Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Ko Samet offers extensive pristine beaches with clean white sand and strangely shaped rocks. A haven for relaxation, this T-shaped island is a perfect retreat for those looking for sun, sand and sea. The climate is always pleasantly cool with an abundance of rain in August and windy monsoons in May.
There are a wide range of accommodations on the island with prices at the low-end starting from 200 baht for a bungalow with basic amenities, while bungalows with furniture and air-conditioning may start at the rate of 600 baht. Mid-range hotels and resorts mostly located around the Hat Sai Kaew area are also available. Reservations for accommodations should be made in advance as the place gets crowded especially during the festive season.
Attractions on Ko Samet include:
Hat Sai Kaeo
One of the most beautiful and most popular beaches on Koh Samet, Hat Sai Kaew is 1 kilometer long and 25 – 30 meters wide. The name speaks for itself, Hat Sai Kaew, which literally means Crystal Sand Beach, is a nice beach filled with activities. From dusk to dawn, visitors can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, jet skiing, windsurfing, riding on a banana boat or even partying at night.
Accommodations provided include bungalows and villas.
Ao Noi Na
Ao Noi Na, which is located near Hat Sai Kaew, has different ambience. It is quieter and therefore more suitable for those looking for a truly relaxing experience on the white, clean sandy beach.
Ao Hin Khok
Ao Hin Khok is separated from Hat Sai Kaew by a small rocky sea point where a mermaid statue is located. The beach, which is half the size of Hat Sai Kaew, is famous for its strangely shaped rocks. There are inexpensive bungalows/huts located along the beach, and also value-for-money restaurants providing fresh, quality seafood dishes.
Located close to Hat Sai Kaew, Ao Pai is therefore quite crowded. For visitors interested in sunbathing, this is the ideal place as swimming is not recommended as there is whirlpool on the sea, as designated by the red flag.
Ao Put Sa is a small bay on Koh Samet which draws repeat visitors intent on relaxing. Suitable for those who are tired of crowded beaches and nightlife activities, Ao Put Sa offers a quite retreat that reunites visitors with nature in its crystal clear waters.
Ao Tub Tim, which is set in a tranquil atmosphere, is located near Ao Put Sa and is well known for its white sand and clear water. Ao Tub Tim has a small, cozy resort, which provides nice services in a well decorated compound.
Ao Nuan is located near Ao Put Sa and is a perfect hideaway for holidaymakers in search of tranquility.
Ao Wong Deuan
Ao Wong Deuan is the second largest beach on the island (the first being Hat Sai Kaew). Ao Wong Deuan attracts tourist groups during both the high and low seasons due to its beautiful white sandy beach and good accommodations. On top of this, good seafood restaurants with nice views are also available.
Ao Thian (Candlelight Beach)
Ao Thian’s topography is painted by rocky beach in which some nice spots for skin diving are available. This beach is very quiet and free from group tours with bungalows and resorts available around the beach area.
Ao Wai is located within a short walking distance of Candlelight Beach. Shaded by coconut trees, the beach is a quite, scenic and serene spot for sea lovers.
Ao Kiu Nok
This bay is a perfect secluded den for those planning to keep their distance from the busy, crowded beaches and vibrant nightlife. From Aow Kiew Nok, visitors can actually walk to Aow Kiew Nai which is the ideal spot to see the spectacular sun rise and sun set.
The best place to experience the traditional lifestyle of the residents of Koh Samet is at Ao Karang where there also are a number of seafood restaurants providing fresh seafood dishes at reasonable prices.
Ao Wiang Wan
Ao Wiang Wan is located on the west of Na Dan Pier, a large bay where lots of sport activities such as fishing, etc. take place.
Ao Prow is one of the quietest beaches of Ko Samet. Located quite far away from the lively nightlife of Ko Samet; Ao Prow is preferred by travelers who quietly enjoy the deep blue sea and white sand in the sunshine. Ao Prow has a long white sandy beach which is ideal for swimming.