Koh Samet: The Closest Island Escape from Bangkok
Location: Koh Samet, often spelled Ko Samet, is a small island situated in the Gulf of Thailand, near the coastal town of Rayong. What makes Koh Samet particularly appealing is its proximity to Bangkok, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists seeking a quick island getaway.
White Sand Beaches:
The island is renowned for its pristine white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters. Hat Sai Kaew (Diamond Beach) is one of the most popular and vibrant beaches, offering water sports and a lively atmosphere.
Ao Prao Beach:
Known for its tranquil setting and upscale resorts, Ao Prao Beach is a quieter alternative for those seeking a more relaxed environment.
Ao Phai and Ao Tubtim:
These beaches are known for their lively beach bars, restaurants, and a vibrant nightlife scene. Ao Tubtim is famous for its unusual pinkish-hued sand.
Koh Samet offers a range of water activities, including snorkeling, jet skiing, kayaking, and banana boat rides. Dive centers on the island cater to those interested in exploring the underwater world.
Sunset Views at Ao Kiu Na Nok:
For breathtaking sunset views, head to Ao Kiu Na Nok. The viewpoint offers a stunning panorama of the sea and surrounding islands.
Phra Chao Lan Thai Navy Ship:
A unique attraction on the island is the decommissioned navy ship Phra Chao Lan, which has been turned into a museum. Visitors can explore the ship and learn about its history.
Khao Laem Ya-Mu Ko Samet National Park:
The southern part of Koh Samet is part of this national park, known for its diverse marine life, hiking trails, and scenic viewpoints.
Candlelight Beach Parties:
Koh Samet is known for its lively nightlife, including beach parties featuring fire shows and candle-lit beachfront bars.
Indulge in fresh seafood at the island’s numerous beachfront restaurants. Grilled prawns, squid, and fish are popular choices.
Explore nearby islands such as Ko Kudi, Ko Talu, and Ko Man Nok for additional snorkeling opportunities and pristine beaches.
Getting There: Koh Samet is easily accessible from Bangkok. Visitors can take a bus, minivan, or drive to Ban Phe Pier in Rayong and then catch a ferry or speedboat to the island. The journey takes around 2-3 hours from Bangkok.
Note: While Koh Samet is a popular destination, it’s advisable to check for any travel restrictions or updates before planning your trip, as conditions may change.
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