Koh Samet is a small island in the Gulf of Thailand at about 130mi from Bangkok. The island is part of Khao Laem Ya - Mu Ko Samet National Park. Because Koh Samet is part of this park you have to pay 200THB on arrival as an entrance fee to the park. Although it is a national park, there are more than enough accommodations to stay. On the island are many Cajeput trees. The Thai word for this is Samet, hence the name Koh Samet. The island is particularly famous for its white beaches and clear sea. It is a popular destination for Thai people, partly because it is so close to Bangkok. Given the size of about 4mi by 2mi, all the locations on Koh Samet are on walking distance.
Sights and Tourist Attractions
If you visit Koh Samet it is a must to view the sunset. The best view on the sunset is at the south-western part of Koh Samet. In this area there are wonderful places to enjoy the sunset quietly.
Hat Sai Kaew
Category: Nature, Sea and Beach
Hat Sai Kaew is one of the finest of the many beaches of Koh Samet. This beach is also known as Diamond Beach. The beach is located in the northeast of Koh Samet. It is about half a mile long and about 80ft wide. Unfortunately, the beach is packed with beach (reclining) seats. So you see very little beach and a lot of seats. You can rent all kinds of water activities like jetskis and speedboats at different locations on this beach.
Category: Nature, Sea and Beach
Ao Phrao beach is located at the northwest and is one of the quietest beaches of Koh Samet. The surrounding accommodations are in the higher pricerange. The white sandy beach is perfectly maintained and the sea is crystal clear. Another advantage of this beach is that it is far away from the busy nightlife of Koh Samet, so you can have a perfect rest here.
Diving / Snorkelling
From Koh Samet it is possible to book dive excursions. During these excursions you can dive/snorkel around the island at various locations. It's also possible, for example, to go to the divesites around Koh Chang.
Entertainment and Nightlife
Although Koh Samet isn't known as a party island, there are still plenty of possibilities to go out at night. Most bars and clubs lie in Hat Sai Kaew and Ao Phai. Here are daily special offers like happy hour and free drinks. At these regions you will also find the most backpackers.
Almost all hotels and accommodation on Koh Samet have restaurants and dining areas. But if you want to enjoy traditional Thai food you can best go to Na Dan. There are some restaurants that serve traditional dishes for reasonable prices. In some cases, even against Thai rates. If you want to enjoy some non-Thai food there a lot of dining facilities where they serve western dishes. Fish barbecues are organized almost daily on the beaches.
How to get there
Koh Samet is only accessible by boat. Several boats depart daily from different locations to the island. From Ban Phe and Nuan Thip boats depart every hour. A single ticket costs approximately 50THB and the trip takes about 45 minutes. When purchasing a ticket you must immediately pay the entrance fee for Koh Samet National Park, it costs 200 THB per person. (This applies to all national parks in Thailand).
During the high season and Thai holidays Koh Samet is overcrowded. In these periods it may be difficult to find a place to sleep. However, you can find an accommodation here for every kind of budget.
On Koh Samet you will find several locations where you can stay for cheap. These accommodations often only meet basic needs and in some cases you have to share the bathroom with other guests. The cost of these accommodations begin at approx 300THB per night .
On Koh Samet there are a lot of Mid-Range hotels. These hotels are often slightly more luxurious than low-budget accommodations, but the prices are a lot higher. These accommodations are often also slightly better located f.e. closer to the beach. The prices for these accommodations start at around 700THB and can run up to 7.000THB .
If you are looking for real luxury and comfort than you can go to Koh Samet as well. Especially on the west side of the island you can find the more luxurious resorts. In these resorts you have all the comfort and luxury you can imagine. At these resorts there are multiple restaurants, spas, swimming pools, etc. The price of these types of accommodations start at around 3.500THB and could reach 11.000THB.