Koh Samui beaches are renowned the world over for their pristine white sands and welcoming azure waters. Bordered by swaying coconut trees on one side and lapped by the Gulf of Thailand on the other. They are precisely the picture-postcard beaches you see in adverts for tropical vacations. Dotted around the island are many gorgeous stretches, each with their own character and unique attributes.
Most of them offer everything you could want or need from a day by the sea: lounge chairs and umbrellas, cafes, massage tents, street food sellers, water sport purveyors, etc. And while some play host to raucous nighttime parties, others are entirely deserted. Whether you’re just looking for a sunbathing spot for the day or want to find the best Chaweng beachfront hotel to make home during your vacation, we can help. Below we’ve listed out our top four Samui beach recommendations: Bophut, Chaweng, Maenam, LipaNoi.
Bophut Beach spans several kilometers between Big Buddha and Maenam Beach. Along the way, it sweeps past Fisherman’s Village, one of the most quaint and well-preserved cultural spots on the island. Despite being lined by rustic 20th-Century wooden Chinese shop-houses, the place permeates a colorful European feel; due in most part to its being a former French outpost.
Once you’re over window shopping and snacking, at the beach you can find several dive shops offering scuba lessons and day trips to the islands, such as Ang Thong Marine Park. The area also plays host to some other lively activities, such as ziplining, go-karting, mini-golf, and crocodile feeding!
It’s no big surprise that the island’s biggest and best town has grown up around the island’s loveliest beach: Chaweng. In addition to an abundance of accommodation options, from budget to high-end, Chaweng is also the island’s nightlife epicenter, providing patrons with a plethora of bars and restaurants to choose from.
Whether you’re staying at a Chaweng beachfront hotel or just tripping by for the day, you’ll find plenty to amuse along the nearly three-kilometer long main strip. From local eateries and fast food chains to Irish pubs and coffee shops, there is something for everyone. When you’re in the mood for cheerful beachside fun, Chaweng is the place to be!
If you’re on a tight budget or prefer to be away from the hustle and bustle of busier beaches like Chaweng and Bophut, Maenam Beach will be the right destination for you. Tucked away at the end of a long, winding pathway and with stunning views of Koh Phangan, Maenam is a secluded oasis with oodles of charm.
For long-term residents, a few weeks spent here in a cheap ‘n’ cheerful seaside bungalow will be magical. Unlike its flashier cousins, Maenam is low-key in all respects; don’t expect to find an abundance of amenities and services at your disposal. There are shops, bars, massage parlors, manicurists, and restaurants, of course, but they are limited. This is the kind of spot you seek out to get away from the crowds and find your pristine place in the sand.
There are three good reasons why LipaNoi is a popular destination on the island. Firstly, its closeness to the island’s main car ferry pier makes it a convenient choice for anyone driving to Samui from the mainland. Secondly, the water is very shallow, as far out as 100 meters, making it ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving. The beach also has no rocks or coral lurking beneath, making it the best beaches for children.
For those of you seeking a more therapeutic and rejuvenating island getaway, LipaNoi is also home to the Samui Dhama Healing Centre, a detox, weight loss, fasting, and spiritual healing wellness center. Beyond the beach, there isn’t a lot to do here, which is part of its appeal to most visitors.