Koh Samui, Thailand’s second largest island and cosmopolitan melting pot, is definitely a destination you’ll want to add to your Southern Thailand itinerary. Located in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui is well-known for its lavish resorts, breathtaking scenery, palm-tree lined beaches, lush rainforests, and beautiful waterfalls. Although Kevin and I spent the majority of our time on Koh Samui at the Conrad there are several places we highly recommend checking out if you are in the area!
If you’re interested in visiting more than just Koh Samui, Thailand check out our other posts.
- What to do in Khao Sok National Park
- The Top Things To Do in Phi Phi Islands
- What To Do In Phuket Thailand
How to Get to Koh Samui.
There are multiple ways to get to Koh Samui, Thailand.
- Car/Taxi to Donsak Ferry from Phuket or Krabi then take the ferry to Koh Samui (cheaper option).
- The ferry ride is roughly 90 minutes and offers air-conditioned seating inside so you can relax and enjoy the ride. Tickets can be purchased in advance for the ferry at https://www.seatranferry.com/, or you can purchase them once you arrive at the pier. The ferry not only takes passengers but vehicles as well!
- Kevin and I opted for this type of transportation because we had already rented our own car and wanted to keep it to explore Koh Samui.
- Fly from Phuket, Krabi, or any other major city into Koh Samui International Airport (fastest option).
- Koh Samui has its own international airport, USM. This airport offers plenty of short-haul flights from Phuket, Krabi, Bangkok or any other major city. This option is usually more expensive but is faster than driving to the ferry and taking the ferry.
Where to Eat in Koh Samui.
Kevin and I did not eat at too many restaurants in Koh Samui because we spent the majority of our stay at the Conrad. However, there were two restaurants we ate at and do recommend to fellow travelers!
Breakfast at About Cafe
About Cafe is located on the northern part of Koh Samui on Mae Nam’s Walking Street. It is roughly 20 minutes from both Nathon Pier, the drop off location for the ferry, and Koh Samui International Airport. About Cafe is a quaint family run cafe that is attached to the owner Koy’s home. The cafe is filled with photos of happy customers and charming souvenirs that are hard to pass up. Here patrons can order anything from natural yogurts and smoothies, banana pancakes, gourmet coffees, western style breakfasts and more.
While we dined at About Cafe, Kevin and I had the pleasure of meeting Koy and her family who made us feel right at home. They also educated us on the island and the local area.
Kevin and I enjoyed a western breakfast that included eggs, potatoes, and toast. I also ordered a vanilla latte that was incredible while Kevin enjoyed a freshly blended mango smoothie.
Lunch at The Jungle Club
The Jungle Club restaurant is an absolute must if you are visiting Koh Samui, Thailand. Although it is quite expensive compared to other restaurants, the views and atmosphere make it worthwhile. The Jungle Club is located atop a steep hill that makes access to the club difficult without the proper vehicle. Kevin and I strongly recommend a 4-wheel drive vehicle if you are planning on checking this place out. If you are renting a car it is possible to get to The Jungle Club, just make sure to put your car in LOW gear.
The Jungle Club is a multilevel restaurant with various dining spaces. You may choose to eat on the deck, the pavilion, or in the restaurant itself. Kevin and I choose to eat on the deck and relax on the beautiful red Thai cushions while we enjoyed our meals.
The Jungle Club is frequently attended by both tourists and locals. That being said this place is always filled with guests enjoying a meal or catching up with friends over a few drinks. Do not be surprised if there is a bit of a wait, but don’t worry it is worth it!
The Jungle Club offers everything from sandwiches, pizza, salads, steaks, and local Thai cuisine. They also provide a wonderful variety of cocktails, beers, and wines!
Get a Massage!
If you google the best massage in Koh Samui, you are going to read about Tamarind Springs. Kevin and I were set on having a spa day there until we found Anodas Spa.
Anodas Spa is located on the northern side of the island five minutes from Koh Samui International Airport. This spa is part of the beautiful 4-star Nora Buri Resort. Nori Buri Resort is equipt with a private beach, fitness center, restaurant and more. Nora Buri Resort is beautiful and if we had not already made accommodations, Kevin and I would have considered staying there due to its lush beauty and friendly staff.
Anodas Spa vs. Tamarind Springs
Before arriving in Koh Samui, Kevin and I compared both Anodas Spa and Tamarind Springs. After discovering that Anodas Spa was half the price of Tamarind Springs we decided to book it. We booked Anodas because not only was it cheaper, but the actual massage duration was the same there as it was at Tamarind. The only service that was not offered at Anodas Spa was the additional hour relaxing in the spring, which Kevin and I were okay with forgoing.
At Anodas Spa we purchased the Honeymoon Massage Package and were not disappointed! It was honestly the best massage we have ever experienced. Anodas Spa uses a range of organic ingredients while utilizing both Thai and western massage and facial techniques. Everything from the staff to the views to the products was absolutely amazing. Kevin and I definitely recommend this massage to anyone headed to Koh Samui, you cannot beat it!
After your massage, enjoy fresh coconut water and Nora Buri’s breathtaking views that overlook the ocean in your own private jacuzzi!
Conrad Koh Samui
The Conrad Koh Samui was, without a doubt, the nicest resort we have ever stayed at! Fortunately for us, we were able to stay there for free. At the Conrad, we were provided our own private bungalow overlooking the ocean with our own private infinity pool.
When you arrive at the Conrad you are greeted by friendly staff who bring you and your belongings to your bungalow. Bungalows can only be accessed by the resort shuttle service or by walking, creating a quiet and peaceful resort for all guests.
If you’re interested in how we received two free nights at the Conrad Koh Samui (each night worth over $600) then check out https://travelsecrets.mathersonthemap.com and take our course on how to travel hack! You won’t regret it!
Neighboring Island “Luxury” Boat Tour
One of the perks of staying at the Conrad is that they offer activities for guests. For example, we were offered a complimentary boat tour to enjoy some snorkeling and visit the neighboring island of, Koh Matsum. Since Kevin and I visited in October, Koh Samui’s rainy season, the water conditions were not ideal for snorkeling. After 30 minutes of swimming an enjoying the warm water, we visited Koh Matsum.
Koh Matsum is truly breathtaking with beautiful lush palm trees and white sandy beaches. Here Kevin and I were able to relax and enjoy the sunshine and crystal clear water. Koh Matsum offers a beach bar where they sell alcoholic as well as virgin drinks and food for those who are hungry. Luckily for us, it rained that morning so many of the other tours were canceled and we had the place to ourselves.
If you’re not staying at the Conrad you can still make your way to Koh Matsum through different tour companies. Simply ask the staff at your hotel if they partner with any tour services and they should be able to hook you up. The company that works with Conrad is Oceana Samui Charters.
Instagram Worthy Photos on the Island of Koh Samui
Heading to Southeast Asia, consider adding Koh Samui, Thailand to your itinerary! The island of Koh Samui has so much to offer. If you’re like Kevin and I and love taking pictures while enjoying scenic views then Koh Samui is for you! We’ve also included in this post, our favorite restaurants as well as the best massage we have ever received, read all about them here!
If you have any recommendations on what to do in Koh Samui or any questions drop a comment below.