Koh Samet is a very popular island with Bangkok residents due to its proximity to the city. It is also a physically beautiful piece of real estate, which sits just off the coast near the city of Rayong. Samet and the mainland across from it, Khao Laem Ya, are officially classified as national parks, although development of the island has been allowed. The beaches here are of a very good quality with excellent sand and clear water. There is a good amount of infrastructure on the island and plenty of nightlife. At less than three miles long and less than 1,000 feet wide in some places, the islands small size make it ideal for exploring on foot.
Reaching Koh Samet requires a 3-hour drive from Bangkok to Laem Ya, near Rayong, followed by a short transfer to the island by long-tailed boat or speedboat.
The weather in Koh Samet is good for more of the year than any other beach destination in Thailand. It is occasionally prone to the summer monsoons but features good weather for most of the year, which is another reason for its great popularity.
There are approximately a dozen hotels on this tiny island to house visitors. These range from budget up to the ultra-luxury Paradee Resort.
There are not a lot of extracurricular activities on or around Koh Samet. This is a destination for those who simply want to relax on the beach.
Koh Samet has an impressive number of little beaches that dot its small coastline. Some are bustling while others are amazingly quiet for such a small island hosting a relatively large number of visitors. The small size of the island means that one can easily explore all of the beaches.