Visiting every beach club in Ko Samui

Published on 29 December 2023 at 21:26

Ko Samui is the second largest island in Thailand behind Phuket, so we have two weeks to relax and explore. We set a challenge to visit every beach club on the island to find our favorites.

As we disembarked the ferry in Ko Samui, we took a moment to high-five as this was our final island destination and therefore our last ferry journey for the trip.  

We booked to stay at a self-contained one-bedroom apartment within the “Whispering Palms Condominiums” complex (or “Whimpering Pums” if you are a local taxi driver) located a 30-minute walk from busy Chaweng beach on the northwest corner of the island. 

The complex is well equipped for a long term stay and includes two swimming pools, a small gym with pool table, and washing machines onsite. We could walk to a local shopping mall in one direction, or to a local Lotus Express in the other (for kiwi and aussie readers, this is like K Mart and includes a full grocery section).  There are two local street markets nearby that are open most evenings.

This was where we experienced our first taste of Soju, a Korean rice wine that comes in various flavors like lychee, peach, apple, blueberry, yoghurt and more.  At around 14% alcohol it gets the job done quickly, so you are served the bottle and a shot glass, with the idea that you sip it. 

We’ve mentioned before that wine is hard to find and very expensive here, so Soju was nice change from beer. After we drank the local bar dry of their soju over two nights, they shared that they had been restocking our orders from the nearby seven-eleven. I’m not sure if that was helpful info to share, as we now had direct access to this liquid luxury for very little cost for the rest of our Thai adventures.  "Soju wanna get drunk tonight?".....

Another memorable day out was the local snake farm and their world-famous cobra show, which was very informative. I had no idea that Ko Samui has many, many different species of venomous snakes including king cobras. 

Generally, they stick to the uninhabited areas around waterfalls, but as tourists keep heading off track to find new photo locations and the number of new housing developments has been increasing, there are growing incidents where snakes and humans are crossing paths.  I also learned that Mongoose reside in Ko Samui and are a natural predator of the snake as they are immune to venom, but the laborers on the building sites are quite poor so have been trapping and eating them, meaning the snake population is unchallenged.  The snake farm is busier than ever rescuing snakes from dangerous humans.  Their show is interactive, and quite exhilarating, and the performers are great ambassadors raising awareness for their species.  I have now touched a real live king cobra. #lifegoals

In the spirit of honesty, after a week on the island I (Tony) “hit the wall”, meaning that after nine wonderful weeks of slow travelling I felt that I had seen all that Southern Thailand had to offer and was ready to move on.  There is a big difference between slow travelling and vacationing, and we’d been very strict on ourselves to date to ensure we could stretch our funds for 12 weeks and the local charm of “real Thailand” had worn a little thin.  

We decided to expand the budget for the next week to allow us to enjoy our very own “Luxury Beach Club Tour of Ko Samui” before heading to Bangkok and beginning our tour of the northern provinces.  It was heaps of fun, and just what the doctor ordered.  You can visit for the day, but most of them also have accommodation onsite if you’re interested in being right in the action.

We visited all the clubs on the island throughout the week and here are our highlights:

Elephant Beach Club, Chaweng Beach

Free to enter if you’re ordering food and beverages, and you get upgraded to beach loungers once you’ve spent 400 Baht.  A lovely spot to spend the day and lights up at night with different activities.  We returned a second time to enjoy an 80’s themed dance party with DJ Chino complete with fire show on the beach.

Chi Samui, Bo Phut

I booked this as the perfect spot for us to enjoy our actual 10-year anniversary day, and they literally rolled out the red carpet for us. 

We had a poolside day bed reserved for the afternoon and managed to find a bottle of Pinot Noir all the way from the South Island of New Zealand (aka home). We had a private waiter for the day who ensured we had everything we needed, the best service we experienced in all of Thailand. 

We visited on a Friday, which coincided with a superb dinner and a full cabaret show performed by the talented “ladies” from Paris Follies Cabaret. 

Ark Bar, Bo Phut

This is THE place to be if you want to hang out with the cool kids.  With an elevated DJ booth above the bar overlooking the dance floor located right on the beach under the palm trees, you can dance the night away to various forms of electronic and techno music any night of the week.  Where there are crowds there are local vendors trying to sell you their wares, and Sandra purchased a henna tattoo that sowed the seed for her first real tattoo later in the trip. 

Shiva Beach Club, Hao Thanon Beach

Where the other beach clubs are adults only, Shiva welcome kids and their grown-ups alike. They have a large pool area with pool toys, basketball court, and even an inflatable slide.  If you want to make new friends, simply bring a ball to have a ball.  A good menu for all ages, and plenty of drink options for Mum & Dad.  A great place to spend the day as a family. It's a little off the beaten track, so they also have accommodation onsite.

Any spot along Lamai Beach

This is our favorite beach on the island, and the perfect spot to spend a sunny day. Whilst the sea is not the perfect shade of aqua that some of our other photos have shown, the ocean here is not tidal and gets deep quickly, so is perfect for a dip or three.  Behind the beach are plenty of shops and eateries.

Koh Samui is a great place to visit, and many tourists simply go there and stay there for their entire holiday as it has a bit of everything but is not quite as busy as Phuket.  We were very fortunate to have spent a long time travelling before we arrived here and were feeling a bit jaded, but I'm sure that if this was the first location we had visited in Thailand I would have been very impressed.  

That brings us to the end of our tour of Southern Thailand, which has been simply incredible. 

Join us in our next episode as we head north to the city of Bangkok.

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