Your holiday in Koh Samui can still be well spent even without shelling out a lot of money. Here are some ideas.

Shop at Makro.

If you have a large group and you want to save on your groceries while in Koh Samui, better start shopping at Makro. This offers quality items on wholesale so the prices are considerably lower than in other sources. This is the best place to buy beer (if you will be hosting a party at your private villa), noodles, cereals, cooking oil, and basic household items such as soaps, coffee, and frozen meats and deli.

Makro Samui
Address: Bo Put, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand

Visit the amazing Big Buddha Temple.

Also known as Wat Phra Yai, the Big Buddha Temple is a famous attraction on the island and is actually the most popular among Koh Samui temples. Built in 1972, the majestic golden Buddha statue is a notable landmark and can be seen from afar because of its astonishing size. With a height of 12 meters, the Buddha seems to be calling out to you, welcoming you to this peaceful ground. Climb up the steps and you will be rewarded with the most breathtaking panorama of the island. The temple, while similar in ambience to most local temples, is well maintained and worth a visit. If you decide to come by, make sure you are properly dressed. Ladies should keep their legs and shoulders covered. If you don’t have a shawl, there are folks handing out wraps and sarongs that you can use.

Spend time with nature at Na Muang Waterfalls.

Koh Samui is blessed with a number of relaxing waterfalls and among the best ones is the Na Muang Waterfalls. There are actually two waterfalls that make up Na Muang. The larger of the two, Na Muang 1 has cool waters that cascades into an inviting pool. The smaller Na Muang 2 is smaller but is equally enticing. The falls are actually about half an hour apart if you walk but a visit to both will be worth the trouble as the water is so refreshing and the atmosphere is truly nature at its finest. The Na Muang Waterfalls are known for their purple rocks and are famous among locals and tourists alike. Here you can swim or just escape the heat by relaxing under the shade provided by tall trees. There are steep climbs and slippery paths so make sure that you wear good footwear to avoid accidents.

Get in the hype of Hin Ta and Hin Yai.

Nature indeed has humor and this can be observed in two of Koh Samui’s rock formations: grandma and grandpa rocks or Hin Ta Hin Yai. These bizarre natural attractions resemble the male and female genitalia. Many tourists are curious about Hin Ta Hin Yai and while these are just rocks, we bet they can make you chuckle for a few seconds, making them worth your time.

Beach. Beach. Beach.

Koh Samui has a number of fascinating beaches and if you are on a tight budget, you can still have beautiful moments on the island without spending too much, just make your holiday all about the beach. You can sunbathe and get a glorious tan along the shoreline. You can drink pure coconut juice and read a book while relaxing in a sun lounger. You can build sandcastles with your kids or perhaps simply watch the sunset. Most of all, take some time to appreciate the scenery. It is not everyday that you can get to see something so stunningly elemental.

Experience authentic Thai massage.

If you’ve always wanted to experience a real Thai massage, don’t miss the chance on your Koh Samui holiday. You can get a massage almost anywhere on the island as there are so many massage places and spas offering this service. This need not be expensive though. In fact, you can get a good massage for cheap if you skip the fancy spas.

Avail of sai sin.

Sai sin is a sacred thread that has obtained a blessing from a monk. It is believed to provide protection to the one who wears it. It is usually given during weddings and funerals. On your trip to Samui, someone may hand you a Sai Sin. Don’t refuse it. Even if you are not a Buddhist, you can wear this symbolic bracelet for good luck and blessings. Sai sin is often given at a temple, say Big Buddha. The monk won’t offer you a charge for the bracelet but to reciprocate the gesture, it is recommended that you make donation. It doesn’t have to be big. Think of it as a thank you.

Window shop at Central Festival Samui.

If the heat is starting to get on your nerves, you can spend your day at Central Festival Samui. This is a prominent lifestyle shopping venue on the island and is a good place to explore whether you are on your own, with friends, or with family. They have numerous shops and a wide variety of merchandise you can check. If you don’t feel like letting out some cash, then just go window shopping. There is a lot to see. If you go hungry, stop by the food court and have a meal there.

Central Festival Samui
Address: Chaweng, Bophut, Ko Samui, Thailand

Eat at the Chaweng Night Market Food Centre.

In Koh Samui, you need not spend a lot of money to enjoy good food. You just need to know where to eat to get the most value for your money. A nice place to visit is the Chaweng Night Market Food Centre. This venue is like a big food court. Stalls are lined up next to each other. Everything from typical Thai rice meals, seafood, fish, soups, and curries are sold here. The ambience is very basic—not at all fancy. Then again, there are lots of food choices and the prices will suit any budget.

Chaweng Night Market Food Centre
Address: Bo Put, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand

Ride a motorcycle and explore.

If you can drive a scooter or a motorcycle and are already familiar with the traffic situation at Koh Samui, you can explore the island on your own by renting a motorbike.
For less than 200 baht you can rent a bike for the whole day. This is not recommended for newbie riders though. You need to know what you are doing. Koh Samui’s roads require experience to tackle and are not a joking matter. Also make sure you wear protective gear and have an insurance. Better be safe than sorry. If you have everything covered, getting around the island this way is bound to be fun since you can visit plenty of places in one go without paying for a lot of money as you would in an organized tour.