Beach Vacations to Koh Samui, Thailand

Beach at Koh Samui, Thailand
Beach at Koh Samui, Thailand (Digital Visions)

Koh Samui Beach Travel Tips

  • The driest months in Koh Samui are December through February.
  • No need to rent a car to travel to the beaches: Taxis on Koh Samui are cheap and plentiful. However, most don't have meters so ask for the price in advance.
  • Chaweng and Lamai are the island's most popular beaches with the best infrastructure, but there are quieter beaches in the north, namely Chong Mon, Lipa Noi, and Bang Por.

The third largest island in Thailand, this tropical dab of heaven is said to be the second-most visited resort area after Phuket. Located in the Gulf of Thailand, it's easily accessible with over 20 daily direct flights from Bangkok, as well as direct flights from Singapore and Hong Kong. There were no roads or cars on Koh Samui until the early 1940s, and what started as a backpacker destination in the late 1970s became a hot spot by the 1990s. Now, despite the luxury resorts and beach parties, it retains the air of wilderness and tranquility that attracted everyone here in the first place, with plenty of wide beaches and some of the best snorkeling and diving in Southeast Asia. Koh Samui is surrounded by more than 60 other islands, including the 42 limestone islands of the Ang thong National Marine Park.

The whole island of Koh Samui can be driven around in just a couple of hours. On the northeast coast, Chaweng is the most popular beach area, with everything from small bungalows to five-star hotel rooms, and several nightclubs hopping into the wee hours. Lamai is the second-most popular beach, located in the southeast of the island, about six miles south of Chaweng. It's lower key than Chaweng, with a smaller, but just as pretty, beach. The harbor town of Nathon is the commercial center where not many tourists stay. Don't worry about being bored on Koh Samui: If the nightlife, shopping, and beaches don't wear you out, there is everything from Thai kickboxing to bungee jumping, go karts, and gorgeous temples to keep you occupied.

Published: 7 Jul 2009 | Last Updated: 30 Mar 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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