Koh Samet

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Koh Samet

Postby same same » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:08 pm

Guys, next time I am on holiday I am thinking of a visit to Koh Samet for the day/night.

I have seem a place to stay that is just a few feet away from the sea, its not located on a sandy beach but the views look nice and its at a reasonable price!
Anyone here know if Samet is worth a visit for 1 night? I'm thinking it will be a change of scenery during my Pattaya stay and I would also be taking my Thai friend with me and probably hire a motorbike to tour the Island.

Have you been to the island? are there hotels you'd recommend? favorite beach on the Island? any info appreciated...

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Re: Koh Samet

Postby Trongpai » Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:00 pm

You don't need a motorbike to tour the island, it's just one short paved road and then it's beach front resorts. First the bad, it's all overpriced and packaged for tourism. Ahh... but it was not always. The first thing they do when you arrive is load up all the farangs in a songtheaw and head to the entrance to the National Park where some official collects a 400B park entrance fee. Where's the Park? It has not been a real National Park since 1990. If you're Thai or have a Thai DL you pay 40B (maybe) but most visiting Thais don't even do that, just don't get in the truck that is there to collect the fee. Not that I am suggesting that you avoid paying the outrageous fee, it's probably a crime to do so.

Now, the good. The water and beach are very nice. The food at the smaller restaurants is good and not expensive, just stay away from any restaurant run by a hotel. The hotels do this trendy beach table dinner and entertainment aka the fire show. Sit on a mat, swat the flies, ticks and sand fleas. That's one thing that has improved, it used to be infested with mossies but now it's been under control, I don't know what they did, massive amounts of insecticide?

If you do go drop in Richard's bar, if it's still there and he's still alive. He is or was (if now dead) a long time resident of Kho Samet. He has old photos of the place back in the 80's. He's from Finland and is quite a character.

Personally, I prefer Kho Chang over Kho Samet. It's less touristy and there's some quiet natural places away from Whitesands beach.

I used to frequent Kho Samet in the late 80's, early 90's and it was a nice natural National Park. There were many deserted coves and undeveloped sea front. Bungalows were the only lodging and nothing over 600B per night. Now, I have returned a few time to see the island get gutted and packaged for development. I don't go any longer.

The water and beach are just as nice at Kho Larn, if you only have a limited amount of time consider staying one night there or just a day trip.
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Re: Koh Samet

Postby Gaybutton » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:24 pm

I agree with Trongpai. I was there once and I swore never again. it's probably okay for a day trip and the Thai boys like it, but I thought it was nothing but a big rip-off that offers nothing that cannot be found at Koh Larn. I, like Trongpai, much prefer Koh Chang, but Koh Chang is really too far away for a day trip. rom Pattaya it takes about 4 hours to reach Koh Chang.
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Re: Koh Samet

Postby same same » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:42 pm

Cheers both...

The beaches on Koh Samet look very nice, and if I can get a beach front hotel then I think it will be a nice place to chill for the night. Many say 1 day is enough to spend on the Island so I may book accom for 1 night and see how it goes.

I've already booked accommodation on Koh Larn for the night, I have been to the Island before but this time I am going to do more than sit all day on the 1 beach like I did the last time I was there......a tour around of Koh Larn is planned!

Koh Chang was on the cards, and may still be, but the 4 hour or so journey from Pattaya sort of put me off the idea, for now anyway! (P T Taxi service charge Pattaya to Koh Chang - BHT 850 one way ,which I think is pretty reasonable)

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Re: Koh Samet

Postby Gaybutton » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:09 am

Maybe you'll like it. Just because Trongpai and I don't like it, that doesn't mean you won't. Everybody has his own likes and dislikes.
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Re: Koh Samet

Postby crabby » Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:58 pm

I disagree with GB and Throng. Thomas and I took one trip to Koh Chang and hated it. We were ripped off at every turn, the beach was mostly rocks and little late night action. At Koh Samet, the only rip off was the bus. When you arrive, walk into the park, it is only a couple of blocks. The hotel we stayed in was cheap, clean and comfortable, not the Ritz, but fine for the beach. We also enjoyed the beach side dinner buffets and shows. We negotiated much cheaper prices for the food and the shows are free. Drink prices are high, when we complained to our bartender, he told us to go into the liquor store, buy bottles of whatever we wanted and just buy mixers from him. Ice was free, liter of Coke was 50b. I drink wine and had nothing to buy from the bartender, he suggested a small tip and all was good. We returned several times and enjoyed each time. Partying continued late into the night and I managed to pick up a couple of fire dancing boys after sharing a few cocktails out of my bottles. Gay scene/bar is non existent, but chatting up a local is easy there.
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Re: Koh Samet

Postby Gaybutton » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:43 am

I don't know where you were on Koh Chang, but I'll bet it wasn't White Sands Beach. The way you are portraying it is totally different from anything I ever experienced there. To each his own , but personally I wouldn't go back to Koh Samet even if it was free.
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Re: Koh Samet

Postby TomUK » Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:08 am

I have been to Koh Chang and to Koh Samet and I enjoyed staying on both islands. Each has different things to offer, but if I only had a short time available I would always chose Koh Samet as my destination.

Here is a little trip report I posted last year in another forum:

"In May I went to Koh Samet for a day with three Thai friends. When we arrived in Ban Phe we were immediately greeted by a guy on a motorbike who guided us to the speedboat pier. These guys are like human sniffer dogs. No matter how uninterested you pretend to be, they always know that you want to go to Koh Samet and won't let go of you until they have dragged you to their speedboat operator.

Last time I went to Koh Samet was about four years ago and since then they have built an open hall with several desks where you can buy speedboat tickets. We were ushered to one desk and quoted a price of 3,000 Baht for four people for a return trip. I thought that was a bit expensive and mentioned that last time I had paid 1,700 Baht (I omitted to say that this had been the price for two people). We were then offered tickets for 2,000 Baht provided we shared the speedboat with other tourists. We accepted and it took only about ten minutes for the boat to fill up and we were on our way to the island where everybody was dropped off at their chosen destination. On the way back from Koh Samet we did not even have to share the boat with other people.

While on the island we talked to a Thai woman who had been on our speedboat with her farang husband. They had to pay 1,800 Baht for two people. I don't think she was very pleased to learn that we only had to pay 200 Baht more for four persons.

This was my third trip to Koh Samet by speedboat and it was the first time that I had to pay the National Park fee. As soon as we stepped onto the beach a park official approached us and collected the park fee (200 Baht for farang and 40 Baht for Thai visitors). On my earlier visits nobody ever bothered any visitors arriving by speedboat."

Of cause, you could always take the ferry to save some money, but since we only went for the day I chose the ferry to spend more time on the island.

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Re: Koh Samet

Postby Trongpai » Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:38 pm

The regular boat (passenger ferry) to Kho Samet is like 20B. It's not that far, you can see Kho Samet from the mainland. The regular boat does not take that long. Tickets are bought in the tall building in front of the big pier. Touts attempt to get you before you get to it or see it.
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Re: Koh Samet

Postby crabby » Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:43 pm

Yes we were at White Sands Beach and there was NO white sand! Nice view of the ocean and allot of rocks, but NO sand. We ventured down a long bus ride to get to sand, and it was there but police told us only guests of the hotels there could be on the beach. We ventured to the other side of the island to fish only to be told by police that fishing from shore was illegal. Yes Koh Samet is more touristy, but WTF? We were there as tourists, speak English, and wanted good service at a fair price.
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