Hi there, me and my boyfriend are currently in koh tao leaving tomorrow (tues) and moving onto koh samui. I've tried looking online to pre book cheap accommodation before we arrive but I am struggling to find anywhere! We want somewhere lively (ish) and close to the beach! If anyone has any recommendations or advice that would be great!
You don't mention your budget and if agoda is too expensive then the very many really budget places are not online. Both Chaweng and Lamai are so built up that you will find a place no matter where you look. Probably best to arrive, look around and pick a stretch of beach that appeals and find something there. It would save you yet another move after 1 day as another persons recommendations may or may not suit you.
I'm hoping you are travelling with some sorta device and see this before you arrive - it's 6.05 am Thai time Tuesday as I write.
Wow, you won't get too many places on Chaweng or Lamai for 500 high-season these days - one place may do it is New Hut a traditional travellers' bungalow place beachfront about 1/4 the way down the beach from the north end of Lamai. It was 350 (outside bathroom) last time I called by a few seasons ago. The beach is startling white - water nice at high tide but you get lotsa rock pools exposed offshore at low tide (which is fine for fossiking - walk 800m south to the central beach for deep enough water all tides and a selection of bars etc - although New Hut seemed to have a cool travelllers' scene to me).
A lot of the ferries from Tao come in at Mae Nam on the north coast. This has probably the biggest range of budget places on Samui. I haven't stayed there since '97 and can't suggest any. The ferry arrival point is in the west of the bay - most of the accommodation and bars etc are in the central and eastern section so it may be a matter of walking along the beach road looking for somewhere likely.
Note that Lomprayah offers free transport from its Mae Nam arrival point (not sure about other ferry companies and some of them may come in at Thong Sala on the west coast ) - great for getting to Lamai etc but if you consider the trawl down to central Mae Nam looks a bit lengthy they would probably drop you off on one of the buses heading for the airport or Bo Phut (another okay northern beach with budget accommodation).
It's been a while since I visited the northern Samui beaches but the beaches always had this horrible mud immediately offshore that was gross to walk through. Maybe it's different these days but beats me how they got rid of it all.
I can't remember any mud but it is possible in areas near drainage during and just after wet season.
I've called by many times since '97 - what has always struck me is that the northern beaches, while okay (they tend to have coarser sand and a pretty steep profile into the water), can't hold a candle to Chaweng and Lamai which are more white sand and world class IMHO. A lot of people moan that the old backpacker joints are gone (Chaweng) or mainly gone (Lamai) but the fact is beach-side development is not overdone - there are no high rise Miami Beach type places. Sure, some of the main street areas behind each are a bit over the top but people who stick to the beach and its accommodation should be happy campers.
Obviously a tad late, but I have always found this Guesthouse to be in a great location and rooms from 500Bht - 800Bht per night. Clean, comfortable, and 2 minutes walk from the beach.
#11 morroco has been a member since 16/11/2012. Posts: 5
Had a look at the website morroco - looks like a pretty good place not far from the beach.
This is the thing about change, not gonna stay 1985 no matter how hard you wish (and I remember '85 - who wishes to go back to that world?)
Sure, the old-timers can't get their Chaweng beachside bungalow cheapies any more - so they are forced a block or so inland. My experience of such places is that they often better than the old beach-side joints in that they have to try harder. So you gotta walk a couple of minutes to the beach - not gonna kill you.
And if they want beach-side - well there are still a couple of places on Lamai. Plus plenty along the beach road at Maenam and Bo Phut.
Not to mention lots of travellers' places on the sand or rocks on the next island north.