Photo: Hanging out on Ao Thian.

Ko Samet is so big, we've split it up into areas, select one of the below for detailed accommodation and food listings in that area. Sights and general overviews for Ko Samet as a whole can be found via the icons above. Don't know where to start? Read an overview of Ko Samet's different areas.

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The narrow beach at Ao Thian offers a quiet atmosphere that's not too far away from the conveniences of Ao Wong Duen. Budget accommodation can be found by walking south, past some rocky outcrops, to a few bungalow joints on neighbouring Ao Lung Dam.

Ao Thian

Though most of the resorts here are beginning to show their age, Ao Thian and Ao Lung Dam still boast one of Samet's better collections of beachside accommodation in the neighbourhood of 1,000 baht. Note that while some of Sang Thian Resort's rooms perched high up on the hill are interesting, their Thai-only website, lack of English speaking ability and what we found to be a not-so-foreigner-friendly attitude at reception all made us favour the smaller and friendlier resorts further south. We found several of these to be similarly inviting, though none blew us away.

Ban Thai Sangthian
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
Ao Thian, Ko Samet
T: (081) 305 9408

This small, tightly packed resort at the centre of the sand is designed to mimic a traditional Ayutthaya-style Thai estate, with elegant wood structures surrounding a courtyard of potted plants and tables. Standard rooms are located within the ground-floor concrete foundation that holds up the teak wood rooms, and we found these musty and best avoided. In the midrange, the wood rooms are among... Read our full review of Ban Thai Sangthian.

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Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
Ao Thian, Ko Samet
T: (038) 652 525

This relaxed backpacker spot has a string of simple stilted tin-roofed wood bungalows perched on a hillside just back from the beach. Because they face sideways, you'll miss out on direct sea views, but front porches with ice blue tables to contrast the dark wood exteriors are still worthy of an afternoon beer. Inside, the rooms are basic but inviting and relatively spacious, with lots of... Read our full review of Horizons.

Viking Holiday Resort
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
Ao Thian, Ko Samet
T: (038) 644 353

With skis mounted on the walls and Thai sculptures scattered throughout the lounge, Swedish-Thai owned Viking comes off as a little unusual. Stacked closely together behind the restaurant and reception, smart yellow vilas are clean and cheerfully designed with Thai silk wall hangings, loads of hanging sea shells and polished concrete floors. They're also equipped with air-con, TV, WiFi, fridge,... Read our full review of Viking Holiday Resort .

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Ao Lung Dam

The guesthouses on Ao Lung Dam are dismal, though some enjoy the laidback atmosphere at the bars -- they mainly only get busy if neighbouring Ao Thian is full.

Ton Had Bungalows
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
Ao Lung Dam, Ko Samet
T: (081) 435 8900

Formerly known as Apache Bungalows, this spot has become a lot more pleasant in recent years thanks to new young owners who really seem to care. The old wood bungalows with huge porches directly overlooking the sea remain, and at time of writing they were working on a few new ones set back near the open-air restaurant/reception area. With chipped plastic floor covers, worn sheets and hard beds,... Read our full review of Ton Had Bungalows.

Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Ao Thian? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.

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