Beautiful Lamai Beach lies along a curving bay on the eastern coast of the tropical Thai island of Koh Samui. The second most popular beach after nearby, more commercialised Chaweng, Lamai give a more laid-back vibe whilst offering plenty of nightlife, places to eat and things to do. Accommodation here is upscale, boutique and presented with traditional Thai hospitality.
The beach fronting Lamai town is considered one of the island’s loveliest, with its southern third giving the best swimming and water sports and the largest selection of eateries and nightlife options. At the northern end of the beach, the sea is shallow until quite far our and the sands are narrower, leading to a rocky headland and the famous erotic Grandfather and Grandmother rocks, the result of erosion by the seas over millennia.
The small resorts backing Lamai Beach itself are set in beautifully tended tropical gardens and hold private villas, often with their own outdoor pools and stunning ocean views. Most are just a few steps from the sands, and offer peace and quiet for the perfect break away from the trials of everyday life. The boutique styling of the properties is either traditional or modern Thai, and the interior décor owes much to Thai woodcarving skills and the glow of Thai silk home décor.
Lamai town is set back from the beach by about 100m, and stretches along the beach road. It’s quiet and sleepy in the daytime, and comes alive by night in its girlie bars, pubs and eateries. Several dance clubs cater for late-night owls with well-known local DJs spinning a great selection of tunes. Monthly parties take place at a huge bar and restaurant just outside the town along the beach.
Foodies holidaying in Lamai Beach will enjoy the choice of cuisines here, with everything from popular international foods as well as locally-flavoured and mainland Thai dishes. There are eateries to suit all pockets, and the nearby Chaweng night market is good for street food as well as souvenir shopping. Seafood is the speciality here, fresh from the ocean and best eaten in a beachside restaurant with a stunning view of the sunset.
If peace and quiet is the focus of your holiday needs, a beach resort at the northern end of the Lamai sandy strand is your best bet. You’ll still be within a comfortable stroll of everything the town and beach has to offer, and evenings lazing on your patio with a cocktail or cold beer won’t be spoiled by loud music from the clubs.