Lamai Beach (Hat Lamai)
beach was the first to be developed for tourism. Actually,
it was once more developed than Chaweng. Before that it was
an authentic and peaceful fishing village. Its infrastructure
has changed considerably within the past two decades. The
entire village nowadays has completely turned into a tourist-oriented
town. Over the last decade Lamai has lagged behind in development
compared to Chaweng. Lamai is a linear village running the
length of the beach. On the eastern coast, the beach stretches
for around four km. Most of the resorts are on the east of
the main road, running down the beach. Usually the beach is
far less crowded and disturbed than Chaweng. The sea is also
deeper and clearer due to being well maintained by the community.
town is smaller and more compact than its neighbor, with a
stronger village feeling as most restaurant bars, cafes shops
and even the main nightclub are all concentrated in the small
but lively center known as "Lamai Gulch". Internet
providers, supermarkets, shops, travel agents, and a caravan
of bars and restaurants are all crammed together along the
roadside and down the dusty side lanes. But for food lovers,
your appetite may not be satisfied here. Although there are
a few good restaurants, there is certainly not as much choice
when it comes to eating and drinking. All imaginable tourist
facilities can be found: post office, e-mail, banks, money
exchanges, travel agencies, clothing shops, trailers, gyms
and body piercing.
Lamai has a broad selection of bungalow type accommodation,
ranging from the budget end of the scale to the magnificent,
the latter with landscaped gardens, swimming pool and seclusion.
There are just a few luxurious hotels along with a number
of guesthouses for a wide range of budgets.
time comes at night and Lamai is pretty lively. Most of the
around "Lamai Gulch". You can find some real home-style
outdoor restaurants serving Thai and western food, the beach
bars offer live bands, music clubs with old rock and reggae
along with trendy new techno music, video features and a variety
of restaurants. There are few discos which start swinging
at about midnight. This area is pretty cheap and is home to
dozens of girlie bars.
amid the touristy ambiance, there remains a village character.
Ride or walk to the back of the beach road and you're in the
heart of banana groves and coconut plantations. You can take
a mountain bike ride up the hill tracks and into the rocky
interior. Or follow the road down past the cape at the southern
end where many large rocks make rather weird formations and
you will find the pools where the famed Grandfather and Grandmother
rocks attract most tourists with the bizarre scenery.
in Lamai is not nearly so varied as in Chaweng. There are
of course plenty of supermarkets and minimarts and tailor
shops every 100 m or so. There are also a string of souvenir
shops on the road running down to Hin-ta, Hin-tai and another
set on the ring road at the northern entrance to Lamai beach.
is a charming old monastery with a tiny museum. There are
even a couple of meditation centers, and a number of local
gyms where you can take Thai boxing lessons.
is also a choice of dive shops offering trips to Lamai reef.
Most are dead coral reefs which can be accessed by a beach
dive from Lamai beach. There are jet skis costing 1,400 baht
per hour or 500 baht for 15 minutes and paragliding for 800
baht per trip.
the last few years Lamai has become an attraction for health
and healing resorts. A number of healing centers and spas
have risen up around the northern stretch and this area is
known as 'longevity beach'. To get to the beach, it is very
easy to take a songtaew running around the island for the
cost of 150-200 baht.
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