Best places to stay in Koh Samui
Fringed with tropical palms and coconut trees, Mae Nam is a quieter scene than her neighbours. It’s not as developed as some other Koh Samui resort towns, but boasts an excellent coastline that promotes family centric fun, beach sports, swimming and snorkeling. Maenam beach is especially suited to families with children as the water is shallow and there is no noise from glaring nightlife or bustling traffic. Apart from the beach, Maenam is a great place for families for other reasons. Not only are there several hotels and resorts ranging from one to five-star, but there’s an excellent dining and shopping scene. Indeed, Maenam a great destination for people looking for a place to get away from it all. People come here to rejuvenate their bodies and souls in the heart of nature.
On the other hand, for people searching for a more exhilarating experience, glaring nightlife may be enjoyed at one of the conveniently close towns of Bophut and Chaweng, both of which offer lively nightlife activities.
One of the most charming locations in Koh Samui, Bophut is home to an attractive and atmospheric Fisherman’s Village. The beach at the village is small and not suitable for swimming, but is great for enjoying various types of seafood and cocktails along the beach.
Quite a quaint area, Bophut serves as a throwback to the old days on Samui with its quaint wooden houses, leisurely waterfront and authentic restaurants. Here, visitors often sit on the pier to enjoy the restful, colorful scene of fishermen sailing upon the open waters. Bophut is one of the few places on Samui that retains some of the island's original Thai-Chinese atmosphere. Old Chinese shop-houses crowd the narrow streets, many having been converted to modern use as restaurants, cafés and shops. On the more upbeat side, the immediate area around the village is filled with beachside hotels and resorts, cafes and bars.
Chaweng is located on the east coast of Koh Samui and has a reputation for having a pristine white beach and an excellent nightlife infrastructure especially on the northern end. A rather diverse area, Chaweng attracts a variety of travellers, from hippies to singles, couples, honeymooners, wedding parties and families. Chaweng Beach is the largest and most popular of Samui's beaches, and is usually divided into four sections: North Chaweng, Central Chaweng, South Chaweng and ChawengNoi. All these beaches are absolutely stunning, lined with coconut trees and boasts year long, warm emerald-blue waters. Moreover, Chaweng Beach is approximately 7 km long, making it the longest beach on the east coast and great for finding small, secluded spots to enjoy the scenery in privacy.
Finding a cozy spot, you can lounge with your loved one and peer at the spectacular views to be experienced on the beach, including that of two small islands, near the natural reef. In fact, during the low tide, visitors can often walk to the islands across sand bars.
Chaweng enjoys a widespread reputation of offerings some of the best dishes prepared in all of Koh Samui. Apart from traditionally prepared dishes, guests will find restaurants serving up international menus that are akin to that of any leading capital city in the world.
Lamai is a laid back beach on the east coast of Koh Samui. Lamai Beach is Koh Samui's second-largest resort area after Chaweng. However, the beach area holds the distinction of being far less bustling and therefore much quieter than Chaweng, but still hosts some of the best accommodation, dining and shopping options in all of Koh Samaui.
The southern third of the beach has the widest strip of sand. As such, the beach is excellent for romantics as well as those simply looking to have a bit of quit time. The south is also great for swimming. To the north, the water doesn't get deep enough for swimming and so is great for families with small children.
Furthermore, Koh Samui's most popular tourist sites are in this locality so whenever visitors need a break from the beach, they can go exploring nearby attractions. To the south, you can find several cafes and restaurants offering traditional Thai dishes. On your way to the south, you’ll find two famous rock formations: Hin Ta and Hin Yai (Grandpa and Grandma Rocks) that resemble the male and female genitalia. Close to the formations is a small beach as well as small souvenir shops, cafes and hangout spots.
For a cultural experience there’s the Wat Lamai Temple and the Wat Khunaram. The Wat Lamai Temple plays host to several fairs and concerts, any of which would be a great cultural experience if you happen to stop by during such a celebration. In addition, the Cultural Hall within the temple contains a collection of artifacts from Samui's past. Wat Khunaram is a Buddhist temple that houses the well preserved, viewable body of one of Samui's most famous mummified monk, Loung Pordaeng.
Completely natural, untouched and original, TalingNgam is nature’s gift to Koh Samaui. TalingNgam is one of the last regions of Koh Samui that remains largely untouched as its offerings are tucked away, and as such do not really impact on the natural surroundings. The area boasts pristine jungles and jungle shrouded beaches akin to an intact tropical paradise. There are only a few small resorts here. There is no doubt that this is one of the most picturesque parts of the island. With an amazing selection of wildlife and stunning biodiversity, TalingNgam features its own marine park, the Anthong Marine National Park.
TalingNgam caters to those looking for those looking for a relaxing holiday without excessive noise, crowds or anything reminiscent of a fast paced life. It’s a great place to stay if you need to get away from the tourist hubs and enjoy untouched beauty; the most you will find here is several lovely restaurants and bars that dot the coast. Here, it’s all about nature. As an example, lounging on the open beach and watching the sun set over the five islands is a great way to enjoy authentic Thai life in authentic Thai life.