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History of Lamai Beach

Although the island of Koh Samui has been inhabited at least since the 16th century it was very underdeveloped until quite recently. During the Chinese Ming dynasty there was trade between mainland China and and Samui as evidenced by historic records from the Ming court, as well as archeological finds on the island.

There are no records of Lamai itself from this period but given the hospitable beach and lands nearby it was probably inhabited by dispersed groups of fishermen as was the rest of the island.

Not until the Japanese occupation during the World War II did modern development come to the island. Before this period there were no roads on the island and as all habitation was near the sea transport on the island consisted almost purely of boats going between bays, and some walking through the jungle.

However due to the high rocky hills Lamai was still cut off from the more populace Chaweng beach. Although it was possible to get over the hills this was difficult and most people would not want to do this trip in a day.

The only way to reach the island was by a regular ferry from Suret Thani to Nathon which is on the far west of the island. To go from there to Lamia was impractal except by boat until the completion of the ring road.

Today the ring road, aka Thai Route 4169, is a vital artery of transport for the island but it was not even contemplated until the headman of the island, Khun Dilok Suthiklom, asked the central government in 1967 to help with its construction.

It took 6 long years of labor combining the efforts of the local population, that in 1973 the route was finally completed. The hardest parts where the construction through the rocky hills between Chaweng and Lamai.  When the route was finally blasted through and the concrete road constructed there was great celebration of Lamai as it was now possible by road and ferry to reach the city of Suret Thani in just a few hours, where it has been previously a many day journey without much safety.

As the island became more accessible so it attracted more overseas visitors and in the 1980s Lamia and neighboring Chaweng started to support the more adventurous visitors. At first backpackers where the main tourists and at first a rather sordid reputation for unclean hippies and drugs appeared.

But by the late 1980s local Thai based hotel brands such as Dusit Thani had realized the potential of Lamai and started to build proper resort hotels here.

By the 1990s they had been joined by major regional and international brands such as Shangri-La and Hyatt had joined them, and the village at Lamai was no longer "Hat Lamai" the Thai fishing village, but now "Lamai Beach" the international entertainment centre that it is today!


Restaurants Dining

Dining opportunities abound at Lamai Beach, with everything from beach side open air restaurants where you dine with your feet in the sand, to up market European eateries with white table cloth fine dining. And of course everything in between.

Whether you fancy Authentic Thai food, or modernized fusion cuisine, favorites from your home country or an international spread there is something for every taste and every budget at Lamai Beach.

Well packed together in the centre of Lami are a wide range of choices, and then each of the resorts and hotels along the beach of course have their own in house dining choices the great majority of which are open to any customer.

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