Beach bum village
Northern Haad Sai Kaew, Ko Samet T: (038) 644 282, (086) 315 9833
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This long-running backpacker establishment has a hotch potch of concrete bungalows on a sandy hillside at the far northern end of Haad Sai Kaew.
It's one of the better locations and atmospheres on the beach, with bungalows spread far apart under the shade of towering palms. The older fan bungalows were full during our last visit, but they appear simple and rustic, with mosquito nets, ceiling fans, basic bathrooms and inviting front porches, some with sea views. They come in different colours and sizes, and you get the sense that a new one has been added every year for the last 20 years. Closer to the beach, newer white cottages come with air-con, fridge, TV and sliding glass doors that allow for a view of the sea. Despite this move towards the midrange, Laem Yai still feels like an old school beach bum joint. If you end up here, be sure to have a yarn with the hilarious house bartender -- he's proud of his new little corner concrete bar hut. Note that prices are negotiable, depending on which bungalow you're willing to take.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 10th November, 2013.