Koh Samet (Samet Island) the tourist paradise in the eastern sea
Being a famous destination among tourists both local and abroad for a long time, Koh Samet is the paradise in the east sea that is not far from Bangkok. The island provides the tourists with many beautiful sandy beaches that luring many people from all over the world who love the sea travel.
Samet is a proper size island located in Rayong in the east of Thailand. The place is just 6.5 km distance from Ban Pae sub-district into the sea. The island is full of tourism facilities -a variety of the accommodations, restaurants, nightlife, and lots of convenient stores. So-called it is one of the perfect destinations to travel on these days.
Charming of Koh Samet
Samet Island provides a lot of beautiful beaches with fresh and natural ambience which are Sai Kaew Beach, Ao Noi Na, Ao Look Yon, Ao Pai, Ao Put Sa, Ao Tubtib, And Ao Loong Dum, Ao Chor, Ao Tawan, Ao Wong Duen, Ao Thien, Ao Wai, Ao Pagarang, and Ao Prao.
Besides the clean white sandy beaches with cooling water for water playing, the island also offers plenty of activities to entertain the tourists all in the group, family, and couple.
About the Koh Samet Island
Koh Samet is an island under the administration of Ban Pae sub-district, Rayong. The island nestled in the property of Khao Laem Ya-Mu Koh Samet National Park one of the famous attractions in Rayong. The location is distant from Ban Pae about 6.5 km with its capacity is approximately 1,250,000 square wah approximate. The triangle island is considered the mythology ‘Koh Kaew Pitsadarn’ from the renowned Thai literature called “The Story of Phra Abhai Mani” authored by “Sunthorn Phu” who honoured as Thailand people’s poet and by UNESCO as a great man in poetry.
The reason might be from the soft and white sand scattered all around the island. And the name ‘Samet’ came from the island is packed with a lot of Melaleuca cajuputi (Samet Khao) and Syzygium cinerea Kurz (Samet Daeng) tree that the villagers use for a torch.
Season and geography in Koh Samet
Without any watercourse, instead about 80 percent of the island is mountain and mixed forest. The rainy season during May-September in particular in May when it is monsoon and wild wave and wind, and it is lots of rain in August. The people living on the island is origin villagers who live their lives depend on the sea. So-called the peak season for tourism is the period without the monsoon.
For its geographic character, there is a long mountain ridge lining from the north to the south, whereas the west of the island is high and descent cliff sliding to the east coast which is an indented beach. The base of the island is in the north and faces Ban Pae in the mainland. There are a few of the towering mountain, and there are some flat lands nearby the shores particularly the north and the east. Also, there are three small islands in the south around the end-point of the island which are Koh Chan, Koh Sun Chalarm, and Koh Hin Khao. Those islands are entirely rocky and no any tree of which the location for the seagull to inhabit and lay eggs.
Where to Sightsee on Koh Samet Island
With its outstanding lovely white and clean sandy beaches alternated with either rock or bay and the clear water, Samet Island is the perfect sea travelling spot, indeed. The coastal area is full of the variety of accommodations starts from the luxury resorts, charming bungalows, and budgeting cottages, and restaurants and shops resulted the east side of the island is so vibrant with the numerous of tourists in any range of ages – high school teenagers, college students, and adults.
1. Na Dan, the Pier of koh Samet Island
The drop-off area for the people who travel to Samet Island Pier. There are the pick-up truck or van to take the tourists to each beach on the island.
2. Ao Noi Na
A quiet beach that is the right place for the swim. The beach is next from Na Dan pier provides the private and peaceful atmosphere which is suitable for one who seeks for the area and leans down with a nice book or sunbathes. To go to Ao Noi Na can get the boat from Seri Pier in Ban Pae and get off at this beach where is the first pier of the island.
3. Ao Klang
It locates in the north of the island that can spot from Ban Pae shore. The bay features a kilometre lovely white sand beach. It is a location of Koh Samet Village and travelling cruise pier.
4. Sai Kaew Beach
The beach situates in the southeast of the island and away from the village about 800 meters. It is recognised as the most beautiful beach on this island. The 800-metre smooth white sand beach is the place that never sleeps providing a lot of energising activities all day and night. Moreover, the location is full of facilities like restaurants and accommodations. The sea here is not too deep and has no rock which is suitable for any water activities including kayaking and sunbathing.
The nightlife here is so the hustle and bustle. Bars and restaurants lining the mat and setting the Japanese style dining table (sit on the floor). Thus, the customers can enjoy the food and indulge in the atmosphere and sea view. On the other hand, the end-point of the island is quieter, and it is ideal for one who likes privacy. Travelling to Sai Kaew Beach is easy since it’s just 800 m from Na Dan Pier. The tourist can go there whether by foot or pick-up truck service. And there a lot of choices for the accommodation that lining all along the beach.
5. Ao Wong Duen
A crescent moon shaped bay where is another famous destination among the tourists who come to Samet Island locates in the middle east of the island. The beach features the visitors with its beautiful white sand beach lines through about 500 m long. This is so-called the last stop from Na Dan Pier which is full facility – accommodation, restaurants, minimart, bar, and water activities such as speedboat, kayak, canoe, and more.
It is the vibrant area that never empty from people all day and night. There a variety of price and style for the accommodation at Ao Wong Duen- for one who loves tranquil and quiet, the beachhead is the excellent choice for you, while the mid of the beach is so energising and also provide a space for the camping tent. To travel to the beach can board from Seri Pier and transit to the small boat at the island to the bay.
6. Ao Prao
It is an only beach situates in the west of the island with about 200 m in its length, white sand beach and azure sea water. A private beach provides the visitors with the 3 fantastic boutique resorts focus to offer only comfortable and the ultimate experience of services. Furthermore, it is considered by the tourists the best place to spot the sunset on this island. And there are many activities to amuse the tourist who visit the beach here.
7. Ao Pai
The beach which means the Bamboo Bay is next from Sai Kaew Beach just 300 m by walk. The white sand beach and shallow clear water is a perfect location to chillax. The accommodation at Ao Pai is rustic and trendy, and there are small bars and restaurants provided at night although it is not vigorous like the Sai Kaew Beach. Anyhow, it is a good idea to relax and enjoy your moment to sit at the Japanese table with a glass of drinks and listen to the echo of the sea after sundown.
8. Ao Pud Sa or Ao Tubtim
A small bay about 200 m distant from Ao Pai features a little pleasant sand beach that is quite popular among the foreigner.
9. Ao Nuan
A small beach with tranquil circumstance, however, the sand here is quite rough from the blending of sea shell and rock. And it’s limited for the water playing space; nonetheless, it is a perfect spot for the foreign visitors who seek for the peaceful and quiet beach.
10. Ao Chor or Ao Loong Wang
A peaceful and private beach surrounded by nature and the beautiful blue sea is a favorite location for the tourists whether Thai or foreigners. The bay has a bridge reach out to the sea, and the beach is white and sandy suitable for swimming. To go to Ao Chor can get the boat and get off at Ao Wong Duen and walk back about 100 m.
11. Ao Thian
Ao Thian or Saeng Thian Beach features with the white sand beach and the crabs attached to the rock that is noticeable when the tide is low. There is a cottage style resort called “Saeng Thian Resort” provides a tranquil and quiet place with fresher sand beach than others at the island-head. The location is ideal for one who loves to relax in the cool breeze and stare to the starry night.
12. Ao Wai
A white sand beach with Pemphis acidula J.R. & G. Forst trees line along the coast. The beach is appropriate for the swim with a tourist facility including accommodation and restaurant. To get to the place can board on the boat serviced by ‘Samet Ville Resort’ and the location is just 800 m from Na Dan Pier so that the tourist can go there either by foot or pick-up truck service. It is a variety of the accommodation at this beach with various prices.
13. Ao Kiew
Away from the boisterous tourists, this location is second to none from other beaches. It is a right place for swimming that contains Ao Kiew Nok (Outer Bay) and Ao Kiew Nai (Inner Bay). Even though the site has not a lot of resort and restaurant, but it is another right spot to watch sunrise and sunset. Moreover, the diving to see the shallow water coral reef and beautiful sea fishes are famous.
And the highlight is it is a location of the most magnificent resorts on the Samet Island called ‘Paradee Resort’. To get to Ao Kiew can board the boat at Seri Pier, Ban Pae and get off at Na Dan Pier and get the car to Ao Kiew. And Paradee Resort offers the pick-up service for its guest.
14. Ao Pakarang
The beach locates before the shallow water coral reef and about 500 m from Ao Kiew. Currently, it is a location of Nimmanoradee Resort one of the most beautiful resorts on the island. The place is perfect for water activities – diving, fishing, sunset and sunrise watching at Laem Good Viewpoint. During November – December is crowded explicitly by fishing visitors.
15. Ao Look Yon
A private and peaceful beach with a pleasant atmosphere environed by fresh nature and beautiful sea. This is another favourite spot for the tourists both Thai and foreigner.
So-called the high season to travel to Koh Samet is between October – April when the sea is peaceful.
How to Get to Koh Samet Island
Travel to Koh Samet Island can be in many options by following;
1. By Car:
There are many options to drive to Ban Pae, Rayong
1.1 The highway number 3 (Sukhumvit Road), from BangKohk, drives pass Bang Pu, Bang PaKohng, Bang Saen, Siracha, Pattaya, Jomtien, Sattahip, Ban Chang until arriving at Muaeng district in Rayong. The total distance is about 220 km approximate.
1.2 The highway number 34 (Bangna-Trad), starts from the end of Chalerm MahanaKohrn Express Way and heads towards to Bangna, Bangplee, Bang Bo in Samut Prakarn. Then, drives on the road number 3 at the 70th km in Bang PaKohng, Chachoengsao. Later, drives along the same route of the first option.
1.3 The highway number 36 (By-pass 36), from BangKohk, makes on the same path of the second option until reach the 140th km at bang Lamoong, Chonburi. Then, turns left to enter to the road number 36 and head towards to Rayong in about 70 km. The distance is about 210 km.
1.4 The highway number 344 (Ban Bueng-Klaeng), starts from Chonburi and passes Ban Bueng, Nong Yai, Wang Chan, and end at Klaeng in Rayong with total distance is about 100 km (BangKohk to Chonburi is 80 km). This direction is suitable for one who would like to stop by at other attractions in Klaeng or heads to Chantaburi or Trad. And to enter to the town of Rayong drives back about 42 km on the road number 3.
1.5 The highway number 7 (Motorway), starts from Pattanakarn Road in BangKohk to destine at Chonburi with the distance is 75 km. Then, uses the highway number 36 and drives about 100 km until arriving at Maueng district in Rayong. The distance is 175 km.
2. By Public Transportation
From Eastern Bus Terminal (Eakamai) there are a lot of buses depart from the terminal to Rayong in the route BangKohk – Rayong, Ban Pae, Klaeng, Laem Mae Pim, Map Ta Phut, Prasae, etc. And there are lots of private operators offer the motorway express service, for example, is Rayong Tour.
And there is all regular and second class air-conditioned buses depart from BangKohk Bus Terminal (Mo Chit) at Kamphaengphet 2. The route of the bus is Mo Chit – Rayong and departs hourly between 4.30am – 4.30pm daily. The trip duration is about 5 hours.
The express bus service on the route Bangna-Trad road departs from the hub between 4.30am – 9.00pm with about 2 hours for the trip.
3. Travel from Ban Pae to Koh Samet Island
From the Ban Pae Pier, there is a 24-hour ferry service (need 20 passengers to leave the pier). The price for the route Ban Pae – Sai Kaew Beach (Na Dan Pier) is THB100 for the rounded trip. The public ferry service operates between 8.00am-4.00pm daily and the duration time is about 40 minutes.
4. Speed Boat
The price is between THB1,500 – 2,600 per trip all through 24 hours depends on the amount of the passenger and the size of the boat. For one who misses the boat trip to destine to any specific bays, you can get the boat and drop off at Na Dan Pier with THB50 for the price and the duration time of the trip is 40 minutes. And then get the pick-up truck or motorcycle service to any destinations. The distance varies the rate.
5. Travel around Koh Samet
There is only one road on the Samet Island; however, it’s concrete, but it is laterite and soil in some parts of the route. The pick-up truck service is considered to be the most convenient to take the journey on this paradise island. The price depends on the destination for example Sai Kaew beach is THB10 / person and charter is THB100, Ao Pai is THB20 / person and charter is THB150, Ao Prao and Ao Wong Duen is THB30 / person and charter is THB200, Ao Wai and Ao Thien is THB40 / person and charter is between THB300-400, and Ao Kiew is THB50 / person and charter is THB500.
And for the visitor who is adventure lover and can ride the bike, renting a motorcycle to cruise around the island is a good idea as well. However, it is limited for one who is skilful since the road is quite rough with pebbles and soil, and also some slides. The rental fee starts at THB300 per day and negotiable.