Complete Guide to Koh Samet beaches
People come to Koh Samet for the beaches and here we have a comprehensive guide of what Samet has to offer, from tourist hot spot to off the beaten track, Samet has it all.
The longest and busiest beach on Koh Samet. With its pristine white sands and crystal blue seas, Saikaew Beach has long been the reason that many people come to Samet again and again. The sea has an all-sand bottom, so as you wade into the sparkling blue sea the ground is soft beneath your feet, with very few rocks. The beach is roughly a kilometre long and has a width of 10-30 meters (depending on the tides). During the day there are many restaurants and activities to keep you going till the sun goes down over the tree-topped peaks. After dark, Saikaew Beach relaxes for dinner time and then slowly picks up till midnight with fire shows on the beach and chilled out beach bars. In recent times Saikaew Beach has become heavily populated with Chinese tour groups throughout the day, if you are looking for a relaxing day on the beach we suggest trying beaches further south.
Ao Hin Kok (often mistaken for Ao Phai)
Just past the Prince and Mermaid Statue from Saikaew beach you can find Ao Hin Kok beach. A far more relaxed beach than Saikaew even though only a few meters seperate them, it is a nice spot to sit and relax any time day or night. Dips in the sea here are leisurely and there is no need to worry about rocks as the white sand bottom continues uninterrupted into the blue. The beach is backed by a rock-faced cliff And then there are a handful of restaurants near to the beach before they too give way to palms and jungle. You can reach Ao Hin Kok either with a leisurely stroll along the Saikaew beach or there is a road running parallel to the sea that can be reached either by walking, motorbike or taxi. Top Tip. Try the smoothies at Seaddicts, where a lovely local family have kept the laid back Samet of years gone by alive. They also have a lovely family of rescue dogs they take care of there so you can expect to see lots of chilled out pooches sunning themselves on the beach.
Just round the headland from Ao Hin Kok you can find the much narrower white sand beach of Ao Phai. Typical of several Koh Samet beaches, the beach starts after a little out-cropping of rocks. The beach is backed by resorts and restaurants with no road running directly behind it. During the day, especially in high season, this little bay can get quite crowded with all the people staying at the resorts but it still has a more relaxing feel than the hustle and bustle of Saikaew beach.
Top Tip. Great food and drinks very resonably priced at Samed Villa Resort.
Ao Prao –
Ao Prao is the only beach on the otherwise rocky west coast. This small bay is well-sheltered most of the year with a coral reef extending all the way out to the far southern corner of the bay, perfect for snorkelling and scuba diving. From July to September the wind can get quite strong here and the waves can grow as high as 3 meter. The sandy bay rounds to a half moon shape about 300m long, with a paved road behind it, this road is only used for staff vehicles and occasional taxis, all other vehicles have to park before the beach and walk down to the sea front. The lack of vehicles makes the beach utterly peaceful, perfect for sunbathing or relaxing in the lovely crystal clear, sand bottom seas. On Ao Prao beach they have worked very hard to keep the beach secluded and exclusive, it is well worth a visit but sunbeds, activities and food may be more expensive. Like many Koh Samet beaches, this bay does have a couple of rocky areas, due to the coral reef and cliff face. A warning in this area around the rocks and coral, there are often sea urchins, although they are not poisonous they can be painful so be careful.
Top Tip. The southern end of the bay has the best local snorkeling you will find on the island, Chris saw an octopus there last time out.
Ao Putsa / Ao Tub Tim
Fairly typical of the smaller Koh Samet beaches, this little stretch of sand has a more relaxed atmosphere, with less emphasis on activities. The sea conditions are the same as on Saikaew beach. Try to avoid this beach at high tide as the beach is very slim and high tide leaves very little sand to relax on, it can feel a little too crowded if you are trying to share with 20 other people! The sea is calm and rocks in the sea are usually obvious, if you stick to the centre you are invariably safe. Tub Tim resort has also created a pontoon out at sea that you can swim out to. It’s perfect for a little blissful sleep at sea.
Top Tip. Trio bar has a great vibe in the evening and great for some sun downers.
This tiny little beach is a blink-and-you-miss-it bay. One of the most secluded of all Koh Samet beaches, This is a real castaway beach where you can forget everything else and concentrate on a good book or quality time with the one you love. Ao Nuan is a tiny white sand beach, truly a hidden gem in Samet, the sea has a few rocks dotted here and there but chances are you’ll be the only people on the beach so it won’t be hard to avoid them. Lay back on Ao Nuan’s white sand beach and listen to the tropical birds with nothing to see but blue seas for miles – it’s a truly tropical island experience
Top Tip. Go There!
Ao Vong Duern
One of the livelier beaches on Koh Samet, this beach is again seeing an influx of Chinese tour groups which can make the beach not such a relaxing spot at times. This horseshoe-shaped bay retains much of its natural beauty but has become more cluttered over the years with day trippers, speedboats and restaurants. The bay is partially sheltered from the outside elements, so the seas can be calm all year round, although at high tide there is often little beach available. The sea bottom is soft sand with very few rocks. If you are a swimmer and like to venture out a little bit further try to stay within the safety lines and keep your eyes out for speed boats entering the bay.
Top Tip. Enjoy time on the floating pier installed to stop boats having to anchor near the beach, perfect for pictures or a bit of fishing but again be aware of the boat traffic around you.
Ao Sang Thian or Ao Thian
Ao Thian beach (also known as Candlelight Beach) is a long stretch of beach with rocky outcrops jutting out into the sea. It’s a tranquil little setting, good for escaping the busier northern beaches. There is some nice swimming and snorkelling to be found depending on the sea conditions when you visit. Not the most beautiful of Koh Samet beaches, but the relaxed vibe makes up for it. There are several hotels near the beach, and you can get a massage right by the water.
Ao Lung Dam
This small beach is slim but with very little accommodation nearby it is never crowded. Not the most spectacular of Koh Samet beaches but with a lovely old fisherman’s pier jutting out from the centre of the beach, it has a unique feel to it. The pier has been modified to include a restaurant, so while still a working pier it can be a great spot to sit and watch another world go by.
Ao Noi Na/Ao Klang/Nadan
The Northern end of Koh Samet often boasts the calmest sea, though with less spectacular beaches. For a quiet beach, go to the far North of the island, where the road stops. If swimming in the sea doesn’t appeal, then there are great views of the peaks on the mainland and other smaller islands off to the east. Also the north boasts vantage points from where you can enjoy sunset views over the Northern peaks of the island