Koh Samet Beaches: Find Your Perfect Piece of Paradise

The best Koh Samet beaches are dotted from top to bottom along the island’s east coast with a couple to choose from on the west and north. Generally, things get more laid back the further down you go.

Running clockwise and starting nearest the main Na Dan boat pier.. here’s our guide to help you choose!

East/sunsrise coast

koh samet beachesSAI KAEW BEACH
Just a 10 minute walk from the pier is the widest, whitest, busiest stretch of sand on the island. It’s proximity to the pier means it gets its fair share of package tourists but if you like to be where it all happens then the abundance of restaurants, bars and stalls here will suit you nicely. Be prepared for things to get noisy at night when the music pumps and the fire shows unfold on the squeaky white sand.. [read more]

koh samet beachesAO HIN KHOK
A further 5 minutes walk down the coast brings you to calmer Ao Hin Khok, a smaller and more laid back traveller and backpackers beach. You’ll know you’ve reached it when you pass the prince and mermaid statues at the end of Sai Kaew beach and at times it can feel a mile away from there although it’s only next door. This sandy haven is best appreciated from within a hammock, cold beer in hand.. [read more]

AO PHAI
Around the next headland is Ao Phai, another stunning bay popular with the travelling backpacker crowd. It’s a 20 minute walk from the pier and there’s a mini-market here to help you keep nicely stocked up during your stay. It’s known to get a bit loud on the party front so it’s best to check out what’s going on if you’re a light sleeper. Apart from that the old ‘hammock and cold beer combo’ works like a treat here too.. [read more]

AO TUB TIM (a.k.a AO PUDSA)
This bay is a half hour or so walk from the Na Dan pier and is a good base for investigating the few beaches to it’s north and south. Favoured by those seeking a more tranquil and quiet beach experience, the bay is hemmed in by the usual rocky outcrops on each side and the sand is Koh Samet’s trademark soft and aesthetically pleasing variety. What better place to spend your time as days blend into nights.

koh samet beachesAO NUAN
Slightly off the beaten track, this is one of the more rocky Koh Samet beaches. It offers isolation but isn’t the best for swimming. That’s not a problem though as nearby bays can be used whenever the need to paddle arises. The headland between here and Ao Tub Tim can be climbed to get good views northwards towards Sai Kaew beach if you feel the need for exercise and a scenic outlook. It’s a 35 minute walk from the pier.

AO CHO
Ao Cho is a small but picturesque bay with just a couple of bungalow operations and a wooden pier. At the time of writing it’s not possible to arrive here on boat from the mainland but that may change in the future so it’s worth re-checking. However, it is possible to get a boat straight to Ao Wong Duan and walk up from there. Otherwise, it’s a 40 minute walk from Na Dan on the north of the island.

AO WONG DUAN
Within reach by direct boat from the mainland, Wong Duan’s gorgeous crescent-shaped cove is popular with package tourists as a result. It’s like a busy little sister to the larger Saiw Kaew and is a good looking beach that caters more for mid-range and exclusive customers than those on a budget. There are mini-markets, shops and bars to keep you well stocked and amused during your stay on the beach.

koh samet beachesAO THIAN (a.k.a CANDLELIGHT BEACH)
Make yourself feel like a lost and deserted castaway on one of Koh Samet’s most laid back beaches. The soft white sandy bay is hemmed in by large rocks on each headland and punctuated by some smaller ones along the beach. This adds to the setting and provides what feels like lots of mini beaches in one. It is well worth the short walk south from Wong Duan to experience the relative isolation.

AO WAI
About half an hour’s walk south from the busy Wong Duan, Ao Wai is a dreamy little escapism bay that feels a world away from the noisier beaches it leaves in its wake. There’s just the one resort here so things don’t feel too cluttered on its relatively small white sandy expanses. All that’s left to do is kick back, soak up the views and let the warm sun soothe your troubles away.. utter bliss.

AO KIU
If you’re looking for a stunning beach with jet-set luxury bungalows then you should head down to Ao Kiu. There are twin bays here, one on the east coast (Nok) and a rockier one on the west (Nai). You’ll need to lodge at Samet’s most exclusive resort if you want to stay here, at a price to match. It’s a long walk down the island but you’ll most likely be arriving by boat or taxi transfer.. so no worries there!

West/sunset coast

AO PRAO (a.k.a PARADISE BAY)
If you love watching the sun set over the ocean then this beach offers good views of nature’s light show. It’s the only real beach on the rugged west coast and has a few pricier resorts to choose from. If you’re staying here you’ll most likely get a transfer from Na Dan thrown in but if not you can walk here via the wooded track that heads across from Ao Hin Khok, taking about 20 minutes or so from that point.

North coast

AO NOI NA
Staying on this beach provides nice views across the sea towards the mainland hills. A narrow road hugs the coastal contours and it is dotted with several resorts to hole up in. Note that you’ll need to be at the far western side of this stretch to have the sandy beach at your toe-tips, so bear this in mind when booking to make sure you’re actually on the beach. A 25 minute walk from Na Dan pier will get you here.

So there you have it, a more than ample supply of Koh Samet beaches to whet your appetite! The hard part is choosing which one to stay on but hopefully our guide has helped you narrow things down a little.