On my first ever trip to Thailand, I decided to explore the ‘Eastern Seaboard’ – the eastern coast of Thailand, with Pattaya as the base.
While my friend Rahul had recommended Koh Tao, i chose to start with Koh Samet. The initial plan was to do island hopping across 4-5 islands, but i landed up sticking to Samet…
OK, honestly, i was a bit instinctive and lazy about my ‘plans’ and i chose Samet primarily because i could book the trip all the way to the island from my hotel in Pattaya – even though it cost me a bit more than doing it on my own. So ‘getting there’ included a minivan journey from the hotel doorstep (yup, that lazy) to the Ban Phe Pier followed by a boat trip to the island… without figuring out the ‘where’ on the isand, let alone booking a hotel room beforehand.
The minivan journey was alright – just about bearable, since it was only about 2 hours. The transfer from the minivan to the boat was a bit shady, and i got conned into paying about 100 Bahts extra onboard, if i remember corrrectly.
Ergo: Look up ferry boat details before you go. Don’t be stupid like me.
In hindsight, i’m a bit glad i didn’t plan in advance – as this particular ferryboat saw me landing on the Ao Wong Duean beach, positively the most beautiful and tranquil beaches of the island.
My first impression of Ao Wong Duean was that the crescent cove reminded me of Goa’s Palolem beach…
Ao Wong Deuan reminds me of Goa’s Palolem beach, just smaller with choppier waters. Equally beautiful. Exploring Koh Samet on foot tomorrow.
— Exotic Gringo ✈ (@exoticgringo) July 26, 2015
Upon landing, it took me little time to realize that this was also a slightly more luxurious part of the island – so hotel rooms were pricier.
But since the only ‘luggage’ i was carrying was this backpack, it didn’t take me too long to venture a bit inland and find myself some reasonable accomodation below Rs.2,000 (900 Bahts) at ‘Sea Horse Bungalow‘.
After checking in to my hotel room, i scoured around for a good place for lunch while doubling up the search for another hotel room, ideally with a beach view.
July is an iffy month to be around Koh Samet – with unpredictable rains, which i was about to find out! So post lunch, most of the evening was wasted indoors and planning the day ahead for walking around the island (bicyles / scooter / ferries are other options).
The next day saw clearer skies thanks to last night’s rains. Since i lost some time however, i decided to extend my stay on the island by another night and checked out of my hotel room from Ao Wong Duean and decided to explore the beaches south of the island by foot – what seemed like a marathon in the heat, for something that was only about 5 kms.
Almost every beach was a pitstop for fueling up on liquids – but i’m glad i did this. On my way back, i discovered the very gorgeous Sangthian Beach Resort, and managed to negotiate a sweet deal for a spot booking of a room with just the view i was looking for…
After spending a blissful and rewarding 3 days on the exotic island of Koh Samet, i was looking forward to heading back to Pattaya before proceeding to Bangkok for my flight home – but not without promising myself that i’d return to this heavenly abode soon!