A lot of people come to Thailand for their legendary parties, nightlife and picture perfect islands. Lagoons with their crystal Turqoise waters, abundant sea life and perfect weather.
I thought I had heard of them all, and then some local friends found a teeny tiny island with so much charm and beauty. We decided to go on a little island getaway and check it out. Koh Samet is just 3 hours drive from Bangkok and a leisurely boat ride to the island is all it takes to reach this little slice of heaven.
First get to the Ban Phe Pier in Rayong district. There are buses, vans, private car from Eastern Bus Terminal at Ekkamai in Bangkok. Alternatively you can book a grab taxi. Its a cool 3 hour ride on amazing highways. When returning too you can book a private car or take a bus from the pier. We found the cost of Grab Taxi the same as the van from Ekkamai: about THB 2000 for a car. The bus is much cheaper at about THB 300 per person.
You can take the Municipal boat from Ban Phe to Na Dan Pier on Koh Samet. Song Taows (open taxis) are available on the island from Na Dan Pier to any beach or resort on the island. There are plenty of options to get to the island. Your hotel may have their own boats. Also speedboats that you can book any time of day or night if you don’t want to wait for the next big boat on schedule. Just book a ticket at the pier office.
We took our hotel’s free big boat and it dropped us directly to their beach on Ao Wonduean.
Staying in Koh Samet
Vongduean Resort has its own boat and beach too. Almost instantaneously we got into the holiday spirit as we hopped off the boat and wobbled along the floating pier at Ao Wongduean to the sandy beach cove. What a gorgeous and tranquil beach it was. I would definitely recommend staying at Vongduean Resort with its little cottages, great food and clean beachfront.
There are plenty of great resorts at every beach in Koh Samet, so choose one based on what kind of holiday you’re looking for. Hat Sai Keaw beach is busy and full of cafes shops and watersports. Ao Prao beach is on the other side and is known for some beautiful sunsets.
One day while walking to the end of our beach cove we found a path leading into the woods. Imagine our surprise when we realized this overgrown path led to the most gorgeous and secluded strip of sandy beach. As we kept walking we came across many such jewels and frolicked in the crystal blue waters of these secret beaches. Some had stone pebble pillars balanced decades ago still standing the test if time. At another we found a mermaid! It is just a rough beaten path but the discovery of tiny coves along the way is totally worth the walk.
I think a weekend is more than enough time to experience the relaxation this island offers. However if you have a few more days, you could walk or drive to enjoy all the beaches on the island and try their water sports too.
All in all, Koh Samet is a perfect idyll escape from the towering skyscrapers and twinkling city lights of Bangkok. Its more fun than Hua Hin in my opinion. This would be great for a family weekend at the beach or even a romantic getaway to indulge in the sun and sand, and sip on as many pinacoladas you can get your hands on.
Happy new year everyone! May your travels lead you to new and exciting destinations this year!