Samui Wining & Dining
COASTS WITH THE MOST
 A brief guide to Samui’s beaches.

 A brief guide to Samui’s beaches.

          

What’s more fun than a day out on the beach? Especially if you’re in the tropics with white sand beaches, swaying palms, dazzling sunshine and blue seas. The fact that Samui is an island only adds to the attraction; its entire perimeter is nothing more than a succession of beaches, and almost all have something wonderful to offer.

The only problem is that it can be hard to choose where to go, especially as you would need a good month to get to grips with all of them. It has to be said that most islanders have yet to see all the beaches, and the only people to know all of them are those who go out daily on boats.

          

Here’s a brief guide to where the best beaches are. Note that there are simply too many to cover in an article as short as this one. We’ve selected just the main ones that are fairly easy to get to. There are plenty of others, along with a few that are really only accessible by boat.

          

Chaweng and the East Coast

 The entire bay of Chaweng is definitely Instagram territory; legendary white sands, fine and powdery, are lapped by usually calm and very clear waters. The sea shelves slowly and is great if you’re with small children. The beach is five kilometres long, but in high season can get crowded – but it’s not towel-to-towel as in the Mediterranean. Usually you can find shade towards the back of the beach, which is lined with trees and restaurants.

          

Lamai and the South

  Heading south from Chaweng, Tong Takian Bay or Silver Beach is the first of the southern beaches you’ll come to. And it’s perhaps the most spectacular if you like small bays framed by rocky headlands. Blue waters and soft sand await. You’ll find Tong Takian if you head through Promtsuk Buri Resort. A brief guide to Samui’s beaches. Plenty of places to eat and drink on the beach itself and also rent out a kayak for the hour or more and explore the bay. Because of its small size, the beach can get crowded during high season.

          

After Tong Takian, the Bay of Lamai begins, less crowded than Chaweng and with deeper waters. The beach is lined by restaurants and places to eat. Continue beyond Lamai proper and you’ll come to Hinta Hinyai (it has its own turn-off on the ringroad), known for its bizarrely phallic rocks. However, the waters here aren’t really swimmable; the beach is more a sight-seeing destination with plenty of people photographing the said rocks and buying souvenirs in the busy little street that leads down to the sea. If visiting, an absolute must-try is the local coconut ice-cream, served in a coconut shell.

          

After Hinta Hinyai there’s the workaday beach of Ban Hua Thanon, too busy for swimming – think fishing boats coming and going from the sea and supplying local markets with seafood, then as you head further on down the coast wide and shallow beaches alternating with small bays wherever there are rocky headlands. A brief guide to Samui’s beaches.These are the least frequented of Samui’s beaches and you’ll probably have them to yourself. Some can be hard to get to.

          

The West Coast

 Justly famed for its sunsets and distant views of the jagged, mysterious mainland and off-islands of the Angthong Marine Park, the west coast is pleasantly deserted yet has outstanding beaches. The beach at Ban Taling Ngam is just down from the temple and never gets crowded. There are a couple of places to get food and drink. However, if you walk about 200 metres southwards along the beach you’ll come to two even smaller beaches, both of which are usually deserted. Definitely scenic, but there’s nowhere on them to get refreshments, so most visitors content themselves with taking some photos before returning to the main beach. A few miles to the north, Lipa Noi Beach is a long swathe of sand with palms and trees with the occasional restaurant. Stop at the temple beach at Wat Samut Tararam, a peaceful spot with casuarina trees which provide shade. The temple just behind looks like it’s still submerged in its own past, and is extremely atmospheric.

          

The North Coast

Basically a series of longish bays, the north coast is definitely worth exploring when it comes to beaches. The first you’ll come to after heading north out of Nathon is Bang Por Beach, a wide stretch of shallow, sandy coastline, with a few smallish restaurants offering mostly Thai food. Despite being wildly popular with local residents, the beach seems to have been overlooked by most guidebook writers. You’ll find easy access if you turn down the public road opposite Natural Wing Health Spa & Resort. A brief guide to Samui’s beaches.

          

Many visitors love the beach at Maenam, a little further on, as it’s a long sandy bay, with cafés and restaurants to keep you hydrated. The sand is coarser than at Chaweng, and the water can be deceptively deep. Palms add to the vibe of the beach, and given that it’s over five kilometres long, there’s plenty of space here. For public access, take the turning at Wat Napalarn and follow the lane through the temple, or turn down to the sea by the traffic lights in Maenam.

          

Drive further along the ring-road towards Chaweng and the next bay, Bophut, is where you’ll find Fisherman’s Village. The beach is popular here but you may find yourself sharing the water with yachts and boats at certain times in the year. The water is deep, and after swimming, you’ll be spoiled for choices of what to eat, as the restaurants here are known for their great food.

          

Head past Fisherman’s Village on the beach road and you’ll come to the last of the big northern bays, Bangrak. The beach isn’t ever crowded and with plenty of restaurants just behind it, this is yet another good spot for lazing on the sand and then eating. Expect boats to be moored out on the water, however, as this is a departure point for Koh Pha-ngan.

          

The Choeng Mon Peninsula

Small coves and bays pepper the headland in the north of Samui. Most are quite difficult to get to and you may need to head through hotels to get to these small beaches. Two of the best are to be found if you go through Arayaburi Resort or Melati Beach Resort respectively. Some you can get to using dirt tracks. However, the biggest and best-known beach in Choeng Mon is easily accessed by the public road that cuts through SALA Samui. Just one thing to note while beach exploring is that that no beach is technically ‘private’ – all, under Thai law, are public, however access may be via roads that are not public.

          

It’s no exaggeration to say that no matter how many times you come back to Samui, you’ll always come across new beaches. Particularly blessed with amazing coastlines, Samui never fails to deliver when it comes to spending time by the water.

          

 


 


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