A June 2002 trip
to Ko Samet by John Lamb
Quote: The former name of Ko Samet meant "the island with sand of crushed crystal", which is a good name for this island paradise. This is the best island for people without much time in Thailand because it is only three hours by bus from Bangkok.
A room with air-conditioning costs around $25 a night. Electricity is only on at night and shuts off at 7am, which means the room warms up quite quickly and you are up early. The huts are wooden and offer a nice deck with a couple of chairs. Burning coils will help keep the mosquitos away when drinking a Singha at night. There is a mattress on the floor and a mix of sheets that seemed clean. There is plenty of room, although no chairs or additional furniture. There are bathrooms in every place, but they end up quite sandy. The shower is a trickle, but good enough. You have to fill up a bucket and pour into the toliet to flush it.
The main center has a restaurant with pretty good food. Plenty of tables and good breakfasts are offered. At night, they play the latest bootlegs on the T.V. to keep the people drinking. There is also a collection of books for sale and some supplies are sold, like mosquito coils and sunblock.
These huts offer a nice primitive beach feeling. They aren't on the high end that is available, but they do offer enough comfort and we found them quite enjoyable.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 12, 2003
Ao Phai Hut
Ao Phai Beach
Ko Samet, Thailand
Breakfasts are very cheap and good. We would usually get a pancake with bananas for a dollar. The fruit is fresh and offered fairly quickly. There is also fresh pineapple juice available.
Lunch and dinner offers a wide variety of food. The club sandwichs are good and taste quite fresh. I enjoyed the Thai food there as well, with the Pad Thai being very agreeable. The Panong curry was also very good. Neither is very spicy.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 13, 2003
Ao Hin Kok Beach
Ko Samet, Thailand
First, go to the Eastern Bus Terminal in Bangkok (Ekami). The city you want to go to is Ban Phe. However, as soon as you enter the main entrance of the bus terminal you will see a sign that reads "Ko Samet." Most of the buses are air-conditioned and the cost of a ticket is around three dollars. The buses also have bathrooms. They show dubbed American movies on the trip as well and offer a snack. There is even an attendant to take care of your needs. The bus ride is about two-and-a-half hours long and offers a good glimpse of the Thai countryside.
Once you arrive to Ban Phe, go directly across to the docks. There will usually be a boat waiting to depart. The guides say you can arrange a cheaper price with some of the locals, but is probably easier just to take one of the scheduled boats that run from 8am to 5pm. Either way, it only costs a couple of dollars. Be prepared to do some scrambling over boats to get to the boat that you want. The boat ride is about thrity minutes from dock to dock. As soon as you arrive, you may think you are in anything but paradise. Just take a songthaew or walk to the national park where a majority of the accommodations are. It is about a fifteen minute walk to the national park from the dock.
Returning to Ban Phe is the same process. However, to catch the bus back to Bangkok, don't get sucked into the minibus deals. Just go right off if you are facing away from the docks and catch the bus again. You'll find plenty of people to ask directions to the station.
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