Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Thong Tanote and Phangka

These are two of the least visited beaches in Koh Samui. They are situated on the south-west peninsula in an area that has escaped the uncontrolled development that has marred the beauty of places such as Chaweng and Lamai. Both Thong Tanote and Phangka are in a region where you can still see the traditional wooden houses of fishermen used as such not turned into expensive boutique shops (as is the case in Bophut).

There are few bars in this area. The restaurants are small local affairs where you can sample authentic island food at prices far below those on the menus in other parts of the island.

Thong Tanote

Thong Tanote is a small secluded beach with palm trees leaning towards the water. It is a narrow beach behind which is plenty of open space. The sea here recedes quite far at low tide. At high tide it is suitable for swimming. The sand is not the finest on Koh Samui, however this is made up for the fact that if you stay at Thong Tanote there is a good chance that you will be the only person around when you venture down to the beach. Thong Tanote offers idyllic seclusion.

There are few accommodation choices at Thong Tanote. At the cheaper end of the accommodation spectrum is Jinta Beach Bungalows that offers fan or air-con huts that start at 600 THB in the low season. Jinta Beach Bungalows is run by a local family. The resort includes a small pool and a restaurant.

The best place to stay in Thong Tanote is Coconut Villa Resort and Spa. It has hotel style rooms and has a pool with swim up bar, free wifi access, a restaurant and a spa.


Just around the headland and facing west is Phangka beach. It is also called the Emerald Bay. It is without doubt one of the most remote spots on the island. At Phangka there is a small fishing village where you can still witness traditional island life. Here you can hire a longtail boat to take you out to the two small islands just off the coast called Koh Mutsum and Koh Tan. These deserted islands are surrounded by coral reefs that are great for snorkeling.

The resorts at Phangka are fairly well self-contained as there are few facilities in the area. The stand out place is Elements Boutique Resort and Spa. It features private pool villas with direct access to the beach. It is a very stylish place where the staff pampers the guests with luxury. Check out their promo video below.

Finally, it should be mentioned that Phangka has probably the best sunset on Koh Samui. It is an ideal spot for honeymooners who want privacy and a beach to themselves.