Photo: Looking over to Ko Fan Noi.

Plai Laem, Thongson and Choeng Mon Beach

Our rating:

Basically encompassing the northeast "corner" of Ko Samui, Plai Laem and Choeng Mon wrap around roughly two kilometres of beachfront on Samui’s northeast corner, with Plai Laem running up the west coast of the peninsula from Bang Rak and the Big Buddha followed by a series of small bays dotted across the northern coast, and then finishing with Choeng Mon and Ko Fan Noi running down the east.





While the northern bays are mostly given over to luxurious high-end resorts, you will find the occasional more reasonably priced spot, with Choeng Mon having the biggest concentration of flashpacker digs in the area.

Massage o'clock already? Photo taken in or around Plai Laem, Thongson and Choeng Mon Beach, Ko Samui, Thailand by Stuart McDonald.

Massage o'clock already? Photo: Stuart McDonald

Prone to mudflats, Plai Laem is far from Samui’s prettiest beach, but it is quiet and you can safely relax with a book and not be disturbed by vendors or jet skis. A few midrange resorts are dotted along the beachfront should you feel like a refreshment. Towards the southern end of Plai Laem, and walking distance from Big Buddha, Wat Plai Laem is a colourful temple housing two large statues, one of the jovial laughing Buddha, and one of an 18-armed Buddha. This is a good place to take children, as they can feed the thousands of catfish, fattened by tourists and worshippers, or take a paddle in a swan-shaped boat across the pond.

From Plai Laem, the road snakes out to the various bays that dot the northern coast. Some, like Samrong Bay, are dominated by five-star resorts which either block access – as was the case with Six Senses who wouldn’t even let us approach reception – or suggest you buy a drink or meal to gain access to the public beach (as was our experience at Ayaraburi and Tongsai Bay). Between these two bays though is Thongson Bay, which you can get access to by following the road signs to the friendly low-key Thongson Bay ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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Plai Laem, Thongson and Choeng Mon Beach
Northeast Ko Samui

Location map for Plai Laem, Thongson and Choeng Mon Beach

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