Updated: February 2024
Looking for the best beaches in Koh Samui? Check out this ultimate beach guide outlining and reviewing every single beach in Koh Samui! In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about all of the beaches in Koh Samui — whether they are suitable beaches for swimming for adults and children, what beach activities are available, plus find out fun things to do in the local surrounding areas.
Click on the link to jump right to the area:
- North Koh Samui: Big Buddha beach | Maenam beach | Choeng Mon beach | Ban Thai beach | Plai Laem beach | Samrong Bay beach | Thong Plu Bay beach | Tong Sai Bay beach | Thongson Bay beach
- South Koh Samui: Bang Kao beach | Lamai beach | Natien beach | Nahai beach | Taling Ngam beach | Pang Ka beach | Thong Krut beach | Thong Tanote beach | Hua Thanon beach
- West Koh Samui: Bang Po beach | Nathon beach | Lipa Noi beach | Bang Makham beach
- East Koh Samui: Coral Cove beach | Laem Nan beach | Thongtakian beach | Chaweng beach | Chaweng Noi beach | Bophut beach
Beaches in the North of Koh Samui
Bang Rak Beach (Big Buddha Beach)
About Bang Rak/Big Buddha Beach
Bang Rak (or Big Buddha Beach) in the north-east of Samui is a bay approximately 4 km in length. The water at Bang Rak is murky and cloudy for most of the year and is not ideal for swimming. However, the beach itself has plenty of different sections to explore and is pretty much deserted at all times during the day. There is also a variety of local food stalls and seafood restaurants in the area for you to enjoy.
Swimming at Bang Rak/Big Buddha Beach
Unsuitable for swimming as the seabed consists of coral and rocks and the water is murky and cloudy for most of the year.
Things To Do Near Bang Rak/Big Buddha Beach
- Big Buddha and Wat Phra Yai Temple
- Wat Nuan Naram Temple
- Fish market in Bang Rak
- Avenue of lanterns in the town centre
Maenam Beach – A popular family spot
About Maenam Beach
Maenam beach in the north of the island is one of the more popular beaches on Koh Samui. It is approximately 4kms in length and Maenam’s picturesque tropical landscape combined with its ideal swimming conditions make it the perfect spot to spend the day for people of all ages. There is also plenty of shops, restaurants and beach vendors in Maenam catering to all your needs.
Swimming at Maenam Beach
Swimming at Maenam is good for people of all ages.
Things To Do Near Maenam Beach
- Day trips to two neighbouring islands (Ang Thong National Marine Park)
- Buffalo Fighting Stadium
- Walking street and weekend night market
- ‘Full Moon Party’ on nearby Koh Phangan island
- Day trip to Ang Tong National marine park
- Day trip in private long-tail boat to nearby islands Tao and Nang-Yuam
- Visit temples Wat Phukhao Thong and Wat Na Phra Lan
Choeng Mon Beach – Relaxing atmosphere
About Choeng Mon Beach
Choeng Mon Beach is situated just north of Chaweng and is a hidden gem along the northern tip of Samui island. Choeng Mon is found in a bay of the same name and provides a more relaxing beach experience compared to the busy areas of Chaweng and Lamai. The water is typically quite clear here for most of the year which makes it an ideal place for swimming. And you will find everything you need here to enjoy a full day at Choeng Mon without having to venture too far away from the beach – including a good selection of local cafes, restaurants and beach vendors.
Swimming at Choeng Mon Beach
Swimming Choeng Mon Beach is suitable for people of all ages.
Things To Do Near Choeng Mon Beach
- Diving lessons available
- Koh Samui Crocodile Farm
- Mini-golf course
- Visit the Great Buddha, Wat Nuan Naram and Wat Phra Yai Temple
- Check out Choeng Mon Travel Guide for Samui Vacationers for more
Check out our Choeng Mon Beach villas.
Ban Thai Beach – A hidden spot in Koh Samui
About Ban Thai Beach
Ban Tai is a relatively small beach and for the most part, unknown to a majority of the general public as it is very rarely included on local maps. However, those who those who do visit always call it a secret hidden paradise in the far north of Koh Samui. With fewer crowds, clear tropical waters and a serene palm tree-lined waterfront, Ban Tai is the perfect spot to escape the madness of some of the more populated beaches on the island. Ban Thai is situated between Maenam and Bang Po beaches.
Swimming at Ban Thai Beach
The water at Ban Thai Beach is normally clear and provides excellent opportunities for both swimming and snorkelling.
Things To Do Near Ban Thai Beach
- Wat Sisu Wanna Ram Temple
- Pier ‘Lomprayah’
- Wat Na Phra Lan Temple
- Ang Thong National Marine Park
- Snorkelling on the islands Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan
Plai Laem Beach – For captivating photo backdrops
About Plai Laem Beach
Plai Lem beach is situated at the very top of Samui island in the north and provides a very authentic local Thai experience for those who visit. The beach is relatively undeveloped and is approximately 2kms in length. The water here is shallow and the ocean floor consists of rocks and corals – so not ideal for swimming. But a great place for those picturesque tropical island holiday photos.
Swimming at Plai Laem Beach
Swimming at Plai Laem Beach is not ideal.
Things To Do Near Plai Laem Beach
- Big Buddha Temple
- Nuan Naram temple (Plai Laem temple)
- Mini-golf course (nearby)
Samrong Bay Beach – A tiny hidden spot
About Samrong Bay Beach
Samrong Bay Beach is tiny in size at only 200 meters in length. It is ‘hidden’ between two rocky cliffs which are densely covered with lush green tropical vegetation. The sand here is fine, soft and pleasant to walk/relax on. And once you make it past the rocky shoreline, Samrong Bay Beach provides good swimming and snorkelling conditions.
Swimming at Samrong Bay Beach
The ocean at Samrong Bay beach provides good opportunities for both swimming and snorkelling.
Things To Do Samrong Bay Beach
- Kayak hire
- Beach volleyball
- Hire a long-tail boat to explore the coastline
Thong Plu Bay Beach – Laid-back atmosphere
About Thong Plu Bay Beach
Thong Plu Bay beach on the north-western coast of Samui is an isolated beach with not much development in the area (bars, clubs, restaurants, etc). This provides a very laid-back atmosphere, far different from the more popular tourist beaches on the island. Thong Plu Beach is a great place for families to hang out and relax for the day as the shallow water provides suitable conditions for both adult and children (beware of rocks in some areas along the beach).
Swimming at Thong Plu Bay Beach
The ocean at Thong Plu Bay beach is suitable for swimming for people of all ages (underwater rocks in some areas)
Things To Do Near Thong Plu Bay Beach
- Kayak for hire (in peak season only)
- Beautiful views at Sunset
Tong Sai Bay Beach
About Tong Sai Bay Beach
Tong Sai Bay Beach is only 100 meters in length and is one of the smallest beaches on Samui. It is located up in the north-east coastline and is fairly isolated from the busier tourist areas. Swimming is good at Tong Sai Beach however, it is recommended young children be supervised at all times as the ocean drops off quite rapidly from the shoreline – meaning it gets deep very quickly.
Swimming at Tong Sai Beach
Swimming is suitable at Tong Sai Bay Beach for people of all ages.
Things To Do Near Tong Sai Beach
- Lunch at Tong Sai Bay Beach Resort
- Private long-tail boat hire to explore the coastline
Thongson Bay Beach – family-friendly beach
About Thongson Bay Beach
Thongson Bay near cape Plai Laem, in the most northern point of Koh Samui, is an isolated beach away from the crowds. Here you can enjoy a relaxing atmosphere, with ideal swimming conditions for children and people of all ages. Close to the palm-lined shores of Thongson Bay beach, you will find plenty of natural shade under the trees, as well as a selection of beach chairs and umbrellas for rent.
Swimming at Thongson Bay Beach
Swimming at Thongson Bay Beach is suitable for children and people of all ages.
Things To Do Near Thongson Bay Beach
- Explore the coastline in private long-tail hire boat
Beaches in the South of Koh Samui
Bang Kao Beach – Relaxed atmosphere
About Bang Kao Beach
Located on the less-developed south coast of Koh Samui Island, Bang Kao Beach provides a more relaxed atmosphere than the much busier areas of Chaweng and Lamai. It is a wide sweeping beach on the south coast of Koh Samui, in the bay of the same name. The entire length of the beach is restricted by two capes (Laem Set in the east and Laem Sor in the west). In total, Bang Kao beach stretches more than 3.5 km along the southern coast of the Koh Samui island.
Swimming at Bang Kao Beach
The water is very shallow for most of the day, and the stony/muddy sand bed and not suitable for swimming.
Things To Do Near Bang Kao Beach
- Day trips to two smaller neighbouring islands (Tean Island and Koh Mat Sum)
- Rum Distillery
- Pagoda Laem Sor
- The statues of Buddha and Pagoda Khao Chedi
- Simahita Yoga Thailand Centre
Want to stay in Bang Kao? Check out our Bang Kao villas.
Lamai Beach – Excellent for swimming
About Lamai Beach
Lamai is a popular tourist beach about 5 km in length, located on the south-east coast of Koh Samui. Conditions for swimming are excellent at Lamai, and there are plenty of beach vendors here supplying everything from beach chairs to rent, local Thai souvenirs and icy cold drinks. Even though it is quite busy here, Lamai beach still has much more of a relaxed vibe than other busy tourist areas like Chaweng Beach.
Swimming at Lamai Beach
Lamai beach provides excellent opportunities for both swimming and snorkelling (for adults and children).
Things To Do Near Lamai Beach
- Grandma and Grandpa Rock ‘Hin Ta Hin Yai’
- Visit Wat Sila Ngu temple
- Shopping at a local night market
- Thai boxing tournaments at the local arena
- Spas and beauty salons
- Go-go bars and night entertainment
- Wat Lamai Cultural Hall
Natien Beach – Insta-worthy beach on Koh Samui
About Natien Beach
Natien Beach is located along the southern coast of Koh Samui near cape Laem Set. The palm tree lined beach and boulder formations at Natien provide stunning backdrops for Instagram. And the sand at Natien beach consists of fine white, powdery sand – which is a pleasure to walk on. Wading around in knee-deep water close to the shore is possible here however, swimming is not great as the ocean at Natien is very shallow and there is lots of exposed rocks/coral in the area.
Swimming at Natien Beach
Not ideal for swimming, but ok for wading/walking around in the shallows.
Things To Do Near Natien Beach
- Buddha’s footprint tourist attraction
- Koh Samui butterfly garden
Nahai Beach – Excellent family spot
About Nahai Beach
Nahai Beach in the south-east of Samui island is only about 2kms in length, but provides plenty of areas to explore. It is a great option if you want to escape the busy tourist crowds of Chaweng or Lamai as there are no bars or clubs here. And the shallow water which stretches hundreds of meters into the ocean is excellent for families and young children to play safely in the ocean.
Swimming at Nahai Beach
Swimming at Nahai beach is suitable for people of all ages.
Things To Do Near Nahai Beach
- Kite-surfing lessons
- Visit Wat Samret Buddhist temple
- Koh Samui Zoo and aquarium (nearby)
Check out our family villas in Koh Samui.
Taling Ngam Beach – Beautiful scenery
About Taling Ngam Beach
Taling Ngam Beach on the south-west coast of Samui is very rocky and not the best beach for relaxing or swimming, However, it’s stunning tropical scenery, amazing views of the sunset and palm tree-lined shoreline still make it a great beach to visit and explore. You can also see the magnificent outline of the world-famous Ang Thong Marine Park off into the horizon.
Swimming at Taling Ngam Beach
Not ideal for swimming.
Things To Do Near Taling Ngam Beach
- Day trips to Ang Thong National Marine Park
- Elephant trekking
- Visit local temples (Wat Nara Charoensuk, Wat Kiri Wongkaram)
- Trek to Namuang waterfalls
Wanna stay in the area? Check out our villas in Taling Ngam.
Pang Ka Beach – Amazing sunset
About Pang Ka Beach
Pang Ka Beach in the south of Samui is a ‘low-tide beach’ with shallow water stretching hundreds of meters out into the ocean. Pang Ka is a beautiful beach with much to explore. And the sunsets from the lookout point at the southern end of the beach are truly amazing! Swimming is possible here however, you may need to walk up towards the estuary to find the best swimming conditions.
Swimming at Pang Ka Beach
Swimming at Pang Ka beach is suitable for swimming for people of all ages.
Things To Do Near Pang Ka Beach
- Koh Samui snake park (nearby)
- Visit Wat Kee Ree Mas temple
- Boat trip down the estuary with local longtail boat hire
Thong Krut Beach
About Thong Krut Beach
Thong Krut Beach is located at the bottom of Samui island along the south coast. This beach is not ideal for swimming as it is primarily a fishing port which is used by local fisherman to store their fishing boats when not in use. However, there are still lots of things to do and see at Thong Krut beach and definitely worth a visit, if you are in the area.
Swimming at Thong Krut Beach
Swimming at Thong Krut is not ideal.
Things To Do Near Thong Krut Beach
- Day trips to neighbouring island (Tean Island)
- Pagoda Laem Sor
- Visit Wat Santi Karam and Wat Kee ree Mas Temple
- Excursion to local pearl farm on Koh Matsum Island
Thong Tanote Beach – Experience Thai culture
About Thong Tanote Beach
Thong Tanote Beach is a small beach at the very southern tip of Samui island. It is a Thai fishing village and provides a relaxing atmosphere for those who wish to experience local Thai culture. You will often see local fishermen going about their daily activities along the beach and they are always curious to greet and chat with tourists who venture into their district.
Swimming at Thong Tanote Beach
Swimming at Thong Tanote Beach is suitable for swimming at high-tide.
Things To Do Near Thong Tanote Beach
- Day trips to nearby Koh Taen and Koh Matsum islands
- Day trips to nearby ‘Five Islands’
- Visit Wat Kee Ree Mas Temple
- Koh Samui Snake Farm (nearby)
Hua Thanon Beach – amazing views for early birds
About Hua Thanon Beach
Located on the less-developed south-eastern coast of Samui, Hua Thanon is not an ideal place for swimming and relaxing at the beach. However, this mainly underdeveloped beach area still provides some unique opportunities to explore the less visited – yet equally beautiful locations around Samui. Here you will see amazing views at sunrise from the shores of Hua Thanon and plenty of open space along the beachfront to explore.
Swimming at Hua Thanon Beach
Swimming at Hua Thanon Beach is not ideal.
Things To Do Near Hua Thanon Beach
- Visit Wat Sila Ngu Temple
- Local Fish market
- Jet-ski and kayak rental (during peak season)
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Beaches in the West of Koh Samui
Bang Po Beach – Suitable for children
About Bang Po Beach
Bang Po is located towards the top of the west coast of Samui Island. It is a beach with light sandy blanket that is soft in texture and perfect for sunbathing or playing with the kids. The beach itself is not very wide (about 20 meters wide). However, the overall length is about 3 kilometres. Throughout its all length – there is still plenty of free space to call your own.
Swimming at Bang Po Beach
The water at Bang Po Beach is normally clear and provides excellent opportunities for both swimming and snorkelling.
Things To Do Near Bang Po Beach
- Buddhist Temple Wat Sisu Wanna
- RamZen Painting Exhibition
- Mountain Viewpoint Bang Por
Nathon Beach – A great place to find cheap souvenirs
About Nathon Beach
Nathon Beach on the west coast of Samui is not an ideal beach for swimming as it is a port side beach. However, there are still plenty of things to do in Nathon that make it a worthy place to visit. The beach itself is a narrow stretch of sand that runs parallel with the main beach road and provides a great location to explore and watch the sunset. There are also some really great options for shopping and buying Thai souvenirs where you will find some of the cheapest prices on the island.
Swimming at Nathon Beach
The sea is not ideal for swimming.
Things To Do Near Nathon Beach
- ‘Walking Street’ and weekend night market along the Nathon beachfront
- Visit the temple and waterfall at Hin Lad
- Day trips to nearby Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan islands
- Night food market at Nathon Pier
- Sunset viewpoint
Tong Yang/ Lipa Noi Beach – Scenic family beach
About Tong Yang/Lipa Noi Beach
Lipa Noi Beach (in Tong Yang Bay) is located near the middle of the west coast of Koh Samui Island. It is a long beach approximately 3.5 km in length and is an excellent spot to spend the day exploring, swimming and relaxing in paradise. Lipa Noi’s palm tree lined shoreline provide plenty of natural shade and cover from the sun. And it’s fine powdery sand with shallow waters make it a great place to bring the children.
Swimming at Tong Yang/Lipa Noi Beach
Lipa Noi beach is suitable for swimming for people of all ages.
Things To Do Tong Yang/Lipa Noi Beach
- Visit Wat Hin Lad Temple, Wat Koh and Hin Lad Waterfall
- Visit Wanorn Waterfall
- Koh Samui Safari Elephant Trekking
Check out our villas in Lipa Noi.
Bang Makham Beach – Amazing sunset views
About Bang Makham Beach
Bang Makham Beach on the west coast of Samui is approximately 2 kilometres in length and stretches between Laem Yai Cape up towards the capital city of Nathon. The magnificent views of the world famous Ang Thong National Marine Park are visible from the shores of Bang Makham. You can also enjoy amazing ocean views at sunset.
Swimming at Bang Makham Beach
There is shallow knee-deep water at high tide and can be suitable for small children. Not suitable for swimming at low-tide.
Things To Do Near Bang Makham Beach
- Day trips to two neighbouring islands (Ang Thong National Marine Park)
- Buffalo Fighting Stadium
Beaches in the East of Koh Samui
Coral Cove Beach – A lovely spot of crystal clear water
About Coral Cove Beach
Coral Cove Beach on the east coast of Samui is a small, yet very beautiful and picturesque stretch of sand. Large boulders and lush tropical vegetation line the shores of Coral Cove Beach and the water is normally crystal clear. The sand is soft and there are a number of local beach vendors renting out beach chairs and shade umbrellas. There is also a small group of restaurants, bars and fruit stalls located under the shade of the palm trees in the centre of the beach.
Swimming at Coral Cove Beach
Coral Cove is suitable for swimming (and snorkelling) for people of all ages.
Things To Do Near Coral Cove Beach
- Elephant Rock
- Royal Koh Samui Golf & Country Club
- Sea fishing
Laem Nan Beach – Tropical tranquillity
About Laem Nan Beach
Situated on the middle of the East Coast of Samui (next to Lamai Beach). Laem Nan Beach is a tranquil spot for those who prefer to relax on the sand and explore the local area – rather than participate in typical tourist beach activities such as jet-ski hire or parasailing. The water is very shallow for most of the day and is not the best option for swimming. However, the tropical scenery at Laem Nan Beach is very beautiful and the atmosphere is truly relaxing.
Swimming at Laem Nan Beach
Unsuitable for swimming at low-tide.
Things To Do Near Laem Nan Beach
- Day trips and sightseeing on private long-tail boats to smaller neighbouring islands
- Elephant Rock tourist attraction
Thongtakian Beach – Perfect for swimming
About Thongtakian Beach
Thongtakian Beach near the middle of the east coast of Samui is a small picturesque beach with excellent swimming conditions. Giant boulders and rock formations are scattered along the shoreline – providing stunning backdrops for those idyllic Koh Samui holiday photo opportunities. Thongtakian beach is also a popular nesting place for local sea turtles. You might be lucky to witness something truly amazing if you happen to be there at the right time.
Swimming at Thongtakian Beach
Swimming at Thongtakian Beach is suitable for people of all ages.
Things To Do Near Thongtakian Beach
- Diving lessons
- Sunrise from a viewpoint near Ring Road
- Elephant rock tourist attraction
Chaweng Beach – the most popular beach in Koh Samui
About Chaweng Beach
Chaweng Beach (near Bophut area) is one of the most popular beaches on Koh Samui Island. There is plenty to do here with a wide range of fun beach activities for people of all ages to enjoy. The atmosphere at Chaweng beach is lively as tourists flock here daily. And local beach vendors are available all along the beach catering to all of your needs – including souvenirs for sale, jet-skis for rent, beach chairs/umbrellas for hire, etc. There is also a huge selection of bars, restaurants and nightclubs in the local area near the beach.
Swimming at Chaweng Beach
Swimming at Chaweng beach is great for people of all ages.
Things To Do Near Chaweng Beach
- Jet-ski hire
- Nightclubs, go-go bars and restaurants
- A walk on the embankment along Chaweng Lake
- Visit Pagoda Kho Hua Jook and Wat Chaweng Temple
Chaweng Noi Beach – Ideal for swimming
About Chaweng Noi Beach
Chaweng Noi Beach is a cosy little beach with much less activity than neighbouring Chaweng Beach. Chaweng Noi is known for its crystal clear, tropical blue water and is considered one of the best beaches on Samui for swimming. Lush vegetation lines the shoreline to give you plenty of natural shade, and there are always plenty of beach chairs and sun umbrellas for hire if needed.
Swimming at Chaweng Noi Beach
Swimming at Chaweng Noi beach is suitable for swimming for people of all ages.
Things To Do Near Chaweng Noi Beach
- Viewpoint overlooking Chaweng Beach
- Visit Pagoda Kho Hua Jook and Wat Chaweng Temple
Bophut Beach – A popular fisherman’s village
About Bophut Beach
Bophut beach near fisherman’s village is situated on the northern coast of Koh Samui, between Cape Laem Sai and Cape Laem Mai Kaen. Bophut is a popular beach to visit for most tourists so you will find lots of options to grab yourself a sunbed and beach umbrella. The area is also full of small boutique shops selling local fashion/jewelry, there is a great selection of laid back beach bars selling reasonably priced cocktails/drinks and there are plenty of restaurants to dine in which overlook the tranquil bay.
Swimming at Bophut Beach
Bophut Beach is suitable for swimming for people of all ages.
Things To Do Near Bophut Beach
- Visit nearby Fisherman’s Village
- ‘Go-Karts’ center nearby
- Koh Samui Crocodile Farm
- Siam Natural History Museum
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