While the island of Koh Phi Phi off the Andaman coast grabs a lot of the headlines for Thailand, the Gulf side isn’t exactly lacking when it comes to gorgeous islands. One of the jewels of this part of Thailand is the island of Koh Samui. With a Central shopping centre and an airport, it’s far from an unsettled, undiscovered island. But it still retains its stunning natural beauty, both in terms of beaches and green spaces. Planning a trip? Here are the best backpacker hostels on the island.
Another hostel located in the well sought-after Chaweng part of the island, Behind The Scenes’ bright colour scheme and quirky furniture perfectly captures the fun vibe that Chaweng offers its visitors. With large dorm rooms for both mixed and females guests, smaller twin bunked dorms for friends and more hotel-esque private rooms available, there’s something here for guests of all shapes, sizes and budgets. The comfy living area is a great place to meet friends and fellow travelers, and the hotel is perfectly placed to go on adventures with your newly-made travel buddies – though you may want to start in the hostel’s own nightclub and rooftop terrace first…
Located in the bustling Chaweng area of Koh Samui and close to Central, At Samui Hostel is ideally placed for those who want to see the livelier side of the island. Location is the key selling point of this hostel, but it’s decor isn’t far behind; a crisp, cool and clean minimalist white decor is reassuringly modern and provides a sense of calm and tranquility that’s often hard to come by in Chaweng. It boasts large dormitories – both mixed and female – that can easily accommodate groups of friends, as well as a small outdoor pool next to the onsite bar to cool down in.
Despite its simple, arguably unimaginative name, the Samui hostel has some of the most well thought-out decor among its peers. Whilst its private and guest rooms are simple and basic, its communal areas are decorated with a distinctly Thai flair, with wall-hangings and ornaments that provide an air of authenticity in a part of the island where authenticity has all-but died. The superior dorm rooms too offer a change from the simple metallic-framed bunk beds, resembling something of a boat cabin instead. With its cool decor, Chaweng location and cheap price, it’s a great option for backpackers who are looking for a place to crash in the livelier part of town.
Close to the uncrowded Choeng Mon beach | brianfagan/Flickr
Located near to the idyllic, white-sanded Choeng Mon beach and the throw of a stone away from the night market of the same name, whilst it may not be in the nightlife hub of Chaweng, you’ll be far from bored. Both dorm rooms and private rooms are available depending on your preference, and the clean, white colour scheme of the hostel won’t leave you worrying about the cleanliness of the place. With a restaurant onsite, communal areas with a pool table and private pool on offer, it offers more than some hotels do on the island – at just a fraction of the price. A perfect option if you’re looking to explore the island will a full night of sleep away from the noisy nightlife.
The Dream Cat-Cher Hostel might be a little bit to far away from the action for most people, but for those who want a relaxing stay on Koh Samui near the beach, it’s the perfect option. It’s a beach side hostel that’s close to the ferry port in Nathon, making it a convenient choice for those who don’t wish to take an expensive taxi on top of their ferry costs, and has friendly owners who’ll go out of their way to make your trip worthwhile. The dorms are basic, but perfectly fine for a few nights – it is a hostel after all. Air con makes the stay comfortable, and the cats that live on the property provide a homely feel. If you’re looking for a quiet, beach side hostel on a Thai island, look no further than here.
It's located near the Big Buddha | Tim Parkinson/Flickr
For something a little different to the usual hostels on the island, Casa Luna is a great option. It holds a distinctly bohemian, almost North African-cum-Mediterranean feel with its decor, with inviting communal areas to lounge beside the beach in and humble yet comfortable dormitory beds to rest up on. There’s a bar and tapas restaurant attached to the hostel, meaning you won’t have to worry being without great food and even better cocktails and, with its location next to the famous Big Buddha statue on the northern edge of island, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better placed hostel. Add its friendly staff and owners into the mix and there you have it – the recipe for a perfect backpacker hostel.
Staff will help with tickets and tours | egmuri/Flickr
Clean, white and modern, what really makes the P168 hostel stand out from the crowd is its rooms themselves. Rather than being a conventional, bunk-bed hostel, it’s a capsule hostel, meaning guests can enjoy a little more space and a little more privacy that they might be used to in other hostels, and each capsule comes with a television inside, for those of you who need to catch up on all the latest Thai soap operas. Capsules don’t appeal to you? It also has a number of private, conventionally-styled rooms too. With a restaurant on site too, as well as staff on hand to help you to book tickets and tours, it’s definitely a great place to stay on Koh Samui – for a great price as well.
Us Hostel boasts an ideal location near both the gorgeous Bophut Beach and the Big Buddha statue. With its shipping-container rooms that have it feeling more like Shoreditch than Samui, Us Hostel has everything that an island hostel needs and then some. Both humble mixed dorms and private rooms are available, and guests can look forward to an on-site restaurant and and a refreshing swimming pool. There’s a strong social aspect to this hostel as well, fostered by the inviting communal spaces and laid-back atmosphere that surrounds the place and typifies the island itself. Comfortable and modern, it set the standard for other hotels on the island to follow.