A Controversial Opinion – Koh Samui

Thailand is fast becoming the destination of choice for many travelers. It houses an eclectic mix of cultural, historical and modern day experiences.



Throughout all of our explorations of the country, we have enjoyed every experience and always found the people to be warming and friendly. One location however was a real disappointment, the town of Lamai in Koh Samui.

Koh Samui is a very popular island with the backpacking community but in all honesty I still don’t know why. It really doesn’t match up against the likes of Krabi, Koh Phangan, Koh Phi Phi and Chiang Mai. Granted it is an island with many beautiful beaches, and taking a tour around it is well worth the investment of you so wish.



Lamai however was a new level of seedy, we were swamped by the sex trade every time we went out. I realise that there is a difference in culture and we witnessed it on numerous occasions, especially in Patong. It was just more intense here… the bars and main road seemed full of it, we couldn’t escape. It was just too much…

Of course there was some positives, the beach had an amazing bar that became our solace. We became such regulars that we started to have breakfast, lunch and dinner there. The owners were a lovely Thai couple and it was a authentic and far enough away from the town that it retained some sort of anonymity.


A crazy night out in the city of Chaweng was one of our finest experiences of that trip. We chatted, we drank, we laughed and we danced into the early hours of the morning. Other than that the crocodile, snake and elephant farms were the only memorable experience.




It all seems a bit negative I know, but we had so many memorable times in Thailand, I want to give you an accurate portrayal of an island I really think is over-hyped.

If you are planning a trip to Thailand be sure to include the likes of Koh Phi Phi, Phangan, Tao and Chiang Mai they will not disappoint.



13 thoughts on “A Controversial Opinion – Koh Samui

  1. Overall, the seedy nature of the sex trade is alive in most Thai cities that are on the traveler’s map. We think where there’s demand, there will be supply. So it depends who goes there and apparently the ones who seek such pleasures must be numerous enough for the industry to proliferate…unfortunately.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Mel & suan – thank you for the comment. Yes I believe that is probably the case… patong was just as bad but it was more flaunted there and seemed more for the tourists with shows etc… I didn’t go to any so can’t comment. However lamai was just seedy and dirty and felt like a 1800s London back alley… horrible place.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is an interesting post for. When we were in Thailand, in Chaing Mai we were astounded at the sex trade going on. We were robbed on an overnight bus from Chiang Mai to Bangkok. In Bangkok it was just one scam after another that we had to dodge, and a child tried to take our wallet from before our eyes.

    Everyone has their own experiences but our only positive was outside of tourist areas, to Koh Lanta, an island that people don’t seem to go to. Here we finally found the Thailand that everyone talks about. I think we have to go back to give it another chance because everyone seems to love it, but we had an overwhelmingly negative experience our entire trip, just like that of yours at Koh Samui.

    Thanks for sharing though, it’s always nice getting another perspective places.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow you really didn’t have a good exp of Thailand. I never went to lanta but did kph Tao that was definitely more relaxed as were some of the smaller island of phi phi. Really want to head to Burma as it has everything Thailand has but less touristy and less sex trade. Thanks for the comment


  3. Interesting post and I can totally understand you! I stayed in Thailand 8 times when I was a flight attendant and though it was beautiful, I wouldn’t go there for a holiday which I’d have to pay for. The package tourism and sex trade are why. Also, I felt like a walking wallet at times… sure, people were extremely polite, but I got the feeling they were smirking at us tourists behind our backs. Still, I’m glad I got to have those experiences 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s good to know that the opinion is shared. There are some places of great interest there but when you have such a huge choice in the region it would definitely not be top of our list. I didn’t know you were a flight attendant…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved Koh Phi Phi, however I felt as though it was becoming too popular of a ‘party’ destination – Every morning we saw people sweeping up massive piles of garbage and beer bottles from the night before.

    It was sad to me that the people coming to see this beautiful island were trashing it. I was surprised when I had to pay a clean up fee when I arrived but I quickly understood why. Personally I enjoyed some of the more natural spots a lot more.

    Thanks for sharing!!

    Liked by 1 person

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