Koh Samui is blessed with a sense of style, an island chic encapsulating everything idyllic about a holiday for beckoning paradise-hunters, an explosion of color, fringed by beaches and soaked in tranquility. It’s a lively and intoxicating profusion of people and places. The tropical sunlight is infectious, visitors leave their wardrobes of grey and black behind when they step off the plane and don the Islands luxurious palette. Turquoise seas, white beaches, green forests so vivid they actually hurt the eyes, in essence, a kaleidoscope of beauty that’s hard to say there is nothing subtle about Koh Samui’s allurement.
Koh Samui is now become one of the top wellness and spa capitals in Thailand. Whether it is a total wind-down for the mind, body and spirit, or simply the desire to indulge your inner serenity, lots of travellers come to Koh Samui spending hours (and sometimes days) being massaged, bathed and blissed-out by the islands many dedicated holistic health, healing emotional therapies, pampering spa treatments, Detox protocols, and wholesome cuisine to transform you. You will undoubtedly enjoy pushing boundaries and explore new openings within yourself.
Travelers will find an array of courses and treatments in Koh Samui that strive to heal mind, body and spirit. Some offer spiritual enlightenment within five-star accommodation, while others offer basic dwellings and require a vow of silence. Meditation and yoga are attracting an ever-increasing number of visitors, prompting the spread of facilities that are convenient for Westerners. So whether you’re seeking a guru, enlightenment or just a really good stretch, there’s an ashram here to bless the soul and silence your stress.
One of Koh Samui’s most awe-inspiring sights are the islands natural waterfalls. A visit is a jaw-dropping, visceral experience, and the power and noise of the cascades live forever in the memory. An added benefit is the setting: heavily-jungled mountainous interior for spectacular views of the waterfalls that creates your own personal rainbows from the water’s spray as it hits the rocks and cool water below. This region will convince any adventurer that Koh Samui holds a bevy of off-the-beaten-track wonders.
The island’s costal lines are seductive, windswept beaches – water adventurers are sure to throw off their sandals into the sand and embrace the islands natural ocean’s libations. Crystal-clear waters are bursting with sea life and psychedelic reefs, providing incredible opportunities for snorkeling and diving. Nonstop breezes create near-perfect conditions for windsurfing, kite boarding and jet skiing. Take a day trip to Angthong National Marine Park, 42 limestone islands of clear blue water and reef. The calm waters and friendly marine life makes for fun and easy snorkeling. Some trips also offer kayaking around the cliff faces and into sea caves, plus a visit to an inland emerald lake on Koh Mae (Mother Island) is not to be missed.
With a combination of idyllic conditions and reputable dive outfits, Koh Samui offers both beginners and experienced divers the experience they have been looking for. Just a short speedboat ride away is the island Koh Tao. Its countless dive sites house everything from delicate sea fans to majestic coral gardens and is also blessed with one of the few places on earth where it’s possible to spot whale sharks (March to April) along with tropical fish, reef sharks, rays and barracuda during your dive course.
Classy yet understated, Koh Samui has come to be known for some of the best eclectic and imaginative food destinations in Thailand. Sinking into blue beanbags while eating off humble bamboo tables overlooking the ocean sea while you pick your fresh catch of the day to upscale locations with weekly-changing menus that triumph with divine, inventive European-style dishes infused with local produce. Your salivary glands will be put into overdrive not matter what your choice is, but don’t worry there are many mixologists that can quench your palette with a titillating cocktails. When in Samui, over indulgence is a guilty pleasure welcomed by all.
Located on the northeastern tip of Koh Samui, the 12-metre seated gold Buddha is the most prominent landmark seen from the air as you land at the airport. Tinkling bells, devotees making offerings of flowers and incense and banging gongs for luck give this spiritual space an energetic pulse. Pay your respects at the tented golden shrine and allow one of the local monks to bless you – the feeling is entrancing and magnetic as you hear the monks pray on behalf of your essence. Step up to Big Buddha’s glorious plateau, where you can peer over Bang Rak’s perfect bay or visit in the evening and glimpse the shimmering sun melt into the horizon. Everything about Big Buddha will leave you feeling spiritually energized and enlightened.
When you’re done soaking it all in, there’s always Thai boxing. Koh Samui is no longer just a destination for globetrotting backpackers and European sunbathers, the island is now attracting a new type of tourist, one who couldn’t care less about the raucous nightclubs and luxury resorts. Professional fighters, martial arts aspirants, and fitness enthusiasts from all over the world converge on this beautiful island to trade punches with Thailand’s top Muay Thai athletes. Training in Muay Thai for foreigners has increased in popularity in the past five years, and many camps are tailoring their programs for English-speaking fighters of both sexes with the added option for private lessons to be organized at your private villa.