Where to Have a Drink
Whether you’re a beery boozer, a champagne sipper or just fancy a bottle of local firewater, Samui has it all. Within a few yards on most beaches you can grab anything from a detox smoothie to a strong and sweet Thai coffee to a shot of local moonshine.
1. Casa Lapin x Samui
The modern face of Samui tourism doesn’t get any prettier than this offshoot of the hip Bangkok coffee house. Attention to detail is key, from the locally-sourced beans to their seafront location in the cool Bophut village.
2. The Bee’s Knees
Craft beer, including some excellent local brews, is all the rage in Bangkok, and the trend has finally hit Samui. The island’s first brew pub, The Bee’s Knees near Chaweng Lake, is worth a trip just to hit up the owner for tips on both brewing and Samui’s secret spots.
3. Starfish & Coffee
This easy to spot fusion of Thai and Arabian design stands out in the heart of the Fisherman’s Village. It’s more reasonably priced than the decor suggests and the more romantic guests – or those who simply enjoy eating with the sand between their toes – can dine on the beach.
4. Chaweng Beach
Wandering along the beach and stopping off at an appealing shack for a cool beverage can be a holiday highlight. Grab a cheap Chang or Singha beer at any of these bars, where more often than not a cheeky bartender will entertain you with his repertoire of Western slang.
5. Think & Retro Cafe
A throwback to Samui’s backpacker past, Think is a recycled shipping container shack full of scavenged furniture that spills onto the beach of Lipa Noi. Stop by for a coffee, a cocktail or some sustenance from their Thai/western menu. Funky, fun and sunset-friendly.
6. Nikki Beach
Possibly the place with the highest champagne consumption on Samui, Nikki Beach Koh Samui is a member of the worldwide group of glamorous bars. For the VIP treatment, and prices to match, ask your chauffeur to head to Lipa Noi beach.
7. Green Mango
A Samui legend, the Green Mango is the Chaweng nucleus around which the party scene revolves. It’s big, dumb fun and you’d be advised to get one of the giant speciality cocktails served in a bucket to get yourself in the correct headspace.
A more sensible alternative to the backpacker shenanigans of nearby Green Mango, Solo brings in a respectable roster of international DJs. Turn up early evening for a cocktail or after 10pm for a clubbier vibe.
On a small road near Chaweng Stadium and Solo Bar is Samui’s gay area. A handful of small bars line the street, with Mix offering a laid-back vibe with decent music and a pool table. If you don’t like the music, just check out the other bars nearby.
10. The Duke Pub & Restaurant
For some people, the perfect holiday is to eat what you normally eat, but near the beach. The Duke is the perfect spot, right on Chaweng’s main drag, for sipping a cool Guinness while perusing the extensive pub grub menu and kicking back to the in-house band. Sports are shown on the big screen in a separate part of the pub.