Lipa Noi is known as an up and coming area on Samui. It is a small peninsular with beaches on two sides. The south-facing beach remains a sleepy haven, while a number of new resorts and residences have sprung up on the north-facing beach in recent years, but they don't disturb the ambience, especially when compared to the fast paced development in other parts of the island. One of these new additions, the Nikki Beach club (open to the public) adds a bit of spice and sophistication to the local scene, with its parties and Sunday brunch gatherings for the jet set. The nearest town of consequence is Nathon, around 5km to the north, which is also the island's main port and commercial district and therefore an excellent place for shopping or to experience a little authentic local culture. There's also a fresh market and moderately sized Tesco Lotus supermarket in town for more comprehensive provisions. The beaches and villages to the south remain pleasantly untouched, while the mountains to the east boast a number of popular waterfalls and viewpoints, as well as activities for families such as elephant riding and monkey shows.