Discover the beautiful island that is Koh Samet, a tropical paradise famed for its white sand beaches and crystal clear waters only a few hours away from Bangkok.
Getting to Koh Samet is very easy. If you’re staying at Khao San Road, you can easily book tickets to Koh Samet from your guesthouse or nearby travel agencies. The trip to Ban Phe, Rayong costs 250 baht and takes about 2 hours and a half from Bangkok. The mini-van drops you off at Ban Phe Pier where you take a 30-minute boat ride to Koh Samet. One-way ferry ticket only costs 50 baht.
Koh Samet is part of the Khao Laem Ya-Mu Ko Samet National Park and every visitor is obliged to pay an entrance fee. We only paid 40 baht, not the usual 200 baht for foreigners, because we look like Thais! Haha! This is just one of the many advantages of being Asian backpackers. We opted to stay in Sea Breeze Bungalows behind Silversand. It’s a decent guesthouse offering fan bungalows with private bathroom for only 400 baht per night.
If you want to wander around Koh Samet, hiring a private vehicle is recommended. Walking isn’t advisable as many parts of the island are steep and dirt trails. You can either hire a songthaew (pickup truck) or rent a motorcycle. The cost ranges from 200 to 500 baht depending on your haggling skills. ATV and 4×4 vehicles are also for rent, but they are much more expensive.
There are several beaches in Koh Samet but my favorite is Ao Phai at the northern end of the island. Many budget guesthouses and bars where night parties happen are located in this beach. Some of the best restaurants in Koh Samet offering seafood’s and barbecues can also be found along Ao Phai. For those looking for delicious but reasonably-priced food and drinks, better check out Gecko Bar located next to Silversand. This bar offers a good selection of Thai cuisines as well as cocktails.
Koh Samet may not be as striking as the beaches in Krabi or Koh Phi Phi, but it is still a beautiful place, a sight to behold, and, more notably, has a practical proximity to Bangkok. It is also way better than the nearby and overcrowded Pattaya.