Koh Samui Itinerary

Koh Samui Itinerary – The Perfect 4 Days In 2024

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Unsure how to spend 4 days in Koh Samui? This 4-day Koh Samui itinerary will show you everything from the best activities to participate in, where to stay and other bonus activities in case my selection isn’t your cup of tea.

Koh Samui is located in the Gulf of Thailand and is the second-largest island in the country (behind Phuket), renowned for its pristine beaches, lush rainforests, and vibrant nightlife. 

Koh Samui is a backpacker’s hot spot with the majority of people being found around, Chaweng Beach.

As Koh Samui is so big it can be difficult to know how to get around and where the best areas are to visit. For most of you, four days are sufficient to embrace everything Koh Samui has to offer and also visit Ang Thong National Park.

Many will recommend spending at least 3 days in Koh Samui but for me, 4 days is the perfect amount of time to explore Koh Samui.

The BEST time to visit Koh Samui is between December and March, the weather is settled and you won’t have the extreme heat the summer brings.

Within this Koh Samui itinerary, you’ll be doing lots of sightseeing, swimming, relaxing, beach hopping and importantly partying!

So let’s begin this Koh Samui itinerary.

How To Get To Koh Samui

You can get to Koh Samui from any major destination in Thailand. For an in-depth guide on how to get to Koh Samui from various destinations in Thailand click the link above.

The guide covers how to reach Koh Samui from Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi, Chiang Mai, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao so if this is relevant to you be sure to check it out! I also cover a bonus money-saving strategy by flying to a different airport, which is definitely worth a visit if you’re booking at the last minute.

Summed up there are two ways you can get to Koh Samui:

  1. Fly there.
  2. Get a ferry across (likely need a bus & ferry combined ticket from the destination you leave from).

The best way to get to Koh Samui depends on your situation. The faster the travel the more expensive it tends to be. If you’re pressed for time the best way to get to Koh Samui is to fly but if you’re in no rush the bus and ferry combined ticket is the better option.

There are numerous ports on Koh Samui so make sure you check your entrance point before arrival.

Taxis from Koh Samui Airport to Chaweng Beach take around 8 minutes and taxis can all be booked via Grab or Bolt for the best rates possible.

Where To Stay In Koh Samui

There are many places to stay around Koh Samui but where would we recommend?

Budget-Friendly Accommodation

SocialTel Samui

Probably the most famous hostel on the island of Koh Samui is the SocialTel.

The SocialTel is known for its luxury hostel accommodation, comfy beds, clean bathrooms and as its name suggests, creates a fun environment for you to interact with new people from all over the world.

This hostel is a party hostel so be prepared to be propositioned with drinks throughout the day and night. Being towards the centre of the nightlife of Chaweng Beach expect music to be pretty loud throughout the night. Nonetheless, a great place to stay for the party animals amongst us!

Chill Inn Lamai Hostel & Beach Cafe

Situated on a private beach on the edge of Lamai, this hostel is for the backpacker who wants to be away from the party vibes and just relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Koh Samui.

With over 2000 reviews holding an overall 9.0+ Rating on HostelWorld, this hostel is guaranteed to provide you with comfort and the most relaxing stay in Koh Samui.

Although Koh Samui is known for some big parties, if relaxation is for you the perfect day can be had at the Chill Inn Hostel & Beach Cafe.

Mid Priced

Scenery Sunrise

This property found near one of the best beaches in Koh Samui, Chaweng Beach, is managed by a private host. 

This apartment has a rooftop pool, a garden and free private parking. The accommodation features airport transfers, while a car rental service is also available. Rooms are designed to feel spacious and luxurious while being at an affordable price. 

You’ll need a scooter or car for this property else it can be a bit of a trek to get to.

AMAYA Resort

Set in the relaxed, but beautiful, Lamai this resort is for the traveller who wants to be away from the frantic Chaweng Beach.

This 4-star hotel offers accommodation with an outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, a garden and a restaurant.

Staff are happy to help with all your needs from taxis to recommending the best tours! They have a 9.5+ rating on Booking.com with over 100 reviews made which is exceptional! 

If you want your time on Koh Samui to be luxury without paying luxury prices AMAYA Resort is the place to be.

Luxury

Sky Dream Villa Award Winning Sea View Villa

Quite a jump in price but that’s what you get when you’re at one of the BEST places to stay in Koh Samui!

With unobstructed 180-degree ocean views, Sky Dream Villa is a fully-furnished 4-bedroom villa with a private 25-metre-long infinity pool. During your stay, you can enjoy the services of 24-hour staff and free WIFI access.

Immaculate bedrooms, billiards tables, an on-site gym, do I need to go on?

Villa Cocoon

Again one of the best places to stay on Koh Samui providing you with pure luxury but maybe at a more affordable price is Villa Cocoon.

Villa Cocoon in Koh Samui offers a sublime blend of luxurious amenitiesbreathtaking sea views, and impeccable service. Its sophisticated design and relaxing atmosphere ensure an unparalleled retreat in paradise.

Situated near Chaweng Beach if you fancy a little party this Villa is just a short taxi home.

If you can get together with a group of 8 you can book this whole property for a steal of a price! Trust me you’ve found a gem!

How To Get Around Koh Samui

For transport around Koh Samui, there are three main ways:

  1. Car & Motorbike Rentals
  2. Taxi (Grab & Bolt)
  3. Songthaews

Car & Motorbike Rentals

Renting Cars or Motorbikes in Koh Samui is a very straightforward process.

Rental shops can be found all over the island at affordable prices. If finding a rental shop is tricky for you 9 times out of 10 you can ask your accommodation for recommendations and they will sort this out for you or give you directions.

During our time in Koh Samui, we had a fairly large group so we rented a mix of motorbikes and a truck. This was by far the most cost-effective solution for us with scooter rental being as low as 150 Baht per day and the cars around 1000 Baht per day divided by 5 made it 200 Baht per person.

The roads of Thailand are no joke, if you’re gonna get a bike make sure you know how to drive one first. We found out the hard way…

As Koh Samui is the second largest island in Thailand taxi fares soon add up. By having your own vehicle you can move around the island at your own pace while saving money at the same time, for this reason, it is the best way to get around Koh Samui.

Taxi (Grab & Bolt)

For those who prefer the comfort of being driven around or simply do not have the confidence to give riding a scooter a go, taxis are readily available on the island with a click of a button.

If you’re planning to make any long-haul trips or regular changes of destination, the bill can add up fast, however, if you’re in a group of four it can still be a cost-effective way of manoeuvring around the island.

Before you book your fare with Grab click the ‘offers’ tab before booking as this can save you money.

From my experience whenever you’re planning a short trip, Bolt is cheaper but for a long trip, Grab is cheaper. Before booking your ride make sure to cross compare prices.

If Bolt or Grab for any reason are not available for you, there are private taxis but make sure you agree to a price before departure else you can get stung.

Songthaews

Again an option for those who do not have their own vehicle to drive.

Songthaews are commonly called red communal taxis, these taxis can be found all over the hotspots of Koh Samui.

These are open-air, shared taxis that follow specific routes around the island. Songthaews are a budget-friendly option, and passengers can hop on and off along the route.

As they are only for short-haul travel prices per person usually range from 20-50 Baht making it very cost-effective for your chilled days on the island.

Koh Samui Itinerary Day 1 – Relax At Chaweng Beach

So you’ve chosen your accommodation. You know how you’re going to get around the island, now what?

As you’ll be flying or getting a ferry to Koh Samui and I can’t be certain what time you’ll arrive, I recommend you start your Koh Samui itinerary off by relaxing at Chaweng Beach.

Make sure you arrive in Koh Samui as early as possible so you can enjoy each day to the fullest!

The majority of you will be staying in places in Chaweng. I have to admit that Chaweng felt like the most westernised part of the island.  Not particularly my cup of tea but as a result, on the beach, there are plenty of activities to do and it is therefore one of the most popular beaches on Koh Samui. 

So what can you do at Chaweng Beach?

  • Relax and sunbathe – Chaweng Beach is arguably one of the best places to work on that tan and relax. With its pristine white sands and azure waters there are not many places better than Chaweng Beach to relax.
  • Water Sports – There are numerous water sports you can participate in should you wish to. These include:
    • Jet Skiing
    • Parasailing
    • Snorkelling
    • Paddleboarding
    • Kayaking
    • Banana Boats and so on.
  • Beach Bars – All along the strip of Chaweng Beach you can find beach clubs offering a range of foods and drinks. Happy hour starts at various times for these bars so keep an eye out for the best deals available. 
  • Massage – Numerous beachfront resorts offer spa services at various prices depending on the size of the establishment you choose.  There is a range of treatments you can choose from sure to leave you feeling relaxed. 

As the evening approaches, put on a change of clothes and experience Koh Samui’s nightlife.

Koh Samui has various beach bars and clubs for you to party the night away. One that I would recommend is the ARK BAR BEACH CLUB.

The beach bars are a great way to start pre-drinks. Order some nice food and drinks and relax as the staff prepare to entertain you with the fire show.

Creating incredible displays the fire show is a mesmerising spectacle featuring skilled performers manipulating flames with precision. The vibrant display, set against a beach backdrop, creates an exhilarating and visually stunning experience for you to enjoy. 

The actors like crowd involvement so if you want to have a go at twirling fire make sure to raise your hand when they come into the crowd!

When the ARK Bar comes to a close you will have many options. The main strip of Koh Samui’s nightlife comes in a triangular shape, some of the bars along the strip include:

  • The Green Mango
  • Hush Bar
  • Henry Africa’s Bar and many more!

Like any bar/club, all these venues have various drink offers, pool tables and various areas to have a dance. The Green Mango and Hush Bar seemed to be where most travellers decided to go which makes it an equally good place to make new friends while you are away.

It’s a perfect way to start the Koh Samui itinerary. You don’t need to be up mega early tomorrow as we’re going on a mini road trip at your own pace.

Koh Samui Itinerary Day 2 – Sightseeing 

For the second day of your Koh Samui itinerary you’re gonna require one of two things:

  1. A scooter or car rental
  2. Taxis all over the island

Koh Samui is a large island so I would recommend you rent a vehicle as it will make everything far more convenient for you, being able to leave when you want and will be significantly cheaper. The direction of travel in Thailand is exactly like England so there’s nothing to be scared about!

To start day 2 of your Koh Samui itinerary you’ll make the 15-minute drive from Chaweng Beach to…

Big Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Yai)

The Big Buddha Temple, or Wat Phra Yai, is an iconic Thai Buddhist shrine on Koh Samui. Towering at 12 metres, the golden Buddha statue exudes serenity, attracting visitors seeking to discover the unique culture of Thailand.

Not only is the Big Buddha an incredible piece of architecture but if you look over the side the shrine offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, including the clear waters of the Gulf of Thailand.

If you wish to purchase a souvenir or drink then vibrant markets and shops line the entrance, offering a diverse range of religious artefacts, souvenirs, smoothies and traditional Thai handicrafts.

Next up on your Koh Samui itinerary is…

Bophut Beach and Fisherman’s Village

Near the Big Buddha is Bophut Beach where you will find a range of restaurants for you to refresh before hitting the road again. The beach offers fantastic photo opportunities from afar but rarely has people swimming in.

Before leaving make sure you check out Fisherman’s Village, which used to be a traditional fishing village and is now a popular tourist hot spot on Koh Samui. 

Here you’ll find quaint shops, vibrant markets, and historic architecture, reflecting both modern and traditional elements. Together, they present a harmonious balance between relaxation and cultural exploration, creating a memorable destination for travellers.

If you happen to be in the area on a Friday night, Fisherman’s Village turns into a night market which is arguably more fun to attend. 

Overlap Stone

Next up on your Koh Samui itinerary is Overlap Stone. Make the lengthy drive from Bophut Beach to Lamai Beach and start the vertical climb to Overlap Stone.

You have to leave your vehicle halfway up the mountain before walking the rest on foot, my videos and pictures don’t do the climb justice. You’re almost on your hands and knees it gets so vertical at points.

This scenic viewpoint is a natural phenomenon which is a must-visit during your Koh Samui road trip. 

It will cost you 50 Baht to walk across the bridge to the stone. It’s a perfect opportunity for a panoramic shot of the Gulf of Thailand while being perched next to the stone. It was pretty busy when I went in February so you might have to wait your turn.

There’s another sign for a second stone. I don’t think this stone exists, if it does we couldn’t find it.

Na Muang Waterfall

Without a doubt, one of the best things things to do in Koh Samui was to visit the Na Muang Waterfalls.

The entrance to Na Muang cost us 50 Baht each.

There are two distinct falls, Na Muang 1 offers a serene swimming spot whereas Na Muang 2 boasts a 30-metre drop surrounded by lush greenery. You can trek through the scenic jungle to reach these picturesque falls, immersing yourself in the island’s tropical beauty.

Na Muang 2 is harder to reach but offers you, in my opinion, the best viewpoint on Koh Samui. As it is so good this viewpoint can get busy fast. There are many places to chill and hang out around this viewpoint and when you’re ready the perfect Instagram moments are just a rock climb away.

When you’re ready, make the long trek back through the jungle before it gets too dark.

If you are in Koh Samui and there is the option to watch a Muay Thai fight in the evening that is how I would finish day 2 of your Koh Samui itinerary however as I cannot guarantee you will be on the island for this you’ll find details on the ‘Other Things To Do In Koh Samui‘ section. 

Koh Samui Itinerary Day 3 – Day Trip To Ang Thong National Park

As day 3 of your Koh Samui itinerary kicks off you’ll be going on a day trip from Koh Samui to Ang Thong National Park. This is one of the best day trips from Koh Samui.

Ang Thong National Park is a protected area located in the Gulf of Thailand which encompasses 42 islands. The park covers an area of approximately 102 square kilometres and is known for its stunning natural beauty, diverse marine life, and lush landscapes.

The tour I would recommend is with Grand Sea Discovery and is as follows.

They will pick you up from your accommodation in Koh Samui and take you to the relevant departure point.

First, you’ll take a speedboat ride to your first stop at Koh Wao or Koh Tay Plow and observe the vibrant world beneath the waves as you snorkel.

Snorkelling takes around one hour and the guides will help you to see all the cool animals in the ocean.

From here you’ll progress to the famous Emerald Lake (Talay Nai). Similar to the Similan Islands you can take a Kayak out and paddle around the lake, chill on the beach, or take a small hike to the viewpoint and take your pictures that way.

The final viewpoint at the top of the island at Koh Wua Talap offers breathtaking panoramic views of Ang Thong Marine Park. Your crew is always on hand to take pictures of you and your friends to make sure you can cherish this experience forever.

Things included for your trip:

  • Light breakfast (tea, coffee, toasted, fresh fruits, juices)
  • Round-trip transfer by van
  • Speedboat ride
  • Lunch
  • Soft drinks on board
  • Snorkeling mask
  • Life jacket
  • Accident insurance
  • First-aid supplies
  • Tour guide

Things not included:

  • National Park Fee (300 Baht adult – 150 Baht child)

You’ll then come back to Koh Samui and be returned to your accommodation after a full day of exploration of Ang Thong National Park. This Koh Samui trip is an excellent way to finish day 3 of your Koh Samui itinerary.

Koh Samui Itinerary Day 4 – Ethical Elephant-Guided Tour

For the final day of your Koh Samui itinerary, you’ll be going on another guided tour to visit the elephants of Koh Samui! Of course, if you’ve already been to Chiang Mai and done this you can replace it with a different activity but if you have not it is a MUST-DO!

This trip includes:

  • Hotel or villa pickup and drop-off around the island
  • Professional English-speaking guide
  • Soft drinks include tea and coffee
  • Vegetarian foods and seasonal buffet
  • Full insurance

Start your day with a pickup from your hotel or villa around the island arriving at Koh Samui Elephant Home. Meet with your guide who will offer a warm welcome and receive a welcome drink. 

Your guide will then tell you all about the centre and the safety precautions.

After this, you’ll have the chance to harvest some food for the elephants and then feed them. This is one of the best times to take some photos with the elephants.

Following this you get the chance to bathe with them in water or a mud bath. You’ll be walking over 10 acres of land so bathing is a good chance to cool yourselves and the elephants down.

Finally, you’ll get a chance to visit the first elephant nursery on Koh Samui. Feed, rub and take photos with them before letting them out into the jungle to enjoy themselves.

Get dropped off back to your hotel and that concludes the final day of your Koh Samui itinerary!

Other Things To Do In Koh Samui 

This Koh Samui itinerary would offer you the perfect 4 days BUT there are still many other activities you could include or swap in. 

This section will talk about some of the other Koh Samui attractions I did or, when I go back, will do.

Muay Thai Fight

Across Koh Samui, most weeks, various venues will host Muay Thai fights for travellers to watch. 

When I was in Koh Samui the big event of the week was held at the International Muay Thai Stadium which played host to six fights of both male and female.

They are BRUTAL fights!

Something you should attend when you’re in Koh Samui or anywhere in Thailand that hosts these fights.

Seats in prime position will cost you around 1500 Baht (£35).

Golf

Golf had to be one of the coolest activities to do on Koh Samui island.

We played our round at Royal Samui but the options of golf courses are endless. If you’re a fellow golf enthusiast then getting a round in when you’re away in Southern Thailand is a bit of a no-brainer. 

You’re not just paying for a round of golf you also get spectacular views from various holes. You will need a golf glove as the humidity can make you sweat to the point where you accidentally swing the club into the jungle… Adam and Brad both did this haha.

Certainly, one of Koh Samui’s attractions I’ll have to play again.

Footgolf 

If normal golf isn’t your cup of tea then why not give Footgolf a try? Easily the best Footgolf course I’ve ever played with holes designed around iconic moments that happened. For example Roberto Carlos’ outside of the boot free kick.

At the end of your round, there is a leaderboard with all the top players from each country. Can you beat my high score for England?

Ziplining

Fancy getting the adrenaline pumping? Well, that’s exactly what you can expect from one of the different zipline parks on Koh Samui. 

Koh Samui has various places where you can ride ziplines and I’ve written a whole article covering these in the 3 Best Koh Samui Zipline Adventures In 2023.

Better ziplines can be found in Chiang Mai so be sure to check out 4 Best Zipline Adventures in Chiang Mai 2023 for more information.

Wat Plai Laem

Wat Plai Laem is a Buddhist temple in Koh Samui, near the Big Buddha, renowned for its striking architecture and vibrant sculptures. Featuring an 18-arm Guanyin statue, the temple embodies the spiritual significance and cultural richness of the area.

Central Festival Samui (Shopping Centre)

Central Festival Samui is a prominent shopping complex in Koh Samui. It features a diverse array of retail outlets, dining options, and entertainment facilities, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

Your trip to Koh Samui won’t be complete without one visit to a shopping centre (sorry lads).

Hin Ta and Hin Yai

Hin Ta and Hin Yai, commonly known as the Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks, are unique geological formations on Lamai Beach.

When you visit Koh Samui you’ll be able to tell what these rocks look like by their suggestive shapes (think of genitals lol), these rocks are a local attraction, intriguing visitors with their natural sculptural charm and cultural folklore.

Final Thoughts

So there we have it, your ultimate Koh Samui itinerary.

Koh Samui is without a doubt one of my favourite islands in all of Thailand and one I’ll visit many times in the future.

With endless activity options, it’s almost impossible to get bored. If I feel I want to move on from Koh Samui, Koh Phangan or Koh Tao is a short ferry ride away.

Koh Samui is somewhere all travellers should visit on their Thai adventures and this Koh Samui itinerary will show you exactly where to go.