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Stunning beaches in Koh Samed

Posted on 10 May 12

By WorldTravelJoy

In the east of Thailand, almost 200 kilometres from Bangkok, Rayong is a coastal province known as weekend getaway destination, popular among teenagers and young jobbers as there are a range of accommodation options from budget to exceptionally affordable prices.  A 2-night 3-day break to Pattaya, Hua-Hin or Koh Samed is a usual practice for Bangkokian, the 2 hours driving has never been an issue even Pattaya has shorter distance, time flies while chitchatting, updating each other, hitting the old stories.   Rayong has many island attractions and Koh Samed the one that is internationally recognised.  The island is 6.5 kilometres offshore of Ban Phe, the main pier to Koh Samed.  It used to be a beach holiday destination among budget travellers but today there are developments of modern high-end hotels for limitless wallets. Koh Samed is a national park and 80% of the total area of the island is blanketed with forest.  Countless beaches encircle the island; a densely populated area is on the eastern side: Haad Sai Kaew has the most beautiful fine white sand, adjacent to Ao Phai and Leam Yai which are occupied by rows of bungalows and restaurants.  A few kilometres down Ao Phutsa, Ao Thap Thim where hotels, bars, and restaurants are commonly crowded and Ao Wong Duean is one of the beaches that frequently mentioned because of its stretched shape of an almost complete circle.  At the northern tip of the island with a short distance from Rayong mainland, Ao Noina perhaps is quieter one.  Even so, on the western side of the island Ao Prao is more secluded with only three hotels providing exclusivity.   Koh Samed only has a single road, getting around the island can be challenging with a bit of adventure.  Some parts of the road are pleasantly concrete and some are a dirt trail that often turns into a muddy lane after the rain.  A journey around the island is a hodgepodge of shaky and bumpy ride.  As an alternative choice, a wish to walk around the island through the coastline is impossible as rocks block some beaches.  Though, there are taxis provided to get around Koh Samed.  The rate depends on distances but is based on fixed taxi fares.   Koh Samed is not the only attraction in Rayong but is the most renowned island. Despite the fact, there are nearby islands that not less interesting than Samed.  Koh Kruai and Koh Kham are connected by ridge of sand, during a low tide a walk along the two islands can be done.  Koh Kruai is a small island with submerged rocks whereas Koh Kham has a beautiful 100 metres long yellow brownish sandy beach.  Additionally, the island is covered with forest on the opposite side of the beach.  These two islands can be visited as a day trip due to non-developed resources.  A close by coral reef island Koh Pla Tin is suitable for fishing.   Heading from the eastern Samed, Koh Kudi is another tiny island that is under Kao Laem Ya national park administration, which has plenty underwater marine life.  Koh Kudi is in a group of three islands and is the largest with a total area of 63 rai.  It has a fine beach surrounded by fine-looking coral reefs, which makes the island an attractive place for hideaway.  On the island, there are five national park houses for rent particularly for nature trekkers who would want to spend times on the island as well as to explore the rich green forest, the trail that leads up to the view point, a splendid panoramic view around the island.  On a clear day, you would be able to sight Koh Samed in the farthest west.   About 6 kilometres east of Koh Kudi, another well-known forest island Koh Talu is the most stunning island in Rayong province.  It has a steep high cliff on the west of the island while gorgeous white sandy beaches lied on the east and south sides. As a result of striking coral reefs and a natural habitat of seagulls, flying fox and the only island for those turtles to lay their eggs seasonally, Koh Talu is a favourite site for both snorkelling and scuba diving.     Travel memo:  The best time to visit the islands is between November to May.  Try to avoid the monsoon season that is from June to October as waves can be rough during these months.   How to get there:  There are several means of transportation to reach Koh Samed but the only transport to Rayong is by car or bus from Bangkok then get to Ban Phe pier where there are shuttle boat services available around the clock to Koh Samed.   What you should know:   ·      Tourists visiting Koh Kudi, Koh Kruai, Koh Kham and Koh Talu should rent a day trip boat either from Ban Phe or Koh Samed, as well as should prepare food and water since these islands have neither facilities nor food and water supplies. ·      Ban Phe is a small town, not only offer boat services but it is where a fish market located, local seafood products such as shrimp paste, fish sauce, dried shrimps, sun-dried cuttlefish, crispy fish, and so on are available.

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