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THAILAND: KOH SAMUI
The Best Beaches in Koh Samui

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Koh Samui Beaches

The beaches in Koh Samui are one the main draws with so many travellers that visit. With over 50 km of coastline hosting around 40 beaches, bays, and small coves, there’s no shortage of choices. Combined with a tropical climate which offers a temperature of about 30°C all year round,  it’s no wonder Koh 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 travelers to Samui.

Although most visitors coming to Samui are looking to relax, the Island is also famous for its many water sports activities. Snorkeling and scuba diving, PADI training courses, and boat tours out to coral-rich islands are available.

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Chaweng Beach

Chaweng Beach is a popular stretch of powdery white sand in Koh Samui. The wide bay is the focal point for the development of the island's tourism industry. Its majestic 7-km-long crescent of shoreline is 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 Koh Samui. The beach is also the island's main nightlife action, with bars and restaurants catering to every taste.

Although Chaweng Beach is 7-km-long, its high popularity means it's often crowded and rarely quiet. If you have your heart set on visiting Chaweng Beach but want some peace and quiet, head to the south end of the beach – most visitors congregate in the center, where the shops and restaurants are set up.

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Lamai Beach

Lamai is Koh Samui's second-largest resort town after Chaweng. Lamai Beach itself is lovely – a stunning crescent of palm-fringed powdery white sand. There's 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 Chaweng Beach, but has plenty of accommodation, dining and shopping options, as well as some great spas and tourist sites to explore.

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Bophut Beach

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.

Bophut Beach itself is a 3-km-long strip lined with resorts for all budget levels. You can enjoy a great view of Koh Phangan, located some 12 km north of the beach.

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Maenam Beach

Maenam is a peaceful beach with excellent views of Koh Phangan. Many of its resorts are located at the end of long, rambling pathways, affording a degree of privacy unavailable elsewhere. Maenam beach is almost 7-km-long, so most people stick to one area rather than trying to explore the whole length of it. Head towards the end of it in either direction, and you'll find a lot more privacy. Any area you end up in, however, you'll find very little hustle and bustle in the Maenam area.

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Choeng Mon Beach

Despite its small size and proximity to other beaches, Choeng Mon is uniquely beautiful. Hidden away in its own bay with stunning views over the crystal blue ocean, the beach offers a sense of privacy and attracts mainly families and those looking for peace and quiet.

At the farther end of the beach, you'll find the islet of Ko Fan Noi. During low tide, you can actually walk to the island – otherwise, you can rent a kayak to get there or circle it before heading back to your sun lounger on the main beach.

Choeng Mon's accommodations are more expensive than in other parts of Koh Samui. Even cheap fan-only bungalows are pricier here, and Choeng Mon is best known for its pricey resorts and fine hotels. Quaint restaurants set up tables over the sand in the evenings, allowing for stunning views over the starry skies reflecting on the ocean.

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Lipa Noi Beach

Lipa Noi is a convenient choice for anyone driving to Koh Samui from the mainland. The beach has fine white sand, and there are no rocks or coral in the water. If you're looking for the perfect place on Koh Samui to catch a sunset, this is it. Not only does the sky turn into an incredible rainbow of reds and yellows as the evening arrives, but the reflection on the beach means you'll get the illusion of walking on perfect pink sands.

Lipa Noi's remoteness and the lack of entertainment also means fewer tourists and a much quieter destination if you're looking for sand and sea away from the crowds. There are a few well-spaced bungalow operations, as well as more upscale resorts. 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 many visitors.

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Taling Ngam Beach

Located in the less touristy southwest corner of Koh Samui, Taling Ngam remains a mostly wild beach. This means little development, only a few hotels and restaurants opening up over the sand, and a sometimes unkept coastline – palm branches, coral pieces, and coconuts can often be found on the sand.

The ocean is shallow near the coast, but rent a kayak and find your way to deeper azure waters for great swimming, diving, or just some leisurely paddling. In the distance, you'll be able to see some of the archipelagos that make up Ang Thong National Marine Park. 

The beach is at least a 20-minute drive even from Nathon, the nearest town of any significance, and almost an hour away from Chaweng. Taling Ngam Beach offers some impressive sunsets, and you can watch the night roll in from one of the restaurant tables on the coast.

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Silver  Beach

Silver Beach is a 250-metre-long tropical beach paradise set in a charming little bay facing northeast of Koh Samui. Also known as Haad Thong Ta-khian the beach hosts 4 long-established hotels and restaurants, which occupy the full length of the beach.

You can still access Silver Beach for free, even if you’re not a hotel guest. Located just north of Lamai Beach, it’s a tranquil strip of sand and well worth the visit. You can enjoy very good sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling opportunities.

Sitting on the east side of the island (arrive early to watch the sunrise from the sand if you can), the beach is home to many laid-back activities, including snorkeling, Thai massages right against the waves, and sea kayak rentals. The emerald waters of the bay are also perfect for swimming. For those who want to get their PADI certification, the Crystal Bay Yacht Club offers all-inclusive courses and a beachfront pool.

Silver Beach offers a quiet escape under the swaying palm trees, and it's perfect for couples and those looking for a calmer getaway. You can always grab a motorbike taxi for a 10-minute ride to Lamai beach if you need a more lively (and busier) destination.

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Thongson Bay & Samrong Beach

Samrong Beach and Thongson Bay are the northernmost destinations in Koh Samui. Lying side by side on the small cape between Bangrak and Choeng Mon beaches, they offer splendid views of Koh Phangan.

Thongson Bay is a sort of well-kept secret among visitors – the kind of beach where you might end up almost on your own if you arrive early enough. Because the area is underdeveloped, it remains away from all the hustle and bustle but still offers the basic amenities so you can rent a sun lounger, grab a quick bite to eat, or find a kayak to take on the calm waters.

These 2 coves  are simply beautiful. They offer crystal-clear waters, powdery white sand, and the feeling like you have your very own private beach.

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Bang Por Beach 

Bang Por beach sits right between the Gulf of Thailand and the thick tropical rain forest, offering an almost hidden stretch of soft white sand for those looking to relax. At almost 11-km-long, this is Koh Samui's longest shoreline, but since it's located on the northwest coast (away from the main areas), it doesn't receive as many tourists. If you're looking for a quieter destination with great prices and local food, this is it.

Compared to other beaches on the island, Bang Por has seen little development. Local fishermen still visit the bay, and the food choices around are more of the local, simple variety set in thatch-roof shacks. Plus, majestic sunsets and the splendid view of Ko Phanagn across the water is hard to match.

Bang Por is arguably the most laidback beach in the north of Koh Samui. It’s rated as one of the island’s best backpacker beaches, though you can still find a few high-end resorts on this beach. Located just west of Maenam, this beach offers an off-the-beaten-track destination.

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