One of the main things that Koh Samet has to offer is its abundance of white sandy beaches! The island has many beautiful, serene beaches which regularly bring in travellers who enjoy exploring the brilliant bays and hidden coves.
Most of Koh Samet’s beaches have calm seas so are perfect for swimming and doing water sports. You’ll have plenty of choice here, from bar-studded beaches to secluded, tranquil coves.
Read on to discover the perfect Koh Samet beach for you.
Koh Samet Beaches:
Looking for other things to do in Koh Samet? Check out my guide on the best things to do in Koh Samet.
Most of Koh Samet’s beaches lie along the eastern shore of the island and you can easily hop from bay to bay.
If you’re looking for peace and quiet then head to the south of the island however if you’re looking for bars, restaurants and music then the north is the best place for you. Each beach has a different feel and atmosphere and all are open to the public (except for Ao Kui Na Nok – discussed below).
Want more information on Koh Samet – check out my ultimate Koh Samet guide.
Top Tip: the further south you go, the more empty the beaches will be (they’re also a lot less developed). You will often find alluring white sandy beaches completely empty.
For information on how to reach Koh Samet island from Bangkok – check out our handy guide here.
If you take the main ferry to Na Dan Pier, after a 10 minute walk, the first beach you will come to is Sai Kaew – the biggest and most popular beach on the island!
It’s around 900 metres long and is the most developed beach compared to others on Koh Samet. Featuring an abundance of restaurants and bars situated right on the sand itself, you can dine right on the shore with your feet in the sand. You can expect music, live bands, beach BBQs and more. It has a lively atmosphere all year round.
Sai Kaew is also the best beach for nightlife. It has a busy beachfront where all the activity occurs and there are plenty of watering holes to get yourself a cocktail or two. It can get pretty busy and loud in the evenings but don’t worry, if loud music and bars aren’t your thing, in the evenings, you can also relax on bean bags situated right on the sand.
The white sandy beach can be somewhat crowded, especially in peak season however it also has the best amenities by having endless rows of restaurants, plenty of space and is close by to shops. The beach is also lined with palm trees that are great to give beach-goers some shade.
You will also be able to take part in water sports here such as jet skiing, banana boating, canoeing and scuba diving however it does mean the ocean is crowded with various boats but don’t worry, there are areas roped off for swimmers to separate them from the boats.
Walking further south from Sai Kaew, you will find Ao Phai beach which is a favourite of backpackers. It is separated from Sai Kaew by a low, rocky area.
It is another breathtaking beach with a white sandy shore and azule waters. It’s a great place to head to in the evenings as you will find more beachfront restaurants here and fire shows in the evenings. It also has a pretty lively nightlife.
Here, you will also find a range of water sport options such as jet skiing and windsurfing. Why not rent a kayak for an hour at ~200 baht ($6) and paddle around the bay? You will also see the famous mermaid statue around here which depicts a mermaid showing a prince to the island.
Ao Hin Khok
Just 5 minutes further down is the beach, Ao Hin Khok which is also known to be popular amongst travellers and backpackers. You’ll know you’ve reached it when you pass the mermaid and prince statues.
It is smaller than the previous beaches but has a more laid back feel. It’s a great place to relax, grab an ice cold drink and lay on the beach or in a nearby hammock. The beach is a lot more empty than Sai Kaew, as the hotels and restaurants are built back, away from the sand.
It tends to be popular with backpackers due to the budget accommodation options and laid back feel. Again, the ocean here is great for swimming and although relaxed, it can get a bit more lively in the evenings.
If you want to meet other travellers, make sure you check out Naga Bar after dark – a great place for cheap drinks where you can meet other backpackers.
Ao Wong Duean
This crescent-shaped bay is also popular with tourists, with some staying in the hotels nearby. If you’re staying in the north of the island, you can walk/take a songthaew (taxi pick-up truck) to get here or you can access it by speedboat from the mainland.
It has an excellent range of restaurants/bars on the beachfront and has a more relaxing feel compared to Sai Kaew. Ao Wong Duean has a lot less amenities compared to Sai Kaew but it has all you’ll need, without the crowds.
Accommodation is a little more expensive here, compared to elsewhere on the island but you can get some really nice bungalow accommodation. It’s great if you want somewhere a little more relaxed and calm but still has a good range of activities, restaurants and bars. It does have a little more of a sophisticated feel compared to Sai Kaew and has a much more calm nightlife – you won’t find backpackers partying all night long here.
For a more undeveloped and natural feeling beach check out Ao Cho. It features a long wooden pier that stretches out into the ocean (but looks a little rickety and unsafe). It also has sandy white beaches and aquamarine waters making it very beautiful.
Ao Cho has a slightly more untidy feel, compared to the other beaches on the island, as you’ll see old, faded signs and broken down boats in the shores. It is definitely an interesting beach to explore!
To reach it you will probably need to get a songthaew or other means of transport. Check out my guide for more information on getting around Koh Samet island.
Ao Wai is one of the most southern beaches of the island. It is much more remote but not completely isolated.
It can be little more difficult to get to if you’re staying elsewhere on the island, you’ll probably need to jump into a songthaew which will take you down a bumpy dirt road. If you’re staying near Ao Wong Duaen, it takes about 30 minutes to walk. It’s worth the trip though as it’s a really calm and secluded beach.
It’s a dreamy escape from the noise of Sai Kaew and as there is only 1 resort here, it is very quiet and secluded so you probably won’t see many other people down here. It is a dreamy piece of bliss, great if you’re looking for an isolated location that feels like a private island.
Another beach worth visiting is Ao Phrao on the west side of the island – this is the only beach on the upper western shores. Ao Phrao leans towards the upscale market as it is lined with luxury resorts and villas that lead out onto the beachfront. It is a bit more pricey than other areas.
Ao Phrao is well known for it’s incredible sunsets – you’ll get an amazing view of the sunset here so it’s definitely worth checking out. If you want to see the sunset but you’re not staying in this area, there is a wooden path leading from Ao Hin Khok (next to Sai Kaew) that takes you there. The walk takes about 20 minutes.
This area features 4 star bungalows on the green hillside, facing onto the beach. There are a lot less amenities at this side of the island so you’ll have to venture over to the east side if you need to visit the supermarket or shops. There is also a range of water sports available here and the sea is great for swimming.
Ao Nuan is a tiny sandy cove, only reachable by trekking down a hillside. It is a little rocky by the shore but is a beautiful beach. There is also a rope swing by the beach that you can sit on.
It is relatively quiet on this beach, despite being quite close to other busier areas in the north however it is a very small cove. It does have a real secluded feel, hidden behind the hills from sight. It feels like you’ve discovered a hidden gem and is definitely worth the trek down the hill.
Ao Kiu Na Nok
This is the southernmost beach right at the tip of the island and is a private beach (limited to customers of the Paradee Resort only). It is pretty exclusive and has a real upmarket feel.
The Paradee Resort is the most expensive place to stay on the island – don’t expect backpacker prices here. You’ll only be able to access this beach if you’re staying at the Paradee Resort which costs ~$500 per night during high season.
Want more info on Koh Samet – check out my ultimate guide to Koh Samet.
We hope this guide was helpful in guiding you through the best beaches of Koh Samet island. Each beach has something different to offer, making Koh Samet a great island to explore.
Koh Samet beaches are paradise!