The best known and most famous of all the landmarks on this island is the Big Buddha temple. Sitting just off the corner of Koh Samui on a little tiny island is a 12 meter tall statue of Buddha in a seated position. The local name for the temple is Wat Phra Yai and it is connected to the main island by a causeway. Made of gold and sitting in the Mara position it shows a time when Buddha was rejecting all temptations that were forced upon him. When you fly into Koh Samui the statue is usually the first thing that you will spot due to its prominent location. There are a few food and amulet stalls at the temple which are also worth looking at either when you arrive or depart.
A gorgeous strip of beach fronted by cerulean-colored sea, Chaweng Beach is the most popular beach on the island - and it’s easy to see why. Blue skies, bluer seas and powdery-soft sand make for paradise-esque surroundings but there’s much more to do here than sunbathe. The town behind the beach, Chaweng, is the best nightlife spot in the area, meaning you’ll never be too far from refreshments after a long, hard day of sunbathing.
Wat Plai Laem
Located near the Big Buddha in the north of the island, Wat Plai Laem is a colourful and interesting Buddhist Temple. The temple features very ornate decor and art, an 18-arm image of Guanyin - the Goddess of Mercy - and a large white Chinese Buddha set on the lake. If you donate money for the upkeep of the temple you'll be given a bag of food to throw to the teeming fish in the lake.
Lipa Noi Beach
Lipa Noi Beach is the most child friendly of the beaches on Koh Samui, the water is completely clear of rocks and coral and the beach has beautiful white sand stretching along it. The water remains shallow for a very long way and it is not till you get over 100m out that it starts to get deep. The area is quite remote and you will notice upon arrival that it is a place for relaxing rather than partying, there are several restaurants around selling delicious seafood which are worth stopping for lunch at.
Hin Ta Hin Yai
Nature is full of surprises, and the Hin Ta Hin Yai rocks on Samui’s south coast are the perfect examples of this. One of the island’s most popular tourist attractions, thousands of visitors come see these male and female genitalia-shaped rocks every day. Free to visit, and making for quite an interesting holiday picture, it’s a good way to spend a morning before going on to explore the surrounding area.
If Chaweng is the most popular, then it’s hard to see past Silver as being the island’s most beautiful. Its dense jungle views and rocky outcrops create a sense of being stranded in paradise without ever wanting to be rescued. Whilst the rocks can make swimming difficult at the end of the beach, it makes for a top snorkelling spot, and there are also a few massage shacks and beach bars to be found along the length of the beach. Quieter than Chaweng, it’s located in the town of Lamai, which still has plenty of activities on offer without ever feeling like you can’t get away from the noise.
Laem Sor Pagoda
The southwest corner of the island is a quiet part of the island, situated away from the other tourists and night life, this where you will find the Laem Sor Pagoda. It is guarded by two colorful yaks that each carry a sword to protect the pagoda. The building looks gold from a distance but it is actually made from yellow tiles which glitter as the sun reflects off the sea and onto them. Just down from the pagoda is a small hall that has a wax casting of the monk that built the pagoda, he is sitting inside a boat and locals come and prey here as he is highly revered.