Ko Samet

Travel Guide Asia Thailand Ko Samet

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Introduction

Koh Samet - Ao Phai

Koh Samet - Ao Phai

© Herr Bert

Koh Samet is a small T-shaped Island of the coast of Ban Phe. It is a weekend retreat for the young inhabitants of Bangkok. There is a small town in the north in which you can find the pier, several stores (including 3 7-Elevens) and restaurants. The real draw of the island are the beaches. The island is a nature reserve, which means a fee of 200 Baht is to be paid upon arrival. Among all the species on the Island it seems that mosquitoes are among the best thriving ones.

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Geography

The island is T-Shaped, with sandy beaches on the northern and eastern shores, and almost completely rocky in the west. The island has some hills, but none really high.

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Cities

There are no real cities on the island. The small town in the north of the island is the hub for the boats that are transporting people from the Ban Phe pier on the mainland. Apart from that you will find several resorts, bars and restaurants along the several stretches of beach.

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Sights and Activities

Koh Samet

Koh Samet

© Herr Bert

The real attraction of the island is the beach and the tours that can be done to the smaller surrounding islands, where you can go diving.

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Getting There

By Boat

To get to Koh Samet you will need to make your way to the pier at Ban Phe, just East of the city of Rayong.

From Bangkok you can take a bus from Ekkamai busstation (located next to the BTS stop with the same name.) Depending on traffic the journey lasts between 3.5 to 4.5 hours. As a alternative you can charter a taxi to bring you to the pier. (on the meter count on around 2,200 baht, plus toll).

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Getting Around

There is one main road that runs from the north to the south of the island. Along the road are entrances to the beaches and resorts.

By Taxi

Songthaews can be found along the main road. Upon arrival you can find them next to the pier. Depending on where you are going and with how many people you are sharing a ride the price is determined.

By Foot

The island is actually small enough that you can walk everywhere you want. Just take some water with you as it can get hot during the day (and some

By Scooter

Scooters can be rented all over the island.

Koh Samet

Koh Samet

© Herr Bert

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Eat

Most resorts have pretty decent restaurants. A bit above average is the one from Samet Villa Resort on Ao Phai, which has a good selection of dishes that are prepared on the barbecue.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There are countless internet bars across the country in big and small towns. Internet caf├ęs are widespread and most are inexpensive. Prices as low as 15 baht/hour are commonplace, and speed of connection is generally reasonable, but many cafes close at midnight. Higher prices prevail in major package-tourist destinations (60 baht/hour is typical, 120 baht/hour is not unusual). Keyloggers are all too often installed on the computers in cheap cafes, so be on your guard if using online banking, stock broking or even PayPal. Remember that in the smaller towns and more traditional areas the owners and staff of internet bars prefer if customers take off their shoes at the entrance and leave them outside. This might seem strange although this gesture goes a far way to make friends and give a positive image of foreigners to Thai people.

Outside the most competitive tourist areas, free Wi-Fi is not as common as in neighbouring countries in many budget hotels and guesthouses and they may charge small fee for Internet by LAN or Wi-Fi even if you bring your own laptop. Wi-Fi is commonly available in cafes and restaurants serving Westerners.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The international code for Thailand is 66. 999 connects to all emergency services. Standard GSM emergency number 112 is supported in mobile networks. 911 for Tourist Police Department, English available.

For mobile phone users, Thailand has three GSM mobile service providers - AIS, DTAC and Truemove - which may be useful if you have a mobile phone that will work on either one or both of the GSM 900 or 1800 frequency bands (consult your phone's technical specifications). If you have one, you can buy a prepaid SIM card for any of the Thai carriers in any convenience store for as little as 50-200 baht and charge it up as you go. Using your own mobile phone while on holiday with a Thai pre-paid SIM card can save a lot of money and lets you give your number to family back home, so they can have an emergency contact number.

Post

Thailand Post is the Thai postal service that deals with all local and international mail in Thailand. The business is operated from local post offices. Post offices are easy to recognise with their red white and blue motifs and the words 'Thailand Post' in English and Thai above the entrance. They are open from Monday to Saturday, usually 8:30am to 4:30pm (main ones until around 8:00pm), though keeping shorter hours on Saturdays (usually until 1:00pm). They are generally closed on Sundays and Public Holidays. Each post office offers a comprehensive service which includes an Express Mail Service (EMS) and parcel post. They also have a price calculator for letters, postcards and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally. They also have a track and trace system and money transfer services. If you want to send packages, it might be a good idea to check with private courier companies like DHL, TNT or UPS, as they are fast, reliable and generally quite competitively priced.

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This is version 9. Last edited at 8:46 on Nov 20, 17 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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