With being the largest island in the Gulf of Thailand and having the areas only airport, Koh Samui is the perfect jumping-off point to island-hop. With seemingly endless accommodation options it is also a great place to explore from. With that in mind here are 3 day trips from Koh Samui.
Ang Thong National Marine Park
Arguably one of the most popular day trips from Koh Samui is visiting the Ang Thong Marine Park. This beautiful National Park is a collection of over 40 islands 40 kilometres northwest of Koh Samui. Many tour operators offer packages to this park by speedboat or slow boat. I got sold on spending a bit more and taking the speedboat. Once there the experience is the same – and somewhat crowded. Even with a few islands to explorer, tours cycle through like a leaky machine. We were brought ashore on a couple of different islands for lunch until we found one that could fit us in. Same went for snorkeling.
Crowds (and Speedo wearing, iPad totting, Russian tourists) aside, the islands are indeed beautiful and worth the short boat ride out. Although faster, note speedboats are not especially fun in choppy waves. The short ride home was doubled as the wind picked up and we had to take every slamming wave at a crawl. We also had to pick up and drop off passengers from Koh Pha Ngan making the speedboat trip a little less speedy.
Kayaking, enjoying the beaches, and hiking up to the lagoon inside the main island of Mae Kho are the most popular activities. Tours range from ~1400 baht to 2200 baht depending on your boat-boat choice and activities.
Koh Tao & Koh Nang Yuan
Although I stayed on Koh Tao, day trips from Koh Samui are available. This divers paradise is THE spot for those looking to quickly get certified or just see some of the amazing sea life. A variety of diving and snorkelling specific tours organised by various companies, of them being Surface Interval Scuba Diving, are available from Samui that are sure to get you up close to some of the areas most colourful fish and coral.
Koh Nang Yuan is by far the most scenic island in the area. Famous for the shoal that connects two islands, this picturesque spot is incredibly popular. Arrive early to get a spot on the beach and be sure to make the sweaty trek up to the vantage point for that postcard-worthy photo.
Koh Pha Ngan
Known for its full moon and half-moon parties, Koh Pha Ngan offers much more than glow sticks and techno music. Affordable accommodations on the island have taken a toll from party goers so visiting as part of a day trip from Koh Samui is a wise choice if the parties do not interest you. Pristine beaches, elephant tracking, Muay Thai boxing lessons, and diving/snorkelling or popular attractions and activities… beyond drinking of course.
For those that want to experience the full moon party as a day trip from Koh Samui have the option of taking a same day boat between the islands. This allows for party-goers more accommodation options and staying away from the noise. Speed boats run several times every hour on party nights and take about 20 minutes to cross.
Taking a junk boat for a tour around the island is also a great way to experience Koh Pha Ngan. Many day trips are available and usually include lunch, snorkelling, and other water sports.
Or Stay Close
With being the largest island in the area Koh Samui offers many day trip options that can keep you close. Visiting the many temples and religious sites is a popular day trip on Koh Samui. Be sure to see the Big Buddha, Samui’s most famous landmark, which is located on the northern coast. Although somewhat creepy, the mummified Monk at Wat Khunaram is worth a visit. This famous Monk has been seated in a meditative position inside a glass case since 1973. Oh and he rocks a great pair of Ray-Bans.
If Temples and mummified Monks aren’t your things, why not head outdoors. Many tours operate offer trekking and 4×4 day trips through the island’s jungles. See monkeys, elephants, crocodiles, waterfalls, and massive trees on this Koh Samui day trip excursion.
Which Koh Samui Day Trip is for you?
From island hopping to jungle trekking, there is no shortage of day trips from Koh Samui. With something to offer everyone, planning a day out from the Gulf of Thailand’s largest and most populated island is not only easy but fun. Tours can be organized by your hotel guest services and almost always include pickup, drop off, meals, and a good time. All you have to do is show up.
Oh, and don’t forget your speedo and iPad🙂