Once a sleeping fishing community by the sea, today Koh Samui’s Fisherman’s Village is a must-visit. Wooden shophouses have been converted into charming boutiques, bars, and restaurants to become one of the most fantastic and popular attractions after dark. There’s something special about Fisherman’s Village that adds to the unique Koh Samui experience.

Whether heading out for dinner, to pick up some street-style snacks or simply enjoy a sundowner as you people-watch the atmosphere is energized and exciting in the bars and restaurants. Meanwhile, shopping is fun yet relaxed with an eclectic mix of outlets that are interesting to browse in.

The overall vacation ambiance is perfect after a day of tranquility by your holiday villa infinity pool or relaxing on a sandy beach as the turquoise waters gently lap at the shore. Couples enjoy a romantic stroll and a bite to eat whilst this well-preserved part of the island is positively family-friendly too. So much so, that many holidaymakers spend time here more than once during their vacation.

Beautiful Bophut

With many of Koh Samui’s most amazing beaches down on the eastern coastline, Bophut sits at the top in a quiet corner close to the iconic Big Buddha statue. Nearby shores include Choeng Mon as well as Maenam, and the vibe is very much about relaxation and a good selection of luxurious villa stays are situated here, offering majestic views out over the sea as well sometimes boasting both sunrise and sunset views depending on the aspect.

Unlike the more popular Chaweng beach, Bophut is less crowded and with few establishments.

Fisherman’s Village adds a spark of wonderful tourist life to the area which adds to a few streets of bars and restaurants nearby. At the same time, the fantastic atmosphere, whilst touristy is not even remotely tacky in any way, appealing to families with children of all ages. In fact, an evening or two here actually highlights just how fantastic Koh Samui is and how good it feels to stroll along on a warm evening, feeling great and enjoying a memorable vacation experience.

Discover more about Bophut Beach in Koh Samui.

Weekly Street Market

As well as the permanent shops, there is also a weekly street market with stalls of souvenirs and snacks which gives the streets a more upbeat energy. These pop-up stands sell everything from handbags to jewelry and coconuts to barbeque skewers, not to mention handicrafts and artistic products.

Street shops are filled with unique, fascinating finds. Image: boutiqueyachting.com

Fisherman’s Village Walking Street is set up on Friday evenings and draws in a bigger crowd, so best avoided for those who want to stroll around in a more peaceful setting. On the other hand, the market does add a dynamic, lively atmosphere and many of the stalls offer more interesting, locally made goods compared to the standard night markets. Stallholders are always friendly, great at communicating with tourists, and open to bartering as long as offers are reasonable.

With just a few streets to explore, it’s possible to enjoy the market, watch a few street performers, pop into the more established shops and find a cool place to sit for a drink, dinner or both as you watch the world go by.

Check out our list of roadside shopping markets you should not miss in Koh Samui.

Cool Boutiques

If you’ve visited a few night markets or tourist shopping districts in Koh Samui or anywhere in Thailand for that matter, you will notice a common theme. Many of the popular souvenirs from soap carvings to t-shirts and sunglasses are found just about everywhere. However, it is the type of shops and what they are selling that makes Fisherman’s Village stand out from the usual market fare.

It is not difficult to spot The Wharf and its treasure hold of boutiques. Image: traveljournalist.com

There’s no doubt about it that this is a pretty cool place to hang out and this is in part because of the interesting goods you can buy here. Small local designers wow with unique garments which push up the chic vibe. Every budget is catered for, and you can walk away with an exquisite example of craftsmanship just as you can head back to your villa with an inexpensive sarong and sunglasses. For the style-conscious, there are some truly boutique gems to discover.

A popular womenswear shop is the Saona Collection, founded by a French woman living in Koh Samui. Starting with a beachwear collection, she has branched out to create travel-inspired designs that have a flamboyant, bohemian vibe. Meanwhile, The Life Aquatic sells incredible dive adventures under the sea.

Check out The Wharf, at Fisherman’s Village an open-air shopping centre with 120 units designed to blend with the rest of the area. Here you can find a food court, massage shops, specialty shops, and beauty salons too.

Great Bars & Restaurants

Walking around stalls and shops is not just what this Bophut attraction is about and most visitors come here for the bars, restaurants, and nightlife. Perfect for drinks as the sun sets, one of the most popular bars is right on the beach. Coco Tams is the idyllic vision of a chilled-out bar with beanbags and a trendy, tropical island vibe. There are plenty of super-cool bars and cafés to choose from.

Customers at Coco Tam’s enjoy rows of pillows and wooden tables along the beach. Photo by Silvan Kitma.

When it comes to dining, there is an astonishing choice from simple fare to gourmet menus. Art of Life brings French-Mediterranean seafood dishes to a wooden house with a simple setting that complements the finer qualities of the food. Happy Elephant serves up live jazz and Thai seafood, while Gusto excels in wood-fired pizzas and Classico is renowned as a fine-dining Italian with a tapas menu too. Copacabana overlooks Bophut Bay and is a special place to dine with some classic dishes and some quite unusual ones too such as crocodile.

What is striking about this part of the island is that it lacks the hedonism of Chaweng and is upbeat and laid back at the same time, making it a perfect choice for romantic couples and for families too.

A colorful welcome sign marks the entrance to the village. Image: islandinfokohsamui.com

No trip to Koh Samui is complete without a visit to the exciting, eclectic and entertaining Fisherman’s Village. For all its popularity, the beautiful setting, evocative buildings, cool atmosphere, and great shops, bars and restaurants all add up to a splendid way to enjoy your vacation in whatever style you like.

Featured image courtesy of devasamui.com