After four weeks of intensive CELTA-ing, Taylor and I snagged a bus from Ekamai bus station to the pier that gets you to a tiny little island called Koh Samet. The bus ride was just 3.5 hours and for that and the ferry it cost us 251 Baht each. We were in need of some R&R before we head off to Chiang Mai to settle down. Koh Samet is not as hyped up as the southern islands such as Koh Samui and Phuket. It’s where locals and Bangkok expats go for holiday and is a good quick getaway from the city.
We got to the beach and stayed in a budget guest house called Runa Runa. It was right on the main strip between the beach and the pier. Yes, it’s a TINY island.
Some tips for Koh Samet:
- Everything you need is a walkable. But if you go off of the main beach area, you will want to rent a motorbike. Motorbikes are 300 Baht for a day and can you get you to some nicer and more secluded beaches.
- Watch the sunset at least once either at Sunset Point in the south or Ao Prao Resort. The resort is freaking expensive so don’t spend too much time there.
- Go to the fire show! There is an amazing fire show every night at 8:30 pm at Ploy Talay on the beach. We sat down and got tables close to the front at about 6pm to reserve our space.
- Other than that, we chilled at the beach, relaxed, and just enjoyed a bit of down time. It was really pretty and just what we needed.
How to get on the Koh Samet Sai Kaew Beach for free.
Not gonna lie, I don’t want to be that farang that takes advantage of the system, but I have heard loads of mixed reviews about the military running after people on the beach to charge them a fee. I have heard some foreigners get charged 40 Baht while others get charged 400 Baht. Apparently there is a fee to enter the beach which is 200 Baht. But it’s not really been verified and is REALLY easy to get around (haha PUN). We were there for five days and just walked around the guards and they didn’t say a word.
If you are walking south along the main strip, you will come to a checkpoint with two pillars. The guards are standing there charging people to enter the beach. However, right before you get there, you just walk left past the 7-Eleven and then take a quick right behind the pillar and they won’t say a word. If you’re on a motorbike you can take a back road to sneak by. We actually just drove through once and they just sat and didn’t say a word.
We loved Koh Samet. It was our little piece of paradise before our move up to Chiang Mai!