The island of Koh Samui is ringed with beaches. Which ones should you visit? Use this guide to pick the best Koh Samui beach for you.
This beach is the island’s most popular and has plenty of hotels, restaurants and shops nearby. The 4 mile swath of soft sand fringed with coconut trees has the clearest water to be found on Koh Samui but is often packed with tourists, vendors and people doing all sorts of water sports. You won’t find much rest and relaxation, but it’s convenient and fun for those who like having lots of activity buzzing around them.
Lamai BeachThis beach just south of Chaweng offers a good balance for those searching for a convenient beach that’s not too hectic. Although there are plenty of places to stay in all price ranges, lots of restaurants and a healthy nightlife, Lamai Beach isn’t as crowded as Chaweng.
Bophut BeachThis beach on the northern part of the island is less developed than either Chaweng or Lamai and still has the relaxed, hippy feeling that made Koh Samui so popular decades ago. Those searching for peace and quiet will still have to contend with jet skis but it’s as close to peaceful as you’ll find on Ko Samui. The charming fisherman’s village just behind the beach is worth visiting even if you’re not staying, or swimming, here.
Mae Nam BeachLots of inexpensive bungalows, a handful of five star resorts and a quiet, pretty beach make Mae Nam the best beach on Koh Samui for those who want to relax and recharge. The view of neighboring island Koh Phangan from the beach is just another reason Mae Nam is such a nice spot. Though it’s quiet here, there are still plenty of spots to eat and drink.
Big Buddha BeachThis beach close to the Samui Airport is home to Ko Samui’s best-known landmark, a 35-foot Buddha statue overlooking the ocean. The beach itself is less crowded than others but less scenic, since there’s often a lot of boat traffic. Still, it’s a great beach to stay at if you’re looking for budget accommodations.