The best things to do in Lamai include beautiful natural attractions as well as cultural features of this 2nd most frequented resort town and beach in Koh Samui after Chaweng. Located in the central area of Samui’s east coast, the beach at Lamai is considered by many visitors to be the most beautiful on the island. Downtown Lamai is pretty small and features an agreeable dining, shopping and bar scene – it's a great place to wander around after sunset.

    Our guide to the best things to do in Lamai presents what makes Lamai so popular and attractive. Strangely shaped rocks and large boulders in an unusual position? Beautiful temples and pagodas? Amusement and animal parks? A genuine fishing village and Thai-style night plaza? Read on to find all these and more, and that there's always something for you to enjoy in Lamai.

    What are the best things to do in Lamai?

    1

    Silver Beach

    A tranquil coastal stretch in a little bay

    Silver Beach is a 250 metre-long tropical beach set in a charming little bay facing northeast, just north of Lamai Beach. The beach lies at the foothills and cliffs separating Lamai from the more popular Chaweng area on the east coast of Koh Samui.

    Also known as Haad Thong Ta-khian (which in Thai means "the beach of the Ta-khian Trees"), Silver Beach hosts several long-established hotels and restaurants which occupy the full length of the coast. Nevertheless, and according to Thai law, even if you’re not staying at one of the hotels, you still have free access to this tranquil strip of sand which offers some particularly good sunbathing, bathing and snorkeling opportunities.

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    Location: Silver Beach, Maret, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84310, Thailand

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    2

    Hin Ta and Hin Yai

    Unusual rock formations on the south coast

    Hin Ta and Hin Yai are some fascinating rock formations on Koh Samui’s south coast. They've been a source of mirth and wonder on the island since they were discovered by locals many years ago. Art often imitates Nature, but less common is Nature imitating Art, especially the art of the ribald. But in Thailand, anything is possible and these rocks, known as Grandpa (Ta) and Grandma (Yai), look, respectively, like male and female genitalia.

    Set on the rocky coastline between Lamai and Hua Thanon, Hin Ta and Hin Yai raise indulgent chuckles or embarrassed titters from those who go to see them. This unusual and titillating sight has, naturally, given rise to a colorful legend explaining how the rocks came into being.

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    Location: 126/92 Moo 3, Lamai, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84310, Thailand

    Open: Sunday–Friday from 8.30 am to 6.30 pm, Saturday from 8 am to 7 pm

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    3

    Pagoda Khao Chedi

    Outstanding views all around

    The Pagoda Khao Chedi (“White Chedi Pagoda” in Thai) is a “Srivijaya” style chedi situated on a hill above Laem Sor. It is also named Laem Sor Pagoda, which can be a bit confusing for newcomers to the island as there is another Laem Sor Pagoda below it on Bang Kao Beach. Even so, this one's golden. You get outstanding views to all sides from this vantage point. Mainland Suratthani, Bang Kao Bay and Laem Set Point, Koh Taen, Koh Mudsum and Wat Laem Sor all are in view.

    The chedi is, without a doubt, one of the best sundowner spots in Koh Samui. Mix in a little ATV riding adventure, bathing and general relaxation on the beach for a full day of pleasure away from the usual tourist crowds. It's worth it to lie in the hammock at the top and watch the sunset.

    Location: Khao Chedi, Taling Ngam, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84140, Thailand

    Open: 24/7

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    4

    Laem Sor Pagoda

    A towering golden landmark

    Laem Sor Pagoda is a cultural landmark at the southernmost tip of Koh Samui, which is also the end of Bang Kao Beach. Its golden hue, glowing in the sunlight, makes for an astonishingly beautiful contrast to the blue sky and the turquoise sea behind it.

    The entrance is guarded by 2 yak (“giants” in Thai) warrior statues with immense swords, colorful clothing and scary faces. Buddha stands in the doorway to the rear of the statues. This one is always a great photo opportunity as there is absolutely nothing obstructing your view and it all fits on one photograph. It's about 11 km south of Lamai.

    Location: 99/9 Laem Set Rd, Na Mueang, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84140, Thailand

    Open: Daily from sunrise to sunset

    Phone: +66 (0)63 813 8109

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    5

    Lamai Viewpoint

    Great views and an exciting ride

    Lamai Viewpoint is a selection of 3 natural attractions and an exciting ride, all in one well-developed location. Found just off the main Koh Samui beltway, close to the access road for Hin Ta and Hin Yai rocks, it offers impressive views and great photo opportunities within easy reach of Lamai Beach.

    The multilingual staff offer you a choice of 2 packages. One allows you to see the Valentine Stone, Siva Tara Waterfall and Lamai Viewpoint itself. The other lets you get all that plus a zipline ride across the nearby valley, giving you an exciting and unique view across Lamai. The park also has a restaurant by the entrance and a bar at the viewpoint.

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    Location: 127/199 Moo 3, Haad Lamai Rd, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84310, Thailand

    Open: Monday–Friday from 9 am to 6.30 pm, Saturday and Sunday from Saturday 8.30 am to 6.30 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)80 890 9755

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    6

    Wat Khunaram

    A unique insight into Buddhist and Thai culture

    Wat Khunaram is the last residence of Koh Samui’s Mummified Monk. It is an unusual sight and offers a unique insight into Buddhist and Thai culture. The monk Luong Pordaeng died in 1973 in a seated meditative position and his body has been on display ever since in an upright glass case at the temple. Remarkably, even more than 30 years on, the monk’s body shows little sign of decay. For some visitors, having a dead man in full view might be a shocking sight, but for Thais, it is something to reflect upon and revere.

    Aside from the Mummified Monk, Wat Khunaram is a typical Buddhist temple, where local people come to make merit and pray daily. You may buy amulets and other Buddhist artifacts, and you’re also welcome to join or observe the daily rituals and have a look around.

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    Location: Route 4169, Na Mueang, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84140, Thailand

    Open: Daily from sunrise to sunset

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    7

    Thai Boxing in Lamai

    An ancestral Thai art

    Thai Boxing is the national sport in Thailand, and as in most villages in the country, Lamai hosts Thai boxing schools as well as an original Thai Boxing Stadium. Slightly less popular than Chaweng’s Petchbuncha Boxing Stadium which is the heart of Samui’s Muay Thai world, Lamai Boxing Stadium has some great fights every Saturday from 9 pm onwards. The originality of Lamai Boxing Stadium comes from the fact that lady fights are organized here for the great pleasure of visitors: the ladies who fight usually work at the beer bars set all around the ring.

    For those who would like to be initiated to the ancestral art of Thai boxing, the most popular place available in the area is Lamai Muay Thai Camp located in the southern area of Lamai, near Lamai Buri Resort. Another Thai boxing camp based in Lamai is Jun Muay Thai (off Samui Ring Road on the soi leading to Montra Hotel).

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    Location: 124/62 Haad Lamai Rd, Maret, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84310, Thailand

    8

    Lamai Overlap Stone

    Impressively balanced boulders

    Lamai Overlap Stone is a unique geological feature that you can find on a clifftop high above Lamai. It is a challenge to get up to these impressively balanced boulders, but the spectacular views on arrival make it worthwhile for adventurous travelers.

    The steep, rough, dirt-track road leading to the viewpoint should only be attempted on a dirt bike or with a 4WD, and the last stretch may have to be walked, depending on conditions. Alternately, it is a hard 20-minute climb on foot, but there is a refreshment stall at the top and it is an exhilarating experience.

    Location: 438/35 Moo 1, Maret, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84310, Thailand

    Phone: +66 (0)62 120 7838

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    9

    Samui Aquarium

    Marine life and exotic wildlife

    At the Samui Aquarium & Tiger Show, get up close and personal to an array of marine life, colorful birds and exotic wildlife, all in one stop. This family-friendly attraction certainly has enough to keep kids entertained on an afternoon outing. The aquarium features mostly creatures native to the Gulf of Thailand and its series of large tanks are filled with a range of marine life including nurse sharks, leopard sharks, manta rays, catfish and many kinds of tropical fish, and there is an area where visitors can feed the sea turtles.

    At the zoo, the main attraction is Bengal tigers and leopards, which provide some thrilling displays of strength and agility in the daily live shows. There’s also an opportunity to take your photograph with some of them for an extra charge.

    Location: 33/2 Moo 2, Laem-Set Rd, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84310, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)77 424 018

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    photo by Thajsko (CC BY 3.0) modified

    10

    Lamai MuayThai Camp

    A place to learn Thai boxing or simply get fit

    Lamai MuayThai Camp is the biggest Muay Thai camp on Samui Island. At the camp, there are various styles of accommodations to suit various needs and requirements. The onsite cafe is open from 7 am to 11 pm and serves healthy Thai and western food with special menus for fighters or those looking to lose weight or even for people looking for muscle gain. 

    For equipment, the onsite MTG fight gear shop has a large selection of Muay Thai accessories and the top quality brand MTG established over a decade ago, has earned its reputation for high-quality fight equipment utilizing the best designs, craftsmen and materials.

    Location: 82/4 Moo 3, Lamai Beach Rd, Maret, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84310, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 7 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)87 082 6970

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    11

    Hua Thanon

    An old and rustic fishing village

    Hua Thanon is a fishing village that’s home to a large proportion of Samui's Muslim population. The village still retains a quaint, old-Samui feel, with rickety teakwood houses lining the road, as well as some decent seafood restaurants and boutiques selling ethnic clothing and jewelry. 

    You can find the village just south of Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks. While you may not see too many long-tail boats setting off to cast nets these days, it’s worth checking out the teak houses put to modern usage, with the video game arcades and automobiles parked in the front rooms.

    Location: Maret, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84310, Thailand

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    12

    Thong Krut Fisherman's Village

    A tranquil place with spots to enjoy seafood

    Thong Krut is a peaceful shallow-water bay where you can charter long-tail boats out to neighboring islands. Prices are usually fixed but it doesn’t hurt to bargain with a smile.

    Thong Krut, like a lot of Samui, is in a state of flux, with many buildings going up and just as many being demolished to make way for newer ones. Here, you have the choice to eat at several large seafood restaurants, all with sea views and all with the freshest catch.

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    Location: Thong Krut Village, Thong Krut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84140, Thailand

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    13

    Wat Lamai and Cultural Hall

    A local community hub

    The Wat Lamai temple is the social epicenter for the local Thai community in Lamai. Alongside weddings, funerals and religious festivals, it plays host to some lively temple fairs throughout the year with concerts, fairground games, food and even an outdoor movie theater. The temple fairs last for over a week and if you're in Lamai when one is being held, it is certainly worth checking out.

    The musty, dusty Cultural Hall inside the temple complex houses a quaint and unique collection of artifacts from Samui's past. These range from brass and earthenware vessels and cooking implements to wooden agricultural tools, armadillo skins, dried pufferfish, swords, muskets, ancient bicycles, and an amazing 2,000-year-old metal ceremonial drum unearthed in Lamai village. The fact that there are no explanatory notes in English means that you have to use your imagination to compose mental images of Samui's bygone days.

    Location: 64/12-15, Maret, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84310, Thailand

    Phone: +66 (0)77 230 561

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    14

    Wat Laem Sor boat temple

    A unique cultural landmark with impressive views

    Wat Laem Sor is a very large boat with the temple sitting astern and surrounded by a pool of water. The setting makes it appear as if it's in the ocean, which is actually about 200 meters away. The view of this temple is especially impressive when seen from the Pagoda Khao Chedi on the hill above Bang Kao Beach. What you'll see is a large, beautiful, bright blue boat sailing among the coconut trees. When seen together with the beach and Bang Kao Bay, it makes a wonderful sight indeed.

    As you enter the temple complex, look to your left and you will see, growing along the ground like a snake, a large palm tree. When you combine your visit to this temple and the 2 Laem Sor Pagodas with the beach and nearby ATV Adventure Park, it will make for an exciting day of sightseeing, 4WD adventure, bathing, relaxation and fun. At the end of the day, you can then enjoy one of Thailand's fabulous and romantic sunsets.

    Location: Laem Set Rd, Na Mueang, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84140, Thailand

    Open: Daily from sunrise to sunset

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    photo by Per Meistrup (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    15

    Lamai Night Plaza

    A fun place to shop in Lamai

    Lamai Night Plaza is a mini version of Bangkok's Patpong night market, located in the center of Lamai town. The place would easily seem like a place that dominantly sells knockoff items. But after a stroll up and down the lines of stands, it becomes plain that there are also local goods on sale here. It's a fun place to get your shopping in.

    This night bazaar is not as noisy as Chaweng’s version and it even has a food center, a cafe, and a pub to the side. Take your time and remember to smile throughout transactions and bartering. Do not pay the original asking price – you’re expected to bargain hard.

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    Location: Lamai Center, 139/24 Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84310, Thailand

    Open: Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 5 pm to 10 pm (closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays)

    Phone: +66 (0)84 695 3502

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    16

    Lamai Fitness

    A well-equipped gym in Lamai

    Lamai Fitness is a major fitness center in Lamai that features the latest cardio and strength-building equipment. That’s backed up with a supplement shop as well as Muay Thai training and personal trainers to ensure your every need. 

    Try the hammer strength resistance machines and check out the shop stocking the latest in supplement technology from Fight Life, Bio-Nutrics and Musashi. Personal trainers in the gym will be on hand to help you. Gym programs and packages will accommodate all your needs, from daily sessions to monthly intense workouts, including fitness training, Muay Thai, accommodations and nutritional advice.

    Location: 79/30 Moo 6, Maret, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84310, Thailand

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 6 am to 9 pm, Sunday from 8 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)80 558 6461

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    Stephan Audiger | Compulsive Traveler

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