What makes Koh Samui beaches special?
Koh Samui is the second largest island in Thailand after Phuket. Is common for holiday makers to take a pick between both. On a Phuket vs Koh Samui contest, is hard to pick a winner. Both are great choices. At the end, it comes to weather and atmosphere differences. Have a look at tips related to weather in Koh Samui to see the best time to visit and how it compares with weather in Phuket.
Being smaller, without land access, the island vibes in Koh Samui are remarkable with a more relaxed ambience overall. A more relaxed island means less crowded beaches!
Koh Samui has 4 or 5 long beaches and then many medium and small ones where you may find yourself on your own!
There is a Koh Samui beach for everyone. Wether you want to relax or have a cocktail, be on your own or with restaurants and services around, do some snorkelling or enjoy a coconut oil massage. This is what makes beaches in Koh Samui special, the variety of options!
Keep reading to find the best beaches in Koh Samui for you.
Koh Samui Beaches Map
Beach seasons in Koh Samui
Things to keep in mind
Sun in Thailand: Sun beams in Thailand does not forgive! Make sure you are protected against sunburns with adequate sun protection factor cream. Take special care with small children and babies.
You got sunburns in Thailand?. Ouch, it hurts… Nothing better than a special massage to hydrate your skin. In many Thai beaches you will find covered beds where you can get a coconut massage treatment on your skin to treat sunburns right on the sand
Box jellyfish in Koh Samui: Chances to be stung by a box jellyfish in Koh Samui are low, but better be prepared than unaware. During August, September and October box jellyfish is more noticeable in the Gulf of Thailand. Certain species of box jellyfish carry a extremely venomous toxin, so make sure to keep reading to understand what to do if you get stung.
If you get stung: Right after being stung by a box jellyfish, apply vinegar directly on the area affected for at least 30 to 60 seconds. Go immediately to a hospital. Most boats, resorts, beach restaurants and bars in Koh Samui should have vinegar on their first aid kits to treat stings. Do not try to clean the injury with fresh water. Do not pee on the area affected!!
Public space and beaches in Thailand: You may see banners entering a beach reading “private beach” or “only customers”. You can ignore all those banners because all beaches in Thailand are public.
Best Beaches in Koh Samui:
Chaweng Beach with fine white sand and turquoise water is one of the most popular beaches on the island. Chaweng area is the most developed and touristy area in Koh Samui, with plenty of resorts, restaurants bars, shops, food stands. Night life in Koh Samui is vibrant, specially in Chaweng area. Having everything within minutes is great, but you may have to trade convenience for quietness during the high season.
Families | Young travellers | Group of friends
White powdery sand |Crystal clear water | Nightlife | Convenience: Everything you may need at walking distance | Plenty of beach and water activitie | Plenty of choice: hotels, restaurants, bars, shopping...
Very busy during the high season | Noisy | Touristy | Too many beach vendors
You can use the beach in front of some of the 5 stars resort in the area. If you get a drink or food you can use their sunbeds!
We love the laid back vibes in Lamai! Lamai beach can get busy, especially during the high season, but nothing close to Chaweng beach. Lamai is the second longest beach in Koh Samui. There are many options for dining and shopping in Lamai, not as sophisticated as Chaweng or Bohput, but prices are better. Surrounded by tropical hills and less developed than other popular locations in Samui, Lamai is perhaps a little bit more "authentic"...
A beach for everyone | Swimmers (South)
White sand | Clear water | Many restaurants and bars around | Many shopping options | Lamai Night Market | Affordable area (compared to Chaweng or Bohput)
Few girl bars around | Not as busy as Chaweng but still busy | Some spots North of the beach quite rocky
Sunday is the day to visit Lamai! Spend a day at the beach and stay later to visit Lama Night Market
Bohput Beach spreads along Fisherman's Village walking street, packed with great restaurants and bars. The beach it is beautiful, with nice views and stunning sunsets looking over Koh Phangan. What makes Bohput Beach and the area especial is the relaxed atmosphere less "in your face" than Chaweng. Terraces with amazing views, no traffic, quality spas and exclusive shops make Bohput one of the best beaches in Koh Samui to spend the day.
Families | Senior visitors | Couples
Chilled atmosphere | Beach spreading along Fisherman's Village | The Wharf mall | Great options for eating out some on the beach | Nice bars and cocktails | Walking street
Bophut tends to be more expensive than other areas like Lamai | Busy during the high season | Sand is coarse | Many boats in the water
On Fridays and Mondays there is probably is one of the best night markets in Koh Samui in Fisherman's Village.
Maenam Beach is popular among locals and holiday makers looking for a long beach to walk not busy. There is a number of great restaurants and resorts along Maenam Beach, specially on the eastern side, most of the areas are easy to access aside W Samui, where you need to access the resort to get to that beach.
Anyone ideally with transportation and seeking for a relaxed beach day. Some of sections of Maenam Beach are more suitable than others for families with young children, we recommend Silent Beach section!
Long beach with sections to fit any type of visitor. Some sections more swallow than others.
You need transportation unless you stay in the area.
With the exception of the beach area around Maenam walking street, not all services available at walking distance.
On Thursdays is the Maenam Night Market. Stay for the day around the area and have dinner at the market before you leave!
On Mondays is beach cinema night at W Samui. Enjoy the movie of the day on the beach having dinner or a cocktail.
Choeng Mon Beach
Choeng Mon Beach is located in the Northeastern tip of the island. You can access the beach through the first line hotels in Choeng Mon. Despite having direct access from several resorts, Choeng Mon Beach tends to be reasonably relaxed depending on seasonality.
One of the best beaches in Koh Samui for families. Choeng Mon Beach provides a great combination of thin sand and swallow waters perfect for chilrden and the resort bars to provide amenities to adults.
Senior visitors will find quiet and facilities togehter.
Reasonably quiet, with resorts amenities like bars and restaurants. Fine sand and clear water.
Suitable to spend the whole morning / afternoon.
Far from key locations in Koh Samui. If you are not staying in Bohput, Bangral or Plai Laem areas, there are closer options.
On Wednesday there is an cosy nigh market in Choeng Mon, recently renovated. Some of the resort stands provide great food at street prices.
Bangrak Beach, known as as well as Big Buddha Beach, is located in the north side of the island. The beach is a long strip that extend along the Bangrak Bay. There are a number of resorts, bars and restaurants and the pier with boats departing to Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.
Having a long walk at high rise and sunset.
Long beach perfect to have a nice walk.
Most of the time quiet
Some areas of Bangrak beach are not swimmable.