Koh Samet – Sights and Sounds of this Island Idyll

Koh Samet

In Rayong province, just a short ferry ride away from the main peninsula, one will find a tropical paradise called Koh Samet. This island is named after the cajeput trees locally called “samet” that are abundant on the island. The lush trees of the Khao Laem Ya-Mu Ko National Park cover Koh Samet. All Koh Samet Thailand guests (Thais and foreigners) are required to pay the National Park fee.

Inspired by the beauty of this island, the famous Thai poet, Suntorn Phu, was able to write one of the country’s most celebrated epics, Phra Aphai Manee. A statue of his epic’s hero can be spotted in Haad Sai Kaew.


The Coasts of Koh Samet

The east coast is the most popular among the three coasts of Koh Samet. This part of the island has a long stretch of immaculate beaches – the best in Koh Samet Thailand. It is the home of Koh Samet’s most developed beach, Haad Sai Kaew. Day-trippers, weekenders, and foreign tourists comprise most of the east coast crowd. This is where majority of the island’s resorts, hotels, guesthouses, and restaurants are located.

Looking for exclusivity? Then, go to the west coast of the island. It boasts upscale and five-star resorts with absolute exclusivity. For this reason, many of Thailand’s VVIPs like to spend their fun time here. Its Ao Phrao Beach is shallow but picturesque. Many of the island’s tourists make a stop in Ao Phrao for its magnificent sunset.

The island’s north coast is the least developed area of the island. Most backpackers travel to this side of the island to stay in guesthouses overlooking the ocean from rocky cliffs. Ao Hin Khok is one of the undisturbed beaches found on the north coast. This beach has fine white sand and crystal clear waters.


Top Dining Options

One will find an excellent variety of places offering local cuisine, international fare, and fresh seafood in Koh Samet.

1.       Take Your Pick at Sai Kaew, Ao Phai, or AoHin Khok

In between these beaches lay an array of dining options. Choose from fresh local seafood, grilled meat, or spicy Thai vegetables. To be sure of which restaurant or stall you will be enjoying your next meal at, it is best to ask around first.

2.       Floating Restaurant at Ban Ploi Samet

This restaurant is at Ai Noi Na. After ringing the restaurant’s bell at the pier, guests need to wait for the raft that will transport them to the islet where this floating restaurant is located. At Ban Ploi Samet, guests can enjoy a panoramic view of the sea while feasting on local Thai cuisine.

3.       European Fare at Samet Villa Restaurant

As the extension of the Samet Villa Resort, this restaurant offers both Thai and European cuisine on their menu. On Ao Phrao Beach, visitors and in-house guests of this Swiss-owned resort and restaurant get to experience beachfront dining.


4 Popular Things Visitors Do in Koh Samet

Due to its close proximity to Bangkok, Koh Samet is known as a peaceful refuge from the busy life in Bangkok. A good number of Bangkokers flock here on weekends and holidays. Many tourists also come to this tropical paradise after getting tired of the congestion in Bangkok. Depending on what you are in the mood for, there are a number of activities that can keep you entertained throughout your stay on the island.

1.       Delight in a Relaxing Massage

Thai massage in Koh Samet is quite a unique and hassle-free experience. To get a massage, follow these three steps. Step 1: pick a shaded area on the beach. Step 2: wave to a masseuse (usually carrying a beach blanket and low stool). Step 3: agree on how much it would cost you. Viola! You are set for your pampering session.

2.       Snorkeling and Diving

Further off Ao Phai’s coast, you will find a plethora of marine life including puffer fish and manta rays endemic to the island. You can also swim with the sharks at Shark Point or explore areas of the uninhabited western and northern coast.

Desiring for a more adventurous underwater escapade? Try a night dive with other qualified divers; those who do not know how to scuba dive may get lessons at Ao Phrao Beach.

3.       Party in Haad Sai Kaew

Beach by day, party capital by night, Haad Sai Kaew is undeniably the busiest beach on the island. This is the place to be to meet new people, drink some booze, and dance the night away. During the day, feel free to nurse your hangover with a dip in its azure waters.

4.       Explore Koh Samet

Its idyllic nature is often forgotten on its busier beaches. But Koh Samet does hold some secrets; it has unspoiled areas on its northern tip awaiting exploration.