Dec 22 2011
In Ko Samui’s Fisherman’s Village, you’ll find old Chinese shophouses that are well preserved, interspersed with tasteful modern buildings to create a real ‘Mediterranean meets the East’ vibe. With some good accommodation choices, delicious food and a range of shopping on offer, it’s a good little destination in its own right.
Here’s a roundup of some of the great places I’ve so far discovered in this corner of Samui.
Best time to visit
Fisherman’s Village comes alive on Friday evenings, when it hosts its weekly walking street market. Try every kind of food-on-a-stick imaginable washed down by refreshing mojitos for only 60B while being entertained at the stage area near the pier. Here locals mix with expats and tourists alike, enjoying the festive vibe, cheap food and drinks and free entertainment.
Best low budget accommodation: Cocooning Hotel and Tapas Bar
Don’t be deceived by the nondescript exterior; once you enter this quaint little hotel, you will fall for its charm. Six standard rooms are each furnished in different colours and themes, equipped with large comfortable beds, air-con, TV and fridge. The Sunset room comprises two levels, with a loft bedroom and spacious lounge area. The spotless rooms are serviced daily, and a laidback atmosphere adds to the appeal. The swimming pool, literally located in the restaurant, is no more than a dip pool, but enough to cool you down.
The restaurant and bar must be the cheapest in Fisherman’s Village, with Thai food options from 60B. Mix with locals in the bar who are drawn by cheap cocktails and good food. Cocooning Hotel is excellent value for money considering the location, with rooms from 800B per night.
Best mid-range accommodation: L’Hacienda Hotel
If it wasn’t for the Buddha images adorning the walls, L’Hacienda could be mistaken for being somewhere in the Mediterranean; think terracotta floors, crisp white bedding and whitewashed walls, all no doubt the French owner’s influence.
Add to that a rooftop pool with endless views over the bay, a beachfront swimming pool and the vibe of Fisherman’s Village and this hotel is a winning option with its reasonable rates and tasteful rooms. The beachfront suites boast Jacuzzis and direct beach access. The hotel has a small bar, but many other dining and nightlife options are within easy walking distance. Rooms 1500B–3900B per night.
Best people watching location: Red Moon Bar
After filling up on street food on a Friday evening during the market, there is no better place to chill and people watch than Red Moon Bar, located along the main drag in Fisherman’s Village. French owner Jay-Jay is always welcoming, you’ll get a few complimentary tapas snacks, and the beer flows on tap. Music videos or sport gets shown on a big screen inside, or sit at an outside table, and watch the world go by.
Best chill out location: Woody a shop & bar
This rather quirky place is just what the name says. The wooden shophouse has been converted into a great place to chill out, have a drink, watch a classic movie in the evening or challenge a friend to a Play-Station game. A blackboard covering one whole wall displays the menu, consisting of dishes such as burgers, salads, pastas and antipasti as well as an assortment of smoothies and specials of the day. Items for sale are arranged on shelves or rails, with no particular theme, and range from clothing and accessories to knick-knacks. Try the tangy passionfruit mousse sold at walking street market.
Best place for tea: Namcha Teahouse
Relax in an Asian inspired lounge-type teahouse, with an ever-so colonial feel. The decor at Namcha Teahouse is exquisite, with shelves carrying an assortment of attractive teapots, Chinese fans and parasols on the walls, art pieces, a huge decorative silver teapot as a focal point and comfortable seating with vibrant cushions. Light meals of tasty wraps are well-priced from 80B to 120B. Find a cosy corner to read your book or chat with friends.
To reach Fisherman’s Village, turn off the ring road at the Bophut traffic lights — about 100 metres along an ornate arch welcomes you.
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