The most beautiful beaches in Koh Samui

Lamai Beach, photo by Megan Eaves

Koh Samui, or Samui island, located in the Gulf of Thailand, has been a tourist paradise for a long time. Many backpackers tired from sightseeing travel to Koh Samui for a breather on the beach, as do party people who know that the best and noisiest beach fun in Thailand can be had in Koh Samui. While some of the beaches on the island are huge commercial hits with thousands of people visiting them, the northern parts of Koh Samui are home to a few lovely, more secluded beaches that even the shyest traveler can enjoy. Although the island as a whole is blessed with great natural beauty, the beaches are the main attraction of Koh Samui for most tourists. Here are some of the most beautiful beaches in Koh Samui where you can enjoy the Thai sun.

Chaweng Beach

Chaweng Beach, photo by Hajime Nakano

Chaweng Beach is now the most popular beach in Koh Samui, although if you had visited in twenty years ago you wouldn’t have found much. From a cluster of wooden huts, Chaweng beach has turned in a few decades into one of the most popular beach hangouts in Thailand. The beach is crowded most of the year, and it’s not exactly a budget option anymore (the beach is lined with luxury hotels and restaurants), but the nightlife is downright legendary and if you are looking for beach parties, this is the right destination for you.

Lamai Beach

Lamai Beach is getting to be just as popular as Chaweng, and it is no longer a hippy hangout, but the overall quality of the sand and water is better than in its more popular counterpart. Although it is slightly quieter than Chaweng (and often considerably less crowded), Lamai has quite a few exciting party places, as well as some stunning natural wonders nearby.

Maenam Beach

Maenam Beach, photo by Bastian Stein

Maenam beach on the northern shores of Koh Samui is the perfect location for families who want to avoid throngs and rowdy parties. Maenam is quiet, pleasant and quite safe, with shallow water and clean sand. If sunbathing, swimming and lounging on the beach with a beer in one hand and a book in the other is what you’re after, than Maenam is your safest bet in Koh Samui.

Taling Ngam Beach

Taling Ngam in western Samui is isolated, quiet, almost underdeveloped and utterly beautiful – the perfect place for an independent traveler who isn’t very fond of huge crowds of people and parties. The area has several affordable bungalows and some luxury resorts, but the beach is remote and by far one of the most beautiful beaches in Koh Samui.

Bophut Beach

Bophut Beach, photo by moohaha on Flickr

Bophut beach has more than enough pubs and restaurants to keep you busy in the night, and some decent swimming spots, but the fame of this beach was earned as a diving destination. If you want to sign up for some scuba diving tours, then you can do so at Bophut beach. One of the highlights of Bophut is the Fisherman’s Village, with traditional wooden shops selling clothes, jewelry, diving equipment or food.

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