Whether you hope your Koh Samui New Year’s Eve is the highlight of your year – or it’s just another drink at midnight – below, I offer a few choices for making the evening whatever you’d like it to be.
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Koh Samui New Year’s Eve
Where’s best for Koh Samui on New Year’s Eve?
Looking for the best New Year’s Eve Party on Koh Samui? Whether you want to dress to the nines, glow in the dark, countdown barefoot… or dance on a blacklight dance floor beside the beach – below you’ll find some great options to ring in 2023. They include something for everyone – couples, singles and families alike. Many events offer children’s pricing. How to choose your New Year’s spot? Peruse where to stay on Koh Samui and, ideally, make your choice the sooner the better – New Year’s Eve is a really busy time of year on Samui.
Parties and where to stay
For a party: Avani Chaweng Samui Hotel & Beach Club
This brand new hotel welcomed Love Islanders (Millie and Lucinda) for its Halloween party – who will show up for New Year’s Eve? Dress to impress, kids.See Rates + Details
- For a fancy party: SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort
- For location: Holiday Inn Resort Samui Bophut Beach
- For families: Melia Koh Samui or Peace Resort Samui
- For something romantic: The Tongsai Bay or Conrad Koh Samui
- For a budget stay: SocialTel Samui Party Hotel or Lub d Koh Samui Chaweng Beach
Do you need to book hotels and parties in advance?
Unless otherwise noted, you’ll need to reserve your NYE party spot in advance. Some venues have limited space, so send your reservation requests ASAP. The most popular spots often sell out by mid-December. If you’re reading this at 10 pm on New Year’s Eve, don’t panic, you’ll be able to find somewhere on your closest beach that requires no reservations.
Tip: When you book, confirm whether the price is net or gross. Use “++” after the price as a clue that the number excludes tax and service, which are 7% and 10% respectively.
Where’s the best place for New Year’s Eve fireworks on Koh Samui?
Love fireworks? Rule of thumb: the bigger the beach, the bigger the fireworks. As such, consider Chaweng, Bophut, Lamai, Maenam and Choeng Mon beaches for fireworks – in roughly that order. However, they’re very freely available so tiny bungalow resorts will probably have a few. Whether you’ll be on a beach at midnight, or somewhere with a view – Koh Samui’s New Year fireworks are great. (Sydneysiders might disagree, but then they’d be whinging).
Where’s the best place for a fancy, romantic New Year?
Anywhere four- or five-star on Bophut Beach will offer an amazing, tropical New Year ambience or, on quieter Choeng Mon, consider SALA Samui for a romantic night or Kimpton Kitalay for a (fancy) party. It’s easy to book a glam New Year’s night out, whether in your hotel or elsewhere. Options include early dinner with ongoing drinks, or parties starting closer to midnight.
Many restaurants have set menu dinners for New Year’s Eve (obviously at steeper, special occasion prices) and you must book in advance. Most years, every seat on every plane to Koh Samui is booked for NYE – meaning the island’s restaurants are just as full. Restaurants attached to hotels may give preference to their guests, and some (cough-Four-Seasons-Resort-cough) shut to outside patrons entirely.
Where’s the best place for a big night out on New Year?
For Koh Samui’s biggest New Year party with big-name DJs and huge fire shows, head to Chaweng Beach or – slightly more up-market – Fisherman’s Village in Bophut. If you want a party with a capital P, central Chaweng – as usual – will meet your needs. A raucous affair with celebrity DJs, a Chaweng New Year goes well into January 1st. Possibly January 2nd. Not your scene? If you’re staying at a resort in Chaweng, you’ll be happy and busy at your own party.
You’ll find big New Year beach parties at island beach clubs like Nikki Beach and on every major island beach (Chaweng, due to its size, in particular). You’ll want to reserve your spot at the former in advance (and, if staying elsewhere, consider transport – the resort is a long way from Samui’s busy bits).
Tip: The Koh Samui Guide covers all your transport options (and safety tips) in depth – it’s ideal to read now in advance of your trip, so you know your stuff when you need it.
Where’s the best place for a casual New Year on the beach?
Much of Maenam Beach and Choeng Mon Beach remain very family-friendly on New Year’s Eve, as does any resort that caters to children. If you want a shorts-and-T-shirt beach dinner, that’s, of course, a great option. Broadly speaking, reservations won’t be necessary at local Thai places but, once you’ve found a favourite spot, double-check that it will be open – many close or host parties for their staff. Of course, a reservation is a good idea if you have a big group or want a prime beach-front table.
On smaller beaches, like Choeng Mon, the show’s over by 12:30 to 1 am. This is great for families with kids or babies, but you’re welcome to dance the night away – Thais are generally game for a party.
Arrive a total Koh Samui expert
Amongst other crucial trip details, The Koh Samui Guide covers exactly where (and when) to buy alcohol, plus how to arrange your transportation, navigate taxis and catch a songthaew. As for the morning-after, it has you covered for hangover breakfast and brunch recommendations, too.
What to pack for New Year’s Eve?
What to wear for Koh Samui New Year’s Eve?
A Koh Samui New Year can have any dress code of your choosing – squeeze into a little black dress for champagne and canapés, or show up in pyjamas on Maenam beach. Five-star hotels request ‘smart elegant’ for their New Year gala events. Plan the perfect outfit, plus makeup that actually lasts in the tropics:
What shoes are best?
As for shoes, note that your feet will swell in Thailand’s heat so only bring shoes that can be adjusted for size. You also want shoes that slip on and off. As such, dressy or casual, flip-flops and or sparkly flats fit every stipulation discussed.
What to bring with you for New Year?
While you’re sure to have a great night, no matter how little you prepare, I’ll flag two things that are hard to find and/or extremely expensive on Koh Samui:
Champagne: If it’s not New Year without champagne, bring your own (packed carefully in your suitcase). Due to heavy taxation, a 75cl of champagne costs approximately £82 on Koh Samui (compared to £38 for Veuve on Amazon). Worse still, owing to limited island supply, shelves empty quickly on holidays. Yea, it’s my worst nightmare, too.
Stupid hats and ‘New Year’ tat: You might want to add some tacky New Year accessories to your suitcase – you never have enough novelty headwear after a few drinks.
For the rest of your trip planning, save yourself a million hours of worry and research – it’s all in The Koh Samui Guide.
How to stay safe on Koh Samui New Year’s Eve?
I’ve seen some surprising sights during my dozen or so Koh Samui New Year’s Eves (not least of which was sitting in a traffic jam outside Lotus, behind an elephant). You’ll have a great time but I should flag two safety precautions.
Beware of drunk drivers: True anywhere at this time of year, but especially on Koh Samui where “vacation brain” affects many visitors who know better. All the more reason to choose a resort for its in-house party and stay put (or in easy walking distance
Fireworks caution: Though the shows are spectacular, Koh Samui fireworks are fairly freely available to anyone who’d like to have a go. Be aware of your surroundings (should you find yourself around a drunk and DIY bottle rocket situation) – and be ready to move to a safer distance. Hotel-produced fireworks will be better organised than ad hoc beach parties.
What does a Koh Samui New Year’s Eve hotel gala involve?
As with Christmas, many Koh Samui hotels offer a New Year gala dinner. Should you attend? While the menu and theme will differ by resort, I recommend joining these celebrations. For one, you eliminate any transportation worries and won’t need to find ATMs. As well, Samui’s hotels do a fantastic job at dressing up and decorating for the holidays – it’s their peak two weeks of the year. If you’ve paid to stay somewhere, why not enjoy it on the night it’s sure to look most beautiful?
What to expect at your hotel gala?
Whether you’re on a first-name basis with the gardener and the girls at reception, you will be by midnight on New Year’s Eve. Thais love a good party, and even though Western New Year is a total adoption, expect your beloved hotel staff to be equally in on the fun. The Santa hats usually get a second showing, and the background music is at long last anything but.
Can we set off floating lanterns?
Update: floating lanterns are now banned on Koh Samui, owing to fire risks.
Once the pyrotechnics finish, the evening gives way to a quieter practice: khom lhoy, or Thai floating lanterns. Set them off together as a couple, with your whole family, or with new friends. Last year, my whole hotel joined in together – staff and guests swapping lantern techniques. It’s meant as a way to send wishes skyward; a beautiful way to start a new year, even for cynics.
Whether you want beach bars at sunset or need to save a rainy afternoon – you’ll find answers to absolutely everything else in The Koh Samui Guide.
And a happy new year…
Whether you’re coming to Koh Samui for Christmas or New Year, the best (and busiest) time of the year is getting close enough to taste. Are you excited? Ready? Packed? To help streamline your to-do list, find everything you need below.
Koh Samui for Christmas
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Links below include affiliates. As an Amazon Associate, I receive a small commission on resulting purchases at no cost to the customer.