While Koh Samui may conjure up images of the sun and sand in your mind, the cute old Fisherman’s village Bophut is one of its well-kept secrets worth exploring. History has it that the migrant fishermen from southern China settled in this region many centuries ago. Although the fishermen have moved on, this exquisite little town still has remnants of the past such as the old wooden dock that creates a mystic fishing village atmosphere.
Today, the Fisherman’s Village stands as a cherished historical part of the region with rustic-style buildings lining the beach road. These buildings house a plethora of trendy restaurants, boutique stores, and some hotels.
Rows of seaside establishments run parallel to the village main street. Image by Enjoy Beach Restaurant Bophut.
Every Friday this modest little town undergoes a transformation and turns into the Fisherman’s Village Walking Street market that boasts a lively atmosphere and attracts numerous tourists from across the island.
There are a few entrances to the village marked with arches. The area mainly comprises of the Bophut Beach Road with small streets that run from Happy Friday Restaurant in the east to The Wharf Samui in the west. Let’s check out some of the fun things to see and do at Koh Samui’s Fisherman’s Village.
Fabuluous bars, cafés, and restaurants
You don’t have to be a food connoisseur to appreciate the food scene at fisherman’s village. While most of the places offer traditional Thai food, you will also find a plethora of multi-cuisine restaurants to suit every taste. From classy and romantic places, to laid-back chill-out spots, there is a place for everyone to enjoy a meal on this colorful side of Samui.
Many yachties anchor at Bophut’s shores to dine at Fisherman’s village. Image by Enjoy Beach Restaurant Bophut.
From street-side stalls selling grab-and-go finger foods to the proper sit-down and eat options, they have it all. If you are seeking great views along with awesome food, check out some of the fancier eateries that open to the Bophut Beach. Places like Enjoy Restaurant offer fancy dishes and drinks at the beach right in front of the old fishing boat deck. While for the young at heart, the trendy Coco Tam’s Bar and Restaurant is an easy favorite.
Peaceful Bophut beach
Bophut beach may not be the largest of the beaches you can find in Koh Samui but it is certainly one of the well-maintained. As a result, it attracts a lot of tourists for day trips or those who are visiting the island. Although narrow, there’s plenty of space for you to relax and enjoy the outdoors. You may take a leisurely stroll by the beach and enjoy the beautiful sunset that bathes the beach in an attractive hue.
Coco Tam’s restaurant is a popular seaside dining spot on Bophut beach. Image by Coco Tam’s Bar.
If you are interested in water sports and activities, the Bophut beach will not disappoint you. Diving is one of the most fun sports you can enjoy at the beach. There are a few diving shops from where you can hire gear and other equipment. The beach is not ideal for swimming but you can still see many people enjoying the water.
When you are in Koh Samui, shopping should be a must-do in your list. The night markets in the area are not only popular for the exotic shops that sell almost everything under the sun, but also the ambiance that emotionally attaches you to this place. The Walking Street Market is the most famous night market with the street lined with tons of boutiques, shops, and cafes. It comes alive on Friday nights with great music and food. Street decorations add up to the festive atmosphere of the place.
A street side shop at the Fisherman’s Village filled with all sorts of fascinating gift items. Image: thedesiwonderwoman.com
If large crowds don’t interest you, check out the other small market called the Elephant Walk Koh Samui, a traditional Thai market with lots of vendors stands. Another great addition to the shopping scene is the Wharf Samui, an open-air shopping mall that complements the fishing village ambiance of the place. They house more local stores than major brands so you can find a good selection of souvenirs and cheap clothing.
Though quiet and peaceful during the day, the Fisherman’s Village is also a venue for lively events at night. On occasions, you can enjoy outdoor seaside movie screenings and parties at Bophut beach while the village streets host art events and performances by local talents.
A spectacular fire dance illuminates the shallow waters of Bophut beach. Image by Coco Tam’s Bar.
Despite becoming a popular tourist place in Koh Samui, the fisherman village has not lost its charm and character. It still has an idyllic village atmosphere that is preferred by travelers of all ages. Families love this village as it’s more child-friendly. The nightlife is fun but more quiet and easy-going which makes Bophut a wonderful retreat to recharge your senses.