Koh Samui beaches Travel Guide
About Koh Samui beaches
Since backpackers first arrived in Koh Samui in the 1970s, the Thai island has not looked back. In the 1980s the first tourist hotels opened and today the island is a fully equipped resort destination complete with all the facilities and some excellent hotels. Its original charms (swaying palms, white sand beaches and balmy waters) are still very much intact. Koh Samui offers everything from buzzing party beaches through to quiet sheltered coves, as well as myriad watersports, adventure tourism, family attractions and splashes of local colour.
Koh Samui boasts myriad great beaches where you can unfurl your towel. The busiest is in the resort town of Chaweng. Hat Chaweng, also the island's largest beach, is fully equipped with sun loungers, sun umbrellas, watersports, beach bars and restaurants. Hat Lamai to the south is in a similar vein though a little quieter. There are many more relaxed stretches of sand dotted around the island, with Ao Thong Sai popular with families.
Beyond the beach:
Exploring the island's Buddhist temples is a rewarding break from the beach. One of the most dramatic is Wat Phra Yai, which is set on its own small island in the north. Wat Samret meanwhile boasts an impressive sitting Buddha, and Wat Laem Saw is located in Ban Bang Kao on the southern coast of the island.
Those with kids age 12 and older may enjoy a tour by electric bike, especially in the heat (and no licence is required). E-Revolution (www.electricbikesthailand.com) offer half-day tours with multilingual guides that explore local temples and markets.
Ang Thong Marine National Park is a very popular day trip option and with good reason. This neighbouring archipelago of over 40 islands is a protected national park and much more pristine than Koh Samui. Most day trips include the chance to swim and snorkel as well as the opportunity to climb a hill and survey the archipelago as it unfurls across the Gulf of Thailand.