Samui’s off-islands: a rich and varied world
Whether you live on Samui or are on an extended holiday, you’ll love taking to the water when you realize what’s out there. Take a boat, speed boat or hydrofoil and explore the maritime neighborhood around Samui. It’s filled with islands, big and small. And all of them are beautiful.
Angthong National Marine Park
One of the best days out in Thailand, enjoy a visit to the chain of islands just off Samui’s west coast. Many tours take you out here, either by speed boat (very fast, but not so great if you’re prone to back pain) or slow boat. Once there most tours offer swimming off the islets or on white-sand beaches, snorkeling and the chance to see waterfalls, caves and the immense crater lake on one of the islands. Tours offer a round trip to your hotel/villa and start early morning to arrive back at before 5:00 pm.
Koh Pha-ngan is smaller than Samui but equally famous. Beautiful beaches, unspoiled bays and a pristine jungle interior make this island an inviting and exciting place to stop over. Its major town Haad Rin offers a variety of bars, restaurants and of course is the home of the Full Moon Party. The Lomprayah ferry can bet you from Samui to Koh Pha-ngan in just a half hour.
Koh Tao is easily accessible, just 1 ½ hours away from Samui by Lomprayah ferry, although there are slower boats too. This gem of an island is a favourite spot to learn scuba diving. It also packs a punch when it comes to entertainment, with lots of bars and restaurants fronting its long sandy beach, Sairee beach.
Koh Nang Yuan is an islet just off Koh Tao and can easily be reached from there or it can be visited direct from Samui. The islet is small and consists of two areas joined by a bar of sand. There’s accommodation here and restaurant facilities but the island is known for its marine life which seems to be just waiting for you a metre offshore.
Koh Taen (or Koh Tan) is very close to Samui’s south coast and is completely unspoiled. It’s possible to stay and there are restaurant facilities too. Many trips run out here and usually will drop you off for an hour or two before heading on elsewhere. Explore the mangroves to the south, or the beaches or spend time walking along the island’s trails. Most tours operate a day or half-day excursion, but the cheapest way to get there is to take a taxi boat from the village of Thong Krut (tickets from the official ticket office only, next to San-Ti Road).