Koh Samui Beaches
The island of Koh Samui is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand and over a million visitors from all over the world arrive in the island seeking palm fringed beautiful white sand beaches and crystal clear waters to enjoy a tropical beach holiday.
Exploring around the island you will discover over 20 beaches of various sizes and popularity. The most famous being the beautiful 5km long Chaweng Beach on the east coast lined with hotels and resorts with the beach road now a busy hub for shopping, retaurants, bars and the ever popular spa/massage/wellness centres. The palm fringed quieter beaches where you can swing on a hammock in peace but just as picturesque are mostly found on the north, west and south coasts of Koh Samui reached by minor roads leading off from the main ring road. Small coves that for many years remained undiscovered are now sought out by those in the know or have heard about by word of mouth.
For coastal watersports apart from the small coves many now offer some form of activity on the water. The Stand up Paddle Board (SUP) has recently become more popular as the waters around Koh Samui are calm and ideal for this particular activity and a good way to explore the coastline. With little waves surfing is not possible in Koh Samui.
Below we have listed the beaches around Koh Samui's coastline that are close to your holiday villa or maybe to add to your "to do" list and seek out the best Koh Samui beach for you.
Ban Tai Beach (Bang Por)
Ban Tai Beach is one of 2 beaches in the location of Bang Por on the north cost just along from Maenam beach and experiences amazing sunset views. Ban Tai Beach dominates the east end of the beach and for most of the year is a swimming beach where the tide does not extend too far out in the summer months. This tranquil tropical palm fringed walking beach is bordered by a scattering of popular Koh Samui holiday villas and rustic Thai style restaurants and joins up with Bang Po beach at the west end
Bang Po Beach
Bang Po beach continues along from Ban Tai beach on the north coast but is a narrower strip with the road as it's border lined with rustic Thai style restaurants set amongst the palm trees. The beach offers some watersports and there are plenty of eateries some of which provide sun loungers if taking refreshments at the restaurant. The beach is popular with guests staying in the sea view holiday villas above the beach and in the Thai design wooden beach houses in small resorts scattered along the beach.
Big Buddha beach
Big Buddha beach is also known as "Bang Rak" beach which translates to the "Village of Love‘. Located in between Fisherman;s Village and the Big Buddha Temple the area is the main residential area for the ex pats being close to all the amenities. The beach has soft sand and stretches for about 4km. The centre section of the beach is ideal for swimming all year round due to the deep water in the bay and at the east end there are a number of piers where tourists take the various boat trips offered from Koh Samui. Many of our Koh Samui luxury beachfront holiday villas can be found in this section as well as some super eateries and offer amazing views across to Koh Phangan
Bophut beach is located between Big Buddha beach and Maenam beach. The sand is not quite as white and soft as some of the other Koh Samui beaches. The central area of the bay is best for all year round swimming where it is bordered by some high end hotels and bungalow resorts. Our luxury Bophut beachfront villas are located at the far end of the beach and has a rocky shoreline.The east end is bordered by the oceanside dining, various bars and shops of the FIsherman's Village - a popular tourist spot. A watersports operator occupies the central area of the beach and offers a number of different 'on the water' activities.
Chaweng beach is 5 km long and takes up most of the east coast and is the most popular beach on Koh Samui. This beautiful sandy swimming beach with a mountainous backdrop is stunning and the reason why many of the 5* hotels are established here taking up much of the beach. There is however still plenty of budget accommodation with bungalow resorts and boutique hotels This commercial beach hosts a number of activities for tourist to enjoy such as a choice of watersports and for the children there is a supervised floating aquapark. You will find that the north end of the beach is occupied by a younger set being close to the livelier nightlife and the centre and the south end is more family friendly
Chaweng Noi Beach
Chaweng Noi translates to Chaweng "young" and the beach is separated from the main Chaweng beach by a small headland that it is not possible to walk round on the coast but can be accessed easily by a short walk on the road. The beach is an ideal family beach with calm waters and rounded boulders on the waters edge for the children to play on. There are a few quality hotels and restaurants at the north end where the beach is wider and t the south end you will find the better value snack restaurants. There is a beach club in the centre of the beach that plays chilled out music during the day but livens up for the evening entertainment . Above the beach nestled in the hills are a number of our luxury holiday villas and just a short drive from this beautiful beach
Choeng Mon Beach
Choeng Mon beach is a beautiful and sandy bay occupying the north east corner of Koh Samui . This sandy swimming beach is perfect with families due to the calm waters and the trees providing plenty of shade at the south end of the beach. It took a long time for the tourists to discover this picturesque beach which is popular with the locals being that it is off the main ring road around Koh Samui. With development and word of mouth however it is now one of the most popular beaches on Koh Samui. There are only a couple of high end hotels on this beach with the beach mostly lined with small restaurants and bungalow resorts that provide sun loungers and parasols for those taking refreshments. Offshore there is a tiny deserted island that you can walk across to at low tide.
Coral Cove is a small cove on the south east coast on the main ring road connecting the two main towns of Chaweng and Lamai, This beach can easily be missed if you were in a car driving around the island however if you were on a motorbike the name would tempt you to stop and take a look. This tranquil beach is accessed down a number of steps from the road through a bungalow resort. This is a private paradise and ideal for those wishing just to chill and take a dip.The small bay features huge boulders with small strips of sand between them some of which just managing to squeeze in 2 sunloungers in between the boulders - perfect for couples. The water is crystal clear and calm.
Crystal beach is also known as Silver Beach and Thong Thakian Beach and can be found in the south east of the island off the main ring road connecting the main towns of Chaweng and Lamai and neighbours the smaller beach of Coral Cove. It is probably the prettiest beach on Koh Samui and one that is the most talked about. It lives up its name with crystal clear blue waters and powdery white sand and has a stunning backdrop of hill covered greenery on both sides. Accessed through a small resort this picturesque bay features large rounded boulders on both sides providing a bit of adventure for kiddies.Trees at one end provide plenty of welcome shade as there is no sunloungers or parasols available on the beach
Laem Noi Beach
Laem Noi beach is a narrow stretch of sand on the north west coast starting from the rocky headland that separates it from Bang Po beach. Over the last few years there has been recent development of contemporary design beachfront villas where the guests in the holiday villas are really the only ones who enjoy the beach to have a paddle and it is long enough to have a stroll along. It is not a beach that you would seek out to visit as there are no eateries and at times the beach area is quite narrow. Beyond the rocky headland at the west end is Laem Yai beach which is occupied mostly by the exclusive 4 Seasons Resort.
Laem Set Beach
Laem Set beach is in the south east of the island and part of Bang Kao Bay. It is probably the furthest beach you will find off the beaten track off at about 3km away from the main ring road of Koh Samui meandering through banana and coconut plantations and buffalo camps to get there. The beach is totally unspoiled and natural with the best area with large boulders separating small sandy coves at the west end providing older kiddies with a water playground. Most of this area however was snapped up early by the world renowned Kamalaya well-being centre, needing a picturesque and peaceful location. The rest of the beach is sandy and boulder strewn and the majority of the time is deserted. There is a very low tide and the sea retreats 100's of meters out in the summer months where kite surfers and other activities on the sand and in the shallow waters take over.
Laem Sor Beach
Laem Sor beach on the south coast is now becoming the latest hot spot for a luxury beachfront villa holiday. Many multi bedroom luxury villas have been built here in recent years and line the unspoiled natural beach. The beach itself has a stretch of sand but the sea is rocky and not suitable for swimming. A small village borders the beach and a channel has been built for the long tail fishing boats to moor closer to the shore at low tide. The main attraction of this very quiet beach is the breathtaking views of the neighbouring islands and the Laem Sor Chedi perched at the waters edge at one end of the bay.
Lamai beach in the south east of Koh Samui is just as beautiful as Chaweng beach with fine sand and clear waters bordered by rounded boulders. It stretches for 3km and is the second most popular beach with some development lined with hotels, resorts restaurants and a couple of "beach clubs" too. There are ample sun loungers to choose from of where to spend your day as well as shady tree areas. The beach is a great for the long walks and jogging but swimming is best in the centre or towards the south end as at the north end the water tends to be dirty with a creek and a fishing fleet mooring. There are small waves but not big enough for surfing and paddle boarding and jetskis are the popular watersports available.
Lipa Noi Beach
Lipa Noi Beach is a 3km long beach on the sunset facing west coast of Koh Samui. The sandy natural beach and the shallow calm waters makes it one of the best beaches for a day out with young children. However with very little development and located some way from the main Koh Samui ring road the beach is extremely quiet and you will see very little people apart from the odd fisherman or guests staying at the few small resorts that border the beach. Some of the small beachfront bungalow resorts will offer a swim in their pool if you take refreshments in their restaurant. There are also a small number of other eateries along the beach. The south end is occupied with some large luxury beachfront villas and the famous Nikki beach Club resort offers lively Sunday brunches is located at the north end of the beach
The award winning Maenam beach is the longest beach on the north coast and book-ended with a fast catamaran ferryport in the west and the high end luxury W Hotel at the east end. Previously a backpackers hangout you may still find a few resorts remaining, this all year round swimming beach has wide stretches of sand and great for long walks and jogging. Watersports are available here including Stand Up Paddleboards and jet skis and the luxury beachfront villas offer complimentary kayak use. The beach can be accessed through the small resorts or at the village coastal village and has a good balance of peacefulness being a good distance from the main road and convenience being in striking distance of the Koh Samui hotspots. Now bordered by Koh samui luxury villas and small hotels - this 7km beach is is a great place to stay.
Nathon beach is not a beach you would consider putting on your list to visit on your Koh Samui holiday - unless at certain time of the year (May - October) you were looking to do some kite surfing where there is a vast expanse of sand and has perfect conditions. This activity would be to the south of the main town and ferryport of Nathon whereas the rest of the coastline that borders the commercial area is where the fishermen moor their long tail fishing boats bringing in their catch.
Natien beach stretches from the coast at Hua Thanon to the west and the headland separating it from Laem Set beach to the east. As it is protected by a coral reef the water is very shallow and swimming for most of the year is not possible. The beach similar to Laem Set is a large deep expanse of sand ideal for kite surfing and beach games such as volleyball. A beach club as part of a villa resort offers these facilities to all visitors. Access to the beach is best through one of the resorts.
Plai Laem Beach
Considering that Plai Laem beach is located in the most populated area of Koh Samui, the sandy beach is amazingly quiet. Plai Laem forms the north east peninsular of Koh Samui with the longest stretch of the beach to the west. A fishing boat marina occupies the south end and an exclusive hotel resort takes up the headland on the northern tip. This west side of the Plai Laem peninsular offers some of the best sunset views on Koh Samui. It is a good place to find yourself if you are looking for peace and quiet and amazing scenery. Samrong Bay over on the east side shares the beach with the exclusive hotel There are a number of luxury holiday villas located both on the beach and on the slopes overlooking the bays on both sides.
Samrong Bay is a small sandy curved bay in a lovely setting on the east side of the peninsular of Plai Laem where access seems only through the resorts that border the beach which is acceptable with all beaches being open to the public. It is a quiet beach shared by the luxury hotel a private villa resort and a Thai style bungalow resort which also has a beachside bar and restaurant open to visitors. A new development of luxury apartments/suites has been established in the bay recently in a separate section of the bay. Jet skis are available to hire here. Samrong Bay is separated from Thongson Bay by a headland dotted with luxury villas
Taling Ngam Beach
Taling Ngam beach is on the exclusive south west coast of Koh Samui and has a long narrow stretch of sand dominated by the 5 star Intercontinental Hotel at the south. Known also as the Virgin Coast due to it's lack of development there are large parts of the beach to the north where it is just palm trees and sand and nothing more. As with many beaches in the west and south the water is shallow certain months of the year and swimming is difficult. There is a choice of restaurants and a few small hotels/resorts along the beach as well as further south on the the other side of a headland where there is a small beach area with a wider expanse of sand. This is a place where visitors come to drop off the map for a while and chill out a long way from lively Chaweng a 55 minute drive away.
Thong Krut Beach
Tong Krut Beach in the south of the island is a place to visit and enjoy the stunning views of the neighbouring islands rather than to plan to spend the day here. An authentic working fishing village forms part of the main stretch of coast and is lined with boat tour operators and Thai style restaurants. Some of the restaurants provide plastic sun loungers n the hard packed sand for visitors taking refreshments. The softer sand can be found to the west of the restaurants and here you will find a few luxury holiday villas and some residential homes. Swimming is only possible a few months of the year in this western end. Recent development has seen some good restaurants pop up and a coffee shop has become infamous for visitors stopping on their island tour. A number of speed boat and long tail boat trips leave from Thong Krut in a deep channel special dug out to operate the trips all year round
Thongson beach is a small bay located on the east side of the Plai Laem peninsular in the north east and above the larger and popular family beach of Choeng Mon. This picturesque beach is very quiet with just a mid range hotel, a few bungalows, a Thai style rustic restaurant and some luxury villas dotted on the hillside above the bay. Access is by a small road that winds down from the main Plai Laem road signposted to the Thongson bungalows and leads to the restaurant. It is definately worth a visit to stay a while, have lunch and enjoy the scenery. The beach is sandy with a mix of small stones and the sea is very shallow and only good for a dip in the centre of the bay as there are boulders at each end of the beach. Kayaks can be hired here to explore the coastline.
Tong Yang Beach
Tong Yang Bay is part of Lipa Noi beach on the west coast of Koh Samui as it is just separated from the main longer Lipa Noi beach by a headland occupied by the Koh Samui Naval Base. Unlike the main beach there is an offshore reef which restricts swimming in the summer months due to the low tides. The best area for soft sand and swimming is in the centre of the bay and is also home to where some of our finest Koh Samui holiday villas are located. The sunsets and the stunning back drop of the Five Islands has made the villas and the beach popular for destination wedding ceremonies. The beach can be found just 5 minutes drive from Nathon town and is long enough to walk along however both ends of the beach are not as tidy as the centre with mostly being used by fishermen and local Thai residents.