I LOVE Koh Samui! There, I’ve said it! I love the atmosphere, the activities, the people, the many restaurants, markets and hotels. BUT sometimes I just want to escape the busyness of it all, the commerciality, the fact that it’s pretty tough to still find an authentic slice of Thai. That’s why Taling Ngam, Koh Samui on the lesser visited west side of the island is one of my favourite places to go when I need a bit of peace.
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The beach at Taling Ngam is actually split into smaller, non specified stretches of sand. With the main two sections separated by an old fishermans pier. In total this part of the coastline stretches from Lipa Noi down to the Southern tip. It’s so far managed to avoid a lot of the growth experienced in Koh Samui over the last few years. So retains its small village charm and is relatively traffic and tourist free. We’ve managed to spend several hours in Taling Ngam and have not seen anyone else on the beach.
Being bordered by palm trees and the jungle adds to the charm. At points along the beach you’ll feel like you landed on a deserted tropical island rather than one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand. The views out to the Angthon Marine park and its many islands towering out of the sea make the perfect backdrop for a breathtaking sunset.
Where to stay in Taling Ngam with kids
For me the best place to stay in Taling Ngam with kids is at the Intercontinental. It’s the ultimate in luxury and has so many facilities available you may just not want to leave.
Located on it’s own stretch of sandy Taling Ngam beach, this is by far one of the quietest luxury resorts on Koh Samui. That doesn’t mean it’s not super child friendly. Staff positively fawned over Piper during our visit. There’s a gorgeous pool area overlooking the sea with a bar and poolside restaurant.
If the kids are looking to make friends then the onsite kids play area and kids club is a great place to start. The hotel offers many organised activities and excursions including kayaking, cycling, dolphin trips and boat trips to the Angthong Marine park.
They have plenty of family sized rooms, two bed villas and heaps of child friendly food on the menu. All this luxury does come at a price. Rooms are often over £200 per night. You can check the best deals for the Intercontinental here.
Another high end option is the Sunset beach resort. Home to some stunning beachside villas and sunset view rooms. It has a gorgeous pool and bar with great views plus a great spa. Plus complimentary bikes and kayaks to help you explore a little further.
Find the best prices for your dates here.
If you’re looking for your own space there are many luxury villas and bungalows available to hire along the coastline. Ministry of Villas is a great place to begin your search.
What can I do at Taling Ngam Beach with kids?
There are very few organised activities on Taling Ngam Beach. I’m sure kids will love digging in the sand and having a paddle in the sea. They might even spot a wooden swing hanging from a coconut tree or a hammock to rest in the shade.
This is one of the best spots on Koh Samui for snorkelling. The reef is just stunning and crowded with sea creatures to spot. Please be careful not to stand on the reef. It is fragile and precious and only survives due to the relatively unknown nature of the area. You don’t have to swim far from the beach to get to deep water so keep a close eye on little ones who may be nervous about this. I highly recommend some good water shoes. It can be rocky in areas with many spiky sea urchins and the bottom feels a bit muddy.
Taling Ngam is a good place to get a boat trip to the nearby Anthong Marine park and Five Islands or quirky Koh Matsun with it’s native pigs who live on the beach!
What is the sand like at Taling Ngam?
This is a fairly narrow stretch of sand but what it lacks in depth it more than makes up for in beauty. The glistening white and fine sand is perfect for burying your toes in and it’s always just a few paces down to the cooling water.
What to do at night on Taling Ngam with kids
There are a couple of beach bars to visit along the sand serving sweet cocktails and chilled music. And there’s the 5 star Intercontinental which has a very cosy firepit area where you can enjoy a drink. But that’s pretty much it, no fire shows, no beach sellers, no loud music or rowdy backpackers. It’s pretty perfect if you want to head off grid.
Taling Ngam, Koh Samui is one of the best places on the island to watch the sunset due to its location on the West on the island. Take some cold drinks and enjoy the free show while you sit in the sand. Perfect!
Where to eat at Taling Ngam, Koh Samui
There are a few rustic Thai restaurants along the beach serving great priced, tasty local food. You could of course pop into the Intercontinental hotel if you fancy something more upmarket or if the kids are demanding Western flavours.
You’ll not find the usual influx of 7/11 along Taling Ngam, grocery stores are mainly for locals so you’ll still be able to pick up something delicious.
How to get to Taling Ngam, Koh Samui
There isn’t really a direct road to get to Taling Ngam, you’ll need to navigate some bendy, narrow roadways which will take you through some authentic Thai villages. When you enter elephant road at the entrance to the village – you’ll know it when you see it, you know you’re nearly there.
If you arrive in Taling Ngam beach by taxi be sure to ask them to wait for you or book a return. you’re unlikely to find one waiting in town. Or you could head to one of the luxury resorts and ask them to order one.
If you come to Koh Samui by ferry you’ll likely to arrive into Nathon Town where the main port is located. It’s just a twenty minute taxi or drive from there. If you fly over it will take just under an hour to get to Taling Ngam from the airport. Most of the hotels will provide a pick up service.
Is Taling Ngam Safe?
In contrast to many other beaches on Koh Samui, you wont be worried about checking your bag or avoiding the crowds. The only thing that made me a bit nervous was how isolated we were.
It’s the natural environment you need to be aware of here. This is a wild beach with no lifeguards, limited facilities and broken tree branches and coconut husks on the ground. You’re likely to see many insects and lizards in and around the trees, maybe even a snake. Just keep your distance and don’t let little ones wander off into the trees.
If you’re looking for a beach which is a little busier with plenty of shops, restaurants and things to entertain the kids then be sure to check out my ultimate guide to Bophut Beach, Koh Samui.
Make sure you pin for later for planning your visit to Taling Ngam beach.