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Remember Jack Byrnes in Meet the Parents? It’s time for you to do what he did—in other words, make your own arrangements for Koh Samui holidays. This is one place where you can have the time of your life—you’ll never run out of things to do.
Never been to a full moon party before? Not to worry, Koh Samui throws a raging one every month. Have you ever dreamed of exploring the kingdom under the sea? All you need is a snorkel mask and a set of swim fins and you’ll be set. Think you can handle all that? Yeah, of course you can. We’ll talk later.
The water off Koh Samui is almost blinding thanks to its bright turquoise colour, but isn’t it beautiful? Shed your clothes—not all of them, please—and dive in for a snorkelling excursion to make friends with Nemo and the gang. Except maybe Bruce; he’s kind of a jerk. When you’re done with your underwater adventure, get back to shore and ride an elephant down the sand in front of the Koh Samui hotels. Because let’s face it, horses are for suckers.
Want to be seduced by the goddess of compassion and mercy? Pay a visit to the Wat Plai Laem Buddhist Temple, where an 18-armed statue of the goddess appears to be doing the most epic set of jumping jacks ever performed. After that, get back to town and stuff yourself with papaya salad, little spit-roasted birds and grilled sausage.
Size isn’t everything, and even though Samui International Airport is smaller than other large transport centres, flights to Koh Samui are available daily. But if flying isn’t your idea of a fun, ferries from the Big Buddha and Maenam Beach Piers can get you to and from the island in a jiffy. Once you’ve landed, taxis will be waiting to take you directly to your accommodation in Koh Samui.
Considering the island’s small acreage, most of it is easily accessible by a songthaew (the Koh Samui bus system). If that doesn’t entice you, lastminute.com.au car hire options are readily available, especially if you want to take the car ferry for a day trip around the mainland. The most popular and price-friendly mode of transportation is by motorbike or scooter, so if you’re feeling like two wheels are better than four, by all means raise the kickstand and go.
Everyone’s heard of the full moon parties in Thailand. You know what we’re talking about, the all-night beach bangers where gorgeous people chase each other around to the beat of electronic music. Well, they exist, and if you happen to be in this neck of the woods at the end of July, you’ll be able to enjoy one. Bright lights, loud music, beautiful people dancing the night away on a beach in Thailand…what more could a hungry traveller ask for?
There are full moon parties every month, so don’t worry if you miss the one in July. You still have August, September and so on.
Come late November, you’ll encounter the Loi Krathong festival. It’s a huge celebration filled with fireworks, khom loi (sky lanterns) and krathongs, which are handmade flower baskets that are cast off into some sort of waterway. Guess when this is held? Yup, on the eve of a new full moon. The Thai have some affinity for these full moon things.
Party zone? The whole fricking island is a party zone. Check out the places to stay in Koh Samui near Chaweng Beach on the east side of the island. You’ll be near more than a dozen rocking tourist nightclubs and girlie bars—wink, wink. There are some really, really interesting cabaret shows going on at those last places.
Are you on a romantic getaway with a significant other? If so, head to Bophut on the northern coast; there are plenty of romantic watering holes on the sand so the two of you can enjoy a bottle of wine with the sunset. Top it all off with a soothing glass of nighttime tea at the Namcha Samui Tea House. No, it’s not that kind of tea.
From one island paradise to another. Take a few days off from partying on Koh Samui and see what’s going on at Ko Pha Ngan, another beautiful isle in the Chumphon Archipelago. Spend part of your day hiking through Than Sadet-Ko Pha Ngan National Park to the waterfall in the centre. Head back to town and take a cooking class so you can learn how to make some of the best food in Thailand. You’ll come home bursting with recipes for kung pao grilled prawns and Thai fish cakes. Trust us, nothing makes you the life of the party more than walking in with a tray full of fresh fish cakes.
If going from island to island doesn’t sound appealing, just hop a quick one-hour flight to the capital city of Bangkok. The electricity in this place is impossible to bottle, so just let it flow through you, especially when you’re cruising down Kao San Road. Pubs, hostels, restaurants, hawker stands, whatever you’re looking for is here. And don’t forget about taking a million selfies in front of Wat Phra Kaeo in the Grand Palace. Hello, Instagram followers.
Let’s say you’re only spending one day in Koh Samui and you’re not sure what to do. Well, one thing you can try is a Koh Samui Jungle Adventure. There’s nothing like riding in the back of a 4WD vehicle while zipping through the South East Asian rainforest. The Na Muang Waterfalls and a mummified monk are just a few of the sights you’ll see along the way.
Are you ready to jump into a real-life tropical postcard? We think you are, so browse through lastminute.com.au’s selections of the best hotels in Koh Samui and save big bahts when you bundle one with a flight.
Blue water. Coconut palms. Warm sun. Beachfront accommodation in Thailand. Stop reading and get moving!