If you are coming to a tropical island,
I imagined that part of the reason is for the beach.
So here's a quick over view of
the beaches you will find here.
Let's star with Bo Phut on the northern end.
The Fishermen's Village with all it's charm,
is not blessed with the best of beaches of this island.
The water is a bit murky,
and is very shallow at times.
But the charm of the village,
with all it's restaurants and cafe,
sort of make up for this flaw.
Choeng Mon and Northern Chaweng is great for
those who prefer an upscale place to stay.
Great for families and romantic couples in love.
Again, the water is shallow and not great for swimming.
But the water is clearer and you might just enjoy floating around.
When the wter is really shallow,
you can also walk to the neighboring island of Ko Faan Yai.
Chaweng Central and South are full of tourist and chaos.
Really did not take spend any time here.
But if party and action is what you are looking for,
then this is the place for you to go.
A bit further south is Lamai.
Like a knife,
there is a double edge.
It just depends on what side of the strip you are on.
On the street side,
noise, prostitution and a bit of disorder is here.
But pass the strip to the sea side,
and the peace is resident here.
With a great clean beach,
plenty of bungalows under the palm trees,
this place gets my vote.
The beaches on the southern end
are more remote and quite
if that is what you want.
But again ,
the water is quite shallow
and muddy for swimming.
At Baan Pang Ka,
this is the place to get lost from civilization.
If no one is around,
maybe you can even go naked.
On the west coast,
shorelines are a bit thin.
Water is muddy.
Not as attracted as the other sides.
"Hat Tong Yang" or Tong Yang beach is on the western side of the Island and is quiet and secluded with only afew bungalows .This is a good place for people who want to get away from the crowds.
Fondest memory: Big John seafood restaurant was not a dissappointment.Wonderful sunsets,deserted peaceful beach .
Fondest memory: Lamai beach approaching sunset. This was where I stayed way back in 1987. When I returned in 2002 I stayed at Chaweng but I wasn't aware how busy it had become. Lamai, a quieter beach, would have been a much better choice.
For a start the weather in June probably that much better on Samui than Krabi. Secondly if you enjoyed Patong then you probably want an area with plenty of restaurants, some shopping and a lively atmosphere ? If that is the case then Chaweng Samui would probably suit you fine. Krabi is very nice but to appreciate it the best months are from late November until early April.
For accommodation go to somewhere like beachsiam.com for Koh Samui and then perhaps browse through the reviews for those at Chaweng beach to get an idea of what would suit you, as a family your budget is fine.
If you are familiar with Patong you will be glad to know that certainly for that budget you will find good absolute beachfront accommodation so you can walk right onto the beach. For snorkeling best to take a trip to Koh Tao, just a boat ride from Samui.
For flights - who are you booking your long haul into Bangkok on ? If you are flying with Thai they now have 2 flights per day so see if by chance you are flying with Thai to get them to include Samui and see what the fare is, it could be your cheapest way of doing it.
You can fly budget to Surat Thani and then it is a bus ride and ferry over to Samui. Tip: Why not budget to Surat Thani and then you have the boat ride but then fly direct back to bangkok with Bangkok Airways / Thai, that helps on the cost. Going down via Surat Thani would be 'interesting' as a change but probably at the end of your vacation / holiday a straight flight back to Bangkok would be easy.
Favorite thing: Chewang Beach is very popular because of it's beautiful white sandy beach and crystal clear water. One can hire all manner of beach and water equipment. Comes alive in the evening with the restaurants, discos and shopping stalls doing a roaring trade. Accommodation is more expensive here. I loved it when I hired an inflatable bed and just floated around on the water, then used it back on the beach under the shade of a tree - heaven!
Maenam beach is the place to go to if you want peace and quiet,away from the crowds.Have a look at the Health Resort for yoga and detox.The beach here is often deserted.
Fondest memory: uncrowded beach & early sunrise.
Chaweng is a busy and fun beach if you are interested in meeting people.
Choeng Mon is a quieter beach that is relaxing and not far from the night-life.
Fondest memory: So many to choose from, one of the real highlights was the ready and sincere smile of the local people.
Favorite thing: The pineapples I have eaten in Thailand have been the freshest, juiciest, tastiest I've ever had! And for only around 20 baht.
Next to Nora Beach resort at the top end of Chawang you will find a nice stretch of lonely beach.
Fondest memory: Sun,sea & uncrowed beach
Favorite thing: I'm not sure of the name but this beach is not far from The Cliff bar.I saw afew people out snokelling in the bay .This looks like a nice place to stay