Should we stay in Lamai or Lipa Noi?
Koh Samui’s downfall? It all looks so pretty in pictures. Choosing where to stay is tricky enough as a couple, and even more so when considering the needs of small children or a big group – as is the case with this reader’s requirements. Here are the pros and cons we had to offer:
Lamai Vs Lipa Noi
Lamai pros and cons
The Lamai villa choice is in a secluded spot about 10 minutes’ drive from Lamai town.
Lamai villa pros:
1. Nice neighbours: In terms of great neighbours, the villa is a short drive to Rocky’s Resort which has a fantastic restaurant and makes a nice spot for drinks as well. There are also a few neighbouring resorts in walking distance along the beach – all will be happy to provide drinks of various coconut concoctions.
2. Pick-and-choose your amenities: While Lamai town, in parts, is fairly seedy, it’s a 10-minute drive from the villa to anything regardless – so you can easily pick and choose what you like from a comfortable distance. As one of Samui’s larger beaches, Lamai does have good conveniences, like a big Tesco supermarket.
3. Easier exploring: More so than distant Lipa Noi, Lamai makes a good base from which to explore Samui’s other main beaches: Chaweng, Choeng Mon and Bophut are all within a half hour’s drive. With small children, it makes for shorter excursions in hot weather.
4. Villa management: In this case, the Lamai villa is managed by an established and reputable company, whereas the Lipa Noi villa simply has a first name for the booking contact. Always nice to have a little extra peace of mind where large security deposits are involved.
Lamai villa cons
Not walkable: While the villa has a few neighbouring resorts on the beachfront, its out-of-town location puts it on a curvy section of Samui’s ring road with fast traffic. As such, we wouldn’t recommend walking and car hire is recommended. This isn’t necessarily a con – a car adds a lot of flexibility to a holiday!
Lipa Noi Pros and Cons
The Lipa Noi villa choice is in a remote setting with no nearby tourist infrastructure or amenities. However, roads are very quiet and have a local, village ambience. It would suit a group happy to entertain itself in full.
Lipa Noi villa pros:
1. Sunsets: Lipa Noi faces due west and has especially beautiful sunsets.
2. Quiet beach: Compared to the Lamai option which shares its beach with other resorts, the Lipa Noi choice offers a quieter beach (very few tourists walking past, probably just fishermen).
3. Paddling: Shorelines on this coast are shallow and the water tends to be very calm – good for children to paddle.
4. Extremely secluded: Ideal if you hope to do nothing whatsoever and the villa provides someone to cater your meals.
Lipa Noi villa cons
Proximity: The villa’s closest supermarket is in Nathon (driving distance only) but everything else on the itinerary is 45 minutes’ drive or more. Nathon isn’t very suited to small children (heavy traffic, not much to hold their interest) – it is, however, much more local than the very tourist-centric towns of Lamai, Chaweng, etc.
A few more reader questions while we’re in FAQ mode –
- Which Koh Samui cooking classes welcome children? Answered.
- Are there elephant experiences on Koh Samui suitable for kids? Answered.
- Where to eat gluten-free in Thailand? Answered.
- Where to watch AFL football on Koh Samui? Answered.
More questions? From typical where to stay FAQs, to tiny details that can make or break your trip, use our 15 years’ Koh Samui experience to ensure your best vacation ever. It’s all in The Koh Samui Guide!