A short journey from Bangkok’s Ekkamai bus station to Ban Phe port, plus half an hour ferry ride, gets you to Ko Samet in around 5 hours.
Cool, powder white sand, mostly clean seas, an unusually fine and stable climate and plenty of vegetation around make this a superb beach holiday destination.
There is a large choice of beaches with varied accommodation options from pleasant low cost bungalows to a couple of glitzy and sizeable resort hotels (at the north end of Sae Kaew beach), though these monstrosities are not as dominant as on some other Thai islands due to Samet’s National Park status.
Samet is easy to get to from Bangkok, the sand quality is outstanding, the waters shelve slowly and are warm, clear and safe, while food quality – especially seafood of course – is excellent. Nightlife is lively on some beaches, but hardly outrageous.
The island’s east coast is a good place to relax or party for a decent price though weekends are much busier because locals come over and prices rise. Samet’s west coast only has one beach/resort worth mentioning, Ao Phrao, a quiet and capable upmarket resort hotel.
Koh Samet is also statistically the driest island in Thailand so it’s useable in the cheap-cheap wet season. The island is a mere 6 kms long by 3 kms wide and lined with varied beaches/bays so if one doesn’t suit then the next will. That being said visitors will probably have to commit to a place for the full vacation so choose your accommodation with care.
Vong Duean (Vongduan?) beach, popular but very narrow and frequently visited by speedboats.