Not sure what to expect of Ko Samet. But I am travelling with some friends late July to Thailand. And we wpould like to start our trip with a beachholiday. 4 nights worth...so Ko Samet looks ideal.
I have read that the weather right now is VERY bad.
If it's raining...is there anything to do here? To me Ko Samet is all about the beachlife...if it's rain you have nothing else to do. And maybe a option to go to a place that's more lively?
Also reading your very helpful site I notice that from Ao Phai to Sai jAew beach is just a few hundred meters. Is it that close? And is it easy to walk from the Ao Phai beach to Sai Kaew beach?
#1 tan1415 has been a member since 3/7/2006. Posts: 7
Welcome to Travelfish!
Even in the wettest of the wet season, Ko Samet gets very little rain, and even in July the weather should be ok -- perhaps overcast but I wouldn't expect too much rain.
Samet is very much a "lay on the beach and swim" style destination -- while you can snorkel, dive and do boat trips, the bulk of the time is spent laying around.
Yes its just a short walk from Sai kaew to Ao Phai.
if you are staying on sai kaew beach, you'll have plenty to do even if it is raining. the ploy talay resort towards the south end of the beach has live music and fire spinning nightly. the naga bar, on the next beach over of ao hin khok, is a friendly and laid back spot with hammocks and a covered area to protect against the rain. naga bungalows as well as others will show videos during the rain too to give you a relaxing location to hang out. you'll be a short walk from several other beaches too, including ao phai as you mentioned, ao tub tim/phutsa, and ao nuan, a sleepy little cove with good swimming and a bungalow restaurant.
just so folks know, the national park fee for ko samet is scheduled to increase to 400 baht for foreign tourists beginning in october, so be sure to factor that cost into your plans/decisions.
also, re a previous posts on ko samet, don't forget to feed the sad looking little dog that hangs out near the 7/11 near the national park check point there in the sai kaew beach area. thanks. cheers.
Thanks for the info.
I am looking at the following hotels, which hotel and beach would you recommend?:
The Sai Keaw Villa at SK beach.
The Samed Villa at Ao Phai beach
The Vongduen Villa at Ao Wong beach.
What would you recommend as a place to stay?
Because we are a party of 5 I am trying to book ahead of our arrival. Or do you think it's ok to just show up?
#4 tan1415 has been a member since 3/7/2006. Posts: 7
those are all three fine places, and although none of them are what i would personally pick, i can't imagine anyone being unhappy with any of those options. i think you'd pay between 1,200 and 1,800 baht per night for a double at most of those spots.
wong duen villa is at the south end of wong duen beach. it looks nice, but that end of the beach doesn't seem to get much breeze.
sai kaew villa is more of a hotel-like accomodation, but looks good and if memory serves includes breakfast.
samed villa is at the south end of ao phai, on a decent section of beach and a short walk from almost anything.
i'm partial to the ao hin khok area, and sai kaew villa at SK beach or Samed Villa at Ao Phao beach are close to that. i'm not as big a fan of Ao Wong Deung, so i wouldn't necessarily pick that one.
with a part of five, booking ahead isn't a bad idea, particularly if you are arriving on a weekend or holiday. samet doesn't have a high season so much as weekends vs. weekdays. on weekends, the place is packed with thais and expats up from bangkok. on weekdays, the place can be almost deserted.
why not book the first night or two at a resort of your choice, and have a look around once you are there to see if there is something you like better. you might be quite happy with where you are, or you might want to move to that perfect little place you find while walking the beaches. i hope that is helpful. regards.
That seems like a good idea.
You think you can get a better value locally?
Samed villa is like 1900 for per night for 2.
#6 tan1415 has been a member since 3/7/2006. Posts: 7
If you show up midweek offering to rent two or three rooms for several nights, then yes, I suspect you could get a discounted rate. But if you show up on a packed weekend, you might even get charged more for a room, if there was one available for you. The Ao Phai area has many different places to choose from. If being right on the beach isn't important to you, look for a place called the Lost Resort. It is located 400 meters or so up the road after the road makes an abrupt right turn at the Silver Sand Resort area (continue past Sea Breeze Bungalows and make a left turn - it is on your right). They offer pretty good rooms at about half what you've been quoted by Samed Villa. You might (or might not) like it.
There are a few places in the Ao Phai area that don't accept reservations either, like Naga or Little Hut. They tend to be cheaper, and much more modest in their accomodation. Have a look, see what you like. Cheers.
Exacto thanks for all your info.
Could you tell me how far the walk is from Ao Phai to for example Haa Sai Kaew?
Not only in meters but more important in minutes too?
#8 tan1415 has been a member since 3/7/2006. Posts: 7
Holy cow 15 minutes? On the map it's like a maximum of 400meters?
#10 tan1415 has been a member since 3/7/2006. Posts: 7
Yup, I was just there. From the north end of Ao Phai to the south end of Haad Sai Kaew is only something like 400 meters. But if you were walking from the south end of Ao Phai, from say, Samet Villa, where you might be staying, to get to the middle of Haad Sai Kaew could easily take 15 minutes. It is a very pleasant walk. There is no need to hurry.
The roti stands on Haad Sai Kaew are very good, and worth the walk in themselves. Cheers.
Alas no chance for that...I waddle more than I walk. And at night I am afarid i'll be stumbling more than walking.
Man really looking forward to come here.
PS would you take malaria pills for just 4 nights?
#13 tan1415 has been a member since 3/7/2006. Posts: 7
on the malaria pills, no, i absolutely would not take them for 4 nights. in fact, i've opted not to take them in the six years i've lived in thailand. there are definitely mossies on samet, so you'll want to cover up at dusk and dawn and use a good bug spray liberally. bug sprays are available at almost any drug store or 7-11 type store in the country. we've been using a brand called sketolene made here in thailand and have been happy with that. there are other local brands too, all available for anywhere from 5 baht for a 2 application towelette to 65 baht for a 70 ml spray bottle. i hope that helps. cheers.