Which beach is best for paddle boarding in Koh Samui?

We do most of our paddle boarding on the north eastern corner of Koh Samui, as we find the water is nice and calm for paddle boarding, and there’s plenty of coastline to explore.

In the Northern Hemisphere winter, from October – April, the winds are coming from the north east. This makes Bangrak a nice calm spot to paddle, and allows us to glide past Big Buddha at sunrise, get a good work out paddling out to Koh Som, and on other days enjoy a quiet sunset over the hills.

In the Northern Hemisphere summer months, from April – October, the wind is coming from the west. During those months we start our SUP lessons and tours from Choeng Mon beach, exploring the rocky coastline and quiet bays nearby. For the more adventurous we can paddle north to Tongson Bay or south down to Hanuman Bay, towards Chaweng. So many options and that’s just our regular paddles.

Depending on the weather conditions and experience of the paddlers, we have a few longer tours such as the Sunset & Cocktails Sunset Tour, Five Islands Longtail SUP Tour and the North Coast Paddle Tour. Something to suit every paddler – beginner or experienced.

Contact us now to book in your Stand Up Paddleboard lesson or tour. Let us know where you’re staying and we can try to customise a paddle tour to suit your group. As you can see from the map below we paddle from several spots around the island.

Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) & Kayak Repairs in Koh Samui

In case you’re looking for somewhere to get your stand up paddle boards or kayaks repaired in Koh Samui, here’s a couple of places where we get our boards fixed.

Inflatable Paddle Board Repairs

There is a shop next to the PTT LPG Gas Station on the Ring Road in Chaweng.  I think the shop is called Samui Outboard and Fiber Glass.  You’ll see a few boats outside.  They sell marine supplies and NSP paddle boards.  Sometimes we get a tiny pinhole/slow leak on our inflatable paddle boards – and when we do we bring them here for repair.

Phone: 081 719 2655, 081 719 5935, 077 427 383

Google Maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/Ej4yoHpCzYC2

 

Composite Paddle Board Repairs (ie. Hard Boards) & Kayak Repairs

Khun Yot has a shop near Nathon where he sells and repairs kayaks and composite paddle boards.  He also has a great little furniture shop next door, called Samui Furnish.  His guys have been trained by Starboard to repair hard boards.  If we ever get a ding on our fiber glass race boards we’ll be taking them here to get repaired. We’ve known Khun Yot for over 10 years, so if you do go to his shop you can mention that we recommended him :).

Phone: 081 815 0649, 081 912 5485, 077 236 169

Google Maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/ECNUCf74mwM2

 

 

The Ritz-Carlton opens in Koh Samui

If you’re looking for a bit of luxury during your stay in Koh Samui, there are several 5-star resorts and villas to choose from.  However a stay at the new Ritz-Carlton is the probably the most convenient if you’re wanting to join one of our Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Sunrise and Sunset Tours.  We take small groups out on paddle board adventures along the Koh Samui coastline close to the Ritz-Carlton.  Beginners and experienced paddlers are catered for (just as long as you can swim).

If you’ve previously paddled with us in Samui between the months of May and October we’ve probably taken you for a paddle right past the new Ritz-Carlton Resort.  We’ve been watching the development of this new 5-star resort over the past couple of years, and they have just opened the doors to guests this week.

Sunrise and Sunset Paddle Board Tours in Samui

Our Sunrise Paddle Tour starts at 6AM, with a brief introduction on the beach.  Very quickly we’ll get you out on the water and standing on your paddle board.  We paddle for around 1.5 hours, taking a fairly relaxed pace and stopping for water breaks and swimming whenever you want.  After the paddle tour we provide some yummy and healthy homemade snacks, including Tammy’s famous Paleo Banana bread.  Resort transfers are included, and we’ll get you back to your resort in time for breakfast.

The Sunset Paddle Tour starts at 5PM, and follows a similar schedule to the Sunrise Paddle Tour.  We finish around 6:30PM and get you back to the resort in time for dinner.

With qualified SUP Instructors from Australia and premium paddle board equipment from Starboard, you’re in for a wonderful experience when you go paddle boarding with the team at iSUP Samui.  But don’t just take our word for it, why not read some of our customer reviews on TripAdvisor.  You’ll quickly see that it’s an experience you don’t want to miss out on.

Stand Up Paddleboard lessons and tours are suitable for all ages, and great for couples and families traveling together.  We usually only take small groups out on the water, however larger groups and team building events can be catered for.  Experienced paddlers can join us for a longer paddle or a downwinder, depending on their experience.

Bookings can be made directly with the team at iSUP Samui.  Email info@isupsamui.com or call +66 92 737 9705.

Koh Samui: Your dream destination

Islands Angthong Marine Park Samui

By Sandra James.

There are many reasons why people fall in love with Koh Samui and everyone has their own explanation for why they love it. It could be its exotic sunsets or the peaceful lifestyle they can have on this huge island. Koh Samui is Thailand’s best destination, for sure. If you have never been there as a tourist then it’s high time that you discover its beauty and charm from up close.

Why Koh Samui?

From luxurious Koh Samui villas to the most stunning beaches, this destination has everything for an ideal rest and relaxation. Koh Samui is a fantastic island for young people, families, nomads and groups of travelers, as it has something for everybody to enjoy. Here you can not only travel and have an unforgettable time but also work and live like locals. The Thai culture is very rich and interesting. It’s perhaps another reason why people love the country and its islands. People are very friendly and cheerful, always ready to help you in any situation.

Gorgeous Samui beaches

You can organise your wedding here or spend a fantastic honeymoon. Families choose Koh Samui as it is perfect for people of all age groups, and kids also enjoy its attractions. As for the real estate and rental services, they are just on the highest point. Everyone can easily rent a house, condo, villa or hotel room according to their preferences. In case you want to buy a house or villa on Koh Samui, you just need to do some research and you’ll surely find something interesting. Finally, Koh Samui stands out with its exotic natural beauty, smashing waterfalls, huge forests and wildlife, all of which attract very many foreigners.

Angthong Marine Park

Nature and Beaches

Perhaps one of the main reasons why people say Koh Samui is a dreamland is that it has so many wonderful, picturesque beaches, including Maenam Beach, Thong Takhian Beach and Choeng Mon Beach. This destination lets you fully relax thanks to its beaches with soft sand, romantic sunsets and sunrises, calm breeze of the sea and huge palm trees that allow you to get rid of the direct rays of the sun during the hottest hours of the day. Just imagine yourself getting a healing massage right on the beach or enjoying the best coconut snacks on the planet. What could be better? You don’t need a fortune to spend some time in Koh Samui – it’s possible to enjoy it even if you are a budget traveler.

Day trips to explore the islands

The time spent on Koh Samui, either as a solo traveler or a group, is always unforgettable. You won’t be bored if you decide to travel alone. Moreover, you’ll discover much more from the traditions to the best attractions such as the Big Buddha Temple, National parks, museums, waterfalls, crazy cruises, water sports like snorkeling, sailing, stand up paddling, water tours, the Thai cuisine, dances and many more.

About the Author

Sandra is a travel addict that loves writing about the places she is exploring. She found her home in the splendid country of Thailand where she started to focus on Koh Samui real estate by giving consultancy about it. Her bucket list includes to visit as many unique places as possible around the world.

email: office@luxurylivingsamui.com

website: http://luxurylivingsamui.com/

Fitness retreats and paddle boarding in Koh Samui

Earlier this week, a group of ten adventurous guests of New Horizon Escapes joined us for a stand up paddle board tour around the coastline of Koh Samui.  We started with an introduction to paddle boarding techniques on the beach, and soon had the group out on the water.  After a 1.5 hour paddle and optional SUP Yoga, the group were shuttled back to their hotel just in time for breakfast.

As part of a 7 day fitness retreat, the guests of New Horizon Escapes will participate in other activities including Muay Thai, Yoga, Crossfit, hiking to visit waterfalls and kayaking out at the Angthong Marine Park.  It sounds like a perfect active holiday!  New Horizons Escapes also host fitness retreats in Koh Tao, Bali, Sri Lanka and Kenya.  For more details about New Horizon Escapes Koh Samui Retreat, visit their website here.

iSUP Samui has organised group events for fitness retreats, hens days, team building corporate events.  Contact us by email if you’d like more information on Paddle Boarding for groups in Koh Samui.

 

 

 

 

SUP Yoga in Koh Samui

If the thought of doing a downward facing dog whilst floating on the water sounds like your thing, you’re in luck.  We’ll soon be launching SUP Yoga in Koh Samui… that’s Yoga on a Paddle Board, whilst taking in some of the most spectacular coastal scenery around the island.

Don’t worry if you’re new to yoga and/or paddle boarding.  Our new SUP Yoga boards are super stable, and make it a much easier to paddle and balance on the water.  We start the on-water yoga class with some simple moves – giving your body the chance to stretch and relax on the water.  If you want to try some of the more challenging poses, there’s a good chance you’ll get wet, but that’s all in the spirit of SUP – it’s a water sport after all!

Tammy’s been practicing yoga on-and-off for the past 10 years, and has just completed her Yoga Teacher Training here in Samui.   And over the next few weeks we’ll be gearing up to offer the SUP Yoga experience in private lessons or small groups here in Koh Samui.

SUP Yoga classes will start in September… drop us an email to find out more.

Koh Samui’s best healthy eats

Mediterranean Plate at Vikasa

If you’re in Samui for a healthy holiday then you’ll want to pitch up at some of these spots to refuel after your paddle, yoga class or beach walk.  We’ve enjoyed eating all of these places and hope you do too.

Maenam

Treehouse on Silent Beach – This is how Samui used to feel about 10-15 years ago, but now with all the modern conveniences of healthy food and fast wifi! It’s a great place to hang out for a few hours, enjoy some fresh Thai food, healthy western options and great zingy fruit shakes. There’s also a small massage place on the beach. We sometimes stop here for lunch or fruit shakes during one of our north coast paddle tours.

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/FnrgVZoMYeC2

Bophut / Fishermans Village

Greenlight Cafe & Bar – you can’t go past this place without trying the Heaven on Earth smoothie, made with Almond Milk, Dates and Cacao Nibs.  They have a wide range of scrummy salads and wraps that will keep vegans and pescatarians equally happy., plus a great selection of desserts and coffee.  Drop by for their daily yoga classes and on Friday night for their Salsa Party.

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/TX6hXhvShcQ2

June’s Art Cafe – June has been feeding the bright-eyed souls of Koh Samui for more than 10 years (and probably much longer).  My favourite dishes are the Pesto Fish Salad and Ian raves about the chicken sandwich.  They also have some delicious healthy desserts that are all made on the premises.

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/PZyL26Jh87H2

Choeng Mon

Absolute Sanctuary Drop by for a yoga or pilates class and stay for a freshly pressed juice at the pool bar, or a tasty lunch in the Love Kitchen.   Last time I had their seafood quinoa risotto for lunch – tasty and good for your belly!

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/eQGbg23cPaE2

Chaweng

Tanya’s Cafe – a sweet little cafe on the very south end of Chaweng Beach Road. I can recommend Tanya’s gluten free cakes and chai latte’s (call ahead and she might even be able to source Almond Milk for you).  And she also makes a delicious Thai appetiser called Miang Kom and some other simple dishes. And I’ve heard her coffee^ is good too!

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/wBHigjatYd32

Vikasa – If the sea view doesn’t nourish your soul, then the wonderful range of juices, salads, soups and wraps will.  Drop by for a yoga class, and stay for brunch!  My favourites are the Mediterranean Plate or Salad Bowl (sometimes with a serve of hand-cut Sweet Potato fries). Mmmm!

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/NgTEGDBXhio

Bang Kao / Laem Sor area

Sweet Sisters Cafe – We encourage everyone to get off the main ring road and explore the southern part of the island.  You’ll love the quiet roads and sleepy beaches. Stop by Sweet Sisters for breakfast or lunch and you won’t be disappointed.  It’s part of the slow food revolution, so be prepared to wait a little while for your meal.

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/yr6Jm7n1LbB2

 

^We both gave up coffee a few years ago.  Ian tries the occasional decaf coffee, but I mainly stick to fresh coconuts and hot tea.

 

A guide to our favourite Thai restaurants in Koh Samui

We often get asked to recommend Thai restaurants in Samui.  When I’m put on the spot it’s hard to explain where some of the small restaurants are, especially when we’re out on a paddle board and can’t just reach for my iPhone. So I thought I’d list a few of our favourites here, to make it easy to share the details of our favourite places to eat.

This is still a work in process.  I’ll continue to update with photos and a price range for each restaurant.

Choeng Mon

Krua Choeng Mon – a small family run Thai restaurant in Plai Laem (not far from where we live).  We often go here for lunch and dinner.  The food is consistently really good and it’s not expensive.  You can get beer, fruit shakes and coconuts.  It’s located on Plai Laem Soi 10, just behind the 7-11.

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/vvJ8fYLD7t72

Crystal Restaurant – we’ve been going to this family run beachfront restaurant for over 15 years, and we still love their Crab Meat Curry.  They have an extensive Thai and Western menu.  You can also use their sunloungers if you fancy hanging on the beach for a little while before/after your meal.  The tables are laid out on the beach at night for dinner.

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/MgwaMXfydwE2

Pui Relax Restaurant & Bar – this is a sweet little Thai restaurant close to the Choeng Mon post office, on the road between Choeng Mon and Chaweng.  Delicious food and some daily specials.

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/dQWieZkYs342

Bangrak / Big Buddha area

Blue Chair Cafe – no, that’s not it’s real name, but you’ll recognise this place because it has blue plastic chairs.  It’s opposite Saboey Resort and next door to You & Me Cafe.  It’s only open for breakfast and lunch, and serves a range of noodle and rice dishes for around 60-80 Baht per plate.  Our favourites includes Squid with Garlic and Pepper (Pla Mook Kratiem), Chicken with Chilli and Basil served with a fried egg (Pad Krapow Gai Khai Dao), and Fried Kale with Crispy Pork (Pad Kanaa Moo Thawt).

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/M4VHF4CfoqJ2

Ninja Thai Restaurant – we haven’t been to this restaurant yet, but we’ve been told that it’s fantastic and the staff are really friendly.  It’s on the road between Bangrak and Bophut, and overlooks the water.  Needless to say we’ve made plans to go there next week.

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/v2bsSBTKyVr

Shambala – a lovely Thai restaurant close to Big Buddha.  Really friendly owners, yummy food and good prices.  My favourite is the Shambala special curry.  I usually have it with prawns, but it’s equally as nice with chicken.

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/P3sspG9dwKD2

Sunset By Angelina – this is one of our favourite restaurants/bars in Samui.  Go here for the amazing sunset views, chic ambience, fab cocktails and yummy food.  Plus the owners and staff are super friendly.  There’s a great mix of Western food such as steaks, burgers and ribs, and a good selection of Thai food with a twist (our favourite is the Red Curry Clams, but I also like the Snapper with Black Pepper and Garlic).  It’s not the cheapest place for Thai food, but you won’t be disappointed.

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/sYM1gPpfzCu

Secret Garden – a beachfront restaurant with great Thai food and western choices too.  Last time I was there I had a Pomelo Salad with Prawns.  Western breakfasts are pretty good and they also have specials on most nights, such as “All you can eat Ribs” on Thursdays, and “Live Music with a Thai Buffet” on Sundays.

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/mqqW4iah7cH2

Chaweng

Siam Dreams – run by a lovely German couple, Patrick and Sandra, who have lived in Samui for about 10 years.  You can choose from healthy vegetarian options, Thai food and German food and beers.  They also offer private Thai cooking classes (just 2 people per class).  Located at the top end of Chaweng, near the Blue Lagoon Resort & before the one-way system starts.

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/mPjzFpSBHcA2

Jungle Club – a real favourite with the Samui residents.  We can easily spend a few hours up here – the food, views and fruit shakes are great.  Call ahead and book a Sala (pavillion).  It’s a steep road going up to the Jungle Club, and fairly easy to drive up if you have a 4WD or motorbike.  We leave our car at the bottom of the road and call for their 4WD transfer service.

Call 081 894 2327 / 081 891 8263.

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/5Q3ykNJfm3s.

Tanya’s Cafe – a sweet little cafe on the very south end of Chaweng Beach Road.  I can recommend Tanya’s gluten free cakes and chai latte’s, but she also makes a delicious Thai appetiser called “Miang Kom” and some other simple dishes.  And I’ve heard her coffee is good too!

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/wBHigjatYd32

Bophut Fishermans Village

The Address – We take our visitors here when we’re up for a seafood feast.  They have a selection of set menu’s, and we usually order the one for 3-4 people for around 3000 baht.  It includes fish, prawns, lobster, squid, clams, mussels, salad and rice!  You get loads of food and can choose how each dish is cooked.  If the weather is nice, choose a table down on the beach front.

Directions: located in the Fishermans Village, near CopaCabana.

Cafe 69 – Awesome fusion Thai food and a super friendly owner.  We love the food and the atmosphere at Cafe 69.  Our favourite dishes are the Green Curry Pie and Red Curry Duck dumplings (both appetisers).  The portions are very big, so don’t over order.  For 6 people, 4 mains and 4 starters was enough. It’s located on the Ring Road in Bophut, almost opposite the entrance to The Wharf car park.  Give it a try!  But make sure you call ahead to book a table!

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/sQPr2sKQJuT2

My Cafe & Restaurant – Located on a side road close to the Bophut Traffic Lights, this is a great little place to hang out for a couple of hours.  The cafe overlooks a small lake and you can choose to sit in the openair house or the new air-conditioned building.  The fruit shakes are amazing works of art and super tasty.  And the food is pretty good here too (they serve both Thai and western dishes).

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/ZvUHVsKhUUB2

Bar Baguette – One of our favourite beachfront cafes.  Simple Thai dishes, western meals.  You can also get poached eggs, pastries and coffee for brunch. A great place to chill out during the day or at night.  It’s at the front of The Wharf shopping centre in Bophut.  Open from 8am every day.  Sometimes we paddle from Bangrak across to Bophut and can stop at Bar Baguette for breakfast or coffee at the end before heading back to your resort.

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/1EkapNrTi2s

Fishermans House Cafe – A gem of a cafe in Fishermans Village – in a classic old Thai style house.  It’s run by the same owners of Bar Baguette, so you’ll find a similar menu of simple Thai dishes.  Plus you can get breakfast, pastries and coffee.  Open from 8am every day.

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/FHdHx5g3S132

Maenam

Spices Cafe – This is now one of my favourite fusion Thai restaurants.  Make sure you call ahead to book a table, as it gets busy.  We had some fantastic dishes including Soft Shell Crab with Penang Curry, Fried Fish with a special sauce, Southern style curry beef (red curry).

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/BE3bQtgGvp22

Treehouse on Silent Beach – This is how Samui used to feel about 10-15 years ago, but now with all the modern conveniences of healthy food and fast wifi!  It’s a great place to hang out for a few hours, enjoy some fresh Thai food, healthy western options and great zingy fruit shakes.  There’s also a small massage place on the beach.  We sometimes stop here for lunch or fruit shakes during one of our north coast paddle tours.

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/FnrgVZoMYeC2

Lipa Noi

Think & Retro Cafe – this little gem on the south end of Lipa Noi beach also reminds us of what it was like in Samui around 15 years ago.  They have an extensive selection of Thai food, western dishes and pizzas!!  We love their Lemon-Mint shake and their fresh passionfruit soda. You might even want to stay overnight in one of their funky bungalows, made from old sea-shipping containers.  Lipa Noi is usually a great spot for paddling from January – April, the water is nice and calm and there’s very little wind!

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/WPSWmhbqQuP2

Taling Ngam

AM Samui Resort – we usually stop here for lunch after our Five Islands Longtail SUP Tour.  They have a great range of Thai dishes.  My favourite appetiser is their Chicken Satay which is served with the skewers sticking out of a pineapple.  It’s a lovely spot to hang for a few hours, and you’ll get great sunset views too.

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/AKm7xbpNxEk

Lamai area

Uncle Rang’s – A great little restaurant just a few steps from a quiet beach.  We sometimes take our paddle boards and paddle from the beach in front of the restaurant and then stay for lunch or dinner.  Good food.  Friendly service.   And as long as it’s low tide, it’s a lovely spot for a stroll along the beach.  Located next to the Renaissance Hotel.  Take the side road off the ring road – signposted to the Renaissance and the Banyan Tree.

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/e4sVMDVTtaS2

Kob Thai – An authentic Thai restaurant in a quiet garden setting, just off the main ring road.   Friendly owner and fantastic food.  I’ve been for lunch on my own, and also for dinner with a group of friends.  There’s a small pool that you can use as well – great for little kids because it’s really shallow.

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/Cr21Sz2iqcT2

Hua Thanon / Namuang area

Chai’s Cuisine & Farm – This is as fresh as it can get, and run by a super friendly and down-to-earth couple.  Khun Chai and Khun Rut grow their own vegetables in the garden behind the restaurant and will freshly pick what they need after you’ve placed your order.  We love their Prawns with Chilli & Basil (Pad Krapow Goong) and Morning Glory (Pad Pak Bung).   Well worth the drive south to try their food.  Ask about their Thai cooking courses too.  Yum!

Directions:  Located on the ring road between Hua Thanon and Wat Khunaram.  I’ll update later with a Google Map link.

More Information

Take a look at our Guide to the beaches in Koh Samui for more information about where we like to hang out on the island.

‘Fun on the Beach Day’ with Charlie’s Children’s Charities (Khanom)

Group photo at Charlie's Beach Day

We will be attending the 6th Annual ‘Fun on the Beach Day’ for the children of the Nakhon Orphanage on Saturday 24th September 2016.   There will be around 100 children participating in all sorts of fun activities on the beach at Khanom (on the mainland).  The iSUP Samui crew will be providing paddle board lessons and general water safety.

If you are interested in volunteering at this event, please visit the event page on Facebook, and reach out to the organisers.

Stay tuned for photos and a blog post of our experience…