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Lamai

Lamai is a beach on the east coast of Ko SamuiThailand.

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.

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 location.

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.

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