Hello...I am currently enjoying Kanchanaburi and will definitely share some ideas later. Due to rain and more rain on Ko Samui last week, I would like to try an island again and was thinking Ko Samet this time. Thanks for the bus info. I was wondering if you could recommend places to stay on the island, which I didn't see...sunset would be great. I was also wondering, is there snorkeling there with or without taking a boat out?
Thanks! Also, this site has continued to a great help while out and about in Thailand!
#1 karyn has been a member since 10/6/2006. Posts: 30
You've got a couple of options. If you really want snorkelling near the shore, then Ko Tao might be a good choice. But, since it is just a bit north of Samui, you might have the same problems with monsoon rains as Samui.
Samet is a good option during monsoon season because it tends to get less rain than other islands. Unfortunately, most of the main beaches face east, meaning you won't get sunsets there. You can see sunsets on Samet's Ao Prao Beach, and towards the southern end of the island at Ao Kiu. That's also where some good snorkeling near the shore can be found. But those spots are far from the main backpacker areas (as well as priced well above typicaly backpacker budgets). You can hire a motor scooter to get there however. A scooter can be hired for as little as 150B per day in Nadan town.
If you do go to Samet, the snorkelling boat day trips start at as little as 400 baht, and include your gear and a lunch. Not a bad deal at all.
As for where to stay? I recommend the Ao Phai and Ao Hin Khok areas, in general, and Naga or Little Hut in particular. They are on a great stretch of white sandy beach that even has some shade, and are both affordable and friendly. Travelfish lists a dozen or so other options in this area. Have a look and see what you think.
One last thing. Samet gets very full on weekends with Thais and expats from Bangkok. Your best bet to get a good room at a fair price is to arrive midweek. I hope that helps. Regards.
When I wrote the message the accommodation were not present...and now they are! And of course, the site is helpful with your additional insight!
Ugh to going through Bangkok again though! Is it true that you need to be at the ferry for a last boat at 5?
#3 karyn has been a member since 10/6/2006. Posts: 30
Sorry about the going through Bangkok thing. I can't think of a better way to get from Kanchanaburi to Ban Phe and Samet unfortunately.
The last regularly scheduled ferry boat from Ban Phe to Samet Island is from between 5 and 6 pm - depending on the season and how many people are waiting. Staying in Ban Phe for the evening isn't terribly awful, although the accomodation choices in Ban Phe actually are terrible, meaning you'd be better off catching that last ferry boat and heading to the island (unless it is a weekend, in which case you'll have a much better chance of finding a good hut with an early morning arrival).
The other option is to hire a speed boat for the trip over. By speed boat the trip is only about 10 minutes. It is expensive though, starting at about 1,500 baht or so. Often times there are several other folks waiting to get over to the island, so if you get stuck, perhaps you can find a few to share the cost of the boat with you. I hope that answers your question. Regards.