Lamai: The Koh Samui beach you haven’t been to

Koh Samui’s second most popular beach is a long stretch of sand on the east coast, south of the island’s reigning hub for activity and nightlife, Chaweng. But there’s something to be said for being number two. With less people and more ambiance, Lamai is the perfect spot for everything from beach parties to lazy lie-ins.

Getting to Lamai is easy. From Samui Airport take a minibus for 150 THB or ride solo in a taxi for 300-400 THB.

If you’re heading to Lamai from Lipa Noi Pier on the island’s west coast, take a 70 THB songtow. Just be aware that most drivers will demand (and receive) 100 THB from tourists.

Once you’ve made it to Lamai, rent a motorbike for 200-300 THB per day to get around.

Beach Republic is an island gem.

Lamai’s northern end is covered with fine white sand and private resorts. Re-enact that beachy Girls’ Generation music video on-location at the fancy Silavadee Pool Spa & Resort. Then spend some time at Beach Republic, one of our favorite beach clubs. The vibe here is eclectic luxury meets booze-fuelled pool party. Something for everyone!

Eat at one of Lamai’s well-known local seafood restaurants. Sabieng Lae on Samui’s southern end, a favorite among visiting Bangkokians, keeps it real with authentic island favorites like gaeng som, spicy soup with shrimp, hor mok, seafood souffle in banana leaf, and lots of fresh seafood.

If you’re in Lamai on a Sunday evening take a stroll down Lamai Jaidee walking street. Every Sunday the street is lined with food stalls, drinks and souvenirs. You’ll find everything from barbeque skewers of crocodile, deep fried fish balls, and that oh-so-local (not!) delicacy of spinning meat, shwarma. We don’t care, it’s delicious.

Enjoy the water (and the air) in front of Swing Bar.

It might not have any pulsating clubs à la Chaweng but Lamai has its own well-developed nightlife scene. There are countless beach bars blaring reggae tunes, but for something a little more happening, check out the beachside Swing Bar. Lounge by the shore or enjoy drinks at the bar with a fun crowd of like minded revelers. If your night isn’t finished there (c’mon, one more drink!) head over to the Irish owned and managed Shamrock Irish Pub for energetic tunes by the live band.

Lamai’s rock formations near Grandfather Rock and Grandmother Rock.

Lamai’s unique natural attraction is a seaside rock formation shaped like private parts and aptly named Hin Ta Hin Yai or Grandfather Rock and Grandmother Rock, which is absolutely not weird at all. Follow the path at the south end of Lamai to get to Grandmother Rock’s belly and legs. The penis shaped pillar, Grandfather Rock, is nearby.

Read more Beach articles:

Koh Nang Yuan: The island less traveled

Haad Rin: Party hard in paradise

Searching for Thailand’s most beautiful, uncrowded beaches

Beaches of Phang Nga: Phuket’s quiet neighbor to the north

Battle of the Phuket beaches: Kata vs. Nai Harn

Thailand’s best island hopping routes