Party with the crowds by night and escape them by day; get the best of both worlds in peaceful, accessible Chaweng Noi.
Just south of Chaweng, the hub of Koh Samui's nightlife, Chaweng Noi offers a calmer, more peaceful alternative to its bustling neighbour beach. While Chaweng bristles with watersports enthusiasts and street vendors, not to mention numerous young revellers nursing headaches from the night before, Chaweng Noi (or "little Chaweng"), just around the headland from Koh Samui's most popular beach, is light years away. Pristine, powdery sand, and crystal waters lined with a smattering of upmarket villas and coconut palms offer a welcome respite from the constant buzz of the backpacker crowd.
If you're looking to relax and laze in the sun, or in the shade of a leafy coconut palm, this is the place for you. And for those interested in being a little more active, there's always snorkelling around the northern headland, or a gentle wander along the beach to investigate some of the other resorts. Access to the beach is mostly through the hotels and as a result the food and crafts vendors that sell their wares so frequently on Chaweng Beach are largely absent from Chaweng Noi, meaning you can really lay back and relax.
If you've had enough of lying around, or you just need a little break from the sun, rent a car and follow the ring road to Lamai. The views from here back towards Chaweng Noi are stunning, providing some of the best photo opportunities on the island and making it the perfect spot to document your trip to paradise.
The nightlife in Chaweng is legendary, with a plethora of bars, restaurants and nightclubs to suit all tastes. The core of the party scene is the Green Mango strip, where most of the younger tourists can be found once the sun goes down. Chaweng is geared primarily towards this party-going crowd, while Chaweng Noi caters for an older crowd and families. As such, Chaweng Noi is a little more expensive than its more boisterous neighbour, but well worth it for a bit of much-needed peace and quiet.