You’ll occasionally see wild monkeys running around on Thai beaches (along with a few wild Aussies and Russians, but that’s a whole different story). However, you’re not likely to see wild boars anywhere but here. Rumor has it that one of the island’s residents was buying provisions at a market on Koh Samui when he noticed a family of four scared pigs huddled together, awaiting the fateful hands of the butcher. In a spontaneous moment of compassion, he bought the family of pigs, loaded them onto his boat, and sailed them back to Koh Madsum, where they now live a life of tropical leisure.
The original family of four has now grown to twelve, spanning three generations.
A percentage of each Koh Madsum tour ticket sold goes to help feed the pigs and to benefit the island community.
Everyone’s heard of the famous “Pig Beach” in the Bahamas, but far fewer Westerners will ever make the piggy pilgrimage all the way to Koh Madsum, a tiny island in the Gulf of Thailand.
In addition to that sought-after remote desert island vibe, Koh Madsum is famous for its portly residents. (The hogs – not the humans.)
Koh Madsum is a scenic 30-minute boat ride south from Koh Samui, Thailand’s second-largest island. You can hitch a ride on a traditional longtail boat from the southern side of Samui, in the village of Thong Krut.
Most people stay on the main island of Koh Samui, where there are unlimited options across all price ranges. However, there’s also a posh island resort called The Treasure Koh Madsum that’s located on the small island and a great place to stay over.
A private ride on a traditional longtail boat will cost a group about $75 USD per day, while a private speedboat runs about 10,000 Thai Baht ($326 USD). The speedboat can hold up to 22 people though, so if you bring along 20 of your bestest friends, that’s just $15 pp for a full day of snorkeling, and laying around on a beach like a fat pig.