Mermaid on the rocks.

Mermaid on the rocks.

Mermaid on the rocks.

Taken on: 27th April, 2012. Copyright: All Rights Reserved - See Chris.E's page of Flickr

Read more about Ko Samet

As the closest major island to Bangkok, Ko Samet is one of the most popular places in Thailand to watch teal water caress feathery white sand shores. It's not the kingdom's most picturesque, enchanting or cleanest island, but Samet consistently draws droves of travellers seeking a quick, easy getaway from the Thai capital.

One of the very first Thai islands to surface on the foreign traveller radar back in the 1970s, Samet's old days of crashing in hammocks next to beach campfires are long gone. The island now competes with Hua Hin as the weekend beach playground of choice for middle to upper class Thais from Bangkok. This means better Thai food than on some islands, though it also results in bars and resorts that chiefly aim to satisfy middle- to high-end Thai tastes. On weekends, big groups of Thais zoom by on ATVs before congregating around bottles of scotch in the beachside bars (hopefully after returning the ATVs).

The island is famous among Thais as the ... Read our complete Ko Samet travel guide

More images

A pier in Koh Samed. Leopard shark in a fish farm. Buddha in Koh Samed. Fish farm,Koh Samed. Fish farm in Koh Samed. Building a new ferry terminal in Na Dan. Vendors on the back of a pickup. The roads on Koh Samed. A shrine in Na Dan. Sunrise on Had Sai Kaew Beach. Sunrise seen from Ao Hin Khok. Bungalows in Ao Phai. Koh Samed. Na Dan Pier. The main road in Na Dan. A boat docked at a Koh Samed pier. Pier in Koh Samed. Sunrise in Koh Samed. A shop on the main road. A fish farm on Samed island. Dinner on the beach. A restaurant on Koh Samed island. Sunrise at Hat Sai Kaew Beach. Fishing boat at Ao Hin Khok. Kok Samed at sunrise. Grilling prawns on Ao Wong Duen, Ko Samet Jep's restaurant, Ao Hin Khok, Ko Samet Ao Phrao beach, Ko Samet Ao Noi Na, Ko Samet Sunset at Ao Phrao, Ko Samet Ao Phrao, Ko Samet Spirit tree on Ao Wai, Ko Samet Seashells at Ao Lung Dam, Ko Samet Ao Wai swing, Ko Samet Boy swimming at Ao Hin Khok, Ko samet Ao Hin Khok beach, Ko Samet Ao Tubtim, Ko Samet Ao Phai beach, Ko Samet Beach vendor, Ao Hin Khok, Ko Samet Dawn at Ao Cho, Ko Samet Child at Ao Phrao, Ko Samet Tree on Ao Wai Ko Samet Departures, Ao Cho, Ko Samet Early morning on Ao Wai, Ko Samet Ao Wai on Ko Samet Ao Kiu Na Nok, Ko Samet Secluded Ao Nuan, Ko Samet Ao Wong Duen firespinner In the distance, Ao Kiu Na Nok, Ko Samet