Koh Samet is a coastal island on the eastern side of Thailand, located a few hours from the capital and a short boat ride from the mainland. Tropical beaches, crystal-clear water, beautiful coral reefs, and affordable accommodations make this a popular destination with both Thai and international visitors.
Koh Samet is best known for its golden sand beaches, towering statues, and snorkeling sites, but there are also plenty of other activities to keep you busy if you’re looking for something to do while in Thailand.
If you’re planning on going on a holiday to Koh Samet Island, here’s a guide to help you plan your trip.
Koh Samet has tropical weather, which means temperatures will unlikely change too much between seasons. Having said that, the seasons still play an important part in the island’s tourism and the amount of crowd you’d see on the streets and beaches.
During the monsoon season, you’ll likely see between 22 to 31 days of rain. That being said, the rain usually lasts up to a few hours each day and falls mainly later in the day.
Temperatures will reach highs of 30 degrees consistently, with the lowest temperature hovering around 29 degrees.
With the return of the warm season comes an influx of tourists. The peak months see temperatures reaching around 32 degrees and rarely dropping below 30 degrees.
During the peak season, the prices of accommodations are likely to double in price—even triple if you didn’t book your room months in advance.
In addition to higher prices for accommodations, the peak season will also bring with it longer queues at restaurants or tourist sites.
There aren’t plenty of festivals in Koh Samet. However, you can travel to Rayong province to partake in the fun and exciting events.
During the monsoon season, the prices of accommodations are usually at their lowest, making it the perfect time for you to visit the island if you’re traveling on a tight budget.
Koh Samet is located in close proximity to the capital city of Bangkok, as such, it’s not as frequented by tourists. However, the small island is a great place to go to if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city.
The journey to Koh Samet is very easy as it’s completely accessible by bus or minivan and a ferry. Here’s a brief travel guide.
There’s no bus that travels directly to Koh Samet. However, you can take a bus from Bangkok’s Ekkamai Terminal (Eastern Bus Terminal) and go to Ban Phe’s Nuanthip Pier where you can board a ferry to Koh Samet.
The buses from the eastern bus terminal leave every 1.5 hours from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The ride takes three to five hours, depending on the traffic, and costs around 155 Thai Baht (THB) per person.
Minivans, also called minibusses, run hourly at Mochit Van Station. From there, you can take the minivans to pretty much anywhere close to Bangkok.
Once you get to Ban Phe, board a ferry to Koh Samet from Nuanthip Pier.
There are at least five piers in Ban Phe that serve ferries and speedboats going to Koh Samet, with Nuan Thip Pier being the most widely used.
You can catch a public ferry to Koh Samet for 70 THB per one-way ticket per person or 100 THB per roundtrip ticket—best hang on to that ticket if you’re going roundtrip or you’ll find yourself paying for another ticket if you lose it.
There are also speedboats departing from Nuan Thip Pier and heading to Koh Samet. These boats only leave the pier after it’s collected 10 passengers. Speedboats from the Nuan Thip Pier will likely drop you to any of the beaches on Koh Samet’s east coast.
Located just a short walk from Nuan Thip Pier, Tharua Phe is best known for servicing White Shark and Black Pearl speedboats.
The White Shark departs the pier at 10 a.m., 12 pm., and 2 p.m. The Black Pearl leaves the pier at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
The fare to Koh Samet varies depending on which beach you want to go to. Expect to pay 200 THB for Haad Sai Kaew, 250 THB for Ao Tubtim, 300 THB for Ao Wong Duean, 400 THB for Ao Wai, and 500 THB for Ao Pakarang Beach.
Tickets to Ko Samed can be purchased from the companies’ offices at Phe Pier.
If you arrive in Ban Phe late, you can go to Municipal Pier where companies stay open really late and arrange private speedboat transfers to Koh Samet. Some agencies can also arrange private speedboat transfers at any time of night.
A one-way private speedboat transfer can set you back about 2,500 THB for a one-way transfer.
A few other piers in Ban Phe include hourly ferries with the same rates as Nuan Thip, including Chokkrisda Pier and Sri Ban Phe Pier. Both piers are great options if you’re traveling with a private car.
Aside from the piers we’ve mentioned, there are a couple of upscale resorts on Koh Samet that maintain their own piers for boat transfers. The cost of these is often included in the room rates, but you can ask the hotel again to make sure.
Koh Samet is a small island, which means it’s easy enough to walk around from your accommodation to certain sights and beaches. That being said, you’d need wheels to take you further. Here are three transportation options available on the island.
While you’re on the island, the main mode of transportation would be green songthaews. These vehicles function as truck taxis that pick up passengers throughout the island. These can be flagged on one of the island’s main roads, except on the southern tip.
Green Songthaews cost between 20 THB and 200 THB per person, depending on how far you’re going. Typically, you’d have to wait for other passengers. However, you can hire a songthaew for a private trip that would cost up to 600 THB.
If you’re up for a little workout and you want to have the freedom to explore the island at your own pace, you can rend a mountain bike. There is a plethora of good-quality bikes available for rent from roadside stalls scattered throughout the island. Some resorts also offer bike rental services.
Mountain bike rentals can cost around 200 THB for a day or 150 THB per day for two or more days.
Motorbike rental stalls are widely available throughout the island. But unlike mountain bikes, you would need to have an international driving license to rent a scooter.
Motorbike rental may cost about 300 THB to 500 THB daily, with prices increasing as you get closer to the southern tip.
Do take note that while the main road itself is sealed to give you a smooth riding experience, some areas are still extremely hilly. This means motorbikes may not be the safest option if you’re not that experienced.
Prior to sealing the main road, locals and tourists rented ATVs to get around Koh Samet. However, it’s now harder to chance upon four-wheeled ATV rentals after the main road has been sealed off, which gave way to the rise in popularity of motorbike rentals.
That being said, if you happen to find an ATV rental stand, expect to pay around 1,000 THB to 1,200 THB per day.
After the main road has been paved, some stalls began renting out golf carts for 1,000 THB to 1,200 THB per day.
Koh Samet is a small island with only one main town. However, it’s home to several great hotels and restaurants—ranging anywhere from backpacker hotels to luxury resorts. The types of accommodations available vary depending on the area you’re in.
Jump to location
Located on the western side of the island, Ao Prao boasts the tranquility and quietness that makes for an incredibly relaxing stay. In addition, the area also sees fewer travelers, which means you won’t have to compete as much for a room or for lounging space on the beach.
Ao Prao is home to many luxury hotels, with prices starting at around 2,000 THB per room per night. If you’re looking for more affordable stays, do explore other areas of the island.
Ao Noi Na is located in the North area of Koh Samet, close to the Nadan Pier. The area has plenty of cheap accommodation options for backpackers, couples, and families, with rooms starting at less than 1,000 THB per night. The area is also close to the island center, so there are plenty of bars and restaurants dotting the streets.
Due to its close proximity to the pier, you might have trouble resting in the mornings and afternoons because of the noise.
There is plenty of 2-star to 5-star accommodation options along the beach, most of which are designed to service family travelers, couples, and party lovers. The many beach bars and restaurants along Sai Kaew Beach serve great eats and host amazing fire performances at night.
Sai Kaew Beach is a public beach, which means it can get very crowded during the weekends.
The Ao Cho and Ao Pudsa areas offer hotel options for medium-budget travelers, with each room costing around 1,100 THB per night. Because the area is located closer to the east coast, there’s a lot less traffic here than in the Sai Kaew Beach area.
Despite its quiet location, there are nice bars and restaurants in Ao Cho and Ao Pudsa. Beach massages are also being offered by stands in the area.
The area is far from the island center, which means you have to travel a bit more once you get on the island. Additionally, there are no motorbike rental services in the area.
Ao Wong Duan and Ao Sang Thian are far from the island center. However, there is a wide variety of accommodations and dining options along the long stretch of powdery sands.
The area does not offer any motorbike rental services. Additionally, Ao Wong Duan and Ao Sang Thian can get very busy during the weekends.
Each of these three areas is occupied by big resorts. Samet Ville Resort occupies Ao Wai Beach, Paradee Resort occupies Ao Kiew Beach, and Nimmadoradee Resort occupies Ao Pakarang Beach.
Both Samet Ville Resort and Paradee Resort own the beaches and only allow resort service users only. Nimmadoradee Resort also owns the beach, though the water is not as suitable for swimming due to the dead corals and rocks.
The resorts are far from the island center and are located in the southeast of the island, so it’s really quiet and tranquil, making it the perfect place for relaxing for couples and families.
Apart from the restaurant and bar in each resort, there are no other dining options in the area. There are also no motorbike rental services nearby.
Once a small fishing village, Koh Samet has recently grown in popularity among locals and foreign tourists. This idyllic island is every nature lover’s dream, with tons of outdoor and water activities to enjoy for a whole day of visit or two.
Here are some of the best things to do to include in your itinerary.
Koh Samet sits on the Gulf of Thailand, with its own waters teeming with marine life. There are plenty of water activities to partake in and enjoy in Koh Samet. Some of these activities take you to the beautiful underwater world where schools upon schools of fishes swim through the bountiful corals laying on the sea floor.
Here are some cool activities to do in Koh Samet:
Koh Samet may have a beautiful underwater world, but there are plenty of memorable sights to explore on land, including the island’s unique statues.
Here are some of Koh Samet’s landmarks:
Koh Samet may be a small island, but it has more than a handful of beautiful beaches that you should go to during your trip. Some of these popular beaches are lined with coconut trees and covered with soft sand that keeps Thai tourists and foreign travelers coming back. Here are the best beaches in Koh Samet: