Guide to Lamai Beach - where to stay, play, eat, party and relax in Lamai

Lamai beach Samui Thailand

Lamai beach is the second most popular beach after Chaweng, but it doesn’t have a crowded feel to it, even if it’s only half as long. Lamai sits in a sweeping bay with the sands stretching almost as far as the distant Hinta-Hinyai, or Grandmother and Grandfather rock formations, which are located behind a small headland. Just to the north of Lamai there’s Tong Takian Bay, with a high, rocky headland and plenty of lush jungle sweeping up into the mountains.

Lamai is much quieter than Chaweng but equally as beautiful

For the less adventurous, Lamai beach is still a wonderful place for relaxing during the day, most of all because there’s plenty of space. At Lamai’s northern end, which is one of the few places to have deep water swimming all year round, you’ll also find one of Thailand’s first ever spas, Spa Samui Resorts. This offers some of the cheapest treatments available on the island, but still has high standards although there is a bit of a cult feel to the place with lots of people on fasting treatments. Spa Samui Resorts offer a number of packages, including de-toxing and fasting programs as well as meditation.

Head north along the beach and a little out of town you will come to hedonistic Buddy’s, which is a chilled out bar and restaurant with a giant pool close by. They hold regular parties every month and have recently opened up a huge resort on the opposite side of the road. Accommodation in Lamai’s north end is a good deal quieter and often more moderately priced than elsewhere on the beach; places like Long Island and Rose Garden resort offer a good range of styles and prices, but as you approach the town proper, options get more expensive. One example of this trend is the up-market Pavilion Resort with its justifiably chic restaurant, a great place for romantic dining.

Lamai town, set back 100 metres from the beach itself, stretches along the beach road, and by day can resemble a sleepy village. However, it does have a good variety of shops and services, so just about everything can be found here, including supermarkets, banks, and travel agencies. It’s at night that Lamai comes truly alive, however, and has an entirely justified reputation for luridness, with plenty of bars and bar girls, little of which is hidden away.

In the early morning Lamai is a peaceful paradise

Aside from more seedy pursuits, restaurants can be found in abundance, and there is something to suit most people’s pockets. On the beach road, Sala offers a fine selection of international and Thai dishes and The Shamrock, located nearby, does very good pub grub and more. Nightlife in Lamai is an experience in itself; there are several nightclubs like Fusion or Supersub that play hard house music into the small hours with some of the island’s top DJs spinning their tunes. The beach itself is also well served by eateries that produce some very tasty food by day or night and there are plenty of street-stalls as well.

Criminal activity in Lamai and on the rest of the island has been on the rise in the past year, largely due to the drop in tourism as the worldwide recession that taken its toll on the travel industry. Police are actively investigating the rise, but warn tourists to take precautions with belongings and do not place yourself in a vulnerable situation. Stay in lit areas, avoid walking alone when you can and make use of safety deposit boxes offered by your hotel. Caution should also be exercised when swimming as Samui often suffers from rip tides and strong currents.

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