Having only 48 hours in Koh Samui is quite a common scenario for many travellers. Measuring 25 km long and 21 km across, it's easy to drive around Samui island in just a few hours. However, the place is packed with stunning beaches, fascinating attractions, breath-taking views, great restaurants and much more. Even with 2 days, you’re going to have to prioritise and pick just the best of the available options.

That’s where our 2 Days in Koh Samui guide comes in. We’ve narrowed down the huge selection to the absolute must-dos, providing you with a rough itinerary to get you started in planning an unforgettable trip to Koh Samui. Check out the great selection of Samui Island's attractions and activities below.

  • Day 1 – Morning

    Enjoy the sun, sand and surf

    Day 1 – Morning
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    Koh Samui is ringed with pristine white-sand beaches, each more beautiful than the last. Those along the east coast are the busiest and arguably the best, including Lamai Beach and the extremely popular Chaweng Beach.

    The west coast beaches are much wilder and less developed, including Taling Ngam and Lipa Noi. Don’t forget to check out the great opportunities for snorkelling, diving, kitesurfing and enjoying other beach activities.

  • Day 1 – Afternoon

    See Samui’s best temples and landmarks

    Day 1 – Afternoon
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    While Samui’s choice of temples is relatively modest, each is remarkable for its unique attractions. Standouts include the huge statues of the Big Buddha Temple and Wat Plai Laem or the mummified monk at Wat Khunaram.

    Other beautiful sites around the island include Hin Lad Waterfall Temple, Wat Lamai with its cultural hall, and the colourful Hainan Temple.

  • Day 1 – Evening

    Take a walk around the shops

    Day 1 – Evening
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    Koh Samui has a wealth of shopping opportunities. Some open every night, while others are special events for just 1 night of the week. The most popular is the Fisherman’s Village Walking Street on Friday night, but you can also check out the Lamai Night Plaza, Elephant Walk in Bophut, and Chaweng Walking Street.

    If you want a more climate-controlled shopping experience, Central Festival Samui is the island’s biggest and best mall with plenty of local and international fashion brands.

  • Day 1 – Night

    Hit the bars, pubs, and parties in Samui

    Day 1 – Night
    • Nightlife

    Chaweng is the party destination of choice in Koh Samui, with most of the island’s biggest and best clubs and bars. A popular itinerary involves enjoying the early happy hour at Bar Solo and the beach party at ARK Bar before heading for Soi Green Mango or Soi Reggae after midnight. 

    Other beach towns like Bophut and Lamai have a range of bars that open late and are usually busy until the early hours. 

  • Day 2 - Morning

    Explore nearby islands

    Day 2 - Morning
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    Koh Samui can be a great base for visiting the highlights of the Gulf of Thailand. As the island is surrounded by several smaller and untouched islands, booking an island-hopping trip is highly recommended. 

    The striking natural beauty of the Ang Thong Marine National Park is definitely worth seeing, though both Koh Tao and Koh Phangan also have their attractions. All can be reached within quite a short ferry ride.

  • Day 2 - Afternoon

    Explore the interior

    Day 2 - Afternoon
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    Samui’s rugged interior of jungle-covered mountains is largely untamed, offering a great opportunity to see less-visited attractions, great views and local wildlife.

    Some of the places that are quite easy to reach are the Lamai Overlap Stone, Secret Buddha Garden, Na Muang Waterfalls, and the Sky Fox Cable Ride. You can take an ATV ride if you want to get really close to the wild side of Koh Samui.

  • Day 2 - Evening

    Watch a live show

    Day 2 - Evening
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    Thailand is famous for its dramatic Muay Thai boxing matches, as well as flamboyant and fun cabaret shows. Koh Samui has 3 main boxing stadiums and 3 cabaret theatres located in and around Chaweng. 

    Both are must-sees to complete any trip to Thailand, albeit for very different reasons. A cheaper alternative that still offers plenty of fun is fire shows performed on Koh Samui's main beaches every night.  

  • Day 2 - Night

    Come for the sunset, stay for the party at Samui's beach clubs

    Day 2 - Night
    • Nightlife

    Koh Samui is blessed with many excellent beach clubs. With its great atmosphere and first-class cuisine, Nikki Beach is one of the top beach clubs on the island. Thanks to its west-coast location, it's a superb spot to watch the sunset.

    Other top beach clubs (which lack the same view) include Beach Republic, Bangrak Beach Club and KC Beach Club, all on the east coast of Koh Samui.