Our Favorites in Koh Samui

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As I mentioned previously, we stayed at P&P on Chaweng Beach in Koh Samui. We cannot recommend this place more highly! For $37 a night we got a nice room with a big bed, access to a beachfront pool and deck and a really decent beach. In the afternoon the beach turns into a bar. And if that’s not enough, the famous ARKbar and its nightly fire show is right next door. I’m not sure how crowded the pool gets in high season, but in late January it was just us and a few German and French couples!

We stayed at Sea Dancing last year and you can read my TripAdvisor review of it here: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g1179396-d6018107-r553428432-Sea_Dance_Resort-Bophut_Ko_Samui_Surat_Thani_Province.html

As noted in a previous post, we’re not likely to stay at such a luxurious and quiet place anytime soon, but if that’s what you seek, it’s all right there!


We made the (old life) mistake of having a ‘fancy’ dinner our first night in Chaweng at Spago. It was familiar and felt ‘safe.’ In other words, it was boring and expensive. We got over that quickly and spent the rest of our time on Chaweng Beach eating downscale.

Being adherents to a dirty keto/South Beach way of eating, we quickly fell in love with keto-friendly local favorites like green and coconut curries, whole fish (you have to ask for olive oil but it’s available), roasted meats and salads.

There is a certain same-ness to the Thai restaurants in Chaweng but here are some of our favorites.

Mr. Crab which if off a side road toward the north end of Chaweng: cheap and very tasty:

Top Ten BBQ was at the end of the ally that leads from the main road to both ARKbar and P&P and has awesome great grilled meats that were cooked roadside. Chicken wings and pork ribs were amazing:

bbq ribs grilled meat chaweng top ten bbq

One night we at dinner at The Library Thai Tapas. Each dish was 90 Baht (~US$3) and were unique twists on classic Thai:

The Library Thai Tapas Chaweng

We also ate at several small outdoor (most restaurants were open-air, some are totally outdoors…) Thai joints. We just walked along until we found a place that looked cozy and ate there.

We only ate at the Chaweng Night Market once and it was pretty similar to all the other Thai joints in terms of food but open seating. Lisa had some pepper crabs that proved to be pretty messy:

Chaweng night market


The Chanweng Beach is awesome..that’s why it’s the most popular on the island. And the water is lovely when it’s not rough. High tide came up to the property front most days, making the beach disappear for a couple hours each day, but no biggie.

There was a pretty consistent sea breeze our entire stay making the beach and pool-front very pleasant for sitting working, reading or napping. We did a lot of all three!


Getting Around

Having seen most of what Samui has to offer in terms of tourist attractions last year, we simply walked everywhere we wanted to go: morning tea, meals, 7-11 runs, etc.  Avoiding walking in the middle of the day is advisable as there is no breeze on the street and the sun is scorching, but if you can find and/or walk in shade it’s pretty nice. Walking along the beach is better, but access from the beach to the road is mostly private so we felt compelled to choose one or the other.


The famous ARKbar is about 100m from P&P and we took in the nightly fire show there a couple of times after dinner. We stayed on the beach and left by midnight so we can’t speak to the late-night partying that takes place after that!

ARKBar Nightlife Scene
ARK Bar Understudy Fire Show

On our last night the ‘second stringer’ fire show guys (immediately above) did a mini-show in front of P&P while the first string were doing their thing next door and unfortunately during the spinny-sparky part of the show sparks ended up falling all over us and burned a few little holes in Lisa’s only pair of pants. The upside is that now her pants have travel scars!

Koh Samui is an awesome place to chill out and veg for a while. But after a week we decided it was time to knuckle down and really become working digital nomads, so decided to make our way to digital nomad central: Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Edited to add: Honored to see this post was picked up by The Digital Nomad Daily!

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