I knew the nights in Koh Samet would be adventurous and electrifying… We arrived on a Friday night on a speed boat. It hit the waves hard and slapped down onto the water jolting our spines as our involuntary noises morphed between adrenaline prompted giggles and moans of pain. I will not forget that boat ride; this exhilarating entrance served as a precursor to our island nights. We stepped off the boat right into the water (literally) and I immediately felt the pulse of liveliness.
It was by chance that we ended up on Hat Sai Kaew beach, well know for its restaurants, bars, and nightlife in general. The tables come out at night, and briny beach goers dine on the beach under hanging lanterns. The muted glow from these lanterns makes for a dreamy, idyllic ambiance that recharges the life on the island.
From the moment I saw this particular bar (picture below), I feel in love with it; as the sun starts to set, this mod-looking, yet comfort-seeking bar sets up bean bag chairs for guests to relax in as they sip mixed drinks and smoke hookah. Hookah is mainstream here; it’s offered at almost every bar, and ordered as frequently as appetizers. (Sidenote, in Thailand, every bar is actually a restaurant, and a bar, and a hookah bar.)
On the eve of the full moon, (Thailand’s islands are infamous for their full moon parties) activities ensued along the beach of Ploy Talay, a grungy, favored bar on the beach. We witnessed an exciting fire show put on by rowdy flame throwers, who pumped up the crowd for activities to follow.
With supervision from the flamethrowers, the crowd that had gathered partook in fire limbo, jumped through rings of fire, and played a giant tug of war. The energy of this group skyrocketed after this beachy bonding experience, and we moved to the dance floor and danced the night away with people from all over the globe.
Behind Ploy Talay, is another upbeat bar, and of course, it wouldn’t be a typical Thai bar experience without excellent live entertainment cranking out danceable hit after hit, from Red Hot Chili Peppers to Don Omar, but they never forget to throw in a Thai hit from time to time.
Honestly I didn’t even recognize the area the first morning, it seemed so mellow. The difference between Koh Samet during the night and day is… well…. night and day.
The energy at night is infecious, just as the evening events were unexpected… but unexpected events always make for the best stories; I now have tales of flamethrowers on faraway islands…. and memories of how I was swept up in the evening vitality and bliss of the island.
“People don’t take trips, trips take people.” – John Steinbeck
To read about about Koh Samet during the day, check out my other post Koh Samet by Day.