Ko Samui Question

Mar 5th, 2002, 06:37 AM
  #1  
Arlene
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Ko Samui Question

I have been reading some negative things about Lamai Beach, so I was wondering what your thoughts are on Lamai Beach vs Chaweng Beach. I have read that there is a lot more crime and muggings at Lamai and that visitors need to be extra careful there. What are the advantages or disadvantages of staying on Lamai as compared to Chaweng? Is anybody familiar with the Pavilion Resort on Lamai, as I am thinking of staying there? Thanks
 
Mar 5th, 2002, 02:58 PM
  #2  
julie
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We stayed at Lamai beach over New Years (1999-2000) and visited Chaweng as well. I don't know where you're getting your info, but it definitely wasn't true when we were there as far as I could see. Lamai was much less developed and less crowded than Chaweng.
 
Mar 9th, 2002, 09:08 AM
  #3  
Arlene
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Thank you for your response about Lamai Beach. I have not had much luck with people knowing about Lamai Beach. Can you possibly tell me more about Lamai? I was wondering how easy it is to get around Koh Samui, as we don't plan to rent a car? Is it easy to get a taxi to head to Lamai or Chewang from the beach area? Were there any restaurants that you would recommend at Lamai or Chewang? What are the must see sights on Koh Samui? Did you go to the Angthong National Marine Park and is it worthwhile? Thank you for any input your might have. Please email me if you prefer.
Arlene
 
Mar 12th, 2002, 12:41 PM
  #4  
Julie
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We didn't have a car, but rented a motor bike for a day. The island is pretty small and the drivers are pretty crazy. It is easy to travel between Lamai and Chaweng. Songtheaws (sp?), which are basically pickups with benches in the back, travel back and forth regularly. You just flag one down when it comes along, as I recall (there's probably better info about this in the Lonely Planet Thailand). The ride is cheap, but can be crowded. I think you can also get taxis (I know we took a taxi from the airport to Lamai). I didn't see any sights on Ko Samui - just hung out at the beach mostly. Others in my group drove around the island one day, but I can't tell you what "sights" they saw! I did go to the Anthong Marine Park. A friend and I signed up for a boat trip that included kayaking and snorkeling. It was fabulous! We booked it at a travel agency in Chaweng (I think we found it in the Lonely Planet book - can't remember the name now). Don't remember the names of any restaurants - we just walked along the beach and stopped anyplace that looked good! Ko Samui is very laid back and relaxing. Have fun!
 
Mar 14th, 2002, 11:02 AM
  #5  
Arlene
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Thanks for the good info Julie. I am really looking forward to Thailand and Ko Samui.
Arlene
 
Mar 17th, 2002, 04:26 PM
  #6  
Thomas
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I just came back from Thailand and spent about 8 days on Samui both at Chaweng and Lamai. I agree that the Lonely Planet guide has a good section on Koh Samui.

Chaweng is really the hot spot of the island. The street is busy and there are a lot of pedestrians, although there is really only a 2 foot wide sidewalk. You'll find Burger King, McDonald's and Starbucks, as well as, some nice restaurants like Will Wait, which has tasty baked goods. Besides that most of the businesses sell knock off watches, sunglasses, purses and t-shirts. The problem with Chaweng is that you can't swim there and the beach is dirty. I was there in the beginning of February and the waves were too hectic to swim in. However, that may change depending on the time of year.

Lamai is better for swimming. Good waves, but some plastic garbage in the water. I also found throughout Samui that the water had tiny sea creatures of some sort that gave you a stinging feeling on your skin. Nothing hazardous, it was just a little annoying. This too may be seasonable. Lamai in many ways is a carbon copy of Chaweng, except there is less development. You won't find McD's or Starbucks there and there's less traffic at night. Most people head to Chaweng for fun.

Getting around is easy on the island. You can rent a motorbike, but I chose to stay away from it for safety reasons. You can catch a Songthaew (pickup truck with benches and a canopy in the back) between Chaweng and Lamai for about 100 baht. They pass by you every minute. Taxis are quite a bit more expensive.

I took the kayaking tour of Angthong and it was really good. The company I went with was Blue Stars kayaking. There in Chaweng and you can find their ad in the Samui guide that's free in most hotels/guesthouses on the island. You can also find there web site online, just look it up on Google. Although they were a little expensive, snorkleing was included (sometimes not with other tour operators) and the guide was good.

If you're looking for better swimming, check out Haad Rin beach on Koh Phangan (a 45 minute ferry from Koh Samui). The beach was perfect for swimming. No stinging sealife, and huge waves to play in. Unfortunately, accomodation can be a little hard to find, especially around Full Moon Party time. It's the most popular place for young backpackers. The beach is really busy with people and has a sort of college spring break feel, if that's your thing.

If you need more information just ask. I was starving for it before I went and now that I'm back I'd love to share what I know.
 
Mar 18th, 2002, 02:36 AM
  #7  
Katie
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Thomas,

Did you go to Choeng mon beach at all? I'm stayng at the Boathouse hotel in about 3 weeks time.
 
Mar 18th, 2002, 10:28 AM
  #8  
Arlene
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Thomas, thanks for all the great Samui info. I will definitely check out the kayaking at Angthong. Do you have any other suggestions for things to do during the day besides sitting at the beach? Arlene
 
Mar 18th, 2002, 08:55 PM
  #9  
Thomas
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I didn't do these things, but the island also has elephant trekking and you could go on a diving excursion.

My girlfriend took a cooking class at the Samui Institute of Thai Culinary Arts (SITCA). The instructor is very well respected and has guest lectured at the American Culinary Institute. My girlfriend made some Thai dishes and I was able to join her later so we could enjoy the food she made together. You can find them in a entertainment guide on the island or simply use google to look up SITCA.

Besides that I can't think of anything in particular that we did. It's very easy to fill up your day wandering around and checking out restaurants. It's also nice to check out a variety of places to stay. There's everything from cheaper backpacker-type bungalows up to the luxurious Central Samui Resort. You can easily walk from place to place and ask to see a room. One recommendation is the Samui New Star, which is on the island main road south of Chaweng. It has its own stretch of beach and nice pool. We stayed in the cheapest bungalow (1000 baht), which was pretty nice. It looked like the more expensive ones were pretty good looking as well. Also, in Lamai, Jungle Park Resort looked good. I don't know what the rooms are like or what the rates are, but we went there for dinner and it looked very nice.

Kayaking trip is a day long from 8-6pm.
 
Mar 18th, 2002, 09:02 PM
  #10  
Thomas
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Sorry Katie, I don't think I was on Choeng Mon beach at all. I checked out the accomodation guide from Samui and I couldn't find anything out about the Boathouse hotel.
 
Mar 19th, 2002, 10:02 AM
  #11  
Sarah Rey
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It's called the Imperiel Boathouse

Try www.asiatravel.com or www.planetholiday.com and you should find it, very famous hotel.
 
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