A Guide to Koh Samui
Koh Samui [เกาะสมุย] is Thailand’s third largest island after Phuket and Koh Chang.
Samui can be reached within an hour from Bangkok thanks to Samui International Airport. Samui Island has
plenty to offer, everything from relaxing on white sand beaches to pristine jungles to a vibrant nightlife. It
offers beaches of different landscapes and characteristics, but the most popular ones are Chaweng, Lamai,
Bo Phut and Mae Nam. Great facilities as well as a wide range of accommodations for all budgets are available
throughout, ranging from bungalows to 5-star resorts and hotels. A variety of restaurants of all flavors and
nationalities invite travelers to delicious dining. Those who enjoy pampering and rejuvenating will find Samui
a paradise of spas and massages. Visitors of Samui can just relax or find adventures and family activities such
as elephant trekking, sailing, diving and golfing. Sightseeing includes, naming only a few, waterfalls, temples,
butterfly garden, zoo and monkey theatre. All is waiting to be experienced.
Chaweng is Samui’s most popular area with 6 kilometers of a white sandy beach and
clear waters. With its many hotels, resorts, restaurants, spas, discos, bars and shopping
facilities, it is the main tourist center and nightlife area of the island.
As the sea is partly shallow most of the year, it is a perfect place for families with children
and all types of water sports can be enjoyed. After a relaxing day on the beach, you can
have a nice dinner at one of the seafood restaurants, sip a drink at a bar or just walk along
the beach road to fulfill your shopping desires.
Lamai is the second most popular beach on Koh Samui after Chaweng. It stretches over 4
kilometers along the east coast. The beach is not as wide as Chaweng and the sea gets
quickly deeper which makes it perfect for swimming and water sports.
On the southern end of the beach, the famous Grandfather Grandmother Rocks called Hin
Ta - Hin Yai, stretch their bizarre formations up in the sky. Restaurants, spas, bars as well
as shopping opportunities are plentiful and the nightlife is second to Chaweng.
Coral Cove (คอลรอลโคฟ)
Coral Cove is located between Chaweng and Lamai, has some small secluded beaches like
Thongtakian and is a good for snorkeling. Some resorts situated on the hillside offer magnificent
views over Chaweng Beach.
It is only a 10-minute drive to either Lamai or Chaweng where you can do some shopping and
enjoy the nightlife. It is a perfect place for travelers who prefer a more tranquil and quiet holiday.
Mae Nam (หาดแม่น้ำ)
Mae Nam is located in the north of Samui with smooth sand and good swimming preferences.
Mae Nam beach is perfect for families with small kids as the water is shallow and there is no
noise from nightlife or traffic.
Mae Nam has shopping opportunities as well as restaurants located in the area and speedboats
leave daily from the pier to Koh Tao. It is just a 20-minute drive away from the action in Chaweng
and 10 minutes from Bo Phut's Fisherman Village with its fine wining and dining.
Bo Phut (บ่อผุด)
Bo Phut is situated in the northern parts of Samui, between Mae Nam and Chaweng. Bo Phut
consists of the Fisherman's Village and the beaches to the west of it. The village’s beach is
small and not suitable for swimming as there are many tour and diving boats going from here
to other islands.
It still conveys the atmosphere of a small fishing village, but there are plenty of restaurants,
shops, cafes and bars where you can enjoy the beautiful sunset with Koh Phangan in the horizon.
Big Buddha (พระใหญ่)
Big Buddha is located in the northeast of Samui, the beach has smooth sand, good swimming
preferences and is safe for children. From here, you have fantastic views of Koh Phangan and
the 12 meter high golden Big Buddha. Big Buddha Beach has everything to offer, for instance
restaurants, bars, shopping and accommodations for all budgets. You can find everything from
simple beach bungalows to tropical resorts and luxurious hotels.
Chaweng’s nightlife is just a 15-minute drive away and daily boats to Koh Phangan with the
monthly Full Moon Parties are leaving from here.
Bang Po (บางปอ)
Bang Po is located in the north of Samui, is a very quiet part of the island with small tranquil beaches scattered
along the coast. Boutique resorts and luxurious villas guaranty a relaxing vacation
and amazing sunsets can be watched while enjoying a delicious
dinner at a beachfront restaurant.
It is only a 10 minutes drive to Nathon, the capital of Samui, to do some shopping, banking
or strolling through the market.
Taling Ngam (ตะลิ่งงาม)
Taling Ngam is a pristine bay stretching along the south-west coast of Samui. It is still unspoiled
and has spectacular views over the nearby islands and the mainland. Coral reefs are just a stones
throw away from the beach, which makes Taling Ngam a paradise for snorkelers.
Luxurious beach resorts offer all the facilities you need and the restaurants give visitors fine wining
and dining experiences. It is around a 20-minute drive to Nathon if you need to do some shopping
and 30 minutes to the bustling nightlife of Lamai and Chaweng.
Choeng Mon (เชิงมล)
Choeng Mon is a secluded beach, 4 kilometers north of Chaweng Beach and 5 minutes
from Bo Phut's Fisherman's Village. Choeng Mon is the perfect beach for families and
couples who want to enjoy peaceful and quiet beach holidays. The water is rather shallow,
making it safe for children to play and snorkelers can explore the colorful underwater
world right from the beach.
Accommodations are dotted along the coastline catering all budgets. Water sports, such
as wind surfing and canoeing, are readily available. Choeng Mon also offers shopping
opportunities, restaurants and other activities.
The capital of Koh Samui has still preserved its charm as a harbor town and is scattered with
all kind of shops, markets, banks and restaurants. Nathon is the major harbor for the
ferries from the mainland, the boats to Koh Phangan, Koh Tao and the Angthong National Marine Park
and is the main hub for goods from the mainland. There are only a few
hotels mostly used as a stopover for early transfers to other destinations.
Bang Kao (บางเก่า)
Located at the south coast of Koh Samui consists of some smaller beaches with breathtaking
views to the islands dotted at the horizon. A famous landmark
is the Laem Sor Chedi sitting at the rocky water’s edge.
There are lots of luxurious boutique
resorts and private villas offering a tranquil atmosphere
with beachside restaurants and spas to lift your spirit
The Samui Butterfly Garden and Samui Aquarium are just a stones throw away while the
nightlife and shopping area of Lamai can be reached within
Hua Thanon (หัวถนน)
A 10 minute drive south of Lamai is the home of the Muslim fishing community with a
daily fresh seafood market and dozens of colorful longtail-boats.
The Samui Aquarium and the Butterfly Garden are located
Luxurious boutique resorts on the tranquil beaches of Laem Set, Bang Kao
and the hillsides offer scenic views to the nearby islands
of Koh Tan and Koh Matsum and the mainland at the horizon.
There is no nightlife but all for a relaxing and quiet holiday.
Lipa Noi (ลิปะน้อย)
Lipa Noi, or Sunset Beach, is the most serene and untouched beaches of Koh Samui’s west coast, just 5
minutes from the ferry pier. It is an ideal spot for peaceful and quiet beach holidays with beautiful sunsets
and scenic views of the Angthong National Marine Park and the mainland, away from the crowds.
As there are only a few resorts on the beach, which gives you plenty of space along the crystal clear sea.
Nathons shopping area is only 4 kilometers away.