A visit to Pig Island, Koh Samui

by Jan

A visit to Pig Island (Koh Madsum), Thailand

Shut your eyes and conjure up an image of the beach in Koh Samui.  We’re talking soft white sands, palm trees and maybe a cocktail in your hand?

Am I right?  But did you remember the pigs?!

Yes, pigs!  Koh Madsum is a beautiful, tropical island in Thailand where the main inhabitants are pigs.  And unsurprisingly known as Pig Island.  How could we resist?

We booked a day trip to Koh Madsum during our 8 day stay in Koh Samui.  It was one of the best day trips from Koh Samui.  In this guide we’ll share details of our Pig Island experience, including details of how to book, how to get there, and activities on the trip.

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Where is Pig Island?

Pig Island or Koh Madsum (also referred to as Koh Matsum and Koh Mudsum) is a small island off the south coast  of Koh Samui in southern Thailand.  They are both part of the Chumphon Archipelago, a collection of about 60 islands in the Gulf of Thailand.

You shouldn’t confuse it with Pig Beach in the Bahamas, which also looks like a lot of fun!

How to get to Koh Madsum (Pig Island) in Koh Samui

Long tail boats, Mad Sum Island, Thailand

The easiest way to visit Koh Madsum is book a day trip  (though there is an option to stay overnight, which we’ll come back to later).  Several operators run half-day trips, most  of which include snorkelling near Koh Tan too.

When you book your Pig Island day trip, you’ll have a choice of a long-tail boat or a speed boat.  The long-tail boat takes about half an hour, whilst the speedboat will get you there in under 15 minutes.  The package generally includes collection from your hotel.

Click here to book a half-day boat trip to Koh Madsum

The pigs on Koh Madsum

Mad Sum Pig Island, Koh Samui, Thailand

On arrival at Koh Madsum, you’ll be greeted by pigs.  However, they really won’t show much interest until you’ve got some food!

Luckily, you can buy small packets of pig food from the bar on the island.  And then it’s piggy time!

Just choose a pig and offer it some food.  The others will soon come running and you’ll be surrounded by pigs.

The pigs are adorable!  They come in all shapes and sizes, but the piglets are the cutest!

How did the pigs get to Koh Madsum?

Pigs on Pig Island, Koh Samui, Thailand

Although the pigs are free roaming, they are not wild.  They belong to Mr Kitt, the bar owner.  He rescued the pigs from a market in Surat Thani and brought them back home to his family on Koh Madsum.  Later, he joined ranks with Gojo Tours, who set up tours to Pig Island to help pay for their keep.

Today, there are about 25-30 pigs on Koh Madsum, most of which are black.  However, some of the piglets are a cute mottled-brown colour.  You’ll also see several chickens running around near the pigs, probably hoping for leftovers.

Other things to do on Pig Island

Pig Island Experience, Koh Samui, Thailand

If you tire of looking at pigs, you’ll find a few other things to do on Koh Madsum.  Basically, you could go for a beach walk, swim, or snorkel.  However, snorkelling from the boat usually is included in the trip package.  Alternatively, there’s also a bar, where you can buy drinks.  Quite honestly, by the time you’ve fed the pigs, you won’t have much time for much else.

Accommodation on Pig Island (Koh Madsum)

Did you know there’s a hotel on Koh Madsum?

Yes, if you love the tranquillity of island life, you could stay on Pig Island’s only hotel, The Treasure.

The Treasure is a set of luxury Thai villas.  Each one is built with high-quality natural, materials, with private swimming.  The Koh Madsum Resort spans Pig island, giving residents a choice of soft, white sand on one side and a coral reef on the other.

Click here to book the Treasure, Koh Madsum

Snorkelling near Koh Tan

snorkelling in Koh Samui, Thailand

After about an hour on Pig Island, we returned to the boat for a short transfer to Koh Tan (Coral Island).  This is another small island in the Koh Samui archipelago.

You can change into your swim gear in the toilets on Pig Island, though they are rather basic.

Then, we spent about half an hour snorkelling off the boat.  There is a coral reef around Koh Tan and there were plenty of fish to see.  Don’t expect your own patch of paradise – you’ll see plenty of other snorkellers, as all the day trip boats stop at the same swim area.

The last activity of the visit to Pig Island is a buffet Thai lunch on Koh Tan, before returning home by boat.

Is Pig Island worth a visit?

Pig Island is ideal for animal lovers, families, or anyone looking for cool things to do near Koh Samui.  It’s an easy day trip to a beautiful island that makes a good change from the beach.

Don’t expect an exclusive experience, as it attracts a lot of visitors.  However, we all loved it and certainly would go again.

Accommodation in Koh Samui

Kho Samui Beach, Thailand

You’ll find accommodation in Koh Samui to suit all budgets and tastes.  The island has plenty of luxury hotels and resorts, but a good choice of budget accommodation for backpackers.

We stayed at the Green Coconut Resort, which has villas on the beach and a pool.  It was a quiet resort, within walking distance of several restaurants, a beach bar, and shops.

We'd love to hear from you!

Are you planning a trip to Pig Island?  We’d love to hear your questions or comments below.

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