12 Things to Do in Koh Samui, Koh Tao & Koh Phangan

12 Things to Do in Koh Samui, Koh Tao & Koh Phangan 

Your island-hopping adventure in Thailand begins here.

After a long period of staying indoors and being cooped up at home, nothing beats dreaming about a trip to the beach — and we’re setting our eyes on Thailand. In particular, we’re planning on dipping our toes back into travel and exploring the wide variety of things to do in Koh Samui, as well as the nearby islands of Koh Tao and Koh Phangan. Fortunately, the Samui Plus programme allows fully vaccinated Singaporeans to experience some of Thailand’s secluded islands at no additional trouble to themselves! 

Ready to plan your next beach getaway in Thailand? 

Thanks to the Samui Plus programme, fully vaccinated Singaporean tourists can travel around Koh Samui, Koh Tao, and Koh Phangan! Why stop at one island when you can explore three? 

FIND OUT ABOUT SAMUI PLUS

Fully vaccinated tourists from low-risk countries like Singapore can visit islands like Koh Samui and its neighbours, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan. This stress-free way of travelling is possible with the Samui Plus programme, provided that you complete a seven-night stay at a government-approved Samui Extra Plus (SHA+) hotel in Koh Samui.

Plus, Bangkok Airways has opened direct flights from Singapore to Koh Samui every Monday, Thursday, and Sunday from 1 Aug 2021. The other two idyllic islands, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan, are easily accessible from Koh Samui as well. Not only do these direct international flights ensure a swift and smooth journey with COVID-19 protocols, but they also allow Singaporean travellers to save both money and precious time in their visit to Thailand. 

To help you embark on your island-hopping adventure, we’ve rounded up all the fun activities that are waiting for you in Thailand’s remote islands. Keep reading to discover all the exciting things to do in Koh Samui, Koh Tao, and Koh Phangan! 

Fun things to do in Koh Samui

1. Go beach-hopping for a private slice of paradise

12 Things To Do In Koh Samui, Koh Tao & Koh Phangan 

Silver Beach in Koh Samui | Image credit: tupikov via Canva Pro

Seeking refuge from city life? Picture isolated bays, dramatic cliffs jutting from the sea, and coastlines straight out of a postcard — and you get an island like Koh Samui. Naturally, one of the best things to do in Koh Samui is to embrace the perks of island life.  

Kickstart your beach-hopping adventures at Lamai Beach, where the powdery white sand is surrounded by palm trees and the lush mountains. Chaweng Beach charms travellers with its vibrant nightlife scene, while Silver Beach is not to be missed with its emerald waters for kayaking and snorkelling. Since the beaches of Koh Samui are less crowded than most destinations in Thailand, it will feel as if you have these peaceful shores all to yourself. 

2. Join a kayaking tour to explore Ang Thong National Marine Park 

Ang Thong National Marine Park

Ang Thong National Marine Park in Koh Samui | Image credit: Jimmy1984 via Canva Pro

Every trip to Koh Samui requires a visit to Ang Thong National Marine Park. Not only is it the most breathtaking archipelago in the Gulf of Thailand, but it also holds so many diverse landscapes to discover. Comprising 42 islands, this protected national park is home to limestone mountains, secluded beaches, hidden caves, dense jungles, and crystal-clear lakes — just to name a few natural sights that make this destination in Koh Samui unique. 

The easiest way to visit this marine park is to join a private boat tour that leaves from Koh Samui or Koh Phangan. From marvelling at the rock formations of Koh Mae Ko Island to kayaking peacefully around the waters of the Blue Lagoon, you can easily spend a whole day at Ang Thong National Marine Park. Other popular activities for tourists include kayaking, hiking, snorkelling, scuba diving, and exploring the impressive stalactites inside the Lotus Cave

3. Take a trip down memory lane at the historic Fisherman’s Village

Fisherman’s Village in Bophut

Fisherman’s Village in Bophut | Image credit: DinoGeromella via Canva Pro

Want to see the quiet side of Koh Samui? Have a break from the pristine beaches of Koh Samui and pay a visit to Fisherman’s Village in Bophut. Once a sleepy fishing community by the sea, this historic shopping area offers a weekly market that attracts a large number of visitors across the island with its trendy cafes, food stalls, and restaurants. 

To this day, the Fisherman’s Village retains its charming atmosphere with narrow alleys and wooden Chinese shophouses dating back to the 19th century. From eating authentic pad thai to going shopping for Thai handicrafts and jewellery, the activities you can do in this area make its lively ambience hard to forget. 

4. Hike to Na Muang Waterfalls and enjoy a refreshing swim

12 Things To Do In Koh Samui, Koh Tao & Koh Phangan 

Na Muang Waterfalls in Koh Samui | Image credit: Alexander Ozerov via Canva Pro

Proving that Koh Samui’s natural beauty doesn’t end with beaches, the Na Muang Waterfalls provides a refreshing way for travellers to escape the heat. Here, two separate waterfalls collect into large natural rock pools with emerald waters for swimming, while the boulders offer places for visitors to sit and take in the scenery of the lush foliage. Located near the island’s central mountains, these famous waterfalls are also called “Purple Waterfalls,” thanks to the rocks that appear purple when the water flows over them. 

The Na Muang Waterfalls are approximately a 25-minute drive southeast of Nathon, and a 40-minute drive southwest of Chaweng Beach. You can also opt to reach the waterfalls via taxi, scooter, or organised tours in Koh Samui. Come here from September through November, and you’ll get to witness the falls in their full splendour, coupled with views of the jungle and the sea. 

Exciting things to do in Koh Tao

5. Go snorkelling and witness the colourful marine life in Tanote Bay 

12 Things To Do In Koh Samui, Koh Tao & Koh Phangan 

Tanote Bay in Koh Tao | Image credit: Alexander Ozerov via Canva Pro

Boasting over 21km of coastline, Koh Tao deserves a spot on every traveller’s bucket list. Known as “Turtle Island” for the number of sea turtles on its shores, Koh Tao is famous for being the ultimate diving destination in Thailand. Apart from white-sand beaches, there are also stunning coral reefs, diving sea wrecks, and incredible marine life waiting to be explored. 

To discover beautiful marine life in clear waters, Tanote Bay on the island’s east coast is one of the best snorkelling and scuba diving sites for all experience levels. In these parts of the Gulf of Thailand, get ready to see different species of butterflyfish, angelfish, parrotfish, rabbitfish, and groupers swimming past you. If you’re ready to take that plunge into the sea, you can reach Tanote Bay by taking a motorbike or a taxi boat sailing from the islands of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.

6. Live on the water’s edge from a dreamy resort on Sairee Beach 

12 Things To Do In Koh Samui, Koh Tao & Koh Phangan 

View Point Resort on Sairee Beach in Koh Tao | Image credit: Agoda 

Waking up to panoramic ocean views is every beach lover’s dream. Luckily, you won’t find a better place to do this than Sairee Beach. From rustic cottages like View Point Resort and Palm Leaf Resort to splurge-worthy resorts like The Plantation Boutique and Blue Tao Beach Hotel, you’ll have plenty of options for your ideal beach bungalow in Koh Tao. 

Beach in Koh Tao

Sairee Beach in Koh Tao | Image credit: David Sim

Situated on the west coast of the island, Sairee Beach beach is the largest beach on Koh Tao and has all the best cafes, restaurants, and bars on the island. You can go on leisurely walks by the sea, try paddleboarding or wakeboarding, and drink cocktails at the sunset bar of Maya Beach Club while chilling to laid-back beats. Now, doesn’t that sound like the sweet life? 

7. Capture photographs at scenic viewpoints during sunset 

Nang Yuan Island

Nang Yuan Island | Image credit: mypum via Canva Pro

Want to take amazing photographs during your trip? One of the most exciting things to do in Koh Tao is to hike up to scenic viewpoints, where you can watch the sun go down with an unforgettable backdrop of the island. While the island is filled with too many viewpoints to name, you can’t miss out on Koh Nang Yuan Viewpoint for sunset views! 

Easily one of the most iconic spots for picture-taking, the Koh Nang Yuan Viewpoint is located on Nang Yuan Island in the northwest of Koh Tao, and it can be reached by taking a 15-minute boat ride from Sairee Beach. Strap on your best hiking shoes, because the paved journey to the top of the viewpoint can be a bit of a workout. When you reach the top, however, your efforts will be rewarded with views of two islands and a pristine sandbar. 

8. Taste banana pancakes and feast on Thai vegan cuisine at local restaurants 

Things To Do In Koh Samui, Koh Tao & Koh Phangan 

Coconut Monkey | Image credit: Coconut Monkey Official Facebook Page

Wondering where to grab a bite in Koh Tao? Look no further than Coconut Monkey, a vegetarian-friendly restaurant famous for their banana pancakes, among other tasty desserts and smoothies. For a reasonable price, this restaurant whips up a mouth-watering rendition of this delicacy famous typically made of nutella, peanut butter, bananas, and chocolate syrup. Naturally, these banana pancakes are a must-try snack for every tourist. 

Fishbowl Beach Bar in Koh Tao

Fishbowl Beach Bar in Koh Tao | Image credit: Fishbowl Beach Bar Official Facebook Page

Looking for vegetarian and vegan options in Koh Tao? You have to try the famous vegan duck spring rolls and deep-fried shrimps at Babaloo Restaurant, which serves authentic and homemade Thai meals with delicious meat substitutes. Then as night falls over the island, you can experience beachside bliss at Fishbowl Beach Bar, where the alcoholic beverages come paired with sunset views and live music sessions right on the sand. 

Relaxing things to do in Koh Phangan 

9. Float away on idyllic beaches 

Bottle Beach in Koh Phangan

Bottle Beach in Koh Phangan | Image credit: 4FR via Canva Pro

Much like Koh Samui, one of the most exciting things to do in Koh Phangan is to seek refuge on its white shores. Located in southeast Thailand, the island is legendary for its Full Moon Party, an all-night celebration where revellers dance on Haad Rin beach from dusk to dawn. Still, there’s more to the island than night-long revelries. These days, Koh Phangan beckons to travellers who want to bask in the island’s seclusion and privacy as well. 

Things To Do In Koh Samui, Koh Tao & Koh Phangan

Haad Yao Beach in Koh Phangan | Image credit: Alexander Yakovlev via Canva Pro

Take a boat ride from Chalok Lam Beach to Bottle Beach, where the turquoise waters are ideal for snorkelling and swimming. Here, you can dip your toes into the soft white sands of one of the best beaches in Koh Phangan. For warm stretches of sand and sea, Haad Yao, Haad Yuan, and Haad Salad are also perfect for relaxation. 

10. Visit serene and breathtaking temples 

12 Things To Do In Koh Samui, Koh Tao & Koh Phangan 

Chinese Temple in Koh Phangan | Image credit: AlexKazachok2 via Canva Pro

No visit to Koh Phangan is complete without visiting its temples. By far, one of the most impressive temples on the island is the Chinese Temple, which is devoted to Guan Yin, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy. Standing out amidst its forest surroundings, it is the largest and most frequently visited temple in Koh Phangan. Here, visitors can admire the intricate roofs and brightly coloured stupas. 

Wat Phu Khao Noi

Wat Phu Khao Noi in Koh Phangan | Image credit: telnyawka via Canva Pro

Alternatively, you can also visit Wat Phu Khao Noi (“Temple of the Small Mountain”), the oldest temple on the island. Situated on a hill, it’s easily one of the most stunning sacred sites with its white exterior and tranquil location perfect for meditation and introspection. Just always make sure to wear appropriate clothes for all temple visits, taking care to keep your shoulders and knees covered at all times. 

11. Swim in waterfalls nestled in tropical forests 

Wang Sai Tong Waterfall

Wang Sai Tong Waterfall in Koh Phangan | Image credit: Musiggachart via Canva Pro

Once you’ve had your fill of white-sand beaches and sacred temples, the next thing to do in Koh Phangan is visit its waterfalls. Experienced hikers who love a challenge can take the steep rocky path to Phaeng Waterfall, which is located at the Thansadej National Park. There, you’ll find a stunning waterfall nestled in lush foliage. 

Another waterfall worth a visit is the Wang Sai Tong Waterfall, where crystal-clear water flows over limestone rocks and collects at several pools you can swim in. Popular among locals for swimming and cooling down, this waterfall is one of the most scenic attractions in Koh Phangan. 

Whether you’re up for a scenic hike or taking a dip in the pools, Koh Phangan’s waterfalls are well worth the detour. Just remember to bring trekking shoes and drinking water, and time your visit between October and January to see the waterfalls at full strength. 

12. Experience a life-changing stay at a yoga centre 

Healing Center in Koh Phangan

Orion Healing Center in Koh Phangan | Image credit: Orion Healing Center Official Instagram Page

In this era of safe travels and social distancing measures, there are so many exciting yet safe activities to enjoy in Koh Phangan besides partying it up on the beach. Home to a thriving wellness community, the island offers plenty of yoga retreats for a blissful escape from city life. 

Feel the stress leave your body by attending one of the daily yoga classes or Reiki healing sessions at the Orion Healing Centre, one of the most transformative wellness centres in the village of Sri Thanu Bay

Famous for its gentle ambience and rustic yoga shalas, this healing sanctuary offers a beautiful way for travellers to reconnect with nature. More than that, it also has a beachfront cafe where you can nourish your body with high-quality vegan food and enjoy sunset views.

12 Things To Do In Koh Samui, Koh Tao & Koh Phangan 

Wonderland Healing Center in Koh Phangan | Image credit: Wonderland Healing Center Official Facebook Page

Slow down and awaken your senses in a jungle resort at the Wonderland Healing Center, which offers a wide variety of Thai massages, holistic treatments, detox programs, meditation sessions, and yoga classes for visitors of all experience levels. By tailoring its wellness program to each specific individual, the centre ensures a life-changing experience for all. 

Promoting mindfulness and holistic treatments, Koh Phangan’s yoga retreats and wellness centres are all about supporting your physical and mental health in a relaxing environment. 

12 Things To Do In Koh Samui: Island-Hopping in Beaches

Palm-fringed shores in Koh Samui, Thailand | Image credit: goinyk via Canva Pro

No matter what draws you to the shores of Koh Samui, Koh Tao, and Koh Phangan, you have everything a traveller could ask for: tropical beaches, awe-inspiring temples, serene waterfalls, and life-changing wellness retreats. 

Already imagining your next trip to Thailand?

Now that Koh Samui, Koh Tao, and Koh Phangan are welcoming vaccinated tourists, you’ll have everything you need to plan your future trip!

LEARN MORE ABOUT SAMUI PLUS

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

Now that travelling to Thailand is back on the table, the Samui Plus programme offers an opportunity to rediscover the country’s hidden gems. From the diving spots of Koh Tao to the blissful meditation retreats in Koh Phangan, you’ll find no shortage of things to do in Thailand. 


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

About Author

Tiffany Conde
Tiffany Conde

Tiffany is a writer who covers travel, food, shopping, and pop culture. She has a soft spot for stories about Japan and Italy. While she waits patiently for her next adventure, she enjoys writing about the coolest places to stay around the world and where to find them.

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