Samet Island can be compared to paradise. And it is only an hour’s drive away from Pattaya. First you must go to Ban Phe, a small village near Rayong. From Ban Phe you go by boat to Koh Samet, it will take around 30 minutes for you to arrive on the island. Unfortunately Samet is a National Park so you will need to pay 200 Baht per person to the park rangers to enter if you are a foreigner – Thais only pay 40 baht – this is where the ugly double pricing monster shows its face again.
Looking for a weekend getaway? Samet Island is the place of your dreams. Very nice beaches, much much nicer than the beaches in Pattaya, I am afraid. The most famous beach is Saikaew Beach, you can either walk there, it will take 10 minutes from the pier or take a local truck taxi. I like to stay at Sai Kaew Beach Resort because the pool is a heaven for small children. Yes, it is a wonderful place for families.
From around 6 at night things start to change on the beach. The restaurants begin to prepare for the main event – dining on the beach. Most people do not sit on a chair and dine, they sit or lay down on a blanket and the tables are very small. You have to try it, it is fun. BBQ and seafood is a popular choise, you can get what you wish.