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Are you a thrill seeker? Does your idea of a good vacation include plenty of exciting adventures and things to do? Well, Samui can satisfy all your desires. No need to wile away your precious vacation on a sun lounger. Get out there and get active! We are pleased to share with you our five favourite – and tourist-approved! – outdoor activities on the island. Guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping and put a smile on your face.
Looking to kick up some dirt and speed off in a cloud of dust? Try ATV (aka ‘quad’ or four-wheel) biking! There are several ATV providers on the islands to choose from. If you have never ridden an ATV before, that’s okay; the staff will instruct you on how to operate and navigate the all-terrain vehicle. A typical trip on dirt tracks will take you on an adventurous ride through the tropical jungle, coconut palms, fruit plantations, across rivers and stop at secluded waterfalls. If your visit to Samui is confined to the main beaches, you will miss out on the magical interior, which can only be accessed by going off-road. You can get up close and personal with the island’s natural splendour.
Here’s an activity to get your heart pumping and butterflies flittering in your stomach. Imagine soaring through the air, at speeds nearing 80 km per hour; suspended above the jungle on one of the most beautiful islands on the planet. You will feel like Tarzan or Jane! If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to fly from tree to tree like a monkey… then you’ve come to the right place. Phuket offers several locations to experience a tree top cable ride or ziplining. You will soar through the jungle from platform to platform, taking in the amazing sights, sounds and views of nature as you zip on by. Don’t worry, the whole time you are locked onto a steel cable and cannot fall off. It is a very safe and exhilarating way to see Samui from an entirely new angle. Don’t forget your camera!
Lined with quaint wooden shop-houses and with a distinctly Mediterranean feel (it was the main French outpost on the island for many years), Fisherman’s Village is considered a must-visit spot. The town is awash with lively cafés, boutiques, bars, galleries, scuba shops and more. Spending a relaxing evening here is a perfect idea. And speaking of shopping, every Friday the road is closed off to traffic for an attractive and relaxing evening market that takes over. This family-friendly affair always attracts a big crowd of residents and tourists. Stop on by for a plate of food, cold beer and souvenirs.
Ang Thong is perhaps the loveliest marine (land and sea) national park you never heard of! This incredible archipelago offers the intrepid traveller a wealth of attractions, from stunning natural beauty, verdant mangroves and cascading waterfalls to lush rainforests, limestone caves and pristine coastline. Of course, everyone has their preference, but the most popular activities on the island are diving, snorkelling, kayaking, sailing, bush walking, sunbathing and barbequing. Though the park is awash almost daily with day-trippers from the mainland, it still retains a postcard-perfect tranquillity and serene atmosphere that’s well worth exploring. As there are over 100 square kilometres and 42 islands to explore, we reckon you can find a way to escape the crowds and have your own deserted island experience.
A symbol of royalty and strength, discovering Samui from the back of an elephant is a very popular activity. Samui is awash with lush tropical rainforest, exploring this captivating landscape on the back of an elephant is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Pass exotic fauna and flora, rubber tree plantations, local temples and stop at refreshing waterfalls. The guides will also teach you how to feed and care for the animals. And if you’re lucky you might even be able to give them an impromptu bath while crossing a river.
Note: As elephants are not native to the island and all the ones residing there now have been brought over for tourism, we don’t highly encourage you to partake in an elephant trek, as it’s considered inhumane and the animals are an endangered species. What you can do is visit Elephant Hills, in Khao Sok National Park, an eco-park sanctuary with elephants roaming free.
If you want to have an adventurous outdoor vacation in Samui, let MANATHAI help you add the last piece of the vacation puzzle: affordable accommodation.