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 privides 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
There are many places to eat out in Nathon
A quaint bohemian style café - a great place for a break from shopping and to enjoy a light healthy lunch and a coffee.
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.