Koh Samet is a beautiful island close to Bangkok, Thailand. It is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway and has pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, a range of water sports and other activities.
This post gives a complete list of all the things to do in Koh Samet including key information about each activity.
Want to know more about Koh Samet? Check out my ultimate Koh Samet guide!
Diving & Snorkelling in Koh Samet
There are some excellent diving and snorkelling spots in Koh Samet where you will be able to see an abundance of marine life including colourful corals, ferns, starfish, manta rays, stingrays, barracudas, porcupine pufferfish and even blue-tipped sharks!
Several resorts and centres across the island offer diving trips to sites for both beginners and advanced divers.
You can find your own snorkelling spots on many of the beaches or you can book onto a snorkelling day trip! Koh Samet is the perfect location for this due to it’s crystal clear waters and pristine coral reefs.
Koh Samet Beaches
Koh Samet has an amazing selection of beautiful beaches which are perfect for relaxing. They all feature white sand and crystal clear waters.
The main beach of Sai Kaew is lively and is lined with restaurants/bars. You’ll find many activities here including water sports. Ao Phai is another lively beach with lots of activities.
There are also much quieter beaches with less people and less activities which are perfect for sunbathing/relaxing – you’ll even find some beaches in the south that are completely empty!
For more information, check out my complete Koh Samet beach guide. It gives a full breakdown of all the beaches on the island.
A great day out would be to book onto a boat trip where you’ll be able to discover the islands hidden coves, bays and beaches. Many of the boat tours will include extras such as lunch, snorkelling or even a trip to a nearby fishing farm.
There are many tour companies on the islands, many lining Sai Kaew beach. You’ll also be able to discover other nearby islands including Kruai, Kham and Plai Tin.
Jet-skiing & Parasailing in Koh Samet
Koh Samet offers a great range of motorised water sports including jet-skiing, parasailing and wakeboarding! These are really fun activities that get you out onto the water.
There are many places along the beaches that will allow you to rent the necessary equipment – these are mainly on the more popular beaches including Sai Kaew and Ao Phai.
Please be aware that some travellers have experienced scams in Thailand when renting jet-skis where they are asked to pay an extra bill when returning the jet ski due to a scratch/defect on the jet ski – to avoid this make sure you take photos of the jet-ski before taking it out.
Kayaking in Koh Samet
If motorised water sports aren’t your thing then why not give kayaking a go?
There are many places on the island to rent a kayak – just head to the beach and you’ll easily spot them.
This is an excellent way to explore the island and is also eco-friendly too! It’s another fantastic way to get out onto the water and see the island but is more strenuous that renting a jet ski.
Sunset in Koh Samet
The sunsets in Koh Samet are very beautiful and there are many places where you can enjoy the spectacular views. Make sure you head to the west side of the island for sunset – Ao Phrao is one of the best spots and is well-known for its incredible sunsets.
If you’re not staying in this area, there is a wooden path leading from Ao Hin Khok (next to Sai Kaew) that takes you there. The walk takes about 20 minutes.
You can just sit on the beach and watch the mesmerising sunset – you won’t be disappointed. You can also head out on a sunset cruise! It is definitely one of the most memorable things to do in Koh Samet.
Fire Show in Koh Samet
In the evenings at Ploy Talay on Sai Kaew beach, you will see a fire show right on the beach itself! These spectacular shows are a must-see and completely free.
You’ll be sure to see it if you head to Sai Kaew in the evening after dark. The performers are incredibly talented and put on an amazing (and dangerous) show. This is one of the things to do in Koh Samet that you definitely can’t miss.
Mermaid & Prince Statues
Something else you just have to see whilst on the island is the statues which feature a mermaid and a prince. These statues are found on the rocks between the Sai Kaew and Ao Hin Khok beaches in the north of the island.
The statues depict a famous Thai poem where the mermaid helps the prince to escape to the island of Koh Samet. They’re really easy to spot and are one of the most unique things to do in Koh Samet.
Na Dan Pier
It is very likely that this pier will be the first thing you see as you arrive in Koh Samet as it is the main arrival point.
It’s worth seeing as it features a giant female statue rising out of the water. This giant is also part of the story with the mermaid and the prince – the giant is said to have turned herself into a beautiful woman to try and trick the prince into falling in love with her.
Sailing & Windsurfing in Koh Samet
Sai Kaew beach is the best place for this as it has offshore winds and a strong current perfect for sailing. There are many centres along the beach that will provide you with all the necessary equipment so you can spend an afternoon sailing along the waves.
Koh Samet is home to a huge variety of fish and there are many opportunities on the island to get involved and go deep-sea fishing!
Just hop onto a fisherman’s boat and try it for yourself as many fishermen will rent out their boats so tourists can give deep-sea fishing a go. The island is home to a wide range of rare fish.
You can also try squid fishing after dark!
ATV Quad Bikes & Motorbikes in Koh Samet
A fantastic way to see the island is by hiring either a motorbike or an ATV quad bike and riding around the island.
Koh Samet is only 7km long from north to south so you’ll be able to explore the whole thing within a day. You’ll discover some incredible hidden viewpoints, secluded beaches, wildlife and nature.
Be aware that some of the roads, especially towards the south, are very unstable, rocky and difficult to ride so if you’re not that experienced then an ATV would probably be a better option than a motorbike.
You can hire these from a resort or from one of the many rental shops on the island, I’d recommend hiring from a rental shop as they tend to be cheaper than hiring from a resort.
For more information on getting around the island and renting motorbikes, check my full guide here. You can also rent a bicycle if you’d prefer this.
Why not relax and enjoy a traditional Thai massage? You’ll be able to get one all over the island especially on the beaches. It’s true bliss.
You don’t even have to find a masseuse as they will come to you and give you a massage in the shade as you relax on one of Koh Samet’s beautiful beaches. You’ll easily recognise them as they walk along the beach carrying a small stool and blankets. The massages are relaxing however basic as most are not certified professionals.
If you’re looking for an enjoyable night out then head over the Naga Bar in the evening. This place lights up after dark when travellers from all over come to enjoy the cheap drinks, fun music and luminous paint!
Don’t wear something you’re attached to as you’ll likely be offered some luminous paint which stains clothing. It’s a great atmosphere and you’re bound to make some new friends from across the globe.
Explore The Town Centre
Koh Samet has a small town centre in the north of the island close to Na Dan Pier. This is a nice place to explore where one main road runs from the pier to Sai Kaew beach.
Along this road you’ll find a variety of restaurants, souvenir shops, clothing shops, bars and more. Why not spend an afternoon exploring them and do some shopping.
Wat Ko Kaew Pitsadan
This is the island’s only temple situated in the north of the island between the main town area and Sai Kaew beach.
It’s best known for its big sitting Buddha statue which is 7 metres tall. You will often meet friendly monks here who will sometimes give you an amulet as a souvenir.
Dinner On The Beach
Trade your dinner in a restaurant for a dinner out on the beach itself. Many of the beaches have tables set up on the sand close to the water. Sai Kaew is especially great for this as it has a fantastic range of options.
This is a super fun and beautiful experience as you can dine with your feet in the sand, right by the ocean with waves hitting the shore beside you.
Thanks for reading this complete list of all the things to do in Koh Samet, Thailand. This fantastic island has so much to offer – for more information on Koh Samet, make sure you check out my ultimate Koh Samet guide.