The Perfect Weekend
- A Leisurely Start.
Wake up and head to one of The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui’s secluded beaches or sit poolside while enjoying a cup of coffee or tea. If you’re an early riser, you’ll likely be treated to a stunning sunrise.
- The Big Buddha.
Wat Phra Yai is a massive statue of Buddha that sits in the Mara pose, a symbol of wisdom and enlightenment. For an up-close look, climb the stairs that lead to the base of the statue and admire the colorful flowers and fruits that Buddhist devotees leave as offerings.
- The Goodness of Guanyin.
Just west of Big Buddha, you’ll encounter another striking Buddhist temple, Wat Plai Laem. The centerpiece is a giant statue of Guanyin, the goddess of mercy and compassion, who is depicted as having 18 arms. Explore the stunning space but keep in mind that it is sacred, so modest dress is a must.
- Look Out for the Lookout.
While driving south, keep an eye out for Lad Koh Viewpoint right off highway 4169. Park and take the short walk out for a panoramic view of Changweh Bay and its sparkling turquoise waters. It might just be the prettiest 10 minutes you’ve ever spent.
- Paradise Found.
This is, perhaps, the reason you came to Koh Samui: a beach with the softest white sand, the clearest blue water and a not-too-crowded shoreline. Explore the coral reef with a snorkel or just sit and enjoy the view.
- Head to the Local Night Market.
Every Friday from 5 to 11 p.m., Fisherman’s Village comes alive with its weekly night market, transforming Beach Road into a lively atmosphere of both locals and visitors. Peruse handicrafts, jewelry and spices and nibble on some classic Thai street food, like banana pancakes and fresh spring rolls.
- Back for Dinner.
After whetting your appetite at the night market, return to The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui for dinner. Using fresh seafood and locally sourced produce and ingredients, Pak Tai serves up a traditional southern interpretation of Thai cuisine. Finally, end your evening on the outdoor terrace at One Rai with a signature cocktail from the bar.
- Rise and Snorkel.
Don a mask and explore the Swim Reef right on the grounds of The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui. With over 50 species of marine fish, and no jellyfish allowed, guests can enjoy swimming in a safe and clean environment. Join for a scheduled feeding to witness a fish frenzy.
- Chaweng Beach.
Head south toward Chaweng, Koh Samui’s biggest city, where you’ll find a plethora of restaurants and bars. Grab a late breakfast, or early lunch, at The Larder, an elevated but down-to-earth gastropub that offers everything from fish and chips to croque madames.
- Catch a Waterfall (or Two).
The Namuang waterfalls are a set of stunning cascades that are definitely worth chasing. The first one is easily accessible through a short walk into the jungle and makes for an awe-inspiring view. Nearby Namuang 2 is much taller at 262 feet. If you’re up for the longer hike, follow the signs to the top and revel in the natural beauty.
- The Secret Buddha Garden.
Tucked into the hills, high atop Khao Pom Mountain, is a private sculpture park that beckons explorers. At the age of 77, retired durian farmer Kjun Nim Thongsuck started to collect statues of animals and deities and continued until he died at 91. Explore the collection and enjoy the serene setting.
- Soul Soothing.
After a long day on your feet, take advantage of the luxurious spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui. Inspired by the therapeutic properties of natural local ingredients like fresh flowers, coconut water and healing herbs, The Spa Village Koh Samui offers several treatments to relax and rejuvenate.
- Last Supper.
End your stay in Koh Samui at one of the island’s best restaurants, Barracuda. German chef Ferdinand Dienst serves up a menu built around fresh, local ingredients and seafood with a Mediterranean influence. After paying the check, take a walk along Bophut Beach and stop by Coco Tam for a seaside nightcap.