Koh Samui Beaches
Beaches on Thailand's Tropical Koh Samui Island
Koh Samui island is surrounded by around 50km of some of the most idyllic and picture-perfect beaches that Thailand, Southeast Asia and indeed the whole globe has to offer. Coconut-lined, soft, white virgin sands surrounded by the shifting contrasts of olive-green and sky-blue seas with a backdrop of limestone, tropical islands clad in emerald-green, jungle-covered mountains define Koh Samui island as the superlative beach destination in Southeast Asia.
Koh Samui's most popular beach areas
are located on the northeast and east coast of the island. These beaches are Chaweng, Bophut, Choeng Mon, Bangrak (also known as 'Big Buddha beach') and Lamai. Koh Samui is also surrounded by many more serene and private, undeveloped beaches such as Bang Por beach in the north of the island, Lipa Noi beach on the western part of the island, both Taling Ngam beach and Thong Krut beach in the southwest, and both Laem Set beach and Leam Sor beach in the southeast.
Koh Samui's busiest and most popular beach is Chaweng beach
located on the island's eastern coast. Chaweng beach runs for from north to south from the tiny island of Koh Matlan to the bays and outcrops of Chaweng Noi, situated at the southern end. The beach is roughly three kilometers in length and offers crystal-clear seas, white, powdery sands and a whole host of resorts, hotels and restaurants. Sunbeds line his pictursque beach which has child-friendly shallow, still waters at the northern end where the beach is protected by a reef located about 100 meters from the beach. Towards the south of Chaweng beach the waters are deeper with larger waves rolling towards the sands. The exuberent, striking beauty of Chaweng does have some negative points as it can often be overcrowded, especially in high season. Additionally, in high season, the large number of beach hawkers can be an annoyance to some visitors.
Several kilometers to the north of Chaweng, on the tip of Samui's northeastern penninsular, is the popular, yet serene bay of Choeng Mon beach
. Choeng Mon beach offers fine, white sands and beautiful, clear, shallow waters with perfect swimming conditions. Sun loungers and shady umbrellas front the various resorts and restaurants that line the 2 km stretch of sand. Towards the southern end of Choeng Mon beach is the bay's tiny island of Koh Fan Noi which is separated from the beach by a small sand bar allowing you to reach it by foot at low tide.
Moving westwards from the most northeasterly point of the island brings you to Bangrak beach
, the eastern end of which is also known as Big Buddha beach
, as it is overlooked by one of Koh Samui's most well-known landmarks, the spectacular, large, golden Buddha statue known simply as "Big Buddha".Several beachfront spas and resorts offer sun loungers, refreshments and dining on the beach with tropical views towards Koh Phan Ngan island. Beach villas, spas and restaurants line the beach and beach road from Big Buddha to the center of the bay where the beach is sandy with good swimming.
The western end of Bangrak beach is completely undeveloped and the waters are quite rocky and very shallow at low tide. There are several piers built along Bangrak beach offering ferry and speedboat services to neighbouring Koh Phan Ngan island.
is situated about 2 km westwards from Bangrak beach. Starting at Fisherman's Village, this beach stretches eastwards for several kilometres toewards Maenam beach. Picturesue with fantastic tropical views towards neighbouring Koh Phan Ngan island, the beach offers good all-year swimming and clean sands. Bophut beach is not as developed as Chaweng but there are plenty of resorts, restaurants and bars offering a good choice of sun loungers, food and refreshments.
is on the east coast of Koh Samui, about 5km south of Chaweng. Lamai is a long and wide beach with a good choice of resorts, bars and restaurants. The beach can be busy but without the often cramped conditions of Chaweng beach. The sand is not as soft as other beaches on Samui and the water is deeper but Lamai beach has a truly laidback charm and beauty about it
which makes it popular with visitors.
Bang Por beach
runs from Bophut beach on the northeastern end of the island to it's most northwesterly point. The central part of Bang Por beach, also known as Ban Tai
, is well known for its beautiful, soft sands, fantastic views towards Koh Phan Ngan island and great swimming spots. There are a few resorts and local sea food restaurants located here but for the most part, the beach is undeveloped with an idyllic, untouched feel.
Laem Sor beach
is on Koh Samui's untouched, deserted southern coastline with white, powdery sands, and tropical views which incorporate the stunning 'Five Islands' view. Laem Sor beach offers good swimming though during the summer months the sea-line retreats to the reef, located about 100 meters from the sands. Advantagously this natural tide phenomenon opens up the whole beach for alternative activities allowing children to explore the rockpools and collect shells or adults to enjoy sports such as beach volleyball, tennis or football.
Laem Set beach
is located a few kilometers to the northeast of Laem Sor beach. One of the island's most picture-perfect beaches with the same stunning 'Five Islands' views as Laem Sor, the beach exudes a feeling of serenity and peacefulness. Swimming is good outwith the summer months when a natural tide phonemenon causes the sea to retract to the reef, located about 150 meters from the shore although this gives the option of using the beach for other activites such as sports or exploring the rock pools as in laem Sor beach.
Taling Ngam beach
is the southern stretch of Koh Samui's western coast and boasts white, idyllic sands with perfect swimming conditions and fine tropical island and sunset views. The beach has a few upmarket resorts and luxury beach villas situated along it's shores but the beach is usually virtually deserted aloowing you to soak up some sun in complete relaxation and privacy.
Thong Krut beach
is situated on the southwestern point of Koh Samui and completely deserted, idyllic, coconut-lined stretch of soft white sands, fantastic swimming and tropical isalnd views towards the famous 'Five Islands'.
Lipa Noi beach
stretches southwards from the town of Nathon, on the western coast, and offers shallow, clear waters on idyllic white sands with few rocks or coral. The waters are shallow within 100 meters of the beach and so are just perfect for children to splash and play. This Koh Samui beach offers beautiful views towards smaller, surrounding tropical islands and Thailand's mainland in a prime position to enjoy Samui's tropical sunsets. Lipa Noi beach offers a few resorts and Thai restaurant which are dotted along the coconut-lined sands including the luxurious, internationally renowed Nikki Beach
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Related Articles and Resources by Samui Holiday Villa RentalClick links below to view
Choeng Mon Beach Guide
(article and photos)
Bangrak Beach Guide
(article and photos)
Koh Samui interactive map with beach and tourist information
Koh Samui Beach Villa Rental Guide