Bophut Fisherman's Village
Our resident villa expert Max Vee visits Bophut Fisherman's Village on Koh Samui, perhaps the island's most popular location for exclusive accommodation, fine dining and boutique beachside attractions. He gives his inside tips on the exceptional private villas on offer in the area as well as the visitor highlights that make this one of the island's top beachside locales.
About the location
Poised on Samui's picturesque northern coast overlooking the neighbouring island of Koh Phangan, Bophut is a quaint shopping and dining strip that offers glimpses of traditional island life combined with more contemporary tourist attractions and amenities.
Thanks to its active and creative Thai and international business community, the seaside village has retained an old world charm and a few years ago was branded "Fisherman's Village"
with a colourful sign placed at the entrance to the strip providing a proud reference to its traditional roots. Modest shops and boutiques occupy many of the refurbished shop houses, sharing space with some of the island's best restaurants, while the beach itself extends several kilometres further along the shore and is home to a number of resorts and villa developments. The wider Bophut area is home to some of Koh Samui's most popular private villas, many of which sit in the hills behind the bay, surrounded by lush tropical forest and enjoying stunning ocean views.
Why choose this area?
With significantly less traffic and noise than the island's other popular beachside towns, Bophut has a character all of its own. The many well preserved wooden Chinese shop houses that line the beachside strip are central to the charm and appeal of Fisherman’s Village. Large scale development has been limited, so it's a delightful place to wander in the evenings, browsing the boutiques and menus. You soon get to know the shopkeepers and restaurant owners, even on a short visit, and with a car its easy and convenient to stay at your own private villa close the village and drive (or be driven) in when you feel like a day at the beach or an evening out.
Where would you eat?
Fisherman's Village is well known for its good food and relaxed but comfortable beachside eateries where the menus offer cuisine from around the globe. Highlights and long time favourites include Starfish&Coffee, which serves excellent fresh seafood, The Shack for some of Thailand's best steaks, and H Bistro for haute cuisine created by celebrated Chef Stephen Dion. Other international offerings in the village include The Mexican and Kohinoor Indian Restaurant, both serving the classics of each country, plus Cafe 69, a relative newcomer with funky decor and fabulous food presentations. For tasty, traditional Thai dishes, Krua Bophut is set in a traditional wooden Thai house and serves a range of local favourites, as well as set menus.
For a big night out?
To maintain its peaceful local ambience, the guardians of Bophut Fisherman's Village have steered away from raucous nightlife, leaving the nigh clubs and late night bars to nearby Chaweng. The village does, however, boast a selection of more laid back bars, including an Irish-styled Pub called The Emerald, an Australian-styled watering hole called Billabong Surf Club with occasional live music and long time favourite with local expats, "The Frog and Gecko", where the weekly pub quiz always pulls in the crowds. Every Friday evening, the strip turns into a popular Walking Street, bustling with shoppers and lined with local food and craft stalls. A live band often performs in the middle of the village during the mini-festival, with street performances including fire juggling and local children gathering to sing and dance for the crowds.
What keeps you busy?
Yoga Garden Samui, Fisherman's Village
In Fisherman's Village proper, shopping and eating are the main attractions, and mainly offered in the evenings. Earlier in the day, health and relaxation seekers can join one of the professionally run yoga or pilates classes at the recently opened Yoga Garden Samui, which also serves tasty home-made cuisine. For Thai inspired massage treatments, Peace Tropical Spa on the main island Ring Road behind the village is a rewarding choice. Bophut pier is also the daily departure point for snorkelling and diving trips to offshore reefs and islands.
What about the villas?
The Bophut area is home to the widest choice of private rental villas on Koh Samui
, and proximity to Fisherman's Village makes them among the most popular properties on the island. Most villas are located in the forested hills that provide a spectacular backdrop to the bay — all within a short drive of the beach and village attractions.
In the hills
Ban Kinaree combines contemporary sophistication with traditional Thai-Balinese elegance. The expansive five bedroom residence boasts a generous infinity edge pool with stunning sunrise and sunset views across the ocean to neighbouring island of Koh Phan Ngan.
A sophisticated tropical retreat with a blend of modern and traditional designs that are simple yet luxurious. The large infinity pool provides the perfect setting for taking in the stunning 260 degree views and the private walled garden features and extensive 1600 sqm lawn, ideal for families.
An ultra contemporary, six bedroom private hillside residence with a 20 metre infinity pool, private Life Fitness gym and plush glassed walled interiors. A unique blend of cutting edge technology, modern design and natural materials results in a remarkable property.
Set amongst sprawling lawns and exotic tropical gardens, with a stunning pool oasis, this recently launched, four-bedroom villa is designed to encourage guests to relax, unwind and dissolve the stresses of everyday life in a beautiful tropical island setting with captivating views.
Perched on a mountainside with exceptional views over the whole of Bophut bay, this popular four bedroom villa is spread over multiple levels and boasts beautiful, contemporary designs and appealing landscaped gardens. The interiors enhance the attractive and comfortable ambiance created by the breathtaking coastal vistas.
On the beach
Villa M", is a gracious yet contemporary five bedroom villa and stands out as the only absolute beachfront residence in Fisherman’s Village. The enviable location, elegant colonial inspired design, and superb furnishings create an incredible beachside home.
The six contemporary four bedroom villas on the Dhevatara Residence Estate are located at the northern tip of Bophut bay and provide guests with luxurious accommodation in a relaxed, absolute beachfront location. The properties combine understated styling with all the modern conveniences and facilities that you would expect from a 5 star resort.
by MAX VEE