The island of Koh Samui, Thailand, attracts beach lovers and sun worshippers from all over the globe. This South East Asian paradise is renowned for its coconut palm fringed coastline and crystal clear water. The island has many beautiful beaches, the best of which we will review here and try to give a little insight into what you can expect.
Located on the east of Koh Samui is Chaweng Beach. This 7km stretch of white sand is by far the most developed of the islands beaches. The entire length of the beach is lined with hotels, restaurants, bars and beach clubs. Water sports are in abundance and the flat white sand is suitable for walking and running. On a calm day the water is often crystal clear, making Chaweng Beach a great place to swim. The water is usually safe for swimming and suitable for families; however look out for the red flags when the ocean is rough. In the evening, restaurants place tables on the beach for alfresco sea side dining.
Located on the north side of Koh Samui, with views of Koh Phangan, is Maenam Beach. Roughly 7 km in length this golden-sanded beach is dotted with palm trees and has a good choice of sleepy little restaurants and bars. The beach is popular with families and has a relaxed atmosphere. It is only a few minutes from the ring road and accessed via a number of small streets that lead down to the ocean. The water in Maenam is safe for swimming but may get deep quickly in certain places. Keep an eye out for the red flags when the sea is rough, however most of the year the water is completely calm. There are no jet skis for hire on Maenam Beach which adds to the laid back ambience and tranquility.
Ban Tai Beach is located on the north coast of the island. It is relatively small in size and located around 1 km from the ring road just past Maenam. This white sanded bay has clear, calm water and is ideal for swimming. As the beach is situated within a bay it never gets too rough and is considered to be very safe, with no red flag system in use. There are only a few restaurants and bars here and no motorised water sports which makes the beach appealing for those wishing to escape the masses and enjoy the peace and quiet. To the far side of Ban Tai Beach, interesting rock formations create a dramatic backdrop and offer shelter from the sun. The beach has a reef which may be of interest to those who enjoy snorkelling. Be sure to visit in the late afternoon to enjoy an impressive sunset.
Located just after Ban Thai on the north coast of Koh Samui is Bang Po Beach. This long white sand beach is perfect for walking, running and relaxing as it is flat, quiet and very picturesque with clear water and an abundance of coconut palms. There are no motorised water sports here and not many restaurants and bars along the beach, which is mainly lined with private villas. Visitors to Bang Po Beach can enjoy views of the Angthong National Marine Park as well as the island of Koh Phangan. There is a reef not far from the shore and some dead coral in the sea, so be cautious when paddling and swimming. At high tide the water is suitable for swimming but at low tide it is a little shallow. There is no red flag system in use, as it is not considered to be necessary. Bang Po Beach is a great place to experience a tropical sunset as fishermen can be seen casting their nets for the evening catch.
Located on the east coast of Samui between Chaweng Noi and Lamai is Silver Beach. This small and attractive white sand beach is enclosed with interesting rock formations that form the bay. There are a few restaurants to choose from and the beach is only seconds from the ring road which is not a problem as the cover of hotels and buildings block the noise of the traffic. Silver Beach is suitable for snorkelling and great for swimming as it usually enjoys calm and clear water. There is no red flag system needed here and no motorised water sports. Be sure to visit this spectacular little beach when on Koh Samui.
Located on the north coast of the island with views of Koh Phangan is Bophut Beach. Stretching several km in length this golden sand beach is suitable for swimming and has a good choice of water sports available. At certain times of the year the ocean can be rough here so look out for the red flags if you are unsure. The water is not completely clear in Bophut; however don’t let that put you off from having a dip as this is only caused by darker sand on the ocean floor. Bophut beach is home to the famous Fisherman’s Village, a lively promenade full of restaurants, bars and boutique shops. Along the beach there is a good variety of hotels and restaurants which continue all the way to Maenam.
Bangrak Beach is located on the north east coast of Koh Samui between Bophut and Big Buddha and enjoys views of the neighbouring island of Koh Phangan. Its soft white sand makes it a good place to relax and the water is usually safe for swimming. However the sea can be rough at certain times of the year. There are quite a few piers in operation on this stretch of coastline and from the shore many boats can be seen coming and going. Along the beach you have a mixture of restaurants, a few bars and various accommodation, but the beach still remains relatively quiet most of the day.
Located on the less developed south side of the island, Taling Ngam beach is definitely one of the quieter beaches on Koh Samui. It’s white sand, coconut palms and clear waters would satisfy most people’s idea of paradise. However, at certain times of the year the water is too shallow for swimming. There are no motorised water sports here. Although there are a number of restaurants and hotels along the beach, It has a much more laid back and undeveloped appearance than most beaches on the island and some refer to it as the virgin coast. Be sure to visit Taling Ngam at dusk to enjoy the sun setting over the five islands. For those who like to explore, this stretch of coastline has some delightful hidden little coves.
Lamai Beach is located on the east of the island and is the second most developed and commercial beach on the island after Chaweng. A long stretch of white sand and in most places, clear water, extends for several kilometres with a diverse choice of restaurants, bars and beach clubs located along the coastline. The beach is usually quite busy as there are plenty of hotels in the area of Lamai. All the usual beach activities are on offer here such as massage, water sports etc and locals walk the beach offering a mixture of food and drinks for sale. The water is good for swimming but can get deep quickly in places and at certain times of the year the sea can get rough. Observe the red flag system if unsure.
Located on the north east coast of the island and sheltered within a large bay is the picturesque Choeng Mon Beach. Ideal for families, the beach has shallow clear water, perfect for swimming, and has soft white sand. Although in high season the beach is well frequented, it retains a relaxed and sleepy atmosphere with a variety of activities on offer such as jet ski hire, kayaking and beach massage available. There are a handful of bars and restaurants dotted along the coastline as well as a few hotels. To the far side of the beach is a small island known as Koh Fan Yai, which at low tide is accessible by foot and makes an exciting adventure playground for young children. The beach is a great place to simply relax with a cocktail and watch the boats come and go in the bay.
The Beach at Laem set is located at the south east tip of the island. The coastline here consists mainly of hotels and other properties, but this in no way detracts from the quiet and relaxed atmosphere of the beach itself. The whole coastline is famous for its soft white sand and is best for swimming between the months of October and April at high tide. The beach is a popular spot for kite boarders who can regularly be seen practising and performing tricks. Around 100m from the shore is a coral reef and due to pieces of dead coral on the ocean floor, it may be advisable to wear swimming shoes. The interesting rocky coastline, capped by trees and vegetation surrounding the beach will appeal to nature lovers.
So as you can see, Koh Samui has an extensive and diverse choice of beaches. From beach clubs and jet skis to massage and kayaking there are plenty of options to suit all tastes. The same can indeed be said for every aspect of Samui life. That’s the great thing about the island. There really is something that will appeal to everyone.
As a cautionary note to swimmers, very occasionally the sea in the gulf of Thailand may have poisonous jelly fish; however warning notices will usually appear on the beach when this occurs.
If you have any questions regarding the beaches I have reviewed in this post or would like more info on Koh Samui life in general, then please feel free to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org