Chaweng is the beach on the east coast of Ko Samui and has a reputation for a pristine white beach and an excellent nightlife infrastructure especially on the northern end of the beach.
Chaweng is the largest and most popular of Samui's beaches, and is usually divided into four sections: North Chaweng, Central Chaweng, South Chaweng and Chaweng Noi (Little Chaweng) which is around a headland and at the southern most tip of Chaweng. Chaweng Beach is approximately 7 km long, making it the longest beach on the east coast. It is lined with coconut trees and boasts year long, warm (temperatures range between 25-28°C.). The ocean brings a lot of debris on the Chaweng Beach and while most of it is natural, it still makes the beach look dirty. The beach tends to have bigger waves and stronger currents than most of the other beaches of Thailand. Visibility in the water is very poor.
Chaweng offers an incredibly broad range of accommodation, ranging in price from as little as 400 baht per night for basic fan rooms and shared facilities, premium resorts charging up to 20,000 baht per night and 5 star villas at 70,000 per night. Eating in Koh Samui is equally diverse, starting from the street food costing 40 baht per meal to some world class restaurants with International chefs and standards where a 3 course meal will cost and taste the same as in the best restaurants in any leading capital city in the world.
This diverse offering obviously attracts a diverse range of travellers, from your young "hippie" backpackers, international school and university students, sporting teams, singles, couples, honeymooners, wedding party's and families. However at any given time there are very few Thai tourists in Chaweng.
The views from Chaweng Beach include two small islands, near the natural reef, that you can walk to and explore at low tide.
The central part of Chaweng is far more crowded than the quieter south and attracts the younger "up for it" party travellers. If music and activity is not your scene, this area can be avoided.
While on the beach, many vendors will stop and offer beverages, fruit, ice cream and local Thai food cooked on small portable BBQ's. These vendors are polite, if you do not want anything, a simple "no thank you" will see them on their way. A variety of local crafts and Thai souvenirs are also available.
The beach itself is usually accessed through the hotels, as there only a few public roads or paths that lead to the beach. Chaweng Beach, as all of Chaweng, is diverse and can be relaxing or active depending on where you are and what season it is.
The main road, runs parallel to the beach and from south to north is occupied by the ubiquitous convenience stores and restaurants, bars, resorts, hotels, tailors, clothing, accessory, pharmacies, massage, spa, souvenir and fast-food shops.
The side-walks are very narrow and full of signs that you can easily bump your head on. Similar to the lowest quality side-walks that you can find in Bangkok. Trash can be seen and smelled everywhere.
Unlike elsewhere in Thailand, be prepared to be offered a lot of flyers, hear a lot of advertisements through speakers of pickup trucks that pass by constantly and for every tailor shop's and restaurant's immigrant worker to ask you to come inside.
Chaweng is a few minutes' ride south from the airport. If you book a taxi at the airport transport desk, it will cost 400 Baht. A shared van (usually requiring 5 passengers before it will depart) will cost 120 Baht per person. Taxi drivers rarely use taxi meters here. If you decide not to use the booking desk, negotiate the fare in advance with the taxi driver. It should cost from 200-400 Baht. Or you may book a transfer with your hotel. This service usually costs 300 Baht, though some of the higher-end hotels have quoted rates of 400 Baht per person.
You may opt to take other, more adventurous forms of transportation like the following:
Motorcycle taxis are ordinary motorbikes and you sit behind the driver during the ride. Depending on the distance, the price ranges from 30-150 Baht. If you want to go some serious distance eg to Chaweng, they will want B400. If you are persistent, you can get it down to B250.
Motorbike Rentals are available if riding solo is what you prefer. Most motorbike rentals in Chaweng offer 100-125 cc bikes such as Honda Wave, Honda Click, Suzuki Step, etc. Rentals cost 100-200 Baht per day depending on the length of the rental.
Bigger motorbikes like Harley Davidson and sport bikes like Kawasaki Ninja and Honda CBR are also offered. Be warned that bike accidents tend to be a regular occurrence in Ko Samui, so drive carefully.
If you are travelling in a large group, you may opt to rent a jeep. The rental usually costs at least 800 Baht per day. A private car will set you back 1500 Baht or more every 24 hrs. There are many models to choose from: Honda Jazz, Isuzu Hi-Lander, Toyota Camry, Toyota Fortuner, etc. Established rental companies such as Avis and Hertz also offer insurance. It might be a good idea to get the insurance along with the rental as having no insurance during an accident could be expensive.
From Nathon Pier, there is a minibus which costs B100.
Motorbike Rental and Local Driving
Travel Agents and Bike Rental shops are never far away and can rent you a motorbike from 150 - 300 baht per day depending on the age of the bike and the insurance offered.
Take note; vehicles in Thailand are driven on the left side of the road, and the road laws in your country may not be the same as in Thailand. Accidents are prolific and the Samui roads are NOT the place to learn how to drive a motorbike. It is compulsory for the driver and passenger to wear a safety helmet while you are on the motorbike.
Some beaches outside of Chaweng worth visiting are:
Bus and Ferry Tickets
Travel Agencies can sell you bus tickets with pick-up from your hotel and including the ferry to many destinations in Thailand such as Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi. Booking the same tickets in Nathon or for trains at the Surat Thani station can save you 100 or 200 baht. This procedure is not simple and should only be done if you can read or speak Thai.
Book through your preferred licensed Travel Agency or in person at the ferry pier or train station.
Full Moon Party Tickets
You will be offered a "cheap" full moon party ticket by everybody and his dog prior to actually getting to the party. Sometimes these offers are cheaper, sometimes not. They are guaranteed to have no service, no contact number, no night staff and so on, and so on. Do yourself a favour, spend 100 baht ($3) extra and buy your ticket from a registered travel agency that offers you real service and accurate information.
There are many such travel agents, some on the street and some in hotels.
Book through your preferred licensed Travel Agency.
There are many Island tours available such as elephant trekking, waterfall adventures, tree-top cable rides, Samui football golf and much more.
Book through your preferred licensed Travel Agency.
Day tours by speedboat to Ang Thong National Marine Park, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan are available, spectacular and inexpensive.
Book through your preferred licensed Travel Agency.
Almost all activities are on the beach (even parts of the nightlife) and most Samui dive shops are based in Chaweng. It's also the base to arrange trips to nearby Ko Tao and the Angthong National Marine Park.
- 100 Degrees East,  Samui’s award winning 5 Star PADI Dive Resort and a BSAC Resort Centre Safe diving in a friendly and supportive environment in which you can relax, have fun and enjoy your time. Ph: +66 (0) 77 245 936 , [email protected]
- Searobin Dive Center, tel. +66-1-535-7768,  offers a full range of PADI training courses - personal attention - dive in small groups on a good selection of boats.
- The Salamander Dive Centre, tel. +66-77-413693,  offers many services, including diving courses and tour arranging all your travel needs. The Centre stocks all diving equipment needed in your course or tour, for purchase and rental too.
- Calypso Diving Koh Samui, tel. +66-77-422437  offers all kind of PADI Dive courses from beginner to professional. Calypso can also organize individual dive, snorkelling and island trips to Koh Phangan, Koh Tao and Angthong National Marine Park. Two modern speed catamarans make the journey comfortable and safe. At Koh Tao is a tour boat with all facilities necessary for a convenient day. Max. 24 passenger per boat, small groups: max. 5 divers, 10 snorkelers per professional dive guide.
- Magnolia Spa, tel. +66-77-601133,  Magnolia Spa is currently the only spa in Thailand that uses and stocks the complete range of Dead Sea Minerals products.
There are lots of souvenir shops around town. It is not uncommon for the shopkeepers to ask 5 times the normal tourist price particularly in the central areas. Bargaining is always possible when it comes to souvenir and souvenir-like products. Even when a price is indicated a discount up to 50% might be available. As many shops and the often cheaper market stalls sell mostly the similar products ask at several places to get an idea of what is a reasonable price before starting haggling for the product you really want. The clothes sold here can often be found at Khao San Road in Bangkok for a lower price.
On the beach, vendors will sell beach clothes, jewelry, beach toys and games, and food (coconuts, sliced fruit, satay, roasted corn, ice cream, water, etc.). Be prepared to bargain. Most food items are generally 50 baht/piece. They vendors will not bother you if you ignore them or say no.
In the evening several restaurants offer seafood on the beach. Almost all hotels offer dining at the beach so compare prices.
- Ninja, across the street from Baan Samui Resort and Chaweng Buri Resort. A nice family owned traditional Thai place with very reasonable prices. Don't expect a fancy interior, but very tasty food at cheap prices.
- Khao San Restaurant on the corner of Soi ARKbar. The breakfast/lunch meeting point for backpackers & good orientation base to select a hostel and meet fellow travellers
- Poppies Samui at the soutern end of the Chaweng beach has an excellent international and Thai restaurant offering the highest quality food prepared by an international chef, in exquisite surroundings.
- Chef's Table, ☎ +66 (0) 7791 4333 (rsv[email protected]), . Local dishes, fresh sefood, international cuisines and signature dishes. Fine wines and delicious drinks to match the luxurious tropical atmosphere and beautifully outstanding setting. edit
- Khaw Glong Thai Restaurant, Chaweng Beach Road north end of the one-way (just by the large Kasikorn bank building), ☎ 092-447 4837, . 17-22. Family run home style Thai food in a cosy environment. Open Mon-Sat dinner time edit
- Ark Bar Beach Club and Resort, Chaweng Beach Road, ☎ 077 961 333 ([email protected], fax: 077 961 334), . 7am till 2am. The Ark Bar Beach Club is in the heart of Chaweng Beach. Every Wednesday and Friday there is the Ark Bar Beach Party starting at 2pm until 2am with a free BBQ-Buffet @ 4pm, live International and local DJ's, live musicians (drums and saxophone) and beach-side fire-work displays. The restaurant (on the beach) is open all day and night and specialises in fresh seafood with over 300 dishes to choose from. www.ark-bar.com edit
- Bar Solo. Large mainly outdoor club that is open from late afternoon until 2 or 3am, has 2 dance floors, great DJ's and about 6 pool tables. Bar Solo is one of the "circuit clubs" the others being ARKbar, Green Mango and Sound Club edit
- Green Mango Club and Disco, . One of Samui's original nightclubs, opens late evening and starts to pump from 2 am. Green Mango is one of the "circuit clubs" the others being ARKbar, Bar Solo and Sound Club edit
- Black Jack Pub, Chaweng Beach Road, . Long established English style pub. No bar girls hassling you just cold beer & plenty of live sport. edit
- Sound Club. * <drink name="Henry Africa's" address="Soi Green Mango" phone="" email="" fax="" hours="" price="" url=""> Lively bar, packed every night with tourists, expats and local girls. Free pool (3 tables), very friendly staff. edit
- Reggae Pub. Chaweng institution, but don't be fooled by the name: some nights are more techno than Marley, however this area does tend to be more laid back. edit
- Sweet Soul. Lively dance venue in Soi Mango. edit
- On Street Bar, 12/7 Moo.2 Chaweng Beach, . Very small cocktail bar expanding into the parking lot in the back, run by an enthousiatic artist turned barkeeper who tries to get cross talk between visitors going. 70 bath for mojito, 90 bath signature drink. Expect large Mr. Bean images. edit
Chaweng is the heart of Koh Samui. The once abundant backpacker bungalows and hostels are virtually non-existent and have been replaced with newer, more modern and obviously more expensive tourist orientated hotels. Always insist to see the room before you book in any hotel. Be aware that the nightclub district is not far from many of the good beach hotels. This is fantastic if that is what you want on your holiday but not suitable for the quieter more romantic holiday.
- Chaweng Beach Backpackers Hostel, 11/7 Moo 2, Chaweng Beach Road (Across from the Focus Minimart). A nice dorm room hostel run by a crazy Scottish woman. Free coffee, tea, toast (DIY), half-hour free internet, and very accomodating to budget travelers. Home-like, laid back. 250 bhat, which is the best price around for individual travelers (Tel 0899896985). NOTE: Temporarily closed until Dec 5, 2010
- Al's Hut  a small resort by Chaweng Beach, price is 1,800-2,500 Bht with daily breakfast.
- Coconut House just off Chaweng Beach road near The Islander restaurant. Rooms include cable and aircon. 600 Baht per night. Only problem is the loud music from the after hours club nearby but if you are getting in at 4am anyway then not such a problem.
- Chaweng Pearl Cabana, north side of the beach, has some of the cheapest rooms in Chaweng. A double or twin with a fan will run you 400 while a similar place with air conditioning costs about 500. This place is a dump and the staff are very, very unfriendly. Be prepared to argue with them about things like sheets and towels. Some rooms do not have working lights, fans, showers, etc. You are much better going a bit farther down the beach and paying 500 or so for a place.
- BB Chaweng Beach Resort, . A beachside resort on the northeast coast of Koh Samui. Rooms look sparse, but that can be attributed to the wide-spaced furnishings and the rooms' large area. Its restaurant is set right along the shore.
- Baan Chaweng Resort (บ้านเฉวง รีสอร์ท) 163/1 Mu 2 Hat Chaweng, Ko Samui (Tel: 0 7742 2403, 0 7723 0310 Fax: 0 7742 2404), 60 rooms: 400-1,500 baht
- Als Hut Resort, (Located on Chaweng beach), . 1800-7200 Bht/night inclusive of daily beakfast. edit
- Baan Samui Resort (บ้านสมุยรีสอร์ท), 14/7 Mu 2 Hat Chaweng, ☎ 0 7723 0965-9. 80 rooms 2,000-8,500 baht. edit
- Samui New Star (สมุยนิวสตาร์), 80 Mu 3 Bo Phut, Hat Chaweng Noi, ☎ 0 7742 2407 (fax: 0 7742 2325), . 50 rooms 1,950-3,700 baht. edit
- Ark Bar Beach Resort, (Main Beach Road (Moo 2)), . Total of 320 rooms with 4 room options, Deluxe, Superior, Junior Suite and Seaview. Ark Bar is centrally located on the beach and famous for it's beach-side restaurants, lively atmosphere and amazing beach party's. 1300- 4000 Baht per night. edit
- First Residence, Bo Put (500 m from Chaweng Shopping Center), ☎ +6677414429 ([email protected]), . checkin: 2pm; checkout: 12pm. Modern facilities, clean style and a comfortable environment. 40$.. edit
- Poppies Samui, . Almost at the end of Chaweng beach but on one of the best parts with a lush tropical garden, outstanding staff and an excellent restaurant that is worth writing home
- The Library, . Designhotel direct at the best part of the Chaweng beach with good service and restaurant.
- Best Western Bayview Resort, . Friendly staff, amazing views of the ocean, 4 pools, and great breakfasts.
- Imperial Samui Hotel (อิมพีเรียล สมุย รีสอร์ท) 86 Mu 3, Chaweng Noi Beach, Bophut, Surat Thani, Rates: 3,800-10,000 Baht
- Impiana Resort Samui (อิมเพียน่ารีสอร์ทสมุย) 91/2 Mu 3 Hat Chaweng Noi, Ko Samui (Tel: 0 7742 2011 Fax: 0 7742 2111 Bangkok Tel: 0 2260 6511, 0 2260 6493 Fax: 0 2434-3304), 120 rooms: 3,500-9,500 baht
- Baan Haad Ngam Boutique Resort (บ้านหาดงาม บูติค รีสอร์ท) 154 Mu 2, Chaweng Beach, Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani (Tel: 0 7723 1500 Fax: 0 7723 1520) , Rates: 4,840-7,840 Baht
- Sareeraya Villas & Suites  100/1 Moo 2, Chaweng Beach Rd, Koh Samui. Resort offers lodging in 36 Suites and 12 Pool Villas. Signature restaurant Chef's Table serves both local and international dishes. Facilities include 2 bars, swimming pools, transit lounge, a meeting room, fitness center and Raya Spa. Tel: + 66 (0) 7791 4333. E-mail: [email protected]
- Anantara Lawana Resort, . Nestled on the quiet, pristine northern end of Chaweng Beach, Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort lies just steps away from the ocean and offers peerless accommodation amongst luxury resorts in Koh Samui.
- Sea View Pool Villa, (Located on the East coast of Koh Samui 12 minutes from Samui's international airport.), . 6 Bedrooms sleeping up to 12 guests. This modern, light-filled private pool villa enjoys panoramic views over Chaweng Noi, and suits larger groups or families seeking exceptional accommodation on Samui near all the action. From US$4550/week. edit
- Chaweng Oasis, (Located on the East coast of Koh Samui 15 minutes from Samui's international airport 35 kms from the ferry port of Nathon.), ☎ +64 7 865 6625 (fax: +64 9 353 1995), . 4 Bedrooms, 5 Bathrooms this stunning villa sits on the side of a mountain in its own walled environment. A stunning "Infinity Edge Pool" enjoys wonderful views of the East and North coasts of Samui. It is surrounded by a 3 meter deck and lush tropical gardens.The Villa has three full time staff that are on call 24 hours a day during your visit From US$5250/week. edit
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