Photo: There's always one tourist.

Taling Ngam Beach

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Like the northeastern corner of Samui, north-south running Taling Ngam has long been associated with upmarket and self-contained luxury hotels, but a scattering of more affordable places to stay lie around here, allowing not just the loaded to appreciate some fabulous outlooks from a sleepy corner of Samui.





The southwest corner of the island is dominated by the Conrad Hotel, a monumental blight on the landscape, but one whose awfulness can thankfully only truly be appreciated from the water – a situation assisted by their security not letting mere mortals like us anywhere near reception.

Temple around Taling Ngam. Photo taken in or around Taling Ngam Beach, Ko Samui, Thailand by Stuart McDonald.

Temple around Taling Ngam. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Just north from here though is the scenic and very little visited Phang Kha Bay which is home to a couple of resorts, Boutiquey Elements, which has a bit of a health tilt and the old school Phang Kha Paradise, which isn’t really all that paradisical. While the beach is a bit unsightly at low tide, you can walk for what seems like miles out into the nothingness and still have the water at below-knee depth – great for just sitting in and contemplating – don’t worry, you won’t be interrupted!

Originally a merchant port named Taling Punk (Damaged Shore) after taking abuse from a storm in 1900, Taling Ngam, or "beautiful shore", was renamed in 1942. Local families are mainly descendants of Thai and Chinese migrants who made their living through fishing, quite content with keeping their traditional lifestyle.

Chilling out at i-Talay. Photo taken in or around Taling Ngam Beach, Ko Samui, Thailand by Stuart McDonald.

Chilling out at i-Talay. Photo: Stuart McDonald

In this area (and also in Lipa Noi to the north of here) you’ll see many traditional wooden Southern-style houses dotted among the coconut plantations. Add to that a granny sitting on the patio or tending the veggie patch, several chickens digging in the dirt, coconuts piled high ready to be taken to market, and an assortment of dogs stretched out in the road, and you have your average Taling Ngam ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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