Tuesday, May 13, 2008
The Southeast Coast of Ko Samet
What you discover
Beaches with very fine white sand. Ko Samet (also Samed), 6 kilometres long and 3 kilometres wide, is part of the Khao Laem Ya-Samed National Marine Park in front of the Eastern Cost of Thailand, which includes the islands Kudi, Kruai, Kham and Plai Tin. Therefore you pay a 400 Baht entrance fee, when you arrive at the island. It's close to Bangkok, so it can get crowded on weekends. In the 1970's Thai teenagers and young couples discovered Ko Samet for weekends. It's the driest island in Thailand and can be visited all year. The rainy season goes from May to July, but even then it has less rainfall than the mainland around Rayong.
Ko Samet and the small islands nearby are surrounded by coral formations in shallow water - good for snorkeling. Other water sports as sailing, parasailing, skiing and fishing can be arranged. The best places to see coral reefs are sited off the island's southern tip and along the eastern coastline near Wong Deuan beach. Tropical jungle dominates the hills inside the islands, populated by monkey, birds ans snakes.
There are three ATM.
There are mosquitoes on the island - so take care of bites, because malaria and dengue fiever can happen.
How you arrive
The ferry for Ko Samet leaves in Ban Phe at Chok Kisda Pier (see map). from 8 am to 6 pm.
From Bangkok Air conditioned and regular buses leave to Ban Phe from Eastern Bus Terminal on Sukhumvit Road, Ekkamai. Aircon buses leave every hour from 5 am to 8 pm. The trip takes 3.5 hours. There are mini buses too, leaving Bangkok from Victory Monument from 7 am to 6 pm (every hour). Book by phone: +66 8 4769 1702, +66 6 4761 1772.
From Bangkok Eastern Bus Terminal you can also take buses to Rayong and change to Songthaews (Mini busses) to Ban Phe.
From Bangkok Airport Bus Terminal you take the 9906 bus to Rayong. It leaves at 05.40, 08.40, 09.10 09.40, 10.40, 13.40 16.00, and 18.40. In Rayong, you take a songthaew to Ban Phe.
More details about busses here: Thailand Transportation
About getting around on Ko Samet: Taxis and motorbikes