Monday, 19 September 2011

Laem Set

Laem Set is both a quiet beach and a beach with plenty to do and see. This is unusual for Koh Samui (and much of Thailand) where the main tourist hubs are also the places offering the most entertainment. If you want to see animals while in Koh Samui then Laem Set is the place to go. It is also a popular place for those looking to practice yoga and other healing arts.

Laem Set is located in the south east of Koh Samui, 20 minutes from Lamai. It is a beautiful beach area with plenty of nature to enjoy. There is a coral reef 100 meters out from the beach that offers snorkeling opportunities. The beach has high tides and the best swimming is between April and October. At other times the sea doesn’t get deep for a long distance out to sea. Also there are lots of dead coral in the sand that can cut feet. Some resorts offer free plastic shoes for the sea.

For those interested in water sports there is a place next to the Samui Orchid Resort that offers kite boarding.

One of the biggest draw cards for Laem Set is the Samui Aquarium and Tiger Show. It costs 250 THB to enter per person and hosts aquatic shows as well as the island’s biggest aquarium. There is also an aviary. For children the Samui Aquarium and Tiger Show is no doubt a winner. Where else can you touch a tiger? Naturally people who voted on Trip Advisor gave the place a 96% thumbs down. One has to question the living conditions of the tigers and why they are so placid for the tourists.

Accommodation in Laem Set

Laem Set has a few mid-range and luxury accommodations. The biggest resort is the Samui Orchid Resort. It has hotel rooms, private villas and private pool villas. There are 3 pools and 3 restaurants. Pleasingly enough they also don’t insist on you buying a Christmas or New Year dinner like many other places on Koh Samui.

Shasa Resort and Residences will appeal to those put off by the thought of staying at the Samui Orchid. It is a stylish boutique resort that offers well appointed apartment style accommodation with 24 butler service. The restaurant ‘The Z’ is the coolest spot to have dinner on the beach.

The other notable place to stay in Laem Set is the Kamalaya. It combines luxury accommodation with lots of resources for wellness. On arrival guests are given a ‘wellness’ consultation. Also one on leaving. The Kamalaya has rooms and private Jacuzzi and pool villas. As you would expect there’s lessons available in yoga, pranayama, tai chi, chi gong and Pilates. They have a far infrared ray sauna and a fitness center with personal trainers on request. The Kamalaya also has a large communal pool and restaurant that caters for all dietary requirements. It is one of the leading wellness centers in Koh Samui.

The other thing of note about Laem Set is that on the hill behind the beach is The Butterfly Garden. It is a large garden under netting with a profusion of butterflies to admire. It seems more humane to cage butterflies than it does tigers. This costs 120 Thai Baht a person.

Laem Set thus offers snorkeling, a quiet beach setting, wellness treatments, tiger shows, kite boarding and plenty of butterflies. This makes Laem Set one of the quirkiest beaches in Koh Samui.

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