Koh Samui is a rather large island, with a drive around the island taking an hour. Along the way, you’ll find many beautiful beaches, so you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to picking a spot to catch the sea breeze.
Each beach is different in its own way, some attracting older travelers seeking peace and privacy, while the main beaches attract backpackers and younger crowds wanting to party the night away.
On this page, I’ll show and describe the top 12 beaches in Koh Samui, so that you can see which ones appeal to you the most for either a stay, or a visit.
Chaweng is Koh Samui’s busiest and most popular beach. It is also the biggest, with a 7 km stretch of soft white sand. This beach offers more options for accommodation than other areas on the island, and is also home to many bars and restaurants.
If you’re keen to check out the nightlife on Koh Samui, Chaweng is the place to be. Head to the Green Mango Strip to bar-hop and dance the night away in the clubs lining the street 🙂
Lamai Beach is Koh Samui’s second most popular beach, located half an hour away from Chaweng. It’s still a lively area, yet much quieter compared to Chaweng, with more affordable beach resorts.
While the beach is laid back in the day, it becomes more lively at night with the Lamai night market. Lamai Beach is also where you’ll find the famous “Hin Ta and Hin Yai rocks”, which resemble male and female genitals.
Maenam is a secluded and spacious beach with a good mix of budget, mid-range, and luxury accommodation. There are a variety of restaurants, though everything is closed and quiet by 10-11 pm. So it’s a good choice if you’re looking for a more serene location.
Bo Phut Beach
Bo Phut is a peaceful, 2 km long beach which is home to Fisherman’s Village, once an actual village for fishers that has now been transformed into rows of boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants.
The beach area is a great place to swim and relax, or even try water sports like jet skiing, wakeboarding, and fly boarding. You can also find boat tours or day dives to Ang Thong Marine Park, Sail Rock and Koh Tao Island from Bo Phut.
Choeng Mon Beach
Choeng Mon is a quieter, more upscale beach consisting of a several bays on the northeast of Koh Samui. The relaxed ambiance, beautiful sunsets, and soft, white sand make it a great choice for a base if you’re there for a peaceful trip.
Although quiet, Choeng Mon has a village just a short walk away where you can buy anything you need. It’s also relatively close to Koh Samui Airport, so your beach vacation can start even sooner 🙂
Lipa Noi Beach
Lipa Noi is considered to be the best beach for kids, as the waters are very shallow without any rocks or corals. It’s rather remote compared to other beaches, so it’s popular for couples and families seeking a bit of peace and quiet.
If you’re driving to Koh Samui from the mainland, Lipa Noi is a good choice to consider as it’s located near the island’s car ferry pier.
Ban Tai Beach
Ban Tai Beach is a 2 km strip of sand, located between the more popular beaches of Maenam and Bang Po. It is lined with palm trees, dotted with a few hotels and small beach bars and restaurants.
Although it’s small and quiet, Ban Tai is relatively near to Maenam. This means you can walk to events such as the weekly Maenam Walking Street every Thursday, but still return to this sandy haven.
Taling Ngam Beach
Taling Ngam is considered one of the most beautiful beaches on Koh Samui, surrounded by palm trees and offering views of beautiful sunsets and the Anthong Marine National Park.
It’s best enjoyed if you have your own transport, as it is located at a rather secluded corner. Dining and entertainment options are available at Nathon town, 20-30 minutes away, or Lipa Noi and Thong Krut Beach. But if a lazy, peaceful vacation is what you’re after, try Taling Ngam 🙂
Bangrak Beach is also commonly known as Big Buddha Beach, named so after Koh Samui’s most popular tourist attraction – a big Buddha statue at the northern end of the beach.
If you’d like easy access to popular bars and clubs in Chaweng but prefer to stay somewhere quieter, give Bangrak a try. It’s also the best place to be based if you’re planning to experience a Full Moon Party at Koh Pha Ngan, as it’s the most convenient place to get a boat to the island!
Bang Po Beach
Bang Po is one of Koh Samui’s biggest beaches, at almost 6 km in length. It’s quiet and clean, with a small coral reef not too far out which makes it a good place for snorkeling.
As it’s not as busy and developed as beaches like Chaweng and Lamai, Bang Po is a great choice for those looking for a relaxing vacation. The great views of Koh Pha Ngan island from the beach are also a plus 🙂
Although Thongtakian Beach is only about 400 meters long, it is one of Koh Samui’s most attractive beaches. It’s also known as Silver Beach, because of its soft, white sand.
Thongtakian can only be accessed via one of the hotels on its shores, so it’s best to book a place here to enjoy the beach. It’s popular with couples, newlyweds or families who want some privacy.
Laem Yai Beach
Laem Yai is a small beach located next to Bang Po. As it’s rather isolated, not many people visit it, so it’s a good choice if you just want a patch of sand to yourself.
If you choose Laem Yai as your base, it’s best to have your own transport, or book tours from your hotel to visit sights around the island. But it’s best to be back by sunset, as sunsets from this beach are some of the best on Koh Samui 🙂
As you can see, there’s a beach for everyone on Koh Samui. Whether it’s watersports and lively nightlife that you’re looking for, or a beach vacation just for lazing around all day, this list should help you pick the right beach.