Koh Samet's Beaches
Located 80 km south of Pattaya and 210 km south-east of Bangkok, Ko Samet, or Ko Samed, is the largest and westernmost island of a small archipelago located in the Gulf of Thailand. The island is the only within the group with a resident population and the closest to mainland. The island's northernmost tip is only 2.6 kilometres south of Rayong's coast; however the actual travelling distance from the main commercial pier is about 10 kilometres. The island has a microclimate of its own which makes Ko Samet one of Thailand's driest islands. The island misses most of the heavy monsoon that plagues other islands in the Golf of Thailand, so the weather is guaranteed to be pleasant at almost any time of year. Thanks to its beautiful beaches and excellent climate, Ko Samet is very popular among foreign tourists, but it is also appreciated and frequented by Thais, especially on weekends and public holidays. Most beaches boast perfect white sand, soft like talcum powder and surrounded by crystal clear waters with a colour that blends towards the turquoise. Apart from the beach at Ao Prao, all the most popular beaches lie in beautiful bays along the island's eastern coast, including Hat Sai Kaew, Ao Phai, Ao Wong Duan, Ao Tien, Ao Wai, Ao Lung Dam and Ao Sang Thian. Ko Samet offers a wide range of good accommodations for tourists. Most are located directly along or just behind the beaches, where are also situated most of restaurants and bars. There are accommodations for every budget, from simple bamboo bungalows to medium and high-end resorts. The several restaurants serve Thai and Western cuisine at fairly affordable prices. On Ko Samet there is a minimum of night life, just a few bars and pubs beach front in Hat Sai Kaew and Ao Phai offering music with DJ, artist performances, fire shows and beach parties.
Getting around: Narrow roads link the various beaches of Ko Samet. Basically there are two main paths on the island: the northern route connects Hat Sai Kaeo to Na Dan Village, Ao Klang and Ao Noi Na, while the central route leads to the southern tip. The central road is divided into two main sections. The first road links Hat Sai Kaew to Ao Phai and then to Ao Phrao, on the west cost. The second road connects the first road to Ao Wong Duean and then to Ao Karang located on the southern tip. Stretches of minor roads link the central route to other beaches, such as Ao Nuan, Ao Cho, Ao Tien, Ao Wai and Ao Kiew Na Nok. Song-thaews are the main means of public transport on the island.
Getting there: The regular ferries to Koh Samet leave all year around from three different piers in Ban Phe, a small fishing village 20 km south of Rayong. There are also private speed boats to be hired at piers to make the trip faster and more comfortable, but even dividing the cost with other tourists they are much more expensive. The boat trip takes about 25-40 minutes, depending on the boat, the weather and on which part of the island it goes to. There are six piers on island: Ao Klang, Hat Sai Kaeow, Ao Phrao, Ao Wong Duean, Ao Thian, and Ao Wai. Located in Na Dan Village on the north coast, Ao Klang Pier is the port to mainland. The other piers are placed on the island's main beaches and are used by diving or excursion boats, as well as by the speed boats leading tourists directly to the various resorts. Read More
Samet's most popular Beaches
Koh Samet by EYETA
Ao Hin Khok
Ao Hin Khok is located in Ko Samet's north-eastern coast, adjacent to Hat Sai Kaew. The beaches are separated just by a small rocky sea point where a mermaid statue is located. The beach is less than half in length compared to the largest twin, just over 280 meters long, and is famous for its strangely shaped rocks. Ao Hin Khok boasts perfect soft sand and a lot of shadow trees. Surrounded by shallow crystal turquoise waters, this beach is one of the best places on island for swimming and sun bathing. Ao Hin Khok is very popular among tourists and budget travellers, who often prefer to stop here instead of the most chaotic and crowded Hat Sai Kaew. Less developed compared to the most popular neighbour, yet the beach offers a good range of hotel accommodations and services, and they frequently offer the best price. Cheap bungalows and bamboo huts can be found hardly further behind the hill. Along the beach economic restaurants provides tasty fresh seafood dishesRead More
Located south of Hat Sai Kaew and Ao Hin Khok, Ao Phai, also known as Ao Pai, is the southernmost beach in the large bay that characterized the Ko Samet's north-eastern coast. This beach is separated from Ao Hin Khok just by a small and low rocky formation offering good chances for snorkelling. Similar to features at the largest adjacent beach, Ao Phai is just over 150 meters long but quite wide and has white and fine sand. Lined by beautiful Cajeput trees offering needed shade, the shore overlooks crystalline turquoise waters, though swimming here is not recommended due to deep water and whirlpool sea, so quite often the beach has a red flag. Ao Phai is very popular among sunbath lovers and attracts particularly younger tourists, backpackers and many Thais, both locals and Thais on vacation, therefore is quite crowded especially in high season. Considering the clientele, it is no surprise that this is one of Ko Samet's most lively nightlife areas. From sunset up late at night, most beach bars offer activities, artist performances, fire shows and beach parties in a cozy and informal atmosphere. Low tables with candles and pillows are accurately placed along the beach, right on the sand, a ideal spot to enjoy at tropical night. Ao Phai is also very convenient for visitors as compared to Hat Sai Kaew. Behind the beach are available various budget accommodation, especially in bungalows, and even the bars and restaurants in the area have more affordable prices. Facilities include a couple of mini markets, similar to the 7-Eleven, the Udi 's Dive Shop offering diving courses and diving excursions, travel agencies, a internet point, shops and motorbike rental. Beach massages are avaiable just opposite the Samed Pavilion Resort, 300 Bath per hour. Read More
Ao Tub Tim
Ao Tub Tim, also called Ao Thap Thim or Ao Phut Sa, is situated on the Ko Samet's northeast coast. The small bay is enclosed between two small rocky promontories that divide it from Ao Phai at north and Ao Nuan at south. It houses a crescent-shaped white sandy beach lined with beautiful Cajeput trees offering fresh and shaded shelter. The stretch of softy sand is long no more than 160 metres but very lovely and quiet. The cosy beach front Tubtim Resort provides nice services in a well decorated area equipped with wooden furniture. There is also a line of comfortable sun beds which can be rented for a small cost. Ao Tub Tim is surrounded by shallow crystalline azure waters, the sandy bottom no have stones and is ideal to safe swim even for kids. Snorkelling offers good opportunities to observe small tropical fish especially if you swim along the cliffs near the south edge. You can also rent a kayak from the beach and paddle along the coast to explore the other coves and small beaches. In addition to the Tubtim Resort, behind the beach there are other bungalows, a mini market and a few small restaurants, while the Pudsa Bungalows is located beach front next to north edge and boasts a nice beach bar. Ao Tub Tim is popular among the foreign visitors who are looking for a quiet beach, but not too far from the island's nightlife entertainment area.Read More
Ao Nuan is a small bay situated on the Ko Samet's northeast coast, just south of Ao Tub Tim. It houses one of island's smallest beaches, no more than 80 meters of golden sand. Surrounded by clear azure waters, this beach is the ideal spot for visitors looking for a secluded place far from the crowds. There is only a budget accommodation with restaurant on Ao Nuan. The home made bungalows in bamboo and straw are set on the rocky promontory at north edge.Read More
Ao Cho is a small and quiet bay situated approximately in the middle of Ko Samet' West coast, just north of the widest Ao Wong Deuan. The beach in the bay is long no more than 200 meters but very lovely and ideal for tourists seeking a quiet little corner of tropical paradise. It has soft white sand and is surrounded by clear and shallow water offering safe swimming even for kids. The beach houses a few cosy resorts with several bungalows, offering good quality accommodation at reasonable prices, and some small lovely bars and restaurants beach front where you can enjoy fresh seafood dishes and cocktails.Read More
Ao Kiew Na Nok
Ao Kiew Na Nok is small bay located on south-eastern coast of Ko Samet. It is one of the most secluded bays on the island and is ideal for those planning to keep their distance from the busy, crowded north beaches and the island's vibrant nightlife. The bay hosts a 200-meter white sandy beach overlooks quiet and clear azure water. Currently there is only a huge resort with swimming pool built behind the shore and the small bungalows are slowly being knocked down. The resort's restaurant isn't the best, but due to it's the only one on the beach, it's also pricey. Read More
Ao Noi Na
Ao Noi Na is a long sandy beach located in the northernmost tip of Ko Samet. The stretch of white sand is about 500 meters long, but rather narrow and faces clear blue waters. Despite being very close to Hat Sai Kaew, it has a completely different atmosphere. It is quieter and therefore more suitable for those looking for a truly relaxing experience on a secluded beach. Along and behind the beach there is a wide range of accommodations that cater to every budget, as well as some restaurants that offer seafood dishes at affordable prices. Read More
Ao Karang is the small bay located on the southern tip of Ko Samet. Due to the relative distance from the island's vital center, it is the most isolated destination on Ko Samet. Ao Karang is very quiet down and could be the best place to experience the traditional lifestyle of the local residents. Currently there’s only one small lovely resort along this small white sandy beach, as well as a number of restaurants offering fresh seafood dishes at reasonable prices.Read More
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