Koh Samet, Thailand. The name “Samet” in the Thai language stands for the Cajeput Trees. They can be found on the island in abundance and openly greet the island’s guests, Thai people, and foreign tourists.
Koh Samet is close to Bangkok. An easy and convenient 2.5 up to 3 hours drive max, gets you from Bangkok to Koh Samet. However, if you are a DIY (Do it yourself) kind of traveler, and you are not interested in any kind of Samet Package from Bangkok that’s perfectly cool. In that case, there are quite a few options for you to get yourself from Bangkok to Samet Island.
How to get to Koh Samet from Bangkok
We can assume your first question you come up with is: Can I fly? or Are there any flights to Samet from Bangkok?
Well, since Samet Island is only about 220 KM (137 miles) from Bangkok AND this is a small island that does not have its own airport. Therefore, flying there would not be something you want to consider.
So, How Else Can You Get to Koh Samet from Bangkok?
As said, Samet Island is not that far. Therefore, taking a taxi or a private minivan shouldn’t cost a fortune especially if you share it with friends you travel with or your family. In terms of convenience, that may be the best for you. It is fast (2.5-3 hour) it will pick you up from your hotel in Bangkok and take you directly to Ban Phe Ferry Pier where you’ll get your ferry ticket to Samet.
Please note! Most ferries stop operating at night. If you happen to arrive once they stopped, you’ll need to take a speed boat. Speed Boats work all night and naturally are more expensive.
Bus from Bangkok to Koh Samet
A much cheaper option and probably less convenient or comfortable would be a combination of Ferry and Bus from Bangkok to Koh Samet. On Khao San Road there are plenty of vendors selling those combined tickets. The bus or a van will pick you up right from there and will take you to Rayong and Ban Phe pier. Then you’ll take the ferry which you already have a ticket for and sail to Koh Samet. These buses usually leave in the morning in order not to miss the regular ferry boat. The entire journey should take about 5 hours.
Things To Do in Koh Samet
Koh Samet, With its 11 beaches, offers outstanding beachside leisure to meet your particular and diverse expectations.
A wide range of activities awaits the leisure seekers, many on the western coast and some on the eastern as well.
From exhilarating water sports feasting your sights on exotic coral and white sand to pulsating Koh Samet nightlife, which is definitely something to take a part of along with mouthwatering seafood and Thai cuisine. Some would prefer enjoying “Muay Thai” boxing beachside style or just a quiet rest on the white sand.
Further along, the western coast are many beautiful and uninhabited beaches for you to explore. You can do that by renting a motorcycle for a day or two and tour the whole island. Approx price per day is around 10-15 USD (depend on the bike).
All tours and package tours would show you a variety of things to do in Koh Samet. some of those include different diving dips and tours of the island, beautiful spots where not all tourists get to. If you’re into water diving or night diving, you might want to try and head to the eastern beachside of Samet. There are manta rays and porcupine pufferfish by the coast of Ao Pai. Snorkeling will delight you with undersea sights of corals, starfish, ferns of many colors, and stingrays. Even barracuda and sharks with their black tips can be seen when you’re by Ao Kiu or Shark Point.
Touring the Island by Boat
Tours of the island are made via boats you can hire on Sai Kaew Beach or Vong Duen.
These boat trips offer snorkeling and visits to the islands of Plai Tin, Kruai, and Kudi or to fish farms. Some boats offer a BBQ lunch on board as well.
If you’re looking for a whole day to relax, there are slower-moving boats. those boats can take you along any of your choices out the 11 beaches of Samet, on the Eastern or Western side, or even on a daily all-round island trip of Samet.
Where to Stay in Samet Island
There are plenty of Koh Samet resorts to choose from. For family travelers, backpackers, large traveling groups, there is Sai Kaew beach resort, the first beach that greets the boat-riding leisure seekers, upon landing at the pier of Na Dan, at Samet’s northeastern tip. This sandy stretch of beach is the most developed.
You can water ski, jetski, scuba dive, canoe, or choose to ride banana boats. Windsurfing and catamaran sailing are among your choices too. Or you can even ride speedboats in order to reach out to some farther diving areas with cool blue waters.
* Recommended reads for any traveling family to Thailand
Looking for partying?
Koh Samet nightlife can definitely be your thing..
Walking a bit Further from Sai Kaew is the white sand beach of Ao Phai which frequented by backpackers. The boundary is lined by a rocky headland.
This beach has many oceanfront restaurants, as well as bars that show exciting fire dances. It has a bit more quiet nightlife though.
Between those two beaches: Sai Kaew and Ao Phai is Ao Hin Khok.
A 200 meter beachfront for swimming and sunbathing.
This unique beach is very much a favorite among budget travelers and backpackers. It became their place to share travel adventures and plot out new travel routes of adventure.
What binds these three beachfronts are the many seafood eateries which are laid out there, at night, in cool comfy style on low tables and people can comfortably sit on straw mats beside, with cushions and pillows. Thursdays to Saturdays are pegged as the drink nights when the backpackers, foreigners, and locals come from Bangkok.
Quiet Serenity of Beach Leisure
The other end of the spectrum of the beach brings you some other things to do in Koh Samet while staying at this quiet, private beach leisure. Here, we have the beachfronts of Ao Tubtim, Ao Phrao, and Ao Kiu Na Nok.
If you take a five-minute stroll from Ao Phai, you’ll find yourself walking along Ao Tubtim beach, which offers serene solitary space where you can simply laze undisturbed; a popular beachfront among foreign travelers. Further along, the western shore of Koh Samet is the quiet beach of Ao Phrao, which appeals to upscale leisure seekers who enjoy the private ambiance of the beach and do scuba diving, fishing, catamaran sailing, and canoe riding.
Far into the southern point of Samet is Kiu Na Nok, known as “paradise beach” with its unique landscape where you can view sunrise and sunset. The beach is on a narrow stretch of land which faces both east and west. It is perfect for couples on their honeymoon, or simply romantic couples because the beach is totally isolated from the other beaches.
Whether it’s watersports, island touring, or a serene day on the white sands of Koh Samet. This one island is most probably the one you dreamed of, especially if you are limited in time.
The exciting island delights of Koh Samet await you and your family and friends..