Jungle covered craggy hills, roads weaving through lush coconut plantations, huge tropical trees, butterflies, quiet beaches, fresh local fruit – Samui is the place to kick back, recharge in spas or health resorts, lounge around your pool, take long beach walks, sip a cocktail or three in a rustic beach bar and of course sparkle on the balmy evening party circuit.
Samui is Thailand’s third largest island located in the Gulf of Siam, Southern Thailand, close to a constellation of smaller mostly uninhabited picture postcard islands forming the Angthong Maritime National Park. Settled by Chinese and Malay fishermen in the 17th century there was no significant contact with the Thai mainland until the late1940’s. The backpacker generation opened Samui to the world in the 1970’s putting it on course to become the fastest growing tourist destination in Thailand and spa capital of the region. With a resident population of 50,000 and an area of 228 sq km Samui is considerably smaller than Phuket 570 sq km or Singapore 699 sq km.
Samui is a rapidly growing gay holiday destination especially for romantic couples. Gay life on Samui is a relaxing, quieter, fun contrast to the exuberant gay life of Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket. But a gay Samui holiday can be many things and while Samui has a bit of a reputation as a party destination most gay guys come here to kick back and relax.
The south and west of the island are enchanting places to spend a day sightseeing. Take a local guide as the maps are unreliable and can even be dangerous if you don’t know where you are going. Here the island is still sparsely populated, has quiet village life, lush tropical jungle, coconut plantations, grazing water buffalo, and small beaches you can call your own. If you prefer to not picnic, small road and beach side restaurants are all over the island. But we seriously suggest getting a local to show you. Rainbow Scuba and Tours are Thailand’s only exclusive gay tour company taking small groups of gay people in comfort and safely on tailor made tours – both on land on sea.
The centre of gay day/night life on Samui is Chaweng. There is a small ‘commercial’ boy aspect but most gay Thai men on Samui hold down regular jobs in a wide variety of hospitality businesses. many of the gay businesses hang off the 3-4 kilometre long Chaweng Beach Road so taking this road from the north end opposite the Nora Beach Resort is the Emerald Green Men’s Club, who give, quality massage and herbal body treatments. 200 meters further down the road is Tropical Fah Samui. Samui’s longest running massage shop. It has recently moved to this new location and can be found opposite the Briza Hotel. They also have a café/bar with monthly gay community events like Bingay and Movie Nights.
Further down the road in the main part of Chaweng town, is K Club one of the first gay bars on Samui, with large comfortable indoor and outdoor seating. Cute waiters and now the island’s only Boy Bar. This is off Chaweng Beach Road down side Soi by side of Terminal D restaurant. In South Chaweng is Mekala Men’s Spa, another quality massage shop. Plus their new bar next door called The Site. Both these venues are on a small side street opposite Trade Winds hotel.
Samui has a Cabaret obsession with two such clubs featuring Thai ladyboy and gay lip-synch performers. Starz Cabaret above the entrance to Khun Chaweng Resort pumps out a classy high energy show every night. Close by is the former Christy’s – now called Moulin Rouge – the original Samui cabaret show in town. Both shows kick in about 9.30 nightly with bar service and free entry. If dancing, drinking and cruising is your number, remember Samui is a late hour party town. From midnight Thai and Farang gays head to Sweet Soul in central Chaweng where free entry offers up a diet of very loud music, no frills bar service and fun for mixed crowds until 3 am.
There are many other massage places, spas, beer and show bars, restaurants and gay friendly hotels for you to enjoy while you’re here. A special mention has to go to our friends at Rainbow Scuba and Tours. They provide a unique service on the island and can show you some of the best of this wonderful Kingdom above or below the sea or on the land.