Leisure Activities and Entertainment on Koh Samui
Samui is a relaxing and enchanting island where you can spend your days lazing on white-sandy beaches and swimming in the warm tropical waters. That’s there if you want it, but don’t be fooled. Samui can also provide an action-packed, fun-thrilled experience for those seeking a little more adventure on their holiday.
So, hold tight as we go through some of the many exciting activities that Samui has to offer.
Samui is an island so activities involving the sea are numerous and include options to suit all levels of adventure.
Jet-Skiing, paragliding, wake-boarding, water-skiing, wind-surfing, kite-boarding kayaking and sea-canoeing are all available for the more energetic visitors. Scuba diving and snorkelling are prominent and sailing on yachts, catamarans or speedboats can cater for those who want someone else to do all the hard work.
Samui and the surrounding waters provide some of the finest diving conditions and sites in the world. For example the Ang Thong Marine Park is the perfect place to experience by boat, and maybe you could explore the caves and lagoons in a sea-canoe, and witness the beauty that was the inspiration behind the best-selling book and film, The Beach.
It seems nowadays that more and more people seek extreme activities that give an incredible adrenaline rush. And you would be forgiven for thinking that, on a peaceful tropical island like Samui, such pastimes would be hard to find. But, how wrong you would be. Samui now has a number of attractions that will test the nerve of even the most daring of adrenaline junkies.
Try the Samui Bungy Jump in Chaweng with the added excitement of having your hand touch, your head submerged, or half of your body go underwater in the pool waiting a terrifying 50 metres below. Or maybe the canopy adventure in Maenam will persuade you to travel through the tree tops on cable rides sliding between six tree-houses. If you can keep your eyes open the views here are as scintillating as the ride. It could be an All Terrain Vehicle ride around a 32,000sq.m circuit in the jungle or the Samui Paint Ball Game that gets your blood flowing. Or, if you try one of Samui’s latest attractions, you’ll enjoy the thrill of being put in a plastic ball with two buckets of water and being pushed off a ramp at the top of a hill. It’s described as 220 metres of pure fun!
Animals play an important role in activities and entertainment on Samui. Some attractions involve looking; some include participation; and some involve both, but in this section we’ll stick to those animals you can ride. The elephant is a beautiful and revered animal and it’s one with a long history in Thailand. Originally used for working in the jungle, the improvements in industrial technology saw many elephants left without a role. However, elephant rides have become popular throughout the whole of Thailand and Samui is no exception. Once again the elephants have a job to do that pays for their considerable food and care. There are elephant treks available in different parts of the island and it’s certainly a memorable experience to travel on the back of one of these magnificent animals. Horse riding is another pastime that you can enjoy either on the beach or inland.
Most people enjoy participating in, or watching sport of some kind. In fact it’s so popular a pastime that the definition of what is a sport has become blurred over the years and it often depends on the fitness level of the person you ask. On Samui you can enjoy your sport in any way you like. Gyms and fitness centres are all around the island and are also included in most hotels. Tennis courts are also available at many hotels and are open for non-residents to use. Golf is a sport that’s really taken off on Samui. The Santiburi Golf Club is one of the finest and demanding courses in Asia. A nine hole course at Bophut Hills gives golfers an alternative and the Royal Samui Country Club is due to open in the near future with a nine hole course that will be extended to be a full18 holes. But golf comes in many forms and the crazy-golf and football-golf courses may well attract a number of non-golfers to enjoy. Then there’s fishing, with salt and freshwater opportunities available. And finally there’s something for all the indoor sportsmen and women who like tenpin bowling, snooker, pool, and darts. And, whether it’s classed as a sport or not, there’s also a number venues that offer online gaming for the computer savvy generation.
It may seem a strange attraction to include but Samui’s cinema at the Tesco Lotus complex is actually worth a mention. Samui can, like anywhere else in the world, suffer the odd afternoon of rainy weather. But it’s also probable that at some stage you’ll need to escape the heat of the sun. What better way to spend a few hours than watching a movie. Films are shown in English and sometimes new movies are released here before the UK so the children could go home having seen the latest blockbuster before their friends have had the chance.
Shop Till You Drop
The shopping associated with Samui has always been traditional Thai silks and ornaments and copy designer bags, watches and clothing. However the shopping industry on Samui has recently undergone a complete transformation. All the aforementioned shops and markets still exist but now they sit alongside genuine brand names. International and nationally recognised stores usually found in Bangkok and other major cities are now opening up here on Samui. So whether you’re looking for arts and crafts as a reminder of your stay in Thailand, or a complete new wardrobe you’ll find your needs totally satisfied.
Everywhere you go on Samui you’ll see Thai massage on offer and the overall quality of the masseurs is very good regardless of the price you may pay. You can get a full Thai massage from 200 baht all the way up to 4,000+ baht depending on the location of your choice; a sala on the beach or a private villa in an exclusive luxury spa. The choice is yours and the result is usually worth the amount. But be aware that a traditional Wat Po style Thai massage can be somewhat strenuous. Most will give you the choice of how strong you want the massage to be, and there are always more gentle options such as oil and Swedish massages available.
Thai Cooking Lessons
You’ll love the Thai cuisine so much that it’s inevitable you’ll want to continue the dining experience when back in your home country. Hotels generally offer some basic lessons, or, if you’re really interested you could always book a course at the renowned SITCA School in Chaweng. Thai ingredients are increasingly available around the globe so why not learn what to do with them whilst you’re here?