Koh Samet Island has all the elements for a beach getaway escaping the urban centre of Bangkok or just as another island to add to your holiday island hopping trip. In only 3 hours drive from Bangkok and a short ferry ride, you will arrive to calm blue seas, crescent-shaped bays, powder-soft sand, which makes this place a fantastic destination for all types of water activities, relaxation and beachfront dining. You can see why it remains a favourite getaway for Bangkok dwellers.
The beaches of Koh Samet island all sit within the national park so to gain access the advice is to prepare payment for an entrance fee of 200 baht that is valid for one week. The best way to get around to see what the island has to offer is to take a boat tour, where you can sightsee and hop on and off at any beach destination of your choice, in any weather. If you prefer more eco-friendly methods of transport, another piece of advice is to explore the island’s scenic coastlines is by sea kayak or canoe.
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Klong Prao beach
Mu Koh Chang National Park Viewpoint
Khiri Phet Waterfall
Sai Kaew beach is the most developed of all the beaches, with lots of tourists and tour groups, restaurants with a designated nightlife zone after dark for those looking to party. Most of Koh Samet resorts and hotels are located here. Parasailing, wakeboarding and jet skiing are popular on Sai Kaew beach. Ao Phai beach is a more low-key beach located next to Sai Kaew. Ao Vong Duen beach attracts mainly local tourists from Bangkok and has a good selection of restaurants and bars on the beach and is popular for motorised water sports.
The secluded Ao Kiu Na Nok beach on the southern tip of the island can only be reached via a boat ride from Ban Phe. This little paradise for honeymooners and romantic escapes. Likewise, Ao Wai beach is a more remote beach that can only be reached by boat with very little around. Also on the southern part of the island is a picturesque rugged cape called Laem Toei with some stunning panoramic viewpoints.
Ao Tubtim and Ao Phutsaa beaches are a quick five-minute walk from the busy Ao Phai, but much quieter and serene; perfect for swimming and lazing around for a much-deserved rest.
There are good diving spots throughout the island with open water dives for beginners in the surrounding shallow bays or for the more experienced, night dives are available to explore the nocturnal underworld world of Koh Samet.
Like most islands in Thailand, Koh Samet island has its own brand of temples known as Wat Samet and houses a white 12-metre sitting Big Buddha at Hat Sai Kaew Beach area. There are friendly monks on-site handing out good luck charms to visitors.
Koh Samet Island, Thailand offers a lovely beach escape from the mainland, being only a three hour trip from Bangkok then a short ferry ride. It is a paradise island with white fine sand beaches, stunning sunset views and lively nightlife which makes it a satisfying respite from the city hustle and bustle.
Hat Sai Kaew Beach. This is the most popular beach in Ko Samet. In the daytime, the area is great for chilling on the shore and in the water, like swimming and snorkelling. At night, the vibes transform to performances, locals hanging out relaxed party atmosphere.
Ao Prao beach. This beach has many resorts but that doesn’t diminish the paradise-like ambience. The crystal clear blue waters and the white sands make it among the best beaches, according to traveller comments. The icing on this cake is the astonishingly magnificent sunsets to which mere photographs can’t do justice. Those sunsets have to be seen to be appreciated!
Wat Ko Samet. In the middle of the village is a temple complex called the Wat Ko Samet, where the famous Big Buddha statue can be reached after several stairs. And in the mornings, there would be monks walking around and into the streets to receive alms like food.
Budget and luxury accommodation options. There are budget hostels with private and shared rooms, a restaurant with healthy and delicious food served, and good locations near shops and restaurants. There is a luxury resort too, for comfort, in front of Ao Phai beach, with a massage service and stylish rooms. It has direct access to the beach from where you can watch and enjoy the sunsets to your heart’s content.
Ao Wong Duean Beach(Crescent Moon Bay). The Ao Wong Duean Beach is one of the busiest in Ko Samet island, with restaurants and boats but it is easy to find quiet areas with good accommodations. Ao Wong Duean is close enough to walk to Ao Nuan beach and Ao Cho, a smaller beach and quiet too.
Ao Phai beach. This location has greenery surrounding it. It is also where the luxury accommodation is situated, with other accommodation types too, and dining options.
Khao Laem Ya National Park. This is a definite must-see in your Ko Samet holiday. Called the quieter side of Ko Samet island. Visit the hills and valleys, the nearby islands of the archipelago and enjoy this marine national park for real tripping with nature.
There are a range of accommodation to suit all budgets but less variety than the larger islands. But overall Ko Samet is considered to be cheaper than Koh Samui, Koh Phangan or Phuket.
Foreign travellers from London in England and other European and North American countries who missed having holidays with family and children in warm sunny weather are among those who usually choose a vacation in Koh Samet.
Upon arrival in Bangkok, you can get to Ko Samet by a public bus, minivan or private taxi from to the Nuan Thip Pier in Ban Phe, just outside of Rayong. The journey from Bangkok to Ban Phe would take 3-4 hours depending on the traffic condition of the day.
From Ban Phe, you can take a speed boat or ferry to the island in around 45 minutes, from which you will be greeted by the sight of a unique pier with a welcoming giant statue in the water.
Koh Samet is an island in the east of the Gulf of Thailand off the coast of Rayong province, approximately 220 kilometres of Bangkok.
Two days and two days is enough to enjoy the best of the beaches have to offer. There’s not much else to do. It makes a great getaway from bustling Bangkok for a few days. It’s very popular with Bangkokians on weekends and Koh Samet hotels can get fully booked, so if you want to avoid crowds, you are better advised to stay on the island during the weekdays
Koh Samet is approximately 13 square km in diameter.
Travellers who are in a reasonably fit condition can walk from the Koh Samet main town to Sai Kaew Beach or Ao Phai. Many tourists like to use motorbikes to explore. You can also take a boat tour where you can sightsee and hop on and off along the Ko Samet coastline. If you prefer more eco-friendly methods of transport, another way to explore Ko Samet island is by sea kayak or canoe.
Like most islands in Thailand, Koh Samet has a temple complex known as Wat Samet and houses a white 12-metre sitting Big Buddha at Hat Sai Kaew Beach area. There are friendly monks on-site handing out good luck charms to visitors.
Not at the moment, no. Please see the answers below on the Thai government restrictions and regulations regarding the Covid-19 situation in the country.
Frequent travellers to Koh Samet clearly state their experiences of their holidays in Koh Samet of being safe and had no issues with their personal or property security. There had been a report several years ago of a crime, which was discussed and researched online by enthusiasts of Ko Samet or Thailand as a holiday destination and later confirmed that it was a cut-and-paste report with no authorship so their conclusion was that it was a hoax or a hack or “Thailand bashing.” However, don’t forget to follow usual travel safety protocols and awareness, especially when going out for dinner in the evening.
The T-shaped island of Ko Samet is known for its coral white sandy beaches, captivating colourful corals and crystal clear turquoise waters. On top of that are the delectable cuisine and good nightlife activities. The development of Ko Samet had been steady and not commercialized construction, unlike the other islands.
Ko Samet is popular among Thai locals and foreigners. Its proximity to Bangkok makes it ideal for a weekend getaway vacation for families, couples or professional workers or during holidays. It takes only 2.5 hours, or 3-4 in congested traffic conditions, from Bangkok to Ban Phe and around 20 minutes ferry-ride to Ko Samet island.
On May 18, 2021, the Tourism Authority of Thailand in Rayong announced the reopening of the island to visitors after no new Covid019 infections were found. Ko Samet had earlier been closed on April 27 after 5 new infections were reported.
There is a nationwide state of emergency until September 30. The latest update on the situation is the extension by the Thailand government of enhances restrictions in Bangkok and other provinces until at least August 17. The country has been classified into red, orange and yellow zones, according to the level of Covid-19 infections.
The latest advice as of the first week of August is the extension of restrictions until 31 August.
Rayong province (where Koh Samet belongs) is classified as a Dark Red zone, meaning only food establishments can stay open until 23:00. Social gatherings are maxed at twenty people and checkpoints have been set up to monitor inter-provincial travel.
Flights to and from the classified Dark Red zones are suspended except for emergency landings or medical flights or those under the “tourism reopening program.”
Citizens of several countries and Thai nationals from a specified destination are allowed to enter Thailand without a visa, except for those coming from Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan. These are still banned from entering the country because of concerns over the new covid variants.
Cars are not allowed on Ko Samet Island. You can drive, from Bangkok or Pattaya to Ban Phe and leave your car. There are secure parking areas near the Ko Samet ferry terminals for a minimal daily fee. You can also go by bus, minivan or taxi from Bangkok or minivan or taxi from Pattaya, which you can book online easily.
From Pattaya, in a car or minivan, the trip will take an hour at most. From Bangkok, considering traffic, the trip will take around 5 hours by bus, at most 4 1/2 by minivan and 3 1/2 hours by car.
Taxi fares from Bangkok airport to Koh Samet are priced at 2000-2300 Baht. Minibus (for tour groups) fares are 3000 Baht. These prices include all skyway tolls, no hidden extras.
There are taxis you can book online with the driver waiting at the arrivals section with your name on a placard, which will take you to Ban Phe Pier for your ferry to Koh Samet.
Koh Samet (or Cajeput Island) lies in the Gulf of Thailand, one of the eastern seaboard islands. Ko Samet island is part of Rayong province, off the coastline, and is around 220 km southeast of Bangkok.
There are no cars allowed on Ko Samet Island. However, on the mainland Ao Prao Pier, there is a parking service exclusively for hotel guests. You can leave your car at the pier and take a ferry or speed boat to Ko Samet.
There are two ways to get to Rayong from Ko Samet because there is no direct connection between them. One way is by a Songtaew (also spelt “songthaew”), a large pickup or truck refurbished as a passenger vehicle like a share taxi or bus, that is convenient for tour groups, to Ban Phe town to Ban Phe Nuan Thip Pier from which you can take the Fast Ferry to Ko Samet Na Dan Pier which takes an hour and 40 minutes. On a local ferry, the trip takes almost two hours but the price is cheaper. Or, you can take a vehicle straight from Rayong via Ban Phe and Nuan Thip Pier, taking an hour and 49 minutes.
Ko Samet belongs to Amphoe Mueang Rayong, the capital district of Rayong province. It is the biggest and westernmost of the islands near the coast, approximately 2.6 south of mainland Rayong. From north to south perspective, Ko Samet is 6.8 km, although the travel distance from the main tourist pier, Nuan Thip Pier in Ban Phe town to Na Dan Pier in Ko Samet is around 10km.
There is 147 km from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport to Ko Samet. The best way from the airport to Ko Samet is by bus and ferry via the Bangkok Khao San Road, the trip taking 6 hours and 15mins.
Other ways to travel to get to Ko Samet from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport are by train-taxi-fast ferry taking six 1/2 hours, by mini bus-fast ferry also taking six 1/2 hours.
In 1981, the Royal Forest Department of Thailand declared Koh Samet island together with nine other small islands, the headland of Khao Laem Ya and 11 kms of Mae Rampeung Beach as a national park. This is named the Khao Laem Ya Mu Ko Samet, a marine national park in the Gulf of Thailand, off Rayong province coast, around 180km southeast of Bangkok. So as a national park, Koh Samet island and the other identified islands and areas have become under the jurisdiction of the national parks department. In 2013, there were 3 resorts ordered destroyed for being built illegally in the park. More than 500 national park officials were deployed to implement the order.
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