Ko Samet is a popular weekend getaway islands for people living in Bangkok, both Thai and foreigners. It get’s pretty crowded on the weekends, and if you like to party at the beach, then it’s perfect.
Just 6km in total size from the northern tip of the island to the southern end, it still has plenty of nice beaches, particularly on the East side where most of the restaurants, bars and places to stay are.
Actually Ko Samet is part of a marine national park – as you will first notice when you pay the 200 Baht national park entrance fee. However, when you are actually on the island, it’s not exactly obvious how this money is put to good use, as there obviously is a garbage disposal problem in some areas and with the sprawling development of tourist facilities in some areas of the island, it’s not evident how the idea of “preserving and protecting nature” is put into practice here.
Apart from that, the island has a lot to offer, and you can also take part in great snorkeling trips around the island.
You can see this holiday video from some tourists to get some impressions from the island:
What’s also special about the island – the weather here is nice almost year-round. So why many islands are impossible to reach during the monsoon season, Ko Samet is quite easy to get to anytime.
If you want to relax at a nice, quiet beach, it’s best to come during the week – the price often are lower too. But if you want to mingle with the crowd and party, the weekends are much better. It’s a good idea to book in advance, especially if you are coming around high season – from December until January, pretty much all good accommodation is booked out, and the only places left are those that charge way too much money for way too little quality.
You do not necessarily need a personal tour guide when going to Ko Samet, but you will definitely be able to get more out of your visit here if you hire one to plan the trip for you and give you advice on what to do, where to go and where to stay.
The busiest of all beaches here is Hat Sai Kaew, at the north-eastern shore of the island. The sand here is just great – white and soft, apparently because of the high silicon content in the sand. Most bungalows, bars and restaurants are located here, and you can sit by the beach and enjoy fresh seafood here.