CHAWENG: THE LARGEST AND MOST POPULAR BEACH ON SAMUI
Chaweng is located on the east coast of Ko Samui and has a reputation for its white sand beach and an excellent nightlife infrastructure especially on the northern end of the beach. It is the largest and most popular beach on Samui and is usually divided into four sections: North, Central, South and Chaweng Noi.
Chaweng Beach is approximately 7 km long, making it the longest beach on the east coast. It is lined with beautiful coconut trees. Many vendors will stop and offer beverages, fruit, ice cream and local Thai food cooked on small portable BBQ’s. They are very polite if you do not want anything, a simple “no thank you” will see them on their way. The central part of Chaweng is far more crowded than the quieter south and attracts the younger travellers. The main road, runs parallel to the beach and from south to north is occupied by convenience stores and restaurants, bars, resorts, hotels, tailors, clothing, accessory, pharmacies, massage, spa, souvenir and fast-food shops
The nightlife in Chaweng is legendary, with a plethora of bars, restaurants and nightclubs to suit all tastes. The core of the party scene is the Green Mango strip, where most of the younger tourists can be found once the sun goes down. Chaweng is geared primarily towards this party-going crowd, while Chaweng Noi caters for an older crowd and families. As such, Chaweng Noi is a little more expensive than its more boisterous neighbour but well worth it for a bit of much-needed peace and quiet.
CHAWENG NOI: PEACEFUL STRETCH OF SAND AWAY FROM THE CROWDS
Chaweng Noi is marketed more toward older travellers and families, compared to Chaweng which is more geared toward younger party-goers. As a result, prices are a bit steeper but well worth the peace and quiet. Pristine, powdery sand and crystal waters lined with a smattering of upmarket villas and coconut palms offer a welcome respite from the constant buzz of the backpacker crowd.
Chaweng Noi is around a headland and at the southernmost tip of Chaweng. This serene stretch of sand is, however, nothing like the larger beach to the north. Once you round the headland you’ll find calm and crystal clear water bordered by exquisite, untouched sand.
This beach is the place to be if all you want to do is relax. There are fewer crowds and there is ample shade to escape the sun. Snorkel around the northern headland or wander down the quiet beach. Food vendors that tend to wander the beaches generally don’t venture down to Chaweng Noi.
Only 5 minutes drive takes you to Lamai towards the ring road from Chaweng Noi. Don’t miss on your way, the view from the headland back toward Chaweng Noi, it has some of the best photo opportunities of the bay.