Koh Samet is an island in Rayong Province, Eastern Thailand. This nice small island is a part of national marine park. Koh Samet has a number of wonderful beaches scattered around the island and is a perfect place for a relaxing beach holiday not far from Bangkok. Koh Samet gets significantly less rainfall than other beach destinations in Thailand making it a perfect place to visit during most of the year.
Koh Samet Beaches
Most of the beaches in Koh Samet are located on the east coast of the island.
Haad Sai Kaew
Haad Sai Kaew is the closest to the ferry piers and the busiest beach on the island. The choice of accommodation, restaurants and bars is really wide here, meaning that everything you need for your holidays will be within an easy walking distance from your place.
Haad Sai Kaew beach is the center of nightlife in Koh Samet and is famous for its numerous restaurants offering sunset dinner and wide range of seafood right on the white sand of the beach.
Ao Hin Khok
At the southern end of Haad Sai Kaew you will find rocky formations and a picturesque statue of Mermaid.
Cross the rocks and you will find yourself in Ao Hin Khok, the quieter part of Haad Sai Kaew which is also known as Silence Beach. Smoking and drinking is not allowed and silence is expected on this beach as monks meditate nearby. If you are looking for place to avoid crowds and enjoy a really relaxing atmosphere in Koh Samet, Silence beach should be your choice.
Going further south from Haad Sai Kaew you will find Ao Phai. Ao Phai beach is a fine stretch of white sand with a few nice restaurants nearby.
Ao Pudsa is just a short walk from Ao Phai. Quieter than its northern neighbors Ao Pudsa beach is a good choice for those who are trying to escape crowded beaches and have little interest in nightlife activities.
If you are looking for more tranquility, walk further south from Ao Pudsa and after 10 minutes walk you will find a nice secluded beach Ao Nuan. Ao Nuan beach is a perfect getaway with only few bungalows near it.
Another nice beach on the east coast of Koh Samet is Ao Cho. Divided by a wooden pier, Ao Cho beach is a bit longer than Ao Nuan or Ao Pudsa but still offers tranquility as no nightlife or shopping opportunities can be found here.
Ao Wong Deuan
Ao Wong Deuan is the second largest beach on Koh Samet. Ao Wong Deuan beach can be reached directly by a ferry service with the mainland. As the beach is quite big, the choice of accommodation and places to eat is a bit wider here than in smaller beaches but don't expect active nightlife here.
On the west coast of Koh Samet one of the quietest beaches of the island, called Ao Phrao, can be found. Ao Phrao is an upmarket beach so don't expect to find any budget accommodations here. However, you can easily come to Ao Phrao and enjoy its white sand, blue sea and spectacular sunsets.
Ao Noi Na
Ao Noi Na beach is located on the northern coast of Koh Samet. Ao Noi Na is a very quiet beach that is great for recharging your batteries on fine white sand beach.
Ao Luk Yon
Ao Luk Yon beach is located on the northeast coast of Koh Samet. This small beach offers amazing views of the sea and is a good place to relax from everything.
Most of Koh Samet is a part of Khao Laem Ya-Mu Ko Samet National Park. This marine national park has an entry fee and you need to pay it if you’re going to visit any of Koh Samet beaches as only the town and Ao Noi Na beach on the northern coast of the island seems to be not a part of the national park.
National Park Entrance Fee
Current Koh Samet National Park entrance fees are as follows:
200 baht/Adult and 100 baht/Children
40 baht/Adult and 20 baht/Children
The fee is collected by officers at the booth on the entrance to the park (see in photo) or just on the beach, if you are using ferry service which is taking directly to Ao Wong Deuan beach.
Where to Stay in Koh Samet
There are plenty of beaches in Koh Samet but on smaller ones the choice of accommodation is very limited. Most of accommodations can be found at Haad Sai Kaew beach and in the main town of the island which is nearby. For places to stay in Koh Samet check Hotels in Koh Samet on Booking.com or Hotels in Koh Samet on Agoda.com.
How to get to Koh Samet?
You can get to Koh Samet from Bangkok by bus.
Bus to Koh Samet
Buses to Koh Samet depart approximately every hour. The total journey to Ban Phe, where the ferry to Koh Samet is found, takes about 4 hours, depending on the traffic. Direct buses from Ekkamai Bus Terminal to Koh Samet are operated by Cherdchai Tour. The current fare is 151 baht per person.
There are also minivans departing every hour from 07.00 am to 08.00 pm for 200 baht.
Ferry to Koh Samet
Ferries to Koh Samet depart from Nuanthip Pier which is located in Ban Phe town.
Round trip from Ban Phe to Nadan Pier, which is the main pier of Koh Samet, costs 100 baht and is worth buying as one way trip costs 70 baht.
You can also take a ferry to the second largest beach of the island Ao Wong Deuan but they are less frequent and is a good choice only if you are staying at Ao Wong Deuan or beaches nearby. Round trip from Ban Phe to Ao Wong Deuan costs 140 baht and for one way ticket expect to pay 90 baht.
Speed Boat to Koh Samet
Speed boats to Koh Samet also depart from Nuanthip Pier in Ban Phe town. You can take a speed boat to Nadan Pier or directly to Haad Sai Kaew, which is the main beach of Koh Samet. Round trip by speed boat to Koh Samet costs 350 baht and for one way ticket expect to pay 200 baht.
Koh Samet Pier
The main gateway to Koh Samet island is called Nadan Pier. The giant lady will greet you there.
You need to pay an additional fee of 20 baht per person when you arrive at Nadan Pier. The fee is paid at the booth on the right of the main hall of the pier, just before the exit to the town.
Getting around Koh Samet
The distance from the main town of Koh Samet, which is located by Nadan Pier, to the beaches is not very big. Most of the beaches can be reached on foot by walking along the coastline.
You can also use a songtaew for traveling around Koh Samet. Songtaew is a pickup truck with two benches in the back. In Koh Samet songtaews are usually green. As there are just a few other cars on the island, you will definitely notice them. You can find songtaews parked near Nadan Pier (on the right side when you exit the building of the port), near the main beaches or just passing by.
A private trip by songtaew costs up to 600 baht, depending on which beach you are going to. Songtaews in Koh Samet also operate as a public transport and costs between 20 and 100 baht per person. They pick up people on the road, so don’t expect your trip to be fast, unless it gets full. Before you board, make sure if the songtaew is operating as public transport or private, as they all operate according their needs.
The official prices are listed on the boards at main pick up points.
Weather in Koh Samet
Koh Samet has only two seasons - the wet and the dry. The best weather in this coastal city is between November and May when the weather is mostly dry with little rain expected for much of this time. Wet season occurs between May and October in Koh Samet. Even during wet season Koh Samet gets less rain than other beach destinations in Thailand.
For the best time to visit Koh Samet check our Koh Samet weather ratings chart.
After visiting Koh Samet you are planning to continue your trip to other regions of Thailand? Check when is the best time to visit Thailand's other destinations and choose your next destination with the best possible weather conditions.