There are numerous countries that are worth visiting in Southeast Asia. Out of them all, the most popular happens to be Thailand, a vast country situated along the Mekong River. Tourists have long visited Thailand for its unique cultural heritage, dating back to ancient times. In addition to this, the place has also become an important global business hub, owing to its booming economy. For the most part, tourism in the country was limited to the mainland urban areas in the country. Increasingly however, the tourist flow has started in other areas of the country like the remote North-West or the island of Koh Samui.
Coming to Koh Samui, it is a very popular tourist island situated just off the coast of the country, near the Kra Isthmus. The overall popularity of the place as a tourist hotspot is so large that much of the island’s economy is based on tourist activities. The remaining is based on agricultural produce like coconuts and rubber. For the most part, the island of Koh Samui is famous for its natural treasures that can be found all across the land. In addition to this, there are many other places which are worth a visit as well. Given below in the list are some of the best places that you can visit when in Koh Samui.
1.) The Famous Big Buddha
One of the most famous landmarks in all of Koh Samui is the Big Buddha. The statue is situated at a small distance from Koh Samui, on a tiny island.
The statue is yellow in color, about 12 meters tall and in a seated position. The yellow is because of the gold which has been used in its construction. It is in fact part of a temple, called the Big Buddha Temple. The local name of the temple is Wat Phra Yai and happens to be connected to the main island in the form of a causeway. It happens to be one of the very first things which people notice when they visit Koh Samui, due to its size.
2.) The Only Thai Rum Distillery
If in case you are a fan of wines and other alcoholic beverages, Koh Samui happens to have the only Thai rum distillery, named Magic Alambic Rum Distillery. Here, you will be able to taste authentic Thai rum in a variety of flavors. The story goes that the place was set up in 2003 by a couple who started to brew alcohol using locally available sugarcane. It soon became a hit with the visitors who used to frequent the island.
Today, the rums are available in a variety of flavors and as popular as they have ever been.
Just keep in mind when you come here to enjoy a sip, to do so responsibly.
3.) The Coastal Rock Formations
Koh Samui is famous for its beautiful and rather erotic rock formations, created by the constant weathering from the elements, particularly the ocean.
A folklore behind their formation talks about the story of an old couple who used to live in the southern Thai province of Nakhon Si Thammarat. One day, they had decided to sail to the province of Prachuap Khiri Khan in order to search for a bride as their son had reached marriageable age. During their journey towards the province, it is said that they had perished and turned into the rocks as proof to the would-be bride’s parents about their intentions regarding the marriage. The rock formations are many but there are several that are said to look similar to a phallus and more.
4.) The Samui Cultural Center and Fine Art of South East Asia
This happens to be one of the most important places to visit for those who are into the cultural heritage of the region.
The center is a unique mix of historic, cultural and religious elements in Thailand. Owned and funded privately by Khun Chart who was born on the island of Koh Samui, it was the result of his long held ambition to have such a cultural center built.
The center boasts of a vast collection of statues, all of which have been made by Khun chart. The statues are based on the Gods and Angels from the various cultures that flourished in Thailand.
5.) Chaweng Beach
Koh Samui is an island made famous to a large extent for the many beaches that it’s surrounded by.
Of the many beaches that are found on the island, one of the most important happens to be Chaweng, which is a very vast stretch of sand. It is one of the most popular beaches on the island and is frequented by travelers quite often.
In addition to the usual beach based activities such as relaxing and making sand castles, the location is also well known for its nightlife, resorts and more.
6.) Na Muang Safari Park
The Na Muang happens to be one of the most important and popular nature parks on the island of Koh Samui.
Visitors to the place can look forward to experiencing elephant shows which are very popular.
In addition to this, there are also jeep rides available at the place, which can be hailed to visit mountain vistas and more.
One can also enjoy an amazing waterfall located very close by called ‘Na Muang’, from which the park derives its name.
7.) The Mummified Monk
One of the more interesting religious destinations that are worth a visit at Koh Samui is a temple housing the body of a mummified monk.
The Wat Khunaram temple happens to house the body of a mummified monk, in accordance with his final wishes. The monk, whose name was Luong Pordaeng, died in 1973 while in a seated meditative position. Ever since then, his body has been on display in an upright glass case.
As much as it might be a bit unique for tourists visiting Koh Samui, the fact is that this is fairly common all across Thailand. In fact, there are several mummified monks in Thailand. At the same time however, this is the most revered over all others.
It is said that Loung Pordang had requested his followers that upon his death, that his body be cremated or put on display to remind people about everything that the Buddha had taught. It was to serve as an inspiration to people to embrace and lead a Buddhist way of life.
In all, there are some amazing places to visit while in Koh Samui. The above list is but a small sample of the many wonderful tourist hotspots that Koh Samui has to offer the visitors who visit it.