Laem Set is located in the south east of Koh Samui. It is usually classified in the list of those beaches that are in a beautiful natural setting but that are not great for swimming. Laem Set is a less developed part of the island. What is notable about the Laem Set is that it is the best place to take children to see animals, and it is also one of the best spots to practice yoga, tai chi and other traditional forms of healing and wellness.
Laem Set Beach
Laem Set beach has plenty of trees and nature to enjoy. It is a tranquil beach that has a coral reef 100 meters out to sea. Swimming is best during the high tidal months between April and October. In the other months you have to walk a long distance before the sea bed becomes deep. Due to the coral reef off shore there are small pieces of dead coral in the sandy bottom. Several resorts offer plastic swimming shoes for their guests so they don't cut themselves on the corals.
You need to be a good swimmer to swim 100 meters out past the coral reef to enjoy snorkeling. It is better to hire a kayak with a partner and take it in turns to look at the fish. It is ecologically unsound to anchor a boat on the reef.
Just for swimming many people staying at Laem Set prefer to swim in the resort pool rather than in the sea. For those who like water sports that get the adrenalin going, by the Samui Orchid Resort is a place that organizes kite boarding.
Accommodation in Laem Set
Laem Set has mostly mid-range and luxury resorts. The biggest place is the Samui Orchid Resort. It has hundreds of rooms that range from air-con hotel rooms to private pool villas. The Samui Orchid has 3 communal pools and 3 restaurants.
More exclusive and boutique is Shasa Resort and Residences. It has stylish apartments with 24 hour butler service. The chic 'The Z' restaurant offers a special (if expensive) dining option.
Many people going to Laem Set are heading for the Kamalaya. It is a luxury wellness resort that has been featured by the UK newspaper, The Daily Telegraph. The Kamalaya has hotel rooms, Jacuzzi villas and private pool villas.
Wellness in Laem Set
The Kamalaya gives every arriving guest a 'wellness consultation' and one again when they leave. The Kamalaya offers all the services and facilities of a luxury resort as well as a host of courses. There are experts on hand to teach yoga, tai chi, reiki, chi gong and Pilates. Thai and Ayurveda massages are available as well as far infrared ray saunas. There's also a fitness center with personal trainers for those who want guidance. The Kamalaya is expensive but worth it for those who come to Koh Samui to detox and unblock their energy channels. It is possible to stay elsewhere and commute daily to wellness sessions.
Animals in Laem Set
The Samui Orchid Resort has set up the Samui Aquarium and Tiger Show. There's plenty of marine life to see; you can feed turtles; and you can watch a variety of birds in the aviary. Entrance costs 250 Thai Baht a person and includes entrance to the tiger show. It is possible to pose next to a tiger and get ones picture taken. Samui Aquarium and Tiger Show has an over 90% disapproval rating by Trip Advisor. To the Western sensibility the place reeks of animal cruelty. Ethics aside, kids will love Samui Aquarium.
Another 'zoo' experience is to be had at The Butterfly Garden. It is hard to see the cruelty in trapping thousands of butterflies under netting in a tropical garden. It makes a pleasant (if hot) hour or so visiting The Butterfly Garden. It is open between 8am and 5pm and costs 150 Thai Baht to enter.
Getting to Laem Set and getting around
Laem Set is 20 minutes away by taxi from Lamai beach and 40 minutes from Chaweng beach. There are few shops, bars and restaurants in Laem Set so many people feel the need to hire a motorbike or car when staying on Laem Set beach. The alternative is to flag down one of the many songthaews heading north to Chaweng and Lamai.