Most places to visit near to Koh Samui involve taking a boat trip. Some trips are on the local Long Tail boats, some on Speed boats and others on Leisure Cruisers. You can generally arrange to be collected and returned to your villa or hotel by taxi as part of most organised tours.
Places to Visit Near Koh Samui Generally
Koh Samui is part of an archipelago which contains a plethora of amazing places to visit. You don't have to spend all of your holiday on just Samui because if you venture out you will discover the world beyond. The other islands are just a boat ride away and will provide you with wonderful memories. Please note that if you have a bad back or even a sensitive back, then taking a speedboat may not be the best idea. Certainly avoid sitting up at the front as the pressure on your spine can be very painful. You will find there are plenty of slower boats operating to the same destinations.
Ang-Thong Marine Park
Many tours are available on Koh Samui, but undoubtedly the best is the day trip to the extraordinarily beautiful Ang-Thong Islands, with their jungles coming down to the water and their white sand. Practically no-one lives here, and the series of islands rise dramatically from the sea, offering tortured shapes caused by rainwater sculpting limestone into fantastic shapes - very different from the rounded mountains of Samui. The trip makes for a memorable day out, and you should definitely not forget to bring your camera. It's also possible to camp over on the main island for a nominal price.
Koh Nang Yuan and Koh Tao
A few hours journey away from Koh Samui lies the small island of Koh Tao, which is thoroughly recommended as a place to visit or stay. Just off the north-western coast of Koh Tao lies the diminutive but highly picturesque islet of Koh Nang Yuan. It's actually three rocky outcrops rising from the sea, which are connected by a causeway of fine sand when the tide is low. It's possible to stay on the islet, as there are chalets here. The waters are classically turquoise and transparent, where those of Koh Samui are very often cloudy. Just dip your head under the surface of the sea, and you'll see a variety of tropical fish and even live coral. The island is small enough to explore in an hour.
There's a lot more to Koh Phangan than the full moon party, and visitors to the coast are amazed at its beauty. Thong Nai Pan bay is quite special. For a start it's away from the crowds at Hat Rin, and offers a lot more in the way of peace and tranquility. The beach is approx 2 kilometres long, but is interrupted by a rocky headland, which you need to detour inland to get around. The bay looks perhaps as Koh Samui did some 20 years back; it's neither crowded nor over-developed, and you can spend a blissful few days here snorkeling, sunbathing, and for those hardy enough, walking the hills. There are a few supermarkets and stores, as well as plenty of places to eat and drink.
Koh Mat Sum
Ban Thong Krut in the south of the island is the place to head if you're interested in visiting four other islands: Koh Tan, Koh Rap, Koh Mat Daeng and Koh Mat Sum. Koh Tan has some simple huts, and a restaurant serving good Thai food. Swim in the bay, explore the island trails - few people live here - and check out the mangrove swamp which have their own boardwalk, allowing you to venture some 200 metres through the watery forest. There's also a cave filled with bats, which nightly zoom off to Samui en masse, there to feast on unsuspecting flesh. Their high-pitched call is thought to be the reason why no dog can survive on Koh Tan without, according to locals, going insane. There are no cars or roads on the island, making this a blissful respite from the exhaust fumes and noise which plague certain parts of Samui.
Other useful information
Please click on any of the links below for more useful information about Koh Samui and its surroundings.