Koh Samui is a beautiful Thai island in the Gulf of Thailand. Popular among tourists, it’s known for its stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife and delicious food. I’ve spent a lot of time in Koh Samui, travelling to different destinations around Thailand over the years.
When talking to other travellers who are finding it difficult to work out where to stay in Koh Samui, I’m always able to provide them with reliable advice and anecdotes from my personal experiences.
When deciding on which area to stay in Koh Samui, I suggest focusing on what kind of experience you’re looking for – tranquility and relaxation or vibrancy and excitement? Do you want to explore the culture and history? Are you looking for luxury or something more affordable? By having an idea of what kind of holiday you want to have first will make your decision much easier.
If you’re after some peace, then head towards one of the quieter beaches like Maenam or Bophut – they’re perfect for those who just want to relax and take in the beauty of Koh Samui with a few drinks at sunset. Or if you’re looking for something livelier then Chaweng beach is definitely the place to go.
There is plenty of incredible accommodation available no matter your preferences – boutique hotels, guesthouses or luxury villas on private islands are all possible options! No matter which path you choose, you can be sure that your trip will be memorable when staying in Koh Samui!
Koh Samui (also known as Ko Samui) is the second largest island in Thailand, located off of east coast of the Kra Isthmus. While Koh Samui has the features you’d expect of an island- extravagant palm trees and beautiful beaches- it’s also known for its dense rainforest and luxurious spas and resorts.
The most popular aspect of the island is definitely the 12 meters tall gold Big Buddha statue located at the Wat Phra Yai temple in the Bophut area.
Regardless of your expectations of Koh Samui, we guarantee that you’ll be impressed with this island. Samui is all about finding the beach that fits your criteria because there is a variety to choose from.
Wondering how long to stay in Koh Samui? That is obviously up to you and how much time you have however, I would generally suggest between 3 days and 7 days. 3 days in Koh Samui if ideal if you are touring around Thailand or up to 7 Days in Koh Samui if you are just looking to relax and decompress.
We will cover off all types of Koh Samui accommodation options from Hostels to luxury Koh Samui hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Koh Samui Thailand.
Wondering where is the best place to stay in Koh Samui? This guide shows the best Koh Samui hotels, best places in Koh Samui to visit, the best places to stay in Koh Samui, hotels near Koh Samui attractions, Koh Samui neighborhood guide and many more. This where to stay in Koh Samui 2023 guide will breakdown plenty of areas to fit every budget.
Quick note: Prices will obviously vary from high season to low season, in some cases by almost 50%! Low tourist season is from May to October and high tourist season is November to April.
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Chaweng – Where to stay in Koh Samui for nightlife
Wondering what area to stay in Koh Samui for nightlife? Chaweng is the perfect destination for those who love a night out; it’s considered the centre of Koh Samui.
Chaweng beach is a long stretch on the northeast coast of Koh Samui, it’s great for sunbathing, jet skiing, and partying!
Keep in mind that Chaweng can get quite crowded, although not as crowded as beaches in Phuket so if you prefer secluded beaches and quieter areas, you might want to visit another area of Koh Samui (which we will cover off below).
Chaweng’s busy beaches are always a great place to make some new friends and chat to locals. Once it gets dark, Chaweng has the liveliest party scene in Thailand, which is also unique as most of the bars and clubs are along the beach.
You can party all night and then leave the club and lay on the beach, listening to the relaxing sounds of the ocean. There are several bars, souvenir stands, restaurants, and spas along beach road – so there is something for just about everyone.
Why Stay in Chaweng Koh Samui
When looking for a vacation spot that will keep you moving and grooving day and night, Chaweng on Koh Samui Island in Thailand is the place you want to be. During the day, swim, snorkel or dive at beautiful Chaweng Beach.
Explore century-old buddhist temples and see Chaweng at a whole new level by bungee jumping. When the sun sets, the city comes alive with lights and colour.
Dance the night away at the center of Chaweng’s nightlife Sol Green Mango, attend a Caberet or party on the beach at Seen Beach Club. There is always something happening in Chaweng, no matter what time it is.
Things To Do in Chaweng Koh Samui
- Chaweng Beach
Chaweng Beach is Koh Samui’s most popular beach. The white sandy beach that curves with the ocean waves is as beautiful as it is busy.
A great way to socialize with other travellers as well as locals. Lounge in one of the lounge chairs you can rent from some of the resorts or lay a towel down and soak up the sun.
Local vendors travel the beach offering their services and merchandise. Feel like a massage on the beach? There is a vendor for that.
Different water sports are available on and under the water such as renting jetskis or snorkelling the outer reef. Along the shore, you can find many bars and restaurants to make your day on the beach complete.
- Wat Khao Jook Temple
Koh Samui has many temples on the island. At the north point of Chaweng Lake is Wat Khao Jook Temple. Located high on a hilltop, it not only offers an interesting history of this century-old Buddist Temple but beautiful views of the surrounding area.
Famous for its replica of a Buddhist footprint, the temple has many hand-carved artifacts and statues for you to enjoy. Sit and feel the serenity that this beautiful temple radiates, taking a moment to relax in the tranquillity.
- Experience the Nightlife
Nightlife in Chaweng is said to be one of the best nightlife destinations in Thailand. A plethora of night-time entertainment awaits in Chaweng. Attend a Cabaret at Paris Follies Cabaret for a vibrant evening of dancing, singing and fabulous costumes.
Just a note, the later the show, the spicier it gets. Spend an evening dancing at Sol Green Mango known all over the island as the place to go for enjoying cheap drinks, booming music and a fabulous atmosphere.
Party on the beach at Seen Beach Club where you can party into the night and lay on the sand and watch the sunrise.
When you are looking for exciting nightlife that is diversified for everyone, Chaweng is the travel destination you have been looking for.
Where to Stay in Chaweng Koh Samui
Lamai -Where to stay in Koh Samui for honeymoon
Wondering where to stay in Koh Samui for couples? Like Chaweng, Lamai beach is popular with travellers because of its nightlife, however on a smaller scale.
There are several resorts along the coast, and the water is perfect for swimming, especially in the southern and central areas of Lamai, however access to the beach can be difficult if you aren’t staying at a beach hotel.
The stunning sunrises encourage a lot of travellers to wake up early and walk along the beach just to witness their beauty. Lamai is a bit cheaper than Chaweng in terms of food and accommodation, so for those on a budget, it’s the perfect place to stay.
In addition to its pristine beaches, Lamai also has a walking street market that features cheap and fresh food, clothing stalls and lively local music. Lamai also has several kid-friendly attractions, including a water park called Coco Splash.
Why Stay in Lamai Koh Samui
Looking for that perfect honeymoon spot to start your life together? With tranquil seas on one side of you and dense rainforest on the other, Lamai gives you the ambiance to create an everlasting memory of your beautiful beginning.
Stunning beaches to walk along the water’s edge, feeling the silkiness of the sand under your feet as you watch the sunset on the horizon.
Tour a buddhist temple or enjoy a candlelit dinner on the beach. The natural beauty and serene atmosphere in Lamai will have you as spellbound with it as you are with each other.
Things To Do in Lamai Koh Samui
- Lamai Beach
A long sandy white beach lined with palm trees and a sunrise that makes even the most non-morning person get up is the perfect place to start your tropical honeymoon.
A perfect place to lounge for the day or take in some water sports. Go for a ride in a banana boat or go surfboarding.
You can even try your hand at lifting off the water in a water jet pack. While strolling the beach you can visit the many shops or dine at the many restaurants, making it the ideal dream vacation.
- Lamai Viewpoint
Lamai Viewpoint offers spectacular views as well as some interesting and fun activities. You have the choice of hiking through the jungle to the top of the mountain (about a 30 min hike) or you can take a cable car and glide over the jungle canopy and enjoy the spectacular views.
Once at the top, there is a little bar where you can sit in a hammock and have a nice cool drink or a warm lunch, then sit at the Fish Spa and have your feet manicured by hundreds of tiny little fish.
A popular tourist destination at Lamai Viewpoint for honeymooners is Valentine Stone. Touch this heart-shaped stone and know your love is endless and forever.
- Sunday Night Market
Stroll through the Sunday Night Market on Walking Street in Lamai. Browse the many stalls there for clothes, and authentic Tai food and stop at the stage to see the performance of the evening.
Walking the market is a great way to interact with the locals and find great souvenirs at a good price.
With an upbeat atmosphere and an abundance of stalls to peruse, it is a great way to spend your Sunday night in Lamai.
Where to Stay in Lamai Koh Samui
Cheapest Hostels in Lamai – Koh Samui
The Rock Samui – formerly known as The Rock Residence
Bophut – Where to stay in Koh Samui with family
Bophut is the best area to stay in Koh Samui for families as it is a very beach-oriented area with scenic views and touristy shops.
It features a place called Fisherman’s Village, which began as an area for fishermen (as the name suggests) but has evolved into an area that shows off Koh Samui’s heritage with Thai-Chinese inspired shops and houses.
This area has a few art galleries, plenty of eateries and a small section of activities which are very family friendly. Today Fisherman’s Village is considered one of the best night markets in Koh Samui.
Bophut is a perfect area for families as its not too busy and not too quiet, while there is some nightlife, its not as crazy as other areas of the island.
Most of the resorts in the area are kid-friendly and offer a variety of activities for the kiddies and adults alike. Also in Bophut is the famous 12m tall Big Buddha statue that can be seen from nearly every spot on the island.
Why Stay in Bophut
This quaint beach town on the north end of Koh Samui Island is a favourite vacation spot for families. Take the kids to see the Big Budda and learn and experience authentic Thai culture with a stroll through Fishermans Village.
Spend the day at Bophut Beach where you can lounge, swim or take part in some exciting water sports. Attend the fire show at Coco Tams on the beach and be amazed at their fiery talents.
With family-friendly resorts that include kid’s clubs and the many activities in the area, it will be a vacation your kids will always remember.
Things To Do in Bophut
- Fisherman’s Village
Fishermans Village in Bophut is a tribute to the beginning of Bophut’s creation. Originally settled 15 centuries ago, Bophut started as a small fishing village and has grown into a beautiful and popular tourist destination.
In this part of town, you can find small boutiques and tasty food vendors while taking in the original history of this beautiful part of the island. Friday Nights, the market opens, and you can shop the many booths of local wares.
You can find the ideal souvenir at a reasonable cost or that perfect outfit to wear on the beach. Whichever you choose, it will be a shopping experience to remember.
- Bophut Beach
Bophut Beach is a 3 km stretch of white sandy beach that has become a popular tourist destination for families.
Not as crowded as Chaweng Beach but just as luxurious, it attracts a more laid-back kind of crowd. Bophut Beach not only offers turquoise-coloured water and silky sand beaches but also an array of water sports to enjoy.
Take a Banana Boat ride, rent a jet ski or try flyboarding, there is something to keep everyone entertained at the beach.
- Big Buddha
It is hard to miss the Big Buddha statue that sits just off the shores of Bophut Beach. Sitting 12 meters high, this seated Buddha is a sight to behold.
The walk leading to the statue is filled with ornate statues and small temples. You can even stop and be blessed by the local monks along the way.
Climbing the stairs to the Buddha, you will be watched by the many ornamented dragon statues that lead the way to the Big Buddha. This is definitely a must-see when visiting Bophut.
- Coco Tams Fire Show
After a busy day of sightseeing, it’s time to sit back, have a cocktail and enjoy a spectacular show on the beach.
Coco Tams on Bophut Beach provides you with a beautiful view of the sea, a wonderful tropical cocktail and an experience of watching an extravaganza of fire.
Watch as a team of dancers light up the beach as they perform a fire dance that will leave you breathless.
The kids are encouraged to move to the front and be included in the performance. A part of the vacation they will be talking about for months to come.
Where to Stay in Bophut Koh Samui
Cheapest Hostels in Bophut – Koh Samui
Choeng Mon – best area to stay in koh samui for couples
Choeng Mon is on the northeastern tip of the island, just past the airport turnoff. It’s made up of a series of bays with beautiful white sandy beaches.
This area of Koh Samui coastline has kept the beaches quiet and the waters clean and is said by locals to be some of the best beaches on the island. Choeng Mon has one of the best beach to stay in Koh Samui.
Choeng Mon is a fairly quiet area with a few restaurants and catered towards couples or families who don’t want to stay near the hustle and bustle, however it is only about 15 minutes north of Chaweng and 5 minutes from Big Buddha, so you aren’t in the middle of nowhere!
Choeng Mon doesn’t really offer many backpacking or budget accommodations options, so it’s not considered a cheap area to stay. Choeng Mon is the best place to stay in Koh Samui for honeymooners who want a little more privacy.
Why Stay in Choeng Mon
Couples looking to get away and spend some one on one time together will love the tranquillity of Choeng Mon on Koh Samui Island.
This little piece of paradise has three bays to choose from, all with sandy white beaches and calm blue water.
The shallow waters are warmed by the sun to provide a place to sit and the water and soak up the relaxing ambiance.
Attractions and entertainment are not far, a 5 to 15 min ride, but far enough that you can appreciate the quiet after a day of sightseeing.
Choeng Mon is a great place to go to get that quiet tropical vacation you have been looking for.
Things To Do in Choeng Mon
- Choeng Mon Beach
On Choeng Beach, you can always find a quiet spot in the sand for just the two of you. There are a few restaurants and shops along the beach to visit as you walk along the silky sand shores.
There are a few places locals will rent out water sports equipment such as paddle boards but really, this beach is made for laying in the sun and enjoying the quiet atmosphere.
- Take a Walk to Ko Fan Noi Island
Just off the shores of Choeng Beach is the small island of Ko Fan Noi. When the tide is low you can walk from the beach to the island.
Take a walk and explore this small uninhabited island and enjoy the untouched beauty of nature.
Where to Stay in Choeng Mon Koh Samui
Cheapest Hostels in Choeng Mon – Koh Samui
Monkey Samui Hostel
Maenam – Where to stay in Koh Samui backpacker
If you’re interested in a beach that’s a bit “off the beaten path”, you won’t be disappointed by Maenam Beach. It’s the last true backpackers haven in Koh Samui.
Other areas of Koh Samui, like Bang Rak and Chaweng, cater to families or expats and the prices typically run a bit higher as there are more luxury resorts. However, Maenam is one of the most affordable areas on the island, which might be why it’s so popular with the backpacking crowd.
The primary type of accommodation in Maenam is bungalows that are rented at a low rate and offers local hole-in-the-wall eateries that also serve food for cheap prices. Maenam is definitely more like a village than a small town- there are few locals, smaller crowds of tourists and only one traffic light.
While Maenam is more so catered to backpackers, however it does offer a number of high end luxury resorts suited for couples who want to get away from the nightlife or want to relax of their honeymoon.
Why Stay in Maenam
When you are looking for that perfect tropical vacation without the big price tag Maenam is the place to go on Koh Samui Island.
On the north shore lies this little gem with bungalows on the beach and affordable resorts. Located at the north end of the island, this tropical getaway has both sea and jungle attractions.
Go Kitesurfing on the breezy waters of the bay or Zipline through the canopy of a tropical rainforest. There are many things to see at prices that let you go back again.
Things To Do in Maenam
- Samui Canopy Adventures
Fly through the air over the canopy of the rainforest and take in the views from above. A great way to experience the tropics of the rainforest.
Using nothing but the force of gravity moving through the trees, it can get pretty quick but the views will be everlasting.
Visit waterfalls and take a dip in the crystal-clear waters they create. A wonderful day spent in the dense jungles of the Koh Samui rainforest.
- Water Sports on the Maenam Beach
Maenam Beach may not have the variety of water sports rental places that the more busier beaches like Chaweng and Bophut, but the lack of crowds will give you more room to play.
Take a speed boat tour of the neighbouring islands with Private Speed Boat For You or slow it down with a ride in a kayak along the shore.
There are snorkeling and dive shops available on the beach, you can even try your hand at kitesurfing. A lounging day at the beach or a day filled with excitement Maenam Beach has it all.
- Elephant Jungle Sanctuary
Have you ever thought about feeding an elephant? Maybe giving one a bath? The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary will give you that experience and a little more. These giant gentle creatures live with tender loving care in this sanctuary.
A guide will tell you all about their history and information about elephant species, then take you to experience intimate contact with these majestic creatures. A jungle adventure you will not soon forget.
Where to Stay in Maenam Koh Samui
FAQs About: Where to stay on Koh Samui
What’s the best time of year to visit Koh Samui?
The best time to visit depends on what you want out of your trip. Generally, November to February is the dry season and it’s a great time for beach-goers who want to avoid rain and enjoy warm temperatures. May through October are the summer months, and they experience more rain but also offer some of the lowest rates for accommodations.
How can I get around the island?
A: There are several transportation options available depending on where you’re staying. If you’re staying in Chaweng or Lamai Beach area, renting a motorbike is an affordable option that allows you to explore the island on your own schedule. Other popular transportation methods include hiring a taxi service or taking local buses.
What kind of activities can I do while visiting Koh Samui?
Whether you’re looking for an outdoor adventure or something more relaxing, there’s plenty to do on Koh Samui. Popular activities include exploring Ang Thong Marine Park by kayak, going zip-lining through lush jungle canopies, strolling along several pristine beaches or even trying out some of the local cuisine at one of the many restaurants throughout the island.
Final Thoughts: Best location to stay in Koh Samui
Koh Samui may have many staying options for travellers, but here at TravellingKing we believe our hotel is the best one. Our excellent location, modern facilities and great customer service are just some of the many reasons why you should book a stay here. Plus, with our exclusive offers and discounts, you won’t find better value anywhere else! So, don’t wait any longer – come to Koh Samui and book your stay at our hotel now! You won’t regret it.
Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Koh Samui
|❤️ Best Area first timers||Bophut|
|💸 Best Luxury Hotel||Pavilion Pool Residence Samui|
|👪 Best Hotel for For Families||Chi – The Residence|
|🏨 Best Mid-Range Hotel||Samui Resotel Beach Resort|
|🛏️ Best Budget Hotel||Island View Bungalows|
|✨ Best Hostel||Maenam Grand Hostel|