Koh Samet Island, Thailand. When to go, where is it and what to see?

The resort island of Samet in Thailand – new experiences and vivid memories

The small island of Samet, located just 6 kilometers from the mainland of the Kingdom, is a part of the province Rayong. The island and Bangkok are separated by 200 kilometers, the distance between Samet and the resort of Pattaya is 85 kilometers.

The national park occupies the southern part of Ko Samet. In the north is a fishing village and fish farm . All the western part of Koh Samet, except for a small beach Ao Prao, cover the cliffs. The east coast is known for its long very beautiful beaches.

On the map

Weather

Holidays in this wonderful place are comfortable all year round, even in the long period from May to October, considered the low season. Wet season is expressed here quite weak, the total rainfall is much lower than in the other popular resorts of the Kingdom, and the average temperature is around +30.

Tourist season – when is the best time to go?

Many travelers believe that holidays on the island are possible at any time of year. However, the best time to travel is considered the winter months . Some tourists go to Koh Samet in the rainy season, when the beaches are less crowded, which allows you to enjoy unity with nature.

Tours and packages

You can see the prices on the website of Travelata and buy tours online. The cost of the tour includes: airfare, transfers from the airport to the hotel and back, accommodation and meals at the hotel and medical insurance.

By the way! Between May and October, though the sky is overcast, precipitation is rare and there is no debilitating heat. The average temperature is +27C. In addition, many hotels have a nice discount on accommodation .

How to get there – the best way

The proximity to the famous resort of Pattaya has made the island a popular destination for those vacationers who want to successfully combine a stay on the clean quiet beaches with a full entertainment life. To get to the island, you need to get to the pier Bang Phe, and then make a change to the ferry or speedboat. Most ships arrive at the Na Dan Pier.

Tickets for trains, buses, ferries, and charters

12Go.Asia provides online reservations for all modes of transportation on one platform, in Southeast Asia and Oceania.

You can get to the island from the capital city by a daily bus to Bang Phe Marina, located in the south of mainland Rairnga. The journey time takes no more than two hours. From the pier you can also take a ferry or a boat to Samet.

Prices on the island

Prices in local cafes and restaurants are relatively higher than in neighboring Pattaya.

Approximate average prices (in baht):

  • Rice with seafood or meat – 100,
  • Dishes with seafood – from 150,
  • Dishes, grilled – from 200,
  • Fried pancakes – 55-90,
  • Pad Thai – 80,
  • Noodles – 85,
  • Tom Yum from 150,
  • Beer 70,
  • Coke 35,
  • Coffee, tea 75-120,
  • Juice 95-120.

You can have a fairly inexpensive snack at the island’s macashnikas. For example, the minimum cost of kebabs in the central village of Samet is 10 baht. As for the prices in local stores, they are also higher than on the mainland, where all goods are brought to the island. The prices of some products in the supermarkets 7/11 on average 2-5 baht more expensive than in other Thai cities. Ready-made meals in the supermarket are offered at a cost of 30-40 baht.

The choice of clothes in stores is small and limited mainly to bright beach wear, beach accessories and basic necessities. The main market of the island is located between the village and the beach Sai Kaew in a covered passage.

How and where to choose a hotel?

Hotel Prices

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On the island, you can hardly have a problem with the choice of accommodation. There are a sufficient number of hotels here. They are located near the sea at a distance of 20-50 meters. There are also 2 to 3 story guesthouses. Hotels, located in different parts of the island, do not differ from each other. The only significant difference can be considered the fact that the cost of accommodation in hotels in the west of the island is slightly higher than in other areas.

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Traveling with children should consider options for accommodation on the eastern part of the island Samet, as it is considered more developed in terms of infrastructure. If the trip is planned during the high tourist season, it is recommended to make reservations well in advance.

A night’s stay at a 5* hotel – Paradee (the only one on the island) located in the south costs from 15000 baht. A night in a 4* hotel with a pool will cost from 4800 to 5400 baht on average. Accommodation in a 3* hotel – from 1800 to 3000 baht.

Where to stay?

The central part of Ko Samet is a place with the same name. Here is a well-developed infrastructure with cafes, restaurants, budget hotels. However, according to tourists, the beaches in this place are not the best.

Experienced tourists note that those who come to Samet for a short time and with a small budget, it is quite convenient option for accommodation will be in the village near the beach Sai Kaew, where you can find accommodation at affordable prices.

Best Beaches

  • Samet is known for its clean beaches, the number of which is about two dozen. They are characterized by white sand and crystal clear sea. The most visited is the long beach Hat Sai Kaew, crowded at all hours. The beach is located 25 km from Pattaya.
  • Among the advantages of the beach vacationers note the white sand, clean and smooth bottom, the blue sea water, and a smooth entrance to the sea, which is convenient for children. The main disadvantages are crowding and a large concentration of water scooters, speedboats and speed boats on the beach.
  • Ao Wong Deuan beach is the second largest on Koh Samet and has a large number of restaurants and bars. Ao Wai Beach is famous for its fire shows that are held every night at the beach restaurants. Both sandy and rocky areas can be found on the beach.
  • As an alternative to noisy and crowded places you can consider the beach Ao Cho Ao Phutsa – rather secluded and quiet place preferred by tourists with children, because among its features also a smooth entry into the sea and completely sandy coastline.
  • Among the best beaches on the island is the quiet Ao Hin Khok, which is separated from Hat Sai Kaew by a small rocky ledge.
  • The cleanest beach is Ao Kio , located in the most expensive resort area on the island. It is here, according to tourists, excellent conditions for a comfortable stay, since the beach is not very crowded. The beach Ao Prao is considered the largest of those located in the west.

What to see on Samet?

Major attractions, as such, are absent on the island. Come here, lovers of beach holidays and connoisseurs of beautiful scenic views. Holidays on the island, you can admire the rich underwater world and coral reefs. If you want to see the sights of the country tourists go to Pattaya or Bangkok.

Excursions

Exciting tours for vacationers and travelers in 609 cities around the world: Tripster.com – a service of unusual excursions by local residents and guides who can offer interesting and fascinating stories about the most interesting things in their cities.

  • As a local attraction we can consider only a small temple located on the island, next to which a snow-white five-meter statue of Buddha, surrounded by several gold statues of human height and statues of “guards”. In front of the statue is an altar, which is brought flowers and incense.
  • On the beach, Sai Kaew established a sculpture of the Prince and Mermaid, based on the poem Phra Aphai Manee, written in the XIX century by the Thai poet. Also on the coast also installed another statue of a mermaid with a baby in his arms .
  • Popular tourist spots on Ko Chang are observation decks marked “Sunset”. Most of them are located in the west, near the beach Ao Prao, which offers beautiful views of the Gulf of Siam. The best site, according to tourists, is considered to be the observation deck located at the northern tip of Hat Sai Kaew.
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Popular Entertainment

As a popular entertainment island companies offer vacationers fishing (at a cost of 500 baht), rich trips deep into the island on the mountain trails (400 baht) and boat trips to the nearby islands of Mann Nai and uninhabited Talu (an average of 1300 baht).

Tourists also have the opportunity to fly a kite for 15 minutes (1,500 baht) or rent a kayak (1,600 baht). On the beach, Hat Sai Kaew offers windsurfing and water ski rentals. In addition, vacationers can take a ride on a banana and sailing catamaran.

Tourist reviews – pros and cons

Tourists describe the island of Samet as a beautiful paradise. Among the advantages of the island holidaymakers note the convenient location near Pattaya, not bad infrastructure. The main advantage, of course, are excellent beaches with clear sea water. Holidays on the island is ideal for tourists who are planning a trip to Pattaya or Bangkok and has in reserve a few days to enjoy spending time on the beaches with white sand.

For information! Previously, many tourists have repeatedly complained about the large accumulation of garbage near rest areas. Since November 2018 on the island of Samet is prohibited to bring plastic bags , Styrofoam containers and Styrofoam boxes. A serious fine of 1,000 baht can be imposed for violating the rule.

Among the disadvantages are often called the lack of entertainment, because the island is intended mainly for the quality and quite high cost of recreation. Prices here are relatively higher than, for example, in many Thai coastal towns.

Is the island of Samet and can it be compared with Samui?

For those who vacation in mainland Thailand, particularly in Pattaya or Bangkok is a burning question, where to go in order to relax on the clean sea. Samet Island is the right place, where you can spend a couple of days on the beautiful beaches and be in touch with the stunning tropical nature. But first things first.

General information

The beach on the Samet.

Koh Samet in Thailand is about 100 km away from the resort capital Pattaya and about 200 km from Bangkok. Its distance from the mainland is 7 kilometers. Ko Samet is an elongated piece of land in the Gulf of Thailand, halfway to Cambodia. Its length is about 7 kilometers, but despite such a small size on the Samet held so many beaches, that it’s even difficult to count.

Geographically Samet is part of the province Rayong.

Knee-deep in water

If you have a chance to rest on Koh Samui or you were on trips to the islands of Phi Phi or James Bond, probably the beaches of Samet and the nature around them will not particularly impress you, but if the only island you managed to visit is Ko Chang or Ko Lan, you will definitely like it here.

At the checkpoint

Island Samet Thailand is part of Khao Laemya National Park and therefore the entrance is paid (a few tips on how to get around the ban on free entry).

To be completely honest, however, Samet is a group of islands, and around the main island are several other smaller rocky outcrops in the open sea, also referred to as islands.

Climate

Lots of Rocks

The climatic characteristics of the island allows you to vacation on it all year round, as the weather does not change neither in summer nor in winter. The rainy season on Samet is poor and almost 90% of the showers occur at night. So, even May, June, July and August are not considered bad months for the island and can safely book a trip to Samet. Summer here will not be the exhausting heat, because of the night rains will be softer air. Well, and cloud cover, during the rainy season the sky is constantly covered with clouds.

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The air temperature also never drops below 27 degrees during the day and below 21 degrees at night. Well, during the high season it’s too hot for 32 degrees. The warmest months are from November to April. In October, it can still be cool.

Attractions

Ao Nuang

Reviews of Koh Samet say almost in unison, there are no normal sights and everything worth going here – is a beach holiday and a lazy pastime (which is ironic, the islands of Thailand is really quite a little interesting, in terms of history places).

Magnificent scenery

All the places the tour guides tell you about are pulled up by the ears, so that you can at least tell something to the tourists. If you are a good photographer or just like to take pictures, on Samet you can realize the most bizarre fantasies about photos and videos. Such landscapes near Pattaya and Bangkok few can be found.

However, let’s return to the pulled-behind-the-ears sights. Since we began to talk about them, let’s bring the matter to an end. So, the island has:

  • a turtle farm;
  • Buddhist temple (there is a statue of Buddha);
  • Mermaid statue (located on the right side of Sai Kaew beach);
  • The mermaid and the guy with the pipe (from the statue of the mermaid you have to go a few meters up, into the interior of the island);
  • Statue of a wicked woman with naked breasts (located near the main pier, in the northern part of Koh Samet);
  • Fresh water lake (located between the beaches of Ao Phai and Ao Prao);
  • Improvised stone sculptures (small figures made of stones).

Angry Woman

Mermaid and child

In addition to the above, there are several viewpoints, including:

  • sunset viewpoint on the west side, halfway to Ao Prao beach;
  • The scenic area, located between Tian Beach and Apache;
  • On the south of Koh Samet there are amazing views of the open sea and the islands located in that part of the island (you can not call this place an observation deck, but the photos are great).

And of course, it is impossible not to mention the water activities, after all, Samet is an island, which means that its waters are magnificent underwater scenery. You can go snorkeling or diving near Samet, and you can go on a rented boat trip to nearby islands (the cost of such pleasure only 600 baht per person).

Beaches

Island Map

There is no point in enumerating all the beaches on the island, because there is a huge number of them. The map below clearly shows where this or that section of the seashore is located and what it is called.

Let’s talk about the most popular beaches.

Hat Sai Kaew.

General view of the beach

The most popular among holidaymakers beach Hat Sai Kaew. Sai Kaew is located in the northern part of the island and its shoreline is the longest among the others. The coastline is one kilometer long and up to 30 meters wide.

View from behind the table

The sand is white, which in combination with the amazingly clear water in the sea is just mind-blowing mixture for lovers of beach holidays.

Sea view

Entrance to the water is gentle, after about 30 meters is already deep, which means that the beach is ideal for recreation with small children, because the shore is shallow. A child can bravely splash at the water’s edge, and parents can lazily watch him play.

The bottom is clean, there are almost no stones, but there is one unpleasant nuance (it applies to all beaches of Samet), small jellyfish and algae. Despite the fact that the jellyfish are not dangerous, their presence in the neighborhood is not frightening. But stressful, that’s for sure.

Evening on the beach

Bathing areas are fenced with buoys, but the sheer number of jet skis does not allow you to fully relax. For example, when the big iron mahina rushes at you, and of the barriers between you only a thin rope and buoys, under the protection you do not really feel.

On this beach there are waves and call the sea is not calm. Even in low season you can feel the oscillation of the water.

Night performance

As for nightlife, then this is the place where you can fully enjoy all sorts of fire shows, Thai fights and other entertainment, of which there are quite a few.

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The beach borders a small town, which has its own infrastructure, reminiscent of the infrastructure of small villages in Phuket.

Unloading from the boats

The main disadvantage – a lot of tourists. Since many people associate the island holiday on Ko Samet only with Sai Kaew, the bulk of vacationers can not disperse over the island and clumps here, hence the crowds of tourists.

Thus, on Sai Kaew you will have a combined vacation, a measured and unhurried time during the day, and the nightlife.

Ao Prao.

The only representative of the beaches in the west of the island. The rest of the territory is occupied by impenetrable cliffs. Ao Prao, is a kind of sheltered cove. On both sides it is hidden from the winds by rocky rocks, which makes it the quietest place on the entire island.

Luxury recreation

The description of Ao Prao most ordinary: snow-white sand, clear water and gentle entrance to the water, and here, as well as on Sai Kaew can safely swim and small children.

Great photos on the swings

Even if you just stand in one place, you can organize a small photo shoot, so picturesque around. Plus there is a swing.

View from the pool

Of infrastructure it is worth noting only a few hotels, which provide everything you need for their guests.

Hope for the presence of souvenir shops, macashnits and other consumer goods, which in large quantities is present on the public beaches is not worth it, this is not the case.

On Ao Prao is located three five-star hotels and they fully provide travelers staying with them. The remoteness of the beach explains the absence of a huge flow of tourists on it. True, not so long ago here began to land Chinese vacationers, but we can not talk about the masses.

Samet hotels in Ao Prao have contradictory reviews. Thus, almost all guests give their hotel the maximum score, but someone complains about the mismatch between the price and the quality of service.

You can eat and go to the bathroom at any hotel, but be prepared for inflated prices, all the same, these hotels are top class.

Ao Putsa

General view of Ao Tubtim

Ao Putsa or Ao Tubtim beach is a 15 minute walk from Sai Kaew and is one of the representative of a quiet holiday. Great for couples with children and people looking for solitude and tranquility on the Samet (no nightlife).

A distinctive feature of Ao Putsa – the presence of a large number of vegetation, which gives a lot of shade and is not as hot as on Sai Keo.

The sand here, as elsewhere, snow-white and the water is quite clear. Can not compare it with the water near the island of Samui, but it is certainly cleaner than in Pattaya.

Stone sculptures

The entrance to the sea is gentle and there is something to see, unlike the rest of the “gray” beaches on Ko Samet. Thus, at Ao Tubtim equipped with stone statues of a few pebbles. For once it is enough to see.

The way to Ao Tubtim from Sai Keo is not far, you can reach both by public transport (the price of a tuk-tuk in 2018 20 baht) and on foot.

Transportation on the island

On your own to get from one end of Samet to the other is not difficult at all, there are several options:

  • tuk-tuk;
  • sungteo;
  • rented bike;
  • cab;
  • bicycle.

Knock knock at work

Renting a moped will cost you 400 baht per day. The price is higher than on Ko Lana, but the distances are longer.

As for tuk-tuks and songteo, the cost of travel from one beach to another may vary, depending on the route. The price range is from 15 baht to 65 baht.

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Inside the knock-knock

If you like cars, be prepared to pay for a single trip by cab from 100 to 800 baht, depending on the distance and your ability to bargain.

The most cost-effective is undoubtedly the sunteo.

Hotels

Samet Island has a well-developed hotel infrastructure. There is a hotel for every taste and purse, from the usual bungalow to five-star luxury hotel.

Below are the options that have been marked by other travelers as the best in their opinion.

Despite the abundance of hotels, when going to Koh Samet, it is better to book a hotel in advance if you plan an independent holiday without resorting to the services of tour operators.

We recommend using the booking service below.

How to get to the island

Unloading from the ship

The only reasonable and inexpensive way to get to Koh Samet is to take a ferry from Bang Phe Marina or a speedboat from the same name pier.

There are several ways to get to Bang Phe, including.

  • From Bangkok (Yekkamai station) leaves by bus, which is 2-2.5 hours and its price is up to 170 baht. So, after arriving at Bangkok airport, you need to get to the bus station and then to Bang Phe pier. Read more. You can read about how to get to Ekkamai Station in the article How to get from Bangkok to Pattaya;
  • From Pattaya, there is a bus to Rayong from the north bus station, which costs 70-80 baht;
  • and the third option, which is considered more economical if you go from Bangkok. You should buy a ticket to the Rayong instead of Bang Phe. There you can take a suntote which will bring you to your destination for about 30 Baht. So you will save about 40 Baht. It is not a great sum of money but it is a good choice for those who like local color.

You can book in advance on the website 12.go.asia, search form below.

If you get tired of traveling on your own and don’t want to bother searching for this or that bus station, as well as the right route, you can order a cab or airport transfer.

A cab from Bangkok costs about 2,000 baht (the same for the transfer), and from Pattaya about 900 baht.

We recommend using the service for booking a transfer, the form below.

If you have a chance to travel independently on your own or rented vehicle, the journey from Bangkok will not take more than 2 hours. But don’t forget about the toll road sections, take some change with you.

A few tips

As mentioned before, entrance to Koh Samet is paid (200 baht per adult and 100 baht per child), but you can circumvent the military who demand payment. Yes, it’s not exactly correct, but it’s not illegal, at most you’ll just be asked to pay.

So, if you do not have a lot of things that give you just arrived a tourist just go with a clever look and do not give the appearance that you are a hare. Usually, these tourists are not touched (think they have already paid).

On the lawn

The second option, for those who are not confident in their artistic abilities. On the left side of the checkpoint there is a bypass road that you can walk through, but can not pass, as it is blocked. Now, if you walk there, no employee will think of running after you and asking you to pay.

And finally, the third option, bypass the checkpoint on a bike. To do this, you need to ride from the pier not on the main road, but a detour. This route is not indicated on the map, but it is.

The safest option is the third one, but you need a bike.

So, on Ko Samet is better to go not for one day tours, but for a few days to have time to enjoy its beauty and to visit all the beaches.

Do not forget to share your holiday experiences in the comments. They are needed for those who have not yet decided on a vacation destination.

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