Although Koh Samet is not a renowned party island, Haat Sai Kaew and Ao Phai do get their fair share of backpackers, and therefore have their fair share of parties. Everyday on Ao Phai flyers are handed out from the different bars that advertise the drink specials for that night, and might even give you a free drink. Biggest nights are generally Thursday-Saturday, when more of the backpackers and expats come to the island.
The main bars at Hat Sai Kaew are:
Beach Bar: a small bar with a few pool tables and some of the best cocktails on the island, try the bar's specials. Located right at the end of the main road that runs in from the village and through the national park entrance.
Ploy Bar: a large, generally Thai-style night spot that often has live acts and some manner of sideshow games. Located in the middle of Haat Sai Kaew, a big establishment, you can't miss it.
The main bars at Ao Hua Khok / Ao Phai are:
Naga Bar: once 'the' bar on the island, it has gone downhill somewhat in the last few years, but still a good place to hang and enjoy cheap drinks and a few games of pool with locals and tourists alike. Located at the top of 'Naga Hill' between Haat Sai Kaew and Ao Hua Khok.
Tok's Little Bar: a small thatched hut serves as the main bar for this laid back, chilled out drinking spot. They generally have good drink specials and a different theme for every night, so grab a bucket and chill out on a mat on the beach. Occasionally has some fireshows and special parties. Next door to Naga Bar.
Silversand Bar: arguably the most popular bar on the island, Silversand brings in the largest backpacker crowd, and is generally where everyone ends up at the end of the night. The bar boasts quite a big dancefloor and generally the best fire shows on the island. Located at the opposite end of Ao Phai to Naga Bar.
The Main Bars at Ao Wong Duan are:
Baywatch bar, Ao wong Duan: This is by far the best bar on koh samet, great people and atmosphere. Recently expanded offering hi-speed internet and a larger area. A popular bar for foreigners and Thai on AO Wong Duan with very relaxed chairs and an extended cocktail list to enjoy those long Thai nights. Currently they are expanding having rented the space from the bar next to them. They have a website: www.baywatchbar.com
The local special can be reproduced as follows:
- one child's sandbucket, small
- one pint Mekong whiskey
- one can Coca-cola or Pepsi
- one scoop ice (optional)
- one to three straws
Place all ingredients in sandbucket and drink via straw. Repeat until the sandy beach rises up to meet you.
There's also the usual assortment of Thai beer - Chang, Tiger, San Miguel, Leo, and Carlsberg. Prices are significantly higher than on the mainland, but most bars have some form of happy hour. Alternatively, there's always the option of buying a 6-pack and sitting on the beach; for non-drinkers there are tropical fruit drinks.