I love the sea-life, so I spent a lot of time exploring the beaches of Koh Samui in Thailand trying to find the best beach in the area. My idea of a perfect beach is one that is calm, clear, clean, and sandy; in that order. Below you can read my reviews of the best beaches I visited in Koh Samui. Also see Thomas’ Koh Samui beach site for more pictures.
Bang Rak beach (Big Buddha beach)
I don’t know why you would go here if you could choose to go somewhere else. The boat-filled beach is not clearer than anywhere else, and the tide seems to bring a lot of seaweed to the front of the beach.
My rating: ♥
At first sight this beach seems pretty dull and not worth getting in. The boats and occasionally fishermen spoil the view, but the water is clean and good for swimming. There is a steep slope, and it gets deep quick. The water is not clear. With very few hotels and mostly restaurants situated along the beach, you don’t have to share the waters with many others.
My rating: ♥♥♥
I was very surprised that my favorite beach on the island turned out to be the popular Chaweng. It has the clearest water of all the beaches we visited in Koh Samui (but cannot be compared to the crystal clear waters of neighbor island Nan Yang). The water is very shallow about 50 – 100 m out. The water is cleaner the farther south you are.
My rating: ♥♥♥♥
Choeng Mon beach
A calm and idyllic beach, but the downside are the huge rocks which especially on the south side make it almost unbearable to stay in the water.
My rating: ♥♥/♥
This is supposedly a lot of the locals’ favorite beach. We went here a couple of times and everytime there were a lot of waves, and while it is clean from trash there is some vegetation floating in the water. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see what it was like when the waters were calm. I recommend this beach for water sports.
My rating: ♥♥♥
Lipa Noi beach
We were so excited to arrive at this beautiful calm beach (below Nicki Beach resort) with nearly no one swimming here. After staying in the water for about five – ten minutes we felt like we were being continuously “stung” all over our bodies. Needless to say, we got out the water very quick. It was such a let down. I’m nut sure what caused this “stinging”, but we saw a lot of plantation flowing on the top of the water (maybe from the trees?) and we figured this was why we didn’t see many others in the water. If it hadn’t been for the pain we endured in the water, I think this would have been our favorite beach on the island.
My rating: ♥♥
I didn’t visit Silver Beach, but I read somewhere that this beach has clearer water than Chaweng. Tell me if you find out!