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Lamai

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Lamai is a beach on the east coast of Ko Samui, Thailand.

Orientation[edit]

The southern third of the beach has the widest strip of sand, is the best for swimming, and has the most nearby eating and drinking and shopping options. To the north, the water doesn't get deep enough for swimming until you're quite some distance out, and the further north you go, the narrower and quieter the beach becomes, eventually becoming rocky towards the headland.

There is a significant number of girlie bars along the main street as well as in some side streets. They are most prevalent in the southern part of town, while the northern part is virtually free of them.

Get in[edit]

Minibus transfers between Lamai and Samui Airport cost about 150 baht/person; a private taxi charter costs around 300-400 baht.

A minibus from the ferry terminal (normally) sets you back 60 baht, but most tourists are asked (and do pay) 100 baht. See the Ko_Samui#By_bus section about how you may try to avoid that.

A songteow to and from the pier costs B70. Do not use as a private hire - just hop on as it comes and go with the locals.

See[edit][add listing]

Grandfather and grandmother stones

Hire a jeep or motorbike and explore the surrounding area of Lamai as there are plenty of interesting attractions to see. Ko Samui's most popular tourist sites are in this locality so if you're getting bored swimming all day, try some exploring around the area instead.

The south of Lamai, once you get past the Muslim Fishing village Hua Thanon, is Samui before becoming the popular tourist destination it is now. It gives you a view of lush greenery, livestock grazing in the fields, and little roadside cafes selling drinks and Thai dishes.

Between Lamai and Hua Thanon lies two famous rock formations: Hin Ta and Hin Yai also known as Grandpa and Grandma rocks. These formations look like the male and female genitalia, respectively. What makes these rocks even more strange is that they are close to each other, giving way to a legend explaining how they came to be.

Near Hin Ta and Hin Yai is a small beach. It is not for swimming but it gives you time to cool your feet. Small souvenir shops sell clothes, postcards, drinks and snacks including the local sweet "galamae". Parking is convenient (20 bath) and viewing these popular formations is free.

The Wat Lamai Temple has played host to temple fairs along with weddings, funerals and various religious festivals. It features concerts, fariground games, food and an outdoor cinema. The temple fairs are week-long celebration and are worth seeing if you happen to be in Lamai during one.

The Cultural Hall within the temple contains a collection of artifacts from Samui's past. The collections range from brass and earthenware containers to a 2000 year old metal ceremonial drum dug out from a Lamai village.

Wat Khunaram houses the body of one of Samui's most famous mummified monk, Loung Pordaeng. Loung Pordaeng passed away 20 years ago and, by his request, his body was placed in a glass case. His body has remained in the specially-made glass case since his death and amazingly, shows only a few signs of decay.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Take a swim in the Gulf of Thailand. The beach is wide and has nice sand.
  • Exercise at 3 different fitness centers. Lamai fitness is the cheapest.
  • Head down to walking street on a Sunday evening for a wide variety of stalls, live music and activities for children. Located in between the bridge and the local market, walking street is always busy with Thai's and Westerners alike.
  • Check out the amazing Ovada Showband in the Samui Shamrock. The 5 piece live Phillipino band play on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays; and with a repertoire of over 800 songs in genres such as rock, pop and reggae this is a great night out for everyone and anyone!

Diving[edit]

There are numerous dive shops in Lamai though they all have one thing in common: there is no diving on Ko Samui and so they all travel to Ko Tao for the day.

  • Bophut Diving School Located on Lamai Beach Rd between Churchills and Sri Nuan 2. Bophut Diving School has a well-stocked shop of dive equipment. They do thrice weekly trips to Ko Tao and offer courses from bubble maker through to dive master. They have a boat of their own and, while slightly more expensive than other shops on the island, it is worth the extra for the experience.
  • Live & Let Dive Located on Lamai Ring Rd not far from the Beach Rd. This is a friendly place to dive. They offer courses from bubble maker to instructor and also first aid and technical diving courses. They offer daily trips to Ko Tao on a speed boat, with 2 fun dives including breakfast, lunch, equipment, insurance, and an instructor. Returning back to Lamai at approximately 15:00. [1]

Buy[edit][add listing]

There are lots of souvenir shops lined up on the main street. It is not uncommon for the shopkeepers to ask 5 times the normal tourist price. Bargaining is always possible when it comes to souvenir and souvenir-like products. Even when a price is indicated a discount up to 50% might be available. As many shops and the often cheaper market stalls sell mostly similar products, ask at several places to get an idea of what a reasonable price is before bargaining for the product you really want.

  • Night Market Not far from McDonalds on a side street is a night market which opens from around 18:00-midnight. There are numerous stalls selling all types of handicrafts, jewellery, art and presents. Most vendors enjoy bartering with you and will accept a lower price than they first offer. Although not the cheapest price to buy things from in Thailand it is one of the cheapest places in Lamai.
  • Tesco Lotus Similar to every other Tesco. There is a small mall before entering the supermarket with many shops selling clothes, beauty products and electronics and also some restaurants including KFC, Sydneys Fish and Chips, and Black Canyon Coffee. Tesco Lotus itself has some clothes at cheap prices and food which is price-marked. Great if you are self-catering.
  • Walking Street Every Sunday, Lamai beach road in between the market and the bridge is now host to walking street. The whole of the street is closed off to traffic and is full of stalls selling clothes, handicrafts and food. The area is full of Thai people when the market is on so prices are cheap and the food is fantastic.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • the dining room [2] Located at Rocky's Boutique Resort, exquisite fine dining French Mediterranean cuisine.
  • The Bistro [3] Casual beachfront dining at Rocky's Boutique Resort.
  • Barrio Latino Across from McDonalds. Lovely tapas, Latin music, amazing cocktails. Live acoustic Spanish guitar player twice a week. A must-visit in Lamai
  • Kamalaya [4] has three eateries: Soma Restaurant, Amrita Cafe, and Alchemy Bar.
  • Kokomiko - Thai / International restaurant on the ring road between Lamai and Hinta Hinyai opposite the DTAC tower. Serves quality food for over 13 years and is well-known by the expat community. Homemade spaetzle, gulash, schnitzel, and steaks and the best Thai dishes.
  • Krua Mapraw - Thai restaurant on the ring road across from the IT Complex on the way to Chaweng. They serve rice and noodle dishes, soups and seafood for reasonable prices, starting at 25 baht.
  • Lamai Food Market Located next to the boxing ring and opposite McDonalds are a wide range of stalls open from around 16:00 to midnight. Stalls include Thai food, pizza, fish, kebabs, fruit shakes. At cheap prices and locally run this is definitely a place to visit more than once.
  • Pizzeria Napoli Also called Boomerang Pizza, this restaurant is located not far from the boxing ring on Lamai Beach Rd. The pizzas are the cheapest in town and any topping is possible. With a menu including pastas, breads, and also Thai food, and a chef from Napoli, this is the best Italian in Lamai. Watch out for Mo as well, the Thai mama boss. Hilarious if you have the time to sit and talk to her while waiting for your food.
  • RYDA Cafe Lamai beach. Good food and cheap price service. Free Internet. phone=""+66 81 733 3038 email=""ryda_thailand@hotmail.com
  • The Spa - on the right side, on the Lamai to Chaweng road. The restaurant is hidden by the hotel building. Go there along a small path on the right side. The setting is very nice, located right on the beach. The food is among the best on the island. You get healthy food in all styles: Thai, pasta, salads, seafood, burgers, etc., at reasonable prices.
  • Sri Nuan 2 Located on Lamai Beach road just across from the Mynt Bar Sri Nuan 2 is one of the most popular restaurants in Lamai. It serves a wide range of Thai food and some delicious Western dishes. Fresh fish (including snapper, lobster, crab, mussels and shark) is also served with your option of how it is cooked. With super cheap prices, super friendly staff and also a take away option this is definitely worth a visit.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Churchill's. English expat pub. Good for a bite as well.  edit
  • Eagle Pub (live rock music)
  • Mynt Bar Located across from Churchills. This is possibly the only real wine bar in Lamai. With live sports, pool tables, a juke box and friendly staff, it is always a good night.
  • Outback Bar Located opposite Cozy Corner and not far from the Samui Shamrock is the Australian Outback Bar. With live sports, good grub, lots of beer and barbecues this is a very popular places with locals and tourists alike.
  • Pocahontas Bar (to get a break from the hello sexy man rat race)
  • Rock Bar Located at Hin Tai Hin Yai, the Rock Bar is a chilled out place where you can relax on the rocks or on the beach and watch the sunset. It is also possible to get bamboo tattoos here and on occasion the Thai reggae band 'Job 2 Do' play on the rocks.
  • Samui Shamrock, (Located on Lamai Beach Rd.), [5]. Famous Irish pub, bar & restaurant that shows all premier league football and international rugby, as well as live music from top bands each and every night.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

While development of Lamai Beach has made many places there expensive, cheap rooms still can be found just by walking (or driving) around the streets by any traveller familiar with that process. In the peak season some places may be full, however, it was still possible even just 3 days before New Year's. You'll just likely end up either walking around more or paying more. The basic rooms start from 150-300 baht, for 350-400 baht you can have a fan room with a fridge and TV in some places. On-line booking is mostly not available for those cheaper places.

  • BangPor Bungalow (northeast coast of Samui). checkout: 12:00. Beautifully situated on the unspoilt and very peaceful beach of Bang Por, the bungalow is only but a short ride away from the famous 'Fishermans Village' and the nightlife of Chaweng and Lamai. It is 200 m from many authentic Thai restaurants, bars, a 7-11 convenience store, pharmacy,and a newly opened water sports centre. Recently refurbished, the bungalows offer great value for money with air-conditioning, cable TV, Wi-Fi and a cafe bar. From 530 baht.  edit
  • Buriraya Resort and Spa, 208/1 Moo 4, Maret. 7,200-27,000 baht.  edit
  • Fenix Resort Samui, 26/1-3, Moo 3, Maret District, +66 77 424 008 (, fax: +66 77 424 009), [6]. Perfect place to visit for a holiday with the family or friends. This beach resort has a variety of in-house activities the hotel provides such as beach volleyball, kayaking and snorkelling . For accommodation you can choose from their normal rooms to villas. Enjoy the breathtaking view on the beach front. Great facilities like a swimming, beach bar, a restaurant and outdoor Thai massages are available  edit
  • Lamai Villa, Samui Beach Village, Lamai, +64 78 656 625 (fax: +64 93 531 995). 3 Bedrooms, 3 bath luxury holiday villa with private pool and tropical gardens From US$2675/week.  edit
  • Langham Place Samui at Lamai Beach, 146/24 Moo 4, Lamai Beach, Maret (Lamai Beach), 077960888, [7]. Luxury hotel for travellers who enjoy the finer things in life. Prime position beach side and comprises a modern village of 77 villas and suites many featuring personal plunge pools and views over the Gulf of Thailand. 10,000-30,000 baht.  edit
  • MyQSamui*. [8]. Beach front setting, protected by the reef, overlooking luminous white sands.
  • The Passage Samui, Laem Yai Beach, 57/6 Moo 5, Angthong, Koh Samui, 077-421721 (, fax: +66 77 421 727), [9]. A brand new boutique hideaway.  edit
  • Rocky's Boutique Resort, 438/1 Moo 1, Maret (south end of Lamai, past Hinta Hinyai), 077 233 020, [10]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Resort with lush tropical gardens and friendly service. One of the most well-known and popular boutique resorts on Koh Samui. 5,000-18,000 baht.  edit
  • Sea Breeze Inn, (south end of Lamai). Not the cheapest but probably the best deal overall on Lamai, it's still in the budget category. Rooms vary from huts with fans to modern suites with AC. Decent restaurant and bar. Nice deck hangout area. Right on the beach. Lots of stuff short walking distance away.  edit
  • T&T House, 124/7 Moo 3 Hat Lamai (south end of Lamai). One of the cheaper deals with decent rooms, though not at the beach. The reception is at the T&T supermarket. From 250 baht for a bungalow with private bathroom.  edit
  • Varinda Garden Resort 82/3 Moo 3 Maret, has a great hillside (not on the beach) location that's pleasantly away from the drone of the commercial area, with views of the whole bay from their pool and tower seats, excellent kitchen and amenties like massages, mopeds, taxi to airports, and endless tropical garden surprises around the bungalows.

Contact[edit]

Internet cafes are plentiful and typically also offer international calls, fax services, and flight confirmation. The connection and speed is generally good. Expect to pay 60 baht per hour.

Get out[edit]

  • Your guesthouse and many other places in town can rent you a motorbike for between 150 to 200 baht a day. Bicycles are a bit harder to come buy but also available for about 100 baht per day. As the traffic is left-sided you should be very careful (and wear a helmet) while driving even if you are familiar with driving on the left, other road users might not. Accidents, sometimes with fatalities, are too common despite the light traffic.
  • Travel Agencies can sell you bus tickets with pick-up from your hotel and including the ferry to many destinations in Thailand such as Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi. Booking the same tickets in Nathon or for trains at the Surat Thani station works out to be significantly cheaper sometimes as some agents will attempt to get double the regular price. Check train fares on the website of Thai Railways first. 2nd class sleeper to Bangkok should including hotel pickup and boat should not exceed 950 baht. Bus to Bangkok, 600-650 baht.



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