The wonderful Koh Samet and the Rayong Province
Koh Samet and the Rayong province is popular tourist destination for Thais and foreigners alike. As Koh Samet is so near Bangkok, the island is ideal for those wanting to get off to nice beaches for a couple of days without travelling all the way down south. It's only about 3.5-hour trip from Bangkok to Ban Phe district, and from there it’s a short ferry ride to the island.
Koh Samet is a laid back island where the emphasis is less on things to do and more on enjoying the beaches. This doesn’t mean it has no activities as that would not be in the spirit of the country of Thailand. Sai Kaew Beach is largest tourist community with the most number of resorts and restaurants with its long stretch of white sand. At day it’s full of activities on the beach and at night it comes alive with all the parties and breathtaking fire shows
. For those who simply want to relax, the beaches further south of the island are quieter. And let’s face it, it’s always tough to beat the simplest activity of lying down on beautiful tropical beach. That’s probably the reason you come to visit Koh Samet in the first place anyway.
Now if we get back to the main land, Rayong province – where Koh Samet is located – is a wonderful place. The beaches on the mainline are not shabby at all and the longest stretch is Mae Ramphung Beach. It stretches to nearly 10 kilometers with many activities and seafood stalls. Further to the east you will find Suan Son beach and Laem Mae Phim, again long stretches of beach where one can pick a spot under the shade to enjoy the sea. Further into the land you will find dense rainforest and tantalizing waterfalls at Khao Chamao-Khao Wong National Park. If you feel adventurous you can venture further east into the provinces of Chantaburi and Trat. The first features a couple of beautiful waterfalls and the latter is adjacent Cambodian border and is the home of Koh Chang.