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Thailand - Rayong Province - Koh Samet (Samet Island)

Koh Samet is one of the Eastern Seaboard Islands of Thailand. It is located in the Gulf of Thailand off the coastline of the Thai province of Rayong, approximately 220 km (140 mi) southeast of Bangkok

If your idea of a dream holiday involves pristine beaches, crystal clear waters that teem with colourful marine life and the opportunity to appreciate tropical flora and fauna, then the beautiful Thai island of Koh Samet (Samet Island) will be right up your street.

Escape to Paradise

The gorgeous T-shaped island lies just 200 kilometres from Bangkok, but feels light years away from the busy, bustling and hectic Thai capital. Although Koh Samet attracts huge numbers of visitors, it still manages to retain a sense of relaxation and tranquillity that is notably absent in the capital. While Koh Samet`s larger resorts buzz with out-of-towners at weekends and public holidays, the entire island is blissfully quiet during the week and those who seek to uncover the island "off the beaten track" will find wonderfully secluded, unspoiled beaches even during peak visitor times. The island is famous for its powdery white sand beaches and thanks to the tropical climate, it is beach weather almost all year round at this beautiful destination.

The East and West Coast of Koh Samet

The east coast of the island is the more built up side of Koh Samet and is the location for many large resort hotels that are popular with families. The west coast is less developed, although there are some upscale resorts to be found here, along with some small and chic boutique hotels. Whatever your beach style, you'll be sure to find something to suit you on Koh Samet - there are no less than 14 beaches on the island and they range from busy stretches of sand complete with banana boat rides and water sports concessions on the beach to virtually untouched spots for secluded sunbathing. The entire island is part of Koh Samet National Park and the wildlife here is impressive - monkeys in various shapes and sizes can be spotted, as can gibbons, colourful butterflies and birds such as hornbills.

When and Where to Stay

While Koh Samet enjoys year-round hot, steamy weather, temperatures are less stifling between November and February and this is the peak season for tourist visitors to the island. During the low tourist season - from March to October, accommodation prices tend to drop dramatically across the island and those who don`t object to the humid climate at this time of year may find this is the best time to visit, as there is lots more elbow room on the beaches as well as some excellent deals to be found on lodgings. During peak season and at weekends it is vital to book hotels in advance, although this is not usually necessary during the week at low season. Accommodation choices range from simple and very affordable guest houses to stylish upscale resorts and self-catering options include basic beach bungalows that can be good options for visitors on a budget. Quality varies dramatically even within the same price range, so it pays to check visitor reviews before booking or, if arriving on the island without pre-arranged accommodation, asking to see a room before agreeing to take it.

Activities on Koh Samet

Given the number of beaches on Koh Samet, it should come as no surprise that the majority of activities on the island are water-related. Water sports are a popular pastime here and banana boat rides are a fun option for kids and adults alike. Diving is also an attractive proposition thanks to the clean, clear water and the abundant coral reefs that are found beneath the surface. Brightly coloured fish and other sea creatures flit among the coral, making this a wonderful place for everything from deep sea diving to snorkeling. Many visitors to Koh Samet find that they want to return time and time again and as such, time share apartments are an increasingly popular option and there are various agencies that are able to sell a timeshare on Koh Samet.

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