When I travel to beaches in Thailand. I always seek for pretty beaches that are far far away from Bangkok , capital city of Thailand. The closet beach I had been was Koh Chang which was about five hours away. Actually , there is one popular island that you could easily go there in just three and a half hours from Bangkok. It is Samet island.
It was an instant trip with no plan at all when I and my Korean friend(Not a girlfriend) decided to go to Samet island. I knew that we could go there like anytime we want. So here is a detail of how to get there. ( Some info is from wikitravel )
The bus from Bangkok’s Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekkamai) to Ban Phe usually takes 3.5 hours, costs 173 baht (current as of August 2012), and terminates opposite the ferry piers. The bus takes a number of side roads and is rather slow. Minivan cost 200 Baht and leave every hour. If you want to catch the last normal boat service. You have to be here before 14.30pm.
There is no direct service to Ban Phe from Bangkok’s Mo Chit Bus Terminal — it only brings you to Rayong, from where you can take a Songthaew for about (20 Baht) to Ban Phe.
There are direct first class bus services between Rayong and Bangkok‘s Suvarnabhumi Airport. If you take a regular bus from Pattaya or Sattahip, you’ll need to take a songthaew or charter a tuk-tuk to the ferry piers.
There are also mini-vans that leave from Victory Monument in Bangkok’s Phahonyothin district. They charge 200 baht per person and bring you directly to the ferry piers. You can find the vans in the lane by Century Cinema near Exit 2 of the Victory Monument Skytrain Station. If you have a lot of luggage, it’s customary to buy one extra seat.
Ferries from Ban Phe or Nuan Thip (they are about 1/8 mile apart, with Ban Phe to the north opposite a 7-11) to Ko Samet take around 30 to 45 minutes. Only buy a one-way ticket (70 baht), as there’s no discount on round-trip tickets (100 baht) and you won’t have to worry about losing it or finding that your ticket isn’t valid for the most convenient return ferry.
Note: The ticket sellers may state that you must buy your national park ticket from them also but this can be done at the gate as you enter the park. They may also state that you cannot buy the return from the island, and must buy it at the Ban Phe pier. This is not true. Only buy a one-way ticket at Ban Phe pier. If you arrive after the ticket office is closed you will not have to pay the entry fee.
Nuanthip pier (tel +6638651508/+6638651514) runs boats to various piers on Ko Samet. One-way tickets are half the price of a round-trip, you might need to insist of booking one. The boats tend to wait until full so you might be waiting a long time.
|Destinations and price|
|Destination pier||Waiting for||price
|Nadan pier (Hat Sai Kaew)||20 pax||100 B|
|Ao Wongduean||7 pax||140 B (January 2013)|
|Ao Wai||7 pax||200 B|
|Ao Phrao||7 pax||120 B|
|Ao Kui (Pakarang)||7 pax||200 B|
|Samet cliff||120 B|
|Operating hours from Samet to Nuanthip|
|Nadan pier||from 08:00 every hour until 18:00|
|Samet Cliff||from 08:00 every hour until 18:00|
|Ao Kui (Pakarang)||09:30, 11:30, 13:30, 15:30|
|Ao Wai||10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00|
|Ao Wongduean||08:30, 10:30, 12:30, 14:30, 16:00|
Note : The last normal boat to Samet departs at 6pm. If you arrives late you have to pay about 200 Baht for a return trip instead of 100Baht and you have to wait until they have eight people in total for the boat.
we went to the pier by a minivan from Ekkamai which you could easily get there by BTS. But we found out that we arrived later than 6pm. So we decided to walk around and look for accommodation on mainland as we thought it was already dark. So we might not see beach at all and accommodation on the island must be more expensive than the mainland. If we could not find what we want. We still could get back to the pier , wait for other customers , and then go to the island.
Another reason that we stayed on mainland near the pier was the nice and cheaper seafood! We were really enjoy it. Actually we walked around with no information about seafood. We were told by a motorbike taxi that the nice one is in Salakeawarea. But he charge us about 100Baht per person to be delivered. We ended up with walking around asking some local about nice seafood restaurant. One of the family we asked , they offered us a ride. And we ended up with Pupen(alive crab) restaurant in Salakeaw area. I told my Korean friend that this is a beauty of Thai people as they gave us a ride for free!
I was impressed by a nice seafood that cost us just about $25 for three main dishes , stir fried crab with curry , stir fried squid and salty egg , and stir fried broccolis with prawn. These served with three steam rice and two Singha beer!
For accommodation on mainland , we checked out about three places. The first two has no twin beds and the price were not good at all. We luckily found the third place by accident. Actually we just decided to follow the sign of that place. And it was quite far. So we took a motorbike taxi that cost us 20baht per person. Fortunately , this place was super nice with just 600baht for twin bed!
In early morning we enjoyed eating our fruits we bought from or tor kor in Bangkok. It was such a nice time to stay here. But it was an ashamed that we have to leave soon. The name of this place is Phe view resort. contact :
Here we go! Samet island…. If you buy a ticket which is recommend by this place. They would have a free pick up service to the pier. But the motorbike rider would expect you for a tip. You could pay 20Baht. That would be enough and both party would be happy about it.
If you have to wait for to boat at the pier of Chokkretsadar. You could walk out to the main road. There are quite some shops around there. I found out there is a good price for Tshirt and girl staffs. Don’t forget to buy some supplies before you are on board. The 7-11 on the island is a bit more expensive than the mainland. The normal slow boat takes about 30 minutes from the pier to Nadan pier on Samet island. It cost us 100Baht each for a return ticket.
The first thing we did when we arrived was to find our vehicle. There were plenty of motorbike rental shops near Nadan pier. We chose the big shop just a distance away which cost us only 300Baht for a small bike , one day rental with full of gasoline. I thought we didn’t need a big bike as Samet island is quite flat compare to Chang and Tao island.
Alright we got our own motorbike! So it was easy for us to look around as we brought only one small bag for each. We had a look just for two places and we loved the second place so much. The place named “Barbados Terrace”
They gave us a discount from 1,000baht to 800Baht for a twin bed. The secret was if you come here on weekdays , you could get a discount easily because most of tourists are Thai. And Thai tourists would come here mostly on weekends.
Another good thing about this place was that it had a very lovely tropical garden. The bad thing was that it is not at the beach front. But you could sneak around the island without paying the national park fee-Foreigner 200Baht , Thai-40Baht. When you put your luggage in the room and just carry small staffs. As the park entrance is about 500 meters away.
OK! Let’s see what we could do around Samet island…….
Samet part 2