The heading of this article will inevitably bring back memories with a nostalgic tinge for those who have been to Samui Island in Thailand and in particular spent their holiday in Chaweng Beach.
While Thailand’s Phuket Island may be dubbed “The Pearl of the Andaman Sea” seeing the most tourists in relation to any other part of the country, Koh Samui is the most popular in the Gulf of Thailand. Notwithstanding its ever increasing popularity, Samui maintains a tropical charm which is hard to beat, offers boundless adventure opportunities and several nearby islands to visit, including hopping over to Koh Phangan for a night of reveling at the famous full moon party.
The island has an endless choice of beaches, bays and hidden coves where you can book hotel accommodation to serve as your base during your holiday. All are absolutely amazing and reveal captivating scenery, but none has such a pulsating energy and electrifying atmosphere as cosmopolitan Chaweng. Some may say it is too commercialized, but that remains a matter of opinion and would depend on what you want from a holiday on a tropical island. Besides, there is a reason this area is so popular. During the day the long flat stretch of sand’s central area provides thrilling activities including jet skiing and bungee jumping, casual restaurants and pubs line the beach serving all day drinks and snacks to people chilling on the sand and many play cool tunes to liven up the atmosphere.
Behind the restaurants and beachfront resorts the main street is an ant heap of activity. Colourful tuk tuks are buzzing up and down transporting tourists, markets and street stalls sell clothes and all kinds of accessories, there are fast food chains, more restaurants and cool bar lounges. At night, the central part of the area becomes a party animal’s paradise. An entire street branching off from the area’s main road is a display of neon lights featuring an array of clubs, bars and disco’s. On the beach things are just as festive with people chilling on cushions sipping cocktails and dancing to the tunes of resident DJ’s while others simply enjoy a meal at a restaurant amusing them self with the activity down on the sand.
When you do not want to spend an island holiday in seclusion, but rather want to enjoy mingling, spend days being active and evenings in the company of others letting off steam, I suggest you consider booking a resort in Chaweng.
Hotel Accommodation at Chaweng Beach
A huge plus factor for the area is the diversity in terms of its accommodation options. One of the really great things all over Thailand is that the best locations with the most incredible views are not reserved only for expensive hotels and those who can afford it and, in Chaweng it is no different. On this beach guys like me who travel cheap can find a front row seat to nature’s glory at budget savvy resorts like Ark Bar which is located right on the beach and all the area’s attractions are on your doorstep. Though accommodation prices are very moderate the resort’s general standard is very high. Chaba Cabana, Chaba Samui, Amari Palm Reef and Chaweng Regent are all examples of affordability in awesome locations without compromising standards.
But diversity in accommodation in this part of the island goes further than just loads of resorts to choose from. With this stretch of sand being as long as it is you can choose to be only a few minutes’ walk outside the fray, not hear a sound and enjoy total tranquility. Resorts like Akura Chura is close enough to the action for convenience, but far enough to not be disturbed and even has a private stretch of beach in front of the resort.
If you want to move up the chain and spent a little more on a honeymoon or maybe a holiday with the family you can be 5 minutes further away from the mainstream crowds toward the southern end in Chaweng Noi. This area is tranquil and relaxed, has an assortment of 5 star hotels and mere minutes from the pulsating centre of things.
Luxury hotels in the area I recommend include the Centara Grand Beach Resort. If you like a combination of stylish sophistication, family friendly facilities and island living you won’t go wrong.
Between Chaweng and Lamai, Samui’s second most popular area is the Banyan Tree resort located in its own private bay. It is luxurious and each of its villas sports private pools. Banyan Tree is unrivaled if you are out for a romantic holiday and can afford the price.
Bhundhari Spa Resort is located on a hillside which allows breathtaking ocean views. It is 5 star, but reasonably priced and also has private pool villas.
Anantara Lawana is located right to the northern opposite end of the beach and in my opinion one of the best luxury hotels on the island when price, location and facilities are taken into account. It is located on the beach amid total tranquility and again you can have a villa with your own pool.
Author: George Conradie lives to travel around south-east Asia and Thailand in particular. After several excursions as a tourist visiting all corners of the country he finally settled in Thailand in 2009 and now works as a with a locally based hotel booking guide.