Koh Samui, Thailand


Koh Samui is a fairly large island and the major reason why people come to Samui is to enjoy the beaches. The most popular and commercialised beaches are Chaweng and Lamai, located on the northeastern and eastern corner of Koh Samui respectively. Even though the two main beaches have suffered from mass development over the past decade, they are still relatively impressive. Development has been thwarted slightly because of the island’s regulation governing building heights.
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Chaweng Beach by Jacques Herremans

Beyond the popular beaches of Chaweng and Lamai are the northern beaches and their adjacent villages of Mae Nam, Bophut, Bang Rak (Big Buddha) and Choeng Mon. The beaches here are more peaceful choices and the west coast beaches are still (comparatively) quiet.

Clockwise from Nathon (on Koh Samui's west coast), the main beaches are:
  • Laem Yai - Set on the northwestern tip of Koh Samui, a quiet and secluded beach overlooking the islands of Ang Thong.
  • Mae Nam - Another quiet and beautiful sandy beach stretching for nearly 7 km along the island's northern coast.
  • Bophut - A laid-back beach village with a Thai-Chinese character but developing fast with new hotels and guesthouses.
  • Bang Rak - A quiet beach located on the northeastern tip of Koh Samui, home of the Big Buddha statue at Wat Phra Yai (temple).
  • Choeng Mon - Quiet beach on the northern shore, located between Chaweng (15 minutes from Chaweng) and Mae Nam.
  • Chaweng - The largest and most-developed beach, with a curious mix of luxury hotels and backpacker guesthouses and a hopping nightlife.
  • Lamai - Samui's "second" beach south of Chaweng, more popular with backpackers but the beach gets quieter as you head north.
  • Samui South Coast - Includes the small beaches of Ban Hua Thanon, Na Khai, Laem Set, Bang Kao and Thong Krut.

 Mae Nam Beach by Per Meistrup

Guide to
Koh Samui
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