It is common for people on a holiday to pick a location on their destination of choice and just stay there til it’s time to head back home. This is great if you badly need some down time and what you want is just plenty of rest and time away from your busy life. However, you won’t be doing justice to yourself if you stay glued to just one place in Koh Samui.
There are so many amazing sights to see on the island and even beyond. So if you are not pressed for time and you have the money and the energy for it, we suggest that you explore. It doesn’t matter if you can only do lazy walks here and there or if you prefer to tour the island like a pirate would and sail across the waters. If you want to get the most of your Koh Samui holiday, get to know the many ways you can explore the island and its surrounding attractions.
Probably the most popular among tourists, safari tours are cool because they offer variety in terms of the sights you will visit. Most Koh Samui Safari tours will take you to the island’s notable landmarks like the Big Buddha, Plai Laem Temple, and the grandmother/grandfather rocks. They will also make you discover the island’s most beautiful jungles so expect to see a lot of nature and greenery. Safari tours take guests to the waterfalls and some even include mountain climbing expeditions that will give you a chance to see the incredible panorama of the island. Elephant trekking is another common inclusion of these safari packages. The duration of the tour will vary. Some packages are good for a half day tour, while those with more stops could take an entire day. The program usually starts and ends at your hotel or accommodation of choice and includes free lunch and/or snacks, depending on the contract. This kind of exploration is ideal for first timers who want to see a lot of the island in one go. It is also great for tourists who prefer exploring with some kind of a system and with a large group. Since it is basically land travel, it is favored by those who are prone to seasickness and those who prefer to not get wet.
Around the Island Tours by Boat
If you want to roam around Koh Samui the true island way, you can book for around the island boat tours. While some of the highlights of boat tours are similar to safari tours, boat tours give you an added bonus–a chance to see more than the usual Koh Samui attractions. Also travelling while riding a water vessel is much more exciting and in keeping with the island’s way of life. Around the island tours in Koh Samui will take you to Big Buddha, Hin Ta Hin Yai Rocks, and Lamai. In addition, they will take you on a ride to Samui’s sibling islands and deserted beaches that are perfect for snorkelling and swimming. Some packages include a stop to the Green Peace Island where you can see the coral reefs or just enjoy the peace and quiet offered by the tranquil environment. The Swallows Nest Island is also often included among the stops. This is another quiet sanctuary that can only be accessed by boat.
If you had plenty of sightseeing in Koh Samui and have already visited the island’s top landmarks and beaches, you may want to take your vacation to a whole new level. Underwater exploration is always en vogue in Koh Samui. For those who are interested in the mesmerizing life underwater and want a chance to see a world that is not accessible to many, a snorkelling tour is something worth spending for.
This type of tour involves riding a boat or a catamaran that will take you to some of the spectacular diving spots all around the island and even beyond. Among the most popular itineraries involve the Big 3—meaning the three most notable diving spots anywhere in the world. The Chumphon Pinnacle, Sail Rock, and Southwest Pinnacle boast unbeatable diversity, quality of marine life, and top notch underwater scenery. Snorkeling tours also give you a chance to visit Koh Tao, another favorite spots among divers. Of course when it comes to water tours, Angthong Marine National Park is also worth mentioning. This nature park is one of the best in Thailand and is a must see for nature lovers.
Most tours on the island are pre-programmed by companies so you are limited to chosen spots if you book them. Many independent tour companies in Koh Samui understand the different guests preferences and are aware of the fact that there are clients who want a customized program—an itinerary catered to their interests. If this sounds like you and you want your vacation to be one of a kind, a private tour will meet your requirements. Private tours allow you to have access to sights that are usually omitted from conventional island tours. This means that you can pick your places of interest and the sequence of your stops. This kind of Koh Samui tour is understandably more costly but it is a more interactive experience and is exclusive. There are private land tours where you will be assigned to your own vehicle with a designated driver and/or tour guide. There are also private tours via water that often include fishing.
Meant for the unconventional travellers who love to see things at their own pace and who are not fans of structured tours, a DIY tour is what you need. This type of tour is all up to you and provides full control of your stops and the means to get to them.You can choose to walk or ride a bike, motorcycle, local public transport or a private rented vehicle. Obviously you won’t have any itinerary to follow and just go where you please, when you want to. A DIY tour is of course free so you can use the money for quick bites and entrance fees instead. The beauty of this is that you get to choose exactly where you want to go and since you have no tour guide and a program to complete, you can linger or rush through a stop if you wish to. This is recommended for seasoned backpackers, hermit travellers, or groups who are more interested in local commercial establishments than nature or cultural landmarks.