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Koh Samui Nightlife Guide: Go-Go Bars on Soi Green Mango, Soi Reggae, Chaweng and Lamai Beach

▶ Chaweng Beach

Bar C - has obviously had no expense spared in its creation and has a fashionable appeal more readily associated with Bangkok bars than other hotel bars on Samui. There's a variety of seating areas including large day beds and giant sofas. In the evening discreet spot lighting is to the fore and a long wall shelf light slowly pulsates different hues, to add to the lounge-style ambience. As the name suggests, the bar is also only a few metres from the sea.

The Ark Bar - Another Samui institution, the Ark Bar has been at it for quite a few years. Even though it's changed hands several times the bar/restaurant still uses the same methods to draw people in with fire dancers, ambient music, dining and dancing on the beach and a relaxed atmosphere that extends to a child-friendly vibe, even late at night.

Red Snapper - With a big screen and a nightly live band you'd think that Red Snapper wouldn't exactly be totally be focused in on its food but you'd be wrong.  Part of Chaweng Regent Beach Resort, Red Snapper fronts onto the Beach Road and is great for that laid-back meal, while watching the passing throngs. Modern fusion and healthy dishes prevail with more of a leaning towards cocktails than wine on the drinks list, the décor is pleasant and this is definitely a happening place to be.

Bar Solo - has a cool, sleek interior and a great music policy as well as a pool table and six plasma screens showing major sporting events. Solo Bar is a good option to start a night out, when you can take advantage of their 1/2price cocktails from 14:00 – 20:00. Later in the evening, the bar gets lively with DJ's spinning funky, uplifting house and chilled lounge tunes.

Tropical Murphy - If you're looking for a happy-go-lucky evening with lots of beer choices, good food, great music, pool, quizzes and an Irish ambience look no further than Tropical Murphy's. Owner Paul Watson takes no prisoners in his quest to be the top pub in town and he ensures that everything runs smoothly. Murphy's Thai staff members speak good English and the extensive choice of seating means that you can take in the live music upstairs in the air-con, watch sports downstairs or enjoy the night air and the street sights on the outside terrace.

Zico's - One of the most spectacular dining options in the south of Thailand, the Brazilian-themed Zico's is an on-fire mixture of entertainment, glam cocktails and skewer after skewer of freshly prepared meat served from sword-like serving knives by strolling waiters. To the side lies a salad bar to balance the all-you-can-eat fixed price meats. Entertainment takes place on a central stage and consists of bottom-wiggling sexy samba dancing girls in outfits that leave little to the imagination, live percussion and sax players.

Q Bar - Overlooking Chaweng from its northern end, Q Bar stands regal on a hillside. Along the same lines of its Bangkok counterpart (though less snobby), you simply can't miss the huge neon 'Q' up the road from Bar Ice and this place is bopping later on in the evening and in the early hours. International DJ's spin into the night and punters can choose between the music-filled interior or the ultra-cool exterior with those groovy views. Q Bar also holds special parties and fashion events. This is truly a place to see and be seen in. Be careful heading back down the hill, though.

Green Mango - Making a sweeping U-shape off Central Chaweng's Beach Road, Soi Green Mango is lined with open-sided full-on party bars, each with ear-spitting sound systems vying for aural dominance – and with predictably muddled results. On the northern side of the U there's more of a girlie, pick-up and Go-Go bar atmosphere whereas bars like Green Mango itself and Sweet Soul Café as well as Solo Bar are more for revelers. Further down the soi, on alleys branching off, are even more pubs and bars so if you're looking for a pub/bar crawl that doesn't involve transport this is perfect territory. The Green Mango Club is hard to miss; it's in a huge warehouse building at the end of the road. It has two main areas with the entrance space playing hip hop and mainstream tunes, whilst the main pumps out some banging house and techno music.

GB Bar Dream Girls - Since the social order crackdown began, the more risqué aspects of the shows at Samui's two pre-eminent go-go bars, a short stroll apart on Soi Green Mango have been toned down considerably. Still, these Go-Go bars are worth a visit if only as an eye-opener. Of the two, the split-level Dream Girls is considered the classier version, due to its revolving stage and glass ceiling.

Mint Bar - Leading the way in establishing Samui as a serious venue for international DJ's, The Mint Bar has managed to attract the likes of Brandon Block, Lisa Loud, Kenny Hawkes and BT but still manages to keep admission costs down to around 200 baht and regularly offers two-for-one drink deals. In terms of decor and design, it stands head and shoulders above the competition on Soi Green Mango and is split over two fully air-conditioned levels - the floor to ceiling windows and lots comfortable seating make it a great spot for people watching, when there isn't a big name playing.

Sound - is a great outdoor venue, the front bar plays hip-hop and R n'B to a packed house, while the dance floor at the back has DJ's spinning harder house, and there's a big swimming pool separating the two dance floors, which sets the scene for some late-night water fights. This is a really popular venue for the late-night crowd, and doesn't really get going until after 01:00 when it becomes crammed with high-energy revelers.

Soi Reggae - Out on the street leading to the Reggae Pub from Chaweng Centre you'll find bar after small bar lining the passage with the usual cast of friendly girls, not very original music, a pool table here and there and a general air of seediness. Things get pretty desperate here the later it gets and the girls get more 'aggressive' in their tactics. You have been warned… Still, it can be a lot of fun if it's all approached with a sense of humour and fun. This large stadium near the Reggae Pub is the centre of Muay Thai boxing in Samui. Starting at 21:00 and going on until midnight, fights here are the real thing, unlike some semi-staged efforts at several tourist centres. Seat prices vary but in reality it's much the same experience buying a bleacher pew as in the 'VIP' section, perhaps better. It's a noisy, thrilling and sometimes shocking evening of thrills and spills.

▶ Lamai Beach

Chill In - on Lamai Beach is popular with tourists and residents alike due to its relaxed atmosphere, chilled-out music and range of seating areas. You can chose to chill on large comfortable bamboo chairs, swing in a hammock or lie on the beach on a tradition Thai 'mon' – triangular cushion. Chill In also serves food all day at fairly reasonable prices and has a good drinks menu.

Red Fox Two - For regulars, this is the best bar in Lamai, even if it is sometimes the most dysfunctional one. A sign outside states 'Bad jokes told in a strange dialect' and this just about sums up the bar owner's role in life. A weekly host to the area's Hash House Harriers, the Red Fox also has Sunday roasts later on in the afternoon. It's the friendly ambience that keeps people coming back and the cocktail-mix of British and Thai hospitality, carefree humour and beer is an addictive one.

TawaNN Bar - Situated within the Renaissance Koh Samui Resort & Spa, the TawaNN Bar & Terrace is one of the island's best cocktail lounges. The bar seats about 30 and has a small but concise cocktail list as well as a fine wines and spirits menu. The decor is an impressive mixture of Thai and contemporary design and the bar looks out towards the beach with spectacular sunset and sea views. There are also delicious light snacks and a good range of afternoon teas and coffees available.

Nikki Beach Club - From jet setters parting for the weekend to the local sexy sunbather, Nikki beach Koh Samui is the ultimate beachclub and the sexiest place on earth. Spend the day sipping champagne on our signature day bed while ordering a la carte from our Global Cuisine, Nikki Beach offers the ultimate daytime dining experience. Dine on plush beds by the pool or on our covered dining area. Choose from fresh Raw Bar, Sushi, Crispy Coconut Shrimp, Mediterranean Nicoise Salad,  Kobe Beef Sliders, Spagetti Los Cabos, Chicken Satay, Asian Tapas Platter for two and many more delicious items to choose from.

▶ Bohput Beach

Gecko Village - A very pleasant Bali-style beachside setting enhances one of Samui's most musically astute bars. Resident DJ Gary G plays a range of house and ambient tunes throughout the week and hosts the Gecko's weekly Sunday Session party, which kicks off at 14:00 and regularly features big name guest DJ's and live percussionists. There's also a Full Moon Warm Up Party and the resort has its own speedboat to get revelers over to Koh Pha Ngan afterwards. The Gecko has bungalows for rent but they can get very noisy on party nights.

The Frog - Owned and managed by long-term expats Graeme and Raphaella, who work hard to ensure everyone enjoys themselves, the Frog is busy most nights, but packed on Wednesdays for their pub quiz – so get there around 20:00 to ensure a seat. Musically, expect lots of quality 70's tunes, Brit Pop, rock and punk. The Thai food and Indian curries are highly recommended. With sports TV and pool table.

Bob Marley Pub - There had to be one hadn't there? In this case the Bob Marley is a couple of bamboo tables and chairs near the beach and a friendly barman.

Monday, January 18, 2021