This tropical island in the Gulf of Thailand is surrounded by crystal blue oceans that gently lap over white sand beaches lined with palm trees.
There are so many beaches in Koh Samui to choose from and there is something for everyone from the lively bar lined coast of Chaweng Beach to the calm and remote shore of Taling Ngam you will find something that suits your mood.
Despite it being a relatively small island the beaches all vary hugely, some are long stretches of sand with bigger waves and others are small coves with rocks that are great for snorkelling.
For me personally I look for a beach with calm waves that is good for snorkelling and swimming, preferably something smaller and out of the way so I have ranked my best beaches in Koh Samui below taking this into consideration.
I absolutely loved this cove from the first time we visited, it is a smaller beach positioned between two hotels that both have direct access but don’t let that put you off as it’s still very quiet.
It wasn’t listed on many of the blogs I’d read about which beaches to visit as there isn’t too much on offer here; there is small restaurant on the beach serving food and drink, there are also toilet facilities.
The fact that Coral Cove is not at the top of the list for popularity is what made it so special, there are never too many people there and you can easily get a good spot in the sun all day.
As this beach is East facing you don’t get much shade until the afternoon so bear that in mind if you need some cover.
Coral cove is surrounded by large boulders which make the perfect snorkelling spot. The visibility while we were in Koh Samui was not great but you could still snorkel and see plenty of fish swimming round the rocks.
So if you are looking for a tranquil day out at the beach where all you can hear is the sound of the waves and birds from the surrounding trees this is the spot. Grab your towel, goggles and some cash for lunch and head down to Coral Cove for the day.
To get here head for Coral Cove beach, there is a small turning off the main road just take this down the ramp and you are straight on the beach. It can be easy to miss and is in a dip of 2 big hills so make sure you’re approaching slowly.
Lamai Beach was the first one we visited and is the second most popular beach on the island after Chaweng. Lamai can get very busy but there are quieter ends if you’d prefer a more chilled day.
This beach is a long stretch of sand that covers the whole of the Lamai area, you can either park right in the town and walk down onto the beach and sit on the sand or you can find a resort along the front where you can use a bed and umbrella for the day for a minimum spend.
If you would prefer to be a little further from the action then you can park out of town and access the beach that way. By doing this you are still on the same wonderful beach but further from the crowds.
The sand here is soft and the water is calm and bright blue, it does get deep quite quickly which makes it a perfect spot for swimming however not a great one for families.
Silver Beach is the most popular and well known beach on Koh Samui because of it’s calm and shallow waters. It is the perfect spot to swim as well as snorkel especially with children.
The beach itself from the outside may look private as entrance is via resorts – don’t let this fool you, you are welcome to visit for free.
Because of this the beach can get very busy but if you head down early you will be able to beat most of the crowds.
Silver beach is not too big so you can easily explore all of it during your visit, there are rocks on each side which are great for snorkelling and the sea bed is soft and sandy throughout the middle.
There are two restaurants here at each of the resorts both serving good food and drinks to keep you full during your day out.
To get to Silver Beach head towards the Crystal Bay Beach Resort but carry on just passed it as if you enter via this resort you have to pay. Just a bit further on you will see a tall sign that says Beach with an arrow, follow the small road down to the end and park your scooter or car where directed.
From here you can walk down through the resort to the beachfront. Similar to Coral Cove there is not much shade in the morning so make sure to be prepared if you’d prefer to be under cover.
Chaweng Noi is just along from Chaweng Beach, here the sand is just as soft, the sea is just as beautiful but it is much quieter.
Away from the most popular beach on Koh Samui you still have the luxury of a few restaurants and beach front resorts that offer food and drink but you can lie and relax whilst listening to the waves.
We sat in front of New Star Beach Resort, they allowed us to use their sun beds as long as we purchased drinks from the bar.
With not many rocks and most of the area being covered by sand there is not much snorkelling to be done here so I recommend finding a spot to chill, get a good book or podcast and just sit back and relax all day.
To get to Chaweng Noi I found the easiest way was to head to Chaweng Tara Hotel and opposite is a road leading down to a beach club. This beach club is now abandoned but you can use their parking. If you want to sit near New Star Resort or others then head left.
Located on the West Coast of the island Taling Ngam is the perfect place to catch the sunset, this beach is not as popular as the others on Koh Samui due to the sea bed being shallow and there being sea weed and sea grass growing here.
Despite this I think it’s still worth a visit if you are over this side of the island, either head there in the afternoon or just for sunset.
Because of its positioning on the West Coast and out of the way of the wind it is so calm and tranquil. Check the weather for a clear day and head down there!
We headed here one evening to catch the sunset after visiting Na Muaeng Waterfall which I highly recommend, it was the perfect way to end our day exploring.
Chaweng Beach is by far one of the most popular beaches in Samui and it’s one of the easiest to access, especially for those staying in Chaweng.
Chaweng beach is a 5 km long stretch of powdery white sand. The ocean here gets quite deep quite quickly making it the perfect spot for swimming but not ideal for young families.
There aren’t many rocks or areas for snorkelling here, but Chaweng beach has the most going on out of the beaches I’ve listed for food and drink. With it’s central location in Chaweng main town there are plenty of options lined all along the coast.
If you are looking for a Thai spot for lunch make sure to check out Malee Kitchen Downtown, it is just off the main entrance to Chaweng and was by far our favourite in Koh Samui.
What is your favourite beach on Koh Samui and what do you look for in a beach? I would love to know in the comments below.
With love, Izzy ✨💛