Koh Samui is the second largest island in Thailand, with the nicest white sand beaches that are hard to find elsewhere, with their captivating beauty and authentic tropical vibe.
The beaches on Koh Samui are so famous around the globe due to two virtues; the soft white sands and the clear crystal waters, besides, people love wild parties on the beaches lit by the gentle light of the full moon. Some of these beaches are covered by nodding coconut trees on one side and swept by the amazing Gulf of Thailand on the other. Just a magical tropical coastline.
Of course, great night parties are not the only advantage of Koh Samui beaches; most of them offer a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere that the majority of tourists are looking for, and some others are almost deserted at all hours, perfect for those who are seeking isolation.
You can get it all by spending one day at the beach; get a massage, have your hair cut, buy barbecued chicken or sarongs, party out loud, and get to know the friendly locals.
Most popular beaches in Koh Samui
Is the largest resort town and the most popular beach on the island. With 6 kilometers of soft white sand and along the way, we can find countless bars, restaurants, and shopping opportunities. Nevertheless, this beach has more variety when it comes to accommodation than in any other place on the island. Chaweng is located on the eastern coast of Koh Samui with a wide bay and a tiny island.
Bang Por Beach
Is the longest sand seashore in Samui, covering a total length of 11kms, located just west of Maenam. Bang Por has an authentic tropical touch; lined with restaurants, bars, and accommodation choices.
If you like to play a sport or simply go swimming; this is a perfect quiet lovely beach, less crowded than Chaweng, with soft white sand covered with palms where you can chill for a while or enjoy the sunbathing. Lamai Beach has all the tourist facilities and options to enjoy and explore on your holiday. This beach is about 22 minutes away from Chaweng.
Is the only beach that still preserves a Thai-Chinese atmosphere. It may be the oldest one and perhaps, for this reason, they try to preserve this place as one of the most elegant on the Island, with resorts affordable for everyone. Recently, it has been growing up so fast in commercial areas. We could say that this beach is for relaxing and relishing due to the calm turbid waters and coconut palms.
Many people consider Maenam as a predominantly backpack beach, and it is either because it has stunning views of Koh Phangan or due to its resorts which are located at the end of the pathways, giving that touch of privacy than any other beach. Most of the beaches In Koh Samui have affordable prices and different options and in Maenam Beach, you can escape away for days, weeks, or even months in bungalows without spending too much cash.
Lipa Noi Beach
If you are traveling with kids, this beach is perfect because it has soft white sand and there are no rocks or corals in the water, besides, it’s shallow for up to 90 meters out. Lipa Noi is the closest beach to the car ferry pier. This beach is not suitable for those who are looking for entertainment, not perfect for a night party, but its separation from the buzzing beaches makes it a paradise for the travelers who regularly come in large groups. If you want to be in an authentic paradise that will take all of your stress away; it is worth it to pay a visit to Lipa Noi Beach.
On this picturesque sheltered beach, you are going to enjoy stunning views of Angthong Marine National Park, just one hour away from Chaweng beach. In Taling Ngam we can see banana plantations and coconut landscapes, making it a green tropical paradise beach.
Big Buddha Beach
This is the ideal backpackers’ beach and its greatest attraction is Wat Phra Yai, the big temple of Buddha. This beach is the closest to the airport, with a great nightlife, restaurant, hotels, dive shops, British pubs, clubs, and a lot of supermarkets.
Visiting Big Buddha Beach could be unforgettable. It is continuously attracting tourists from all around the world. From every point of the beach, you can see the great Buddha statue. This beach is also called Bangrak, a very nice spot to relax and watch life go by.
Choeng Mon Beach
Is more prestigious than Big Buddha because of its numerous bays lined on the northeastern part of the island covered with multiple stars resorts’ and restaurants doing their best to attract tourists, predominantly from France and Germany, so do not expect traditional dancing, entertainment, or Thai cuisine.
It is time to play, swim, and snorkel in this 250 meters paradise, located just north of Lamai Beach. Just four resorts are waiting for you there with full access to this tranquil place.
If you are looking for an amazing small beach near Lamai Beach, it is that one, located between Lamai and Chaweng with crystal shallow waters, absolutely wonderful and unspoiled. In Thongtakian Beach or Silver Beach, you can find a modest beach bar restaurant, along with a small hotel. This is a tiny hidden gem on Samui Island that is not well known by most tourists.
This beach is in Nathon town, although it is not the prettiest beach on Koh Samui, you can observe a hive of activity and it is always vibrant and full of life. This beach has a viewpoint where we can watch the boats and ferries arriving. Nathon Beach is a popular place for kitesurfing due to its great sunsets. Pay it a visit and enjoy some shopping in the small Nathon town, here something always happens, so do not miss out on Nathon Beach.
Bang Khao is a fantastic island for those who want to stay far away from the crowded resorts and feel the nature in its entire splendor, this is perfect for nature lovers, although you have to pass through hotels to reach this special gem because it does not have easy access.
Laem is another pretty and unspoiled spot located on the less developed part of the island on the south-east coast of Samui. It is covered with big trees, although it is not the best place to swim or snorkel beyond the reef barrier of 100 meters away by swimming or kayaking. And to protect the reef, be careful to not step on it or scratch it while you are anchoring your boat.
Hua Thanon is another island for an evening stroll, or to pick up something to drink or eat in local restaurants, contemplate the ambiance of the place; picturesque, quiet and far away from the crowds. Hua Thanon is not a special place to swim but absolutely worth a visit.
Coral Cove and Crystal Bay
After leaving Chaweng heading to Lamai on the haft way along the ring road; you can find a little beach called “Coral Cove” and two kilometers beyond, there is another one named “Crystal bay”.
They are just 200 to 300 meters wide with soft white sand and big rocks, where you will feel as if you were in a different world, suitable to have an afternoon swim in what visitors would describe as a paradise spot.
What most people like the most about these beaches is the fact that they are still virgin and undeveloped, however, there are few restaurants offering meals during the day. If you love snorkeling, bring your own equipment as you will not find any.
Ban Tai Beach
This is a beautiful beach on the village of Ban Tai and, it is located just west of Maenam. If you are looking for peace, serenity, and tranquility; this is the place for you, since there is not much around to do. There are some resorts in front of the beach or nearby.
From Ban Tai Beach, you will also enjoy spectacular views of Koh Phangan, just like Bang Por Beach.
Unfortunately, you can find some stones in the water that makes it kind of difficult to play or swim, but you may relax there for some time, then you can enjoy the water activities on the neighboring beaches.
Thongson Bay & Samrong Beach
They are considered the northernmost visited destinations in Koh Samui. Located side by side on the tiny cape between Bangrak Mon beaches and Choeng, they offer beautiful views of Koh Phangan that is located just about 10 kilometers away. Both coves can be easily reached as there are good hotels there, some of the best are Melati Resort, Arayaburi Boutique Resort, and NB Villa Sea.
The pair of coves are situated 100 meter east of Thongson Bay, and are simply stunning and feature glass crystal waters, soft white sand, and the feeling like you have your own private beach.
About Samui Beaches
Some people think that some of the beaches in Thailand are private, however, all Samui beaches are public land and it’s the case all around Thailand’s beaches too, thus, they are not owned by the resorts or hotels that are built there. This happened only due to their monopoly of the access to the beach because visitors are not able to cross its land on any beach by boat, although the resort’s authority may alert you, we still have the right to visit the island and enjoy it.
Samui beaches authentic features
What about Samui beaches sand?
Samui beaches have lots of sand from the mini stones of Lamai to the super powdery on Chaweng Beach, this is what makes Samui’s beaches beautiful, besides the different colors, whether yellowish, white, or granular. Plus, they are mostly very clean.
What about the clarity of the water?
The water is mostly crystal clear during the months of the high season, not from November to January when it’s the monsoon season and the water is mostly rough and murky.
Big trees on the beaches
Many beaches are covered with big trees preserved or planted years ago, however, some resorts have cut the trees in favor to pools and hotels services or facilities, so when you think to travel to Samui, be sure to select those beaches with splendid nature and no barren.
What about a beach massage?
On Samui beaches, you can find masseuses who have risen over the years but prices have remained cheap, you can get an extremely professional massage under 10$. You will find these relaxing massage tents under the trees’ shades on the most popular beaches.
The polite beach vendors
Those beach vendors are very polite and they are making their living selling local food or fresh fruits, and some of them sell delicious roasted chicken. They are found in small numbers on the busier beaches, with the largest concentration on Chaweng. Many of them are appreciated by the visitors, but the least are those who sell sarongs or souvenirs; perhaps because they are more intrusive, however, they are always polite.
Some of Samui hidden beaches
There are many beaches out there in Samui that are widely known and enormously visited, but on the other hand, there are many tiny little gems that are secreted away in distant bays that lots of tourists have never seen or even imagined they exist, sometimes we cannot get to the beach without paying a high-class resort or hiring a boat.
Let’s reveal some of their secrets!
Silavadee Beach – a hidden paradise on Koh Samui's coast
People who are quite familiar with the island don’t realize this beach actually exists on Koh Samui. It is so beautiful and has that tropical classical image. If going with a boat is not an option for you; you will have to get yourself into Silavadee Pool Spa to access this gem with the softest sand, clear crystal water, big rocks and of course, coconut palms, besides, this resort has built a special wooden footpath over the boulders to reach the sand.
One of the greatest features here is the granite boulders extending out of the water and creating nice natural spots to play; turning these places into the greatest to swim among the other beaches around the island due to the absence of offshore reef.
Four Seasons Beach-Koh Samui
This is another gem in a tropical spot out of the reach of many visitors, to get to this beach you have to go on a boat or be a Four Season’s guest. Many people never came across it, and some are not even aware of the existence of this gorgeous beach, even most of the inhabitants of the island. And with the ability to access the luxury services of a five-star resort, the one of a kind Thai cuisine, and palm-fringed tropical environment; this place makes the perfect tropical gate away.
Located some hundred meters away from the coast of Centara Villas; this beach has a concatenation of small sand patches, divided by a stack of granite rocks. It has a variety of private coves, crannies, and nooks that guests use to walk and escape.
Other secret gems in Samui - Tonson Bay and Samrong Beach
These two beautiful beaches are situated alongside each other on Koh Samui northeast corner, kind of twin beaches; the same size and both are so beautiful. Both of them, hosts more than one resort, however, they are still under construction. There is a public restaurant on Tonson Bay right by the park, turning this into a great place for daytime visitors. The shallow water does not permit swimming during low tide, as it’s becoming a common ailment to tropical beaches.
Something you should be aware of
On some of the beaches in Samui, you have to be alert of strong currents to the south end; they are called rip tides and can draw you inside the sea as they are quite strong and of course, dangerous even for a competent swimmer. So be alert for the flags and pay attention to the security personnel!
Ready to dive into the waters of all the surrounding beaches of one of the best islands in the world?