Koh Samet in Rayong

Koh Samet
Koh Samet is one of Thailand’s nicest islands and has a unique place in Thai culture. It was here that Sunthorn Phu – Thailand’s greatest poetic – was inspired to create his masterpiece “Phra Aphaimani” – the story of a prince imprisoned in an undersea kingdom. Despite its place in literary history,
Koh Samet is these days more famed for its beauty and location – near enough to Bangkok to be a popular destination for weekend trips and far enough away from the capital to offer foreign tourists a chance to get away from it all. Koh Samet is part of the Khao-Laem-Yah Koh Samet National Park and as result enjoyed the protection of the National Parks Division. Although developed, the island is not overdeveloped and retains its charm.
The whole of Koh Samet is typified by glorious white sand, making the beaches excellent places to spend some time. There are 14 white beaches on the Island and surrounded by colourful reefs. Western Samet consists of long bays and shallow, crystal clear water. A series of paths link the bays… stray south and you come across a number of smaller, more secluded bays.
Of course, Samet has its fair share of diving and other water sports; the island has numerous outlets for canoeing, sailing windsurfing, snorkelling and, although technically illegal on the island, jet skiing. Those with an ecological perspective should avoid jet skis which are slowly eroding Koh Samet’s coral.
With so many foreigners coming to the island, a healthy nightlife has emerged, and although this is not Pattaya, it has elements of Pattaya… bars, restaurants… the works really but in less intense amounts!
How to get there: Ban Phe is the main exit from the mainland to Koh Samet ., Boats leave Ban Phe regularly 06:00 to 17.00 with increased frequency at the weekends. Boats cost around 30 Baht. If you want some privacy, a charted boat with costs anything from 800-3,000 Baht per day.
Details: As with all National Parks, admission to Koh Samet comes with a 200 Baht entry fee – 100 Baht for the under 14s.