Blessed with long sandy beaches, tree-fringed tranquil bays and a choice of luxurious resorts, Ko Samui offers all the ingredients you need for a unique honeymoon holiday.
Ko Samui is Thailand’s second-most popular island (after Phuket) and a very popular honeymoon destination.
The island is fringed with several white- and golden-sand beaches that nestle beneath lush green hills facing sheltered coves.
Ko Samu offers long sandy beaches and a choice of luxurious beachfront resorts – perfect for a unique honeymoon holiday.
Ko Samui's busiest beaches lie on the east coast and boast a choice of accommodation options that ranges from budget bungalows to 5-star luxury resorts. The island’s circular road provides easy access to neighbouring beaches.
Ko Samui’s best beaches, include…
Crowded with a huge array of restaurants, bars, shops and resorts, palm-fringed Chaweng is the liveliest beach on Ko Samui and exudes an unbeatable carnival-like atmosphere.
It’s easy to relax on this gorgeous 7km-long crescent of powder-white sand, flanked by a rocky 300m-high headland to the south, an offshore reef and the tiny island of Ko Matlam to the north, which offers good snorkelling.
Pick a good spot to sunbathe on Chaweng, go swimming, rent a jet-ski, catamaran or kayak and unwind with a pedicure and massage from a talented beachside vendor.
The deep water of the southern and central sections of the beach are best for swimming, while the shallow water at the northern end of the beach is ideal for children.
After dark, dig your toes into the soft sand while enjoying fresh seafood at one of several beach restaurants, then head into town to sample a range of lively nightlife options.
For a quiet alternative, try this less crowded, pretty crescent of white sand, separated from Chaweng by a low headland.
Enjoy good swimming and creature comforts at the beachfront Sheraton Samui Resort (formerly Imperial Samui Beach Resort), situated at the southern end of the beach.
This pristine, jungle-fringed white-sand beach is located south of Ban Taling Ngam along the southwest coast and offers stunning views of Ang Thong Marine National Park as well as magical sunsets.
Come on a day trip, enjoy a tasty seafood lunch at the beachside seafood restaurant or indulge in a few days or longer at the beachfront Elements Boutique Resort & Spa.
Unwind on this secluded, 5km-long, narrow crescent of palm-fringed golden sand located on the northern coast and facing nearby Ko Pha Ngan.
This quiet and laid-back beach is home to a few resorts as well as a cluster of shops, cafes and restaurants. A small headland separates Mae Nam from another laid-back beach – Bophut.
Discover a quiet, 2km-long crescent of palm-fringed white sand that is perfect for sunbathing and swimming, with the charming so-called Fisherman’s Village of Bophut just a short walk away.
Explore narrow streets crowded with old Chinese shop fronts that still retain the island’s original Thai-Chinese atmosphere. To the west of the beach lie a number of fashion and jewellery boutiques, bistros and trendy bars.
Bophut Beach is especially good for couples and children, with a range of accommodation including the luxury beachside Melati Resort & Spa and the Anantara Resort Ko Samui, which offer a range of creature comforts.
Bophut is located on the northern coast, just 15 minutes drive from bustling Chaweng Beach.
This white-sand beach is located in the northeast of Ko Samui and offers good swimming with picturesque views and numerous beachside restaurants, shops and bars.
A short causeway at the eastern end of the beach leads to the Wat Phra Yai temple, home to a 12m-tall Buddha statue known locally as the Big Buddha.
Unwind on this gorgeous casuarina- and palm-fringed kilometre-long crescent of powder-white sand that faces beautiful Tongsai Bay.
Flanked by the magnificent rocky headland of Choeng Mon and the small island of Ko Fan Noi, family friendly Choeng Mon Beach boasts a number of luxury accommodation options where you can relax in comfort, including the 5-star Tongsai Bay Resort.
Kayak or swim out (or walk at low tide) to Ko Fan Noi, sunbathe on its secluded white-sand beach or search for tiny shells along the main beach before climbing up to the Choeng Mon headland for panoramic views over the surrounding rocky coves.
Unwind on this 4km-long crescent of palm-fringed powder-white sand perfect for sunbathing, with good swimming in deep water at the southern end of the beach.
Lamai offers a quiet alternative to nearby Chaweng, while still providing a good range of resorts, restaurants and bars that cluster around the centre of the beach.
When you tire of lounging on the beach stroll to the southern end to ponder the curious phallic rock formations of Hin Yai and Hin Ta, known locally as the Grandma and Grandpa rocks.
Stroll around Lamai village and people-watch local Thai villagers going about their daily life or visit nearby Wat Lamai Temple and Wat Khunaram, home to the mummified body of Loung Pordaeng, one of Ko Samui's most famous monks.
This palm-fringed white-sand beach shelves very gently into turquoise waters providing shallow water out to sea for around 100m, making it an ideal spot for children to swim safely.
While there isn’t much in the way of nightlife at Lipa Noi, a few seafood restaurants and bars offer the perfect spot to enjoy a magical sunset on this west-facing beach.
Choose from several gorgeous white-sand beaches for sunbathing or swimming. Snorkel or dive the surrounding coral gardens and explore rocky headlands and offshore islands by kayak.
Offshore coral gardens are set in dazzling crystal clear waters offering honeymoon couples the perfect setting for swimming, snorkelling and kayaking.
Inland, plantations of swaying coconut palms give way to a pristine, jungle-clad mountainous interior that peaks at 635m above sea level on the summit of Khao Pom. Experience the unspoilt rainforest on foot or by elephant, quad bike, mountain bike and ATV.
Pay homage to the Big Buddha at Wat Phra Yai, visit the Na Muang Falls and reflect on the curiously shaped rock formations at the end of Lamai Beach.
Ko Samui is Thailand’s third largest island (at 247km²) and the largest of some 80 (mostly uninhabited) islands in the archipelago, with more than half comprising the Ang Thong National Marine Park.
Once an isolated, self-sufficient community, Koh Samui now provides Thailand with one of its richest sources of tourism income.
Ko Samui offers a wide range of water- and land-based activities, including quad biking, jungle trekking and mountain biking; while the nearby Ang Thong Marine National Park offers excellent diving, snorkelling and kayaking.
The waters around Ko Samui offer good diving for beginners, with visibility in some places up to 30m and a variety of underwater pinnacles, coral gardens and marine life to see. Several operators offer PADI open water courses.
Advanced divers can visit world-class sites less than two hours away by boat at Ang Thong National Marine Park, Sail Rock and around Ko Tao (Turtle Island), where it’s possible to swim among giant groupers, scribbled filefish, masked porcupine fish, yellowtail, barracuda and snapper as well as hundreds of different varieties of colourful soft and hard coral.
The best time to enjoy optimum conditions for diving is between March and August.
Typically, good snorkelling can be found off any one of the main beaches. Swim out to offshore islands and rocky headlands at Choengmon Bay, Chaweng Bay, Lamai Bay, Hua Thanon Bay, Ko Mudsum and Koh Tan.
Or take an excursion to beautiful Ko Tao and Ko Nangyuan islands.
Paddle around the coves and explore the coastline of Ko Samui or take an excursion to the nearby Ang Thong National Park where you have a choice of lush jungle-clad islands to paddle around and explore ashore.
These include Ko Mae, with its dense rainforest and hidden green, and Ko Wao where you can explore limestone caves and bizarre rock formations.
Take a half-hour boat ride north to idyllic Ko Pha Ngan and party hard at the famous full moon beach party at Hat Rin Beach or learn to dive on Ko Tao, renowned for its good range of dive sites and abundant marine life.
Inland, plantations of swaying coconut palms give way to a pristine, jungle-clad mountainous interior that peaks at 635m above sea level on the summit of Khao Pom.
Experience the unspoilt rainforest on foot or by elephant, quad bike, mountain bike and ATV – easily arranged from your hotel.
Major sightseeing attractions on Ko Samui, include…
Discover postcard-perfect vistas of white-sand beaches, hidden lagoons, sheer limestone cliffs and dense jungle at Ang Thong National Marine Park, an archipelago of 42 small islands lying off the coast of Surat Thani Province.
Popularised in the movie The Beach, Ang Thong covers a total area of 10,400ha of which only 1800ha is land. The seven main islands are Wua Ta Lap Island, home to the park's headquarters; Phaluai Island; Mae Koh Island; Sam Sao Island; Hin Dap Island; Nai Phut Island; and Phai Luak Island.
Take a one-day boat trip from Nathon or Mae Nam on Ko Samui to explore some of the lush jungle-clad islands some of which are home to 40m-high limestone towers fringed by lush green jungle and white-sand beaches.
Once a haven for pirates, these islands boast stunning unspoilt white-sand beaches, pristine coral reefs, unusual rock formations, dramatic limestone cliffs and caves as well as wildlife such as long-tailed macaques, leopard cats, common wild pig and squirrels.
Go kayaking, snorkelling and swimming. Hike across Ko Wua Talab (Sleeping Cow Island) to the island’s summit (430m) for postcard-perfect views, discover hidden lagoons and visit Tham Buabok Cave to see lotus-shaped stalactites and stalagmites.
Don’t miss Thalay Noi, an inland saltwater lake with a hidden outlet to the sea on Ko Mae Ko (Mother Island), made famous by the film The Beach.
For visits of longer than a day, small bungalows are available to rent from the national park’s headquarters.
The park is open year-round, but the seas can be rough and the waters are usually less clear during the monsoon season (October through December).
Ang Thong is located 35km northwest of Ko Samui.
Hike or ride an elephant along the 5km-long trail from the village of Baan Thurian (famous for its durian trees) to see the tallest and most scenic waterfall on Samui.
Here a 30m-high cascade plunges over amazing purple rocks. Admire the sight then cool off with a dip in the naturally sculpted rock pool at the base of the waterfall.
Ponder the preserved mummified remains of a revered former abbot, Loung Pordaeng, who sits upright in a glass casket in apparently the same meditation position, or mudra, as when he died more than 20 years ago. Watch as devotees offer flowers and incense.
These curious rock formations on Lamai beach – which bear a resemblance to male and female sexual organs – are worth a chuckle and locals are only too happy to recount the legends surrounding the rocks.
Ko Samui is renowned for its choice of luxurious resorts located on stunning beachfronts or hidden away in secluded coves overlooking private beaches and the Gulf of Thailand – perfect for a romantic honeymoon.
The island offers a large selection of 5-star resorts that typically edge pristine white-sand beaches, including the following…
Four Seasons Resort Ko Samui
Location: Angthong, Laem Yai BAy
Prices: from AUD1,170 per room
Description: Surrounded by tropical gardens, Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui is situated on the island’s northwestern tip, a quiet oasis on Laem Yai Bay. Windsurfing, golf and a spa are featured. Each room is fitted with a private infinity pool, private bar and iPod dock. Guests can enjoy views of the gardens or Gulf of Siam on the outdoor day bed. The bathroom’s glass doors open onto the private deck for an al fresco bathing experience. Chilled towels are offered at Koh Samui Four Seasons’ beachside infinity pool. Guests can recharge with a game of tennis, a variety of beach sports or a workout at the fitness centre. A large book and DVD library is provided. The hotel’s SIAMSEAS cruising boat offers access to Marine National Park and a variety of other locations. The Four Seasons’ restaurant serves fresh local seafood seasoned with exotic herbs from nearby gardens. Both Thai and International cuisine are offered. The Beach Bar serves a variety of tropical cocktails. The resort is about a 30-minute drive from both Big Buddha and Koh Samui International Airport.
Banyan Tree Samui
Location: Lamai Beach
Prices: from AUD870 per room
Description: Set on an exclusive beachfront along Lamai Bay, Banyan Tree Samui offers 5-star villa accommodation with private infinity pools. It features a world-class spa, 5 dining options and free Wi-Fi. Spacious villas feature private balconies with sweeping views of the ocean or tropical greenery. Each comes with a flat-screen cable TV, DVD player and iPod dock. Large bathrooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and twin vanities. Guests can indulge with relaxing body treatments and massages at The Rainforest. The resort has a well-equipped fitness centre, library and beauty shop. Leisure activities include diving, cycling and fishing. Buffet breakfast with a range of international dishes is available at The Edge. Authentic Thai dishes can be enjoyed at Saffron restaurant. Other dining options include the Lobby Lounge, Pool Bar and Sands, Banyan Tree’s premier beach grill. Banyan Tree Samui is a 20-minute drive from Samui International Airport. It is a 2-minute drive from Beach Republic Club and a 5-minute drive from the scenic Grandfather and Grandmother Stone.
Six Senses Hideaway
Location: Choeng Mon Beach
Prices: from AUD497 per room
Description: On the northern tip of Samui Island, the luxurious Six Senses Samui enjoys panoramic views of the Gulf of Siam. Boasting a beautiful infinity pool, it has a spa and private beach. Air-conditioned villas feature large open spaces and wooden flooring which give rooms a bright and airy feel. Fitted with a cable/satellite TV, villas also come with a DVD player, free internet and large daybeds. The elegant Six Senses Spa provides relaxing massage therapies and yoga classes. The hotel's tour desk can help organise jungle treks, island boat trips and diving excursions. Dining on the Rocks offers a modern interpretation of Asian cuisine with stunning ocean views. Dining on the Hill features authentic Thai dishes and fresh barbecued seafood. Six Senses Samui is a 10-minute drive from Samui International Airport. It is around 800 m from Bo Phut Pier and Fisherman's Village.
Santiburi Beach Resort & Spa
Location: Mae Nam Beach
Prices: from AUD496 per room
Description: Santiburi Beach Resort, Golf and Spa is located along beautiful Mae Nam Beach in Koh Samui. Featuring luxurious villas and suites, it offers a tropical outdoor pool and free Wi-Fi. Surrounded by greenery, the spacious accommodations at Resort Santiburi Beach feature polished wooden floors and traditional Thai furnishings. In-room entertainment is provided with the flat-screen cable/satellite TV and DVD player. Guests can relax in the hot tub or indulge in a pampering massage at the spa. An 18-hole championship golf course is just a 5-minute drive from Santiburi. For a good workout, water sports facilities are also available. Authentic Thai dishes and Mediterranean food can be enjoyed under the stars at Santiburi Beach Resort’s restaurant. Refreshing evening drinks are served at the cosy Taksin Lounge. Santiburi Beach Resort, Golf and Spa is about 8 km from Samui Airport.
Location: Mae Nam Beach
Prices: from AUD447 per room
Description: The luxurious Belmond Napasai offers a 5-star tropical getaway in Ko Samui, with its very own beachfront, beautiful sea view infinity pool, and pampering spa services. Overlooking Ban Tai Beach, it has 4 dining options. Spacious air-conditioned villas feature modern Thai decor and large patios with views of the sea. Equipped with free Wi-Fi, each has a DVD player, TV and a Thai-style sofa. En suite bathrooms present a terazzo bathtub and rainshower. Napasai Belmond is located along Mae Nam Beach and is about 25 minutes' drive from Samui Airport. Free parking is available. Guests can take PADI-certified diving and snorkelling lessons, or even take part in elephant trekking tours. An 18-hole championship golf course is just a 5-minute drive away. Boasting 180° views of the ocean, as well as outdoor seating, Lai Thai Restaurant serves authentic Thai cuisine all day. Fresh seafood barbecue and international dishes are offered at the casual Beach Restaurant. Drinks can be enjoyed at the 2 bars.
SALA Samui Resort And Spa
Location: Choeng Mon Beach
Prices: from AUD545 per room
Description: Located along Koh Samui's Choeng Mon Beach, SALA Samui Resort and Spa offers modern facilities complemented by traditional Thai architecture. It boasts an 80 m private beach and 2 beachfront pools. Rooms come with private balconies or terraces and outdoor bathrooms. Amenities include cable TV, a DVD player and tea/coffee making facilities. Some villas feature a private pool with a sundeck. Guests can enjoy a massage in one of the spa pavilions, or exercise in the fitness centre. SALA Samui Resort also has a tour and activities desk, a library area and a business centre. Both SALA Samui Restaurant and Pangaea Restaurant & Bar serve Thai and international dishes. The beach bar offers indoor, outdoor and beach seating. In-villa dining is also available. SALA Samui Resort and Spa is a 10-minute drive from both Samui Airport, Fisherman's Village and Chaweng Centre.
The best time to visit Ko Samui is during January and February.
However, anytime during the dry season from mid-December through to early-March is good, with daytime temperatures averaging 28°C (82°F).
Ko Samui can be visited year round, but it’s probably best to avoid November – the wettest month of the year.
Short tropical downpours occur from May onward, leading up to the rainy season that lasts from October to mid-December.
More information about Ko Samui weather
Ko Samui is located around 84km (52mi) northeast of Surat Thani in the Gulf of Thailand.
The most convenient route to Koh Samui is by air to Koh Samui International Airport (USM), located around 2km (1.2mi) north of Chaweng in the northwest corner of the island.
From most overseas destinations this requires first flying into Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK), or Singapore's Changi Airport (SIN), followed by a connecting flight to Koh Samui.
Alternatively, a ferry and high-speed catamaran service operates to Ko Samui from the mainland ports of Surat Thani, Chumphon and Donsak.
More information about how to get to Ko Samui…
Getting around Ko Samui is fairly easy given the choice of transport options and the small size of the island. At only 25km (15mi) long and 21km (13mi) wide, most trips around Ko Samui tend to be quite short.
While Ko Samui has neither tuk-tuks nor a scheduled bus service, you can easily rent cars, motorcycles and bicycles. Songtaews also provide an efficient way to get around the island.
While main roads in Koh Samui are paved, many others are often in a state of disrepair and some are simply sandy tracks. Roads leading inland can be particularly steep. Traffic drives on the left-hand side of the road.
More information about how to get around Ko Samui…
Latest update: About Ko Samui: 9 June, 2022