To me, luxury doesn’t always mean expensive or lavish. I look at the word as a measure of the overall quality of something. If it’s of 5-star quality, then in my eyes, it falls under the “luxury” category. Koh Samui- which is still rugged in nature, but rich in nature and natural beauty- is a place that gives a whole lot of meaning to this newly-defined perspective of “luxury.”
From it’s abundance of beautiful beaches and landscapes to it’s wide-range of thrilling and affordable activities, Koh Samui has it all and it doesn’t discriminate when it comes to differing budgets. You have access to breathtaking sights, top-notch activities and an overall 5-star experience for sometimes just $15, but usually FOR FREE!!
Of course, food, drinks, and shopping may accompany these activities, but that’s just an added bonus, especially since the prices are typically half the prices you’re probably used to!
After spending a month on this island and tackling about every venture the island has to offer, I’ve put together a list of my 5 favorites….Keep scrolling!
1. Have Afternoon Tea or a Cocktail at the Intercontinental’s AirBar
This place may be a little out of the way from all the action, and the prices may be a bit steeper compared to the majority of restaurants/bars on Koh Samui, but PLEASE do yourself a favor, and plan a visit here.
It is hands-down the most incredible view on the island, with a panorama so vast, it will literally blow your mind again and again, every time you look at it. After a stressful day of driving around in our rental car (on the opposite side of the road I may add), it was the most relaxing way to spend the evening, sipping tea and watching the sun set over Ang Thong National Park in the distance.
2. Go Shopping at the Fisherman’s Village Night Market
The best shopping on the island is available every Friday night in the Bophut Fisherman’s Village, and it will change your perspective on shopping forever.
For about $30 in total, I walked away from this place with multiple bags of clothes, jewelry, makeup, and accessories that would normally cost over $500 in the U.S. This places makes any tourist feel like a millionaire, especially after consuming a number of $1.50 beers as you wander from stall to stall 😂
3. Take the Ferry and Go Island-Hopping
Koh Samui is neighbors with several other beautiful islands, so the ferry’s cheap prices make island-hopping a must! Take a 30 minute ferry to Koh Phangan to attend the Full Moon Party, or take a 2 hour ferry to Koh Tao for the best diving in Thailand!
4. Hike to Na Muang Waterfall and Swim in the Natural Pools
This free activity is a great way to stay active on your trip, while also witnessing a different side to the island’s natural beauty- its jungles! Many tourists only visit the beaches when staying on Koh Samui, but there’s so much more to see if you travel inland.
Bring your bathing suit to swim in the nature-made pools, along with some money for bananas to feed the tired elephants locked up for elephant trekking (😟👎) at the base of the hike.
5. Spend a Beach Day at Crystal Bay
This beach is definitely a hidden gem in Koh Samui. All the popular beaches (Bophut, Chaweng, Lamai) are packed with crowds, beach vendors, and noisy water sports/activities. Crystal Bay has none of this and even has the feel of a private beach, as it’s very small and quiet. That being said, I definitely recommend coming here for a 5-star beach day experience!
I hope my list of Koh Samui favorites make it on to your list when traveling to this amazing place! Let me know if you have any other personal recommendations to add 😊