The coastline around Koh Samui is about 100 km in length and most beach areas can be accessed via the ring road that is the main arterial route around the island. There are quite a lot of major beaches all around the island of Koh Samui. Most are sandy but some have exposed coral reefs and coral rocks especially at low tide. The main beaches around Koh Samui are detailed below. If you know the area that you are interested n then use the menu list below.
Click on one of the Markers or Desriptions above to show them in the map above.
Chaweng is the islands most established and renowned beach. It is one of Samui’s longest and stretches for over 7 kilometres. It is some of the most refined silver fine sand on Koh Samui. The beachfront itself is very relaxing place that is generally peaceful but it is noticeably more busy with tourists during the high and peak seasons.
On the beach road in the centre of Chaweng there is the greatest selection of restaurants, bars, souvenir shops and of course fast food and convenience stores on the island. There is a good choice of music venues ranging from traditional Thai to jazz, rock to reggae in many small bars and some very large clubs. All entertainment places close at 2:00am. For a more private evening, there are plenty of bars and restaurants right on the beach, offering a dreamy and quieter view of the Gulf of Thailand. Chaweng beach offers food to more or less everybody’s taste, whether it be Thai or western, with a focus on good fresh seafood restaurants.
Lamai is probably the islands second most renowned beach. The main beach road features attractions such as health and meditation centres and a Thai boxing school.
Lamai's tourist attractions are its open market and the old monastery, which includes a local museum. If you want to get back to nature, explore the paths just to the back of the beachfront road. Here, you'll find peaceful coconut and fruit (banana, pineapple, durian) plantations as well as trekking trails leading into the inside of the island.
Maenam has one of the longest beaches on Koh Samui, its palm fringed sandy shores and calm shallow waters offer the perfect surroundings for families with younger children. Along the vast 4 km stretch of beach, you will find a mixture of luxury hotels, backpacker accommodation, seafood restaurants, beachside bungalows and luxury beachfront villas with sparkling infinity edge pools.
You will also find a few water sports shops and other facilities catering for these activities, but a stay in Maenam is more about relaxing in the sun and enjoying the tranquillity of a quiet island town away from the hustle and bustle of the main tourist hotspots of Chaweng and Lamai.
This is undoubtedly one of the most charming beach spots on Koh Samui. Bophut village is one of the oldest villages and remains a little fishing village. There are several beachfront shop houses which have been converted into trendy restaurant and shop.
The two kilometres of white sandy beach and the calm waters of the bay make this a popular spot for relaxing. At night, the area is charming, quiet and intimate.
While Bangrak may not have the busiest hotels and resorts on the island, it has a good selection of mid range hotels and some excellent dining opportunities. It attracts tourists and local residents alike from across Koh Samui on Sundays when it hosts the Secret Garden Festival with lively music sessions right on the beach.
Big Buddha beach is not the largest of Koh Samui's beachfronts but still offers stunning tropical scenery with the same island charm as other areas of Koh Samui.
Choeng Mon Beach
Choeng Mon beach is further round on the North Eastern tip of Koh Samui. The area is only about 15 minutes from Chaweng but because it is in a protected cove the beachfront remains calm and reasonably clean.
There are a few small coves and bays to be found some of which have been developed into self contained resorts.
Samui Beach Village Beach
The Samui Beach Village Resort complex is located on the quieter south east coast away from the main tourist areas. The village is only ten minutes from Lamai and thirty five minutes from Chaweng and the airport.
The beachfront outside the Samui Beach Village Resort is called Nahai Beach and is a long clear stretch of white sand in both directions which is protected by a coral reef. It is normally calm water inside the reef with hardly a soul on it for the most of the year. It therefore feels like you have your own private beach. In the winter months the tides are highest and the winds are generally onshore and it is ideal for kite boarding and swimming. During the autumn, spring and summer months there are generally lower tides and shallower waters in the bay which make it ideal for young children to swim and explore the many rock pools and sea life that inhabit them. There is always deep water to swim less than 15 minutes away in Lamai and further afield in Chaweng and Maenam.
Bang Koa Beach
The beach is about 2km in length and is fairly good for running. The sand is flat down by the water’s edge and soft and fine elsewhere. It is an isolated area of the island so the beachfront is relatively empty.
The water is generally warm pretty much all year round, and like other beaches on Koh Samui it is clear and clean so it is great for a swim. At the end of the day there is nothing better than relaxing on the beach and enjoying the sunset on Bang Koa beach.
Bang Por Beach
Bang Por is close to the Ang Thong National Marine Park, a protected nature reserve where you can join a guided tour boat and spend the day cruising the waters and witnessing the natural beauty and wildlife spread across numerous un-inhabited islands.
Bang Por has gained much recognition for the exclusive residential developments located along the beach and the hills beyond. This beachfront area of Koh Samui attracts visitors preferring a luxury pool villa in a tranquil beachside setting or the privacy of a luxury hillside villa surrounded by tall palms and lush tropical vegetation.
Chaweng Noi Beach
Chaweng Noi (or “Little Chaweng” as it is translated) is part of largest and most popular of Samui's beaches. It is around the headland to the south of Chaweng Beach which is the longest beach located on Samui Island's east coast.
There is a coral reef just off shore where the waves break, leaving the bay quiet and peaceful. There are two small islands not far from the beachfront that are near the reef. You can explore the nearest one by walking through shallow water at low tide or go snorkelling and kayaking to the second island which is a little further out and larger.
Coral Cove Beach
Coral Cove Beach is one of the more secluded spots on the east coast of Koh Samui. It has pristine beachfront with the same soft white sandy shores and clear blue waters of neighbouring Chaweng and Lamai.
Coral Cove is tucked between boulder formations on either side of the beach and has a cliff overlooking the shoreline. The waters around Coral Cove are warm and calm, making it ideal for swimming and if you are prepared to venture deeper in, you will discover a stunning array of marine flora and fauna.
Hua Thanon Beach
Hua Thanon is a large village located on the south east coast of Koh Samui. It is a fishing village and one of the places on the island that really gives a glimpse into what daily life is like for the residents of Koh Samui. The beachfront here is lovely for a walk along but is not recommended for swimming.
The village is also well known for the artistry of the local fishermen who take pride in intricately painting their boats making watching them at work even more interesting. It is a delightful place to while away an afternoon just watching the local way of life and the fisherman as they go about their day.
Laem Sett Beach
Laem Sett is located on the southeast coast of Koh Samui in an area of outstanding natural beauty with quiet sandy beaches and un-interrupted views to nearby tropical islands.
The seasonal tides vary greatly along the Laem Sett coastline, in particular during the summer months when the water recedes over 100 m exposing the reef and creating a wide expanse of shallow water opening up the beachfront to all sorts of other pastimes including kite boarding and kite surfing activities. Venture out a little further to snorkel in Laem Sett's coral reef.
Lipa Noi Beach
Beach villas with stunning views are the norm for tourist accommodation in Lipa Noi. Despite its uninhabited beaches and quiet atmosphere, you are not isolated from the rest of the island with a drive to the busy Chaweng beach taking about 40 minutes.
Lipa Noi is the idyllic beach getaway that you will see in the tourist brochures. With a picture perfect beachfront and natural tropical beauty, a holiday in Lipa Noi is everything you would expect in an island paradise.
The beach at Nathon is renowned for having some of the shallowest waters in Koh Samui with no coral and rocks to scar the pristine coastline. Ideal for families with young children, Nathon's beach still offers the white sandy shores and clear waters that are characteristic of Koh Samui with a number of water sports available for the enthusiast.
Apart from families, Nathon also attracts a number of more mature travellers who prefer quieter surroundings with mainland Thailand within easy reach. The shops, banks and post office in Nathon is ideal for the traveller who wants to stay in touch with the outside world rather than getting lost in the tropical island vibe. Restaurants and bars are abundant throughout Nathon but the town has managed to limit coastline development so not to lose the natural island beauty that makes Koh Samui such a popular destination.
Phang Ka Beach
Phang Ka is another secluded area on the south west coast of Koh Samui just further west of Thong Krut. There are a few isolated restaurants and bars that are ideal for taking in the sunset late in the afternoon.
This is not really an area for swimming. If you are along the beach road from Thong Krut to Phang Ka then it is worthwhile taking a small detour to Wat Hin Lad a small temple to take some pictures.
Plai Laem Beach
There are palm fringed beaches and stunning sunsets are in abundance in Plai Laem. There are also minimal hotel and resort developments along the coast and it has balanced the commercial growth with quiet island life.
The solitude of Plai Laem is evident when relaxing on the beach and it is the closest you will get to have your own private beach on Koh Samui. Plai Laem may not provide the best of water sports facilities that Koh Samui has to offer but usually attracts the more discerning traveller requiring a luxury beachfront villa located in a peaceful setting yet close enough to the buzzing tourist spots of Koh Samui. The sea at Plai laem is often too shallow for swimming, but it is only a short drive to Choeng Mon, one of the best swimming beaches on Koh Samui.
Taling Ngam Beach
Taling Ngam is located on the west coast of Koh Samui and is the perfect tropical getaway from the hustle and bustle of the more tourist-orientated east coast. Taling Ngam is better known for its pristine beaches tucked away among Koh Samui's untouched coastline where you can enjoy your own piece of this secluded sun drenched paradise.
Although Taling Ngam is not as tourist orientated as the more commercial areas of Koh Samui it is not short of tropical beauty and island magic. Whether you spend the day lazing in your beach villa or trudging through the neighbouring towns, Taling Ngam has everything you would want in a peaceful beach getaway.
Thong Krut Beach
Thong Krut is a secluded beach on the south west coast of Koh Samui. It offers breathtaking scenery with views out over Koh Tan and Koh Mudsam in the Gulf of Thailand. There are many trips out to these two islands where you can snorkel and dive.
Thong Krut Bay is not really a spot for swimming. It is a picturesque small fishing village with a beautiful views of the islands to the south. On the beachfront there are many local restaurants that are built on stilts into the sea where you can relax and have a meal and drink.
Tongson Bay Beach
Tongson Bay is located on the northern most tip of Koh Samui. It is rekowned for its naturally occurring bay that seals its tropical beauty from the rest of Koh Samui. White sandy beaches and clear blue waters with Koh Phangan visible from its coastline make Tongson Bay another gem on the island's stunning coastline.
Tongson Bay has seen more development over recent years with several luxury villas rising out of the rugged coastline and enough restaurants dotted along the beachfront to ensure your taste buds are well nourished during your Koh Samui holiday.
Other useful information
Please click on any of the links below for more useful information about Koh Samui and its surroundings.