Ko Samui, Thailand Cruise Port
For a tropical vacation where people and activities abound, cruising to Ko (or Koh) Samui, Thailand will have you in awe of luxury resorts and a busy party scene. Located in the Gulf of Thailand and off the east coast of the Kra Isthmus, this is the second largest island in the country, chock full natural beauty that includes a plethora of beaches and unspoiled rainforest. One of the most striking landmarks is the popular Wat Phra Yai or Big Buddha Temple, with its 49-foot-tall gleaming gold statue of Buddha; since the island's 50,000 residents are 90% Buddhist, rest assured this won't be the only reference to Buddha you'll come across. With a history dating back to around the late 1600s, Ko Samui remained relatively isolated until the late 20th century – even from the mainland. Here are some of our favorite experiences for the cruise port of Ko Samui, Thailand:
- As one of the islands that make up the Ang Thong National Marine Park, this is not only a place to explore multiple species of flora and fauna, but it's also a paradise for snorkelers and kayakers, with caves and hidden lagoons to venture into for those seeking adventure. Access is limited, but there are enough guides for hire so getting in shouldn't be a problem.
- With many beach choices, the best bets can be narrowed down. Those who want a little quiet should check out Mae Nam on the northern coast, while party people should visit Chaweng. The latter is the largest and most developed, with guests from all over and a bustling nightlife.
- To see more of the previously-mentioned Buddha statues, the Secret Buddha Garden is flanked by the jungle, rocky hills, and decorated with sculptures. Not only are there various deities represented, but also plain old humans. The garden is the highest spot on Ko Samui, so the view is also worth the trip.
- One of the most famous temples is Wat Khunaram Ko Samui in the southeast. Here you'll find the mummified monk, a revered former abbot of the temple who allegedly predicted his own death.