Just 200 kilometers from Bangkok in the Gulf of Thailand, the T-shaped island of Ko Samet is famed for its white sandy beaches, exotic coral and crystal clear waters. Ko Samet 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 for 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.
It's a popular tourist destination for Thais and foreigners alike. As Ko Samet 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. It's only a 2.5 hour ride to Ban Phe, where one can take a 20-minutes ferry to the island.
It is believed that once upon a time, Ko Samet was the home of pirates and that until this very day there is still lost treasures buried somewhere on the island. Thailand's legendary poet Sunthorn Phu was the first one to put this island on the map when he set his classical epic there, Phra Aphai Manee "The Story of Princes, Saga, Mermaids and Giants".
Even though Bangkokians had known about the beauty of Ko Samet for decades before, the Thai government put this island off limits and restricted overnight stay there until 1981. In that year, on 1st October, the Forestry Department of Thailand declared Ko Samet and its surroundings to be a national park.
Catch the sunset from dramatic cliffside locations along the south-west coastline.
A fireshow at the renowned Ploy Thalee Restaurant/Bar on Saikaew Beach. They are held twice a night around 8.30PM and 10.30PM.
Most beaches are on the eastern side of the island. The beaches hide in small bays and stretch some 200 metres. From the north, there are Hat Sai Kaeo, Hat Hin Khrong, Hat Khlong Phai, Ao Phutsa, Ao Thapthim, Ao Naun, Ao Cho, Ao Thian, Ao Wai, Ao Kio Na Yok and Ao Karang. The only beach on the western side is Ao Phrao. One of the famous beaches is Ao Wong Duean in the middle of the eastern side. This beach stretches in the shape of an almost complete circle. Both Ao Wong Duean and Hat Sai Kaeo have very fine white sand.
Rayong (ระยอง) is a city on the Eastern Gulf Coast of Thailand.
On the east coast of Thailand, 179 kilometres from Bangkok, modest beaches dotted around Rayong province are tranquil paradises for sea lovers who wish for hideaway places near to the capital. Months of monsoon allow lush forest as well as fruit orchards to cool down from the heat of the day, and give produce during May of each year, so fruit lovers always travel here for various tasty fresh tropical fruits, particularly durian, rambutan and mangosteen. After the end of the monsoon season in late October, the crystal clear water of Rayong along its hundred kilometre-long coast embraces to welcome all visitors.
Traditional Thai massage at Wat Don. Good value authentic Thai massage by fully trained and qualified masseurs. Body massage costs about 150 baht for around 1.5 hours.
Can eat seafood at Laem Charoen Restaurant at a coast in Rayong downtown.