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- 06 Jul 2020, 3 nights
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Koh Samet is a slice of Thailand’s tropical paradise. As the closest island to Bangkok, city slickers and worldwide travellers come here to party and laze on its palm-fringed shores. There’s a wilder side to Koh Samet where adventurers can trek through its thick jungle, wildlife-filled national parks and tree-topped mountains. It’s also surrounded by tiny islands, which have remote beaches and sparkling waters to explore.
Koh Samet hostels put you within a short walk from the coast, as well as bars and restaurants. Some of them have private en-suite rooms and shared dorms. If you’re after a social vibe, check out a Koh Samet hostel with an on-site bar. For more of a chilled-out atmosphere, look out for hostels with shady swimming pools. A few offer a free breakfast, while others have in-house cafés where you can get both Thai and western dishes.
Most of Koh Samet life is centred on the east coast thanks to its golden sands and clear waters. Sai Kaew and Ao Wong Duean beaches have shopping streets running parallel. Ao Kiu Na Nok, a secluded bay right on the southern tip of the island, is much quieter than the other beaches. A lot of nightlife is based near Sai Kaew and Ao Phai, where you can expect fire dancing shows and live music at night.
If you’re looking for some adrenaline-pumping activities, head to the northern shores of Koh Samet. You can try windsurfing, catamaran sailing and jet skiing around Sai Kaew beach or discover marine animals while snorkelling off the coast of Ao Phai. Go further south to Ao Kiu Na Nok beach where you can swim by the corals and spot stingrays, black-tipped sharks and starfish. Khao Laem Ya–Mu Ko Samet National Park, on the northern side, has beach forests and panoramic viewpoints like Pom Pee.
The closest airport is Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok where you can take a taxi or minivan to Ban Phe. From the pier here, you can reach Koh Samet by boat. From Bangkok, catch the bus to Rayong where minibus services or sŏrng·tăa·ou taxis then take you to the pier. These are also on the island to transport you from the pier to your hostel. Motorbike and golf cart hire are other options to help you get around.