10 Reasons Why Koh Samui is a Destination You Need to Visit

10 Reasons Why Koh Samui Is a Destination You Need to Add to Your Must-Visit List

Singaporeans can travel to Koh Samui with a reduced quarantine period!

After months of travel deprivation, Singaporeans can finally have a taste of the sparkling sand and turquoise waters of Koh Samui

reasons koh samui

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With its ideal tropical atmosphere and endless beaches, Thailand’s second-largest island has always been a hotspot for tourists. But understandably, during the height of the pandemic, Koh Samui protected itself from the risks of COVID-19, barring foreigners to visit for over a year. 

Also read:Unique Experiences in Phuket: What to See, Do, and Eat

Your dream island getaway awaits! As of 15 Jul 2021, fully vaccinated Singaporeans can finally enjoy the palm-fringed beaches of Koh Samui.

KOH SAMUI TRAVEL PROTOCOLS

Thailand reopening: Samui Plus programme and more

Koh Samui finally reopened to foreign travellers under the Samui Plus programme on 15 Jul 2021. Following the successful launch of the Phuket Sandbox earlier this month, Samui Plus now allows fully vaccinated visitors from low-risk countries to enter Koh Samui with a reduced quarantine period. And, instead of checking into a regular quarantine facility, travellers may now immediately enjoy the beautiful resorts of Koh Samui during their first week on the island.

Before we dive into the details of the Samui Plus programme, allow us to highlight the reasons why you should consider Koh Samui for your next trip — just in case you aren’t fully convinced yet.

Reasons why you should visit Koh Samui

1. It has pristine beaches with fewer tourists

reasons koh samui beaches

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While there are many reasons to visit Koh Samui, most travellers find their way to the island because of its beaches. With a boundless coastline, Koh Samui has sand and sea for every traveller. To name just a few, there’s the white sand beach in the vibrant Chaweng, the sleepy beach village in Bophut, and the quiet and tranquil Lamai Beach.

While different from one another, each beach in Koh Samui has an unstated beauty of its own. And in our ever-changing world, the allure of its soft seashores remains constant. In fact, after little tourist activity for over a year, the beaches in Koh Samui are said to be even more pristine now!

2. It’s a mecca for health and wellness

Now more than ever, people are prioritising their wellbeing when travelling. But even before the pandemic hit, Koh Samui has long been at the forefront of health and wellness. The island can take major credit for Thailand’s title, “Spa Capital of Asia.” Locals even consider Koh Samui itself as the spa capital of Thailand.

On top of its numerous spa centres, Koh Samui also has wellness resorts dedicated to improving one’s health holistically. Guests have a myriad of opportunities to enhance their wellbeing — from practising yoga and going vegan to treating themselves to the must-try Thai massage.

3. It offers tasty Thai food for every foodie

kalamae

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Thailand is a known haven for foodies, as it offers dishes for every palate. In Koh Samui, restaurants make sure travellers have access to all the mouthwatering flavours of the globally acclaimed cuisine. So whether you’re a sweet tooth or you prefer savoury dishes, this island won’t let you down.

All this said, Koh Samui does specialise in a few particular dishes. Thanks to its waterlocked terrain, the island is best known for its seafood and coconut products. Expect to indulge in fish, lobster, and other shellfish that are prepared the typical Thai style: sweet, sour, and spicy all at once. For dessert, kalamae is a must-try. Southern Thailand is especially famous for this saccharine product, which uses a lot of coconut ingredients.

4. Its natural wonders provide peace and serenity

overlap stone

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Without a doubt, the man-made spas in Koh Samui are world-class and deserve to be recognised. But beyond these, the island paradise naturally awes its visitors with its intrinsic charms. One of its hidden gems sits in a dense jungle — the Na Muang Waterfalls! Despite its enchantingly secluded appeal, Na Muang Waterfalls is surprisingly accessible from the mainland.

hin ta hin yai rocks koh samui

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Other than the Na Muang Waterfalls, Koh Samui is also known for its rock formations. The Overlap Stone, in particular, is a viewpoint overlooking Lamai Beach that every visitor must visit. If you’re up for a cheeky destination, drop by the famous Hin Ta & Hin Yai rocks, also near Lamai Beach, and take as many playful photos as you want!

5. It has a rich and diverse wildlife

Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park

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It’s no secret that Thailand bears an impressive number of animal species. The Global Wildlife Travel Index even recognised the country as one of the world’s best for wildlife travel! 

Koh Samui, in particular, is home to Samui Elephant Sanctuary, “the first truly ethical and award-winning elephant sanctuary” in Southern Thailand. The island also proudly bears the Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park, a marine national park that covers 42 islands where diverse creatures inhabit. Visitors are welcome to explore its different terrains through snorkelling, hiking, and swimming.

6. Its religious and cultural landmarks can’t be missed

big buddha koh samui

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Buddhism is the main religion of Thailand, and it certainly shows in its wats (or temples). One of the most popular religious landmarks in Thailand is located in Koh Samui; the Big Buddha temple, which towers 12 metres high, sits on a rocky island north of Bophut.

Koh Samui also famously houses religious landmarks nestled in its lush gardens. For example, Wat Namtok Hin Lad is tucked in a dense trail that leads up to the Hin Lad Waterfall. The Secret Buddha Garden is another structure that sits in the middle of enchanting natural sites.

7. It has well-preserved heritage

Dusit Dhewa Cultural Center of Asia

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On top of its religious landmarks, Koh Samui also bursts with other cultural elements that show the influences of early foreign traders — particularly the Chinese, Burmese, and Indian communities.

One way to indulge in the rich cultural heritage of Koh Samui is by visiting its museums. The island has all sorts of museums that house its history, modern art, and other fascinating artefacts. If you want to explore the hidden treasures of Koh Samui, don’t miss the Dusit Dhewa Cultural Center of Asia, a museum in Lipa Noi that hides its eclectic collection in a mesmerising garden. But if you’re more drawn to modern and interactive art, visit Art Samui, which is now one of the biggest attractions on the island.

8. It has several festivals worth celebrating

songkran

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With the rich culture of Koh Samui, it isn’t even surprising that the island celebrates a variety of Thai festivals. One of its most popular is the Songkran, a festival to celebrate the Thai New Year every April. Along with the rest of the country, Koh Samui enjoys this holiday with water fights to ward off bad luck for the year.

Before the pandemic, thousands of party enthusiasts would also flock to Koh Samui for their Full Moon parties. Partygoers would celebrate from dusk till dawn, as long as the full moon shines.

9. It has shopping hotspots of every kind

Central Festival Samui

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Since Koh Samui is a known tourist destination, it has several establishments that cater to travelling shopaholics, too. From bargain marts to high-end stores, Koh Samui makes sure every visitor can take home a souvenir of their taste.

Shop til you drop at Central Festival Samui, a shopping complex that spans around 90,000sqm. It has hundreds of shops, restaurants, and bars — not to mention, it’s located near the beach! On the other hand, if you’re easily overwhelmed and want a more laidback shopping experience, head to village stores in Lamai, Bophut, and Maenam. The walking streets in these areas sell unique handicrafts and local street food.

10. It’s easily accessible from Singapore

reasons koh samui flight

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These days, accessibility is one of the most essential things when considering a destination. With COVID-19 protocols here and there, direct flights between Singapore and Koh Samui make a huge difference in both cost and time. Starting 1 Aug 2021, Bangkok Airways will resume its direct flights from Singapore to Koh Samui every Monday, Thursday, and Sunday.

Other than the convenience of direct flights, vaccinated Singaporeans can also enjoy the privilege of the Samui Plus. Under this programme, travellers are only required to stay in a Samui Extra Plus (SHA+) hotel for seven days. After this, they can travel freely around Koh Samui and its nearby islands: Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.

The Samui Plus programme provides a list of dreamy resorts travellers can book for their trip to Koh Samui. To ensure utmost safety, the programme also implements safety measures every visitor must know.

LEARN MORE HERE

Also read: 10 Unique Things to Do in Phuket for a Beach Vacay Unlike Any Other

There you have it! You now have more reasons than ever to consider Koh Samui for your next beach vacation. Once you’re ready for a safe trip abroad, you can rest assured that this island paradise will be waiting for you.


Brought to you by ​​Tourism Authority of Thailand Singapore Office. 

About Author

Danielle Uy
Danielle Uy

If Disney were creative enough to let Mulan and Melody (The Little Mermaid 2) have a baby, Danielle is convinced that that baby would be her spirit animal. From an early age, Danielle’s ultimate goal has been to become a bad-ass female hero and a mermaid. While she hasn't held a sword in her lifetime, she feels powerful enough with her pen. Her creative energy is fueled by many things: the quiet right before the rest of the world wakes up, the orange sky as the sun rises during an uncrowded morning surf, the beautiful bitter taste of black coffee, and the threatening reminder of a pending deadline.

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