Thailand’s most impressive outdoor attractions such as waterfalls, rivers, lakes, unique temples etc., are mainly in land at the north, center and south of the country, whereas the islands are more suitable for laid-back vacations. Therefore, it’s best if your trip to Thailand includes two parts: traveling and hiking on land + relaxing on a vacation in one of the islands or resort towns, so you’ll get the best of two worlds.
However, the islands still have several outdoor activities and attractions in nature, that offer an interesting twist from bathing in the hotel pool or hanging on the beach all day. I will review some of the Ko Samui attractions in this article.
Ang Thong National Marine Park (the 42 islands archipelago)
The most interesting natural attraction in the area is the group of 42 islands. This spectacular area is a must see, as it features dozens of islands in various shapes and sizes that create a beautiful archipelago. You’ll find here towering chalk cliffs covered in various plans, white beaches, hidden caves and lagoons. All islands are unpopulated, excluding two – Wua Ta Lap and Paluay, home of the sea gypsies’ tribe.
♦ For the detailed article on “Ang Thong National Marine Park “ => Follow the link
Na Muang Waterfalls
Na Muang 1 and 2 are the most famous waterfalls in Ko Samui. If you’ve visited the beautiful waterfalls in Kanchanaburi or those in Kao Yai National Park, you may be slightly disappointed, but if you are only visiting Ko Samui – the waterfalls provide a pleasant outdoor twist that differs from bathing in the hotel pool or hanging on the beach.
♦ For the detailed article on “Na Muang Waterfall “ => Follow the link
The Magic Garden
The pastoral garden that ‘sits’ on a mountain top was created by a 77-year-old Thai farmer. This peaceful spot (unless you come at a time of many tourist groups) has many trees, various statues and a small waterfall.
♦ For the detailed article on “The Magic Garden “ => Follow the link
Jungle Club Viewpoint
This resort was established by a French-Thai family on a mountaintop opposite Chaweng Noi beach. I will focus here on the resort restaurant, which provides a beautiful viewpoint overlooking a spectacular landscape.
The entire restaurant is built from natural materials and offers different dining areas, some of them roofed and others open; it features colorful cushions, beanbags, lounge chairs etc. The atmosphere is pastoral and pleasant, and the view is marvelous.
A steep road leads up to the resort, but you can get there with a regular car. A large sign on the main road points towards the entrance so you can’t miss it. You can come anytime of the day and enjoy the wonderful view, diverse dishes, soft drinks, coffee or cocktails. I highly recommend the unique experience.
Giant Summit Viewpoint
This local restaurant sits on a mountain at Na Muang area, close to Na Muang waterfalls and the Magic Garden, so it’s easy to combine the 3 attractions in one visit.
You’ll find here a wide terrace with many sitting areas, and in addition to the dining tables, there’s a bench that allows you to sit just opposite the spectacular view. The food is mostly Thai, but you can also find some western dishes. The prices are average and certainly reasonable, so I recommend coming in the late afternoon right before the sun sets and enjoying the best value for money – nice food and beautiful sunsets. You can dine or just sip a cool cocktail, lay back and enjoy the beautiful view.
Giant Summit Viewpoint
This is the most accessible viewpoint, which sits right on the road so it’s easy to get there. It is located on the road which connects Chaweng and Lamai beaches, close to Crystal Bay. The wide terrace overlooks the entire area, and you can find various food and drink stands nearby, along with Dr. Frog restaurant, where you can enjoy a full meal while feasting your eyes on the lovely landscape.
♣ Check out the attached clip I took on site while visiting (to be posted soon)… enjoy!