Koh Samet (also spelled Koh Samed) is a small island south of Bangkok. (Koh means island in Thai). The island itself is a National Park, and it’s an easy, popular get-away from Bangkok, if you’re able to log about 5 hours of travel time, give or take 2 hours depending on Bangkok’s traffic.
Here was our route and costs in Thai Baht:
Taxi to BTS (50B) > Mo Chit BTS Station to Ekkamai Station (42 B) > 2 minute walk to Southern Bus Terminal > Mini van at Southern Bus Terminal to Ban Phe (200 B per person) > Speed Boat from Ban Phe to Koh Samet (250B). Cost of getting there was about 542B, equivalent to $17.
The island is a baby; it’s only 4 miles long and about 2 miles wide. We found that 4 days was a perfect amount of time to conquer the island. There are many beaches to choose from on Koh Samet, most of them with sugary, white sand, and a laid-back feel. Our beach of choice was Hat Sai Kaew (literally meaning diamond or crystal sand). Some beaches, like Ao Phai, are rockier, but beautiful nonetheless.
There is no shortage of activities on the island: parasailing, renting motorcycles for about $3, and snorkeling are all popular undertakings for foreign and Thai tourists. We took a boat island tour which led us to a few different snorkeling spots around the island. Lets be honest, we didn’t actually see anything while snorkeling; the water is far too murky and polluted for that, but we took some watermelon into the water and fed the small, glinty, striped fish that zipped around us.
My personal favorite activity was getting several amazing massages. The main roads were lined with shop after shop offering traditional Thai massages to Thais and foreigns alike. I also had my first beach massage on the Ao Phai beach.
It was delightful to spend our 4 day weekend relaxing on the beach, drinking out of coconuts, journaling, and reading. Although it was never sunny, I was ok with that. (I personally don’t enjoy frying my skin.) The Thais are on the same wavelength; while the foreigners flock to the sun, the Thais try to escape from it.
I find that a beach trip is always a rejuvenating one. Hearing the sound of the waves lap against the shore and feeling the sand squish in your toes always soothes something in the soul.
And the beach at night is just as exhilarating; as the sun goes goes down, this sleepy little island comes alive- Koh Samet by Night.
“She loves the serene brutality of the ocean, loves the electric power she felt with each breath of wet, briny air” -Holly Black