Ko Samui is so big, we've split it up into areas, select one of the below for detailed accommodation and food listings in that area. Sights and general overviews for Ko Samui as a whole can be found via the icons above. Don't know where to start? Read an overview of Ko Samui's different areas.
One of the great things about Ko Samui is that deck chairs and sun-loungers are free to use at most resorts and beachfront restaurants — with the understanding you’ll buy drinks and perhaps snacks from the provider — making beach chilling sessions cheap and easy. Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to read your book for the day, or a bit of music and cocktail action, you’re sure to find it. Here are a few examples of where to go on Samui for a spot of beachside relaxation.
Elements Resort & Spa in Samui’s south offers great spa packages. You can make use of the beach area afterwards, or even just stroll along this quiet stretch of beach, grab a bean bag and order a drink.
Secret Garden in Bang Rak (Big Buddha Beach) offers happy hour from 18:00 to 19:00 daily, on a buy-one-get-one-free basis — Sunday evenings you can enjoy live music, too. The deck chairs and loungers remain out until well into the evening.
The quiet coves of Samui’s northeastern tip near Choeng Mon offer some of the best beach opportunities — away from the crowds, yet with services on hand.
Mae Nam beach, along Samui’s northern shore, is a long stretch of beach, good for swimming and great sunsets, but with few tourists. Several quaint beach bars and resorts here mean you won’t have far to wander for some refreshments and a deck chair.
Above is another Mae Nam shot, showing two lone deck chairs outside Hutcha Resort, in close proximity to the Mae Nam village, Chinese temple and walking street market area. Just bring a good book, and the day is set.
Chaweng Noi offers a great alternative to Chaweng proper. Here you are close to the happening spots, yet far enough from the crowds. The sand is soft, the water clear and shallow for wading, and the mojitos flow from the resorts skirting the bay.
Those who say Chaweng is too busy need only come down for an early morning stroll for views like those above. When the crowds wake up, head to one of the quieter beaches if you prefer solitude.
Bophut beach’s central location makes it an ideal spot to spend a day. Here, five-star swish hotels rub shoulders with humble backpacker joints, and the food vendors sell their delights from a kayak. It’s a quick stroll to Fisherman’s Village from here.
Some resorts are located in small private bays. Private just means secluded, as all beach land is owned by the king — strictly speaking, a resort cannot deny you use of the beach in front of its premises. They can however stop you accessing it via their resort. But in saying that, most resorts are more than happy to let you use the restaurant and its facilities. Tell them at reception you are going to the restaurant, and often they’ll take you down in a buggy. This one pictured above is Akaryn, between Choeng Mon and Chaweng.
And don’t forget, some resorts will also let you use their pool for free should you have lunch.
By Rosanne Turner
Last updated on 4th June, 2015.