What to Do in Koh Samui in 2 Days

A Mini Guide to 48 Hours in Samui

Having only 48 hours in Koh Samui is quite a common scenario for many travellers. Measuring 25 km long and 21 km across, it's easy to drive around Samui island in just a few hours. However, the place is packed with stunning beaches, fascinating attractions, breath-taking views, great restaurants and much more. Even with 2 days, you’re going to have to prioritise and pick just the best of the available options.

That’s where our 2 Days in Samui guide comes in. We’ve boiled the huge selection down to just the absolute must-dos, providing you with a rough itinerary to get you started in planning an unforgettable trip to Koh Samui. Check out the great selection of Samui's attractions and activities below.

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Day 1 – Enjoy the coast

Daytime - Enjoy the sun, sand and surf

Koh Samui is ringed with pristine white-sand beaches, each more beautiful than the last. Those along the east coast are the busiest and arguably the best, including Lamai Beach and the extremely popular Chaweng Beach.

The west coast beaches are much wilder and less developed, including Taling Ngam and Lipa Noi. Don’t forget to check out the great opportunities for snorkelling, diving, kitesurfing and enjoying other beach activities.

  • Chaweng Beach

    Chaweng Beach

    Samui's busiest piece of action has some of the Island's finest surf and shopping. Nightlife in Chaweng is Read More»

  • Taling Ngam

    Taling Ngam

    Easily the most remote spot on the island, Taling Ngam's appeal mainly lies with those who want to get away from it all. Read More»

  • Lipa Noi Beach

    Lipa Noi Beach

    Lipa Noi Beach is one of the best locations on the island to view the sunset. During the week it's very quiet. A few Read More»

See Samui’s best temples and landmarks

While Samui’s choice of temples is relatively modest, each is remarkable for its unique attractions, including the huge statues of the Big Buddha Temple and Wat Plai Laem or the mummified monk of Wat Khunaram.

Other beautiful sites around the island include Hin Lad Waterfall Temple, Wat Lamai with its Cultural Hall and the colourful Hainan Temple.

  • Big Buddha Temple

    Big Buddha Temple

    Big Buddha temple sits majestically on a small rocky island off Koh Samui’s north-eastern corner. Known locally as Wat Read More»

  • Wat Plai Laem

    Wat Plai Laem

    Located near the Big Buddha in the north of the island, Wat Plai Laem is a colourful and interesting, newly constructed Read More»

  • Hin Lad Waterfall Temple

    Hin Lad Waterfall Temple

    Hin Lad Waterfall Temple is set in evergreen tropical jungle just before the trail up to the famous Hin Lad Waterfall, a Read More»

Evening - Take a walk around the shops

Koh Samui has a wealth of shopping opportunities, many open every night while others are special events for just one night of the week. The most popular is the Fisherman’s Village Walking Street on Friday night, but there is also Lamai Night Plaza, Elephant Walk in Bophut and Chaweng Walking Street open most evenings.

If you want a more climate-controlled shopping experience, Central Festival Samui is the island’s biggest and best mall with plenty of local and international fashion brands.

  • Fisherman’s Village Walking Street

    With more unique and boutique goods at rock-bottom prices, Fisherman’s Village Walking Street is among the most popular Read More»

  • Lamai Night Plaza

    Lamai Night Plaza

    In the centre of town, diagonally opposite McDonald's and leading to a bar beer square, you'll find a mini-version of Read More»

  • Elephant Walk Koh Samui

    A small nightly market in the middle of Bophut's Fisherman's Village, Elephant Walk has a good selection of unique Read More»

Hit the bars, pubs, and parties in Samui

Chaweng is the party destination of choice in Samui, with most of the island’s biggest and best clubs and bars. A popular itinerary involves enjoying the early happy hour at Bar Solo, then the beach party at ARK Bar before heading for Soi Green Mango or Soi Reggae after midnight. 

Other beach towns like Bophut and Lamai also have a range of bars that open late and are usually busy until the early hours. 

  • Bar Solo Samui

    One of the top nightlife attractions in Koh Samui, Bar Solo Samui gets busy long before any of the other famous bars in Read More»

  • Ark Bar

    Ark Bar

    Ark Bar is a restaurant, bar and nightclub that describes itself as the one-stop party destination in Samui Island Read More»

  • Soi Green Mango

    Soi Green Mango

    The beating heart of Koh Samui’s nightlife, Chaweng’s Soi Green Mango is home to cheap drinks, loud music and good Read More»

Day 2 - Take a daytrip to nearby attractions

Daytime - Explore nearby islands

As stunning as Koh Samui is, it's surrounded by smaller islands which are arguably even more beautiful. Samui can be a great base for visiting the highlights of the Gulf of Thailand.

The striking natural beauty of the Ang Thong Marine National Park is definitely worth seeing, though both Koh Tao and Koh Phangan also have their attractions. All can be reached within quite a short ferry ride.

  • Ang Thong Marine National Park

    Ang Thong Marine Park

    The setting for the eponymous 'perfect' beach in Alex Garland's book, Ang Thong really was once home to a group of Read More»

  • Koh Tao

    Koh Tao

    Once the haunt of sea-turtles, this small island north of Koh Samui has become a magnet for those who really want to get Read More»

  • Koh Phangan

    Koh Phangan

    World famous due to its Full Moon, Half Moon and many other parties, Koh Phangan actually only has about 10,000 fulltime Read More»

Explore the interior

Samui’s rugged interior of jungle-covered mountains is largely untamed but offers a great opportunity to see less-visited attractions, great views and local wildlife.

Among those places which are easier to reach are the Lamai Overlap Stone, the Secret Buddha Garden, Na Muang Waterfalls and the Sky Fox Cable Ride. You can also take an ATV ride if you want to get really close to the wild side of Samui.

  • Sky Fox Cable Ride

    Sky Fox Cable Ride

    The Sky Fox is a fantastic ride for those who like to experience speed and a feeling of pure freedom. You can slide Read More»

  • Secret Buddha/Magic Garden

    Secret Buddha Garden

    Secret Buddha Garden is hidden away high in the hills in Koh Samui's interior, offering majestic views and an unusual Read More»

  • Na Muang Waterfall

    Na Muang Waterfall

    Found inland about 12km south-east of Nathon Bay, the Na Muang falls are reached by taking a walking path from the Read More»

Evening - Watch a live show

Thailand is famous for its dramatic Muay Thai boxing matches as well as the flamboyant and fun ladyboy cabaret shows.

Samui has both of these in abundance, with 3 boxing stadiums and 3 cabaret shows, most of which are located in and around Chaweng. Both are must-sees to complete any trip to Thailand, albeit for very different reasons. A cheaper alternative that still offers plenty of fun is the fire shows performed on the beach every night.  

  • Samui Muay Thai

    Samui Muay Thai

    Muay Thai or Thai kick boxing is Thailand’s national sport and has been so for many years and is steeped in tradition. Read More»

  • Ladyboys Cabarets Shows in Koh Samui

    Ladyboys Cabarets Shows

    Ladyboy Cabarets might not be everyone's cup of tea but on Chaweng Beach you can enjoy a sparkling evening out with this Read More»

  • Reggae Pub

    One of the cornerstones of Chaweng’s nightlife, Reggae Pub has an easy-going style, a great house band and a cool Read More»

Come for the sunset, stay for the party at Samui's beach clubs

Samui is blessed with many excellent beach clubs. With its great atmosphere and first-class cuisine, Nikki Beach is one of the top beach clubs on Samui. Thanks to its west-coast location, it's a superb spot to watch the sun setting.

Other top beach clubs (which don’t feature the same great view) include Beach Republic, Bangrak Beach Club and KC Beach Club, all on the east coast of Samui.

  • Nikki Beach

    The top exclusive beach club on the island, Nikki Beach is world-famous for its great atmosphere and first-class Read More»

  • Beach Republic

    A combination of resort, pool and beach club, spa, restaurant and more, Beach Republic is its own little private Read More»

  • Bangrak Beach Club

    A peaceful lagoon-like beach club with natural surroundings and reasonably priced food and drink, Bangrak Beach Club is Read More»


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