Lives in San Francisco, California
Since Jul 2007
Award-winning travel writer. Book editor. Part-time traveler who believes in the balance of and connection between home and travel.
Geologic Formations, National Parks
Sacred & Religious Sites
Arenas & Stadiums
Chaweng is Samui's most beautiful (and most popular) beach, with powdery white sand and clear turquoise waters. Get an early start to your day here, and see for yourself one of Ko Samui's most famous treasures.
Slightly quieter than Chaweng, Lamai Beach has a bit more of a relaxed, backpacker vibe about it. It's another good spot to start your day on Ko Samui.
Located just off the coast, Angthong National Marine Park was the setting for Alex Garland's now famous book/film 'The Beach.' You could easily spend a whole day exploring this gorgeous park — it's definitely not to be missed while visiting Ko Samui!
Head to Wat Phra Yai and take in a bit of traditional Thai culture as you marvel at this 15-meter tall Buddha statue and its temple.
Discover more of Ko Samui's history and culture at Bophut village, where the island's fishing industry was born. Even though many beachside buildings have been converted into boutique resorts, parts of the fishing village traditions remain, making this an interesting place to observe the daily life of locals, as well as to browse some shops.
For me, Ninja Crepes is the single best place on the island to eat real Thai food. It's not fancy (you'll eat on paper plates and sit in plastic chairs), but the homestyle Thai flavors — cooked right in front of you — more than make up for any lack of ambiance.
Take a break from the coast, and head inland for some solace and waterfalls. Na Muang is the smaller and less impressive of the waterfalls, so you'll want to walk to the top (about a 30-minute climb after Na Muang) to reach Nam Tok Na Muang, the tallest waterfall on Ko Samui.
Bang Po is home to some of the island's nicest resorts, and it's a great place to catch the sunset. Choose a spot, grab a cocktail, and take in the magic hour.
Muay Thai boxing is a huge part of Thai culture, and this is your best chance to see it in action on Ko Samui.