Koh Samui Island and Koh Phangan Island are two of the most visited islands in Thailand. Both are located in the Surat Thani Province, southern Thailand. The travel distance between them is 115.5 kilometers. A ferry route connects the two islands via Sonserm, which operates several times a week around 45 minutes sailing duration.
In this post, you’ll learn the top things to do when you’re heading to these two Surat Thani Islands.
Travel Experiences in Koh Samui
Koh Samui has two parts divided by the magnificent 635-meter high Mount Kaho Pom. The island is almost circular-shaped and has a total land area of 228 square kilometers. The best time to visit this place to take advantage of the good weather is from the last week of December until April when the location has a lot of sun exposure and little rain.
The travel tour on this beautiful island would typically take an hour with the main road connecting all centers. If you want to fully enjoy all the possible activities at Koh Samui, such as sightseeing, enjoying the water, learning about local culture, and relaxing, spend about four days when planning a detailed Koh Samui Koh Phangan itinerary for your next Thailand trip.
Here are the top things to do in Koh Samui:
#1. Visiting the Golden Big Buddha
The Big Buddha is a 12-meter golden Buddha in a posture depicting the quest of Buddha for enlightenment. The Golden Big Buddha is a famous landmark in Koh Samui, which situates at the Wat Phra Yai temple. Because it’s near the airport, tourists see this site first when they travel to the island by plane.
The temple is open daily with the busiest times in the morning. Experience the culture and tradition in the place, seeing locals and monks offering and chanting. When visiting religious sites, make sure to wear appropriate clothing, take in the sacredness of the area, and follow proper etiquette.
#2. Beach Bumming
Lamai is Koh Samui’s second-largest beach, where you can swim in the calm and clear sea. Enjoy the sun and relax by visiting this famous Thai island with a fruity cocktail, umbrella, and lounger for a perfect vacation experience. The main beach in Koh Samui is Chaweng, which is stunningly beautiful even if it’s the most crowded beach on the island.
The other gorgeous beaches on the island include Bang Por, Lipa Noi, and Big Buddha beach. These beaches have their features based on their location, and they have various tourist attractions.
#3. Water Sports and Activities
Koh Samui is a tropical island, so watersports activities, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, jet-skiing, sailing, kiteboarding, and kayaking, are trendy. It is an excellent place to explore the marine life under the sea with clear visibility from three and 30 meters snorkeling or scuba diving.
If you’re a lover of sea creatures, Koh Samui is an excellent place to indulge. You can get scuba-certified with the appealing water conditions in the area.
#4. Learning the Art of Yoga
Yoga is accessible in Koh Samui, and this activity is perfect if you arrive in the place on a rainy day. Whether you’re a total newbie or an expert, there’s a yoga class for you in Koh Samui. Many resorts are offering yoga classes, and you can choose from casual drop-in yoga classes to intense yoga retreats.
If you want to try your hand at trekking in beautiful spots, you can do it in Koh Samui. There are great hiking opportunities, and you don’t have to worry if you’re just a novice hiker because the trails are easy and short with fantastic viewpoints.
Here are some hiking trails with beautiful tourist spots:
- Emerald Lake Viewpoint
- Hin Lad Waterfall
- Maenam Viewpoint
- Na Muang Waterfall
- Nathon Mountain Ridge Trail
- Secret Buddha Garden
Once you’re tired from hiking, relax, and enjoy a delicious bowl of Pad Thai and cold Chang beer.
Travel Experiences in Koh Phangan
Koh Phangan sits in the Surat Thani region in the Gulf of Thailand. It’s one of the famous islands, along with Koh Tao and Koh Samui. The place has a lot of beautiful beaches and natural viewpoints. It’s a tourist’s paradise and worth staying for more than just a couple of days.
Here are the best things to do in Koh Phangan:
#1. Exploring the Beaches
Koh Phangan has more than 30 beaches, and one of them is Haad Rin Nok or the Full Moon Beach. Every end of the month, you’ll witness live party and celebration with the Full Moon party having an interesting historical background or story to tell.
Whether you’re touring Koh Phangan alone or with friends, you can surely find something beautiful in your adventure. Other famous beaches include the Malibu Beach and the Chaloklum Beach with powder-fine white sand, gorgeous turquoise waters, and a beautiful view of the mountains.
#2. Hiking Koh Phangan
The Khao Ra is considered the highest peak on the island at 627 meters high. You can make a trek on that mountain even if you don’t have much experience. Special equipment is not necessary when hiking to the summit because it’s easy to handle even for a newbie tourist hiker. Once you reach the top, get to see a breathtaking view of the bay of Koh Ma and Chaloklum Beach.
#3. Bathing in Waterfalls
The most visited waterfalls in the island are the Than Sadet Waterfall and the Phaeng Waterfall, where you can bathe in the natural swimming pools at the bottom. Enjoy swimming with family and friends for an unforgettable Thai waterfall adventure.
The activities mentioned above are ideal for new and tenured travelers alike. You can also try a digital nomad life and visit sacred landmarks while working from your laptop in between trips. Your creative juices will flow quicker when you’re amid glorious sights.
The other fun activities you can do in Koh Samui and Koh Phangan include taking a Thai cooking class, ATV tour, sunset cruise, getting a relaxing massage, swimming in waterfalls, and hitting the night market.