11 essential things to know before traveling to Koh Samet
Located in eastern Thailand, Koh Samet is famous for its crystal clear water, and beautiful beaches. It is an ideal destination near Bangkok for enjoying the sea vibes, which is loved by many Thai and foreign travelers. In this post, we will share with you 11 essential things to know before traveling to this tropical island.
1. Where is Koh Samet?
Koh Samet (Koh in Thai means island) is located in eastern Thailand in the Rayong Province which is 3 hours drive from Bangkok. This is the closest island to the mainland in Thailand. Due to its close distance, together with Koh Larn, this islands becomes an ideal place for a weekend getaway. You can visit the island all year round, but the best time to visit is from November to April when the rainy season does not start yet. But it does not matter much, we when to Koh Samet in September and everything was also perfect.
2. What is Koh Samet known for?
Koh Samet is famous for a plethora of white sand beaches, crystal clear water, and beautiful statues with the highlighted one being the Mermaid statue holding her child representing true love. Additionally, Koh Samed is well-known for its tranquil and relaxing atmosphere. Many travelers love to travel to this island as it is less touristic than other islands in Thailand.
3. Is Koh Samet worth visiting?
This may depend a lot on each traveler’s style and preference. At first, I never thought that I will go to Koh Samet. However, when I visit this island, I feel great that I did not skip this beautiful place. For us, Koh Samet is worth visiting. It is an interesting place to chill and relax with many beaches, beach bars, and restaurants with an amazing show in the evening.
4. How to get to Koh Samet?
Depending on where you depart, there are several ways for you to get to Koh Samet: by bus, by minivan, by plane, by your own car, by taxi, and by ferry. Whatever ways you take, you will end up taking the ferry to get to this island. The normal ferry costs 75 THB/pax/way with 45 mins -1 hour of traveling. Meanwhile, the speed boat ticket is 200 THB/pax/way with a traveling time of 15-20 minutes.
To get around this island, the most popular way is to rent a motorbike. If you don’t want to, there is Songthaew ( Green truck) options for you to choose from at a reasonable price.
5. How long does it take to go to Koh Samet?
It takes 3- 4 hours to go to Koh Samet depending on the traffic. To have more time on the island, we suggest you catch the earliest convenient bus for you.
6. Is Koh Samet expensive?
Nope, Koh Samet is not expensive. It is easy to get a small meal for less than 100 THB (~3 USD). However, if you are a tight-budget traveler, it is important to plan ahead to avoid unwanted expenses. Bear in mind that you can get cheap water at 7-11, there is one on the island.
Below are some expenses you may need to spend in Koh Samet:
- Ticket fee: 200 THB/ person (~6 USD)
- Speed boat: 200 THB/ way/ person ( ~ 6 USD)
- 6 island tour (Optional): 600 THB/ person (~18 USD)
- Hotel: 800-1000 THB/ night/ room ( 24~30 USD)
- Motorbike rental ( Optional): 400 THB/ day/ bike (~12 USD)
- If you don’t travel by motorbike, you can check for the Songtheaw (Green trucks) fee in the below photo:
Check out this post to get more information about Thai currency and plan your Thai travel budget.
7. Can I take my own vehicle to Koh Samet?
Personal vehicles are prohibited on Koh Samet. If you decided to drive your car to get to this island, you need to park your car in the Ban Phe area before taking the boat to Koh Samet. There is nothing much to worry about because there are many parking lots around the pier. The price is 100 THB/car/ night and 50 THB/motorbike/night. They offer a free three-wheel taxi to bring you to the pier.
8. How many days is enough for Koh Samet?
3 days and 2 nights are ideal for Koh Samet. With this, you have enough time to enjoy the must-try activities in Koh Samet, relax on white sandy beaches, and chill in the crystal clear water. If you are on a tight schedule, 2 days and 1 night are also enough. We used to try the 2 days 1 night itinerary and it works.
9. Do I need to pay an entrance fee to Koh Samet?
Koh Samet is a National Park, as such, you will need to pay a small fee to enter the island.
The fee for foreigners is 200 THB/ adult and 100 THB/ child. Meanwhile, the fee for Thai people is 40 THB/ adult, and 20 THB/child. Bear in mind to keep the entrance ticket with you as you may need to show it when you visit another island in the area too. If you failed to show your ticket when you first arrived at Koh Samet, you need to pay again.
10. Where to stay in Koh Samet?
There are 8 main areas to stay in Koh Samet, and each of them is amazing as they are close to a beach for your convenience. Depending on your travel style, you may need to choose the best area for you.
Located on the west coast of the island, Home to a luxury hotel, and Best match for family travelers and couple travelers.
Ao Noi Na
Located in the north of Koh Samet, Various hotel options, bars, and restaurants, close to Sai Kaew Beach, Available motorbike rental service, and Best match for backpackers, coupled travelers, and family travelers.
Samet Island Center
Home to Koh Samet Pier, Plenty of shops, bars, and restaurants, Various hotel options with a wide range of prices, and Best match for backpackers, and couple travelers.
Sai Kaew Beach
Busy areas with many bars and restaurants, Beautiful beach, Many available services nearby, and Best match for family travelers, backpackers, and couples.
Many bars and restaurants nearby, Plenty of hotel options with various price ranges, and Best match for Backpackers, Low-budget travelers, Couples, and Party lovers.
Ao Cho & Ao Pudsa
Located on the east coast, Quiet and tranquil, Not many services nearby, and Best match for Medium-budget travelers and Family Travelers
Ao Wong Duan and Ao Sang Thian
Home to many accommodations, Many bars, and restaurants nearby, No motorbike rental service, and Best match for backpackers, couples, and family travelers.
Ao Wai, Ao Kiew, and Ao Pakarang
Quiet and luxury, Bars and restaurants are available in the resort and Best match for family travelers and couples.
11. What are there to do in Koh Samet?
There are 10 amazing things to do on this beautiful island including beach tours, the Mermaid statue, kayaking or surfing, trying water sports, exploring six nearby islands, snorkeling, squidding or fishing, enjoying the nightlife, seeing sunrise and sunset at Laem Toei, and treating yourself to a beach massage.
If you are traveling with kids, they will definitely love the swimming activities or playing on the beautiful sandy beaches. You can let them try on some snorkeling as well.