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Planning Your Trip

Known for its stunning white-sand beaches and breathtaking views, there is so much to do on the Thai island of Koh Samui — from exploring the region’s myriad cultural attractions and dining on fresh fare to hiking through the jungle and sunning on pristine swaths of beach. Here’s what to pack to make the most of your stay.


Outdoor Adventure

There are seemingly endless adventures to be had and exploring to be done on the island of Koh Samui. Here’s what to bring to ensure your journeys into the wild go off without a hitch.






  • If you plan on chasing a few waterfalls during your time on the island, sensible water shoes are a smart choice. Opt for something sturdy enough to hike in but flexible enough to swim in.
  • Bring along a small backpack or fanny pack for toting along the essentials as you explore the great outdoors.
  • The tropical sun can pack a powerful punch in the middle of the day. Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to stay protected.

Cultural Considerations

The island of Koh Samui has a distinct culture that is the product of its first immigrants, Chinese traders and Muslim fishermen, a Japanese occupation, and its current status as part of Thailand. Buddhism is the primary religion, which means there are a variety of stunning temples and shrines to explore.


  • Pack lightweight pants, long-sleeved shirts and wraps for visiting temples — beachwear is not acceptable for touring the sacred sites and you’ll need to have your shoulders covered.
  • Leave your finest fashions at home — the island’s vibe is decidedly casual, and most nightlife venues are relaxed beach bars.
  • Bring along some workout clothes if you plan on learning the art of Muay Thai (Thai boxing). It’s a revered skill-based sport that provides a total body workout.

Beach Vacation

Koh Samui’s best-known attraction is undoubtedly its beaches. Whether you want rest and relaxation or adventure on the water, you’ve come to the right place.







  • As with any tropical destination, you’ll definitely want more than one swimsuit. If you plan on trying watersports, bring an athletic one-piece that will stay in place.
  • A light sarong or cover-up will come in handy for making an easy transition from the beach to an alfresco lunch.
  • Consider bringing along a few pieces of clothing or swimwear with SPF built in — you’ll want reliable protection from the sun while snorkeling or sailing all day.
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Don't Forget:

In a place like Koh Samui, you’ll want to capture the breathtaking beauty. Don’t risk ruining your phone at the beach or on a waterfall hike — bring along a waterproof camera instead.

For the most part, a vacation on Koh Samui is relaxed and requires few reservations. But to truly make the most of your time on the island, there are a few things you should plan for.

Dining Reservations

Place Setting

While you won’t need a reservation for sampling the local street food, when you want to tuck into something a bit more upscale, it’s a good idea to plan ahead. For traditional Thai cuisine made with fresh seafood and locally sourced produce and ingredients, book a table at Pak Tai, then end your evening with a cocktail on the terrace at One Rai. For global cuisine, head to Barracuda, one of the island’s best restaurants. German chef Ferdinand Dienst serves up a menu built on local ingredients with a Mediterranean influence.

Spa Appointments

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Spa Village Koh Samui at The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui is worth setting aside an entire day for. Schedule a signature treatment, like Samui’s Coconut Heritage, which uses the island’s most prominent ingredient to provide 120 minutes of pure relaxation. Your treatment starts with a deluxe Songkran Shower and a coconut scrub, which leads into a 90-minute coconut flow massage. Top it off, as the locals do, with a nourishing coconut hair masque.

Children’s Activities

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Take advantage of the resort’s Ritz Kids program, where experiential moments await your young ones with a range of activities focused on four pillars as inspiration: Water, Land, Environmental Responsibility and Culture. Tapping into children’s innate curiosity, the natural wonders and rich, cultural traditions of southern Thailand are both immersive and adventurous with activities ranging from unique snorkeling discoveries in our swim reef to art and an introduction to Thai food.

Outdoor Excursions

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Plan a seafaring trip to remember with a sailing excursion through the Gulf of Thailand. Explore the natural beauty of the surrounding bays and dive into crystal-clear waters or drop anchor off of one of the remote white-sand beaches for a day of total relaxation. Ask the concierge at The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui for assistance with booking a trip.

Over the years, Koh Samui has grown from a small fishing community into a lavish island retreat that beckons beach-lovers from around the world. Savor the powder-soft sand, sea and perfect weather as you reach the ultimate state of relaxation. With such pleasing surroundings, the toughest decision you’ll have to make here is whether to spend your day seeking out the beautiful golden Buddhist temples or sampling native delicacies at the local market. Soak up the sun and local Thai culture with The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui as your luxe home base.


A Romantic Getaway

Fall in love with the idyllic sands of Koh Samui beneath the shade of swaying coconut trees. This tropical island is considered one of the best wellness destinations in the
world, and for good reason — this popular vacation spot is home to some of the world’s best spas, beaches and restaurants.             



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The Perfect Weekend

While the island is known for its incredible white-sand beaches and tantalizing tropical views, Koh Samui is as much a cultural destination as it is a relaxing getaway. Fill your day by sampling the plethora of local Thai dishes, trekking through the jungle-covered mountains, exploring the gilded Buddhist temples or discovering the ample marine life underwater. 


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