Koh Samui Chaweng Mini Guide
The third largest island in Thailand after Phuket
and Koh Chang, Koh Samui is located in the Gulf of Thailand about 700km south of Bangkok
. White sandy beaches, lush tropical gardens, gentle ocean breezes, all await you there on this idyllic island.
The party island
Koh Samui is a party island and celebrates everything from the King and Queen of Thailand's birthdays which are also Father's Day and Mother's Day in Thailand and are on 5th December and 12th August respectively, to two New Years!! They celebrate the 31st December with the rest of the world and also Songkran which is on 13th April and lasts for 2 to 3 days, this is a festival peculiar to Thailand and is also known as the “Water Festival” as water is sprayed everywhere and everyone gets wet!!
Of course, we mustn't forget the “Full Moon” parties which are held every full moon on Koh Phangan beach which is easily accessible from Koh Samui. These parties are renown amongst backpackers the world over and there can easily be between 10,000 and 20,000 people attending.
The main attraction in Chaweng is the 7km long white sandy beach, although it can get crowded in high season this is the place to go “beach walking” - just walking up and the down the beach to keep fit, people watching as you go. You can also enjoy a variety of water sports on this beach including, parasailing, wakeboarding, jet skiing and banana boat riding. If you prefer a quieter beach there are several more romantic options such as Lamai, in the south of the island which is about 10km from Chaweng.
Hotel or beach house
Chaweng offers a wide range of accommodation to suit everyone, if you're on a tight budget somewhere like Nid's Bungalows which are traditional Thai budget accommodation, or if you're on the trip of a lifetime and want to splash out a bit then why not try one of the fantastic luxury hotel resorts or private villas available for rent. The same goes for eating in Chaweng, you can find everything from local street stalls and stalls on the beach to the luxury restaurants in the 5 star hotels, surely you won't be disappointed.
If you want to explore the island on your own the best way is to hire a car. There is not a great deal of history there, but you will find Wat Phra Yai which is also known as the “Big Buddha” which is located on a small island connected to Koh Samui by a bridge. If you like walking, there are two interesting waterfalls close to Nathon which is the main town on the island and also worth a visit, although this is not where many like to stay as it does not have the resort facilities of Chaweng.
There’s not a huge amount to do there which is why most people go there to do nothing! Chaweng Beach is the closest to the international airport but it’s still worth hiring a car as the beach is seven kilometres long and has different aspects.
The sea is warm and calm for swimming as the offshore reef breaks the waves. There are a number of diving schools there because of the proximity and ease of diving on the reef. Many offer starter lessons and professional diving courses and you really ought to give it a go.