Koh Samui is known as one of the party islands of Thailand (although most seem to be these days!) and while it does not live to the fame of the neighbouring Koh Phangan, party aminals won’t be disappointed.
With Chaweng Beach claiming the name as party capital of the island, it would be a miss not to mention its glorious beach. The powdery white sand of Chaweng Beach stretches 5 kilometres along the coast, backed by towering palm trees and every type of bar and restaurant you could wish for.
This is the place to be in you want to dip in and out of the water just as frequently as you want to dip in and out of the bar!
With many hotels and restaurants having beach bars that blend seamlessly from swimming pool to sea, you get the best of both worlds. Enjoy drinks by the pool listening to beats pumping out of the sound system and then wander into the azure ocean for a bit of calm.
KC Beach Club and Ark Bar Beach Resort are known for their famous pool parties, so don your swimsuit and get ready to party.
Although Lamai is somewhat quieter than Chaweng, it still gives it a run for its money in terms of entertainment. During the day, you can relax on the sand taking in the sights of the Hin Ta and Hin Yai rocks (unusual formations known and Grandpa and Grandma rocks due to their resemblance of male and female genitalia…) and paddling in the warm turquoise waters. By night, however, you could be watching the fire dancers of Swing Bar put on a performance while sipping on a cocktail served up by a renowned flair barman! If you don’t want to party every night of the week but like the occasional blow out this could be the best place for you.
Families often need to consider different things to solo travellers when choosing where they are going to spend their days. Does the beach have shade? Shallow water? Restrooms nearby? Food and drink readily available for when the kids get grumpy? Luckily, we’ve done the work for you and found a couple of beaches that would be perfect.
Maenam is a peaceful beach that offers plenty of shade thanks to the thick canopy of palm trees that back the edge of the beach. Although it has been known as a backpacker beach for quite some time, if offers everything that families need too.
There are a range of accommodation along the beach from budget hotels to more luxurious resorts, so families on any budget should be able to find somewhere great to stay. Many of the resorts also have restaurants on-site and beach beds on the shoreline so can be a great place to set up base for the day. The sand here is thicker than the powdery sand of Chaweng too, which is great for building sand castles!
Thongtakian Beach is a lesser known area on Samui and lies nestled in between Chaweng and Lamai. You are therefore never far away from the hustle and bustle of these resorts if the kids get bored, but far enough away to have a safe and quiet stretch of beach to yourself. Only accessed through the Silver Beach Resort, you will feel like you are stepping out on to a private beach.
However, the four resorts along the beach welcome tourists in to purchase refreshments and use the facilities. For older children, Thongtakian is a great place to snorkel and kayak with clear waters and tropical fish, but do watch out for the rocks that lie just beneath the surface close to the shore.
If you’ve had enough of the hubbub in Koh Samui’s main resorts, you may just want to get away from it all. Pack up some drinks and snacks, take plenty of sun cream and head to a beach that offers little in the way of facilities but lots in terms of serenity.
Taling Ngam is perhaps one of the most picturesque beaches on Koh Samui, particularly at sunset. Perched on the west coast, looking out towards Ang Thong National Park, this quiet beach, blanketed by jungle canopy it the perfect place to sit and watch the sun go down.
Taling Ngam is located about an hour from Chaweng, and with the closest main town (Nathon) lying around 20-30 minutes away you can be secure in the knowledge that you could happily sit for hours without being disturbed. If you’ve worked your way through all your drinks and snacks, fear not, there are a couple of restaurants within walking distance that serve up fresh and tasty cuisine.
Other quiet beach retreats that are worth a mention all lie along the northern coast of the island. The whole area is often known as Bang Po but it can be split into sections to make it easier to navigate.
Laem Yai, the most western of these beaches, has extremely shallow water but is a peaceful sheltered cove with just a few high-end resorts scattered among the trees.
Moving east from Laem Yai you come to the main section of Bang Po. This area has stretches of white sand but at low tide the mud flats come into view which makes it a little more unsightly. However, you can watch the local shellfish harvesters gathering fresh produce which is great to witness!
From Bang Po you move on to Baan Tai which is again, a tranquil stretch of white sandy beach with shallow turquoise water lapping at the shore. All of these northern beaches look out towards Koh Phangan and offer peace and quiet which could be exactly what you are looking for.
Even if you choose a different beach every day while staying on Koh Samui you’re sure to reminisce about the warm sand between your toes, the stunning views out into the Gulf of Thailand and the delicious cocktail or snack you were devouring at the time!