Koh Samet Travel Guide

Posted:Tue, 4 Sep 12 14:37
Edited:Tue, 24 Mar 15 22:54
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General Info on Koh Samet

Koh Samet is a well-known tourist attraction.  It is not far from Bangkok and only 6.5 km. from the coast. It takes only 3-4 hours to travel from Bangkok to Koh Samet. 

Koh Samet is a triangular-shaped island surrounded by powder white sand beaches. Sai Kaew beach and Wong Duen bay, which lie on the east, are more lively with many restaurants, entertainment establishments and resorts. If you want a quiet stay, you should go to the other side of the island.

Koh Samet

Journey to Koh Samet

  • Private car

Drive along Bangkok-Pattaya motorway toward Klaeng district without turning right into Rayong city center. Drive on until you past Wat Taphong and keep driving along the beach toward Ban Phe subdistrict. You can safely leave your car at the pier. The parking fee is about 100 baht per day. 

  • Coach  
    • Ekamai  Bangkok – Ban Phe: Take Por.1 coach. The journey takes about 4 hours. The first coach leaves at 7.30 hr. It arrives Ban Phe pier around 10.00 hr. 
    • Mo Chit  The coach leaves every hour. The journey takes about 5 hours. 
    • Minibus  Victory Monument – Ban Phe : Take a minibus from the Century Department Store. Just tell the driver which pier to drop you off.  The journey takes just over 2 hours. The fare is 200 baht.  

Ferry to Koh Samet 


Most peirs offer car parking with small fee.

The size of the boats are not quite different in each pier


Na Dan Pier (in Koh Samet)


There are many piers in Ban Phe where you can take a boat to Koh Samet. The fare is usually around 50 baht/trip/person (Thai).  The first pier you will come to is Si Ban Phe and the next ones are Chokkrisada, Nuanthip and Ban Phe Municipality respectively. The ferry operates 24 hours a day. The journey takes less than 40 minutes. The ferry mainly calls at Na Dan pier, but you can choose to disembark at any other places such as Phai bay, Thapthim bay, Lung Wang bay, Wong Duen bay, Wai bay, Kio bay, Karang bay and Phrao bay. The fares are listed below.

  • To Na Dan or Sai Kaew Beach
    • The journey takes 30 minutes. Fare: 100 baht 
  • To Wong Duen Bay
    • Journey: 40 min. Fare: 120 baht
  • To Noi Na Bay 
    • Journey: 30 min. Fare: 120 baht
  • To Phrao Bay
    • Journey: 40 min. Fare: 120 baht
  • Wai Bay 
    • Journey: 1 hr. Fare: 200 baht
  • Kio bay or Karang Bay
    • Journey: 1 hr. 10 min.  Fare: 200 baht

You can also take a speedboat to any beach you want. The speedboat leaves at 1100 hr., 1300 hr. and 1500 hr. The fare is 250-300 baht/trip/person.

To get on Koh Samet, you have to pay an entrance fee: 40 baht for a Thai and 200 baht for a foreigner. Half price for children.  

Getting around  Koh Samet

The easiest way to travel is to call for a car service from any resort. A tougher one is to take a minivan. You can privately hire a minivan and tell the driver specifically where you want to go. The fare is around 250-300 baht depending on how you bargain with the driver. But if you travel with other passengers, the fare should be around 30 to 50 baht.  If you want to be a daredevil rider, rent a motorcycle to ride around the island. The rental charge is about 300 baht per day.  


Koh Samet is surrounded by 15 beaches that are equally beautiful. Let’s get to know them. 

Saikaew Beach, Ao Phai

Saikaew Beach  



Saikaew Beach 


Saikaew Beach 

The island’s most beautiful beach with powder white sand that is so soft to walk on in comfort.  It is the liveliest beach with all the resorts, watersports, restaurants, bars and all sorts of entertainment establishments. It is the most perfect place for those who love parties, wining and dining. 

Ao Phai 

Ao Phai 

It is next to and separated only by a stone ridge from Sai Kaew beach. The beach is rather small and it is covered with sand and seashells, which makes it too rough to walk on barefoot. Yet the water is crystal clear turquoise which makes swimming a wonderful experience. It is not as lively as Sai Kaew beach. It is ideal for reading, sunbathing and relaxation. Low-priced bungalows are available. 

Ao Phutsa 

Phutsa bay, which is also known as Thubthim bay, isonly 200 m. from Phai bay. There is a small quite beach with only a few resorts.  It is ideal for relaxation and admiring natural scenic beauty. 

Ao Nuan 

Nuan bay is quite near Thubthim bay. The beach is small and is covered with sand and seashell remains that walking barefoot can be quite rough. There are only a few facilities.  It is a perfect retreat for those who prefer natural surroundings free from noisy activities.  

Ao Cho 

Ao Cho

Ao Cho is also known as Lung Wang bay. The beach with powder white sand and crystal clear emerald water is ideal for swimming. There is a pier where many visitors take photos of the picturesque views of the island. The idyllic and romantic atmosphere will make your stay very pleasantly rewarding. To get to Cho bay, take a boat to Wong Duean bay and walk only 100 m.


Ao Wong Duen

Ao Wong Duen 




“Wong Duen” mean “a moon crescent”. The bay has acquired this name because it has a moon crescent shape. Those who travel in a large group and love beaches with lively activities and vibrant nightlife will find Wong Duean beach to be the most perfect destination. Accommodations for all types of budgets are available. To get to Wong Duean bay, take a small boat from the main island or from Ban Phe.

Ao Saeng Thien 





Saeng Thien Bay or Thien bay offers you a quiet clean beach with natural scenic beauty.  Having only a few resorts, it is a perfect secluded den for those who really want to stay away from noisy beaches and vibrant nightlife. It is ideal for fishing, diving, relaxing in idyllic and romantic ambiances while being enchanted by the celestial sounds of the ocean waves. 

Ao Lung Dum 

Lung Dum Bay is a powder white sand beach fringed by crystal clear turquoise water and surrounded with idyllic and romantic setting.  It is perfect for a private retreat. To get to Lung Dum bay, take a boat to Wong Duean bay and walk or take a minivan only for a short distance. 

Ao Wai

Ao Wai

Ao Wai

Located remotely from the main islands, Wai bay retains most of its scenic and idyllic beauty. It is perhaps the most beautiful beach on Ko Samed. With only one resort, Wai bay offers the experience of a private beach. It is most perfect for swimming, kayaking, reading and relaxation. To get to Wai bay, walk or take a minivan from the beachfront.  The distance is only about 700-800 m. 


Ao Kiu, Ao La Lung

Ao Kio 



Ao Kio 

Kio Bay is made up of Kio Nai bay and Kio Nok bay. It covers the areas of the eastern and western coast. The beach is unrivalled in natural and scenic beauty. It is the most perfect site for diving, admiring underwater corals and gorgeous sunset. You can enjoy the ultimate luxury in Paradee Resort.

You can take a boat from Ban Phe to Kio Nai bay. If you want to get to Kio Nok bay, you can take a minivan. 

Ao Karang  



 Ao Karang

Karang Bay is too rocky for strolling. However, its idyllic and natural setting makes it ideal for swimming, diving and admiring underwater corals. Those who think that the far end of the island is not attractive will change their mind when they actually see the scenic beauty of this bay. 

You can get to Karang bay by boat from Phe pier, but you have to go by raft to get to the shore because the rocks and coral reefs prevent the boat from reaching the shore. 

Ao Phrao, Ao Nai Na

Ao Phrao  

Phrao bay is not very far from the island front. Its beach is large enough for playing volleyball. There are resorts and accommodations for all types of budgets. Phrao bay is most ideal for admiring the stunning sunset.  


Ao Kham 

Kham Bay lies next to Phrao bay. Its beach is too rocky that tourists do not usually stay here. They only come here to get to the pier and take a boat to Phrao bay.  


Ao Noi Na  



Ao Noi Na

It is near the island front, so it is quite easy to get there. Although it is near a pier, it still retains its idyllic and natural beauty. It is ideal for a private retreat. Swimming, having a nice and cool drink while relaxing can be quite pleasant. A lot of accommodations are available. 

It is very easy to get there. Just take a boat from Ban Phee and get off at the first stop. 

Ao Lok Yoan 

This bay is tranquil and naturally beautiful. The beach has powder white sand which is good for camping. The national park maintains the bay in perfect natural conditions. The only drawback is the lack of restaurants. You have to go to eat at Sai Kaew beach and come back to Lok Yoan bay to relax in the most peaceful and romantic surroundings. 



Sightseeing and other activities





Koh Kudi

Talu Island  



Talu Island

From Ban Phe you can go on a cruise to Talu Island, which is about 6 km. from Ko Samed.  When you get to Talu island you can go diving, trekking and camping. No resorts are available. However, you can hire a tent for 200 baht/night/person. Diving and admiring underwater corals are the most exciting activities. 


Fisheries Research and Development Center 



Is another place that you should include in your itinerary. Fish are raised in floating baskets. A lot of visitors come here to feed the fish. Large fish, turtles and sharks can be seen here. The center is in the middle of the sea. You have to get there by boat. It is not very far from Ko Samed. For inquiries, call the center at (038) 655-191. 

Statue of Phra Aphaimani and the Mermaid

Statue of Phra Aphaimani and the Mermaid

In the story of Phra Aphaimani and the mermaid, one of the famous Thai literary works, Ko Samed is referred to as Ko Kaew Phitsadan. The statues of the two characters are placed between Sai Kaew beach and Phai bay in loving memory of Sunthorn Phu, the author. Many visitors enjoy taking the photos of the statues.  

Torch Spinning 

Torch Spinning

This type of show can be seen in many resorts and restaurants on Sai Kaew beach and Wong Duen bay. If you want to perform the feat yourself, you will be welcome. 

Other activities 

  • If you want the most vibrant nightlife, you should go to Sai Kaew beach and Phai bay. 
  • Hunting cuttlefish at nighttime is an exciting activity. The boat leaves at 1800 hr. and it comes back at midnight. The price is about 500 baht per person. 
  • You can go kayaking around many beaches. The price is around 150 baht an hour. 
  • Admiring the sunset. If you come here with your sweetheart, both of you should walk hand in hand to admire the most romantic sunset on Phrao bay. 
  • Swimming, watersports and beach party. 

High season

You can visit Ko Samed most of the time. However, you should avoid the months of May to September, which is the rainy season with heavy monsoon in May and strong wind with constant rain in August. 

Ko Samed is quite near the big city like Bangkok, yet it retains its idyllic and natural beauty. As the administration of the island does not allow foreign business establishment, there are not too many resorts. Visitors can still enjoy the pleasant atmosphere of local communities.

Those who have visited Ko Samed should remember to take a lot of pictures and upload them to share with friends. You will get a lot of compliments. 

Editted on 24 Mar 15 22:54
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