Best Night Markets in Koh Samui

Photo of Best Night Markets in Koh Samui by Tamshuk

The island of Koh Samui has been a surprise to us in many ways. When we decided to travel to Koh Samui, we imagined ourselves swimming in the clear turquoise waters, enjoying stunning sunsets on the beaches and exploring some serene landscapes. However, the one aspect of this island we ended up exploring the most was walking through the night markets almost every day of the week. Although we were expecting some sort of flea markets and walking streets before coming here, we were pleasantly surprised with the night market scene in Koh Samui. During the month long stay at Koh Samui, we visited these night markets every evening, most of the time just to soak in the colourful and lively vibes.The night markets are held at different locations on the island on different days of the week, which we took some time to get a hold of initially. Although a couple of these markets have a similar group of vendors, each of the places have their own distinct look and feel. Below is a list of the five best night markets in Koh Samui based on our experience.

Bangrak Night Market

Night Market at Bangrak

Photo of Bangrak Pier, Bo Put, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani, Thailand by Tamshuk

This market was an unexpected find for us as were just looking to explore the road that goes beyond Bophut towards the Big Buddha. Located a few steps away from the Bangrak pier, along the northeast coast of Koh Samui, this market exudes a local vibe more so because it is right opposite to the local wet market across the beach. Although this night market consists mostly food stalls, there are a couple of vendors selling clothes and household accessories at very cheap prices. We got our own peeler-grater for just 20 Baht from one of these shops. The clothes are priced between 30-100 Baht only which is cheaper than most places in Koh Samui. This market is a nice little place to spend the evening as you sip on a cocktail, enjoy some delicious finger food from the food stalls while enjoying the live performance of English pop songs by a local artist.

Where : Bangrak Beach Road, Opposite to the Bangrak Wet Market, Near the pier.

When: Every Tuesday, 5 PM – 10 PM.

Pro tip: Head there between 6-8 when the market is at its liveliest. Vendors start packing up post 8 PM.

Chaweng Walking Market

Chaweng Walking Market, Koh Samui

Photo of Chaweng, Bo Put, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani, Thailand by Tamshuk

This particular market has changed locations in and around the Chaweng area twice in a span of one month as on January 2019. Ironically, this market has been the most visited one for us due to the down to earth local vibes, vast range of shops to explore and equally diverse servings of food, everything at very cheap prices. This is one night market where locals visit more often with friends and families which gives the place more of a local fair like environment. At this market, you will find almost everything in plenty and the cheapest of prices, from clothes, mobile accessories, household items, souvenirs and beauty products as well. You can also get a feel of the local Thai bands and artists as events happen every evening right at the edge of the market. The food is probably the cheapest you can find anywhere in Koh Samui, with a plate of Pad Thai available for a meager 10 Baht only. If you are looking for a vibrant and colourful evening with the quintessential Thai vibe, this is the place to go.

Where: At the time of publishing this article, the market had moved along the main road that connects Bophut and Chaweng.

When: Everyday of the week, 5 PM – 11 PM.

Pro tip: Get your hands on some cheap clothes as the prices are irresistible. Also, try out the different food from the vendors as they are some of the tastiest and cheapest on this island.

Maenam Night Market

Maenam night market at Chinatown

Photo of Chinatown, Mae Nam, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani, Thailand by Tamshuk

This market is among the ones that are popular with the tourists owing to its location and proximity to the beach area of Maenam. The number of vendors are considerably higher than the Bangrak market and hence you will find a wide variety of things at the shops. Although this market looks quite colourful due to the shops selling crafts, souvenirs and beautiful dream-catchers, the real charm of this place is the location. This market happens along the U-shaped stretch of the Chinatown alley which houses a few Chinese trading shops, traditional houses and a colourful Chinese Temple. Although the prices are a bit on the higher side compared to the previous two markets, walking through here is definitely a memorable experience more so during the advent of Chinese New Year when the entire alley is adorned by beautiful red and orange lanterns.

Where: Chinatown, Maenam

When: Every Thursday 5 PM – 11 PM

Pro tip: The Chinese Temple provides a lot of wonderful photo opportunities during the evening with its bright red and golden shades. Also, try out the dessert puffs from the only vendor selling breads starting from as low as 5 Baht.

Fisherman’s Village Night Market

Night Market at Fisherman's Village, Bophut

Photo of Fisherman's Village Bophut, Borphud Sub-district Koh Samui District Ko Samui District, Surat Thani, Thailand by Tamshuk

The beachside shopping street of Bophut comes alive every Friday evening with the most popular night market in Koh Samui among tourists – The Fisherman’s Village night market. The entire stretch of Bophut beach shopping street is a charming place in itself with the cool sea breeze blowing across the chic beachfront restaurants and and several shops lined on either side of the street. The night market just adds to the upbeat vibe with a carnival-like touch from the bright network of vendors spread across the meandering stretch. This market attracts a healthy footfall, mostly from the visiting foreign crowd looking to soak in the cool chilled out vibes of the evening. The vendors sell stuff that are similar to the other markets on the island and the prices tend to be the most expensive owing to the location being a high-end touristic place. This market is a great place to explore Bophut on a Friday evening at your own relaxed pace as you get a feel of the extremely relaxed vibe of the beach-side.

Where: Fisherman’s Village, Bophut beach

When: Every Friday, 5 PM – 11 PM

Pro Tip: Look out for some unique street performances by the local Thai groups of school children right in-front of the blue boat off the beach. The performances are an interesting mix of traditional dance and theater forms of Thailand.

Lamai Night Market

Lamai night market every Sunday

Photo of Sunday Lamai Street Market, Had Lamai Road, Maret, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani, Thailand by Tamshuk

The huge night market at Lamai brings alive the otherwise sleepy lanes located at the northern end of Lamai beach road. A perfect Sunday evening can be spent here exploring the market that is spread across four lanes emerging from the crossroads. The clothing and souvenir options at this market are a bit different and have a wide range compared to the Chaweng and Fisherman’s village markets. The street food looks delicious as always and is reasonably priced. You will find tiny pop-up stalls serving signature cocktails at prices as low as 60 Baht. At the crossroad, street performers take centre stage with some live music and lively theatrics. Walking through this market will take a good 2-3 hours of your time but it is difficult to not get immersed into the beautiful concoction of lights, colours and cuisines.

Where: Northern end of Lamai beach road.

When: Every Sunday 5 PM – 11 PM

Pro Tip: There is a particular food stall operated by an elderly Thai lady and she serves some of the best Pad Thai around here. At 50 Baht, it is well worth for what you get in terms of authentic Thai flavours.

There are a few other markets that are open everyday but those are predominantly food markets only. After staying in Koh Samui for more than a month, we have realised that the Night Markets are a culture in themselves here. These markets are vibrant, colourful, lively and a great way to understand a bit about the way of life of the local population of Koh Samui. Each of these markets have a character of their own, yet you can feel the hospitality and the love for food of the Thai people at every one of them.