Which beach to stay at on Samui
This is often the dilemma for first time visitors to Koh Samui, there are plenty of options all around the island, but where is best for you?
This is the most famous and busiest of all the beaches on Samui, the sand is white soft with a scenic backdrop of jungle and trees. Chaweng beach is lined with luxury accommodation to budget bungalow. It can get quite busy here and noisy, but for the most you should be able to get a good night’s sleep. There is a high concentration of shops and restaurants so you don’t need to go anywhere far. Most clubs and bars are concentrated in and around Chaweng. This is where you will find most groups of young people staying on the island, but there you will also find families and older citizens enjoying Chaweng also.
Lamai Beach is the second most famous beach on Samui, the sand is not as soft as Chaweng, and the sea sometimes can get a little rough but generally is a nice soft sand beach with calm waters. Accommodation here is less crowded, and there is more value with budget to mid-range more wide spread. It is a busy place, but not as busy as Chaweng, it is like a quieter version, with a little less of everything, except bars. There are plenty of bars and restaurants to keep most taste buds happy. The visitors here are a mixture of all types, young, old, families, couples and groups.
Choeng Mon is a beautiful beach, very popular with expats and locals for a swim, as it is well protected from the winds on both sides, it is a bay like beach. There is limited accommodation here, 2 major high-end resorts take up the best part of it, but there are some mid-range and budget offerings nearby and around the headlands. Choeng Mon is a nice little boutique village, there are plenty of places to eat and drink on the beach and the high street. It is in a great spot, being only minutes each way to Chaweng or Fisherman’s Village. Recommended for those with families or couples.
Bophut Beach is a beautiful soft sand beach with fantastic views to Koh Phangan, with lovely calm turquoise blue waters. Beachfront accommodation here is generally mid-range to high-end. The beach is much quieter than Lamai or Chaweng and is best suited to families or couples looking for bit more peace and quiet on there holiday. A great attraction here is Fisherman’s Village, quaint and beautiful, with plentiful options in the pub and restaurant category and shopping too. Friday nights’ Walking Street is a major attraction for all visitors to Samui, with all types of food stalls to sample and the cheapest cocktails on the island. If you want to hit the town Chaweng is only a short drive or taxi drive away.
Maenam is one of the best beaches on the island, soft sand, clear calm waters and no crowds. It’s a great swimming beach with beautiful views to Koh Phangan and sunburnt sunsets to the west can be amazing. The accommodation varies from budget to high-end; you can find some great value bungalows along the beach here. Maenam is for those that want some real peace and quiet, but also value for money. Maenam is generally cheaper all round than the above mentioned locations, this is not to say the quality is less, there are some great restaurants and bars along the beach and around the general area of Maenam. You’ll mostly find families, couples and younger people who prefer a relaxed holiday. Maenam is not a tourist spot like the above-mentioned areas, there is no nightlife here, quiet beach bars and street bars are spread about but it is not lively. Maenam does have it’s own version of Walking Street on Thursday night, and the main street does come alive similar to Fisherman’s Village on a Friday night, and many people come to enjoy the food stalls, cheap drinks and atmosphere including many locals, expats and tourists from other areas of the island.
As you move further west, it gets quieter and quieter, with less of everything. Bang Por is a lovely beach with pockets and stretches of sand that run to the most westerly point of the island. The sun sets to the west, with the Marine Park on the horizon and Koh Phangan facing the beachfront. There are variety of resorts and bungalows tucked away along the beach including 5 stars, mid-range and some budget offerings. On the ring road there are some great places to eat along the seafront, serving wonderful fresh seafood and great value Thai dishes. You will need transport if you want to get around; everything is not within walking distance unless you are in the Ban Tai area, which is like a little village with a few options for eating and drinking. Still in our opinion you will need transport unless you are happy to stay in your resort for the duration of your stay.
Lipa Noi is a beautiful sunset beach on the western coast of the island, this is a beach for those that really want to get away, the sand is soft the waters, clear calm. You won’t find too much of anything around here. There are a few resorts, private villas and some budget offerings on the accommodation side. Restaurants and bars are sparse, although you will find the famous Nikki Beach Resort here. We recommend if you are considering staying here a fully self-contained villa or you will need some transport to get around if you are staying at a resort. Lipa Noi definitely an area for those who prefer to get away from it all.
When it comes to nature and the sea, Taling Ngam is one of the nicest beaches on the island. Located in the southwestern corner of the island, this lovely beach has one of the best sunsets on the island. It’s great for swimming; the waters are much like the rest of the islands beach, calm, clear and shallow. This is not a tourist hub much like Lipa Noi; you will find some high-end luxury resorts here, some smaller family run resorts and private luxury villa getaways. There are some cheaper bungalows around, but accommodation is not plentiful. This is an area for those that want real to really get away. We’d recommend transport a must if you want to get around the island from here. Restaurants are few, but there are some nice places to eat here, we highly recommend The Five Islands Restaurant. As far as nightlife goes, it doesn’t really exist, nature is the key.
Lastly there are more beaches around the island where you can stay, but the ones we have mentioned here are the major beaches on this island.
For those not sure about the conditions on the beaches, as a whole they are mostly calm, clear and warm. There are no worries about sharks, as the waters are very shallow and sharks feed out in deeper waters where there are bigger fish. There is little to no chance of a Tsunami every hitting the islands as we are in the Gulf of Thailand, surrounded by islands and the continent protecting the archipelago from the open ocean. In summary we have ideal tropical island conditions on all our beaches here.
Baan Tai Beach
Songkran 2012 in Samui
Mae Nam Beach
Muay Thai Future Champion
The Five Islands Restaurant
Songkran 2012 in Samui
"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step" - Lao Tzu