Behind Chaweng, Lamai is Koh Samui’s second most popular beach resort and has a large following amongst foreign tourists, as well as expats who live on the island. Lamai is smaller than Chaweng, and generally quieter, although you would hardly notice in the peak of the high season.
Despite Lamai’s size it has a huge selection of pubs, bars and nightclubs, some of which are considered to be amongst the best on the whole island.
Lamai also has a large number of girlie bars, which are located around the area close to the McDonalds fast food restaurant in the town. These bars all compete for male customers with a cacophony of ear splitting music, beautiful girls and the occasional pole dance.
All of this is pretty harmless, generally very friendly and can be an entertaining place, even for non-customers who might simply like to people watch or linger around the area to check out what is going on.
Rather than listing these bars, should you want to visit them, it is probably easier to just go on a bar crawl from one nameless bar to next!
This is because many of the bars in Lamai change name, ownership and even location, more often than some people change their socks! This is partly down to the fierce competition between bars in this area. Another reason is that the ‘farang dream’ of bar ownership on a beautiful tropical island, quickly turns into a nightmare.
Along Lamai Road is another area where you will dozens of bars to choose from. This area can often become central to the night time action in Lamai as you can easily walk from one bar to the next having a beer or two and sampling the odd cocktail or cheap bucket.
At times the nightlife in Lamai can be just as raucous and hedonistic as that found in Chaweng, as well as being just as just as fun!
Here is a selection of some of the bars, pubs and clubs you can find in Lamai:
Fusion Club is forever reinventing itself to keep up with the latest trends, so whenever you visit the place the chances are you will see something new. Part of this reinvention is what helps to make Fusion so popular, along with its two brilliant resident DJ’s who normally play an eclectic mix of acid jazz, funky house and hip hop. Inside, Fusion has a large dance floor and a stylish, yet comfortable seating area. Open till late, the party here can often go on until the early hours.
Ocean Club – Beach Republic
With its impressive beachside location, Beach Republic offers really trendy decor and stylish surroundings. One of the newest clubs in Lamai, the vibe here is very much ‘uber’ cool, which combined with the modern design might go some of the way to explaining why this is one of the most expensive bars in the area. As well as being a club/bar, Beach Republic has a restaurant, spa and residences too. It also regularly hosts a range of different events that include movie nights and appearances from internationally renowned DJ’s. Admission is 500 Baht for non residents.
Open: 8am to late
Where: 30 minutes from Samui Airport, just off the main Beach Road to the north of Lamai. Look out for signs
Tel: 077 458 100
Situated right at the heart of the action in central Lamai, Outback Bar is styled like a traditional Aussie saloon. Serving both Australian and Thai beer, all of which are very reasonably priced, the bar offers the perfect spot for taking it easy and watching the world go by outside. With live music nearly every night, Outback bar is also a good place to watch live sport on the TV and is also home to one of the best English breakfasts on the whole island.
Open: 8am to 2am
Where: Lamai Beach Road, right in the centre of Lamai
Tel: 084 440 5318
Shamrock Irish Pub
Another one of Lamai’s popular Irish pubs, Shamrock’s is a firm favourite with expats and tourists alike. A great place for watching live Premiership football, Shamrock’s has live rock music 6 nights a week and a good selection of traditional Irish beers. There is certainly plenty of craic to be had here and if you’re looking for a quiet night out you might want to go elsewhere, as things can get a little bit lively later on at night. Shamrocks also serve reasonable pub grub and has a couple of good quality poll tables to keep you occupied.
Open: 9.30am to 2am
Where: On the main road in the centre of Lamai
Tel: 081 597 8572
This is a popular bar in Lamai and famous for its Thai boxing ring where girls fight it out in Saturday night in front of scores of enthusiastic punters. The area around Kangaroo is surrounded by girlie bars, which even though can be a little tasteless at times, is all good fun and can make for an entertaining evening, if you are after that sort of thing.
Open: 12pm to late
Where: Right in the heart of the action, on the main street in Lamai
Tel: 077 418 740
The Wine Bar Lamai
The Wine Bar offers a great selection of imported wines and beers (arguably the best of any bar in Lamai). If you want to escape the head splitting music and are looking for a bar where you don’t have to shout all night just to have a conversation then The Wine Bar could be right up your street. Inside the bar, it is stylish, with a pleasant atmosphere. The bar staff are attractive and attentive without making you feel like you are being pestered all night. There is also free pool, Wi-Fi and a large flat screen TV that shows all major sporting events.
Open: 4pm to 2am
Where: Central Lamai, not far from the main Beach Road and Night Bazaar
Tel: 087 099 8845
Cafe Madrid Lamai
The popular Cafe Madrid is a lounge/cocktail bar, restaurant and coffee shop that serves great food and plays good music. A nice place to take it easy and relax, the outside terrace provides the perfect place to participate in a bit of people watching, from the busy street outside. If people watching isn’t your thing then there is a free pool table and Wi-Fi access for those that want to surf the web. Some of the best selling cocktails at Cafe Madrid are the Pina Coladas and Mojitos, both of which are well worth trying.
Bondi Bar and Gril
Lamai’s Bondi Bar and Grill is probably one of the biggest bars in the area. Located next to McDonalds, the bar and restaurant is spread out over 3 floors covering an area of approximately 900 square metres. Inside Bondi Bar and Grill you’ll find a trendy cocktail bar, a great chill out area and restaurant, which is complete with an open kitchen. The food served here is pretty good too and after a nice cocktail or some ice cold beers why not tuck into one of Bondi Bar’s popular steaks or try one of their famous Aussie Gourmet Burgers? Delicious! Much like its sister bar over at Chaweng, Bondi bar is also a popular place for watching live sports or playing some pool.
Open: 10am to 2am daily
Where: Central Lamai, next to McDonalds
Not only is TawaNN one of the most popular restaurants in Lamai, it is also a stylish and relaxing place to go for a drink in the evening. If you want to escape the somewhat louder party scene of central Lamai, then TawaNN’s bar and cocktail terrace is a good option. Whilst enjoying a drink or two, along with some excellent food, you’ll be surrounded by wonderfully fragrant tropical gardens, which are complete with absolutely stunning views of the sea. This al fresco experience makes TawaNN the perfect location for a romantic evening with someone special. To help to add to the informal, yet relaxing atmosphere, smooth jazz and blues tunes are played at a level which is just right. This place is worth visiting just for the stunning views and that’s even before you have tasted some of TawaNN’s magnificent food.
Open: 12pm to midnight
Where: On the main ring road between Chaweng and Lamai, at the the Koh Samui Renaissance Resort
Tel: 077 429 333
The Look-Out Bar
Part of the Pavilion Samui Boutique Resort, The Look-Out Bar offers the perfect place to unwind after a busy day. This tropical bar is a little more expensive than what you might be able to find in central Lamai, but it certainly offers a great location to enjoy a drink or two. Located next to the resorts outdoor swimming pool, the views from the bar out to sea are pretty impressive and are a nice alternative to many of the other beach bars that can be found on the island. Food and bar snacks are also available from the resorts on site restaurant should you get hungry. A pleasant place to relax during the day or at night, The Look-Out Bar also has an extensive cocktail menu.
Open: 11am to 11pm
Where: Part of the Pavilion Samui Boutique Resort at Lamai Beach
Tel: 077 424 030
Tarua Samui Seafood Bar and Restuarant
If a visit to Tarua Samui Seafood Bar and Restaurant doesn’t get you into holiday mode, then nothing will! This place is great, in fact so great that it is hard to say what the best thing about Tarua is. For some, the bar and restaurants stunning views is what make Tarua so special. For others, it is the great food and good selection of drinks which is the main attraction. In all honesty, Tarua’s best features are probably a mixture of all of these points. Located high up on the mountainside, the bar and restaurant looks out over a rocky beach and beautiful turquoise waters. The food is also really good and make sure you look out for the large fish tank as you walk in.
Open: 12pm to 11.30pm
Where: Main Samui Ring Road, between Lamai and Chaweng
Tel: 077 960 635
Located on the cliffs between Chaweng and Lamai, Dr Frogs is first and foremost a restaurant, and a pretty fine one at that. However, Dr Frogs is also a good place to go for a drink in its stylish Tropics Lounge. The setting is quite stunning and you would probably struggle to find a more scenic hilltop location on the island. Overlooking clear blue waters and surround by tropical flora, Dr Frogs provides a wonderfully romantic place to watch the sunset or witness some magnificent daytime views. Free Wi-Fi is also available here. However, the chances are you will be too busy taking in the fantastic views to worry about going online!