Eco-friendly travel guide to Ko Samet advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Ko Samet, Thailand.
- Air quality: 3.5 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 4 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 4 / 5
- Public transportation: 2.5 / 5
- Parks: 2 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 4 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3.5 / 5
- Safety: 3 / 5
- Accommodation: US$30 - $600
- Budget per day: US$50 - $800
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
The island of Ko Samet is one of the most popular destinations in Thailand. The island is a renowned tourist destination and one can certainly enjoy some great vacation time here. The island is situated to the southeast of the capital of the country, Bangkok. A distance of 220 kilometres separates them and that itself is sufficient to warrant a short trip to the island for most residents and tourists in the capital city. There are not many industrial activities taking place in Ko Samet and nor is it a major economic centre. With a very small population and limited offerings of livelihood, one can be assured that tourism is the soul of the island. Often catering to the whole economy and at times being a burden on the resources of the island and neighbouring regions. Thus, as a tourist, you are recommended to take all the necessary steps to minimise your impact on the island when you visit and this can be done by following a few steps. These are discussed in this section of the article and if executed well enough, you shall be known as a “responsible tourist”.
- Use Public Transport: Being a small island, Ko Samet offers a few streets that an eco-friendly voyager can use to travel reliably and safely, you can make use of the limited public transportation system. Or as an explorer, you can use the transports, which incorporate e-bicycles and the tuk-tuks.
- Choose green hotels: Continuing forward, any traveller visiting the city can endeavour to live in indisputably the most notable green lodgings. These are known for utilizing the designated resources in the best and most eco friendly way possible. Even more thusly, these are so decidedly efficient in the current that you will barely feel the qualification, they are known to give you most of the improvements and organizations that the huge inns give, just in a much greener and functional way. They likewise guarantee that they don't inconvenience or effect encompassing nature.
- Shop local and shop organic: Similarly, as a pioneer, you will see that by far most of the people in the city yet rely upon neighbourhood markets for the shopping of meat and greens. If you are staying for long then you should also get groceries from small vendors selling organic food instead of getting packaged and processed alternatives.
- Try local food: At long last, while investigating any city as a traveller, you will truly get some answers concerning the local culture, the shows, and the spirit of the city in all single when you dive into its cooking. Consequently, when you are scrambled toward Ko Samet, it is suggested that you dump fast food brands and worldwide franchises. Go with the eminent climate and appreciate genuine Thai food at a portion of the nearby legends that do exactly that. These will help you in examining the very soul of the nation while ensuring that you travel carefully and elevate the nearby economy in a manageable way.
Air Quality and Pollution
Ko Samet encounters tropical rainstorm atmosphere, this suggests that the normal temperature during the time will undoubtedly be high and there will be a heavy storm for a larger piece of the year. The normal high temperature during the time is during the 30-degree centigrades and in the pinnacle summer time, it might even touch 35-degree centigrades or higher. The normal low temperature during the time is in the 20-degree centigrades range. Subsequently, as a vacationer, you can be guaranteed a lot of daylight and warmth. Between the long stretches of March and December, for a multi-month duration, the city gets a decent measure of precipitation, consequently adjusting the warmth and bringing relief for a couple of hours. Thus, you as a vacationer can securely dispose of all woollen garments from your rucksack or bag. Simply pack light dress, for example, shorts, vests, boxers, tank tops, skirts, and swimwear. Considering all the exposure to the sun, ensure that you carry your sunblock, body lotion, shades, caps, and remember an umbrella as well. An umbrella will be your partner on the sunny days and even on the stormy ones.
When it comes to the Air quality and pollution levels, the island ranks moderate on the index. Ko Samet is not the only island in Thailand that has dealt and is still dealing with the problem of pollution. Most of it is caused by tourists who litter everywhere and because of the use of plastic. In recent years, the plastic waste that gets left behind by beachgoers has clogged many of the islands oceans and beaches. Not only does this deter tourists, but it damages coral reefs and litters the ocean floor, entering the ocean ecosystem and emerging in scary places.
However, things have improved recently. Not only NGO's but Thai authorities have started taking this problem seriously and have implemented extensive policies to combat with the problem of pollution. There are free workout activities on the beaches followed by a clean up of the beaches. Instead of plastic bottles, glass bottles are supplied to the hotels and restaurants etc. These changed have improved the air quality as well but you should still carry your inhaler or allergy medication with you if you are particularly sensitive and have asthma.
Respect the Culture
Thailand has a very unique and beautiful culture that will be reflected everywhere you go. You will be left mesmerised by their unique traditions and customs. While it may look also be somewhat of a culture shock especially if you're not around from Asia, so it is important to know some things about the Thai culture in order for you to be mentally prepared and also learn more about how to respect the local culture.
- Wai: It is the traditional Thai greeting that the local people use instead of shaking hands or saying hello. Wai is joining your hands together and bowing down slightly. It will be seen as a sign of respect if you use the Wai instead of shaking hands because it will indicate that you have actually made an effort to learn about the local culture.
- Respecting others: While the vibe of the island it's pretty chill, it is still important for you to respect others specially the elders. This this could mean getting up when an elder enters the room, not pointing your feet towards anyone because that is considered to be disrespectful, not touching the head of other people unless you're extremely friendly with them but even then ask if that is okay.
- Respect religious symbols: Thai people mostly follow buddhism and their temples, Buddha statutes etc are extremely sacred to them. While Ko Samet has a reputation of being a party island, it is still important to keep this aspect in mind. When visiting any religious site, make sure you dress modestly and do not drink in the temple or make any obscene gestures.
- Decency: Following basic etiquette and manners is important. This includes taking no pictures without the consent of others especially women, no pointing, taking off your shoes before entering into the house of a local etc.
Top 10 Places to Visit
- Ao Phrao: Ao Prao is basically the only beach on the west coast of Koh Samet island. It's a nice beach. The road is blocked if you aren't staying at the resorts but you can park your bike at the entrance and do a short walk down the hill to the beach. If you just want some quiet time away from all the rush and noise of tourists then Ao Phrao is the place to be.
- Naga Bar: In case you're searching for a pleasant night out, then visit the Naga Bar. At night. It is usually full of individuals having loads of fun. You can enjoy a couple of fun activities like body painting, drinking from a bucket, move, and tune in to incredible music. Dress down, as you're probably going to wind up with paint on you. If you get hungry, they serve both local and western food as well.
- Ao Phutthra: A great beach with lots of handicraft stores, small cafes and sun loungers. A speciality of this beach is night fishing especially for squids. It is a very interesting experiencing when you see them glow in the dark so even if you do not want to catch them, you should rent a boat and sail around just to see the unique beauty at night.
- Audi Bar: The nights can be pretty long, so why not get a few companions and proceed to play some pool or table games? At the same time, you can appreciate those celebrated bucket drinks with your companions. This spot has music however not as boisterous and domineering as some other night spots. The owner communicates in English and is kind and welcoming. Try your luck at Jenga, or a round of darts, or simply chill around with your family or friends. The Bar remains open until early morning so you can stay for as long as you want.
- Noi Na beach: Another hidden gem of the island is this calm and remote beach. If you want to witness a quiet and beautiful sunset then this is the place to be. Located at the Northern end of the island, this beach is a must visit on your trip to Ko Samet.
- Wong Duan beach: The wide beach is blessed with crystal clear water and plenty of shady places, and beach sellers whom not give to you to die from famine, offering a food, snack, fruit and drinks, but a some of motorized water means, that here can be rather noisy within day. Bay in the shape of a Crescent filled with boats, speed-boats and jet skis. On the beach covered with silver soft sand you can find the wide range of equipment for activities including snorkeling. There is to rent a motorbike here. Sun beds have in any place of the beach.
- Rayong Aquarium: A small little aquarium with so much to offer. It is also very cheap as well (the entry fee is 30 Baht for adults). You can see the different sea life present in the island and learn more about it as well. A great way to support the cause of protecting marine life as well.
- Nadan Pier: If you're going by ship from Ban Phe to Ko Samet, you'll show up at Nadan Pier. The zone around the dock has a restricted determination of modest convenience alternatives and a few Thai and worldwide eateries.
- Haat Sai Kaeo: Ko Samet's most famous beach, Haat Sai Kaeo is the focal point of movement on the island. While the enormous groups and endless beachside bars and eateries mean it's a long way from having a calm and peaceful environment, it is the place to be when you are in the mood for enjoying a happening atmosphere but also want to be close to nature.
- Ao Hin Khok Beach: The Ao Hin Khok Beach and Sai Kaew Beach are separated only by a few stones and Koh Samet’s famous statue of Aphai Mani and the Mermaid. This beach section is already much more quiet. Here you will also find a few bars on the beach or directly adjacent to the beach. The sand is also very fine, white and the water is fantastically clear and turquoise.
While it may look like that it is a small island with not much to explore, you will be surprised to discover the number of places there are for you to discover and visit. Plenty of beaches, caves, national parks, museums, aquariums are located in this beautiful island.
Ko Samet is a popular beach destination and there aren’t any city parks here, however, those who are interested can certainly experience something close to a park at Diamond beach which is renowned for its greenery and fun activities.
Unlike the lack of city parks, there are plenty of National parks that the island is home to so you will not be disappointed. One of Thailand’s finest National Park is situated here known as the Mu Ko Samet Marine National Park which is simply a short pontoon ride away from the territory, where the best strategy for transportation is by speed boat, this national park is best during the off-season, where the groups are less in number. The recreation centre has a modest quantity of extra charge and it is encircled by two great stone mountains Plet and Laem Ya. The recreation centre is home to coral beach reefs, ideal for seeing astonishing exhibitions.
Ko Samet is home to some of the most stunning beaches in the world and given below are some of the popular options for you to explore and chill.
- Noi Na beach
- Prao Beach
- Sai Kaew Beach
- Mae Ram Phueng Beach
- Rayong beach
Wat Ko Kaew Pitsadan is Ko Samet's only major landmark with a major Buddha sculpture. With a seven-meter tall lovely white solid Buddha sculpture, the Wat Ko Kaew Pitsadan is Ko Samet's unparalleled temple.
The island of Ko Samet isn’t exactly a place for museum enthusiasts but there are two such museums that tourists can explore:
- The Seashell Museum of Thailand
- Sobha Botanical Garden and Thai House Museum
Some of the popular dishes for any tourist to try across Thailand are pretty much the same so listed below are some authentic Thai specials that you must enjoy in Ko Samet:
- Chicken Satay
- Spring Rolls
- Tandoori Tikka
- Thai Green Curry
- Stingray Curry
- Pad Thai
- Massaman Curry
- Coconut Ice-cream
- Spicy Papaya Salad
Traditional Local Restaurants
There are some truly interesting restaurants to explore in Ko Samet, the ones listed below are not just popular but they are also the ones that serve an authentic fare for you to enjoy:
- Banana Restaurant
- Antique Cafe
- Tubtim Resort Restaurant
- Samed Villa Restaurant
- La Luna Cafe & Bar
Vegetarian and Vegan
Despite of being one of the most popular tourist destinations, the island does not have many vegan restaurants for tourists to explore and enjoy a few eco-friendly dishes. However, Seaddict is one such restaurant that can be visited by vegetarians and vegans as they have a completely vegetarian menu with several vegan dishes. Another option is Noina’s Kitchen- Vegan and Continental Food which caters to those abstaining from meat.
Samet's biggest and most affordable heaven of food is a place which is the primary drag through Samet Village. Bunched along the focal point of the strip, a few anonymous grill shacks do a thundering exchange by barbecuing entire fish, squid, prawns and a wide exhibit of meats along the pathways. The image menus additionally show standard Thai dishes like green curry and cushion Thai, however, it is imprudent to pass on an entire barbecued salted fish (pla plao) presented with a fiery and sharp fish sauce. Remember to balance your feast with a cool brew and hunk of clingy rice. While the grill is accessible on beaches all through the island, you can spare extra money by appreciating it here.
Drinks in Ko Samet are quite popular irrespective of them being alcoholic or not, the local people enjoy sipping on fresh juices, mocktails, coconut water, and tea that are the best sellers amongst non-alcoholic drinks. On the other hand, the locals also enjoy beers, whiskey, cocktails, rum, and mixed buckets amongst alcoholic drinks.
The tap water that you will find in Ko Samet is undeniably unfit for drinking. As a traveller, if you wish to welcome a glass of water it is suggested that you drink from a water purifier in any event. In any case, if you wish to ensure complete prosperity and don't wish to confront any test of your belly, then it is proposed that you purchase bottled mineral water. This is safe, unobtrusive, and successfully available at various stores and trucks around the city.
Despite being one of the biggest tourist destinations, Ko Samet does not offer too many options to the tourists headed there to enjoy an organic meal. However, there are a few cafes that are worth considering for their sustainable approach, a couple of these include Bilbo’s Cafe & Bungalows and Jump at Sea. In addition to these, the vegan restaurant mentioned in the sections above, Noina’s Kitchen- Vegan and Continental Food, is also known to follow a sustainable approach to providing meals.
In Ko Samet, the tourists and the local people both enjoy beers in abundance, while most of the beers sold are bottled ones, there are a couple of breweries that you can visit to enjoy some craft beer. A few of these are listed below:
- Café Bar Old-Amsterdam
- Bar And Bed
- Audi Bar
Ko Samet is one of the most happening places in the world when it comes to experimenting with new activities, as a tourist, you will have a wide range of options and in this section of the article we will discuss a few of these.
- Diving and Snorkelling: To begin with, two of the most popular activities in Ko Samet are diving and snorkeling. Enjoy Ko Mannai and the other four coral islands of Koh Kudee, Koh Kham, Koh Plateen and Koh Talu, which are all staggering. On the tree island coral visit, they visit in no way different islands, aside from Koh Talu. Visit the different islands and take some significant photographs, while investigating the assorted and delightful marine life.
- Jet ski and water sports: Then you can try your hand at riding a jet ski. There’s nothing to worry about as The administrator will show you how it functions and where the protected zone is, before you dominate. This gives an exciting encounter to the individuals who have never ridden a stream ski and it is fun both for solo explorers or the individuals who need to take a traveler along.
- Parasailing: Lastly, another fascinating activity to take part while in Ko Samet is parasailing, for the individuals who like a challenge. Just a portion of the beaches offer the support and one of them is Sai Kaew Beach. There is an administrator who will guide and support you if it's your first time. Try not to stress over the security systems since they will disclose them all to you, just as give life vests that are snared to the parachutes. You should have great dealing abilities to get the most minimal cost.
Yoga and Retreats
Yoga is quite popular is Thailand and in Ko Samet, as a tourist, you certainly can channel your inner yogi and enjoy some meditation and exercise by the beach in complete tranquility and calm. Given below are some of the most popular yoga retreats on the island:
- Seabreeze Beach Yoga Studio
- Sai Kaew Beach Resort
Ko Samet is not one of the most sought after destinations. It is renowned across the globe by adrenaline junkies, holidayers, honeymooners and partygoers. Thus, the city sees a huge number of travellers visit on a yearly premise. The enormous number of sightseers streaming in is necessary for the nearby economy which means that have made sure there are plenty of accommodation options available for the tourists in every budget. You will find fancy five star resorts as well as small motels.
While the hotels in Ko Samet aren’t necessarily categorised as green hotels, many of them follow sustainable practices and ensure that the impact on their surroundings is down to a minimum, hence, you can opt for most hotels that are responsible in their outlook and a few of these that shall appeal to you are:
- Tubtim Resort
- Green Bay Same Resort
- Ban Chom Samed Resort
- Sai Kaew Beach Resort
- SummerDay Beach Resort
- Ao Paro Resort
- Paradee Resort
Hostels and Guest Houses
Hostels aren’t too popular in Ko Samet as some of the budget hotels are cheap enough and offer enough amenities and privacy for the buck. Yet, those who wish to save a small fortune while touring the island can go for hostels. Hostels in Ko Samet have exceptional views and they are a great place to socialise with like-minded individuals, some of the popular ones are:
- Samed Pavillion Resort
- Chompoo Waan Hostel
There is only one apartment building in Ko Samet called "Baan Mulan" and is located close to the Sai Kaew beach. Clearly there are not many apartment options due to the fact that this is more of a resort island but if you wish to stay in an apartment which can be a very eco friendly option then books yours in advance because you will not find any bookings open too close to your trip dates.
CouchSurfing is a decent decision for vacationers visiting the city to consider nonetheless, there is a significant issue which is a small populace opening their doors for tourists. The little populace diminishes the quantity of hosts significantly. However, one can absolutely attempt their luck by searching for a good on websites, applications and forums.
While camping isn't excessively well known in Ko Samet because of the warmth, there are many aficionados who visit mainstream areas and appreciate camping all the more so during the downpours.
How to Get There
Reaching Ko Samet isn’t really much of a task as the island is connected via road, sea, and air. Given in the sections below are details about the same.
The airports that are closest to the island of Ko Samet are Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport and the renowned Suvarnabhumi International Airport.
Ko Samet is anything but difficult to access by transport from Bangkok. Transports leave from Ekamai Bus Station a few times day by day and take about 200 minutes to finish the excursion. There are likewise minivan administrations to the island, which withdraw from Victory Monument and make the excursion in about 150 minutes.
The island of Ko Samet is not connected to the mainland by any means of rail transportation.
Ko Samet is a well-known vacationer location and with a constant flow of travellers driving down to the city so you can catch a ride and get to Ko Samet. Individuals are kind and accommodating on most occasions o won't mind giving you a lift. You won't have to pay them anything, simply be courteous, friendly and respectful during the journey and if possible reimburse the kindness by purchasing espresso or a dinner. Past this, local people are generally useful and there are only sometimes any dangers yet in the event that something goes wrong, it is smarter to be sheltered by continually imparting your area and subtleties to a known individual. The shortest drive from the mainland to the island is approximately three kilometres, so you may not even have to do any of the above as the ride shall last for barely a few minutes.
On the off chance that you've shown up at Ban Phe late or simply need to go directly to your beach, you can get to the island altogether quicker on a private speedboat. Speedboats are accessible 24 hours per day and make the excursion between Ban Phe and Ko Samet in 15-20 minutes.
Costs for speedboat moves change dependent on the beach you're making a trip to. Beaches situated on the eastern side of Ko Samet are normally the least expensive, with the expense of moves to the more distant beaches on the island's western coastline frequently 2,000 baht or more.
Ko Samet is a brief ship trip from Ban Phe. Ships travel between the island and Rayong hourly yet end at 6pm, after which just speedboats are accessible. Ship tickets cost 100 baht and incorporate a bring charge back.
Moving around Ko Samet isn’t really much of an issue considering the island has good weather and there are quite a lot of places to explore via a few different modes of transportation. You can rent a scooter which is probably the best way to move around the island in order to discover the different places and avoid traffic.
Walking around Ko Samet is the best if you wish to explore the city at your own pace and perhaps even click a few pictures to post on social media, things could get difficult around noon due to the heat but the mornings, evenings and nights are pretty amazing to explore on foot.
Cycling around Ko Samet is another incredible method to roam the island. The sea breeze blowing through your hair, simply sailing across the island and appreciating every second without affecting the climate is a nice sentiment and a fair type of activity as well. The main disadvantage here is that you will be unable to do a lot of this during the day when it is incredibly hot or on those occasions when there is a heavy storm.
Electronic vehicles are certainly not famous here but rather you might have the option to discover several electric bikes to drive around town. In any case, neither of these are excessively solid and you should adhere to the traditional methods for transportation.
The buses are the foundation of the nearby transportation somehow or another, they are not very regular however they are dependable and very practical.
Tram, Train and Subway
As referenced above, there is no rail network present on the island of Ko Samet, consequently, even nearby transportation is beyond the realm of imagination through rail and travellers frequently need to rely on streets and waterways. These are very helpful and they offer various methods for transportation to various objections.
In Asian economies, for instance, that of Thailand, most of the close by traders are known to fight to ensure a thriving business, tenacious competition and low benefits make it a test to bear the market for them, along these lines, it is recommended that you by and large appreciate manageable shopping and purchase stock that is made using eco-accommodating practices.
Food Markets are massively acclaimed in Ko Samet and the most flawlessly awesome ones for you as an explorer to research appear to be:
- Ban Phe Fresh Market
- Food Market
The flea markets in Ko Samet are an unprecedented spot to pick up several knickknacks and remembrances, given underneath is one of the markets worth exploring:
- Ban Phe Souvenir Market
Second Hand Stores
Second-hand stores are an astonishing arrangement from time to time, as they offer you essentially all-around extraordinary products at a little division of the genuine expense. There is a sizeable market for such items in Ko Samet, you can investigate a couple of these and you will generally discover hardware, garments, and collectibles, nonetheless, be careful with tricks and shams.
The eco-fashion market in Ko Samet is yet not incredibly tremendous and is creating at a moderate yet predictable movement. As a voyager, you can examine a segment of the indigenous plan stores in the city which routinely sell items made of regular materials, these are monetarily conveyed just as monetarily keen.
Recycling in Ko Samet has starting late been focused on, the organization has reliably been inclining up tries to reuse anyway much as could sensibly be normal yet they trail widely conversely with other huge metropolitan territories over the globe. In any case, inspiration and motivating force based reusing exercises have been dispatched starting late. Everything including plastic, glass, metals, e-squander, and clinical waste is assembled and reused here.
Waste assortment and removal in Ko Samet is very respectable, it surely isn't as productive as the greater urban areas in the nation yet there is a set convention and however some raucous travelers wind up littering the city Ko Samet is yet very spotless and clean.
Work and Study Abroad
Ko Samet is basically a travellers paradise and it doesn't offer much for understudies. Nonetheless, there is a lot of chance for individuals who are searching for work, particularly in the travel industry area.
Relatively few understudies visit the city of Ko Samet on trade programs, the not many that do come by means of private grants and awards.
The concept of an Au Pair living with local families has not gained popularity in this place for now. Since locals heavily rely on tourism industry themselves, it is not feasible for them to start paying tourists to stay with them to help with house hold chores. Even if it is done the money will not be a big amount especially if you come from Europe, America etc.
In Ko Samet, you have a phenomenal chance of offering back to the network by chipping in and this incorporates chipping in for NGOs and different other private associations, getting some answers concerning openings should be possible through different postings on the web and some famous ones are firmly identified with securing the climate, for example, beach and sea tidying up drives.