Koh Samui Cruises, Thailand
- Sip fresh coconuts on Chaweng Beach – the island’s longest and most popular swathe. Its sugar-white sands are buzzing with restaurants, bars and massage stands.
- Stare up at a 12-metre-tall Big Buddha statue. It sits within the grounds of the hilltop Wat Phra Yai, on the tiny islet of Koh Faan.
SHORE EXCURSIONS View all excursions
There’s more to Koh Samui than beaches – this tour introduces you to the island’s spiritual side. You’ll hop between three of its most important temples, or wats. First up is the Khunaram Temple. It’s the sunglass-wearing mummified monk here that gets tourists talking. He died 30 years ago, sitting in the meditation position, and his body shows little signs of decay. Next, it’s onto the hilltop Big Buddha Temple. Like the name suggests, this place lines up a big, golden Buddha, as well as great sea views. Just down the hill, you’ve got Wat Plai Laem. Built in 2004, this temple’s a colourful, modern take on a Thai-Chinese temple. It’s dominated by two giant statues – one of a fat laughing Buddha, the other of an 18-arm goddess. And it’s surrounded by a huge lake, which is teeming with catfish – you can buy fish food from one of the nearby vending machines.
This tour is Koh Samui in a nutshell – visiting villages, temples and beaches. On the way to your first stop, you’ll pass traditional houses and rubber plantations. Then you’ll pull up at the Hin Ta Hin Yai rock formations. You might need to use your imagination for this one. The rocks – which are named Grandpa and Grandma – supposedly resemble female and male genitalia. Legend has it, they were formed from the bodies of an elderly couple who died at sea. There’s a complete change of scene next, with a visit to the Big Buddha Temple. This place has its own island – connected to Koh Samui via a causeway. The huge, golden Buddha statue sits at the top of hundreds of steps, but you’ll be rewarded with a close-up look and far-reaching sea views. After all this sightseeing, you can relax on the island’s longest belt of sand, Chaweng Beach.
This day out combines what Koh Samui does best – beaches and temples. First up is Wat Khunaram, which is home to a mummified monk. The well-preserved body of Luang Pho Daeng – who died while meditating – sits in a glass casket, surrounded by flowers, candles and incense sticks. Next, you’ll visit the Big Buddha Temple, which does exactly what it says on the tin. A giant, golden Buddha sits at the top of a staircase. You can climb it for sweeping views of the island’s beach-hemmed shoreline. The last temple is Wat Plai Laem. This one’s a scenic number – a huge, 18-arm goddess statue sits in the middle of a catfish-filled lake. It’s joined by a fat, laughing Buddha statue. Later, it’s time to make the most of Koh Samui’s coastline at the Peace Resort. Here, you can relax pool or beachside, before filling up with a buffet lunch.