Just a short drive and ferry boat ride from Thailand’s capital city of Bangkok lies an island named Koh Samet. The Thai word “koh”, pronounced like the English “got” but without the “t”, means “island”.
It is a popular destination for both foreign tourists and Thai people yet it is peaceful in spite of the crowds. At night, the island turns into a vibrant entertainment venue with its nightlife hot spots that dot the main beach. The food is great and there are accommodations to fit any budget from simple bungalows to resort-class hotels.
Here are a few of the features of the island that make it so popular and a place you must visit on your next adventure to Thailand.
Getting to the Island
The coastal city of Rayong is the first stop when getting to Koh Samet. From Bangkok, you can catch an air-conditioned bus to Rayong and Ban Phe at the Eastern Bus Terminal, located on Sukumvit Road next to the Ekamai BTS station. Visitors get on a boat at the city’s port of Ban Phe. The boat ride takes about 40 minutes and boats transport visitors daily between the hours of 6.00 A.M. and 5.00 P.M.
The Beach during the Day
Koh Samet has a total of 11 beaches where you can enjoy a variety of things as well as relax. The main beach is Hat Sai Kaew and is also known as Diamond Beach. This is where the main hotel is located as well as several restaurants and bars. The main beach stays quite crowded however there are beaches next to it that are just a short walk away where you can find fewer folks. In spite of the crowds, the general atmosphere is peaceful.
The Beach at Night
At night, the main beach on Koh Samet is fascinating. There are several nightspots that dot the beach and, when darkness sets in, the same are almost like colorful jewels glowing in the night. Several of these nightspots thump with the beat of popular music until the wee hours of the morning.
The beach at night is not only about discos and nightclubs. Many of the restaurants set up their tables on it and you can have dinner to the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. They are not big waves but just loud enough to give you that relaxing sensation that comes only with being near the ocean. You can also enjoy one of the nighttime fire shows while you dine.
Other Things to Do
There are tours available by boat that take groups to a few of the beautiful snorkeling points situated around the Koh Samet. The tour company provides the snorkeling equipment and will anchor the boat at one of the snorkeling points allowing its passengers to jump in and experience some of the most magnificent views of underwater sea life in the area.
The island is relatively small and it is quite possible to hike all the way around if you so desire. There is also a road that links one shore of the island with the shore on the other side. By hiking on this road, you can take in the beautiful interior of the island. You can also learn scuba diving from one of the scuba operators.
The accommodations on the island consist of a variety of hotels and bungalows. Bungalows are air-conditioned or not with the latter being priced lower. Because there are plenty of cool ocean breezes, you might save a little on your trip here by getting a bungalow without air-conditioning.
There is nothing like spending a long weekend or even the entire week at a tropical island such as this. It is close enough to Bangkok and the transport facilities make it a place easy and inexpensive to get to. Make plans to visit and have a short stay at Koh Samet on your next Thailand adventure.