Ko Samui has a distinct culture that is the product of it earliest settlers: Chinese and Muslim fisherman, a Japanese occupation, and its current status with Thailand. The island always has and still does thrive on a hard work ethic, agriculture being the top source of income. Farmers work vigorously year round to upkeep the coconut plantations.

Buddhism continues to be the major religion and Buddhist temples and shrines on Ko Samui are impresive:

  • Wat Phra Yai is a giant Buddha Temple with the famous "big Buddha" in gold sitting above the temple
  • Khunamram Temple has a mummified monk

More notable temles on Ko Samui include:

  • Wat Plei Leam
  • Coral Buddha
  • The Leam Sor Chedi
  • Wat  Sila Ngu
  • Wat Sumret
  • Buddha's Footprint

Please note that respectable clothing must always be worn in temples, beachwear is not acceptable.

Temple fairs take place throughout the year and are really just traveling markets. The larger fairs have live music and entertainment but the general purpose is to buy new goods.

Buffalo fighting is a favorite pastime for the natives of the island. It can be hard to track down the dates and times of these fights but they usually take place in designated stadiums, those who are interested must find out through word of mouth.

The people of Ko Samui can be labeled as laid-back and relaxed. Bar culture exists at a modest level and locals enjoy sipping back drinks in country type bars where tourists are also welcome.