| Samui Scene
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Dusk 'til dawn
Samui's nightlife now has a world-wide reputation, and deservedly so. From chilled-out beach bars to dinner cabaret shows, rocking clubs, happening pubs and, of course, the legendary beach parties, there's pretty much something for everyone on the island. So get out there and have some fun. Just remember that all the bars and clubs now have to close at 2am - so try and make the most of your evenings. If you're still not ready for bed and want to carry on clubbing, all is not lost - just head for one of the beach parties.
Billabong Surf Club
High class Aussie watering hole situated beachside in Bophut. As might be expected the beer flows in vast quantities (including hard to find VB), but there's also a decent wine and cocktail list. The atmosphere is very family friendly and The Billabong also acts as the official clubhouse of the Samui Simians, the islands own rugby team. Anyone interested in a game can contact them there. Also serves food (see Restaurant Guide). Fisherman's Village, Bophut.
The Elephant & Castle
Long popular amongst the Brit expat community for its authentically recreated London pub ambience, The Elephant is a great spot for whiling away a sunny afternoon (which they almost always are here) with a pint or two. Evening time it tends to get much busier as people flock from miles around to tuck into Sausage and Mash, Homemade Steak and Kidney Pie, Fish' n' Chips, Baked Spuds and the like. The Sunday Roasts are superb and there's also a surprisingly large veggie section for non-carnivores. Big Buddha Beach, 9am - 2am daily (North Coast Map).
Frog and Gecko
Very friendly beachside bar in Bophut run by long-time Samui residents Graham and Raphaela. They're normally on hand to entertain customers throughout the evening - their weekly quiz night on Wednesdays has proved to be a huge draw. There's an excellent selection of western and Thai food, including some of the best Indian curries this side of the Taj Mahal. The Frog also has Bophut's biggest big screen for showing movies and sporting events and music to suit every taste. Bophut Fishermen's Village, noon-1am. Tel. 077 425 248.
Good beer - 12 different types at the last count - and live sport are the name of the game at The Islander. All major sporting events are shown live; don't worry about clashes because there are enough TVs (and bars) to show two games at once. There's a genuine family atmosphere, so bring the kids along too. If you're more inclined to participate in sport than watch it, the full-size slate-bed pool table in the upstairs bar is a must. Central Chaweng, near Soi Green Mango. (Also serves food: see Restaurant Guide).
One of the newest bars in Chaweng - serves all day breakfasts, snacks and Sunday lunches. An excellent range of beers, spirits and cocktails, including the explosive house special. Live football and other sporting events are screened regularly. Great music and a relaxed atmosphere. Free Internet access for patrons. Soi Colibri, Open 8am-2am.
Owned and run by Steve from the Isle of Man, The Pub is result of his quest to build just the sort of bar he'd like to drink in. The Pub prides itself on offering a friendly, relaxed atmosphere where everyone's welcome. The music remains at a low level to encourage conversation and allow Steve to regale customers with anecdotes and gossip, although he quietens down occasionally if there's some good sport on one of the bar's several TVs. Bophut Fisherman's Village.
Samui's first bona fide international standard pool hall, Shooters is located in a suitably cavernous warehouse opposite Central Samui Beach Resort and has all the bases covered - eight competition standard Brunswick tables, a soundproofed room to play in, a big screen TV for sports, a full Thai and International menu and a separate playstation and table football room for kids of all ages. Central Chaweng, Open 9am - 2am daily.
Good-value Irish pub with a great atmosphere and packed every night. If you're hungry, then this is the spot for blinding pub grub. Between 2pm and 5pm every day, you can pick up a pint of Carlsberg for only 50 baht. There's also draught Guinness and Kilkenny, of course. The bustling atmosphere gives the place a genuine pub feeling and the 10 (yes, 10) TVs give you every angle on all the sports that are happening as they happen. For sport fans, this bar is hard to beat. Also check out the bar upstairs with its darts, pool tables and Monday karaoke. Murphy's has live music through the week. Located across from McDonalds in Chaweng. Tel. 077 413 614
Christy's is the place to go if you've got a taste for show tunes, power ballads, big hair, sequins and ladies which aren't quite what they seem to be. With 25 performers putting on a one-hour show, Christy's brings a slice of Vegas to Samui every night. Central Chaweng, near The Islander. No admission charge, showtime 11pm.
Dream Girls offers two floors of Go-Go action, with a glass ceiling in between and two VIP rooms for private shows. Admission is free, drinks are reasonably priced and couples are especially welcome. Soi Green Mango, Chaweng Beach Road, 8pm-2am except public holidays.
Secret Garden Festival
Still going strong after 13 years, the Sunday afternoon festival is always guaranteed to attract a sizeable crowd with its friendly atmosphere, inexpensive food and decent rock and blues bands. Things get started around 4pm and wrap up about 11pm. South of the turnoff to the airport on Big Buddha Beach, 100 metres from Big Buddha Pier. Call 077-245-255, or 06-282-7852 for details. Admission free.
Bars & Clubs
Full Circle Club
Full Circle has got one of the best atmospheres in town when it's busy, and it usually is. The front bar caters to the Western dance crowd with decent selections of acid jazz, D&B and house. The back room is the place to see locals strutting their stuff to a rocking live Thai band with a selection of (mostly) female lead singers until midnight when dance DJ's take over. Central Chaweng, near Soi Green Mango.
Super Sub Club
Super Sub is an air conditioned medium sized club
that plays quite hard house and trance by Samui most famous d.j's David Sambour,
DJ A and DJ Longy.
Relatively new bar/club located behind the Full Circle club featuring various local and international djs. Good sound system and range of cocktails.
Fusion has been going for a few years now and is one of the best places to hear House music in Lamai. The resident DJ Chris (Sasha) will get you moving with his funky vocal US garage! Other nights include drum n base. Lamai, Situated 50m from MacDonald's on the same side of road. 7pm - 2am.
With Bali-Med style decor, this beach bar is frequented by trendy, house music lovers from all over the world. You can get down in the bamboo lounge or under the stars on the beach, just steps away. Hosts of the 2002 Ministry of Sound world tour, Gecko continues to innovate with its weekly Sunday afternoon beach parties, which start at 2pm and frequently host the cream of international DJs playing alongside resident Gary G. Next to Euphoria Hotel on Bophut Beach/opposite the Go-Kart track on Route 4169. Tel. 077 245 554.
So well established they've named the entire street after it, the cavernous Green Mango continues to attract the masses most nights. Expect radio-friendly catchy tunes and the odd classic and you won't be disappointed. After midnight, the dance floor's the busiest in town. Central Chaweng, Soi Green Mango (where else?)
Guapa sells some of the most imaginative tapas this side of San Sebastian (with an Asian twist of course) and some of the finest liquor this side of New York. The bartender's shake and mix from one of the longest spirit selections available anywhere in Thailand - Guapa's signature Lychee Martini is especially highly recommended. Guapa's casual but classy atmosphere makes it the perfect watering hole for those seeking an altogether more sophisticated evening out than many of Chaweng's bars can offer. Guapa, South Chaweng, Soi Coliburi, Tel. 09 289 1309.
With spectacular sunsets over the calm waters and wicked views of Koh Phangan, Koh Som and the Big Buddha Temple, this bar takes a lot of beating. Open from 5pm-2am every evening, you can watch the amazing sunsets and listen to really cool chilled house music. The drinks are very reasonably priced and the friendly, easygoing, English speaking staff are always happy to help. Big Buddha beach about 100m from the Koh Phangan ferry pier towards Big Buddha temple.
Long Island Bar
Long Island Bar is set at the serene northern end of Lamai beach in the boutique Long Island Resort. The beachside bar is the perfect way to wind down and the bar has one of the best selections of cocktails and wines on the island. The drinks are complimented by great tunes and there is a Thai style sala (open plan chilling area) where you can get a massage or just hang out whilst sipping on a your favorite tipple. So good you'll want to stay there! Voted "Top 50 Bars In The World" by the Independent newspaper. Located behind Montana Saloon on the north end of Lamai, Tel (077)418-456
Places to be seen this month are:
Sweet Soul Cafe
Samui Party Scene
Full Moon Parties are notorious for the presence of undercover police.
Don’t be tempted into any bad habits unless you fancy a hefty fine and deportation.
Dusk 'Till Dawn