Samui has a thriving nightlife scene, packed with bars and music clubs. The most intense section of Samui to visit for a taste of its lively after-hours life is undoubtedly Chaweng Beach. Options at Chaweng include the ever-popular Soi Green Mango, Soi Reggae, and Beach Road.
Sweet Soul Café is located in Central Chaweng, right in the middle of Soi Green Mango. Arguably one of the busiest spots in Samui, it offers a full selection of alcoholic beverages, as well as a Jagermeister shot-dispensing machine. Tourists and locals alike groove to loud music, focusing mainly on hip hop, R’n’B, and dance. Like most of the bars in Samui, Sweet Soul closes at 2 AM.
Across from Sweet Soul Café, the two-level Mint Bar has relatively cheap admission despite its frequent setlist of international DJs. Perks include comfortable seats, windowed walls, and frequent two-for-one drink specials.
The titular Green Mango Club resides in a warehouse split into two different musical areas. The entrance is more popular music and hip hop-oriented, but a further venture inside reveals techno and house pumping from the speakers.
The hugely popular outdoor dance club Sound doesn’t fill up until 1 in the morning, but makes up for the fact by being open till 5 AM. Other selling points include two dance floors divided by a swimming pool often prompting water fights. Again, the front bar plays R’N’B and hip hop, while the intrepid traveler will discover house slamming over the back dance floor.
Soi Reggae is a less glamorous hang-out than Soi Green Mango, but still provides a mix of small bars from which to pick and choose. Soi Reggae is also home to the Reggae Pub, located right by Chaweng Lake. The Reggae Pub is equipped with a huge dance floor, international DJs, and a superb sound system.
Along Chaweng Beach Road, the Ark Bar is a slightly more relaxed, child-friendly destination. Its emphasis is on beach activity, including dinners right on the beach, and dancing to ambient music with occasional fire dancers thrown into the mix. On Wednesdays, the vibe gets a little more funky, with beach house music from live guest DJs.
Not quite in Chaweng, but very close to it, Bar Ice is a multi-room structure constructed almost entirely from Canadian ice, from walls and seats to large sculptures and bar. Those warm-blooded enough to brave the -7 degree section of Bar Ice will be treated to an all-encompassing rainbow LED lighting system. Bar Ice contains a pub and a beer garden, and Happy Hour has two-for-one cocktails.
Lamai Beach is smaller than Chaweng, but still packs a notable party punch. Fusion nightclub is open till an undefined morning hour, packed with people grooving to anything from funked-up house and acid jazz to soul. Fusion is an intentionally dark venue with comfortable seating to allow club-goers a refreshing respite from the strobe-lit dance floor. Also on Lamai Beach, Chill In stays true to its name with relaxing music and plenty of seating, including hammocks, bamboo chairs, and traditional triangular Thai cushions.
The Tawann Bar and Terrace cocktail lounge can be found near Lamai on Ring Road, inside the Renaissance Koh Samui Resort & Spa. With a superb ocean view and a 30-person capacity bar with many more seats available outside, Tawann is a cocktail lounge complete with fine wines and spirits.
Other Samui beaches with more laidback nightlife scenes worth experiencing include Maenam, Big Buddha, and Bophut. Each of these beaches have many bars and pubs that, while quieter than most of Chaweng’s usual fare, are still excellent in their own right.
Samui boasts some of the most exciting nightlife in Thailand. While most of Samui’s nightlife energy flows from Chaweng Beach and thereabouts, Samui is full of surprises for the adventurous traveler. Whether a late-night excursion requires beer, body-shaking, or wine over gentle grooves to please, Samui has it covered in spades.