Updated: May 26
Named after the Samet or Samed trees, Koh Samet is only a three hours drive from Bangkok and about 15 minutes by speed boat ferry from Ban Phe Pier on the mainland.
Map Courtesy - Living+ Nomad
The island is usually packed with visitors on weekends and long holidays. Once you reach the island, you get off at Na Dan Pier on the east coast of Koh Samed. The most popular location here is Sai Kaew Beach which is known for its beaches, water sport activities and nightlife.
The west coast is more rocky and isolated, with forest-covered headlands and white-sand beaches. Ao Phrao is the main landing point on this part of the island and boasts absolutely stunning beaches with azure water.
We got to Na Dan Pier at around 12 noon. There were a lot of minivans at the pier which take you from Pier to your hotel. It’s a very small island hence getting from one place to another is very quick. The entire island of Koh Samed is an Eco Sensitive Zone as is a forest. Hence there are check posts at different points and visitors are expected to pay a one time entry fees, against which they give you ticket. This must be with you at all times while you are on the island.
Our property - Larissa Samed Resort was just 5-7 mins from the pier and we were absolutely delighted when we finally got there.
Detailed review in the link below
First thing we did upon arrival in Koh Samed was to rent a bike. This was approx 300 baht per day inclusive of fuel. Having a vehicle made our movement around very easy.
We started our day in Koh Samed with a hearty lunch at Big Whale Cafe. a very cute cafe just about 500 mt from our hotel. What attracted us was a big board outside mentioning vegetarian and vegan options available. We called for a vegetarian salad ( a huge portion) Hash Brown Potatoes and Spaghetti Arabiata. The cafe had a very cool vibe and we spent good 2 hrs there leisurely savoring the food. With our tummies full, we headed to the beach.
The beach was exactly how I had seen in the pictures, blogs and vlogs. White sandy beach lined with cute beach shacks and turquoise blue water. We spent our entire evening watching the sun go down, swimming in the clean waters. Koh Samed, unlike Bangkok was much cooler in the evenings hence needs you to carry an extra layer of clothing.
After freshening up and chilling in our rooms we headed out for dinner. But this time we thought of heading further towards Ao Phai. This region too was lined with beach on one side and interesting diners and cafes to another side.
One thing I would like to highlight here is not to compare nightlife of Bangkok to Koh Samed. If you do,you will be disappointed. Bangkok is more of lively, loud EDM party scenes, whereas Koh Samed has the hippie laid back vibe with cozy bars playing classics. If you understand and accept this one difference, you are good to go !
We went to Avatara Resort’s beach facing cafe and chilled out there for a bit.
Later on, we went back to Sai Kaew.
We picked up a few beers from Seven Eleven and did shopping for a basket full of snack like we were some poor hungry people ;) With our grocery shopping ultimately we spent rest of the night chilling in our room.
Next morning, we started with a lazy breakfast that lasted for more than two hours at this tiny place called The Office. They had a variety of vegetarian and vegan options too. Vishnu opted for Scrambled eggs with toast while I ordered for a vegetable sandwich with microgreens. We downed this with lots of fresh apple and pineapple juice.
We were ideally supposed to go for water sports this morning but after such a leisurely breakfast we come back to our hotel and relaxed at the hotel’s private beach.
We sat there, Swam in the sea, chilled out at the loungers on the beach, read a little and got back for a nap ! What a perfect afternoon that was! Rest of the evening was spent at Sai Kaew with some water sports.
Now, the reason we went to Koh Samed was to celebrate our anniversary. That evening we got all dressed up and stepped out in search of the perfect place to bring in our anniversary. We accidentally came across this cozy bar “The Island Bar’ tucked in the main street of the market.
It didn't offer any view or anything but there was something about the vibe of that place which drew us towards it. The lady managing it was super friendly, fun and a great host. We had a fabulous time at that bar. They even got us vegetarian food from their neighboring food outlet as they didn't have veg food on their menu.
From Island Bar we decided to hop our way to Lido Beach Bar which we had come across the previous night. A typically regge kind of beach bar at the far end of Sai Kaew beach near the Popular Mermaid memorial. They had a few cozy romantic tents with fairy lights perfect for our romantic night !
Next day, being our last day in Koh Samed we woke up really early to catch up on some early sun rise. We went all the way to the west shore of the island. It offered us some spectacular views.
Vishnu also did 20 meters underwater sea diving. This was a surreal experience for him.
We checked out that day and headed back to Bangkok.
Koh Samed for every single reason was the perfect choice and I would highly recommend it to those who seek a romantic getaway amidst nature. There are many hotels are resorts which are budget friendly with impeccable service.