The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!
The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches & More... Discover a brand new list of the best of Koh Samui: 35 of Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated! #kohsamui #thailand #samui #travel
The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches & More... Discover a brand new list of the best of Koh Samui: 35 of Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated! #kohsamui #thailand #samui #travel

No room for mediocrity inside your precious holiday time – I’ve done the guinea pigging for you. Below you’ll find a long list of 35 places, ideas, tips, activities, books, beaches and experiences – all of which I’m declaring the best of Koh Samui.

The best of Koh Samui – updated!

1. Best beach on Koh Samui

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

I like Choeng Mon best (for these 12 reasons), but you’ll have a favourite soon enough – Samui manages to be all things to all sorts of people. How so? Use The Koh Samui Guide to choose where you’ll be happiest staying; learn the pros/cons, demographics and highlights of every corner of the island (plus each area’s most notable private hotels, bungalows & tips for villa rental).

Use The Koh Samui Guide to choose where you’ll be happiest staying; learn the pros/cons, demographics and highlights of every corner of the island Get your Koh Samui Guide

2. Best day ever

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

It might be your wedding day, blah blah blah, but a day-trip by boat to Angthong Marine Park will be a very close second.

3. Best beach restaurant on earth

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

Travel+Leisure magazine included the very tiny (very delicious) Had Bang Po seafood restaurant on this impressive list. Catch it now before it gets trendy!

4. Best way to avoid embarrassing yourself

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

Without a little research, it’s easy to embarrass yourself in a new country. Simply remember these brief Thailand do’s and don’ts (5 do’s, 5 don’ts + 1 bonus don’t) and you’re golden.

5. Best way to spend a rainy day on Koh Samui

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

I’ve got 13 ideas for rainy day activities. Some will make you fat, but they’ll all keep you dry.

#6. Best things to bring to Koh Samui

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

The most random packing suggestion you’ve received? I’ve used myself (and my family) as an ongoing mosquito science project for 14 years now and this little beauty – Incognito’s luxury loofah soap – is next-level genius. Apparently, some chemical result of dead skin cells + sweat = mosquito heroin.

Start using one of these a week or so before leaving for Thailand, then pop it in your toiletry bag to continue the victory. There’s a citronella soap inside so it’s your entire shower kit in one tidy package.

Mosquito tips: Find out why I love Incognito’s anti-mosquito products and its totally ethical business.

7. Best early morning walk

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

For its length (approx. 3 miles/5 km), seclusion and views of Koh Phangan  – you can’t do than better Maenam Beach.

8. Best place to stay on Koh Samui

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

My readers’ most-booked Koh Samui hotel is Escape Beach Resort on Maenam Beach. Me? I could never choose just one.

9. Best way not to die

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

Scooter rental is one of a few island transport options, but perhaps the most popular. Plan to rent one? Add a helmet. Hot, sunny weather makes many Samui visitors forget their physics (oh please avoid holiday lobotomies).

10. Best way to cool off quickly

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

That would be a bucket of water (iced, probably) thrown down your back during Koh Samui’s Songkran – celebrated annually in April.

11. Best street food on Koh Samui

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

Stop by a walking street (farmer’s market/night market) in one of Samui’s towns for a moveable feast – dinner, drinks and dessert. Fishermen’s Village (on Fridays) is one of my favourite nights out on Samui.

12. Best Koh Samui guidebook

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

See what The Koh Samui Guide has to offer your vacation. I’m just getting started!

13. Best way to terrify your wife/girlfriend

Don’t tell her there’s a gecko in the bathroom.

14. Best romantic dinner on Koh Samui

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

I offer a few smushy romantic ideas, plus nice spots for sunset cocktails. After the gecko thing, you’ll owe her.

15. Best-dressed list

Make sure you feature. On the beach and off – it’s easy to figure out what to wear in Thailand.

16. Best friends for life

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

Use free Thai language podcasts to learn a few words of Thai, and you’ll have never made people so happy.

17. Best guess

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

Which is bigger – Koh Samui or Fiji? Find out how big Koh Samui is, compared to Bermuda, Greenland and beyond

18. The best of what, exactly?

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

I like to keep tabs on Samui’s victories – it regularly scoops up armfuls of prizes in TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards. Make that best for romance, best for food and wine… and plenty more.

19. Best beach books

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

These are my favourites – what are you loading on your Kindle?

20. Best face forward

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

You’ll probably meet him as you fly into Koh Samui, so why not get to know Koh Samui’s Big Buddha?

21. Best rude photo-op on Koh Samui

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

So this is awkward. There are a few unusual Koh Samui attractions, but ‘Hin Ta Hin Yai’ takes just 5 minutes to bring out the inner 12-year-old in all of us. There’s a boy-version, too.

22. Best sales pitch

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

It goes like this… “Hello, massaaaaaaage“, and it works. Thai massage huts are found all along Samui’s many beaches, (with dozens of resort spas available too) – you’ll need very little convincing to succumb to an hour a day.

23. Best year yet

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

Lots to look forward to for Koh Samui’s 2018 events.

24. Best way to have your cake and eat it too

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

Spend Christmas on Koh Samui – eating your mince pies on a beach.

25. Best books about Thailand

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

I’ve read almost all of these books about Thailand myself and loved them. I now I know a lot of random Thai trivia with which I annoy my family. (They don’t ask, but I like to tell them anyway). Cultural norms, birds, lady-boys, coconut milk, murder, mystery – it’s all there.

26. Best mosquito repellent for Koh Samui

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

Mosquitoes in Thailand are worthy adversaries, but won’t be any kind of problem if you’re in the habit of using mozzie repellent. For totally natural and extremely effective protection, try Incognito mosquito repellant.

27. Best foot forward

You’ll live in your Havaianas Flip-Flops. At most, you’ll want to pack just 5 kinds of shoes for Thailand but, for 99% of your time on Koh Samui, flip-flops are the most convenient. Why Havaianas? They last for-ev-er and don’t get hot when left in the sun.

28. Best sausage rolls on Koh Samui

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

They’re waiting for you at Angela’s Diner and Bakery, in Maenam.

29. Best local food treat on Koh Samui

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

Fresh fruit and veggies (like Thai bananas – fresh off the tree, bought from the granny who grew them).

30. Best Thai beer

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

I’ve done the research on Thai beer (I fully committed, in fact) – but the judgment is yours.

31. Best attempt at “Slow Food” on Koh Samui

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

Growing my own mangoes. From seed. There’s only 5 to 10 years left to wait. (Growing my own dragon fruit is even slower).

32. Best Discovery Channel moment

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

A near-collision with a metre-long monitor lizard – with updates from many readers’ monitor lizard stories, too.

33. Best time to have Koh Samui to yourself

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

Most definitely during Koh Samui’s rainy season (and in November particularly).

34. Best way to say thank you

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

How to the person looking after your dog/cat/goldfish/plants? Choose a nice Thai silk cushion, local Samui rum or a selection of soaps/candles/essential oils – spend a few hours doing some Thai souvenir shopping and you’ll easily find the perfect gift.

35. And the rest of the best?

The 35 Best of Koh Samui: Koh Samui’s Best Beaches, Hotels & Activities – Discover Koh Samui's best places, resorts, beaches, shopping, food, drink & experiences – totally updated!

I’ve saved the even better-best (like where to find bacon) for The Koh Samui Guide. Download it now and the island awaits. Enjoy!