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Useful information for shore excursions in Ko Samui
We have put together all useful information about the most beautiful tourist attractions, a map of the cruise port as well as other tips for your cruise excursions in Koh Samui below:
The most beautiful attractions in Ko Samui
Koh Samui is the second-largest island of Thailand and is located in the Gulf of Thailand. The popular island is known for its stunning white sandy beaches, coconut groves and mountain rainforest. This “Coconut Island” is part of the Samui archipelago, which includes 60 other islands such as Koh Phangan or Koh Tao. The growth of tourists in Koh Samui is steadily increasing, which means more and more hotels are being built and activities are being offered.
One of the most popular attractions and the landmark of Koh Samui is the 1972 Big Buddha in Wat Phra Yai Temple. This golden Buddha statue is 40 ft high and is located on the small island of Koh Fan, which is connected to Koh Samui by a narrow causeway. The statue was built on a raised platform that can be reached by a staircase. From the platform, you have a great view of the sea and the Bophut beach. If you want to use the stairs, it is mandatory to wear appropriate clothing (shoulders and legs must be covered). On the grounds of the temple, locals sell souvenirs, pieces of jewellery, handicrafts, shoes, clothing and paintings.
Wat Plai Laem
Buddhist temple Wat Plai Laem is located on the northeastern coast of Koh Samui. The main attraction of the temple is the white 18-arm statue of Guanyin – a goddess who stands for mercy and compassion. The bot (prayer hall) of the temple is surrounded by a lake and radiates through the statue a sense of tranquillity. Every day, many devotees make a pilgrimage to the temple to pay homage to Guanyin. Visitors to this temple will gain insight into the Sino-Thai faith, as well as the art and architecture of Buddhism.
Samui Butterfly Garden
Do you want to watch flying butterflies up close? Then visit the Samui Butterfly Garden. This small park looks like a botanical garden with many tropical plants. In addition to butterflies, you can also observe insects and bees, which are prevented from flying away by a large net. Attached to the butterfly garden you will find a museum which showcases different butterfly species from around the world. In the so-called apiary, you can watch the bees at work.
Hin Ta and Hin Yai
Hin Ta and Hin Yai are the so-called grandmother and grandfather rocks that are located on a rocky plateau at the southern end of Lamai beach. The shape of the rocks resembles female and male genitals – legend has it that a stranded couple once turned to stone here. Locals worship the rocks because they believe they would increase their fertility.
The city of Chaweng is one of the largest villages on the island – a paradise by day, party scene by night time. This city has a lot to offer such as Chaweng Beach or Chaweng Viewpoint, which offers a breathtaking view across the bay.
Kao Hua Jook Temple towers over the Chaweng sea and also offers a fantastic view of Chaweng, the sea and Koh Samui’s airport. In the evening the temple is lit up so that it can be seen from all over Chaweng and creates a great atmosphere.
The highest mountain of the island is Khao Pam or Khao Thai Kwai. A road leads the way over the 1968-ft-high mountain to the other side of the coast. During the drive, you will pass some viewpoints. Khao Pam View Point is especially worthwhile as you have a breathtaking view of the green landscape all the way down to the sea. There is also the golden Buddha Statue Pra Buddha Teepangkorn, which also has a viewing platform.
Also on the mountain, there is the Tarnim Magic Garden, which is located in the middle of the jungle. This is a sculpture garden of the fruit grower, monk and sculptor Nim Thongsuk, who planted the garden in 1976. On the complex, there are stone Buddha sculptures, angels, dancers, musicians and animals. In the centre of the garden, you will find a small house that houses a sculpture of the monk himself.
Na Muang waterfalls
The naturally formed Na Muang waterfalls consist of two waterfalls, which are among the most beautiful on the island. These waterfalls got their name from the purple shades of the rock walls. Surrounded by jungle, the falls are an ideal cooling off on hot days. Rocks and tree roots form a natural staircase here.
The temple Wat Khunaram houses the mummified monk Loung Pordaeng. Wat Khunaram offers its visitors a unique view of Buddhist and Thai culture. Loung Pordaeng died in 1973 in a sedentary, meditative position and has since been displayed in a glass case. During his lifetime, the monk prophesied his exact day of death and that his corpse will never be decayed. It is worth noting that the monk’s body shows little signs of decay even after 30 years. Therefore, it is considered as a Buddhist miracle by the locals.
Ang Thong Marine National Park
Ang Thong Marine Park is also referred to as the pearl in the Gulf of Thailand. The national park has a total of 42 islands, spreading over approximately 24,700 acres. These islands consist of limestone cliffs, rocks, forests and secluded beaches. With a speedboat, you can best ride through the island world and admire the natural beauty. Guided shore excursions offer the opportunity to kayak or snorkel. You can expect many colourful corals and fish. Originally, the archipelago was a forbidden zone since a military base was to be built to oversee the Gulf of Thailand.
One of the most famous places in Koh Samui is the Fisherman’s Village in Bophut – a shopping street that is parallel to the sea. If you want to experience the right village character, this is the place for you. Sweet restaurants, cafés and inns as well as small shops await you. Once a week, the Fisherman’s Village transforms itself: live music and market stalls enchant both tourists and locals. Every evening, the little village street comes to life, the bars open and the streets are filled with people. There are also many stalls opened where you can buy food, clothes or souvenirs.
Map of the cruise port in Ko Samui
In Ko Samui, cruise ships cannot dock directly but have to lie in the road. Passengers are then brought by tender boats to the tender port in the island’s capital Nathon. The journey takes about 20 minutes.
If you book a shore excursion with us, you will, of course, be picked up near the Tender Pier in Nathon.
Things to know about shore excursions in Ko Samui
Shipping companies and routes
Ko Samui is regularly visited by the German shipping companies TUI and AIDA Cruises. Mein Schiff 3 also calls at ports in Vietnam (Da Nang, Cai Lan, Chan May, Nha Trang) and Malaysia during an Asian cruise. Many other shipping companies such as Norwegian Cruise Line, Hapag-Lloyd-Cruises or Costa also call at the breathtaking island.
Immigration and visa
U.S and U.K. citizen tourists entering Thailand for fewer than 30 days do not require a visa. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your entry into Thailand.
The official currency in Thailand is the Baht (THB). Payment by credit card is common here in Thailand. At many appropriately marked ATMs, withdrawal with a credit or bank cards is possible. (1 dollar = 32.67 Baht; 1 Pound = 42.56 Baht)
Taxi and other public transports
Numerous taxis are available at the pier in Nathon, offering island tours or trips to the most beautiful sights. If you want to make a shore excursion with an experienced guide, you should not book it on the spot. We recommend walking a short distance from the tender pier of Nathon since there are usually much cheaper prices for taxis.
Alternatively, you can take the so-called Songtaew – a pickup that has been converted into a shared taxi. The popular Songtaews always drive on certain routes, with a hand signal to stop them and they’ll take you. The fare depends on the route and is between 20 and 70 baht.
Koh Samui has a tropical climate, so it is changeable and humid all year round. The best travel time is the months January to March. During this time it has the fewest rainy days and the temperatures are between 25 – 30 °C / 77 and 86 °F. If you do not mind a bit of rain and very hot temperatures, you can also travel to Koh Samui from April to August. The weather is still great even in these months.
Websites of the port and tourist organizations
- Online travel guide: Wikitravel Ko Samui
Video: Impressions of Ko Samui
A guided cruise excursion with “My Cruise Excursion” will make your cruise a unique experience. Book your desired trip to Ko Samui with us now!
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