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Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Chaweng beach in 1980

Last week I posted a picture of Chaweng beach in 1980 from a Tweet by Retro Siam (link can be found below first picture) on my Koh Samui Blog Facebook page and it got a couple of thousand likes in no time.

Chaweng beach in 1980

The picture form a Tweet from Retro Siam, Best bungalows on Chaweng beach in 1980, with a view to the South

This was reason enough to check online for a few more pictures from the 8-tees and especially of Chaweng beach in 1980. A few of these pictures can be seen here.

Chaweng beach in 1980

Chaweng beach, picture by, more pictures can be found at

Having arrived myself at the end of 1999 on Koh Samui, my work, being a dive instructor, had me dive Chaweng beach on a regular base in early 2000. At that time I didn't appreciate diving Chaweng beach that much and now it's one of my favorite sites or rather THE favorite site around the island.

Chaweng beach in 1980

Chaweng river, picture by

Sadly enough, there is hardly any direct and convenient access to Chaweng beach anymore for diving purposes. Most resorts don't allow divers to pass through and the few public access areas are very inconvenient for logistics. The parking area is far away from the beach, making it very difficult getting the gear to and from the beach.

Chaweng beach in 1980

Chaweng river mouth, picture by

As part of my job as dive instructor, back in my early days on Koh Samui, I was also working at Centara Grand Beach resort, where I spent hours on an end, watching over the pool and the beach. Hard work indeed!

Chaweng beach in 1980

Chaweng beach, picture by

One of the good thing about diving on Chaweng beach, was the trash hat I collected over the years with underwater clean ups and various dive courses I taught there. The stuff I found over the years is stunning, from money and still in working order cameras and Go Pro's to about a hundred dive masks in all price ranges and conditions, to clothing (sunglasses, hats, shoes, you name it!) and bigger things like parts of jet ski's and sun bathing chairs.

Chaweng beach in 1980

Chaweng beach in 1980 by Jochen Weber, more pix here

Chaweng beach in 1980 has changed, no surprise there. Some may not like it, but it's part of progress and the city that you live in has changed since 1980 as well. Important is how the change evolves and sadly that may bot always be for the better.
Especially in the early days, without the ecological knowledge and know how available today, resorts are build in different ways, which affects us all, ideally and hopefully in positive ways nowadays with the way new resorts are being build or should I say how they should be build?

Chaweng beach in 1980

Chaweng beach in 1980 by Jochen Weber, a view to the South

A unique feature of Chaweng beach in Thailand and for that matter, all beaches around Koh Samui, is that the resorts are build on the beaches and there's a beach road with no direct view onto the beach. Not many places or islands in Thailand have a similar set up. Koh Lanta and Khao Lak come to mind, where i'ts similar but most places or islands in Thailand have a beach, a road and behind the road, the hotels are build, like on Phuket.

Chaweng beach in 1980
Chaweng beach in 1980 by Jochen Weber, a view to the North

I do hope you enjoy these pictures though and also enjoy Chaweng beach how it is today, since in ten years time we will look back at how it is now and we will miss exactly that, what we have now!

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