Koh Samui is still one of the best islands for foreigners to visit in Thailand and it’s very different to the beaches near Bangkok. And as the second largest island overall – it’s half the size of the largest island Phuket, and a similar size to Koh Chang – it has a ton of beaches to offer.
Considered to be one of the safest islands in the region, it’s a must visit if you’re going to be in Thailand for any extended period of time. But which are the best beaches on the island? Well, let’s take a look at some of the top options you have when you get to Koh Samui.
Best Beaches in Koh Samui
Koh Samui is located off the east coast of Thailand. It is north of Koh Phangan and Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand. Koh Samui is situated just south of the Tropic of Cancer, which means that it has a tropical climate with little seasonal variation in temperature and no wet or dry season.
The daytime temperatures are generally high with an average monthly high around 32° C (89° F) in December to February, while nighttime temperatures are slightly lower with an average low around 27 °C (81 °F). Koh Samui has three distinctive seasons: cool, hot and rainy.
The coolest months are from November through February while June through October is the hottest period. April also tends to have hot weather – but hey, less about the weather and more about the beaches, right?
As well known for the town that surrounds it, Chaweng beach is one of the most well known places to visit when you arrive on Koh Samui. The beach here is definitely worth visiting, but it’s also a good place to go if you enjoy a vibrant nightlife too.
Located on the East coast of the island, it isn’t too far from the airport in Koh Samui. There’s a reason why the town here is so busy – the beautiful white beach coastline stretches a few kilometers long, and it’s undoubtedly one of the best beaches in the whole of Thailand. If you want to relax, then head to the North end of the beach. And if you want to try your hand at surfing, then you can head down to the South of the beach instead.
As you’d expect in a relatively busy area, there’s a ton of different accommodation options for you to explore here. So, if you’re looking for a good beach combined with the best nightlife on the island, settling in Chaweng is a smart idea.
If you travel further down the East coast of Samui past Chaweng, you’ll end up arriving at Silver Beach. Although this beach is only 250m long, many think it to be one of the best beaches on Koh Samui.
For some reason, even though the beach is pretty small, it’s never as crowded as other beaches on the island. This is a bit of a mystery, as it undoubtedly has some of the best restaurants on the island just a few meters away from the beach itself. The water is nice and clear, so it’s a good place to go if you want to go for a swim.
This is also one of the most popular snorkelling spots on the island too, so if you’d like to try your hand at this then it’s a great place to stop. If you prefer a relaxed vibe to the business of Samui, then this is a must.
Travelling even further down the coast of Koh Samui will take you to Lamai beach. Again, this is a lot less busy than beaches like Chaweng, so it’s perfect if you want to just relax. It’s also one of the better places on the island if you’re looking for somewhere for the whole family to visit as well, as it’s suitable for children as well as adults.
Another reason to stop at Lamui beach? The abundance of good restaurants here are worth visiting alone, with some excellent seafood choices nearby to the beach. The beach itself is very sandy with very little amount of rocks, and it’s easy to find a spot that’s quiet. It’s a good alternative to the busier beaches on the island.
Ban Tai Beach
Now to the opposite side of the island, Ban Tai beach is located on the North side of the island. It’s another one of the best beaches on the island if you’re looking for somewhere to go as a family. As well as being an area where tourists visit, it’s also often frequented by the locals of the island, which is a testament to it’s quality.
This quiet and secluded beach is a good one if you want to find somewhere to swim. The clear waters are perfect for taking a dip in the sea, and there are only two or three restaurants here to visit – but they offer good food. Overall, if you prefer to avoid the most touristy areas, then make sure you stop at Ban Tai beach.
Another beach on the North of the island, Bophut beach is perfect for relaxing and romantic strolls along the seafront. The beach itself is very clean, and it has a great view of the neighbouring island Koh Phangan.
This beach is a good mix of quietness and business – there are areas of it which are quite crowded sometimes, but you can usually find a more tranquil spot on the beach. Bear in mind this beach is a little off the map, and it’s not the easiest one to find. You there isn’t the same accessibility as other beaches in the area, so don’t give up on getting there!
This is a must visit if you’re visiting Koh Samui, and it’s not too far from the airport either, so there’s no excuse not to go.
Quite near to the aforementioned Bophut beach, you can also find Maenam beach along the North shore of the island too. This beach is many kilometers long, and with beautiful and soft sand, it’s another peaceful beauty on Samui.
Although parts of the island have a party reputation, Maenam is a good example of why it’s a great place for families to visit too. There are many temples near the beach, but not much in the way of restaurants and places to eat. Whilst perhaps not the best beach on the island, it’s definitely still worth a visit.
Overall, there are many different beaches around the shorelines of Koh Samui that’s it’s difficult to know which would be the best for you. Whilst many younger folk looking for activities love the beautiful stretch of sand across the East of Chaweng, there are so many other beaches here that it would be a shame to spend all of your time there.