KOH SAMUI THAILAND

Lamai is certainly keeping up with the development taking place across Samui with accommodation transforming from backpacker- basic to chic boutique. Famed for its bohemian, laid back atmosphere, the new resorts on the the beach like Zara each resort are inviting visitors to soak up the vibe whilst remaining comfortable and pampered with high level service and facilities. Lamai is well located, close to many of the islands beloved attractions including Grandmother and Grandfather rock, elephant trekking and the mini metropolis of Chaweng.

For those in search of a relaxing beach holiday Lamai fits the bill, with smaller crowds and a relaxed atmosphere. There are plenty of activities for those who need a break from the sunbathing, with jet skies, wake boarding and kayaks available for hire. The beach is home to a wide range of restaurants serving up the daily catch and many Thai and international favourites. Beach vendors serve up delicious local snacks, jewellery and sarongs as visitors sip cocktails and soak up the rays. Skilled massage therapists with small bamboo Salas offer Thai and oil massages on the beach and as the sun sets the inviting beach bars serve tasty cocktails to a soundtrack of funky chill-out tunes.

Lamai is home to many of Samui's major tourist attractions, including the sacred Grandmother and Grandfather rock formations, elephant trekking and Buddhist temples. The Muslim fishing village has a mystical air of serenity, with many long tail boats draped in brightly coloured cloths as protective blessings, moored on the beach. The local temple doubles as a cultural centre, or you can eat at the authentic Jain vegetarian restaurant, where the famous vegetarian festival is held each year.

Lamai is home to some of Samui's most famous 'wellness' centres, offering detox and rejuvenation packages, yoga, meditation and delicious raw food menus. Luxury spas set into the natural surroundings offer exclusive pampering and specialist European treats are available from Lamai's import supermarket. There is plenty of public transport available in Lamai in the form of taxis and the converted vans called Songtaews which transport tourists and locals throughout the island for a very reasonable price. Hiring a motorbike (and a helmet) is a popular way of getting around the island although as roads have become busier many are choosing the safer and more comfortable option of hiring a car from one of the islands many hire operators.