Tearing yourself from the sunlounger may be the last thing on your mind. If so, skip this section. For the more adventurous, Samui offers a range of ways to pass the day, from the serenity of golf to the sheer terror of a bungy jump. Add in the underwater stuff and there’ll not be a spare moment.
1. Ang Thong National Park
Apart from its short rainy season closure in November and December, day trippers can hike, kayak or snorkel in parts of the park. There’s also some limited diving among coral gardens but nothing that compares to the sites around Koh Tao.
There’s 27 holes for you on Samui, with 9 at the Royal Samui Golf and Country Club and a full 18 at Santiburi Samui Country Club. Both courses are on the mountain slopes and offer sensational views while you play. Also you can learn why the Santiburi course is nicknamed ‘The Beast.’
3. Sea Walking
If a lack of swimming or diving ability has limited your underwater adventures, or you simply want to try something unique, then Sea Walking Samui is for you. Donning headgear that resembles an old computer monitor allows you to wander the ocean floor at your leisure.
While the waters around Samui are not perfect for diving, nearby island Koh Tao is a world famous diving spot. Several five-star PADI operators such as The Dive Academy will take you to the stunning sites of Sail Rock and Chumpon Pinnacle. The clincher: March through June is whale shark season!
The ziplines at Canopy Adventures cut above lush jungle and even a waterfall. There’s about two kilometres of high-speed dangling to do, with multiple rest stations and a trustworthy team in charge of your safety. Experience isn’t necessary, but a head for heights most definitely is.
6. Samui Bungy Jump
A professional operation at Chaweng Lake that can get you prepped, harnessed up and freefalling within 10 minutes of arrival. There are great views from the top if you can tear your mind away from the imminent terror, and you can hire a GoPro to see how scared you look on the way down.
7. Samui Football Golf
A weird hybrid sport, born on Samui, the brainchild of Liverpudlian proprietor, Tom. It’s basically a small golf course in Choeng Mon which you get around on by kicking a football. Crazy fun, if you’ve got a spare 1.5 hours on your feet, er, hands.
8. Island hopping
The island’s seemingly infinite number of tour operators are determined to get you off your sunlounger and onto one of their excursions – well-organised boat trips to the neighbouring dive and snorkel spots like Koh Tao, and Koh Nanyuang.
For such a party island, Samui is conversely, and perhaps understandably, big on detox. Absolute Sanctuary offers a range of detox treatments, from the doable beginner plan to the hardcore holistic regime. They also offer yoga, reiki and all manners of feel-good treats for mind and soul.
While dedicated centres such as Dipabhavan offer structured meditation retreats, those wishing to practice mindfulness can simply pop into any temple on the island. There’s no charge, foreigners of all faiths (or no faith) are welcome, and at Wat Khunaram you can even chill out with the mummified body of a monk.