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Koh Samui is the third largest island of the country and one of the most popular holiday destinations in Thailand. For many tourists the tropical island is the first point of contact with the Thai islands, at least in the Gulf of Thailand.

While Koh Samui attracts many tourists and is therefore well developed, you can still discover many quiet places on the island. Koh Samui’s sights are diverse – some of them are very busy and yet others are very quiet.

Tours and excursions for Koh Samui and vicinity

Here are 5 interesting excursions and tours to explore the coconut island Koh Samui. From well-known sights, beautiful island excursions to insider tips – they cover everything. Of course this is just a small overview, but most highlights of Koh Samui are covered here.

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

1. Koh Samui: Original Discovery Tour

This island excursion with the name Koh Samui: Original Discovery Tour takes you to some of the most beautiful places around the island off the tropical beaches. Starting at the Wat Plai Laem with the huge fat Buddha and the Kuan Yin statue with its 18 arms, it continues to Wat Phra Yai, which is famous for its Big Buddha, one of the landmarks of Koh Samui.

The fat Buddha inside the Wat Plai Laem, Koh Samui
Huge Buddha inside Wat Plai Laem

Afterwards you will visit the Chaweng Viewpoint with a terrific view at Chaweng and Lamai and then continue to the Grandfather and Grandmother Rock, just south of Lamai. Hin Ta and Hin Yai, as the rocks are called in Thai, are one of the most visited sights of Koh Samui.

Hin Ta and Hin Yai - Grandfather and Grandmother Rock in Lamai, Koh Samui
Grandfather and Grandmother Rock

The next stops are the Wat Khunaram with the Mummified Monk and the 80 meters high Namuang Waterfall 2. At the end of the waterfall there is a nice natural pool, where you can enjoy a cool down in the icy water.

Finally you will visit the main town of the island Nathon to admire the sunset on the west side of Koh Samui, before returning to your hotel.

Here you can book the Koh Samui: Original Discovery Tour.

2. Ang Thong Marine Park Day Trip by Big Boat from Samui

A boat trip to the Ang Thong Marine National Park is absolutely worth it. The islands of the national park are located close by Koh Samui in the western part of the Gulf of Thailand.

On this tour you will be picked up at your hotel on Koh Samui between 7.00 and 8.00 A.M. After a short drive to the port of Nathon and an instruction by the crew, the boat will leave around 8.30 A.M. to the Ang Thong Marine National Park while you can enjoy a light breakfast.

The blue lagoon in the Ang Thong Marine National Parks near Koh Samui
The Blue Lagoon (Emerald Lagoon)

Your first stop will be for a short kayak ride around Koh Mae Koh, before visiting the island where the Emerald Lagoon is located. The way to the viewpoint is equipped with stairs and you can easily reach it. However, it can be a little bit exhausting in the heat of Thailand.

Furthermore, you can spend your time at the beautiful beach or visit the Lotus Cave and discover a few stalagmites and stalactites.

Koh Phaluai in the Ang Thong Marine National Park off Koh Samui
Relaxing beach time on Koh Phaluai

After a few relaxing hours at the beach, your afternoon will fade out with some coffee and tea aboard the boat during the return to Koh Samui. Around 4.30 P.M. you will arrive at your hotel.

Here you can book the Samui: Angthong National Marine Park Day Trip by Speed Boat.

3. Koh Samui: 4×4 Off Road Island Safari Tour

If you do the Koh Samui: 4×4 Off Road Island Safari Tour, you will be picked up at your hotel between 8.00 and 9.00 A.M. and drive with an off-road jeep into the mountains of the island.

Terrific 360 degree views of Koh Samui will reveal themselves during the ride, until you arrive at the first stop, the Wat Teepangkorn. A temple on the peak of Koh Samui’s highest mountain (Khao Pom). Here you can explore the temple and enjoy the views at the east coast of the island.

The view from Wat Teepangkorn on Koh Samui
The view from Wat Teepangkorn

Afterwards, you will continue to the Tarnim Magic Garden with mystical statues in the middle of Koh Samui’s mountains. Next will be a lunch with a panoramic view before heading to the Coconut and Rubber Plantations to see how these products are processed on Koh Samui.

To cool off, the next stop is the Namuang Waterfall 2, which drops 80 meters and offers a small ice-cold natural pool at the end. Relax in the shades of the trees or take a cool refreshing bath.

The Namuang Waterfall 2 of Koh Samui
The Namuang Waterfall 2

The final stops are at the east coast, where you visit the Guan Yu Shrine. It was built for the Thai-Chinese locals and is dedicated to a great warrior. Also, you will stop at the famous Grandmother and Grandfather Rock, the rocks which resemble the human sexual characteristics. After a great day with many new impressions you will be taken back to your hotel.

Here you can book the Koh Samui: 4×4 Off Road Island Safari Tour.

4. Koh Samui: Snorkeling and Kayaking by Speedboat off Koh Taen and Koh Madsum

Both islands Koh Taen and Koh Madsum are situated in the south off the coast of Koh Samui and can be explored by a speedboat tour.

After your pick up from the hotel you will head to Bang Kao, where you board a speedboat to reach the island Koh Taen within 15 minutes. Here you will find a great protected coral reef with a rich marine life such as rays or even barracudas.

Snorkel stop in front of Koh Taen, Koh Samui
Snorkel stop in front of Koh Taen

After that you will reach the neighboring island Koh Madsum in a few minutes. The tranquil island is perfect for swimming or just for lounging at the beach. The white sand beach offers great opportunities to take some pictures and if you prefer to be active, you can also go for a ride in the kayak.

The beach on Koh Madsum off the coast of Koh Samui
The beach on Koh Madsum

Of course, you will have a delicious lunch directly at the beach to not starve during your trip. In the afternoon you go back to Koh Samui and to your hotel.

Here you can book the tour Koh Samui: snorkeling and kayaking by speedboat off Koh Taen and Koh Madsum.

5. Koh Nang Yuan Full-Day Catamaran Cruise and Snorkeling Tour

Koh Nang Yuan is a small island off Koh Tao, that is mostly visited on day trips. The full-day catamaran cruise with snorkeling on Koh Nang Yuan is a fantastic trip from Koh Samui.

Between 6.30 and 6.45 A.M. you will be picked up from your hotel and taken to the pier. After a light breakfast the boat departs around 8.00 A.M. to Koh Nang Yuan. The first snorkeling stop is in a secluded bay on Koh Tao.

The view from the Koh Nang Yuan Viewpoint
The Koh Nang Yuan Viewpoint

You will arrive on Koh Nang Yuan around 11.30 A.M. After a lunch buffet you can explore the island, swim and go snorkeling. We definitely recommend the Koh Nang Yuan Viewpoint with a fantastic view at the sandbank between the three islands. But expect it to be crowded and you will probably have to queue up.

Divers and fish in front of Koh Nang Yuan
Divers and fish in front of Koh Nang Yuan

Around 3.00 P.M. you will leave back to Koh Samui and be dropped of at your hotel around 4.30 to 5.00 P.M. with a lot of wonderful impressions of Koh Nang Yuan.

Here you can book the Koh Tao & Koh Nang Yuan Day Trip by Speedboat.

As mentioned in the beginning, these tours and excursions on Koh Samui are only a small selection of the offered trips on the island. You can find even more choices with our partners GetYourGuide or rent-a-guide.

Find more exciting activities and to-dos in our articles like the Koh Samui beach guide or 7 free sightseeing tips for Koh Samui.

Plan your trip to Koh Samui now

More hotel recommendations for Koh Samui:

Have you ever been on a trip on Koh Samui? Which tour could you recommend? Let us know in the comment section!