Koh Samui, Thailand; Top 7 most beautiful secret beaches

Samui's most beautiful beaches are hiding from most visitors

Unseen Samui is perhaps the most beautiful Samui. The photos here show beaches almost never seen by mainstream visitors, compelling evidence that Samui keeps its most alluring beaches away from the masses, making them available only to either the adventurous or those able to afford one of the luxurious beachfront resorts that envelop and lock these beaches away as their 'private' affairs. The resorts monopolizing these beaches are largely 4- and 5-star, affordable to significant numbers of people, though there are also a few in the 3-star range. If you would really want to sleep by one of Samui's most beautiful beaches, you just need to know where to look. The photos here make that hunt somewhat easier.

Silavadee Beach – hiding on Koh Samui's far east coast

This beach is so beautiful in the classic, tropical image, that even people who know the island well find it difficult to believe that this beach is on Samui. Without a boat, you need to check into Silavadee Pool Spa to find and enjoy this special, exceptionally private world of white sand, crystal water, huge rocks and coconut palms. The resort has a wooden walkway over the granite boulders to the sand.

The big granite rocks that have tumbled down the mountains side over the eons are the strongest feature here, with the ones protruding from the water creating great natural features and places to climb up on. The ocean bottom also has a lot of rock, so at low tide swimmers need to take care. But compared to other beaches, this is one of the better swimming spots on the island.

Samui's Kamalaya's beach – small, private and beautiful

This little beach is rarely seen by anyone save the lucky guests of the resort spread through the forest behind it. Kamalaya Koh Samui takes up the entire back-of-beach area, and has done so with exceptional care to preserve the native trees. With its big boulders standing in the sand like design features, forest and fringing coconut palms, plus the clear water, this beach is exceptionally beautiful, and the resort both preserves it and matches this natural state.

A rough track through the rocks starts near Centara Villas Samui and gives access to this beach. People can thus to take a scenic trek right around this southern point to enjoy the quiet beauty of rock, forest and water – but it's only for the fit.

The only drawback to this beach is the shallow water. It's not easy to swim here, though deeper spots for that can be found here and there along the nearby coastline. For kayaking, this is Samui's finest area.

Four Seasons' beach brings the South Pacific look to Koh Samui

Here is another classic tropical beauty in the category got-to-see-it-to-believe-it. But few people save the guests of the Four Seasons Samui ever see it, or even suspect so beautiful a beach exists on Koh Samui. Most residents of the island have never seen it, for the only access is through the resort, or by boat.

The palm-fringed tropical image of this beach reminds one of the South Pacific. But with this beach giving easy access to the superb service of four Seasons, fabulous Thai cuisine and the many lifestyle benefits in the rest of Thailand, who wants to go all the way to a remote Pacific island?

Centara Villas Samui beach – rocky, sandy, rocky & attractive

The few hundred metres of coast from Centara Villas south is not so much a beach as a series of small patches of sand, cut off from each other by piles of granite boulders as big as cars. It provides a number of very private coves, nooks and crannies to which guests can walk a little way for escape. There is one longer stretch of sand right in front of the Centara, however, where most guests remain.

The natural forest remains in good condition all along here, with Centara snuggled tightly into it with minimal cutting. Its rooms look out over thick foliage, and the swimming is surrounded by a wall of green. At the beach the lush green spills out over rocks and sand, creating a delightfully natural environment.

There is an unusual human-made pool in the ocean, just metres offshore, that makes swimming pleasant. It was probably first built as a boat anchorage. Overall, this is indeed one of the most interesting and attractive parts of Koh Samui.

Samui's Samrong Beach & Tonson Bay; easy to get to, but few do

These two lie side-by-side on the far northeast corner of the island near Choeng Mon, and are generally thought of as a pair of beach twins. They are surprisingly twin-like in size, shape and appearance, and yes, in beauty and overall atmosphere; out-of-the-way, relaxed. Few people find their way here, despite that sealed roads lead to each. It requires turning off down a couple of small side roads, something that helps keep them unseen as the majority of passing visitors ignore the small side streets and drive straight ahead.

Both beaches have a couple of resorts, though neither is fully built up yet. Thongson Bay has a public restaurant right by the parking area, making this the best spot for day visitors. These twins suffer the old ailment common to so many tropical beaches, shallow water that does not allow swimming at low tide.

Banyan Tree Samui's beach; so private, so peaceful

Here is yet one more especially attractive beach that even residents of the island never see, and most don't even know exists. Access is by boat, or by checking into the Banyan Tree Samui resort. The tall coconut palms show that this area has been a plantation for generations, but the locals would never have suspected that the little strip of sand here would one day send their land prices skyrocketing.

High headlands on each side – both with guest rooms – enclose the beach in a pretty bay, and provide resort guests with spectacular views over sand, water and coconut palms. While the beach is quite narrow, the expansive grassy area behind has been left free of buildings, creating a delightful coconut park. The water is once again shallow, and only good for swimming at high tides.

Coral Cove Beach; among the picturesque boulders on Samui's east coast

Almost everyone driving around the island catches a glimpse of Coral Cove Beach , but few really see it. Flashes of white sand, huge boulders and crystal water greet every trip along the east coast between Chaweng and Lamai. But there are no more than glimpses through thick foliage, and few drivers bother to stop and see what's really there – one of the prettiest beaches on Samui.

This is a coarse-sand beach composed of granite particles weathered off the amazing, bus- and elephant-size boulders that give this place so much character. At the south end they carve out a couple of little coves that are perfect for a romantic tryst.

There are resorts at both ends of this beach, and a set on low-key bungalows in the middle. However, despite these and the easy access from the road, it is surprising how few people use this beach.

by John Everingham