Samui Wining & Dining

A few of the top party spots on Samui for those with an appetite for some serious fun.


If you’re after a party, you’ve come to the right place. Samui has got island revelry down. The lively crowd that the island attracts sure know how to have a good time. And the venues here provide the perfect arena for just that. As you probably already know, Chaweng is the famed tourist district where there are ample resorts, restaurants, bars and clubs. So it comes as no surprise that it’s here you’ll find a number of the young and vibrant crowd’s best-loved watering holes. But it’s not all about Chaweng. There are a number of other party venues off-piste that get the thumbs up from this lot. Here we round up some of the top picks from across the island.

It seems appropriate to start with Ark Bar, seeing as it’s a hugely popular bar-come-club, situated slap-bang in the middle of bustling Chaweng. With regular parties and muchloved resident DJ Adam Matson at the decks, this venue belts out pumping house music until the wee hours of the morning. The bar part of Ark Bar is right on the beach. It has deckchairs and gigantic speakers set up on the sand, which revellers dance around – and sometimes on. The ‘Samui jungle juice bucket’ is a popular

drink option here. It’s a cocktail served in, quite literally, a bucket. These are usually consumed by a number of people at a time by means of lengthy straws, that reach out like octopus tentacles. Needless to say, Ark Bar holds some pretty wild parties.

        From barefoot, beachside ravers, we move to the upmarket swank of Q Bar. The ubiquitous glowing ‘Q’ that hovers on the hillside at the north end of Chaweng Lake pulls inquisitive party-goers in like moths to a flame. The décor’s a little more suave here, and the bar attracts a more sophisticated crowd. It has to be said that both the clientèle and the bar itself look pretty damn cool. White couches and slick tables sprawl across the air-conditioned indoor space and the open-air balcony that juts out over the hillside. Live guitarists and saxophonists glide around, adding extra oomph to the DJ-spun lounge and house music. Whether you watch the musicians, the well-heeled guests or the stunning panoramic view below, you’re in for a visual treat at Q Bar. Drinks are a little pricier than is average on the island, but that’s to be expected in a venue that has been named ‘the sexiest bar in Thailand.

          At the bottom of the Q Bar hill, you’ll find the totally open-air venue, Chaweng Lake View, the site of the Black Moon Party. This hedonistic offering is little sister to the infamous Full Moon Party held on Koh Phangan. (There’s also a Half Moon Party held on Koh Phangan too. Any excuse for a party, eh?) With regards to the décor, imagine neon pillars constructed of fibre optic cable punching out through the ground, alongside whatever other trippy visuals have taken the organisers’ fancy that month. And note: if you’re going to the Black Moon Party be sure to don your dancing shoes.

          On the other side of the lake is the live music venue, Reggae Pub. It’s been around since Samui’s early days. But you can put away your mental images of a dusty ol’ public house complete with a dart board, and your local, drunk old age pensioner heaped in the corner. This is a gigantic, venue with a large, raised performance stage and state of the art lighting and sound systems. As the name would suggest, the resident band plays a lot of reggae music, but also some fresh tunes and classic hits to mix it up a bit. We love you Bob (Marley, that is) but everyone needs a bit of variety after a while.

          Back to Chaweng Beach Road, and you’ve got the ever-popular Bar Solo. Located on an intersection, its accessibility attracts a mixed and vibrant crowd. And although it’s not a massive venue, what it lacks in size it gains in atmosphere. The clever layout includes a mezzanine level, from which you have an unobstructed view over the bump ‘n’ grind below. They hold different parties throughout the week, but are particularly famed for their ‘Tribal Touch’ nights. These are held every Monday, Thursday and Saturday, and incorporate live sax and percussion alongside upbeat house tracks.

          Now, if you’ve started a night at Bar Solo – and are single – then a trip down to Sound Club is a must. It’s just round the corner on Soi Green Mango, which itself is just off Chaweng Beach Road. It’s a huge club by anybody’s standards, divided up into two areas – one playing house music, and the other r’n’b. The house music area is dotted with palm trees wrapped in fairy lights, and there are actually four bars to serve just this area of the club. The r’n’b room is air-conditioned, split level and usually heaving, too. Sound Club closes at 6:00 am, and to many who go there, that’s still cutting the night short.


 Christina Wylie


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