Chaweng Beach on Ko Samui is one of the most scenic beaches on the island and fits the stereotypical travel brochure descriptions of ‘soft white sand, azure sea and palm trees’. Chaweng stretches for 6kms from north to south and it really is very picturesque. During the day sun-seekers take to their sun-loungers and there is the usual beach activity you find in many Thai seaside destinations. Jet skis and banana boats bob around in the sea whilst on the beach itself hawkers ply their wares; ice-creams, cool drinks, corn-on-the-cob and spring rolls. The main area of central Chaweng is the busiest, but it’s still possible to find a quiet spot especially if you head to north Chaweng or Chaweng Noi to the south. Wherever you are staying in Chaweng, I recommend taking advantage of the numerous small restaurants that set up in the evening directly on the beach. For me personally, my visits to Ko Samui are never complete until I’ve dined on the beach under the stars enjoying the locally caught seafood. Aroi mak loy! (really delicious!). And after dinner, saunter along the beach until you find one of the al-fresco bars with mats and cushions laid out on the sand and enjoy a cocktail or a beer whilst gazing at the stars and listening to the sea.
The area of north Chaweng has the advantage of being quiet, but is still only a short hop away from the livelier area of central Chaweng if you want to experience the night-life or go shopping. The beach at north Chaweng offers fine views to the offshore island of Ko Matlang which is itself a popular spot for snorkelling. The choice of accommodation in this part of Chaweng is more limited and for some visitors it may feel a little bit ‘out of the way’. On the other hand, this relative isolation will be part of the appeal for those wanting to avoid the tourist crowds. As with other parts of Chaweng, some of the best places to dine in the evening are directly on the beach where small wooden or bamboo tables are set up.
Muang Kulaypan »
The central beach area of Chaweng is good for swimming most of the year and the sand here is very soft and inviting. As attractive as the beach is, the main commercial area behind the beach at central Chaweng isn’t very attractive. However, it does provide what a number of tourists look for in a holiday resort. The host of shops, restaurants and bars won’t be to everybody’s taste and the sight of McDonald’s and pizza outlets might be far from the ‘Thai experience’ some visitors look for, but if you are travelling to Ko Samui on a family holiday, central Chaweng can be a good location to stay. If the children don’t take to Thai food there are plenty of alternatives close at hand and with plenty of beach-side activities they shouldn’t get bored. Although the main commercial area might put you off initially, it is set back from the beach-front and is out of sight when you are actually on the beach itself. Most of the better (and more expensive) hotels in central Chaweng are located on beach-front plots of land and many of these also have their own landscaped gardens to the rear.
Poppies Samui Hotel »
To the south of central Chaweng is the quiet little beach of Chaweng Noi (Noi = Little). At the northern point of the beach there are some rocky outcrops and the sand isn’t the best, but it is easy to find a private spot to sit and read a book or sunbathe. A bit further south, the sand is at its softest in front of the Imperial Hotel. Walking further south past the Imperial, there are a cluster of small inexpensive restaurants before the beach runs out and you can see the road which runs between Chaweng and Lamai.
Imperial Samui Beach Resort »