I'm wondering if people could give me their thoughts on Lamai beach vs. Bophut on Koh Samui. I have definate plans to stay in Maenam Beach for 3 nights and have 4 nights to fill at either Lamai or Bophut Village/Beach (specifically I have reservations at both Lamai Wanta and The Lodge). I like everything about Bophut except I've read the swimming in front of the village stinks and my hotel, which is in the village, has no pool. Is it far walking to good swimming? Lamai supposedly has great swimming but is a bit seedy and overcrowded. I am wondering if you can avoid the commercialism of Lamai if you stay on the beach? My husband and I are low-key - we like drinks on the beach, but not partying (we're in bed by 10-11) and we'd prefer to see as little commercialization as possible and experience more of the Thai culture. Then again, we love a good beach and like to play in the water! I'd love some advice, any advice! I'm really torn! Thanks,...
#1 newbie419 has been a member since 5/2/2007. Posts: 10
Based on what you've written, it sounds like Lamai beach and Lamai Wanta may be more what you are looking for. The Lamai Wanta property is right off the beach, and you could easily have all your meals at the several beach-front restaurants within a few hundred meters of the Lamai Wanta property, including their own beach-front restaurant. In other words, it should be quite easy to avoid the more westernized aspects of the Lamai scene by hanging out right on the beach.
I think the swimming at Bophut is better at some times during the year than others, but I think it is safe to say that the swimming at Lamai is always better than at Bophut. Plus, the pool at Lamai Wanta is right off the beach.
Bophut isn't that far from Mae Nam Beach, so during your stay at Mae Nam you can always hop on a song thaew or rent a scooter and pop over for a look yourself. I hope that helps. Cheers.
I appreciate all your advice... So you think lamai beach itself is pretty chill? I was reading your initial post and grabbing a pillow and a drink under the stars sounds exactly like what we are after. Let me ask you this.. are the beaches pretty crowded in front of Lamai Wanta during the day? We will be there in August which is high season. I was leaning towards the Lodge in Bophut but now you have me thinking about Lamai again! We are coming from the United States and who knows if we'll ever be back in Thailand so I want to make sure we do it right :)
#3 newbie419 has been a member since 5/2/2007. Posts: 10
i'm not sure chill is exactly the word i'd use. it is pretty developed, but the reason there is so much development there is because the beach, both sand and water, is so great. you can stay at less-crowded beaches on samui, but you lose a certain quality of beach in the trade.
in any case, we were on samui in july, and there weren't that many people on the beach at that time of year. there was a bit more of a crowd (a good mix of local and tourists) about 200 meters to the north, but directly in front of lamai wanta had heaps of open sand. it got even less crowded heading to the south.
there isn't much shade directly in front of lamai wanta, in case that is important to you. does that help?
well, at the moment (and this changes by the hour) i'm leaning towards Bophut - one reason being that the Lodge just looks beautiful and we have the "Pent Hut" with a huge balcony literally overlooking the ocean for just 1950 baht/night. Also, I've heard Bophut has some great yoga studios and great live music in some funky clubs. It sounds like the Bophut scene is more what we are after. The question is: do we want to sacrafice the great beach?? My husband says no (he's like a fish), but I"m thinking yes. The Lodge said there is swimming in front of the hotel with fairly clear waters in August and from what i've read, it doesn't seem like Lamai is Carribean blue (is that true?) AND we live on the Atlantic ocean, and pretty much anything is going to be clearer than that... But exacto, your posts have given me much to consider and are part of the reason i'm so on the fence :)) Luckily I can keep both reservations for a few weeks until I figure it out... neither seem to be wanting deposits. Thanks again for all the advice, 419
#5 newbie419 has been a member since 5/2/2007. Posts: 10
Bophut has a far better "scene" than Lamai (though I wouldn't say there were any funky clubs there -- what there are though are reasonable spots for a drink or a meal that aren't full of sex tourists) -- Bophut trys to portray itself as a "family" destination, and it's not doing too bad... but the beach is Very average... (that is a capital V -- not a typo!)
On the other hand, Lamai Wanta is outstanding Bang for your Baht, the beach is pretty good and their restaurant is great -- the sand is yellowish and a tad grainy, but the water is clear (though there's ZERO coral). On the downside, Lamai's nightlife is seedy.
It's a hard call -- Bophut is a good 30-40 minute motorbike ride along a windy road from Lamai, so a late night with a ride home isn't a great idea.
Just to confuse you a tad more, look into Mae Nam Beach -- far closer to Bophut (ten minutes) and the beach is similar to Lamai, not quite as nice, but still pretty darn good!
#6 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,789
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Thanks for the advice... We are actually staying in Maenam for 4 days after (lamai or bophut), so maybe that beach will be good enough to satisfy our beach needs, especially if we take a day trip to Koh Phagnan. Bophut sounds like it may be the better option. Its amazing how much information there is - enough to make your head spin!
#7 newbie419 has been a member since 5/2/2007. Posts: 10