Koh Samui : the Lamai neighborhood
Lamai, located south of Chaweng, it’s the second most famous beach on Koh Samui. It has been undergoing massive development for some time. Very popular, especially with the French-speaking colony (who like to live in the area), it is a quieter and more preserved place than its elder sister.
Thanks to the abundance of rocks and corals that are close to the coast, this location is a treat for swimmers and all fans of the sea floor. Compared to Chaweng, the beach is smaller, one may go farther, although there are a few fewer street merchants there. Due to the coral reef’s absence, the sea is a little rougher than usual, giving it a wilder appearance. Due to its reputation for being particularly fishy, this beach is also highly popular with local fishermen.
You’ll be spoiled for choice with Lamai’s excellent hotel infrastructure and wide range of rates, from luxury resorts to cheap motels and basic bungalows. At night, along the main street, you’ll find a ton of stores, grocery stores and restaurants, as well as girlie bars or businesses with live bands, and often crowded pubs that show the latest sporting events live on the big screen. Thai boxing matches are held in the village center every Saturday night (and they’re free!), and the Sunday night market is about to reopen after almost 3 years of absence. Lamai attracts a diverse group of locals, tourists and foreigners, including retirees, families, couples, singles and backpackers. They all enjoy interacting with each other in a friendly and relaxed setting.
In addition to the “Tesco Lotus”, a very popular shopping center in the region, you will also find the “Makro” supermarket, which offers a wide range of food and consumer products to professionals and individuals.
Things to see and do on Lamai
1. Coral Cove
Located at the entrance of Lamai (coming from Chaweng), Coral Cove is a 200 meters long cove, delimited on both sides by rocks, including a peak which separates it from another very famous beach, Silver Beach. The place is beautiful and romantic (perfect for couples or newlyweds). The beach is remarkably well maintained and the water is deep enough for swimming. Relatively quiet and isolated from the other resorts (Chaweng and Lamai), this beach is a delight for all wilderness lovers who want both tranquility and all the amenities and nightlife of the island. You will find hotels by the sea, some built right on the rocks, and others, more inland, but always remarkably arranged and very close to the cove. As far as restaurants are concerned, you will be able to take advantage of the establishments on the beach, the prices proposed are above average, but still suitable. Just in case, you will just have to join the main road which is just nearby and ask a Songthaew to bring you to Lamai center. Finally, for those who like climbing, they can have a great time on the large rocks that adorn each side of the beach.
2. Silver beach
Like its sister beach Coral Cove, from which it is separated by a rock wall, Silver Beach is a 100-meter long cove located on the east coast of the island, close to Lamai Beach (just 2 km). Home to the Koh Samui Yacht Club, the place is simply heavenly with its white sand beach surrounded by countless coconut trees and spectacular granite rocks. Much sought after by snorkelers, this quiet and unspoiled place offers a high standard of dining and hospitality, offering a varied and often very good quality cuisine with breathtaking views over the site. During the day, you can enjoy a good massage by the water, at very reasonable prices (from 200 baht). The beach is quite shady, with many shady spots on both sides. If you walk on the sand, towards the rocks, for about 100 meters, you will find a deep crack through the rock that forms a large pool in which you can swim. The water is often temperate, almost lukewarm. Finally, for all the sportsmen, they can have fun climbing the rocks that delimit the beach.
3. Wat Praputtatepungkorn
Few people know this temple (although it is increasingly visited). The path to get there is often difficult to access and keeps going up relentlessly. It is better to have a 4×4 or to be adept at hiking (in 2-wheelers it can quickly become problematic). However, once arrived there, we can only be amazed by the panorama which offers itself to us. It is certainly the only place on the island where you can admire Koh Samui as a whole. Near the temple, a large statue representing Buddha standing overhangs the wooded and flowery domain, surrounded by sculptures where all the Chinese zodiacal signs appear. A few meters away, a huge reclining Buddha lends its imposing stature to the surrounding nature.
4. Hin Ta Hin Yai
Very close to each other, these 2 rock formations literally called “Grandfather” and “Grandmother” have this particularity that they represent respectively the male and female genitals. It is certainly one of the most visited sites by the tourists of all horizons. For the Thai people, “Hin Ta/Hin Yai” represent a real spiritual value. A local story tells that the bodies of an old couple were washed up in the bay after their boat was wrecked, creating these rock formations. Souvenir stores and cold drinks are available on the street leading to the site. Located at the South of Lamai beach, this place is well indicated by a sign.
5. Lamai walking street
Although at the time of writing this article, the Lamai night market is not yet open. But with the end of the restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the reopening should not be long.
Here is what was happening every Sunday.
Every Sunday, the residents of the neighborhood (but also many tourists) gather at the market, better known as “Lamai Jai Dee Walking Street”, from 4pm. Live music and cultural shows performed by young people from Koh Samui or even “Farang”, take place on a stage located in the center of the market. The most spectacular feature of this Walking Street is, without context, the incredible variety of dishes and foods that are offered by a large number of locals, from the famous Pad Thai, through fish, squid, seafood and grilled corn, or sausages, soups, but also kebabs, pizzas, all kinds of local desserts with amazing colors and shapes, various snacks, fruit, ice cream, etc… A beneficial shock for all your senses. Not to mention the countless stalls selling clothes, accessories, costume jewelry, imitations, toys, decorative items, souvenirs… Lamai’s Walking Street is certainly one of the most authentic and popular on the island.
6. Boxing stadium Lamai
Opening soon !
For all lovers of this noble sport, you will be in the middle of the action. The ring is located in the open air, in the middle of the many nightlife establishments (bars, cafes, pubs) of Lamai. There is no entrance fee! However, as it is often the bars that organize these well attended events, the drinks are a bit more expensive that night. The event takes place every Saturday from 10pm. (Located in the center of Lamai, on the seaside road, about 50 meters north of the “Mc Donald’s” sign).
According to us the best restaurants & bar in Lamai
It is always useful when looking to buy a property in one of the areas of Koh Samui to know some good addresses. Lamai is full of small Thai restaurants that offer very good food. There is no shortage of choice.
Here is a list of restaurants we like to visit on Lamai.
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