Choeng Mon (เชิงมน) is a small beach resort on the north coast of Ko Samui, between Chaweng and Bang Rak (Big Buddha).
East of the airport turn-off is Choeng Mon. Choeng Mon is made up of a series of bays featuring white sandy beaches. Although only about 15 minutes north of Chaweng and 5 minutes from Big Buddha, the intervening coastline has kept the beaches quiet and the waters clean.
Choeng Mon Beach is on a small but magnificent bay of the same name. It features wide sandy beaches with a rock formation on one side and a small island you can paddle out to on the other.
It's is very family-friendly area, and being dominated by a handful of upscale resorts, relatively pricey. Inexpensive accommodation is virtually non-existent.
Choeng Mon is northeast of Samui Airport, about 15 minutes away by car. However, it does not lie under the flight path, so it's still nice and quiet.
Choeng Mon is not on the main island loop road, so red songthaews (Ko Samui's pickup truck buses) are a comparatively rare sight. Taxis loiter around the main hotels, but Grab may be a more affordable option, or consider hiring a car or motorbike for the duration of your stay.
Orienting yourself in Cheong Mon is simple enough: there's a crescent-shaped 500m long beach running from west to east, and a main road (Highway 4171) set back about 100 meters away from the shore. All the larger resorts are in this strip between beach and road, while most other businesses are along the main road. The area is small enough that you can easily get around on foot.
There are no sights as such in Choeng Mon. The closest point of interest is the Big Buddha, 5 minutes away by taxi at Bang Rak.
Cheong Mon is known for its water sports. If you want to try a kayak, you can paddle all the way to the islets of Ko Fan Noi and Ko Fan Yai which sit just offshore at the eastern end of the beach. During low tide, you can even wade across to Ko Fan Yai; just don't stray above the high-tide mark, since most of the island is occupied by the zealously guarded Cape Fahn resort.
For snorkeling, there is some coral both at the western end of the beach (past Kimpton) and around the Ko Fan islets. However, when the wind is blowing from the east, the water gets choppy and visibility plummets to near-zero. Scuba tours tend to head out to Ko Phangan and Ko Tao.
If you feel like doing nothing, beaches at Cheong Mon are perfect for lazing the afternoons away since there is not a lot going on outside the resorts. There are also many identikit beachside massage tents with a uniform rate of ฿300/hour. Head to the main road to shave ฿100 off the asking rate, or try a hotel spa if you'd prefer to pay ฿3000/hr instead.
- 1 Searobin Dive Center, 24/3 Moo 5 (Choeng Mon Beach between Sala Samui and Imperial Boat House), ☏ +66 15 357768. Full range of PADI training courses with personal attention. Dive in small groups on a good selection of boats.
Shopping opportunities in Choeng Mon are pretty much limited to the 1 FamilyMart convenience store on the main road.
There are quite a few eating places in Cheong Mon, both Western and Thai. Resorts attract a foreign clientèle, a fact which is reflected in the food and entertainment offered in the resort's restaurants. Thus the Thai cuisine served won't be too spicy. However, do expect traditional Thai dancing and numerous Filipino bands expertly playing covers of Western pop standards.
Restaurants on the beach tend to charge a premium for the views and mediocre food, you'll get much better value by walking over the main street. If you're really on a budget, there are also a few scattered local stalls serving up 20 baht grilled chicken and the like.
- 1 Khun Yak (ครัวคุณยักษ์). This cavernous local institution has an extensive menu, some of the better Thai dishes around (pineapple rice and som tam are great), and an epic kids' play area with huge indoor and outdoor spaces and a veritable menagerie of songbirds. Quite reasonably priced by Choeng Mon standards. Mains around ฿100.
- 2 The Mother. Thai and Western food, with an emphasis on fresh seafood in the evenings. Very friendly service. Ask for "Thai spicy" if you'd like them to actually use chillies! Mains around ฿100.
- 3 Breeza Beach Restaurant (Melia Koh Samui). Easily the fanciest restaurant in town, the Ibiza-styled Breeza is on a platform next to the beach and serves up a Western-Thai menu with oysters, legitimate Spanish tapas, and more. Get here early to snag one of the two-person love seats with great bay views. ฿1000.
The nightlife is relaxed, best bet is to have a drink in the beach-based restaurants.
- 1 Lost Beach Bar. Tucked away at the far eastern end of the beach, this aptly named piratical-looking assemblage of driftwood is probably the most happening place in Cheong Mon (admittedly not a very high bar). Ibiza beats, cold beer, cocktails and occasional barbecue.
Choeng Mon is dominated by a handful of fancy branded resorts, bookended by Kimpton Kitalay at the west end and the Melia at the east end. However, the resorts have a reasonably low profile (no concrete monoliths here) and cheaper rooms can still be found on the side streets. Many older budget and midrange operations closed down for good during the COVID pandemic.
- 1 Cape Fahn Hotel. A small, exclusive and very expensive all-villa hotel on Ko Fan Yai, a notionally private island within wading distance of the beach. The villas are enormous (300-600 sq.m.) and all include private pools. The steep price tag does not include pristine isolation though, since there's boat traffic on all sides and it's close enough to Choeng Mon to hear the beach bars. 18,000 baht.
- 2 Meliá Koh Samui. Formerly The Imperial Boat House, this large resort reopened in 2021 after a thorough reworking by the Spanish hotel chain, adding a maritime Ibiza vibe to the signature if mildly bizarre "boathouses" washed up by the poolside. Family-friendly with a mini water park, kids club, etc. Only downside is that there's little if anything "Thai" about the place. Rooms from ฿4000.
- 3 Sala Samui Choengmon. Stylish small beachfront resort popular with the honeymoon set. While there are a few regular rooms in the back, the main draw are the upscale modern Thai style villas, many with private pools. Free breakfast served either at the airy beachfront cafe or at your villa. Mosquitoes can be a nuisance after rain though. Villas from ฿8000.
- 4 Tongsai Bay, ☏ +66 23 818774. Opened 1987 as the very first luxury resort in Ko Samui, with beachfront suites, cottages, and villas. The resort is on a quiet beach north of Cheong Mon, so you'll have the bay to yourself, and offers a variety of activities, a spa, and plenty of different restaurants to choose from. However, going anywhere else will require a taxi ride. 8,800-32,956 baht.