The 8 Best Beaches in Koh Samui | Swimming – Snorkeling – Dining

Searching for the best beaches in Koh Samui?

Koh Samui’s gorgeous beaches are the answer for a tropical getaway in Thailand. With powdery white sand, waving palms, calm waters and even on the beach dining and water sports, it’s no wonder that the best beaches in Koh Samui is on so many bucket lists.

Whether you’re looking for fun in the sun combined with a lively nightlife scene on famous Koh Samui beaches like Chaweng and Lamai, a secret beach for tranquility, the best beach for families or a mix of everything, the island’s beaches are diverse and cater to many tastes and travel styles.

Jacqueline on a tree swing on one of the beaches in Koh Samui
Jacqueline on the tree swing at Silver Beach (aka Crystal Bay)

Best Beaches in Koh Samui – Overview

The best beaches in Koh Samui are all located in the north eastern portion of the island. Starting from north Koh Samui and stretching all the way down to south east Koh Samui you’ll find Maenam, Bophut, Choeng Mon, Chaweng, and Lamai, in that order.

Most popular beaches in Koh Samui are Chaweng and Lamai and are both located on the easy coast of Koh Samui. Both beachside destinations have a large concentration of sleeping, dining and a lively scene both on the beach and not. Chaweng is also the most developed part of Koh Samui and can get busy and feel overcrowded.

The beaches in north Koh Samui are a favorite for families and couples. These beaches include Maenam and Bophut. Both beachside destinations offer a peaceful atmosphere. The fisherman’s village in Bophut is especially nice for it’s pedestrianized walking street parallel with the beach and home to numerous chic and fancy dining and cocktails bars.

Secluded beaches in Koh Samui include Thongson beach and Choeng Mon in north east Koh Samui. Coral Cove beach and Crystal Bay are also peaceful beaches and are both located somewhere between Chaweng and Lamai.

Chaweng Beach

Chaweng beach in Koh Samui. Tourists walking on tropical white sand beach.
Chaweng beach at around noon

Located on Koh Samui’s east coast and stretching for over 8km, Chaweng Beach is the most popular beach on Koh Samui and also the largest on the island. It’s a long stretch of white sand spilling into some of the clearest waters you’ll come across on the island.

Chaweng beach and the surrounding area is the most developed and consequentially the busiest part of Koh Samui. The area close to The Green Mango Club is particularly busy. The nearby beach road that runs parallel with the bay is lined with a cluster of massage shops, clubs, resorts and restaurants which extend onto the beach with tables and sun loungers. This part of Chaweng beach can feel overcrowded.

Moving north or even south from here, even just a short 10 to 15 minute walk, the beach is much more enjoyable and amenities don’t feel suffocated by such a cluster of options.

You May also like to read this → Best Beach Resorts in Chaweng

Things to do in Chaweng

Best places to stay – Chaweng Beach

Elephant Beach Club

Lively: Chaweng beach has various areas which are all different. If you want to be in the liveliest area, then definitely check out → Elephant Beach Club or for something cheaper → The Stay Chaweng.

Convenient: Moving north will be more quiet and there are some mid to high end beach front resorts. Take a look at → Chaweng Regent Beach Resort and for beachfront affordability → Lub d.

Quiet: Chaweng Noi in the southern area is a secluded part of Chaweng. There’s a really gorgeous beach which usually has calmer and often clearer waters. Resorts are also very affordable. These are 2 top recommendations → The Fair House Beach Resort and Hotel and → Sheraton Samui Resort in the mid range.

Related article: →Best area to stay in Koh Samui

Lamai Beach

A white sandy beach with emerald water and rock formations
The southern part of Lamai beach

Also located on the popular east coast of Koh Samui is Lamai beach. It’s a gorgeous beach and a favorite beachside destination in Koh Samui especially with families and couples. The beach itself is welcoming and isn’t busy. The bigger grain sand slopes down into the water and in most parts is shallow for some distance which is perfect if you have small kids. The water isn’t as nice as that in Chaweng as for some reason it isn’t as clear.

The main beach area is somewhere in the middle of the 2.5 km beach. Here you’ll find various dining and accommodation options and a in certain areas even bars. While the amenities are all there, it isn’t a crowded place and the beach is long extending all the way to the famous Hin Ta – Hin Yai rock formations in southern part. If you plan to stay in Lamai, this could be a very good option as accommodation and even dining options are cheaper than those in more popular areas.

Things to do in Lamai

  • Check out Hin Ta – Hin Yai rock formations.
  • Ride up to the Jungle Club or even better, → spend a night there.
  • Visit the local food market along the main tourist road.
  • Get lost in the jungle on this →adventurous ATV tour
  • Try a →cooking class if you have the time

Best places to stay – Lamai Beach

Am Samui Palace Hotel

A lot of tourists prefer staying near Lamai beach because there is all the amenities and great restaurants, bars and even nightlife yet the atmosphere is still rather peaceful. Also, accommodation in Lamai is cheaper and not as spread out as Chaweng, so easy to walk from your hotel to most of the restaurants and bars and there’s also 2 markets.

The Hive Hotel has a pool area that extend directly onto Lamai beach and rooms start at a very moderate price. Another option is → Am Samui Palace Hotel which has a huge pool and the beach is their backyard and rooms start from just $55. If you want to get pampered and don’t mind splurging a little then definitely check into → Ammatara Pura Pool Villa.

Bophut Beach

Bophut beach in Koh Samui. A beach with sand spilling into crystal clear water
When we visited Bophut early morning there was almost nobody

Located along the northern coast, Bo Phut is the best beach in Koh Samui for an idyllic and peaceful atmosphere. Directly facing the calm waters with a silhouette in the background of the mountains on Koh Phangan island and one of the best maintained tourist streets on the island.

The grainy bay is lined with a number of really dining options some offering on the beach dining. Chic cafes and cocktail bars along with beach lounges and upper end accommodation is what you can expect. Bophut is most famous for the fisherman’s village area which is an upscale street parallel to the beach where old houses have been converted into fancy dining and entertainment places. So while the beach itself may not be the most beautiful, the surrounding area, the atmosphere and exclusive dining and entertainment options definitely make up for it.

Things to do in Bophut

  • Enjoy the peaceful beach – it’s magical in the morning
  • Taste the best pizza and pasta at Gusto Italiano
  • Watch the evening fire show at Coco Tams
  • Reserve your spot on this → romantic evening cruise
  • Visit the evening night market
  • Visit the Big Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Yai)

Best places to stay – Bophut Beach

A beach resort with umbrellas and loungers near the beach and palm trees in the background
Hansar Resort Samui

The fisherman’s village is a very peaceful neighborhood in Koh Samui. Here you’ll find the idyllic atmosphere and most loved area with families and couples. The pedestrianized tourist street is home to a number of really good international cuisine and chic cocktail bars that most often extend on the beach. Accommodation is mostly mid to high end but there is still affordable options.

Hansar Resort Samui brings together luxury with affordability and is located directly on the beach. If you don’t mind splurging a little then definitely take a look at → Anantara. As a personal favorite affordable option I would have to recommend → Pico Samui.

Silver Beach (Crystal Bay)

Jacqueline swimming at a beach surrounded with lush mountains
Silver beach is really peaceful and is rarely busy

Silver beach (or crystal beach) is a beach nestled in a cove that stretches just 250m. While small, the setting is what you’d expect from a tropical paradise. A lush landscape wraps around the cove and powdery white sand spills into calm azure waters framed by limestone rocks. Shady patches are created by the waving coconut palms and trees.

There’s 4 resorts that seem to blend in the natural landscape and really obstructing the gorgeous setting and they don’t occupy much of the beach with deck chairs. Partly due to the resorts, silver beach remains somewhat hidden away and doesn’t really get that busy. If you make here early you’ll have a front row seat for the an amazing sunrise.

Best places to stay – Silver Beach

Sun loungers near a pool
Silver Beach Resort

Silver Beach or also referred to as Crystal Bay is a very small beach. There is just a handful of accommodation here which is just perfect because this maintains a peaceful atmosphere. Some accommodation are directly on the beach while other are sort nestled on the nearby hills. → Banyan Tree Samui is an exclusive resort located near Silver Beach.

Regardless of your budget, the accommodation in Silver beach is very affordable and most rooms start for less than $50 a night. Our favorite is →La Mer Samui Resort. Other options include →Crystal Bay Yacht Club Beach Resort and also check out →Silver Beach Resort.

Coral Cove

Coral cove beach in Koh Samui. A curved beach surrounded in lush greenery and rock formation in the immediate ocean
Coral Cove beach is similar to Silver Beach but even more peaceful

Just off the busy main road that connects Chaweng to Lamai there’s Coral Cove. A small banana shaped bay with not much going on but equally gorgeous. There’s a small pop up stall on the bay where you can grab a fresh smoothy and relax to to sound of water lapping on the sand.

The beach is similar to Silver beach and the setting is almost identical. However, while both beaches are pretty laid back and rarely get busy, coral cove is a more quiet beach in Koh Samui. There’s a couple of resorts tucked away in the lush greenery around the bay. It’s secluded and quiet and both Chaweng and Lamai are just a 15 minute drive away. It’s the perfect for peace and quiet and early morning swims with nobody around.

Best places to stay – Coral Cove

A resort with bungalows surrounding a pool and nestled in the jungle
Coral Cliff Beach Resort Samui

Accommodation in Coral Cove beach is quite limited since it is after all a very laid back spot. However there are a few options and what you’ll get is a really peaceful atmosphere surrounded by lush greenery and a gorgeous beach.

Coral Cove Resort is a gorgeous property nestled on the side of the hills and just a short walk to the beach. Another option is →Coral Cliff Beach Resort Samui featuring a pool looking over the bay and beautiful sea-view rooms surrounded with lush jungle.

Choeng Mon

Choeng Mon beach in north east Koh Samui is an idyllic beach with fine sand and upscale properties
Choeng Mon beach is gorgeous especially early in the morning

Nestled on a curving bay on the North eastern tip of Koh Samui, Choeng Mon beach and all the surrounding area is simply beautiful. It’s a quiet area that has nothing similar to the more popular areas like Chaweng and Lamai. There’s lot’s of amenities including restaurants, bars and convenience. But the area is sparsely developed and really welcoming.

The main beach here is Choeng Mon bay. It’s a tranquil spot with some really luxurious resorts and also fancy on the beach private villas. While the beach isn’t very big, it doesn’t get crowded. The water is nice and calm and clear. It’s also shallow for quite a distance so perfect if you have small kids. If you stay in one of the resorts, you’ll always be treated to entertainment in the evenings.

Best places to stay – Choeng Mon

A pool with villas in the background
SALA Samui Choengmon Beach

If you don’t mind splurging a little, Choeng Mon offers a range of mid to high-end accommodation which are located directly on the beach. There’s also the possibility to find cheaper accommodation but this will usually be in the village yet still close enough to the beach.

SALA Samui Choengmon Beach would be the top choice as it’s located directly on the beach, has a pool and luxurious rooms and over 2K reviews have rated this as an exceptional resort. In the same price range is →Melia Koh Samui which is also on the beach and equally luxurious. The most affordable option that is also on the beach, has a pool and is also highly rated is →PS Thana Resort with rooms starting at around $50.

Thongson Beach

A pretty bay in Thongson Koh Samui surrounded in lush greenery
The water is shallow at Thongson which is perfect for families with kids

Thongson bay is located on the tip of the peninsula in North East Koh Samui. It’s often overlooked for some reason. Maybe because it’s a secluded area and there isn’t much do up there. The beach itself is probably the most beautiful I have seen in Koh Samui. I accidentally came across it when zooming on google maps around Koh Samui coast and in satellite view.

The beach itself is at the end of a winding road that turn into a dirt road and that finally becomes a beach. The water is crystal clear, the sand is powdery, there some rocks on both ends of the bay and really nice resort room nestled in the trees on both sides. Thongson is a really laid back beach with a basic beach bar and low key resorts both on the beach or overlooking the beach. It’s literal paradise up there. the perfect place to visit for half a day or maybe even spend a couple of nights.

Note: “right next to Thongson beach there is a naturist beach (nudist beach). I did not go so cannot say what the beach is like”

Best places to stay – Thongson Beach

A woman getting a massage near the beach
Melati Beach Resort

While Thongson Beach is secluded, there are various options when it comes to places to stay. →Melati Beach Resort is a gorgeous property complete with a pool almost directly on the beach and fancy rooms. If you don’t mind staying being a short walk from the beach take a look at →Daniel’s Home or even this incredible →Villa with sea views.

Lipa Noi Beach

On Koh Samui’s west coast, the long, curved beach of Lipa Noi is probably the most famous on this side of the island. But by no means is it busy here. In fact, there is just a handful accommodation and pretty much the beach entirely lined with trees and palms.

It’s a pretty beach that reflects a laid back tropical setting. Perfect for cool and exotic photography. While not popular and the beach isn’t that great for swimming, come here before the sun goes down and you’ll be treated to one of the most beautiful sunsets. The sky turns from blue to pink, to yellow and various hues and shades until the sun final dips behind the horizon.

There’s a few accommodation to choose from on the beach which generally have cheaper entry point due to the location.

Best places to stay – Lipa Noi

A pool in front of a bungalow and surrounded with tropical trees
Melati Beach Resort

Nikki Beach in Lipa Noi is arguably the most famous resort on this part of the island. It’s an upscale property famous for it’s pool and Sunset cocktail bar. →The Siam Residence Boutique Resort is also an excellent options with rooms in the mid range area. And →Viva Vacation Resort offers spacious rooms at an affordable price and there is also a pool onsite.

FAQ’s about the beaches in Koh Samui

Which is the best beach area to stay in Koh Samui?

Bophut is a favorite destination with families and couples who don’t mind splurging a little. Also →Lamai offers a broad appeal and attracts a range of tourists for its affordable accommodation and various eating and entertainment. Meanwhile →Chaweng is the most popular destination and you’re never too far from anything.


Which beach is best in Koh Samui?

All in all, Chaweng and Bophut are the best beaches in Koh Samui. There’s various amenities nearby and the beaches are both clean and have calm waters. However, without regarding any amenities the most stunning beach itself would have to be Thongson beach.


Is Chaweng or Lamai beach better?

Chaweng beach has powdery white sand, calm waters and the water is also crystal clear. At Lamai beach the sand is grainy and the water is blurry which isn’t very inviting.


Can you walk from Chaweng to Lamai?

Walking from Chaweng to Lamai will take around 3 hours. While it is possible, it’s not very sensible and also most of the route will be along a main-road with no side walk which isn’t very safe.


What are the best things to do in Koh Samui?

When you’re tired of laying on the beach and beach hopping, Koh Samui has a ton of fun and interesting things to do.

Rent a scooter: This is a must for any tropical island. Just hop onto a scooter and drive your way around the island. Cruise along Koh Samui’s island and inch your way up the steep hills, your ears will pop a few times on your way up and the air is also a lot cooler. You can visit the secret Buddha Garden while you’re in the mountains.

Visit the Big Buddha: The big Buddha sits in the Bophut area tower at around 20 meters. In this area there are various other temples and Buddha statues to visit.

Cooking class: Everyone loves Thai food (at least I guess) a cooking class throws you straight into this experience and you’ll learn the techniques and ingredients to put together the best dishes. →check out this highly rated class

Pig Island: Koh Samui is surrounded with an archipelago of islands. One of them is Koh Madsum or Pig island. Here you’ll meet various pigs on the tropical beach and swim in the calm clear water. →check out this tour here

Angthong Marine park: There’s a cluster of over 40 islands in this archipelago and some even have their own lagoon. There’s a thriving marine life beneath the water. You can book an all inclusive tour that will include the boat ride from Koh Samui, snorkeling, kayaking, lunch and even refreshments throughout the day. →check out this tour here


Conclusion

You have reached the end of this informative guide about the best beaches in Koh Samui Thailand. This article covered all the Koh Samui best beaches that are worth considering and we also provided various suggestions about things to do in Koh Samui and in each individual area.

If you are ready to plan your Koh Samui holiday and you like any of the hotels or accommodation that we recommended, make sure to book in advance so secure your dream hotel. We have found that for stays over 3 days it is a lot harder to find available options especially if searching for a 1 week stay or even more the chances are quite slim.

Well I do hope this guide will help you plan your trip and decide which are those beaches you like most. Happy planning and happy holiday!

HEY, just so you know…

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