Wonderful beaches, pleasant climate, crystal clear water, long stretched white sandy beaches and comfortable accommodations, that all combines Koh Samed. The island has despite its small size due to its long shaped from many idyllic beaches. A real paradise to relax and recharge the batteries. Koh Samed and the nearby islands are surrounded by coral riffs that are only a few meters beneath the water surface. The island is an ideal destination to combine with all the major islands as Koh Chang, Koh Mak and Koh Kood in the Gulf of Thailand for a perfect island hopping holiday experience.
The islands around Koh Samed and Koh Samed itself are since 1981 a part of the Khao Laem Ya- Mu Koh Maed National Park. Therefore vacationers who get onto the island have to pay a national park fee of 400 Bath. The island is due to the protection as a nature reserve still 80% covered in dense jungle. Surprisingly the island is the driest island of the whole country. Therefore are visits during the low season entirely clever with low prices and weather conditions nearly as good as in the high season. The island is due to his natural beauty and the proximity to Bangkok popular among the local population.
The main attraction of the island is its many beaches and the quiet and relax atmosphere. There are a couple of activities offered as for example sail boarding or fishing where afterwards holiday makers can relax in the spa's on the hotel compound. There are also some other activities and places of interest though.
In general are the beaches on the south east coast less visited. They are good alternatives for those who are looking for quiet and relaxing holidays. The west coast however is rocky and consequently less appropriate for swimming, but with some very good snorkel spots.
The island lies in the Rayong province which is about 200 kilometres south east of Bangkok. The island can easily be reached by bus from the Ekkamai bus terminal. The journey takes about 3 to 4 hours, depending on the traffic conditions. From the Khaosan Road in Bangkok and from Pattaya are departing regularly mini vans. Those are faster and the surcharge is low.
After that continuing with the ferry or the speed boat from one of the resorts, leaving the little port at Ban Phe. The 7 kilometres take with the ferry about 30 minutes and with the speedboat about 10 minutes.
On the island itself are the well-known Songthaews a very common mode of transportation. For those who want to rely on themselves can hire a motorbike. These cost about 300 to 500 Baht per day. It has to be said, that the streets as westerners would call them do not exist on this island. Especially after a heavy rain shower, the roads turn into dangers grounds for insecure drivers.
With a boat is not only the island itself easy to discover but also the small island around Koh Samed. A trip around the island costs about 500 Baht. At the same time passengers can ask for a few stops at the good snorkel places all around. Tours to the neighbour islands costs generally twice as much.
After the fairy tale of Sunthorn Phu, a renowned Thai writer, the captured Prince Aphai Mani was rescued from a mermaid and brought to a safe shelter on Koh Samed. There are now in memory of the very popular story the statues of all figures participating in this fairy tale between the Ao Hin Khok and the Hat Sai Kaew beach.
Hat Sai Kaew
Hat Sai Kaew or also known as Diamond Beach, is the longest and most famous strand on Koh Samed. The beach lies in the north east corner of the island and is about 780 meters long. The sand is nearly snow white, alike powder and the water is reflecting in green blue colours. Near the beach are cosy restaurants and bars, as well as many good overnight stay opportunities for bigger and smaller budgets.
Ao Wong Duean
Ao Wong Duen is a 500 meters long, curved beach with a picturesque sunrise. The conditions found on this section are similar to the ones at Hat Sai Kaew and the atmosphere is pleasantly quiet. Along the seafront are some good restaurants scattered, offering fresh fish and sea food in traditional and western style.
Ao Phrao lies on the west coast of Koh Samed. The beach is a real dream with some first class hotel complexes. Here is also a little port where long tail boats are heading to the diving spots or to the neighbouring islands.
Koh Samed has all year around tropical climate. The temperatures can rise up to 45 degrees during the dry season from February to April. The rain season goes from May to October. In the rain season temperatures still reach 25- 30 degrees and it rains mostly in the afternoon or evenings.
The best time to visit Koh Samed is in the dry season from November to April, whereas even the months till August are having mostly acceptable weather conditions with only some sporadic showers in the afternoons or evenings. The costs for accommodation are noticeable cheaper given the fact that these months count to the low season.