If you want to catch a glimpse of Koh Samui before tourism development, visit this wonderfully well-kept street of 19th-century Chinese shop-houses and French architecture.
Wander lanes filled with wooden Chinese shop-houses from the 19th century, enjoy night markets and dine around the world in restaurants serving up Italian, French, Thai, Japanese, Euro-fusion and freshly caught seafood in Bo Phut’s Fisherman’s Village.
Fisherman’s Village on the eastern side of Bo Phut Beach has retained the character brought by Chinese migrants who mostly lived by fishing. At one point in its history, this area was also a French outpost, and the French architecture and cafés contribute to its multicultural feel. The main street is full of Chinese boutiques, French bakeries and colorful beachwear shops. Explore the small alleys to find hidden sculpture-filled courtyards and flower-decked shrines.
Bo Phut Beach, though not known for its clear swimming waters, is the perfect place for water sports. Rent a Jet Ski and take off on an adventure. The number of Jet Skis is restricted to protect the beach and water, so it’s best to go early. Try windsurfing, or organize a scuba diving trip to Ang Thong Marine Park at one of the dive shops.
If you hang out for long enough on the beach you’ll be approached by a masseur who will rid you of knots and tension for a much cheaper price than Koh Samui’s resorts. Take a walk to see the rustic old wooden pier, still used by fishermen despite its rickety appearance.
On Friday evenings the main street is closed to traffic and becomes a market area where you can taste street food, sip a cocktail and browse the rows of crafts such as hand-carved soaps, uniquely Thai jewelry and clothing. There is plenty of nightlife, with British pubs, cocktail bars and even a cinema. At night, restaurants pop up on the sands of Bo Phut Beach, so pick your cuisine, grab a chair and watch the beautiful sunset colors play over Koh Phangan.