Beaches are obviously the main asset of Koh Samui, and the reason why so many people visit the island each year. The most popular beaches in Samui – Chaweng, Lamai, Bophut, and Maenam – offer all that is required to spend a memorable holiday on this 228.7sqm piece of land jutting out of the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Thailand, but people who have an explorer’s spirit can still find small coves and strips of sand off the beaten track in Koh Samui.
Just rent a motorbike and go explore the rich coast of the island to discover beaches you’ve never heard of before. The five ‘secret’ beaches introduced on this page are not that difficult to find; some of them even house accommodation choices and restaurants, and you may pass in front of them without knowing they are there. Check them out and try to visit them while you are in Samui: it’s highly rewarding exploring new places slightly out of the way.
Samrong Beach & Thongson BayNorth Coast
Samrong Beach and Thongson Bay are the northernmost destinations in Samui. Lying side by side on the small cape between Big Buddha and Choeng Mon beaches, they offer splendid views to Koh Phangan located some 10 kilometres away. Both these coves are easily accessible as they host a good choice of hotels, from Melati Resort to Arayaburi Boutique Resort to NB Villa Saa just to name a few. These two coves (three, if you count the self-explanatory ‘Naturism Beach’, situated 100 metres east of Thongson Bay) are simply beautiful and feature clear crystal waters, powdery white sand, and the feeling like you have your very own private beach.
- How to get there: Simply follow the coastal road heading north starting at Bophut. Once passed Samui Big Buddha, turn left to take Tongsai Road which passes in front of Wat Plai Laem. Carry on heading north until you see signs to turn left toward Arayaburi Resort in Samrong Beach, or Melati Resort to get to Thongson Bay.
Thongtakian (Silver Beach)East Coast
Thongtakian Beach, also known as Silver Beach, is a 250-metre long cove located between Chaweng and Lamai beaches. You may have passed in front of it without noticing it many times, due to the fact that its main access path is through the reception and restaurant of the Silver Beach Resort. Thongtakian is the perfect tropical paradise featuring soft sand, shaded patches, turquoise waters offering decent snorkelling and great kayaking, as well as a choice between four mid-range resorts to stay: Crystal Bay Beach Resort, Thongtakian Resort, Crystal Bay Yacht Club and Silver Beach Resort. Read More...
- How to get there: Simply follow the Ring Road (4169) between Chaweng and Lamai beaches, Silver Beach is well indicated by the hotels’ signboards.
Thong Krut BeachSouth Coast
Thong Krut Beach and its accompanying Fisherman’s Village are the right destinations to get away from the crowds. Located between Laem Hin Koh and Laem Sor in the southern district of Samui called Taling Ngam, this bay offers a glimpse of the traditional way of life in Samui with its wooden shacks built on the beachfront, and the fishermen fixing their long-tail boats or repairing their nets for the next fishing trip. Thong Krut hosts a few seaside restaurants that are often the main reason to visit. You can hire a boat here to go and take you to Koh Mudsum, Koh Tan or other islands located a short distance off the shore. Read More...
- How to get there: When coming from Nathon Town heading south on the Ring Road (4169), take a right just after the Police Booth and follow the road 4170 until you reach Thong Krut Village.
Laem YaiNorthwest Coast
Laem Yai is the northwestern tip of Koh Samui. Laem means cape in Thai, and Laem Yai forms the top-left corner of the island when seen on a map. It features a lovely 200-metre protected cove facing north, situated right between Bang Po and and Nathon Town. Laem Yai is the Four Seasons Resort’s beach. The area just south of Laem Yai is still Laem Yai, and is also very peaceful. It hosts a few hotels – Mai Samui Beach Resort and Moevenpick Resort, just to name a few, as well as beachfront restaurants in a very large coconut grove. This tranquil corner of Koh Samui is the perfect place to get away from it all, whether that be for a day or a longer stay. Offering the perfect strand for long walks as well as a great spot for watching sunset, Laem Yai is unfortunately not the best beach for swimming, due to the low level water, even at high tide.
- How to get there: When coming from Maenam heading south on the Ring Road (4169), take a left on the small street (Soi Mae Niam Arayangkun) that leads to the Moevenpick Resort, and carry on until you reach the beach (the last part of the road is a trail through the jungle).
Ban Tai BeachNorth Coast
Ban Tai Beach is a two-kilometre long strip of white sand located between Bang Po and Maenam beaches. It is often mistakenly called Bang Po from which it is only separated by a tiny rocky cape. Facing north, this beach is a haven of tranquillity featuring a good choice of resorts and bungalows such as Mimosa Resort, Belmond Napasai, By Beach Resort, and more. Despite its quietness, Ban Tai’s location a short distance from Maenam Village permits guests to enjoy the liveliness of weekly events such as Maenam Walking Street (every Thursday). Apart from the few hotels settled near or on the beach, you could find cool independent beach bars and restaurants on Ban Tai.
- How to get there: Two small streets lead to Ban Tai. When coming from Maenam, heading west on the Ring Road (4169), the first of them leads to Belmond Napasai Resort, and the second one leads to Mimosa and other resorts.