The Ultimate Backpackers Guide to Koh Samui

Welcome to the ultimate backpackers guide to Koh Samui, where you can discover the best accommodation options, exciting activities to indulge in, a detailed budget breakdown, and much more!


Koh Samui, Thailand is a tropical paradise known for its stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and rich culture. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with tips and advice on backpacking through Koh Samui on a budget, ensuring you make the most of your adventure in just a couple of days. Get ready to explore this tropical paradise and create unforgettable memories on your backpacking journey in Koh Samui.


When it comes to accommodation in Koh Samui, backpackers have several options to choose from, catering to different budgets and preferences. One popular area for backpackers is Chaweng Beach, the island’s most vibrant and lively spot. Here are two great options for a comfortable and affordable stay:

  1. Lub D Koh Samui: Situated in the heart of Chaweng, Lub D Koh Samui is a modern and trendy hostel that offers spacious and well-designed dormitories. The hostel provides a vibrant atmosphere perfect for socializing with fellow travelers. Enjoy amenities such as an outdoor pool, co-working space, and a rooftop bar where you can unwind and enjoy breathtaking views of the island.
  2. New Hut Bungalow: If you’re looking for a more laid-back and budget-friendly option, consider New Hut Bungalow. Located near beautiful beaches like Silver Beach and Lipa Noi Beach, this rustic-style bungalow accommodation provides a peaceful and serene environment. With basic but comfortable rooms surrounded by lush gardens, you’ll have a relaxing stay while still being close to the island’s attractions.


Koh Samui offers a plethora of activities for budget travelers to enjoy. Here are some must-visit attractions and experiences that should be on your itinerary:

  1. Fisherman’s Village: Located in Bophut, Fisherman’s Village is a charming and historical part of Koh Samui. Its quaint streets are lined with boutique shops, restaurants, and beach bars. Explore local handicrafts, sample delicious street food, or simply soak in the vibrant atmosphere as you stroll along the beach.
  2. Ang Thong National Marine Park: Take a day trip to Ang Thong National Marine Park, a group of stunning islands known for their natural beauty. Embark on a boat tour and enjoy activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, and hiking. Be mesmerized by the breathtaking landscapes and crystal-clear waters, making it a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers.
  3. Koh Samui’s Buddhist Temples: Immerse yourself in the spiritual and cultural side of Koh Samui by visiting its Buddhist temples. Wat Plai Laem and Big Buddha Temple are two iconic temples on the island. Admire the intricate architecture, explore the surrounding grounds, and enjoy panoramic views of the island. Engage in the peaceful atmosphere and gain insight into Thai traditions and beliefs.
  4. Night Markets and Street Markets: To truly experience the local culture and taste authentic Thai cuisine, visit the night markets and street markets of Koh Samui. Chaweng Night Market and Maenam Walking Street are popular choices, offering a wide array of street food stalls, local handicrafts, and live performances. Sample delicious snacks, indulge in traditional dishes, and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of these markets.
  5. Beautiful Waterfalls: Koh Samui is blessed with several beautiful waterfalls that offer refreshing swimming spots and scenic hiking trails. Namuang Waterfall, the island’s most famous waterfall, is a must-visit. Enjoy a dip in the natural pools and take a leisurely hike through the lush surroundings. Another notable waterfall is Na Muang 2 Waterfall, known for its impressive height and thrilling cliff jump opportunities.

Budget Breakdown

Backpacking on a budget doesn’t mean compromising on experiences. Koh Samui offers plenty of affordable options for food, accommodation, and transportation. Here’s a breakdown of the average daily cost for a backpacker in Koh Samui:

  1. Accommodation: Depending on your choice between Lub D Koh Samui and New Hut Bungalow, you can expect to pay around $10-15 per night for a bed in a dormitory or a basic bungalow. These options provide comfortable and affordable stays, ensuring you have a home away from home during your adventure.
  2. Food: Koh Samui has a wide range of dining options catering to different budgets. Street food stalls offer delicious local dishes for as little as $1-3, allowing you to experience the flavors of Thai cuisine without breaking the bank. Additionally, mid-range restaurants can cost around $6-10 per meal, providing more variety and comfort. If you opt for self-catering, a week’s worth of groceries can cost approximately $25-30, enabling you to prepare your meals and save money.
  3. Transportation: Getting around Koh Samui is relatively affordable. Renting a motorbike starts at around $5-10 per day, providing flexibility and convenience in exploring the island. Renting a car is another option, with prices ranging from $20-30 per day. Alternatively, you can use Songthaews (shared taxis) or public buses for short distances at an average cost of $1-2 per trip. Public transport is a cheaper option, but it may require some planning and time management.
  4. Activities: Most attractions in Koh Samui have entrance fees ranging from $1-10. To make the most of your budget, prioritize the activities that interest you the most and plan accordingly. Whether it’s visiting temples, exploring waterfalls, or enjoying local markets, there are plenty of budget-friendly options available.


Koh Samui is a backpacker’s dream destination, offering a perfect blend of adventure, relaxation, and cultural experiences. Whether you’re exploring the island’s beautiful beaches, indulging in delicious Thai food, immersing yourself in its rich culture, or witnessing the natural beauty of waterfalls and temples, Koh Samui has something to suit every budget traveler. So pack your bags, follow this guide, and get ready to create unforgettable memories on your backpacking journey through this tropical paradise. With its stunning landscapes, vibrant atmosphere, and affordable options, Koh Samui is waiting to be discovered by budget-conscious adventurers.


What are the best budget-friendly accommodations in Koh Samui?

Lub D Koh Samui and New Hut Bungalow are popular budget-friendly options.

What are must-visit attractions for backpackers in Koh Samui?

Fisherman’s Village, Ang Thong National Marine Park, waterfalls, and Buddhist temples.

How can I get around Koh Samui on a budget?

Rent a motorbike or use Songthaews (shared taxis) or public buses.

What are budget-friendly dining options in Koh Samui?

Street food stalls ($1-3), mid-range restaurants ($6-10), or self-catering with groceries ($25-30/week).
Are there free or low-cost activities in Koh Samui?

Yes, exploring beaches, visiting temples, and exploring night markets offer budget-friendly options.

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About the Author: Jason Walker

Hello! I'm Jason, from Manchester, UK. I've spent five years exploring every corner of this island paradise, from its diverse food scene to thrilling water sports and convenient shopping. Combining my passion for Koh Samui and my digital marketing skills, I created Samui Now, your insider's guide to the best this island has to offer. Join me as we uncover Koh Samui's hidden gems, one post at a time!