5 Best Beaches in Samui | Most Instagrammable Spots in Koh Samui, Thailand
I went on a little family holiday to Koh Samui in Thailand with the aim to spend as much time as I could with my toes in the sand. But with long stretches of shaggy palm-tree-ringed beaches, steaming street-side food stalls at very corner, and all surrounded by turquoise waters… I couldn’t just sit still. I went on a mission to sample every 'sandy delicacy' Samui had to offer to try find the best of all the beaches!
As an island, Samui is in no short supply of beautiful beaches. Most offer peace and relaxation while others host nightly parties and thrilling activities. With over 40-something beaches, bays, and small coves with an ideal tropical climate that offers a yearly temperature of about 30°C, it’s no surprise that Samui is such a popular destination. From the hustle and bustle of Chaweng beach in the East, to the calm and secluded Lipa Noi towards the West, there’s a strip of sand that suits everyone in Samui!
Chaweng Beach, with it’s clear blue waters lapping on powdery-white sand, is the kind of beach you are expecting to see when booking your trip to Thailand. It’s the tropical paradise you have imagined, just like in those ‘Insta-worthy’ pictures or ads on telly. It is the most popular of all the beaches in Samui (especially during the high tourist season), with one of the busiest and biggest towns. The long crescent-shaped bay is enclosed by rocky headlands with an offshore reef making the waters calm and perfect for families. With the most to offer, from a variety of restaurants, markets and clubs, many could happily spend the whole holiday on this stretch of beach!
Green Curry Rating: 3/5
Further down the coast from Chaweng is Silver Beach (AKA Crystal Beach or Thongtakian Beach), a little slice of paradise with a tranquil strip of beach nestled away between jungle-covered peaks. Silver Beach boasts to be an excellent spot for a nice swim and some snorkelling, but be sure to avoid high and low tide for the clearest waters. The beach is dotted with these big and beautiful silver boulders that make for awesome photos!
Where To Eat: There are four long-established hotels and restaurants to choose from. We decided just to stop for something to drink (and some ice-cream)!
Lipa Noi Beach (and our not-so-secret beach)
Heading over to the West coast of Samui, we came across Lipa Noi, a remote and shallow beach perfect for kids or for those who just want to get away from the crowds and unwind! Unlike Chaweng beach, there is little to do apart from relax on the beach. If you like to party, then Nikki Beach resort is the place for you with live DJs and plenty of ‘Instagram-able’ locations.
If you travel a little further down the coast you come across a little treasure trove (after researching, I’m pretty sure it is Taling Ngam Beach). With an abundance of fresh coconuts from the jewel-like trees, sparkling waters and golden sands, it feels like you have stumbled onto a deserted island paradise! With no other tourists venturing this far, you get the whole expanse of the beach to yourself. Though the coral reef makes it difficult for swimming, it is possible to snorkel your way over the patches of lush seagrass, corals and darting fish to deeper waters.
Where To Eat: We headed to the Virgin Coast Resort and were not disappointed. The views alone were exactly what we wanted with the added bonus of shade (and fans!), good authentic Thai food and even hammocks!
Green Curry Rating: 4/5
Home to the Fisherman’s Village, Bophut is now home to boutique shops, water-sport activities and a large number of restaurants (you can find whatever you want to eat!). Lined by old wooden Chinese shop-houses mixed with modern establishments, this beachfront is one of the most elegant in Samui. Unfortunately, the sand is more gritty and not made for long, romantic walks by the water. However, it is deeper than most of the beaches mentioned and a good place to relax. With some great beachfront restaurants (including the most amazing bar - Coco Tams - don’t miss out on their fire dancers), and lively night market, Bophut is a great place to sit, relax and watch some stunning sunsets!
Where To Eat: My favourite restaurant from the trip was Nirvana, located on the beach with the best (and possibly most authentic) Thai food! The owner was very sweet and was certainly not surprised when we came back three times!
Green Curry Rating: 5/5
Angthong Marine Park
Though technically not in Samui, the Marine Park headquarters - Woa Ta Lab – had the most spectacular beach imaginable. If not for the hordes of tourists, it would have felt like you have stumbled into a scene from Lost! With small stretches of pearly-white sand, enclosed by lush vegetation and surrounded by glistening, jagged peaks of limestone islands… this would have been the utopia of beaches. The brilliant blue waters were perfect for swimming or kayaking if you were fit enough after a hike up through the jungle. We were even greeted by little monkeys on the hunt for some fruit! But be warned, there are quite a few different trips that make their way to this island so be prepared for a lot (and I mean a lot) of tourists no matter the season!
Which beach would you go for?