Taling Ngam beach is one of the most picturesque parts of Koh Samui, thanks to the emerald jungles framing the beaches and the breathtaking views of the Angthong Marine National Park. Travellers flock to this area because it’s known for its relaxing and laid-back atmosphere. It’s also around half an hour’s drive from the biggest town in Nathon, so you’re assured some tranquillity while you’re here.
History has it that it was once an old merchant port, called Taling Punk (translates to damaged shore). After a big storm damaged it in 1900, it was renamed Taling Ngam, which means beautiful shore. Many of the island’s local families are descendants of Chinese migrants as well as Thais, all of whom made a living from the fishing industry.
The beach runs from the northern to the southern part of Koh Samui. In the past, it was associated with the luxury travel market due to the presence of many upscale hotels. However, much has changed since then as there are now more affordable accommodations in this sleepy part of the island.
What sets this beach apart from everything else, and truly special, is its isolation. The beachfront area is so peaceful, and only occasionally do you see a speedboat or long tail interrupt the horizon. As a bonus, the beach is on Koh Samui’s western end, which means that you get to enjoy glorious sunsets at the end of each day.
There’s no traffic here, unlike the busier areas such as Lamai or Chaweng. The waters are crystal clear, but the best time to swim is during the high tide. A small but colourful coral reef lies a few meters off the shore, ideal for some casual snorkelling. For travellers requiring some isolation and privacy, it simply doesn’t get any better than Taling Ngam. When you do feel like socializing, however, there are numerous establishments, including bars and restaurants, found on the beach.