Koh Samui in particular is a standout in Thailand for it crystal clear water, thousands upon thousands of colorful tropical fish, long sandy beaches as well as many smaller islands to explore. Snorkeling and scuba are some of the favorite past times here
Chaweng is Samui’s most popular resort area and not only boasts the longest beach, but also the biggest shopping and entertainment zone on the island. In many ways it is just like any other major tourist hot spot, with hundreds of hotels, restaurants and bars scattered along and behind its fine white sand. Despite a serious upgrade that has created a more family-oriented feel, Chaweng still remains party central and has the highest density and widest selection of clubs, bars and restaurants on the island.
Lamai Beach is the second most popular beach on Samui. It doesn’t have crowds that Chaweng does even though its only half the size. Lamai sits in a sweeping bay with the sands stretching almost as far as the distant Hinta-Hinyai (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 town, set back 100m 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 – supermarkets, banks, travel agencies. It’s a far more pleasant area of development than Chaweng, which is about 15 minutes away by bike to the north via a hilly road. Lamai town is also known for their wellness spa’s.
As with the rest of Thailand, Koh Samui benefits from a low cost of living, great health care a warm tropical climate and friendly citizens.