Koh Samui has become one of Southeast Asia’s leading holiday destinations thanks to an appealing combination of nature, culture, cuisine and entertainment. The latter comes on the form of myriad vibrant nightlife options and a sophisticated beach club scene.
Everyone knows the hit 80s anthem, ‘One Night in Bangkok’, but 30 years later, one night in Samui offers up just as much fun as an evening spent enjoying the nightlife attractions in the Thai capital.
Koh Samui and her sister islands of Koh Phangan and Koh Tao are well known for their eclectic nightlife offerings, so whether you’re in the mood for a relaxed evening with a few drinks, or an energetic night of full-on partying, these islands will not disappoint.
Below is a round up of some cool spots and entertaining activities to enjoy on Samui when the sun sets.
If you’re in search of Samui’s party epicentre, then head straight to Chaweng Beach. The classic night out in Chaweng usually begins on the beach and often ends on the legendary Soi Green Mango, a neon lit street that's home to a vast array of clubs and bars. Thanks to its enticing beachfront location, Ark Bar is one of the favourite places in Chaweng to start the evening with food and drinks. You can then dance on the sand to some of the in-house DJs grooves before heading onto the main strip to continue the party. Meanwhile, heading south to Lamai Beach, Swing Bar is a great place to revel in the rousing atmosphere of one of Thailand’s traditional beach fire shows, where agile performers twist and turn with rods of fire - all in time to the music.
Beach Club Beats
To enjoy a few drinks in a more laid back atmosphere, many visitors head to one of Samui's chic beach clubs. Savour the colours of the sunset with a cocktail at Nikki Beach on the island's undisturbed west coast where a sophisticated atmosphere prevails as you lounge on one of the club’s luxurious cushioned day beds. Alternatively, chillax at Beach Republic in Lamai, which also boasts a pool and choice of comfy private cabanas, plus a distinctly Mediterranean ambience in stunning tropical surroundings.
For an evening sparkling with colour and fun, visit one of the island's Ladyboy cabaret shows on Chaweng Beach. Thailand's “Katoey” performers have long played an important role in the Kingdom’s entertainment industry, and their talented theatricals attract thousands of holiday-makers every year. The typical cabaret show is packed with glitz, glamour and a medley of diva anthems, all topped off with colourful costumes and a lot of feather boas. The Moulin Rouge cabaret is one of the most popular on the island, with nightly shows at 8pm, 9.30pm and 11.30pm. Go early for a family friendly performance, as the show is sure to heat up as the night rolls on.
Live and Loud
If you’re in the mood to groove to some live beats on a Samui night out, then head for Chaweng’s Soi Reggae, home to one of Samui’s most famous live music venues – the Reggae Pub. This huge, multi-story building puts on an eclectic range of musical performances nightly, from rock anthems to Bob Marley classics. For a more intimate atmosphere, the Secret Garden Beach Café near Big Buddha Beach also puts on a live music session every weekend. The ‘Secret Garden Sunday Sessions’ are a great place to enjoy live rock and blues with the family and meet the local expats as you tuck into a the mouth-watering beach barbecue.
If you're worried about missing a championship final or not seeing your favourite team in action while on holiday in Samui then it will come as a pleasant surprise to learn that you can watch just about any type of live sport on the island. Long established Chaweng sports bars like Tropical Murphy's and The Islander boast multiple screens showing a choice of different live and recorded sports, all day and well into the night. More recent additions like Bondi Bar, also in Chaweng, and Premier Sports Bar in Bang Rak offer yet more options for sports fans on a night out. Of course, private villa gusts can also enjoy big screen sports in the comfort of their holiday home with a wide choice of satellite channels featuring everything from football and golf to extreme sports.