Guide to Koh Samui Beaches for Your Thailand Holiday

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Powdery white, sandy beaches and palm trees gently swaying in the breeze border the sparkling clear blue water around the island of Koh Samui, Thailand. Holidays may include every type of activity, from relaxing on the countless beaches under the warm sun to boating, swimming, and snorkeling. By night, the numerous Koh Samui beach clubs attract many who enjoy exciting nightlife options.

We’ve created this travel guide becaues each beach on Koh Samui is different. To help you decide where to stay on the island and what to do, here are descriptions of some of the best.

Blue waters and green hills surrounding Lamai Beach on the island of Koh Samui, Thailand

Chaweng Beach

Chaweng Beach lies along the east coast of Koh Samui and features a number of resort hotels. Public access is gained on the south end of the beach within close proximity to the Chaweng Walking Street. Along with water-based activities, guests and locals alike enjoy the array of affordable dining options found here.

Beautiful and clean, the destination is the place to go if interested in socializing. By day, music emanates through the air from the Ark Bar. By night, DJs supply the tunes and the party goes on for hours.

Koh Samui beach

Choeng Mon Beach

If interested in a secluded getaway, Choeng Mon is the place to visit. You can find the scenic bay beach on the northeastern tip of the island and mere minutes from the Samui Airport. Accommodation options range from boutique hotels to five-star resorts. Guests also have the chance to experience traditional village life just minutes from the waterfront.

Nearby attractions include the Big Buddha. The destination makes for the perfect location to relax and enjoy a peaceful swim. The shallow water of the bay often attracts families with small children.

Koh Samui beach

Lamai Beach

Lamai Beach lies south from Chaweng. Although Lamai is also a resort location, the site remains less crowded and more peaceful. Accommodation options appeal to singles, families and couples alike and fit into every budget. The stunning long stretch of beach features plenty of bars, food carts, and dining options.

Lamai beach is one of the ideal locations to enjoy brunch at beachfront locations. The nearby quaint little town offers shopping and convenience store choices. The lack of excessive visitors makes Lamai the best beach in Koh Samui for swimming. Popular activities to do in Koh Samui include stand-up paddleboarding. Rentals and instruction are readily available. Resorts also commonly offer the option of renting kayaks. Jet skis are another often enjoyed water sport.

Lamai Beach bordered by iridescent, teal green waters and green hills

Maenam Beach

Five kilometers of palm tree-lined beachfront awaits visitors at Maenam, which lies along the northern coast of Koh Samui. The water is fairly shallow and so popular with families having small children.

While the beach experiences a fair amount of visitors, it is not one of the places to go when in search of a party. The location offers a few resort hotels and a beach bar where guests might enjoy a few drinks and a quiet dinner. Maenam village lies in the midst of the beach and remains a popular dining destination. Overall, the location is tranquil.

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Bophut Beach

The busier beach also lies along the northern coast and features a long, narrow beach boasting golden sand. The location is prized for swimming regardless of the time of day.

Fisherman’s Village attracts local guests for the community’s dining and shopping options. The Wharf shopping complex is found conveniently on the east end of the beach. On Fridays, guests may venture to the Walking Street market. Accommodation choices appeal to the middle class and affluent.

A street vendor and sign at Fisherman's Village, Bophut Beach, Koh Samui

Thongtakian Beach

The Thongtakian Beach is considered one of the most spectacular beaches on the island. The location is often called Silver Beach and lies between Chaweng and Lamai. The clear waters are secluded and shallow, which makes the destination a favorite with snorkeling enthusiasts.

Accommodation options include a few small boutique hotels. The waterfront also boasts a beach bar/restaurant. Thongtakian is another great spot for a quiet getaway, as the beach is not widely recognized by guests.

TIP: For more destinations, see our list of the 10 best Thai islands for a perfect beach holiday.

Big Buddha Beach

Big Buddha Beach borders the village of Bangrak. Also known as Bangrak Beach, it gets its official name from the Big Buddha statue, which is easily viewed from the waterfront.

As guests often venture to resort locations for swimming options, the destination is pretty much crowd free. Many enjoy taking boats from the beach and cruise to Haad Rin and Koh Phangan. Big Buddha is an ideal location to get a cocktail, relax on the beach in the evening and enjoy amazing sunsets.

small motorboats near a pier on Big Buddha Beach Koh Samui

Lipa Noi Beach

Lipa Noi also lies along the western coast and so is another great destination for watching the sunset. The warm waters are calm and ideal for swimming or snorkeling. Yellowish-white sand travels back from the waterfront to the borders of coconut plantations. The beach spans to Nathon and is easily traveled on foot at low tide, which makes for a pleasant stroll.

There are a few places to stay along the beach. Cold drinks are available at the Nikki Beach Club. However, the location is more in tune with relaxing and enjoying a beer rather than partying at dusk.

TIP: You can find a lot of fantastic things to do on Koh Samui at this website.

Taling Ngam Beach

Once a considered a luxury resort destination, Taling Ngam now also accommodates the budget-friendly crowd. Along with the scenic west-coast beachfront, guests witness the traditional lifestyle of locals who live in traditional wooden houses. Vegetable gardens and coconut plantations are not far from the waterfront.

Meander north of Taling Ngam and witness the mystical Phang Kha Bay with its array of rock formation islands jutting up from the sea.

Which Koh Samui beaches are for you?

The island of Koh Samui is an iconic tropical destination, which offers something for guests of all ages and interests. Explore the possibilities and choose a beach that best suits your idea of the perfect holiday. Get ready to experience the holiday of a lifetime.

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Lounge chairs overlooking water on koh samui beach. Overlay says Koh Samui beach guide.

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Written by Riya

Riya is an inspired writer based in Thailand. Riya loves cooking, traveling and yes! sipping a good coffee.

You can find her on Twitter and Instagram.

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3 thoughts on “Guide to Koh Samui Beaches for Your Thailand Holiday”

  1. I love tropical destinations and all these all look gorgeous. If I were to spend only one day on Koh Samui island, I’d probably choose Lamai Beach. It seems less crowded and more remote and I love that. Taling Ngam also looks great, but it’s probably more crowded if it accommodates the budget-friendly crowd.

    • We’re with you, Anda; the less crowded, more remote beaches are far more appealing. Though perhaps the dining options might be more limited …

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