Koh Samet hotels

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Cruisey Koh Samed

If you’re looking for a serious historical and cultural centre where you can release your inner nerd and explore ruins and temples and more, turn back. Now! Besides navigating the crystal waters of Ao Hin Khok and getting boozed on Hat Sai Kaeo, the most exciting thing to do on the Thai island of Koh Samed is probably shopping for shiny things at the Lotus Crystal Factory or looking at a bunch of cajeput trees.

But as a perfect tropical retreat with white sandy beaches and clear water, Koh Samed can’t be beaten. Unlike a person, an island’s brilliance often lies in its simplicity – and that’s definitely the case with Koh Samed. And if you do get bored, they do fire-spinning classes down in Nadan Village…

Koh Samed's Top 10

10. Ao Put Sa A quiet beach where tourists come to escape the busy side of the island.

5. Ko Thalu The nearby islands are perfect for diving and snorkelling through untouched coral reefs.

9. Ao Tub Tim Purchase the catch of local fisherman and take it to a restaurant where they’ll cook it for you. It’s almost like you did it yourself!

4. Ao Thian Known as a great skinny-dipping spot, it’s a great place to get close to your summer love without too much company.

8. Ao Phrao Got a competitive edge? This is where locals race for pride, not prizes.

3. Ao Wong Deuan The second-largest beach is known for its tantalising strip of delicious seafood restaurants.

7. Ao Karang A favourite amongst locals, this beach is the closest you’ll get to authentic Koh Samed. Have a beer with a local and hear some of the island’s history.

2. Ao Noi Na The perfect beach for anyone wanting some serious R&R.

6. Ao Wiang Wan Packed with tropical fish hunters, each trying to catch the elusive ‘big one’.

1. Diamond Beach The most action-packed beach is buzzing 24/7, with games during the day and partying all night.

Koh Samed History

  • City Pillar Shrine - This shrine is the location of an annual Song Kran celebration in April.
  • Phra Ched Klang Nam - This historical stupa near Koh Samed can be seen from a great distance.
  • Somdet Krommaluang Chumphon Shrine - This shrine near Koh Samed honours the founder of the Thai Navy.
  • King Taksin Shrine - This shrine commemorates the king’s brief stay in the area.
  • Sunthon Phu Monument - This monument honours the birthplace of the great Thai poet.

Koh Samed Art & Culture

  • Song Kran - This festival celebrating traditional Thai New Year is held every April.
  • Ao Karang - This is a great place to see the real culture of the area.
  • Rayong Fruit Festival - Just outside of Koh Samed, this annual festival celebrates all things fruit.
  • Thot Pha Pa Klang Nam - This special ceremony has existed for over a hundred years.
  • Prince Aphai Mani Statue - This statue commemorates the title character from poet Sunthon Phuâ’s epic.

Koh Samed Shopping

  • Banphe Town - This is the best place to find tasty local snacks.
  • Lotus Crystal Factory – This is a great place to find crystal items.
  • Ban Phayun Housewife Group - This unique store is worth the short trip from Koh Samed, as it sells handmade items.
  • Ban Sak Yai Women Volunteer Development - This store sells local handicrafts made by women.
  • Ban Khlong Ban Bo Agrotourism - This store sells organic local fruits and vegetables.

Gay & Lesbian Koh Samed

  • Nimmanoradee Boutique Resort - This gay-friendly resort sports beautiful beach views.
  • Ao Phrao Resort - This resort is open to everyone, but is a favourite romantic getaway for gays and lesbians on the island.
  • Moo Ban Talay - Great food and outdoor pool make this a favourite spot for gays and lesbians on Koh Samed.
  • Tubtim Resort - This is where the trendy gay crowd from Bangkok chooses to go on holiday while on the island.
  • Vongduern Villa - Retro bungalows and a dance floor make this resort a hot spot for the gay crowd.

Koh Samed Outdoor

  • Ao Noina - For those looking for a quiet place to relax on Koh Samed, this beach offers a break from the crowds.
  • Ao Wong Duean - A great place to enjoy a meal outdoors, also one of the best spots to watch a sunset.
  • Ao Phai - This quiet beach offers an outdoor retreat for those tired of the nightlife.
  • Ao Wai - Many people come to this beach to take a quiet walk and enjoy the sounds of the sea.
  • Ao Phrao - This is known as one of the best spots for swimming, a favourite among locals.

Koh Samed Sports

  • Take a swim at Hat Sai Kaeo, the most popular beach on Koh Samed.
  • Windsurf in the beautiful water near Ao Hin Khok on Koh Samed.
  • Snorkel off the coast of Koh Samed at Ko Thalu.
  • Dive with the sharks and turtles at Ko Kut.
  • Learn to box like a Thai at Naga Boxing Gym on Koh Samed.

Koh Samed Events

Celebrating the ripening of local fruit, growers from across the islands join together in May to swap (and steal) secrets at the Rayong Fruit Fair.

A local literary legend and poetry god is celebrated in June during Sunthorn Phu Day, with processions, poetry competitions and local mural painting.

The five-day Banpae Beach and Koh Samet Festival sees locals and international adventurers compete in feats of strength and stamina each December. For the less physically adept, there’s also a quiz show based around squid. Seriously!

November’s religious festival The Robing of the Phra Chedi Kiang Nam includes local music and a procession, but the real draw card is the boat race around the island.

Intense rave parties take place every Full Moon. Cocktails come in buckets, music is blaring and the hangovers are as crazy as the rave itself.

When To Visit

  • November to February is the best time to visit, when days are warm and nights cool.
  • The cool season is also the busiest as backpackers from around the world flood the island to get sunburnt and boozed.
  • March to May and June to October are less busy, but the respective heat and wet are even harder than crowds to deal with.

Getting Around

  • Travelling via songthaew is a Koh Samed right of passage and perfect for tackling the main (and only) road.
  • Motorbikes are also a good way to get around, but avoid having your first lesson here.
  • It’s a small island, so one of the best modes of transport is walking.

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Hotels in Koh Samet

Recommended hotels

From US$99

1 Samed Pavilion Resort & Restaurant

4 stars
4.0 / 5 2 reviews

89/1 Moo 4, Samed T. Phae Muang Rayong, Map

Travellers looking to escape the bustle of city life and retreat to a tropical destination can stay at Samed Pavilion Resort & Restaurant Koh Samed. This inviting resort in Koh Samed places... More

Good standard for good price. The staff is very friendly and helpful. 50m to the beach, we had a perfect stay here.
24 Jun 2014
From US$137

2 Bar and Bed Resort Samed

3 stars
Not yet reviewed

140 Moo 4, Noina Beach, Koh Samed, Rayong Map

Travellers looking for a cosy beachfront getaway that offers entertainment and nightlife book a stay at the chic Bar and Bed Resort Samed. This stylish Ko Samet resort provides convenient access to... More

From US$148

3 Samed Club Koh Samed

3 stars
4.5 / 5 2 reviews

25 Moo 4 Tambon Phe Map

Vacationers looking for a suitable place to spend holiday under the sun can book a stay at Samed Club Koh Samed. This budget-friendly property in Koh Samed, a part of the Khao Laem Ya - Mu Ko Samet... More

From US$214

4 Sai Kaew Beach Resort Koh Samed

3 stars
4.0 / 5 1 reviews

Koh Samet 8/1 Moo 4 Map

Appreciate the beauty of nature and indulge in modern luxuries at the tranquil accommodations of Sai Kaew Beach Resort Koh Samed. Aside from easy access to area attractions like Rayong Aquarium and... More

5 Ao Prao Resort Koh Samed

4 stars
4.0 / 5 1 reviews

60 Moo 4 Map

Exclusive Offer

Ao Prao Resort Rayong features both a tranquil retreat and an activity hub for travellers looking for a eventful holiday. The property sits on the island of Rayong, declared a National Park by the... More

6 Mooban Talay Resort

4 stars
5.0 / 5 1 reviews

1/8 Moo 4 Banpae Map

Visitors looking to escape the bustling city environment find ideal base at the chic and tastefully appointed accommodations in a beachfront setting of Mooban Talay Resort Muang Rayong. Guests at... More

From US$344

7 Le Vimarn Cottage & Spa Koh Samed

5 stars
5.0 / 5 1 reviews

40/11 Moo 4 Map

Exclusive Offer

Featuring an elegant decor and a warm hospitality, Le Vimarn Cottage & Spa welcomes you for an unforgettable vacation. GeneralDuring leisure, you can indulge in various activities in the... More

From US$23

8 Nice Beach Hotel Rayong

3 stars
4.0 / 5 7 reviews

81/4 Moo 1 Haad Mae Rumphueng Map

Featuring a beachfront location and comfortable accommodation, Nice Beach Hotel Rayong is an ideal place for you to enjoy the peaceful sounds of rolling waves from sunrise to sunset away from the... More

Family long weekend getaway
Easy to find straight across the street from a great beach. pool is on 3rd floor with easy access from our rooms. staff were very good. Had a small problem with air conditioning which was fixed...
29 Jul 2015
From US$62

9 Classic Kameo Hotel& Serviced Apartments Rayong

4 stars
4.0 / 5 1 reviews

11 Soi 6 Ratbumrung Road, Tambon Nernpra, Ampur Map

Whether in Rayong for business or leisure, discerning travellers enjoy the tastefully furnished accommodations with convenient services at Classic Kameo Hotel & Serviced Apartments Rayong. This... More

Breakfast valuable
Nice staff, cleanroom, comfortable location and good breakfast
11 Aug 2014
From US$657

10 Paradee Resort Koh Samed

5 stars
4.0 / 5 1 reviews

76 Moo 4 Tumbol Phe Map

Special Benefits

Truly a lovers' paradise, renowned and treasured for its tranquillity and its away-from-it-all location, Paradee Resort Koh Samed is ideal for watching both the early morning sunrise and the... More

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