Celebrating New Year 2017/18 in Koh Samui

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This past New Year’s Eve (2017-18) I spent New Year on the island of Koh Samui, Thailand with friends. We ate out every night but the biggest night was of course New Year’s Eve. There are many ways to see in the New Year on Samui, but we wanted to party and below is how we chose to do so.

Where to eat

Chaweng Night Market Food Center


This was my favourite place to eat in Chaweng. Forget the big restaurants, they are overpriced, the service is bad and the food isn’t nearly as good. We ate in several large restaurants along the strip and were disappointed every time and yet had great meals every time we ate at the night market. Chaweng night market is just off the main strip, opposite Tapas Bar and behind the Star Gym, look for the big star made out of tube lights. There is a large seating area and plenty of stalls to pick from. You will get harrased straight away by waiters trying to get you to sit at their tables but just ignore them and walk past until you find a stall you like the look of. As you come in off the main strip we prefered to turn left and visit one of the smaller stalls as the waiter here was super friendly and the food was great. I highly recommend the cashew chicken, grilled fish and pretty much anything with prawns in. One proviso… avoid using the toilets unless you have to…. they’re not great!

Where to go for early drinks

Bar Solo


Bar Solo is a fabulously chilled out bar which plays the best house music out there. The table service is great, there are a couple of pool tables if you are looking for something to do other than chill out and enjoy the vibe. Bar Solo is great on any night of the week but was packed on New Year’s Eve and the DJ’s were amazing. This bar attracts a slightly older clientele of around 30-40 year olds as the music is much less commercial than in most of the other bars.
Image ©Bar Solo

Where to be at midnight

ARK bar


ARK bar is right on Chaweng beach and is where everyone will be at midnight as it is where the biggest party is and you get the best view of the fireworks not only from ARK bar itself, but also all around the bay. Arrive early. We made the mistake of getting there around 11:45pm and we had to fight our way through the crowds (I would estimate around 5,000 people) to be able to get any view at all. ARK bar is again great on any night of the week or during the day. There are lounger chairs on the beach and table service. There are usually fire artists performing for the customers and the whole place has a great vibe. The crowd here is younger 20 – 30 year olds and the music is commercial. There is also a hotel in the complex, pools and restaurants here too.

Where to go after midnight

Green Mango


Green Mango is the biggest party in town. It is an open air club with two “rooms”, massive dance floors, buzzing music, good bars and a happy atmosphere. We went in Green Mango several evening and never saw any attitude, just happy dancing people of all ages and nationalities. The music is commercial and entry is free. There are plenty of smaller bars in the area outside Green Mango, which are largely patronised by young men, but Green Mango is the main event.

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