The other morning here in Koh Samui, Thailand, after a spirited night of drinking local Chang beer and walking all around the fun Lamai Beach area, I had a hankering for a serious breakfast. No simple eggs and bacon morning grub would do, but, luckily, I remembered passing a sign for an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet right down the beach road from where I’m staying at Rich Resort.
So, I headed down there with my traveling sidekick, bodyguard, and AllWorld photographer (unpaid, of course), Big Scotty the Body. We found the sign I remembered, hung on the outer compound wall of the Lamai Wanta Restaurant, which advertised an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet from 8 to 10:30 am for 300 Baht (about $9 or so).
That may not be a hefty charge for a big meal in the U.S., but it is a considerable price in Thailand or Southeast Asia (where you can eat all day for $10!).
But once inside, we saw why, as the setup and location of Lamai Wanta couldn’t be more ideal. The galley of their restaurant and bar is located right on Lamai Beach, with a raised deck covered with a roof and surrounded by pillars, but still open to the air. So, we chose a table that had a gorgeous view of the white sand and ocean spread out in front of us, as well as several trees that grew out of the beach right in front of the restaurant. I’m assuming that those trees provide necessary shade for patrons when it’s sunny, but since the weather was overcast (it’s been raining almost nonstop here in Koh Samui all week!), the trees just provided a nice view.
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Once situated, we got back up to get started on the buffet. The waiters and waitresses seemed nice enough, but I found it sort of low-rent that they approached us and asked us to pay before we even got started or ate anything, not after the meal. (As if myself and Big Scotty the Body would eat and then dash without paying!)
The spread was decent, with rice, a Thai green curry, an omelet station, mini pancakes and French toast, a few kinds of fruit, a cereal station, toast, and some ham and bacon. However, I’d expect that a buffet that costs that much in Thailand would have far more than your average American or English breakfast off the menu, which you could get for half the price.
The next strike against them came when a European lady was smoking a cigarette during breakfast, and the staff didn’t come over and tell her to put it out. I understand that Euros love to smoke, and this was an indoor/outdoor establishment, but how could you not be conscious of your smoke blowing all over everyone’s breakfast when they’re eating?
It got even more disturbing from there, as one of the waiters was picking his nose. I don’t mean just a quick stick and run or a subtle wipe with intended nostril penetration, but he was DIGGING up there – right in front of everyone and not even hiding it – for about five minutes. It got to the point of being so crazy gross and ridiculous that Scotty the Body took out his phone and was filming the dude while I walked up to him and said “You’re really getting in there, huh?” because none of the other staff objected or stopped him.
Needless to say, that’s the last time I go for breakfast – or any meal – at Lamai Wanta!