There’s much more to Koh Samui than the handful of destinations that most visitors flock to. Here, we have collected some of our favourite experiences that can’t be had elsewhere, as well as chances to try new things and learn about local life on the island. Whether you choose to sample local spirits, visit an off-the-beaten-track village, learn about farming or set sail for adventure, these picks are sure to hit the spot.
- Board a Junk Boat. Step aboard a romantically retro seacraft for an afternoon of swimming, dining and touring or a sunset cruise filled with starlight, wonder, seafood and champagne. Red Baron and Chantara offer relaxed sails aboard their luxurious fleets, where guests can choose to island hop, snorkel or sea kayak from the boat into secret lagoons, past sensational cliffs and through magical tunnels. Or choose a private charter for ultimate personal luxury.
- Visit Hua Thanon Muslim Fishing Village. If the crowds at Bophut’s Fisherman’s Village are not your scene, seek out a more authentic fishing village experience here. Experience a more natural way of life and explore some of the last traditional fishing boats on Koh Samui. Watch the sun go down while dining on fresh seafood as waves lap your feet.
- Taste Artisan Rum and Tour a Distillery. One of the few independent distilleries in Thailand, Magic Alambic Rum crafts a Caribbean Agricole-style spirit and is pleased to welcome guests for tours and tastings. Founded by an expat couple from Martinique and France, respectively, they have been creating their rum, made from fresh sugarcane, since 2003.
- Try Organic Cooking and Aquaponics on a Micro-farm. Searching for an intriguing cooking class with a foray into Thai farming and vegetables? This is your destination. The only true organic micro-farm on the island, Island Organics consults with several Samui resorts on sustainable menus. In addition to Thai cookery courses, try your hand at aquaponics in a class that teaches the basics and lets you build your own growing garden.
- Explore the Local Art Scene. Koh Samui boasts a growing art scene populated with galleries and artists from around Thailand and abroad. Discover the work of painters, sculptors and visionaries that call the island their home. Samui has over 15 galleries, including Chujai Gallery, Black Eye Gallery, Gallery La Fayette, Modern Thai Art Gallery and Vida Kiom. For collectors and those that love visual arts, we recommend setting aside an afternoon to view them all.
- Embrace Your Inner Yogi. Whether you are a casual cat poser or dedicated downward dogger, Koh Samui offers outstanding yoga programmes. Vikasa Yoga Retreat sits on a cliff between Chaweng and Lamai beaches and earns high ratings for its location and high-quality instruction in meditation as well as yoga. Guests also enjoy its inclusive, friendly feeling. If class leaves you hungry, there is an organic restaurant on-site.