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Koh Samui Entertainment Guide - For fun, recreation, and relaxation

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Koh Samui is a well-oiled resort machine, with more ways to stay active and party than you'd care to count. Chaweng Beach is the epicenter of the entertainment scene, but great activities are found across the island.

The island's high-octane nightlife starts at Chaweng Beach with numerous discos and bars, but the rowdiest visitors go so far as to hop a ferry to Koh Phan Ngan for the bimonthly Full Moon parties. Those looking for a quieter night out will find ample alternatives to the club and bar scene.

Daytime activities are more three dimensional, ranging from family-oriented parks and animal shows to extreme sports and beach fun. Again, Chaweng and Lamai beaches have the best water sport facilities, but a few of the most rewarding activities require transport to the island's more remote quadrants.

Beaches

This island paradise is synonymous with beach life, and there are more than a few luxurious stretches of white sand to enjoy. The most popular (and built-up) beaches are Chaweng, Maenam and Lamai. To trade facilities for seclusion, seek out Tongsai Bay or Natien and Taling Ngam beaches.

Animal shows

Every major destination in Thailand has its own animal shows, and Koh Samui is no exception. The best venues are the Samui Snake Farm, the Samui Crocodile Farm and the Samui Monkey Theater. All of these are great fun for younger visitors. The Aquarium and Tiger Zoo has broader family appeal.

Water sports

The opportunity for water sports abound on Koh Samui. Major resort areas like Chaweng and Lamai beaches have facilities for kayaking, windsurfing, snorkeling, fishing and kite boarding. It's also possible to take out catamarans or jet skis. Of course, low-key beachgoers need little more than a beach chair and umbrella.

Diving

This is a water sport that deserves its own mention. Opportunities for scuba diving are world-class on Koh Samui. Beginners can get certified while experienced divers can join excursions to Ang Thong Marine National Park or around smaller islands offshore of Koh Samui. Local outfitters arrange all equipment and transportation.

 

Golfing

There are two golf courses on Koh Samui. Bo Phut Hills Golf Club recently opened and features nine holes with the option to play forwards and backwards for a full game. Santiburi Golf Course is well established and much more exclusive, with 18 holes overlooking the northern coastline.

Buffalo fights

The festive events are staged throughout the year, and they're generally bloodless. In fact, they're deeply intertwined with animistic traditions that predate Buddhism in Thailand. The losing buffalo simply retreats, and the emphasis seems to fall on drinking and gambling rather than violence.

Trekking

This active pursuit isn't as well supported as water-based activities, but there are still great opportunities in the inland jungles. Local tour operators have their own offerings, which usually involve a few hours of hiking, stopping by waterfalls and enjoying scenic vistas.

Nightlife

Chaweng Beach has the greatest selection of bars and nightclubs, from chic clubs to holes-in-the-wall, all of which can be visited on foot. Lamai Beach is another hot spot with a slightly smaller selection. Diehard partiers depart by the boatload for hedonistic Full Moon parties on nearby Koh Phan Ngan.