Koh Samui is just like the island paradise from the movies with its pristine white beaches, sapphire blue waters and legendary nightlife. This small island off the east coast of Thailand draws different types of visitors, from young travellers who come here to party every night, those looking for its relaxed culture, and others simply for the pristine beauty of the beaches and the sea. Each side of the island has something different to offer. The south and west coasts are more relaxed and casual, perfect for those looking to chill on the beach with a good book or looking to experience the local culture. The north and east coast are popular for the famous beach parties, bars and night clubs.

On the west coast is Lipa Noi, a secluded beach that’s perfect for a romantic stay. Further to the south lies Phang Ka, with a number of first-class resorts and one of the best places to see the sun set into the sea. To the south lies the Bay of Thong Krut; here you can explore the fishing village or take a charter boat to nearby islands Koh Tan and Koh Mudsum where you can go deep sea fishing.

Go dancing for the evening in Chaweng, then spend the day resting on the incredibly beautiful Chaweng Noi Beach. This beach, found south of the village, is a perfect place to escape from the maddening crowd. In the northeast lies Choeng Mon, the most exclusive part of the island, where the resorts and private beaches attract a bit more of mature, more family-friendly, crowd.

Visit the Great Buddha, just north of the airport. This 12 meter high bronze statue stands on its own little island just opposite the beach. Stroll through Bang Rak and Bo Phut to see the more traditional side of the island.

The beaches are easily accessible via the ring road that runs in a along the coast. When one beach is too busy, simply drive a few kilometres to the next beach. If you'd like to explore the surrounding islands, you're just a short boat trip from Koh Phangan and the spectacular Ang Thong National Park.

Where to stay in Koh Samui

Chaweng City Center
Chaweng City Center, Koh Samui, Thailand
trover photo by Ben Reeves

Chaweng City Center

Known for Beaches, Bars, Friendly People

4.5/5(35 reviews)

Travellers to Chaweng City Center praise its stunning beaches. If you've got some more time to explore, be sure to stop by Chaweng Beach and Phetch Buncha Thai Boxing Stadium.

Big Buddha Beach
Big Buddha Statue showing a monument

Big Buddha Beach

4.5/5(8 reviews)

If you're spending some time in Big Buddha Beach, Bangrak Beach and Fisherman's Village Plaza are top sights worth seeing.

Laem Sor Beach
Laem Sor Chedi

Laem Sor Beach

While visiting Laem Sor Beach, you might make a stop by sights like Laem Set Beach and Laem Sor Pagoda.

Top hotels in Koh Samui

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Chaweng Regent Beach Resort
Chaweng Regent Beach Resort
4.5 out of 5
155/4 Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui, Surat Thani
Rs8,065
per night
18 Nov-19 Nov

Located in Chaweng City Center, this beachfront resort is in the city centre and within a 15-minute walk of Chaweng Beach and Chaweng Lake. Phetch Buncha Thai ...

4.2/5Very Good! (894 reviews)

"Excellent service, extremely friendly staff, beautiful grounds, centrally located, breakfast is terrific, view and access to chewang beach is fantastic. This was our 5th time at the resort, it gets better every time!!! Will definitely be back"…"

Reviewed on 28 Oct 2019

Chaweng Regent Beach Resort
Amari Koh Samui
Amari Koh Samui
4 out of 5
14/3 Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui, Surat Thani
Rs7,496
per night
23 Nov-24 Nov

Offering direct access to the beach, this Koh Samui resort is in the city centre and within a 15-minute walk of Chaweng Beach and Chaweng Lake. Phetch Buncha ...

4.3/5Excellent! (575 reviews)

"Amari is a beautiful resort. There is 2 sides, ocean views and garden views. We had the garden views and it was so magical, when you wake up there is birds singing. It is so relaxing and I felt like a Disney princess. And the staffs are so accommodating, always willing to help with a smile. Thank ..."…"

Reviewed on 16 Nov 2019

Amari Koh Samui
OZO Chaweng Samui
OZO Chaweng Samui
3.5 out of 5
Chaweng Beach, Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani
Rs6,087
per night
18 Nov-19 Nov

Located in Chaweng City Center, this beachfront hotel is in the city centre and within a 5-minute walk of Chaweng Beach and Chaweng Thai Boxing Stadium. Central ...

4.4/5Excellent! (743 reviews)

"Beautiful modern beach hotel , large swimming pool and on beautiful beach Breakfast very good"…"

Reviewed on 29 Oct 2019

OZO Chaweng Samui

Popular things to do in Koh Samui

Big Buddha Statue
Image for Big Buddha Statue

Big Buddha Statue

4/5(59 reviews)

Perched high upon its own dedicated island, the Big Buddha of Koh Samui glints golden in the sun, quietly surveying the buzz of island life going on below.

Namuang Waterfall
Image for Namuang Waterfall

Namuang Waterfall

4/5(51 reviews)

Enjoy an invigorating swim in natural pools while admiring lush vegetation and striking rock formations at this pair of beautiful waterfalls.

Fisherman's Village Plaza
Image for Fisherman's Village Plaza

Fisherman's Village Plaza

4/5(81 reviews)

If you want to catch a glimpse of Koh Samui before tourism development, visit this wonderfully well-kept street of 19th-century Chinese shop-houses and French architecture.

Bangrak Beach
Image for Bangrak Beach

Bangrak Beach

4/5(31 reviews)

An underappreciated diamond on Samui's north coast, Bang Rak Beach has long been favoured by the young and hip.

Hin Ta and Hin Yai
Image for Hin Ta and Hin Yai

Hin Ta and Hin Yai

4/5(17 reviews)

Learn the story behind the grandmother and grandfather rocks, shaped like body parts, near the fishing village of Hua Thanon on Koh Samui.

Lamai Beach
Image for Lamai Beach

Lamai Beach

4/5(86 reviews)

Relax on one of Koh Samui’s most beautiful beaches, enjoy a massage in one of the many resorts and explore the surrounding picturesque fishing villages and temples.

Reviews of Koh Samui

4.5

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
127
5 - Excellent 59.905660377358494%
4 - Good
68
4 - Good 32.075471698113205%
3 - Okay
14
3 - Okay 6.60377358490566%
2 - Disappointing
3
2 - Disappointing 1.4150943396226414%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

11 Nov 2019

Towns are not the best place for youngsters after dark

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

12 Oct 2019

We have travelled a lot of Thailand now and this is ithout a doubt the most expensive place we have been to in thailand!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

6 Oct 2019

Loved the island

4/5 - Good

UKtraveller

30 Sep 2019

Lots of lovely places to visit on the island. The fisherman’s village was lovely with some amazing beach side restaurants

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

28 Sep 2019

Great place with very friendly people. Public transport is limited to Taxi's and a sort of Tuk-Tuk. You can rent a bike but I would thin before you do it as the roads are not the best in the world and not sure how many residents took a driving test !

5/5 - Excellent

Fiona

15 Sep 2019

Lovely island, would highly recommend it and we will defiantly go back.