Are you heading to Koh Samui in Thailand and you’re wondering what it’s like in there? Where to go and what to do? Where to visit, where to dine? Where to see the most beautiful sunset and where to get the most sexiest tan?
Here are some of the best places we think are worth taking a look at or visit during your trip in Koh Samui.
Best place to hang out?
Coco Tam’s. We don’t personally like spending time on night clubs or foam parties filled with egoistic and shallow youngsters, but rather spend the evening in a peaceful atmosphere listening to good music, toes dipped in a beach’s sand. At Coco Tam’s it’s possible. It may not be Samui’s cheapest place to hang out, but as usually: cheap price and good quality doesn’t really go hand in hand. Coco Tam’s is also a very “instagrammable” place, with swings, hammocks and beach chairs. It also has Beer Pong and Pool tables and possibility to smoke shisha for those who’re interested. There’s also amazing fire show every evening at 10pm.
Coco Tam’s also offers excellent cocktails with the price of 230 baht and up. If you get hungry, there’s also a solution for a problem like that as they also have a own restaurant and a newly opened superfood cafe.
Best coffee shop?
The Road Less Traveled. This is a very European café, where digital nomads and remote workers will enjoy (or would if there were any in Samui). The café also has a very artistic side, as it is full of great paintings and the place is decorated in an antique style. In addition, various art exhibitions and performances are also presented here.
Secret Buddha Garden / Tanim Magic Garden. We actually visited this place about a week ago, and it really surprised us. There is an entrance fee of 80 baht, but well worth the price. This tranquil garden, eutrophied by nature, was founded in the 1970’s by a durian breeder who wanted to do something in his old days. So he began to carve various animal figures and statues out of the stone. When the man then passed away and moved to the greener Durian lands in the nineties, his garden remained as a tourist destination. The place is perfect for relaxation, although there are also tourists here with their selfie sticks, just like in every tourist spots in Earth. However, getting to this garden isn’t the easiest route and you should definitely get a 125cc motorcycle or maybe even a car. The hills leading to the garden are so steep that we do not recommend cycling here either.
Best restaurant(s) (vegan point of view)?
We couldn’t choose just one, so here are the best choices from different cuisines.
If you want pizza, Hungry Wolf is our number one recommendation. Hungry Wolf also have a completely separate vegan menu, with pizzas, burgers and more. In vegan versions, meat is often replaced with “omnipork“, but there are also other alternatives. They also use vegan cheese. Hungry Wolf, however, is not a “vegan restaurant”, so carnivores will also get their tummies stuffed.
We would say Haveli being our favorite Indian restaurant in Samui, but since we don’t really visit there anymore (since it’s pretty far from us) we have to mention Tandoori Nights, that is located in Lamai. The owner of Tandoori Nights is an extremely friendly Indian man who shook hands with us at the end of our first visit and thanked us personally for visiting his restaurant. And this behaviour hasn’t changed, the friendly and personal service makes us come back here more than once a month. Unfortunately, we don’t have a picture of the dishes in this restaurant, but sure everyone knows how Indian food looks like. If you don’t know, click here.
For Thai food, our top recommendation is the one called Apple. Despite its name (so it’s not related to the super-expensive laptop brand designed only for using Facebook and blogging). Apple offers both Western food and traditional Thai dishes, as well as a variety of smoothies and healthy juices. Dinner for two (food + soda) won’t take more than 250 baht in your wallet.
Lipa Noi or Lamai Beach. There are two to choose from, because depending on your mood, one is better than the other. If you just want to lay down in peace and swim in the ocean, Lipa Noi Beach is a better for that. The beach is also suitable for admiring the sunset as it is located on the western side of the island. But if you’d like to do some activity (like jet skiing) then Lamai Beach is better for you. In Lamai there are also more restaurants, possibilities to rent a beach chairs and get massages. The downside in Lamai Beach are the jewelry sellers, men forcing you to take selfie photos with their iguanas and the old ladies who constantly provide you a foot care even if you say no five times.
Wat Plai Laem. This is not actually a single temple, but a temple complex. Built in the middle of a small artificial pond, this modern Buddhist temple is protected by an 18-handed statue of Guanyin and a smiling buddy Budai. Plai Laem also has several smaller statues from Vishnu, Shiva and Ganesha.
However, if you prefer the more ancient temple style, check out Wat Sila Ngu (aka Wat Ratcha Thammaram). Built in the 1930s and colored throughout in crimson, this temple is small but still worth a visit.
PS: For some reason everyone always says Samui’s best temple / attraction is the 12-meter-high Big Buddha, but personally, at least on a short trip, we would choose another attraction. Great view from there sure, but that’s all. It is also filled with tourists and it has its own “tourist village” with cafes and boutiques built around the statue.
Lamai. The Lamai is a green area with high mountains, great beaches and it offers many restaurants and possibilities for shopping. There are no movie theater or a big mall in Lamai, but maybe that’s why it is the best area on the island. Of course there is tourism, but unlike Chaweng (known for its many nightclubs and cabaret restaurants), Lamai is much more laid-back and family friendly and the locals also speak English better than in northern Samui. But sure there are cocktail bars and smaller girl clubs in Lamai (like the one called SexySex), but they’re not as “dirty” as in Chaweng.
Best sunset spot?
B Valley. You will drive by this place if you visit the Secret Buddha Garden. The B Valley is a café and may not be accessible for free, but the viewpoints entry fee is only 20 baht. We ended up here when the cafe was closed. The viewing platform offers a magnificent view over the whole island and the sun can be seen beautifully setting behind the mountains. Even the Khanom beach in Nakhon Si Thammarat can be seen at the clear weather.