Koh Samui (or Ko Samui) is the third largest island in Thailand. The most popular beach on Samui is called Had Chaweng and it is located on the East Coast, north of Lamai Beach and south of the Samui Airport. Chaweng is one of the longest beaches of Samui and the most popular by far.
How to get to Samui?
1. With Bangkok Airways from Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok or from Phuket Airport in Phuket. There are several daily flights, but these are rather often fully booked at high and peak season, so our suggestion is to make the booking early to be sure to get a seat.
2. With Thai Airways from Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok. Either directly to Samui Airport, or to Suratthani Airport on the main land. From there you will have to take a bus, minivan or taxi to the ferry piers in Donsak. You can buy the ferry ticket at any of these piers.
Book the air tickets on internet directly from the airline or from any travel agency in Thailand.
From Bangkok, the buses departs either from the famous tourist / backpacker street; Khao San Road or from the Southern Bus Terminal, located at Boromrat Chonnani Road. Tickets can be bought in almost any travel agency in Bangkok.
There are also buses from Phuket, Krabi, Pattaya and Hat Yai. The tickets can be bought at almost any local travel agency or directly at the bus terminals.
The bus will take you to Donsak or another pier at the coastline of the Surat Thani province. You can buy the ferry ticket at these piers, if you haven't purchased it already.
The train departs from Hualampong Railway Station in Bangkok. Buy the tickets in any travel agency in the capital city, or directly at the railway station. There are both 1th class private sleeping cars (two persons) and 2nd class coaches and "public" sleeping cars.
Your final destination (but not the trains') is the town of Suratthani. From there you will have to take a bus, minivan or taxi to the piers in Donsak. You are able to buy the ferry ticket at these piers.
Getting around Samui
Most taxi drivers do NOT use the taximeter, so you will have to negotiate about the price in advance. The fare is normally 100-600 baht, due to the distance.
A Songtaew is a red pick up taxi with two benches behind the driver. The price is 30-50 baht due to distance, but after 6 PM you'll have to negotiate about the price in advance. The fare is then normally higher.
These are ordinary 100-125 cc bikes and you are sitting behind the driver. The price is from about 30-150 baht due to distance.
There are several motorcycle rental companies in Chaweng. Most bikes are 100 - 125 cc (Honda Wave, Honda Dream, Honda Click, Yamaha Nuovo, Yamaha Mio, Suzuki Step, Suzuki Hayate etc.) The price varies from 100-200 baht per day, according to the length of the rental period.
There are also larger bikes and even Harley Davidson and various sport bikes (such as Kawasaki Ninja and Honda CBR etc.) available. Please drive responsibly and use a crash helmet. Far too many bike accidents occurs on Ko Samui.
A jeep costs from about 800 baht per day and a
personal car will cost about 1500 baht and up per 24 hours. There are various models (Toyota Yaris, Toyota Vios, Toyota Camry, Toyota Fortuner, Honda Jazz, Honda Accord, Honda Civic and Isuzu Hi-Lander etc.) Larger rental companies such as Avis, Budget and Hertz also offer insurance. It might be expensive if you end up in an accident, without insurance.
Please note! Remember to drive on the left hand side.
Beach Life in Chaweng
On the six kilometer long beach, you find many cozy, fine hotels and resorts. Chaweng Beach is perfect for those who enjoy a great beach, affordable shopping, intense nightlife and superb dining.
Also a tropical, fantastic golf course (Santiburi in Maenam) and the airport is within relatively close distances.
South of Chaweng Beach, you'll find Chaweng Noi (little Chaweng). This is a much shorter beach with some hotels and beach restaurants. A good alternative if you think Chaweng is a little too crowded (especially at high and peak season).
At Chaweng there are many diving schools, a few thai boxing camps, several internet café's, plenty of skilled tailors as well as many excellent restaurants. There are a number of beach activities available here, such as jet-skiing, banana boat riding, parasailing after a motor boat (which means a trip high above the water including a fantastic view of Chaweng). It is also possible to rent a catamaran, a canoe or go water skiing, wakeboarding and windsurfing.
There are a couple of places on Chaweng beach where you can rent water sport equipments such as outside Best Beach Resort and Chaweng Garden Beach Resort. If you would like to try diving or even get a diving certificate, we would recommend you to take a beach walk until you reach the P&P Samui Resort, where you'll find the school "Dive Point" which arrange diving trips to Koh Tao and other locations in the Surat Thani archipelago.
Further info about water sports activities is found here
The sun here is very, very intense. Use a sunscreen with a SPF of AT LEAST 8. We would even recommend a Sun Protection Factor of 15-30 for your safety. Do not end up looking like a ripe tomato (it definitely hurts) and risk getting skin cancer.
Beach Restaurants and Bars
If you feel the need for a cold drink or something to eat, there is no problems involved. Along the beachside and the Beach Road, there are plenty of bars and cozy restaurants. Simple Thai food stalls to luxury restaurants are actually found allover this area.
They are also some establishments who have specialized on After Beach Parties with music and various drinks offers. Such places are Ark Bar and Liquid Lounge and the audience here is predominantly in the 18-35 age range. In the evening, many of the hotels bring out tables to the beach and serves the dinner on the beach for their guests and bypassing people.
Swimming and Massage
The best place to swim in Chaweng is the southern part of the beach. The northern part is normally not that deep. There are many Thai women who offer affordable oil massage at the beachside in the shadows. It can be very relaxing after a late night out. The same ladies often offer manicure as well, but do not forget to negotiate about the price in advance. If the price seems too high, it probably is!
There are a relatively large number of vendors along the beach that sell everything from ice cream and drinks (beer, soft drinks or even fruit juices) to colorful sarongs and shorts. Some of them also do henna tattoos, hair braiding and foot massage. Most of the vendors are friendly, so if you don´t want to buy anything from them, you'll just say "no thanks" and they will probably leave you alone.
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Location of Chaweng Beach
The current Samui Weather
The dry season: December-February
The hot season: March-August
The wet season: September-November