Samet Island, a small island in Rayong province, around 200 km Southeast of Bangkok, along the way to Trat province and the island of Koh Chang. Technically part of Khao Laem Ya – Koh Samet National Park, Samet Island is a popular weekend getaway for Thais and tourists living or visiting Bangkok and Pattaya, so there are dozens of beach resorts, bars, and restaurants on nearly every beach. Visitors are allowed to camp if they wish to do so.
Click on a box below for detailed info on Samet Island
Quiet and relaxing on the weekdays, raucous and fun on the weekends, Samet Island is, despite its proximity to Bangkok, a beautiful island with powdery white sand, generally great year round weather, and a variety of lodging options.
Samet Island derives its name from the cajeput trees that grow on the island, called “samet” in Thai. In the past however, it was called Koh Kaew Phitsadan, the “Magic Crystal Island”. It’s no surprise from that name that Samet Islands was chosen to be part of a national park.
Visitors to Samet Island looking for unspoiled beauty should get away from the more developed beaches along the east coast, though even the most popular beaches are quite beautiful. Those looking for more relaxation can book rooms at the more upscale resorts on the west coast, which are spectacular places to watch sunsets.
Samet Island is so near Bangkok, the island is ideal for those in the capital wanting to chill-out with their families for a couple of days, without having to go through all that rigmarole of having to travel down south. Samet Island has developed steadily over the past decade or so, but it hasn’t been the victim of over zealous construction which has hit the likes of Ko Samui or even Ko Chang. The island is typified by its splendid beaches and white silky sand, surrounded by tropical coral reefs and crystal clear sea. Tourists can also enjoy a plethora of delicious cuisine and fine nightlife.
Even though Samet Island is only a few kilometers from the mainland, the island with its micro-climate (the driest archipelago in Thailand) gets much less rainfall than the rest of Eastern Thailand. The rainy season is May to September but even then it still has significantly less rain than the other islands in Thailand. Tourists should, however, be careful of occasional storms.
Samet Island Quick Facts
NATIONAL PARK INFORMATION
Khao Laem Ya – Mu Koh Samet is a national park maintained and run by the “National Parks of Thailand”, There are park rangers visible on the island, their job is to collect the park entrance fee & look after the up-keep of the island and wildlife protection. The park rangers offices & park information centres are located on the entrance to Saikaew Beach & Ao Vongduen Beach Area.
PARK ENTRANCE FEE
Koh Samet being a national park, all visitors must pay a “ONCE ONLY” park entrance fee on arrival of 200 Baht per person. Thai Nationals pay 40 Baht per person. Children under 3 years are free – children between 3 – 14 Thai pay 40 Baht – others pay 100 Baht. Adults over 60 years are free.
Samet Island is approximately 13.1 km2 in size and is shaped somewhat like the letter “T.” From North to South the island is 7km in length and East to west measures 4km’s at it’s widest point. The Island has only three roads, One links Saikaew Area with the Northern area of Ao Noi Na, the other, links Saikaew Area with the East And Southern part of the Island. Most are dirt / sand tracks, Cars are very few, Motorbikes are many and are the best way to explore the Island. Truck taxis ( songthaews ) ( PHOTO )-a rather well worn pickup truck with two hard benches in the back and no roof, These are available all over the island and for a small fee will take you to other parts of Koh Samet. – “There is NO car hire on Samet Island”
Samet Island doesn’t have much in the way of shopping beyond basic beach accessories (sarongs, t-shirts). The Main street, which leads to nadan harbour is located in Saikaew Beach, it has the majority of local shops, bars, and internet cafes.There is a Doctors surgery and pharmacy, but No Dentist on the island, the nearest is located in Ban Phe.
BANKS / ATM’S / MONEY EXCHANGE
There are NO banks on Samet Island, however there are TEN ATM machine’s, one located on the main street in Saikaew next to the Seven Eleven Supermarket. One next to Mossman House Guesthouse. One next to the Buddy bar just off Saikaew Beach, One located at the Le Blanc Samed Resort Saikaew Beach. The other Three are located in nadan harbour area. There are two in Ao Vongdeuan Next to the Mini Mart By the Police Station. One Located in Ao Thian Next to the Mini Mart supermarket.
There are NOT many places to exchange money. **TAKE CASH WITH YOU** (Thai Baht)
The only Post Office is located at the Naga Bungalows complex in Ao Phai. The Address is “NAGA BUNGALOWS POST OFFICE” 36 Moo 4, Koh Samet – Ban Phe – Rayong – 21160 Tel: 038-644-168 Tel: 038-644-035 Fax: 038-644-034 opens at 09.00 – 16.30 Contact Khun Pin
SAMET ISLAND POLICE STATION.
The main police station is located on Saikaew main street and is staffed 24 hours, There is also a Police Box located in the resort of Ao Vongduen. The contact Telephone number for the Main police station is 038-644-111
Thailands Main tourist police telephone number is 1155 – Only dial this number from a landline telephone not a mobile telephone.
The Health centre / Doctor is located on Saikaew main street near to the Police Station, It opens at 08.30 – 12.00 & 13.00 – 16.30. The telephone number is 038-644-123.- 24 hour emergency number = 081-861-7922. There is a 24 hour doctor service “On Call” please contact your Hotel / Resort reception. There is a new international medical centre located in Nadan Harbour Tel: 038-644-414 – 24 hrs -Tel: 086-094-0566. All medical treatment must be paid for in cash and claimed from your insurance company on return. Keep in mind that the medical emergency services on koh samet are inadequate!!
Only large hotel resorts accept credit cards for payments – No Restaurants / No Shops accept them ****TAKE CASH**** (Thai Baht)
RESTAURANTS / NIGHTLIFE
The majority of restaurants are located on the beach area’s (many to choose from), Nightlife on Koh Samet is very low key, being a national park most beach bars close at midnight, people then move onto the main streets to the small bars located there.
SUN RISE / SUN SET
Samet Island’s location gives it great sun rises, normally at 06.00 & Sun Sets at 18.00. The beaches are quite full with keen photographers at these times.
MOPED / QUAD BIKE HIRE
Prices vary throughout the resort, most hotel’s have motorbike hire for 300 Baht per day ( Quad bikes slightly more expensive ) should you rent a bike from the main street, Leaving your passport or a deposit is not necessary or advisable. There’s not much to see on Samet Island, but it’s a great way to get around.
The Samet Island may prove very difficult in places, with uneven pavements, sandy and rocky roads, Access on and off boats will also be difficult. Island resorts DON’T cater for wheelchair users.
CAMPING / TENTS
Being a National Park, Camping / Tents are allowed, Pitching your own tent costs 20 Baht per person / per night. Tent rentals are available for 200 Baht per person / per night, at the main park tourism office, located at the park entrance in Saikaew beach area and at the park office in Ao Vongdeuan.
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