Koh Samui is one of Thailand’s most popular holiday destinations. It is a gorgeous island, with all the holiday clichés: white sand, clear water, palm trees. It is a great place to kick back and relax in the sun, but there is much more to the island than that. You can paddle around its coast, dive under its waters, or head inland and explore the mountains and the jungle. Unfortunately Koh Samui rock climbing scene is well behind other Thai climbing destinations.
There are rocks waiting to be climbed all over Koh Samui. The coastal areas have limestone cliffs that reach right down into the sea in many places with some good sites for bouldering. Particularly around Lamai Beach, where there are some impressively sized boulders.
The stretch of coast between Lamai and Samui’s most developed beach, Chaweng, has become a popular climbing spot. There are opportunities for technical rope climbing up the cliffs, as well as more bouldering. Local operators often take clients there. Further inland, the mountains that make up much of Koh Samui’s interior offer some good climbing spots. They are also often jungly and difficult to navigate: get local advice on where to go.
If you want to get away from Samui for a day or two, there is some good climbing on neighbouring island Koh Tao, just a short hop away by ferry. You’ll find big granite blocks all over the island, as well as beach boulders.
A dedicated Koh Samui rock climbing holiday is probably out of the question but a bit of bouldering and plenty of other adventures are a great way to see the island’s gorgeous scenery close up and to do something more challenging than sinking beers by the pool!