As stated in previous posts I have been to Koh Samui only once and it was only for a couple of nights. I spent both nights right near Big Buddha Pier and went to Chaweng for a night. I found Chaweng to be quite touristy and pretty crowded. I am not really into the big night life scene. I am more interested in finding a good pub, having a few drinks and meeting other travelers and trading stories. My question is...Do any of you have any experience with this island? I am trying to find out which area on Koh Samui would better fit my needs, I am also open to other areas. Those two are the only ones that stood out to me.
Thanks, and happy travels
Unfortunately Samui is more about tourists (families) than backpackers. But, I much preferred Lamai over Chaweng. It's smaller, prettier and generally less trashy. My favourite area of Samui was Mae Nam (west of Big Buddha). It's pretty quiet and deffo not a party place, but the beach is beautiful and the sea is great for swimming. It's also much cheaper than the east coast.
If you want to meet lots of other travellers then you might struggle in Samui. I think it's very family orientated. Koh Phangan is much more of a backpacker place.
As the other post states, Lamai beach is nothing like Chaweng beach. It's more chilled out, a nice selection of smaller restaurants and bars and beach from accommodation.
If your looking for a particularly chilled out area the south west islands of Ko Lanta and Ko Hai are remote, with few tourists and largely untouched beautiful beaches. this can a be a bit remote for single travelers and so to meet some like minded people head to Bottle beach on the north side of Ko Phan Ngan. Ko Phan Ngan has reputation for the full moon parties, but as they are centered around Haad Rin Beach, if you explore other parts of the island there are some great little beaches and beach huts which doors open onto the beach.
Hope this has helped and have a great time!