Photo: A handy pier for jumping.

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.

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Big Buddha Beach

This is a long sweeping bay with the bulk of the guesthouses and hotels running along the central and eastern stretches of the beach. The spots towards the eastern end of the beach get the worst aircraft noise.

The Scent Hotel
Toprange - 4,000B to 8,000B
58/1 Moo 4, Big Buddha Beach
T: (077) 962 198

The Scent Hotel is a boutique resort with 15 rooms located right on the beach. True to its name, one experiences an olfactory overload on entering the hotel, with a shop off reception selling aromatic products in beautiful packaging. The decor is inspired by Southeast Asia's colonial period, with intricate floor tiles, luxuriant cottons and silks, antiques, elegant Chinese lacquered furniture and... Read our full review of The Scent Hotel.

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Punnpreeda Hip Resort
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
32 Moo 4 Big Buddha Beach
T: (077) 246 222

This hip resort located towards the eastern end of Big Buddha Beach consists of rooms in a main building as well as villa-type accommodation. The resort has charm and character with interesting walkways and water features and the rooms are furnished in a modern, fresh style, with white concrete walls, vaulted ceilings and mood lighting. The accommodation is spacious, with seating areas both in... Read our full review of Punnpreeda Hip Resort.

Saboey Resort and Villas
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
51/4 Moo 4, Big Budda Beach
T: (077) 430 450

Saboey Resort and Villas, located in the middle of Big Buddha Beach on the seafront has an intimate feel, with only 18 rooms and villas. Furnishings are contemporary and elegant, with mosquito nets over four-poster beds, rattan ceilings, built-in seating areas, and interesting artwork. Villas are equipped with all essentials, such as air-con, WiFi, TV with DVD player, minibar, tea- and... Read our full review of Saboey Resort and Villas.

Villa Tanamera
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
34/28 Moo 4 Bang Rak
T: (077) 448 224

This small resort on Bang Rak beach has two-bedroom villas stylishly furnished in a contemporary style. They offer home-away-from-home living, in that they have full kitchens as well as a living and dining area, and two bedrooms, making them ideal for families or friends travelling together; indeed the general feel is more of a housing development than a resort. The sala villas have a rooftop... Read our full review of Villa Tanamera.

Marina Residence
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
Petcherat Pier, 4171 Road, central Bang Rak
T: (077) 425 262

From the streetfront, a modern glass, metal and wood building announces the entrance to the Marina Residence, Petcherat Pier and Marina Club Lounge in bold orange and yellow signage. Quite out of step with the bungalow-style resorts along this stretch of Bang Rak, the Petcherat complex is modern, and rather ‘un-Thai’ in design. Even the pier itself is concrete with orange painted metal... Read our full review of Marina Residence.

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Maya Buri
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
Ghost Road, Bang Rak (from Route 4170 turn at the 7-eleven, opposite Dae Tong Resort and Seafood restaurant — this is the short cut joining Bang Rak to Chaweng)
T: (077) 484 656

Although not on the beachfront, Maya Buri Boutique Resort is a good flashpacker option on Ko Samui that’s centrally located for those with hired scooters. A big pool as well as good rates more than make up for the location.This will do nicely, thank you.Although it’s not the most scenic location, you can’t knock it as a central point to most of the popular areas. This road leads to Chaweng,... Read our full review of Maya Buri.

P10 Samui Design
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
30/21 Moo 4, 4171 Road, Bang Rak, Ko Samui (opposite Petcharat pier, central Bang Rak)
T: (077) 417 333

If nothing else, P10 gets full marks for being noticeable on Ko Samui. Driving down Bang Rak’s main road, it is hard to miss the bizarre orange winged and floating roof that sits atop this modern glass building, and from an architectural perspective, it can be appreciated. It reflects the modern look of the Petcharat Marina building directly opposite, and is a sharp contrast to the... Read our full review of P10 Samui Design.

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Samui Pier Beachfront Resort
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
30/5 Moo 4 Big Buddha
T: (077) 417 337

Samui Pier Resort is located right next to Petcherat Pier on Big Buddha beach, offering interesting views of the boats coming and going between Samui and Ko Pha Ngan. The resort consists of whitewashed bungalows set in a large lawn area, each with a small patio. Rooms are furnished in a neat, modern style using white bedding and dark-wood furniture with splashes of colour in artwork, cushions,... Read our full review of Samui Pier Beachfront Resort.

Kinnaree Resort
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
73/2 Moo 4 Big Buddha
T: (077) 245 111

Kinnaree is a small beachfront resort of 14 rooms in the centre of Big Buddha. There is no swimming pool, but the beach is good for swimming. Its location and affordable rates make it an ideal stopover for those taking the Seatran Ferry or speedboat to Ko Pha Ngan, as the piers are only about 300 metres away. The resort itself is clean, although it is looking a little tired. Rooms vary in... Read our full review of Kinnaree Resort.

Secret Garden Beach Bungalows
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
22/1 Moo 4, Big Buddha Beach
T: (077) 245 255

During our Samui research earlier this year, we popped in to check out Secret Garden, a long-standing Bang Rak establishment; it looked tired and rundown, as if in need of a holiday itself. So on hearing that a new owner took over May 1, 2012, we couldn’t resist a peek to see if new eyes and energy were what Secret Garden needed. We were pleasantly surprised, and pleased to inform that the... Read our full review of Secret Garden Beach Bungalows.

Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Big Buddha Beach? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.

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