Due to it’s proximity to Bangkok, this island1 is usually busy. While many claim that it’s not the hidden gem that it once was, I still find it to be a pleasant getaway for a few days, especially to escape the stifling heat of Bangkok.
Head to the southern bus station at Ekkamai and about 3 hours later you’ll arrive at the wharf at Ban Phe in Rayong Province. You won’t even notice that your wallet is a few hundred baht lighter.
The well-heeled will be able to high-tail it in a speedboat across to the island while the budget conscious (the rest of us!) will have to get the ferry. The ride can be a little bumby and you might get wet.
Once you arrive at the wharf, Songtaews will be waiting to ferry you to your accommodation. You can usually pick up something cheap and cheerful for around 1,200 THB per night.
Unlike Patong, you can still score a beach chair and settle in to watch the world go by while cooling off in the water when you so desire. Food and foot massages will be offered by passing vendors.
At night dine with your feet in the sand and then take in a fire show before hitting the sack.
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1. It is sometimes spelled ‘Samet’ i.e. Ko Samet or Koh Samet