfall 2. Many locals come here to pray and tourists mostly visit to see the mummified monk, whose corpse hasn’t decayed for ages now.

According to history, the monk predicted his exact day of death and that his body won’t decay. He died 1973 in this very seated position and his body has always been protected against external influences and exposed in a glass case. It’s really impressive to see him with his orange robe and the sunglasses sitting there peacefully.

Of course you can explore many more sights on Koh Samui than the 7 we listed above. Read our article about 16 things you can experience on the Koh Samui to find out more.

Plan your trip to Koh Samui now

Have you ever been to Koh Samui? Which free sights can you recommend? Leave us a comment below!


Hi, I'm Tobi, a passionate travel blogger and freelancer in translations and copy writing. Mostly I travel around Southeast Asia and work remotely from different locations. If you want to know where I am or what I'm doing, just follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.