When I first visited Koh Samui back in September, my family read my trip coverage very carefully as they knew that they too would be visiting the island soon. When we arrived I asked them if there was anything I had posted about that they were interested in seeing. The beautiful waterfalls? The majestic temples? My dad and sister responded in unison: THE KOH SAMUI ICE BAR!
Fair enough. There is something pretty darn cool (pun fun!) about being in a 20 degree Fahrenheit room, drinking out of ice glasses, on an island in the Gulf of Thailand. Bar Ice Samui is shockingly not the only ice bar in Thailand, with other frosty drinking holes appearing in Bangkok and Pattaya.
The bar has been around for a while but is basically being rebuilt from scratch after the devastating floods one year ago. They have been slowly rebuilding the sculptures, like this famous ice tuk-tuk, which wasn’t around for our first visit.
Along with the tuk-tuk there is a dragon, a geisha, and an elephant sculpture. The floors, walls, seating and the bar are also all completely constructed of ice.
The bar is in a kind of out-of-the-way location, but there is a free taxi that runs through Chaweng between 4 and 11pm every 20 minutes or so. Or you can walk like we did, but be warned that you will pass through some fairly seedy areas. Nothing dangerous, except to, you know, the innocence of your retinas.
Entrance ain’t cheap. Just walking in the door will set you back 375 baht (about $12USD). A much better deal is the 500 baht ($16USD) package, which entitles you to one free drink, or two free drinks if you arrive in a group or with one of the flyers being handed out along the Chaweng strip.
However, super stylish cold-weather gear like these amazing hats are rented free of charge. You can also buy them as a souvenir in the gift shop if you want to take a bit of authentic Thailand home with you (ha.)
While I’d recommend this bar to anyone who loves a good fun photo-op or a quirky pit-stop as much as this group, it’s definitely a limited time attraction. Once you down your drinks, snap a few shots and compliment one another on how good you look in a parka, you’re flip-flop clad feet will start to turn blue. It’s cold in there!
Also, this is the only ice bar I’ve ever been to so perhaps they are all like this, but Bar Ice Samui is basically a giant freezer. It’s a very small room and there is only so much to look at and admire. I can only imagine the cost of keeping even a small room in Thailand this cold though, so perhaps it was the only practical size!
Have you ever been to an ice bar? Where was it? Were you wowed or left a little cold? (MORE pun fun!)