In the Samui Nannies office, we are often asked to make recommendations regarding the best beach, resort or area to stay on in Koh Samui.
Discussing this amongst the Samui Nannies' staff, we decided to put together our own guide to the main beaches on the island and here it is!
Chaweng is the most developed resort town on the island. Therefore it is the place that offers the widest choice of hotels, restaurants, shops and leisure opportunities. With a total length of almost seven kilometres, the Chaweng beach is a firm favorite with Samui Nannies' families and provides visitors with a long and large stretch of white powdery sand. Families can find all the space necessary for their children to enjoy a wide variety of beach activities including Samui Aquapark, kayaking and paddle-boarding as well as boogey-boarding. Chaweng is great for older kids and teenagers will enjoy people watching and mooching around the stalls on the hunt for "designer' goods.
Chaweng houses the only large shopping mall on the island – Central Festival Samui.
Chaweng dining scene can cater mostly any taste and budget
Its a long beach with many activities available including Samui Aquapark (large inflatable devices that permit a wide range of fun and challenging water activities for the whole family).
Seaside dining is available.
Good choice of high-quality beachfront hotels.
What's Not so Good:
Lacks an authentic Thai ambiance.
Crossing the beach road with children can be stressful at busy periods.
Few attractions, other than the beach and Central Festival Samui
Even though it is the second most visited destination in Samui, Lamai somehow retains the relaxed atmosphere of a village. The town centre hosts a lively scene of restaurants and shops, as well as the extremely popular Lamai Night Plaza. The beach of Lamai is a tropical paradise come true: it offers water activities, tranquil corners, and a good choice of venues serving affordable drinks and food. Very popular with Samui Nannies' families.
Lamai Town centre features a great choice of dining venues for all budgets.
Lamai Night Plaza (opened daily) and the weekly Walking Street (on Sundays) make Lamai a lively shopping hub.
A long beach with many activities available.
Seaside dining available.
Good range of hotel prices.
What’s Not so Good:
Access to the beach can be difficult if you do not stay in a beach hotel
Traffic is can be intense at busy periods.
Bophut definitely has all the benefit of a prime family holiday destination, especially if your kids are small. Samui Nannies' families love the village atmosphere and there is a great choice of beachfront accommodation options available along the three-kilometre long strip of sand. The beach offers splendid views to Koh Phangan, and a genuine southern Thai fisherman’s village feel that blends both vintage and modern touches. The village is really the soul of Bophut area and the perfect place to wander with family. It hosts an excellent range of dining and shopping venues as well as some cool attractions in its vicinity – mini-golf and go-kart track for instance.
Good compromise between 'too busy' and 'too quiet’.
The Fisherman’s Village houses lively shopping (Walking Street market on Fridays) and dining scenes
Wide range of hotel prices
Plenty of dining choices overlooking the beach
What’s Not so Good: The water can be quite murky, particularly around December when the tides are high. The sea 'shelves' quite near the shore and gets deep quite quickly from this point.
The sand is not as fine as some other beaches on the island.
Tourism-wise, Maenam is the quietest developed area in Koh Samui. Situated between Bang Por and Bophut beaches, Maenam’s shoreline is made of a five-kilometre long stretch of sand fringed by coconut trees housing a variety of resorts from the cheap and cheerful to the luxurious. Apart from a few standalone dining options, convenience stores, and the weekly Walking Street market held in the centrally located main village, Maenam is a very quiet place to stay. Maenam’s outskirts hosts a few attractions and activities such as Samui Canopy Adventure and Pink Elephant Water Park.
Tranquility of the area
Good choice of hotels for every budget
What’s Not so Good:
The water is not typically clear from September to December
Not much to do in the area without a vehicle
The best of the rest:
Choeng Mon Beach - Crystal Bay - Tongsai Bay
Thanks to all of the Samui Nannies staff for contributing their ideas, opinions and experience to this blog post.