Getting Active on Koh Samui
Great ideas for some energetic pursuits on Koh Samui
Koh Samui is known for its relaxing beaches and laidback pace of life but for those with energy to burn, there are many opportunities to get active with some exhilarating experiences! Water based activities are a big hit on Koh Samui and surrounding islands so you'll be spoilt for choice but there are also plenty of land-based activities to get the adrenaline going. Here's our rundown of exciting pursuits you can enjoy ...
|Ang Thong National Marine Park|
The idyllic national marine park of Ang Thong is the place to go to satiate all water sport cravings. Characterised by majestic limestone forests, mangroves and clear turquoise waters encompassing 42 tiny islands and a plethora of wildlife, it really makes for a great day out.
It is not possible to rent any equipment out in the park so we recommend booking with one of the boat tour companies on Koh Samui who organise private and group excursions and will provide equipment and organise activities such Kayaking/canoeing, diving and snorkelling at the park and most will have a lunch included on-board.
|Na Muang Waterfall (I and II)|
Located just below Lipa Noi region close to the centre of the island, the waterfalls of Na Muang provide a tranquil natural space for swimming and hiking.
Na Muang I is the first one that you will reach and is just a short walk from the car park. Here you'll find a tall rocky waterfall where the water pours down the rockface into the large natural pool below and it's ideal for swimming or just lazing around.
A 20-25 minute hike will take you to further pools and Na Muang II. Hiking to the top of the waterfall will provide stunning views across the jungle and another pool which is much quieter as not as many tourists venture up here.
Both waterfalls are most spectacular during the rainy season.
There are numerous companies offering jungle safari tours of Koh Samui and the 4X4 army jeeps allow you to see much more on the mountain roads than if you were exploring in a regular car or on a moped. The guide will drive through rugged terrain to reach spectacular viewpoints so don't forget your camera! Tours usually last around 6-7 hours and explore the jungle, waterfalls and mountains of the island's interior but also often include stop-offs at iconic sights such as Tarnim garden (the Secret Buddha Garden) and the waterfalls of Na Muang. A delicious lunch is usually included.
Koh Samui is full of rocks, boulders and cliffs waiting to be climbed and the high limestone cliffs between Chaweng and Lamai are popular spots. There are plenty of agencies that can help organise a trip and all of the necessary equipment, and will take you to the best spots including the island's interior.
There is also a 10 metre high indoor climbing wall at the 360 Sports Park in Bophut, and a climbing centre on the rocks overlooking Chaweng Bay with easy to difficult routes already laid out so people of all abilities can have a go. An instructor is always on hand so it's great for beginners.
If you fancy checking out another island then neighbouring Koh Tao, an approximately 3 hour boat ride away, also has great climbing and bouldering opportunities in the form of giant boulders on the beach, and huge granite blocks dotted all over the island.
Sail through the air with a bird's eye view above the jungle canopy for a thrilling experience on one of the many ziplines around the island. There are popular centres dotted around Koh Samui and many will offer hotel pick-up and drop-off.
Skyhawk Adventure claim to have the biggest and longest zipline on Koh Samui and their site includes 33 platforms, 21 ziplines, 3 sky bridges, 3 abseiling platforms, 4 staircases and 2 corridor sky walkways.
Some centres offer the uncanny experience of 'riding' a bicycle whilst ziplining either on a single bike or tandem and it's another great way of getting up close and personal with nature whilst taking part in an exciting aerial adventure.
The crystal clear waters around Koh Samui provide a treasure trove of delights for underwater adventurers. There are many diving schools that will organise excursions to areas teeming with a kaleidoscope of vibrant life. You may find yourself swimming alongside turtles, eels, stingrays and barracuda, as well as the gentle giant whale sharks with their beautiful spotted skin who reside deeper in the waters. Otherworldly anemones, sea fans and a whole host of colourful fish species make diving around Koh Samui and surrounding islands an incredibly rewarding experience.
|Pink Elephant Water Park|
Located close to Maenam Beach and within a secluded palm grove (approximately 5-10 minutes drive), the Pink Elephant Water Park is a huge space for aquatic fun times and suitable for all ages. The park boasts 15 different slides including the Twister; a 12 metre speed slide, the Super Bowl slide, and Summer Paradise; a closed spiral slide - not for the faint hearted!
There is also a pool with a wave
machine, 280 metres of 'Lazy River' to traverse, 4 Jacuzzis by the
cocktail bar, and a dedicated children's area which has recently
It is easy to spend a day here and there is a restaurant on-site serving Thai and European dishes for a nice lunch.
There are many trails dotted all over Koh Samui if you fancy getting your walking shoes on. Easy hiking trails can be found around the Hin Lat Waterfall, Na Muang Falls, and the Maenam View point.
Moderate trails can be done to the Secret Buddha Garden from Lipa Noi which takes just over 2 hours up the hill, and also the trail to Hin Lad waterfall which can be challenging at times, but rewards the hiker with diverse tropical plants and fruits along the way.
Arguably the most strenuous hike is the Nathon Mountain ridge and valley trek which takes 3-4 hours and is approx. 13.5km in total with incredible views. Most treks can be done with guides who know the paths and are easy to book with local tour agencies.
|Muay Thai Boxing Course|
There are many Muay Thai boxing schools across the island and many offer courses of training, and even accommodation inclusive options for the serious.
The Chaweng Stadium is the focal point for Muay Thai and is well located in the town. You can come here just to watch the fights that take place every Tuesday and Friday, or arrange a teaching session with one of the professionals.