Take only memories, leave only footprints Chief Seattle 1786 - 1866
This Ko Samui Beach guide invites you on what is
perhaps the ultimate adventure journey of a lifetime. It's a great
opportunity to explore Thailand's finest and possibly best loved
beaches. If you haven't been here before, you might never have guessed
that somewhere on this vast planet of ours is this wondrous tropical
island. Ko Samui is truly what dreams are made of and if these dreams would be a reality, you wouldn't ever want to leave the island lifestyle.
I'm absolutely convinced that many seasoned travel writers get some of
their best inspirations whilst on these beautiful island
beaches. And so began my journey as a travel writer. I'd love you to stay tuned into more adventure travel stories as the journey takes you further down this path. Just like the vast
universe itself, there is no end, only the beginning. And this journey is right
in front of you.
If ever there were more appealing beaches in Thailand, then the beaches of Ko Samui have got to be right on top of the list, then again once here, you will be the supreme judge. It can be extremely difficult to try and describe and or explain to you the absolute natural beauty of these stunning locations.
To be very honest, the best time to be here isn't necessary in season (before Christmas and after New Year) as it can become very crowded especially on the most popular Ko Samui beach. During the rest of the year, including the rainy season, you'll be assured of a fantastic time.
Arial View of Chaweng and Lamai Beach
Ko Samui Beach - Chaweng
Chaweng Beach is a magnificent beach extending for approximately six kilometres (four miles) along a palm fringed stretch of silky soft sandy coastline. The Beach is situated on the east coast of Ko Samui island and overlooking the coast is some equally impressive crystal clear emerald-blue waters and an easily accessible coral reef. The reef itself can be reached from two small islands off Chaweng beach.
In fact, you could simply walk through the shallow waters to them. The other larger island of the two is a bit further out, but will no doubt provide you with some excellent opportunities to enjoy some snorkeling and or kayaking.
Because of the amazing reefs in Ko Samui, you're welcome to take advantage of the diving schools here, where you could even take your diver's license. Other beach activities include jet-skiing, para-sailing, windsurfing and wake-boarding. You can rent several water sport utilities from speedboats to banana boats to canoes. Not to be outdone, you could even hire a catamaran for the day. And with so much to do, it would make sense to get going as soon as possible.
And because of its popularity, Chaweng
Beach is the most developed of all the beaches on the island. It's also where you'll find the best hotels and resorts, as are all the top 5 star restaurants, as well as the casual communal sit down open air establishments.
There are also many souvenir
and clothing stores, including the notorious tailor shops that seem to
follow you around wherever you go. And of course there are the ever
present bars and clubs pumping out rock, reggae and techno music to
anyone who cares to listen.
If you prefer somewhere a little
quieter, then try the northern part of the beach as it less crowded than
its central parts. Please remember that to stay cool on the beach, you
can always find many local food and drinks vendors passing by offering
anything from fruits, ice cream to local Thai food for your convenience
Chaweng Beach View from a Restaurant
Ko Samui Beach - The North Island
There are a few beaches along the north coast of Ko Samui. They
may not be the prettiest on the island, but they do create a superb
platform to wonderful panoramic views across the ocean, particularly
Maenam is the most westerly beach being an exposed four kilometre
bay with a relatively narrow white shoreline with slightly coarser sand
unlike that of the east coast. What this beach does have, is a rather
laid-backed atmosphere to it and permits you to spoil yourself with good
safe swimming. You are also likely to find the most budget travellers
despite some recent upmarket developments. What you won't find here are
the razzle dazzle bars and nightclubs. For that you'll have to take a
late night songthaew to either Chaweng or Lamai.
The next bay is Bophut
which is similar in stature to Maenam, though remarkably different in
atmosphere and facilities, that being the more noticeable Italian and
French influence. It's a quiet beach with a wholesome family feel to it
attracting a mixture of young and older crowds. At the east end
of the bay is the fishing village of Ban Bophut, where you'll find a few
small hotels, a sprinkling of internet cafes, supermarkets, travel
agencies and one second-hand book store.
Vendor selling fruit on Chaweng Beach
Ko Samui Beach - Lamai Beach
Lamai Beach is the second most popular Ko Samui beach. This
smaller neighbour also on the east coast can be found a few kilometers
around the corner just south of Chaweng Beach. This is a pretty little
piece of paradise, particularly down at the beaches southern end. Lamai
beach takes on the shape of a crescent moon with hundreds of coconut
trees bending over the blue-green waters thus giving it a very tranquil
There are bizarre looking rock formation dotted about, so be extremely careful when swimming as the sea here is quite
deep in places.
Although there are far fewer tourists here at this
Ko Samui beach, it does however attract many backpackers. Lamai beach
also dishes out all the usual suspects when it comes to water sports
such as jet-skiing, wake-boarding, windsurfing and para-sailing. You can rent a variety of motorized boats for your private use.
At the southern end of the beach in an area called Hin Ta Hin Yai, you'll find a wide range of souvenir shops. You'll also find several go-go bars, pubs and discos.
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View over Lamai Beach
Ko Samui Beach - Big Buddha Beach
No one can quite understand why anyone would want to spend so much time at Bangrak Bay
unless of course you enjoy the resonating sound of traffic from the
adjacent road or have an infectious fascination for roaring overhead
airplanes. The bay is that close to the new airport.
Big Buddha Beach
is the other name often referred to this Ko Samui beach. It's a small
bay located right on the north eastern part of the island with views
overlooking two small offshore islands. On one of the islands is a
twelve metre high Buddha which can be seen from miles away. The enormous
statue silently gazes down on sun-worshipers and is considered a well
known landmark here.
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