Culture

Tourism is the wave and culture is the sand, in Koh Samui. Never one without the other. While the island is famous among foreigners for its many beaches and wild parties, if you care to look deep enough you'll find a strong footing of locals who have held on to their roots and traditions for years. Chinese traders and Muslim fishermen are among the early settlers of Koh Samui, and they still co-exist productively with their Thai neighbours. A mix of Buddhists, Chinese, and Muslim population has gradually lent the island distinctive habits, rituals, and customs. Aloof pagodas look out gracefully upon endless white sand beaches, while a smooth coastline cocoons largely unspoiled tropical jungles and mountains.

Shopping

Almost every turn you take on this island reveals a store worth stopping at. You have your street shops where polite bargaining ends in contentment for all, and you have your department stores which run on a fixed price system. For those of you who prefer cent percent genuine products, these stores are your best bet. But then, the thrill of shopping in Thailand lies with the all-knowing eye and the bargaining on what catches that all-knowing eye. The smaller local markets sell all kinds of products, from trainers to CDs to watches. Chaweng offers choice and Lamai has a good number of eccentric little stores, but save Nathon for the cheapest deals in town.

Food

Ask any Koh Samui loyalist, and they'll agree that the island has some of the finer things to offer in life for you as compared to neighbouring islands. That claim shows up powerfully when it comes to the food. Packed with flavours unique to the island, the attention here is mostly on local cuisine as compared to international cuisine. That's not to say you won't find American and European eateries scattered across for the expat community and tourists. Since Koh Samui is quite diverse in culture, you will find unique cooking styles in regions of the island. Plus, the seafood is delicious and fresh.

Beaches

The coastline of Koh Samui is almost completely covered in beaches. There are beaches for partying hard with a bunch of tourists, and there are beaches you may have to yourself and to your thoughts. The entire island can be explored on a moped, so it won't be too hard to find a spot on the sand somewhere your mood demands for. Bordered by swaying coconut trees and the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui beaches are famous for their white sand and crystal clear waters. Whatever you want from a day (and night) at the beach, you shall find here.

Adventure

Koh Samui's rugged mountainous interiors, and tropical seas bordering the jungles serve as the base for numerous adventure activities. There are rocky cliffs to jump off, waves to surf on a kite board, quad bikes to explore the wildlife, snorkelling to witness the world of beautiful coral reefs, elephant trekking, golf, and much more. If you wish to take back home not just souvenirs, then there are Thai cooking classes for the chef in you too. Even spas are an adventure here, along with the breathtaking sunset cruises.

Spa Sessions

Long before spa and massage parlours became a thing, Koh Samui was famous for its health and beauty centres. A perfect spot for relaxation and rejuvenation, this island houses numerous world-class spas that offer everything from aromatic steam baths to herbal body masques, and from traditional massages to Asian beauty secrets. You get to choose from the regular spa treatments and from traditional Thai ones, which are more deep in nature.

Nightlife

Tourists visit Koh Samui for the famed Full Moon parties, but end up gaining much more than just a night under the stars. The island has a wealth and variety of discos, pubs, beer bars, transgender cabaret shows, and everything that makes Thailand a popular party capital of the world. While most of the nightlife in Koh Samui revolves around Chaweng Beach, there is nothing you won't find after sunset in all parts of the island. Mud wrestling ladies boxing bouts will be a stone's throw away from classic Thai dancing, and cheap whiskey is downed outside gourmet restaurants.

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