Chaweng Beach

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Koh Samui Beaches

Chaweng Beach

About Chaweng Beach:

North end of Chaweng Beach

Chaweng Beach, located on Koh Samui's east coast, is the most developed area on the island. It attracts many young travelers and families alike, and remains good value for the money. The beach is approximately 7 Km long, with powdery white sand. It is bordered by dreamy, emerald-blue waters and a coral reef where waves break, leaving the bay quite peaceful. Two small islands are close to the reef -- the nearest one can easily be accessed by walking through the shallow waters. The second island, further out and larger, provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy snorkeling and kayaking. Bring shoes if you plan to walk around the islands, as they are made of sharp coral sands.

The central part of the beach is a bit more crowded than the quieter north. Many vendors pass by offering beverages, fruit, ice cream and local Thai food for the more daring. A variety of local crafts and Thai souvenirs are also available.

Can this be real? Could it be you?

The beach itself is usually accessed through the hotels, as there are no beach roads to disturb the peacefulness of the area. It is very relaxing but noticeably more touristy during the high season. The water is clean, with usual temperatures between 25-28 degrees Celsius.

Parallel to the beach, clustered in the middle of the strip, lies the greatest concentration of restaurants, bars, souvenir shops and of course, fast food and convenience stores.

Where to stay:

From cheap to luxurious accommodation

Here you can find a host of accommodations to suit every budget, from bungalows to luxury resorts, all of them just a walking distance from the heart of Chaweng Beach.

For a quieter evening, there are plenty of bars and restaurants right on the beach, offering picture-perfect views of the Gulf of Thailand. Food lovers can find just about anything, whether it be Thai or Western, and there are some excellent seafood restaurants. In spite of all the activity Chaweng attracts, it still retains the classic image of a palm-fringed tropical beach.

(See the list of hotels available in Chaweng)

Daytime activities:

Many watersports are available

Kayak rentals can be found in front of many hotels (single kayak 150B/H, double 200B/H). You can easily access the two islands near the reef with or without a guide, but don't forget your snorkeling equipment (150B/day) as the reef facing the ocean is still intact and many tropical fish are awaiting you there!

Other watersports are available around the center of the beach, with Samui Ocean Sports offering catamarans (800B/H) and windsurfing (300B/H). The wind is at its best from December to February, on this side of the island. It is an excellent place for beginners to take lessons (800B/H) as the bay is quite shallow -- it's never a problem as you can always just walk back to the beach. For advanced windsurfers, the winds get stronger before rains or early in the morning and they're better outside the reef.

After enjoying some watersports, relax and treat yourself in one of the many Thai massage salas (small, open wooden houses) which can be found almost everywhere on the beach. They offer manicures and pedicures, hair braiding and other body treatments which will leave you both relaxed and refreshed.


Green Mango nightspots

A good choice of music venues can be found in the area, ranging from traditional Thai tunes to jazz, rock and reggae. So whether you want to relax or dance the night away, you won't be disappointed!

Located in the center of Chaweng is the famous Green Mango Square, which is one of the two "hot spots" of Samui. Here, numerous naughty bars and shows warmly welcome you, along with many other smaller, counter-style bars. The well-known Reggae Pub, established more than 14 years ago, features popular live and loud concerts. It's located on a small island in a lake, on a back street of Chaweng. Transvestite shows and bars can also be found in the middle of the main street.

Traffic is usually difficult and gets busy after dark. It is recommended that you drive very carefully or use a taxi to get back to your hotel, especially if you have been enjoying the night scene a bit heavily. If you are driving a motorbike, remember that under Thai law you must always wear a helmet (even if you see many locals ignoring the law).


Thai silk shop on main road

Travel and tour offices can be found all along the main street, as well as Internet cafes with various prices (about 1B/Min). There are plenty of vendors selling everything from imitation sunglasses to watches and Louis Vuttion (as spelled on the bags). Many CDs, DVDs and video games can be found at amazingly cheap prices, but be aware that some movies are actually shot with a standard video camera directly in a movie theater! You might hear people laughing or even heads passing by the screen! Subtitles are done in a rush and can be hilarious! It is sometimes better choose your CD's from a shop which has a CD player and ask for a check first, unless you wish to surprise your friends with one of these "handmade" CD's. Anyway, you are not supposed to buy these.... but well, we leave it up to you.

Many nice handicrafts and fashion stores are now open in trendy shops -- enough to provide you with hours of window shopping. A 3 storey shop on the south end of Chaweng has all the Thai handicrafts you could wish for, but it can be more expensive than smaller shops.

In the past few years foot massages have become very popular and they're an excellent way to recover from a day of walking! You will find a foot massage shop nearly every 50 meters (about 300 Baht/H), from the most basic setting with mattresses in an empty room behind a window wide open onto the street, to cozier and more elegant salons like "Classic 2" at the very south end of the street... difficult to resist.

As everywhere in Thailand, Tailor shops are flourishing absolutely everywhere, mainly run by Indian people. Have a Armani suit or a Chanel dress made in 24 Hours is one of the most amazing challenge they will propose you. If you do not want to spend hours thinking about which design you would prefer, a good way is to bring a picture from your own home catalog. It is usually enough to get a fairly close result. Better expect 48 hours and don't hesitate to ask for adjustments (and discount) if not satisfied with the first result.

Where to Dine:

Specialty of Samui:Tom Yam Cha Muan

Dining is one of the highlights of any trip and Chaweng offers a tantalizing variety of local specialties and continental menus. Most of the hotels serve a wide selection of local dishes, some of them while sitting in your own sala directly on the beach, with a relaxing view of the bay. Unless you specifically ask for your dish to be spicy, most restaurants will serve your food milder than the locals prefer it. Probably one of the most unique features of Koh Samui evenings, is the dinner right on the beach, borded by the quiet waters of the lagoon. Many bars prepare lie down cushions with mats to end the evening with a romantic cocktail... but don't forget mosquito repellent.


Dining right on the beach!

On both sides of the main street you'll find so many restaurants that it often becomes difficult to decide! Samui Seafood offers a menu featuring delicacies from the sea in an original setting, reclined on cushions Thai-style, for a real tropical feeling. Two Japanese restaurants and a Korean barbecue are good alternatives if you feel like something different. Excellent Italian dinners await you at Juzz'a Pizza in the Green Mango Square. And of course, if you feel homesick all the classics are now on Koh Samui with Burger King, Pizza Hut and even Starbucks.

Some Recommended Restaurants:

  • Budsaba - Thai and Asian cuisine - Muang Kulaypan Hotel, north part of Chaweng - 077 422 305
  • Betelnut - California/Thai fusion - south part of Chaweng - 077 413 370
  • Vecchio Napoli - Italian cuisine - 077 231 229
  • Samui Seafood - open from 11.30 am to midnight - 077 413 221
  • Will Wait - Thai and Continental food - reasonable prices - 077 422 613
  • Chaweng Villa - Thai and Seafood, right on the beach

How to Get around:

A Songtaew Taxi

The best way to go from place to place is to ride a songtaew, a dark red, covered pick-up which hoots its horn about every 10 meters. Prices can vary depending on the mood of the driver, but it should be around 20 B/person for a ride within the Chaweng area. You can also use a motorbike taxi, easily recognized by the drivers' colored jackets, for 10-20 B depending on the distance.

If you rent a car and are not familiar with the Thai way of driving, you will realize that driving and parking here can be difficult exercises. Renting a motorbike is the easiest way to get around the island but it is also the most dangerous. Don't forget to carry your driver's license and to wear a helmet as the number of bike accidents is quite high in Samui. Motorbike and car rentals can be found in all the tourist areas and usually cost about 120-150 B/day for a bike and 800-1,000 B/day for a car (usually a Suzuki Caribbean, in more or less good condition). Big bikes can also be found in Chaweng, though only experienced riders should consider renting them given the dangerous driving conditions. Prices vary depending on the model and your bargaining skills.


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Where to stay in Chaweng Beach: (Click here for all Chaweng Hotels)

Amari Palm Reef Resort

The sun-drenched island of Samui in the Gulf of Thailand, is just 70 minutes by air from Bangkok. At the secluded northern end of Chaweng, its longest and most beautiful beach, sits the Amari Palm Reef Resort -- a cluster of Thai-style buildings and bungalows hidden from the world by gently swaying palm trees. Go to Hotel Website

Central Samui Beach Resort

An exclusive beachfront property, the Central Samui Beach Resort opened in 1996. Situated on stunning Chaweng Beach, the resort is only 20 minutes from Samui airport and 30 minutes by road from the ferry pier. Go to Hotel Website

Muang Kulaypan Hotel

This hotel is found on the northern part of Koh Samui's Chaweng Beach, renowned as one of the most picturesque in Thailand with its powdery white sand and crystal clear waters. Muang Kulaypan Hotel harbors a 100-meter beach frontage, revealing a fabulous view of the sea and offshore islands. Go to Hotel Website

Samui Bayview Villa & Resort

Samui Bayview lies between the bustling resort beach of Chaweng and the popular but quieter Lamai Beach, offering guests ready access to the best of Samui. At the end of a day exploring the island's villages or playing at the beach, the resort's breathtaking mountainside location makes it an ideal hideaway for those in search of peace and quiet. Go to Hotel Website

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