Koh Samui Nightlife
Lamai Beach , Koh Samui
Tel: 66 77 458 100
After falling behind rival Chaweng for some time, Lamai Beach has regained its coolness factor with Beach Republic, located directly on the sand. Dive into the seaside infinity pool or stretch out on padded sun loungers after dancing to groovy tunes from visiting DJs who spin until 2 am. The on-site spa enhances the chill vibe here.
Open daily 11 am to 2 am.
Haad Rin Nok Beach , Koh Phangan
The most serious ragers use Koh Samui merely as their jumping-off point to the nearby island of Koh Phangan, home of the legendary Full Moon Party. Tens of thousands of bikini- and tie-dye–clad revelers drenched from sweat and seawater keep Asia's most outrageous party hopping after dusk. Expect to cheer the sunrise as boats pull up to take exhausted revelers back to their resorts. If you can't make it on the actual day of the monthly Full Moon Party, you're likely to catch similar levels of debauchery on the two days leading up to and after the actual event. Be forewarned that recreational drugs are common, despite their being illegal in Thailand; use at your own risk. The Samui Phangan Express leaves Samui every hour on the hour between 8 am and 5 pm for the 12-minute ride to the rave (Tel: 66-81-372-701; U.S. $15 one way). People arrive well before sundown and stay until the boats start leaving again in the morning.
147/57 Moo 2
Bophut , Koh Samui
Tel: 66 77 741 3297
Q Bar reigns over the palm fronds on the hills above Bophut Beach. It has the distinction of being Koh Samui's only air-conditioned dance club, which is important, since the dance floor packs in more than 500 revelers. Check out the upstairs lounge, where white leather couches confer panoramic island views, and the menu delivers old-school cocktails (gimlets) as well as local flavors (fresh lychee martinis).
Open daily 5 pm to 2 am.
Khun Chaweng Shopping Center
Chaweng Beach , Koh Samui
Tel: 66 8 4744 9074
Even the most jaded globe-trotters get into the campy spirit as the silver lamé curtain rises on the cabaret at Starz Club Samui in the heart of Chaweng. Out strut the kathoeys, or "ladyboys." The term refers to any cross-dressing man in Thailand, where transgender experimentation is the exception to the country's otherwise conservative social mores. A Mariah Carey impersonator hosts the Starz Club show, which is free with the purchase of drinks like the Lusty Lady, with Thai brandy, honey, and Champagne. Only the occasionally protruding Adam's apple reminds the festive crowd that these ornately attired belly dancers, feathered Vegas showgirls, and Madonna wannabes are not exactly as ladylike as they appear.
Shows nightly at 9 and 10:15 pm.