The best beaches in Koh Samui are the main reason why the island appears on the bucket list of so many travellers. With over 50 km of coastline hosting something like 40 beaches, bays, and small coves, there’s no shortage of choice. Add a tropical climate that offers a yearly temperature of about 30°C, as well as all the infrastructure necessary to accommodate, feed, and entertain visitors, and it’s no wonder that Samui is one of the most popular destinations in Southern Thailand.
The most popular beaches in Koh Samui could not be more different from each other. From the long and busy Chaweng, to the short and secluded Choeng Mon, there’s a strip of sand for a wide variety of tastes in Samui. Check out our list of the best to make sure that you pick the one that’s right for you.
- Ang Thong Adventure Tour
- Ko Tao & Ko Nang Yuan Snorkeling Tour
- Jungle Adventure
- Sea Kayaking at Ang Thong Marine Park
- Around the Island Tour
- Temples & City Tour
- Big Game Fishing Full-Day Tour
- 4-Wheel ATV Adventure
- Red Baron Junk Sailing Tour with Transfers
- Guided Photography Tour with Golden Pagoda & Big Buddha
Chaweng Beach is Koh Samui's most popular stretch of powdery white sand. The wide bay has been the focal point for the development of the island's tourism industry and the majestic 5-km-long crescent of shoreline is the highlight of the destination. It’s bordered by rocky headlands on either end, with an offshore reef and the tiny island of Koh Matlam to the north.
Chaweng offers more accommodation options than elsewhere on the island. It’s also the main nightlife hub, with bars and restaurants catering to every taste. On the downside, it has a very “touristy” feel, so it lacks the distinctive Thai identity of other parts of Koh Samui. Read More...
- Location: Chaweng Beach, Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand
Lamai is Samui's second largest resort town after Chaweng. Lamai Beach itself is lovely – a stunning crescent of palm-fringed powdery white sand that's great for whiling away the day sunbathing. There’s even a deep central stretch of water that’s great for swimming and water sports. Large granite boulders are the landmarks of Lamai Beach – the most famous of them being Hin Ta and Hin Yai, at the southern end of the beach.
Lamai is quieter and less bustling than its big sister, but features plenty of accommodation, dining and shopping options as well as some great spas and tourist sites to explore. It’s considered the better option for families and older travellers. Read More...
- Location: Lamai Beach, Maret, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84310, Thailand
Bophut is really 2 places: Bophut Beach, which sweeps down several kilometres between Bangrak and Maenam beaches, and the charming Fisherman’s Village. The latter is perhaps one of the oldest places on the island and takes up the eastern section of the beach. It has a reputation that stretches way beyond Samui for being the most elegant and well-preserved place on the island with a fantastic street market held every Friday.
Bophut Beach itself is a 3-km-long strip of thick, yellowish sand lined with resorts for all types of budget. It offers a great view north to Koh Phangan, located some 12 km away. Read More...
- Location: Bophut Beach, Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand
Perhaps it's the excellent views of Koh Phangan that have kept Maenam as a peaceful beach. Or maybe it's the fact that many of its resorts are located at the end of long, rambling pathways, affording a degree of privacy unavailable elsewhere. Originally a genuine backpacker area, Maenam nowadays hosts a great range of beachfront accommodation options from budget to luxury.
The beach itself is made of thick, yellowish sand similar to that on the more famous Bophut Beach. It offers a great playground for long strolls around sunset, with the possibility to stop and have a refreshing drink at one the bars along the shore. Read More...
- Location: Maenam Beach, Maenam, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84330, Thailand
Choeng Mon is made up of a series of bays on the northeastern tip of Samui Island. More upmarket than its neighbour Bangrak, it’s dominated by a handful of 3- to 5-star resorts. Even so, it’s still a quiet beach, not yet known by the majority of visitors.
Choeng Mon Beach is a rather small – about 700 metres long, nestled in a beautiful bay. It’s wide and sandy, with a rock formation on one side offering good snorkelling and an islet that can be easily reached by sea kayak on the other side. Read More...
- Location: Choeng Mon Beach, Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand
Its closeness to the island's main car ferry pier makes Lipa Noi a convenient choice for anyone driving to Samui from the mainland. The beach has fine white sand and there are no rocks or coral in the water, making it one of the best beaches for kids on the island. The water is also very shallow for up to 100 metres out.
There are a few well-spaced bungalow operations, as well as more upscale resorts, including the world-famous Nikki Beach. Apart from the beach and a few cool beach bars, there's little else to do in the area – its very remoteness is what makes it most attractive to the large number of regular visitors. Read More...
- Location: Lipa Noi Beach, Lipa Noi, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84140, Thailand
Pristine beaches shrouded by jungle and stunning views of Ang Thong National Marine Park combine to make Taling Ngam one of the most picturesque parts of the island. Facing west, Taling Ngam also offers stunning sunsets.
There’s a choice of accommodation, from cheap bungalows to upscale resorts, but it’s at least a 20-minute drive even from Nathon, the nearest town of any significance, and almost an hour away from Chaweng. That said, if you're after a relaxing, lazy, tropical holiday in Samui above all else, Taling Ngam is hard to beat. Read More...
- Location: Taling Ngam Beach, Taling Ngam, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84140, Thailand
Silver Beach is a 250-metre-long tropical beach paradise set in a charming little bay facing northeast, located just north of Lamai Beach. Also known as Haad Thong Ta-khian (which means ‘the beach of the Ta-khian Trees’ in Thai), Silver Beach hosts 4 long-established hotels and restaurants, which occupy the full length of the beach.
You can still access this beach for free, even if you’re not a guest of any of these hotels. It’s a tranquil strip of sand and well worth the visit. It offers some particularly good sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling opportunities. Read More...
- Location: Silver Beach, Maret, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84310, Thailand
Samrong Beach and Thongson Bay
Samrong Beach and Thongson Bay are the northernmost destinations in Samui. Lying side by side on the small cape between Bangrak and Choeng Mon beaches, they offer splendid views to Koh Phangan, located some 10 km away. Both of these coves are easily accessible as they host a good choice of hotels.
These 2 coves (3, if you count the self-explanatory ‘Naturism Beach’, which is 100 metres east of Thongson Bay) are simply beautiful. They each feature crystal-clear waters, powdery white sand, and the feeling like you have your very own private beach.
- Location: Samrong and Thongson Beaches, Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand
Located just west to Maenam, Bang Por is the most laid-back beach in the north of Samui. It’s rated as one of the island’s best backpacker beaches, even though a few top-notch resorts can be found on this beach.
With a total length of almost 11 km, interrupted only by the mouth of the Phong Phae River and a tiny rocky cape, Bang Por is the longest shoreline in Samui. Even lined with bars, restaurants, and a range of accommodation choices, it still has a genuine tropical touch and offers an off-the-beaten-track destination.
- Location: Bang Por Beach, Maenam, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84330, Thailand