Nathon - Koh Samui - Thailand

Nathon - Koh Samui - Thailand

The town of Nathon is the main administrative centre of Koh Samui located on the west coast where local government offices and the state hospital are situated as well as the main car ferry port where the ferry and fast catamarans leave for the mainland and the islands in between. The views from the hills beyond over the coast is stunning as experienced in our luxury Nathon villas.

The town is a working town and provides ample tourist shopping at much better prices than the main tourist areas of Chaweng & Bophut. There is a fresh food market in the centre of the town and a Tesco supermarket at the north end of the town. 

Map of villas in Nathon

The town of Nathon is the main administrative centre of Koh Samui located on the west coast, where local government offices and the state hospital are situated as well as the main car ferry port, where the ferry and fast catamarans leave for the mainland and the islands in between.

Long ago Nathon was one of the places where the first Chinese migrants landed and settled and you will still see the Chinese influence in some areas of the town and there is also a Chinese Temple just off the main road.

This working town is where the locals come to get all their provisions and has a lot to offer the tourist in the form of culture and leisure activities in the 3 main streets parallel to the coast and waterfront by the pier that make up the town.

There is a one way system in place and the first street travelling north to south is the busiest of areas with the main fresh produce market in the centre and the rest of the street lined with shops and stalls selling a wide variety of goods from authentic Thai silks, copied designer goods and souvenirs mingled between normal retail businesses, fruit & veg, flower stalls and a few small cafe's.

Tourists are discovering that this is the best place for shopping, where prices are lower with a better and more interesting choice. Gentle negotiating does work and you may go home with something more quirky for that perfect gift. There is also a Tesco Lotus supermarket at the start of the street near the police station, but it is nowhere near the size of the hypermarkets in Chaweng and Lamai.

The one way system continues turning right off the ring road and then right again along the waterfront where you are met with stunning views. This second street has a promenade lined with trees and it is here that the fishermen bring in their catch and where locals flock at a certain time of the day to buy their seafood. On the other side of the road you will find tour agent shops, souvenir shops, small cafes and restaurants. At the end of the pier you will find a collection of songthaews and taxis waiting for fares for those getting of the ferry to go to the tourist areas.

The third street is located in the middle of the one way system and it is here you will see a glimpse of an authentic local village with the old wooden shop houses built many years ago. This middle street is the venue for Nathon's "walking street" night market on a Saturday where stallholders gather to sell knick knacks and eats and drinks.
Back to the waterfront and in the area between the two piers there is a 'night food market where several food stalls setup here every night offering cuisine from all the different areas of Thailand. It is well worth a visit to mix with the locals sitting on plastic stools eating delicious food at a very low price with a stunning sunset backdrop.

There is lots to do and see in Nathon and is well worth a visit during the day and taking in the sunset before leaving.

For more fine dining you may want to consider the beachside restaurants of Talig Ngam 10 minutes drive further south that have excellent reviews 

Nathon Beach
This is not a swimming beach as the tides are far too low. The water isn't as clean here due to the ferry and fishermen. However, the beach to the south of the town with the large expanse of sand, has ideal conditions for kiteboarding at certain times of the year.

Nathon Beaches

Nathon Beach

West - As this is a commercial area the beaches are mainly used by the fishermen and their long tail boats and there are very low tides. To the south of the main town however the large expanse of sand does provide for other activities on the beach such as kiteboarding.

There is a range of things to do in Nathon


Nathon beach is home to the KBA kiteboarding school during the months April-October where conditions are ideal. Lessons and board hire are available.

Nathon is probably the best place for shopping, where prices are lower with a better and more interesting choice than the shops in Chaweng and Bophut. Gentle negotiating does work and you may go home with something more quirky for that perfect gift.

Walking Street
Every Saturday night in the "middle street' of Nathon a market selling anything and everything as well as the usual food stalls.

Had Lin Waterfall
Located in the mountains behind Nathon, this waterfall can just be a visit with a dip in the rock pool at the bottom of the falls or for the energetic a trek through the jungle up the falls (about 30 mins) and descent alongside the waterfall clambering over huge boulders. This will take you twice as long, but there are cool rock pools on the way. Best to go in the rainy season.

Watersports and Sea Tours

Water ski

The busier beaches of Chaweng and Lamai will have speed boats offering the traditional water ski trips and lessons and some will also offer wakeboarding, paragliding and banana boat rides.

Windsurf and Paddleboard

Windsurfing and Paddleboard rental is available on Lamai beach as well as lessons for both kiddies and adults. Maenam beach also a windsurfing facility as well as other sail boats.


Kayaks can be hired on most of the beaches around Koh Samui either through hotels or concessions for paddling around locally.

Diving and Snorkelling

Koh Samui does not have much in the way of coral and therefore very little marine life. Many dive companies operate diving and snorkeling trips to other dive sites as well as PADI dive courses.

Deep Sea Fishing Trips

The waters surrounding Koh Samui are teaming with fish and there are many day or night-time game fishing tours available, catering for beginners and experts with all equipment provided.

Sight Seeing Boat Trips

One of the most popular is to the stunning islands of the Angthong National Marine Park Optional snorkelling and kayaking is usually available with equipment provided and lunch. A private speedboat trip around Koh Samui's coast exploring secret beaches is another option.


Kiteboarding is availabel on Koh Samui at two locations at different times of the year on the south and west coasts when the water is shallow and has ideal conditons


An adventrure playground for  great day out for the family with fun for kids of all ages and the adults! Swimming pools, waterslides, boating, bungee trapeezing, mini go karts, mini golf course, tree to tree rope bridge course (2 levels), inflatable bouncey castle.

Sailing Charters

A great way to see the coastline of Koh Samui for a few hours or have an overnight stay visiting other islands is to charter a sailing boat. Different size boats all for a romantic sunset cruise for two or to have fun with a large group of family or friends.

Other Activities

Namuang Safari Park

Tours include 20min ATV Quad bikes fun , elephant trekking and show and a cable ride which includes one ride for 6 - 11yearolds.

Go Karts

There are three Go Kart tracks now on Koh Samui and provides a fun time for all the family. There are both single and double karts should you wish to drive wth younger kids.

Football Golf

Get family and friends playing, laughing and enjoying this fun game of kicking the football into 18 holes on a tropical course with a cold drink provided.

Muay Thai Boxing

The national sport of Thailand with venues to spectate or partake in professional Muay Thai are found in Chaweng and Lamai.


There is a PGA International championship 18 hole par 72 golf course and two 9 hole courses all with stunning views. There are also two driving ranges.

Temple Visits

There are many temples in and around Koh Samui representing the history and the different cultures of the Thai residents all well worth a visit some of which have amazing views.


There is ample souvenir and fashion shopping in the popular coastal towns with Koh Samui’s biggest shopping "mall" Central Festival located right in the centre of Chaweng. There are also the "Walking Street" markets in different places every night of the week

Walking Street Markets

There is a "walking Street" market in one of the towns and villages on everyday of the week - the most popular being the "Od Fisheman's Village" at Bophut which takes place on a Friday night from around 4pm until 10 - 11pm.

4 W/D Jeep Jungle Tour and Waterfall

Enjoy an exhilarating trip on the back of a jeep through Koh Samui's jungle and across rivers reaching the highest point on the island experiencing amazing view.

Cinema and Ten Pin Bowling

There is just one cinema at the present time located at the Tesco Lotus Supermarket and shopping mall alongside a small bowling alley. Another bowling alley is located in the centre of Chaweng.

Thai Cookery School

SITCA is the original Thai cookery school on Koh Samui based in Chaweng and has both morning and afternoon sessions to learn all about the ingredients and preparation. The manager of your luxury Koh Samui villa will be able to assist with recommending other cookery schools nearby.


Eating out in Nathon

There are many places to eat out in Nathon

Art Café
A quaint bohemian style café - a great place for a break from shopping and to enjoy a light healthy lunch and a coffee.

Sunset View
Located at the south end of the waterfront road and one of the best places to enjoy a sunset meal of Thai or western cuisine (including pasta) under the covered open terrace. This is complemented with the fantastic view and warm friendly service.

Max Murphy's Irish Pub
The first and only pub in Nathon for ice cold beers and delicious pub food located at the north end of the town. Welcome addition to Nathon for the expats as well as the tourists.


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