I started my Koh Samui mornings with a coffee and a chocolate croissant from the cafe next door to my hotel. Then I rented a motorbike from the hotel for 200 THB, you get the bike for 24 hours, they didn’t give any instructions just hand you the key and a helmet and send you on your way. If you’ve never ridden one before or you’re unsure sure about something make sure to ask.
TIP: Renting a bike is definitely a risk, fines can be hefty if you bring it back with even the slightest bit of damage. A lot of places are known for conning tourists so do a little research to make sure the company you’re renting from has decent reviews. Also, point out any damage before you take off so you’re not charged for it later.
Renting a motorbike in Koh Samui was one of the best things I did. The roads were easy to navigate, there were signs everywhere, the roads were paved and fairly clean so you don’t have to worry about skidding on sand, and the views were to die for.
TIP: You drive on the right side of the road on Thailand, it’s a little scary at first if it’s your first time, just always be aware of this and you’ll be fine. I’d say Koh Samui is the best place to rent a motorbike (after the northern areas like Pai).
I rode to the Na Mueang Waterfalls first because it was the furthest point. The signs are easy to follow and hard to miss so you don’t need a map or anything, you just need to pay attention. You park down near the entrance and walk up a big hill, you can pay for a ride which is a 100 THB, not worth it in my opinion, a little exercise after all that pad thai felt good.
There are two waterfalls, Na Mueang 1 and Na Mueang 2. Na Mueang 2 is the more impressive one, when I went it was fairly dry and pretty much a little stream. I hiked a ways along a path down the stream hoping to find a pool of water to swim in but no such luck.
TIP: There are two entrances to the falls. You’ll see a split in the road as you get closer, if you go right they’ll charge you. Take the left down a slight hill and you can enter for free.
I stopped at a few temples along the way. If a sign sounded interesting I’d pull over and check it out. I had read about the Samui Rock Bar so I went down towards Hin Tai and Hin Yai Rocks to find it. There was a little street market going on, it was 10 THB to park. I stopped to get some coconut ice cream and ate it on the rocks, this was a beautiful, scenic stop. I also got a bag of dried mango from a stand, I ate the whole bag that day, absolutely delicious.
Next I went to The Beach Bar Samui on Chaweng Beach, I can’t find it anywhere online, I just stumbled upon it. There are signs everywhere so it’s hard to miss and was surprisingly quiet. I really enjoyed this spot, they had tropical house music playing, swings in the trees, a beach bar and lounge chairs and bean bags under umbrellas you can use whether you feel like drinking or not. The water was blue and warm, this would probably be a great spot for families. I left this place after a couple hours to see more of the island and ended up coming back I liked it so much. In the late afternoon they have an all you can eat BBQ for 200 THB. You BBQ all your own food, they have fish, octopus, chicken etc. as well as potato salads, chips and all your typical BBQ dishes. The best way to see the sunset is obviously on the west side of the island, it’s worth it to drive over there since this area of the beach gets darker earlier.
I went down by the airport to see the Big Buddha temple but I wasn’t dressed appropriately so I didn’t go past the shops. This area was pretty touristy, I’d skip it.
A cool spot to go for lunch is Jungle Club, getting up there on the moped is a little scary since you have to go up a really steep hill but it’s SO worth it. The view of the island from this little tree bar was breathtaking.
My final bar/restaurant recommendation is CoCo Tam’s, you can’t leave Koh Samui without getting a picture on a swing at this beach bar. It’s a staple.