If you’re travelling to Ko Samui, you’ll most likely arrive via the Raja Ferry in Lipa Noi on the west of the island. That could be a bonus if you are hoping for a quieter holiday experience. Staying in Lipa Noi on the west coast of the island means you might be able to walk to your accommodation. Lipa Noi has a few lovely beaches with soft sand and good restaurants with sunset views. I found this part of the island quite laid back. The locals were really relaxed and friendly too. There were working fisherman wading in and out of the water every day, sometimes with long boats. Their catches can be seen in the quieter roads that lead to the port.
Stay & chill
If the aim really is to just relax on the beach, this is the spot to do it. Look out for resorts with sea-facing rooms that have hammocks (always a plus) and offer meals with great views of the sunset over the sea. The beach is sandy and is often raked clean in areas lined by the resorts (which means that if you’re a shell hunter, you’re going to have to wake up early). However, if it’s swimming or great snorkelling spots you’re after, you may have to go further afield. A lot of the beaches in Lipa Noi don’t have clear or deep enough water that would suit a good snorkelling experience. The west side of the island also tends to be a bit windy at times, which means that the waves could be a little rougher and the water a little less clear. On a day like this, I recommend catching a taxi to Coral Cove on the east.
There are a variety of good restaurants to try out, like Mango Tree, Nikki Beach and Think Retro Cafe. If you like the colourful, quirky vibes at Think, check out I-Talay to the south of the ferry port. It’s owned by the same family that runs Think. Apparently this is one of the best spots for sun-downers on the island. Palm trees offer a little shade to the soft, sandy beach and beyond the pier to the south are a few big granite boulders.