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Koh Samui 4 Days Itinerary – Things to do + Where to Stay and Play

Wondering what to do with 4 days in Koh Samui? This 4-day Koh Samui itinerary will guide you through the best things to do in Koh Samui, the best beaches, and where to stay in Koh Samui.

Part of the Chumphon Archipelago, Koh Samui is the second largest island in Thailand, other than being one of the most famous ones. It has a total area of 228km squared and is a melting pot of local cultures and practices.

Deciding what to do in Koh Samui can be difficult cause the island offers a lot, but if you are wondering how many days in Koh Samui, know that the best sights can be condensed into a four-day trip.

I’ve personally loved my time in Koh Samui, and I wish I had scheduled even more days on the island.

Here you’ll find some travel tips to make your trip easier (how to get to to Koh Samui and where to stay) and a 4-day itinerary for Koh Samui.

How to get to Koh Samui

➤ The easiest way to get to Koh Samui is to fly from Bangkok. There are about 19 flights a day directly from Bangkok to Koh Samui; tickets can be cheaper if booked in advance, but they are usually around $100 one way.

Flying to Koh Samui is definitely the quickest way and recommended if you have limited time, but it’s also more expensive than the other options. In this case you can also pre-book a private transfer to your hotel for your group here.

➤ Another, and cheaper, flight option is taking a low-cost flight from Bangkok to Surat Thani, and then getting a ferry over to Koh Samui. This is a cheaper option than a direct flight, but also takes longer. The bus from the airport to the ferry terminal, and the ferry ride add around 3-4 hours onto the journey.

I went for this option and bought a combined ticket with Nok Air which included the plane, bus, and ferry, so it was all very straightforward and still quite cheaper than flying to Koh Samui.

➤ If you’re not a fan of flying, or want to save some money, you can also get a train from Bangkok to Surat Thani. Once you arrive there, it’s a simple ferry crossing to Koh Samui. The overnight train is the safest option, and it means you don’t have to sacrifice a day of your holiday, or pay for overnight accommodation. As with flights, it’s best to book your tickets in advance.

BOOK HERE the combined train+ferry ticket.

➤ The last option is a bus from Bangkok to Surat Thani + ferry. This is the cheapest way to get to Koh Samui, but also the longest. If you can, I recommend you to book your ticket in advance to make sure you get a seat. Especially in high season, buses can get full! 

Once you arrive in Surat Thani, you just jump on the ferry. The best option is to to buy a combined bus and ferry ticket to help you save money and time.

BOOK HERE the combined bus+ferry ticket from Bangkok to Koh Samui.


➤ If you’re travelling from elsewhere in the country, there are also flights to Koh Samui from Phuket. Make sure you book any tickets in advance for really cheap flights.

➤ If you are coming from Koh Phangan or Koh Tao, there are many ferries a day linking the islands. In Southeast Asia I usually use Bookaway which is a portal that compares all the times and prices for ferries and buses, and lets you buy combined bus+ ferry tickets.

Check out your options:
from Koh Phangan to Koh Samui;
from Koh Tao to Koh Samui.

Make sure you look in the map where is your hotel cause there are many different docks both for departure and arrival.

➤ If you are coming from Chiang Mai (check out why you shouldn’t miss visiting Chiang Mai while in Thailand!), there is one direct flight a day with Bangkok Airways from/to Koh Samui.

READ ALSO: The Ultimate Thailand Packing List

Where to stay in Koh Samui

Book your accommodation by using the map below ⬇


Luxury & Design Hotels

Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui – You don’t get more luxury than this. Luxurious villas with each their private infinity pool, 5-star service, and a beautiful private beach at Laem Yai Bay. Check out prices and availability for Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui

Conrad Koh Samui – Luxury villas with a private infinity pool and breathtaking views of the gulf of Thailand. Marble bathrooms, jacuzzis, and stunning interiors. Do I need to say more? Check out prices and availability for Conrad Koh Samui.

Vana Belle, A Luxury Collection Resort – Located in Chaweng Noi Beach, each suite and villa features a private pool and a terrace. Here you get luxury and a private beach, yet you are not far away from the nightlife and entertainment options of Chaweng. Check out prices and availability for Vana Belle, A Luxury Collection Resort

Luxury for Less: <$100 a night

The Privilege Hotel Ezra Beach Club – A 5 star hotel for less than $70 a night? This is ones of the best places to stay in Koh Samui for less than $100 a night thanks to the beautiful pools and the design room. In Bangrak Beach. Check out prices and availability for The Privilege Hotel Ezra Beach Club.

Samui Paradise Chaweng Beach Resort & Spa –  Beautiful villas only steps from the beach, some with a Jacuzzi on the terrace. The hotel is located in the quietest area of Chaweng, yet close to the restaurants and shops. Check out prices and availability for Samui Paradise Chaweng Beach Resort & Spa.

The Passage Samui Villas & Resort – Located in Laem Yai, far from the hustle and bustle of Chaweng, this is a great place to relax. Luxury rooms, 3 pools, and a great spa. Check out prices and availability for The Passage Samui Villas & Resort.

On a Budget

Samui Green Hotel – I stayed at this hotel for a couple of nights and found it great value for the price. It’s clean, in a very convenient position in Chaweng, and comfortable. Check out prices and availability for Samui Green Hotel.

Blackjack Bar & Hostel – The best rated hostel in Koh Samui, this is the ideal option if you are traveling solo and want to mingle. A boutique hostel with a modern design 3 minutes walk from Chaweng beach. Check out prices and availability for Blackjack Bar & Hostel.

Crystal Lamai Hotel – If you prefer to stay away from Chaweng, this 3-star hotel in Lamai offers a pool, a gym, and big, comfortable rooms. 500 m from Lamai beach. Check out prices and availability for Crystal Lamai Hotel.

Koh Samui 4 Days Itinerary

You could spend a week in Koh Samui or more, but most people only have a few days before exploring some other islands. This guide is designed to offer you a Koh Samui 4 days 3 nights itinerary that covers all the best things to do in Koh Samui.

If you even have less time and you are looking for a Koh Samui 3 days itinerary, disregard day 4.

Day 1 | Temple Hopping and Bophut

The first day of your trip should be spent taking in the incredible local sights of Koh Samui. You can also keep this option for a rainy day if you prefer, the weather on the island can be pretty unpredictable!

Rent a scooter from one of the many local companies. You can also take a shared taxi if you don’t drive but it will be a little more complicated to move from place to place.

If you’re in a group, another good alternative to explore the island beyond the beach is to hire a private car with a driver for the day. BOOK IT HERE

The main thing to see is the Big Buddha Temple. Known locally as Wat Phra Yai, it is a temple that sits on a small island just off the north-eastern coast. The temple gets its English name from the 12-meter tall golden Buddha statue that dominates the temple.

The Buddha can be seen from 5 miles away, and will likely be one of the first things you see if arriving on Koh Samui by plane. There are plenty of local vendors selling souvenirs around the temple, and a mango smoothie is never a bad idea when it’s hot – I don’t know about you, but I looove mango!

Wat Plai Laem is another Buddhist temple not too far away from the Big Buddha. This temple features a massive statue of Guanyin, who is the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion, and one of a fat laughing Chinese Buddha that represents wealth.

Prefer to go on a guided tour? The Koh Samui: Original Discovery Tour will bring you to the temples plus the other natural highlights of Koh Samui, and at $30 per person it’s highly affordable.

READ ALSO: 8 Best Day Trips From Koh Samui

Once you’ve enjoyed the temples, take a trip to Bophut Beach. This beach is located near the Big Buddha, so you might actually want to start from Wat Plai Laem and then head to Big Buddha Temple and Bophut. Bophut Beach stretches for miles and offers crystal clear waters and way less people than Chaweng Beach.

While you’re there, check out the historic Fisherman’s village. It’s a fusion of traditional wooden shops and modern buildings, and also features tons of upscale, hipstery restaurants and cafès, so it can be a nice place to stop for lunch or a drink.

If you happen to go there on a Friday, make sure you check out the local market too where you can find all kinds of cheap souvenirs.

Day 2 | Relax at Chaweng Beach & Explore Chaweng

After all that sightseeing, you’ll need a more relaxed day. So why not spend it at Chaweng? This is the busiest and most international town on the island, and is located on one of the nicest beaches. Spend the day getting tanned on the beach and taking a dip in the lovely warm sea.

There are also plenty of beach clubs offering food and drink all day long, and most of the night too!

If you do think you can stretch to some activity, take a trip round the town. There are plenty of bustling local markets to see, and lots of shops for souvenirs. You’ll never run out of things to do in Chaweng, even when it rains.

You’ll likely have worked up quite the appetite after a hard day of relaxation, so take a trip to Chaweng Walking Street or Chaweng night market. There are tens of different street food vendors selling Thai food but also international food, crepes, seafood, etc.

Otherwise, if you prefer something a bit more fancy, you can find al types of international restaurants and chains in Chaweng. My favorite restaurants in Chaweng are Olive Tree Greek Restaurant ( the souvlakis are so good!),  Baci Italian Bar & Grill (very good pizza), and Basilicom (Israeli restaurant).

Keeping in with the relaxation theme, make sure you get a massage at one of the many local spas. There are both small, family run spas, and bigger commercial ones, so you’ll be sure to find one that suits your price range.

Every spa offers a massive range of treatments that will leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. Every time I got to Thailand, I can’t help but have a few massages – it’s so much cheaper than Europe and North America!

Day 3 | Take a day trip to Ang Thong National Park

Ang Thong Marine Park is an archipelago of 42 islands in the Gulf of Thailand. It’s home to an incredibly diverse landscape with limestone cliffs as high as 400 metres, and is a must-visit if you’re in the area. This is one of the most beautiful places in Thailand, and you’ll agree with me!

The islands of Ang Thong appeared in the novel ‘The Beach’ by Alex Garland, and even if the movie with DiCaprio was actually filmed in Phi Phi Leh, these islands became more known thanks to the novel.

There are many operators offering Koh Samui boat trips, but I decided to visit the park with Boutique Yachting, a tour operator that offer luxury day trips from Koh Samui to Ang Thong Park on a beautiful, wooden motor-operated sailing yacht.

The boat leaves from Petcherat Pier on Koh Samui, and it’s about two hours of sailing to get to Ang Thong National Park. The yacht is very comfortable though, and you can lay down on a day bed on the sundeck, take a nap, read a book or enjoy the view.

As the boat departs quite early in the morning, you’re provided with breakfast on board while travelling to Ang Thong, and it’s a very good one. Eggs, fruit, cereals, coffee, juice…

One thing I loved about this Koh Samui island hopping tour is that the quality of the food is exceptional. Lunch is buffet style with a big variety of dishes, and soft drinks are unlimited all day long. You can also have cocktails for a surcharge.

Once you arrive at Ang Thong, the boat takes you to a variety of locations that you can explore. First on the itinerary is Koh Wua Talap. A long tail boat transfers you to the island, where you can relax on the beach or hike up to the viewpoint.

This walk is not for the faint of heart, but it’s definitely worth it. There is a path that can take you as high as 500 meters above sea level with incredible views. I mean, look at this view!

The hike is broken up by viewpoints every 100 meters. My friend Veronica and I only reached the viewpoint at 200 meters and decided we were too out of shape to continue up (we were drenched in sweat!), but as you can see the view was already spectacular.

READ ALSO: 20 Photos of Thailand That’ll Make You Want to Pack Your Bags and Go

Remember to bring sneakers on the trip, you’ll need them for this little hike.

After lunch, the second stop is Mae Koh Island, where you can find an inland saltwater lagoon called Emerald Lake (Thale Nai). Again you have the option to hike up to see it, or you can relax at the beach. I recommend doing this little effort (the hike is easier than the first one) and take a picture up here.

The tour then ends with the trip back to Koh Samui, usually at sunset. There are few things more stunning than a sunset at sea, so this makes the perfect end to a perfect day.

Boutique Yachting trips often sell out, so make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment! If you only have 3 days in Koh Samui, you can skip Bophut on the first day, but make sure you include this day trip.

⇒ Check out availability and book the Ang Thong Full-Day Discovery Cruise from Koh Samui directly online. BOOK IT HERE

You can find cheaper Koh Samui day tours to Ang Thong National Marine Park, but the quality of this tour, the wonderful service and food, make the higher price tag extremely worth it in my opinion.

If you’re looking for a more budget experience, though, check out this Ang Thong Marine Park: Full-Day Kayaking and Snorkeling Tour. It might not be as luxurious, but you’ll still get to go snorkeling and kayaking through this natural paradise and spend a wonderful day at sea. 

Day 4 | Sightsee and Beach Time

If you have some time before your flight or ferry, you can go and visit Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks, famous for their amusing shapes reminding of genitals. The rocks are located near Hua Thanon, in the souteast of the island, at the end of Lamai Beach.

Anoteher option is hiking to the Na Mueang Waterfalls. I didn’t visit the waterfalls as when I was there I’ve been told the area was very muddy due to the rain, so ask around. Many island tours include the waterfalls if you prefer to go on a tour.

Looking for some adrenaline? Check out the 7-Hour 4WD Wild Jungle Safari Tour that will bring you to waterfalls and incredible landscapes. There will be driving in ex-army jeeps, zip lining, swimming at the waterfall and jungle slides. BOOK IT HERE

Otherwise, it’s never a bad idea to spend some more time at the beach. Some other beautiful beaches in Koh Samui include Lamai beach (so you could combine it with the rock formations), Lipa Noi beach (very kid-friendly), and Taling Ngam Beach (with a great view of Ang Thong).

You could even try snorkeling in the clear waters. May tour operators offer full-day and half-day snorkeling Koh Samui trips.

Koh Samui is a fun island with plenty of activities to keep you occupied. It makes a great choice for those interested in both the religious and cultural history of Thailand (as it has become something of a fusion of local cultures) and in beautiful beaches.

This 4 days in Koh Samui itinerary isn’t designed to be exhaustive, and it certainly doesn’t cover everything there is to do. However, if you have 4 days in Koh Samui, this itinerary will show you all the best things to do in Koh Samui!

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary tour with Boutique Yachting. Nonetheless, my experience was phenomenal and all opinions in this article are exclusively my own.

  • Stefania Guglielmi

    Stefania Guglielmi is the founder of Every Steph. Originally from Bologna, Italy, she's been traveling full-time since 2016 and has visited over 50 countries across 6 continents. She believes sustainable travel and luxury travel can go hand in hand and has been advocating for responsible tourism since 2014. Stefania's advice and travel experiences have been featured in important publications such as Business Insider, Refinery29, and Yahoo Money.

Sunil Chawla

Thursday 19th of December 2019

Lovely Blog. I am planning for 2020 and information provided by you will surely be helpful Thanks Sunil


Monday 28th of October 2019

Hi...just wondering when did you where travel around koh Samui? I’m going next September so hoping the weather is going to be nice.thanks


Wednesday 6th of November 2019

I traveled in July, the weather wasn't the best althought it was supposed to be good. You never really know how it's going to be to be honest. It's supposed to be the start of the monsoon season in September, but most of the time that means quick tropical showers around night time, and mostly no rain the rest of the time. Enjoy!