Ko Samui

Once sleepy and undeveloped, the locals made a living from coconut farming and fishing until it was discovered by backpackers in the 1980s. It now has both budget and luxury resorts and a thriving tourist industry.  

Surrounded by 80 smaller islands, this Thai gem is a hugely popular cruise destination with many operators, with Holland America Line, Viking Ocean Cruises and Costa including it in their itineraries.  

Cruise ships put in at Nathon, the island’s old commercial centre and ferry port, and due to its size, most require tenders. For a relaxed local visit from the ship, you can spend an afternoon wandering around and see the old Chinese shophouses, restaurants and shops, and maybe try some Thai Massage to get the visit off to a relaxing start.  

Further afield, there are plenty more intriguing and interesting sights to see.

Latest Ko Samui Deals

Magical Mekong & Asian Explorer

22 Dec 2020 (17 Nights) Cruise and Stay from £2899pp
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Kyushu & Korea

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Southeast Asia Soiree

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Spectrum of the Seas

Southampton to Cape Town

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Queen Mary 2

Grand Japan with Gion, Tenjin& Nebuta Festival

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Diamond Princess

Cruise Companies that sail to Ko Samui

Why visit Ko Samui ?

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Thailand’s third largest island

Ko Samui is known for its white, sandy beaches and beautiful turquoise sea

Mu Ko Ang Thong National Marine Park a protected area of more than 100 square kilometres, has exotic wildlife and sea creatures. It is an archipelago of 42 islands with limestone mountains, white sandy beaches, mangroves, jungles, waterfalls, hidden coves and lakes. Visitors can charter a boat from Ko Samui or Ko Pha Ngan, or they can join in a day trip if they wish. There are opportunities for snorkelling, hiking, sea kayaking, diving, sailing and simply lazing on one of its beautiful beaches.  

Known locally as Wat Phra Yai, Big Buddha Temple is a golden, 12m Buddha statue set on a small rocky island off Ko Samui’s north-eastern corner. One of the island’s most popular attractions, it is reached by a causeway connecting it to the mainland, and it can be seen in all its golden glory from several kilometres away.  

When cruising to Ko Samui, be sure to include a visit to Fisherman’s Village Samui. A historical part of Bophut, it has rustic-style buildings with small shops, trendy restaurants and hotels lining its beach road. Many buildings on the beach side are open at the back and have glorious views across the sea toward Ko Pha Ngan, with some of the restaurants having tables spread out onto the sands of the beach.  

Every Friday, the Fisherman’s Village Walking Street market descends, attracting people from all over the island to sample its wares and enjoy its lively atmosphere.  

For a more serene experience, the Secret Buddha Garden is high in the hills in the midst of the jungle and has stunning views and a collection of statues. Khun Nim, originally a fruit farmer, began erecting statues and temples around his family’s land in the late 1970s. They depict animals, gods and humans and there is one of Khun Nim himself, who continued to work on the gardens until his death at the age of 91.  

A fantastic location for a visit as part of any cruise, Ko Samui mixes the new, the old, the mystic and the beautiful with an ancient culture, magnificent scenery, stunning beaches and attractive, lively nightlife.

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