Koh Samui has never failed visitors with its beautiful tropical beaches. Samui offers a wide array of beach attractions, some of which are vibrant and bustling with bars, beach clubs, and constant entertainment, and others offer secluded glimpses of the island’s natural environment. This comprehensive guide highlights 27 must-visit Koh Samui beaches.
1. Chaweng Beach
Located on the east coast of Samui, this stunning 5-kilometer crescent of sparkling white sand happens to be Koh Samui’s most popular beach. The store bustles with upscale beach clubs, Thai masseurs, food vendors and a mix of holiday makers. Every amenity is conveniently close by. Chaweng beach has a wide beach area and a calm sea suitable for many water sports and beach activities. This touristic attraction is not far from the airport – only 13 minutes drive away.
2. Lamai Beach
Ranking second on the list of Samui’s popular tourist beaches, Lamai beach offers both relaxation and a dynamic beach adventure just like Chaweng, albeit less crowded. At the beach’s center, jet skis and kayaks can be rented. Similarly, visitors can charter speedboats and book jet-skiing and parasailing sessions. At the northern end, the water is calm and shallow. Sun loungers are available for rent for those who want to spend their time outdoors. The beach is around 30 minutes drive from the Samui Airport.
3. Bophut Beach
Nestled between Big Buddha and Maenam Beach is the idyllic sweep of Bophut Beach. The middle of the stretch features the quaint Fisherman’s Village. The beach is around 15 minutes drive from Samui Airport. Charming boutiques and cafes at the Fisherman’s Village offer travelers a respite from an all-day lounging under the sun. Every Sunday, Bophut transforms into a walking street market where stalls of foods and products line up the street.
4. Maenam Beach
The 4.5-meter long, uncrowded stretch of Maenam Beach is strikingly appealing to those looking for relaxation and some privacy. Many affordable accommodation options are available along the beach; thus it is known as Samui’s last ‘backpacker beach’. The beach is around 20 minutes drive from the airport.
5. Taling Ngam Beach
Secluded Taling Ngam is a full hour drive from Chaweng Beach and twenty minutes to the nearest town. The beach is home to several luxury hotels and private villas where guests can relax and enjoy the shores fringed with jungle trees and the Angthong Marine National Park.
6. Lipa Noi Beach
The shallow water, free of sharp rocks or corals at Lipa Noi Beach makes it perfect for good swimming and snorkeling. A number of beach clubs, including exclusive Nikki Beach, provide sun loungers, cold drinks, and live entertainment right on the sea-shore. Its proximity to the main car ferry makes Lipa Noi a popular choice for visitors traveling by road from the mainland.
7. Choeng Mon Beach
This series of little bays on Koh Samui’s north-western headland are quiet and idyllic. It is popular among senior travelers wanting to escape the frenetic party atmosphere of Chaweng. A number of resorts with three to five-star ratings are conveniently situated and spread along the beachfront, and it is just 11 minutes drive from the Samui Airport, making it easily accessible.
8. Thong Krut Fisherman’s Village
Here, travelers can hire a longboat and head out to one of the bay’s beautiful rock islands to snorkel or explore the waters further. Even with the ongoing progressiveness of neighboring destinations, Thong Krut beach remains unspoiled and maintains an authentic Thai ambiance. Many traditional local seafood restaurants serving delectable dishes at affordable prices operate along the beach.
9. Nathon Beach
Nathon is the capital city of Koh Samui, and its long stretch of beautiful beach takes advantage of the fantastic sunset views due to its west coast location. Visitors to Nathon Beach can find everything they need conveniently within walking distance, including budget-friendly accommodations, restaurants, shopping, postal services and internet cafes.
10. Bang Por Beach
For those who prefer tranquil walks on the beach and the natural environment, Bang Por is definitely a good choice. With very minimal resort development, Bang Por keeps a local atmosphere. Visitors can go fishing from the shore as a lot of the island’s best seafood restaurants are strategically situated along the shore.
11. Nahai Beach
This beach is wide and spacious, and the water remains shallow for more than a hundred meters from the shoreline, making it an ideal swimming destination for families with young children. It is situated at the southeast tip of Koh Samui, quite far from the bars and nightclubs of Chaweng.
12. Bang Rak Beach
Bang Rak Beach is known as a lively party destination. It is the closest beach to the renowned Full Moon Parties of Koh Phangan. It offers both budget-friendly and luxury accommodation options complete with world-class facilities and amenities.
13. Laem Yai Beach
Around 5 km north of the capital city, at the northwestern tip of the island is the secluded Laem Yai Beach. Lined with tall coconut palms, it exudes a truly tropical atmosphere. A number of small, non-fancy restaurants dotted its shoreline.
14. Thong Takian Beach (Silver Beach)
Tucked into the East coast of Koh Samui, between the popular beaches of Chaweng and Lamai is the hidden gem called Silver Beach. It is just 250 meters long and is a popular destination for a rejuvenating beach massage or a thrilling sea kayaking. Four well-established and reputable hotels dominate its shore and offer seaside service.
15. Coral Cove
Framed by the rocky cliffsides which separate Chaweng and Lamai, is Coral Cove. The natural beauty of this small beach is a rugged contrast to the classic Koh Samui beach. The beach is a popular hideaway retreat or a peaceful place to return to after a day exploring the bustling tourist spots.
16. Chaweng Noi Beach
Just to the south of the main Chaweng Beach is the far more tranquil Chaweng Noi. Its proximity to the main tourist areas as well as the private and peaceful environment, all make it a popular destination option for people who want the best of both worlds. The curve of the bay is nestled against lush tropical hillsides, dotted with exclusive high-end resorts.
17. Laem Set
The soft white sand of Laem Set is hidden at the very south of the island; about 40 minutes drive from Chaweng. Laem Set is one of the least developed beaches in Thailand and offers visitors a chance to enjoy a rare and unexploited natural environment.
18. Phang Ka Bay
Far from the frantic hustle of the tourist destinations, Phang Ka Bay stretches along the island’s southwest peninsula. There are no bars or shops in this remote region; just the sky, the sea and the vast coconut plantations, which for visitors looking for a peaceful getaway, if just perfect.
19. Thong Tanote Beach
Visitors to Thong Tanote are offered uninterrupted views of the Gulf of Thailand and the mainland. Snorkeling in this part of the south coast is splendid and spectacular. Thirty minutes drive away from Chaweng; this beach is quiet and secluded.
20. Ban Kao Beach
This 2-kilometer beach in the south of Koh Samui is ideal for people who enjoy being active on their holiday spree. The long, flat area is ideal for walking and running, and there is ample space for beach sports and family fun-filled activities. This area is quite isolated, and there is no beach-front tourist facility.
21. Samrong Beach
Just minutes away from bustling Chaweng, Samrong is often called “The Secret Beach.” It is a long, wide crescent of sand, tucked into the quieter east coast and offering peaceful tranquility. It also offers easy access to all of Koh Samui’s best bars, nightclubs, shopping and tourist attractions.
22. Plai Laem Beach
Plai Laem is a rocky beach, 15 minutes away from the International Airport. It is one of Koh Samui’s traditional fishing grounds and is a stronghold of local people with fewer tourists. Visitors can join fishing charters or hire a boat and take advantage of the bountiful waters.
23. Tongsai Beach
The sparkling white sands and lush palm trees of Tongsai Beach meet the quaint village where guests can sample local cuisine and buy locally handcrafted products. The untouched forests of the area provide a sanctuary for a variety of rare tropical butterflies. Tongsai is in the secluded north-west region of Koh Samui.
24. Big Buddha Beach
This beach earned its name because of the 12-foot high Golden Buddha statue that sits regally at the beach’s eastern tip. Big Buddha is vibrant and bustling with plenty of entertainment, amenities and accommodation options available on the beachfront.
25. Thong Plu Bay
Sheltered by forested hillsides is the picturesque beach of Thong Plu. It is about fifteen minutes drive from the capital but is almost always deserted. It is a good beach for walking, reflection and photography.
26. Natien Beach
Natien Beach offers visitors spectacular views of the coral isles, plenty of personal space and a chance to get in touch with Thailand’s natural environment. It has some of the softest powder sands in Koh Samui. Several hotels at Natien Beach, ranging from budget-friendly to first class luxury accommodations are on offer at this place.
27. Thongson Bay
At the end of a twisting road near the northern tip of the island is Thongson Bay. It is just eight kilometers from Chaweng but offers a very different atmosphere. Only one restaurant and a small kayak rental business operate on the beach. There are just two hotels at Thongson Bay, both of which are usually very quiet and uncrowded.
Image sources: wikipedia.com, thebeachfrontclub.com, globaltravelmate.com, samuism.com, soma-samui.com, kuoni.co.uk, thebeachfrontclub.com, samuitiger.de, kohsamuitour.com, thebeachfrontclub.com, weather-and-climate.com, tripadvisor.com, kosamui.de, samuiontour.com, kosamui.com, homeaway.com