The best things to do in Chaweng go beyond its beautiful beach. Indeed, this most popular resort town on Koh Samui's north-eastern coast has a beach that's the longest strip of sand available on the island – stretching for about 7 km encompassing Chaweng Noi. Its central part is the most crowded, and access to the beach itself is only possible through the hotels built right on it.

    The beach of Chaweng and the Wat Khao Hua Jook (a beautiful elevated Buddhist temple at Chaweng’s northern end), are Chaweng’s main attractions. Even so, the ones you’ll find in this guide range from sports and leisure or even nightlife-oriented activities. Indeed, the best attractions in Chaweng aim at entertaining the ever-growing number of visitors to this exotic destination.

    What are the best things to do in Chaweng?

    1

    Chaweng Beach

    The main attraction of the resort town

    Chaweng Beach is Koh Samui's most popular stretch of powdery white sand. The wide bay has a majestic 5-km-long crescent that's bordered by rocky headlands on either end, with an offshore reef and the tiny island of Koh Matlam to the north.

    The beach offers great bathing and plenty of water sports, dining and accommodations options. Chaweng Beach is packed with sun-seekers soaking up the rays in both the summer and winter high seasons. It's hardly the most secluded or peaceful of Samui's beaches, but everything one could desire is within a few meters of your sun lounger, making it a great option for lazing away the day in comfort.

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    2

    Wat Khao Hua Jook

    Samui's hilltop golden pagoda

    Wat Khao Hua Jook is a century-old Buddhist temple set on a hilltop north of Chaweng. This temple contains, according to the sign, a replica of Buddha's footprint. Even so, it's not on any island tour so you'll have to drive there yourself. On your way, you'll pass the fabulous Nathalie's Art Palace. 

    Wat Khao Hua has a golden chedi (stupa) and a collection of beautiful statues. From the peak of the 90-metre-tall mountain, you’ll have an incredible view from the peak. The entire strip from Samui Airport is virtually at your feet. If you like take-offs and landings, this is the place to sit for a while. The islands Koh Phangan, Koh Tao, Koh Sum, Koh Lum Noi, Koh Tao Poon and Koh Fan (where Big Buddha sits), plus Big Buddha, Wat Bang Rak, gorgeous sunsets, and much more are all visible from this vantage point.

    Location: Moo 2, Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand

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    3

    Central Festival Samui

    Samui's large lifestyle and shopping complex

    Central Festival Samui is a large lifestyle shopping complex in Koh Samui. It has 3 storeys and about 90,000 square meters of retail space. You can find it between Chaweng's beach road and namesake lake.

    Central Festival Samui offers over 200 shops, bars, restaurants, and recreational activities. You can find plenty of renowned fashion brands and food outlets in this mall. 

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    Location: 209/3 Moo 2, Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)77 913 000

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    4

    High Park Slide Club

    Waterpark in Chaweng

    The High Park Slide Club is a waterpark set atop a panoramic viewpoint in Chaweng. It has easy access and offers exclusive and extreme excitement for all who venture there. The park has 2 slides measuring 15 meters in height and 31 meters in length, which will get you sliding at up to 50 km/h! The slides have ramps at the end to send you flying into a 4-metre-deep plunge pool.

    For those who aren’t quite ready to take such a thrilling leap, the High Park Slide Club in Koh Samui offers a smaller ramp to get you in the mood. Sliders fly off chutes higher into the air than the surrounding coconut trees around the park before splashing safely into the pool. Several lifesavers are on duty at all times to ensure everyone's safety.

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    Location: 83/3 Moo 2, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand

    Open: Daily from noon to 8 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)77 961 485

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    5

    Chaweng spas and Thai massages

    For pampering and relaxation

    Something guaranteed to provide a relaxing and indulgent alternate to the beach is a treatment at one of Chaweng's many high-quality spas. You can find massage, reflexology and beauty salons along the main beach road. Most of these have trained staff providing a good level of service and treatments.

    But for a truly pampering experience in opulent surroundings, try one of the spas attached to hotels, or an independent center set in tropical gardens with steam rooms, Jacuzzis and an atmosphere of total peace.

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    6

    Thai cooking classes

    Culinary skills to take home with you

    Thai cooking classes in Chaweng can be fun and inspiring. Want to impress people back home by bringing them something special from your Samui trip? Beyond a fantastic tan or cheap T-shirts or the usual knickknacks, how about Thai culinary skills? It’s really worth checking out the many well-priced cooking classes on Samui. You’ll be happy to learn that Thai cooking is not only fun but that Thai food is also easy to prepare and takes very little time to execute.

    Most of the big resorts and hotels in Samui offer cooking sessions on the premises. In Chaweng, the most popular Thai cooking school is the Samui Institute of Thai Culinary Arts (SITCA). Opened in 1999 and located in Soi Colibri (opposite Centara Samui Beach Resort in southern Chaweng) SITCA features experienced instructors with good English and well-planned sessions twice daily (3-hour classes at 11 am and again at 4 pm). SITCA also offers fruit-carving courses.

    Location: Soi Colibri, 46/6 Moo 3, Chaweng Beach, Bophut, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand

    Phone: +66 (0)77 413 172

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    7

    Samui Soccer Golf

    A fun and original game

    Samui Soccer Golf is the creator of an original game that combines 2 different sports. The idea is simple enough: it's a hybrid of soccer and golf in which players try to steer a soccer into the 18 holes in as few ‘strokes’ as possible – using their feet, of course. It will have you and your group playing, laughing and enjoying it for at least 60 minutes. At the same time, you can enjoy a refreshing walk around a beautiful coconut plantation that forms the 'course'.

    You can choose between hard and easy routes (for first-timers). Each hole is singular in its design, meaning no boring repetitions. You'll come across U-turns, trees, doglegs, coconut logs and shells, bunkers, and ditches. All in all, it's challenging and a whole lot of fun. Beverages and snacks are available in the reception area, while cool towels and a free soda are at holes 11 and 18. After completing the course, you'll get a commemorative keyring inscribed with your final score.

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    Location: 63/240, Moo 5, Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 6.30 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)77 426 600

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    8

    Samui Bungy Jump

    Great for thrill-seekers in Koh Samui

    Samui Bungy Jump is a great thing to do on the island for thrill-seekers. Bungee-jumping is an activity that will definitely boost your adrenaline level and raise your heart rate. Imagine being shot up in the air, free-falling, then bouncing up and down over a large plunge pool.

    Once up in the air, you can enjoy a great view, mostly over Chaweng Beach. Once you've booked your Samui Bungy Jump session, you'll be entitled to a DVD documenting your jump and merchandise. There is no age restriction but they do have a minimum weight restriction of 36 kg and a maximum of 150 kg. 

    Location: 3/130 Moo 2, Soi Reggae, Chaweng, Bophut, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 10.30 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)85 791 1921

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    9

    Crazy Golf

    Miniature golf course with kid-friendly challenges

    Crazy Golf is a 9-hole mini-golf course in central Chaweng. It's located under 2 popular restaurants that are in the same soi. The course is set in a neat and nicely landscaped garden. Offering great fun for all ages, different holes urge players to putt up hills, through water, and the mouth of a roaring tiger or snapping crocodile.

    The parent-friendly complex hosts a full bar with a pool table, soccer table, and a large TV. Non-players can enjoy themselves while their children play a course (kids often enjoy discounts between certain times of the day). You can also enjoy lunch from 1 pm onward.

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    Location: 166/79 Moo 2, Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84140, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)77 921 416

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    10

    D’s Spa Aroma Thai Massage

    Enjoy a wide range of wellness treatments in Chaweng

    D’s Spa Aroma Thai Massage is a large wellness center on the beach road in central Chaweng. Occupying a modern 2-storey building, it has a contemporary Thai-style décor and furnishing. It offers a great choice of soothing and revitalizing massages (Thai, Swedish, coconut oil, and reflexology). You can also opt for spa treatments, such as body scrubs, face massage with natural products, and aromatherapy.

    Location: 166/18 Moo 2, Chaweng, Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)77 300 781

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    11

    Muay Thai at Chaweng boxing stadiums

    Thailand's national sport

    Muay Thai (Thai boxing) is one of the uniquely Thai things to do in Koh Samui. Phetchbuncha Boxing Stadium is the center of Muay Thai on the island. Thailand's national sport is also one of the world's most demanding contact sports as it takes long and hard training to excel in this discipline.

    Located at the entrance of Soi Reggae, Phetchbuncha Samui is a large stadium that can accommodate up to 1,500 people. Witness the passion and drama of Thailand's national sport amid crowds of onlookers, whose cheers blend with the strains of high-pitched Javanese clarinets, drums and finger cymbals. Fights take place at 9 pm every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. 

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    12

    Major Cineplex Lotus

    Catch the latest movies in Koh Samui

    Major Cineplex is a 3-screen movie theater in Tesco Lotus Koh Samui. The movie theater is modern, reasonably priced, and offers comfortable and spacious seating. You can enjoy the latest local and international movies, especially if rain tampers with your plans for the beach.

    The only notable difference is that everyone stands during the national anthem, which plays before a movie. The air conditioning can make the hall rather chilly, so remember to bring a sweater.

    Location: 1/7 Moo 6, Tawirat Phakdi Road, Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)77 427 299

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    13

    Paris Follies Cabaret

    One of Chaweng's popular evening entertainments

    Paris Follies Cabaret is a popular cabaret show and bar in Chaweng. Its nightly shows start at 8 pm, 9.30 pm, and 11 pm. Some 20 performers present their fabulous talents with song, dance, and spectacular costumes. The earlier show is a more “soft and sweet” performance suitable for families, while things heat up for the later shows. Entry is free, though beverages are pricier than the average bar or nightclub.

    Paris Follies Cabaret has colorful and extravagant costumes, songs dedicated to almost every nation, excellent lighting and sound system. The show is a modern and vibrant evening venue for anyone coming to Chaweng.

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    Location: 166/92 Moo 2 Chaweng Beach Road, Chaweng, Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand

    Open: Daily at 8 pm, 9.30 pm and 11 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)87 030 8280

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    14

    Soi Green Mango

    Samui's lively nightlife street

    Soi Green Mango is the beating heart of Koh Samui's nightlife scene. Located in Chaweng, it has cheap beverages, loud music and good times. The highlight of the street is the namesake establishment at the very end of the road – The Green Mango Club, which has been a nightlife institution of Chaweng for decades.

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    Location: Chaweng Beach, Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand

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    Stephan Audiger | Compulsive Traveler

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