Thursday, April 5, 2012

Koh Samet : White Sand Beach Near Bangkok

                   We had heard of nice beaches in Thailand so we wanted to visit one during our trip. Our problem was time constraint. The famous beaches are far from Bangkok and we only allotted a daytrip for the beach. Phuket and its neighboring islands were out of the question as it’s impossible to do a day trip to those islands being 8-12 hours away by bus or car from Bangkok and even flight schedules if one chooses to travel by air won’t allow a day trip either. One day, when I checked my facebook account, I came across photos of a really nice white-sand -beach in the island of Koh samet.I researched about it online so I could find out how to get to Koh Samet from Bangkok( a lot of islands and beaches that popped up had the word "Koh" on their names. It turned out that “Koh” means island in Thai).
               Koh Samet is an island in Rayong Province, Thailand. In 1981 it was declared as a National Park. Being a National Park means it’s protected so there’s limited development as far as the construction of resorts and commercial establishments is concerned. The transit point for every visitor to Koh Samet is Ban Phe, Rayong province. The cheapest way to get to Ban Phe from Bangkok is by bus from the Eastern Bus terminal also known as Ekemai Bus Station . Once in Ban Phe visitors can take a boat to the island of Koh Samet.
          We left  at around 5:00 AM. I forgot the bus number that takes tourists from Khao San area to Ekemai. Since we’re trying to make it to the first trip to Ban Phe we hailed a cab instead. There was a miscommunication as the driver didn’t use the meter when I told him to use it. Instead he charged us 140baht which I haggled down to 120 baht. The bus ticket to Ban Phe cost 157 baht (round trip)which came with bottled water and a cupcake. Sweet .The bus didn’t leave until 6:30 AM. It was the only bus that we took during our stay in Thailand that didn’t leave on time as buses in Thailand were usually on the dot. It was kind’a sad on the bus because there were  only 5 of us including the driver and the conductor. The sights were again familiar but what’s interesting was the fact that we were already an hour away from Bangkok and were still driving through an elevated highway.


                   It took three and a half hours to reach Ban Phe. From the Bus Terminal we just crossed the street to get to the port. The ticket for the boat ride to Koh Samet cost  100 baht . After buying our tickets we ate at a restaurant and waited for two hours because the boat wouldn’t leave until there were at least ten passengers. We left around twelve noon and the sunny weather turned gloomy and then it rained. The boat ride took 25 minutes. I somehow lost interest because of the weather. When we arrived at the pier in Koh Samet we hopped into a pick up truck that took us to Hat Sai Kaew beach (the ride was included in  the 100  baht that we paid for the boat ride) . Hat Sai Kaew beach is the closest beach to Nadan pier and its also the most popular . It was still drizzling when the driver dropped us off. We walked through a small alley lined with souvenir shops then a white sand beach and blue water welcomed us. We were surprised. It was indeed beautiful. Fine white sand was something that I was looking for. It’s the quality of the sand that I use to gauge the quality of a beach since I spend my time just strolling (because poor me can’t swim).

                   Even with an overcast skies the sand still looked pristinely white and it was also very fine that I couldn’t help playing with it by burying my hands . There are also restaurants in the area and a lot of affordable guesthouses.While strolling on the beach I noticed that it was littered with plastic and foil wrappers .It’s a shame that the people there didn’t mind throwing their garbage everywhere. If we had more time I would have picked up all those plastic bottles and wrappers.             


                   Despite what I saw I continued walking and I enjoyed the feeling of the powdery sand under my feet.The good thing about the island is that it's not crowded so it is perfect for those who need some quiet place to relax while on vacation.


  1. I've been to thailand but never landed on this place. the place looks relaxing indeed. :)

  2. Koh Samet is a great choice for those visiting Bangkok, as you found you can easily get there by bus and once on the island there are lots of cheap places to stay. Many Thais go there just for the weekend so then it can get quite busy, but in the weekdays it is normally quiet and relaxing.
    Great photos and summary of your trip.

    1. it's really the best alternative to other koh's and to phuket since its only 4 hrs away from can do a day trip.thanks for dropping by.