Where to Go
Transport Koh Samet
As it is such a popular island, Koh Samet is easy to get to, with various boat companies providing ferry and speedboat service to the island from the pier at Ban Phe on mainland Ranong.
Once at Nadan pier on Koh Samet, songtaews (covered pick-up trucks with seats in the back) provide transportation to the national park entrance 1 km away and then onto Haad Sai Kaew or Ao Pai for 10 or 20 baht. For beaches farther south, the fare increases dramatically, particularly if there are fewer passengers.
Once on the island it is possible to get around with your own vehicle, if you brought one, or via songtaew or rental motorbike, both of which are available on most beaches.
From Bangkok to Rayong:
Rayong is roughly 200 km southeast of Bangkok. There are several different routes to drive between Bangkok and Rayong and the boat pier in Ban Phe.
Busses from Bangkok to the boat pier in Ban Phe, Rayong depart Ekkamai Eastern Bus Terminal. From Ekkamai, the busses, which leave throughout the day, complete the journey in about 3 ½ hours.
There are also busses from Bangkok’s Mo Chit Northern Bus Terminal to Rayong town, from where visitors must take a songtaew to Ban Phe.
From Pattaya, busses also head to Rayong, from where visitors must also get a songtaew or tuk tuk to the pier at Ban Phe. Minibuses from Pattaya go directly to Ban Phe.
The nearest airport to Koh Samet is U-Tapao, about 45 km from Ban Phe. There are limited flights on Bangkok Airways to and from U-Tapao, namely into and out of Koh Samui and Phuket.
Unless you have brought your own car, getting around Koh Samet is possible by walking, hiring a motorbike, or climbing in the back of a songtaew (a pick-up truck with benches in the back). The island is fairly small, so getting around is not much of a problem.
Haad Sai Kaew (Diamond Beach), the most developed beach on the northeast coast of Koh Samet, has a sandy path that is fine for walking between guesthouses and restaurants. Diamond Beach is only a 10 minute walk from the ferry port at Nadan and most of the beaches from Diamond Beach to Ao Pai and Ao Cho are accessible by walking along the shoreline or the sandy path that connects the beaches.
There is only one main road on Koh Samet, which runs north to south and has smaller roads branching off it that lead down to each of the island’s beaches. Some parts of the road are concrete and some parts are dirt. Songtaews will pick up passengers at each destination, as well as passengers along the way. Songtaew journeys between beaches cost around 30 to 40 baht per person per trip, depending on distance and negotiating skills. If there is no one else to join the drive, then expect to pay 200 baht for a private trip. It is also possible to hire a songtaew for the entire day.
By Rental Motorbike:
Motorbikes are available for rent for around 300 to 500 baht per day. It is typically required to leave your passport as a deposit. Make sure to inspect motorbikes carefully and drive cautiously so as not to pay exorbitant fees for damage (real or otherwise) in order to get your passport back. 4x4 ATVs are also available for rent at around 1600 baht per day.