It is not hard to guess what fate awaits the island with 14 white sand beaches at a distance of only 220 km from the Thai capital of Bangkok. Located a few hours drive from Bangkok and 30 minutes by ferry sailing from the pier of Ban Phe, Samet Island serves as the perfect place to rest for the people from the town and for the nature lovers who want to enjoy in a relaxed atmosphere, beautiful beaches and inexpensive bungalows. But now things have changed!
Today, the island is still visited by the residents of Thailand, coming straight from work on Friday night to get a supply of energy for the next week and many fans of eco-tourism. A number of upscale resorts and villas for holiday makers from all over the world have been bulit lately. Samet is rival with the famous Thai resorts of Phuket and Samui , but in this case, it has two main advantages: it is only two hours drive from Bangkok, and more important, it is less crowded. Calm, partly because of the lack of any major tourist attractions it attracts Thai and foreign tourists. But it was not always the case. Until recently, if you are using Internet search engines looking for suitable accommodation, the majority of the results offered cheap and inexpensive meals. All that remains, especially in the northern part, but the island itself is now much better known for its world-class hotels and resorts. Still, most visitors make Bangkok residents and tourists wishing to enjoy the beautiful and the clean beaches in the modern resorts on the coast. Samet, along with nearby small islands is one of 96 national parks in Thailand. The nature here is so beautiful and unique, that the Royal Forestry Department in 1981 decided to include this island in the national park to protect wildlife. Tourism and hotel construction is permitted, with some geographical limitations. Because the island is part of the national park, foreign tourists have to pay 400 baht.
Samet has very beautiful beaches, but a minimum of nightlife, bars and discos. The island is located about seven kilometers from the mainland and the local beaches are considered among the best in Thailand (along with Krabi ). The sand of many of these beaches are so shallow, soft and white that can be compared with flour. On the island there are several small roads in pretty bad shape, some areas are composed of ordinary dirt road. To explore the island, you can use songteo (pickup with two benches behind), or rent a bike. Motorcycles is best to rent only in hotels with a good reputation. Most of the resorts are located along the beaches on the east coast. It is better to arrive on the island as early as possible in order to have more choices. The peak tourist season on Samet falls on the period from November to February, so finding affordable housing in this period of time is a very difficult task.
One of the biggest advantages of Samet is due to its shape, it does not have strong currents and you can safely swim in any of the beaches of the island. In addition, when in Thailand the rainy season begins from June to October, precipitation falls here quite a bit. Samet is the only island in Thailand, where the predominant sunny weather is during the rainy season. A little pompous, the island can be described as the most "dry archipelago of Thailand." On weekends and holidays Samet is a popular holiday destination for visitors to Bangkok. Visiting the same island in the week, the quiet atmosphere reigns and you will have a better chance to understand what attracted the first tourists here a few decades ago. Accommodation at weekends and during the season of greatest influx of visitors is not quite cheap (prices go up twice.) So on weekends and holidays it is best to refrain from visiting when is great influx of tourists, this island turns into something like a bee hive. Hilly inland areas are covered mostly by jungle and leisure visitors are concentrated mainly around the beaches.
The coast of Samet is surrounded by beautiful coral reefs, beaches have soft white sand, gently curving coastline and warm tropical waters, which are famous in Thailand. Because the island is close to the mainland, the water is not crystal clear. Beaches of Thailand are one of the main reasons why so many people choose this country for a vacation every year. Beaches in the east and north-east of Samet are the most beautiful, popular and visited. The beaches on the south side of the island are less frequently visited.
Hat Sai Kaeo length of a mile and 25 - 30 meters wide, is one of the most beautiful and popular beaches on the island of Samet. From dusk to dawn, visitors can enjoy swimming, diving, water skiing, windsurfing, banana boat, snorkeling along the islands by boat or beach parties at night. Here, you can just walk along the coast from the beach to the beach, as they all differ from each other and somewhat different atmosphere prevails. In the afternoon you can walk on the west side of the island and watch the beautiful sunset. If you want to avoid a large number of tourists on the weekends, it's best to go in its southern part when the beaches are much less crowded! The absence of neon-lit go-go bars and discos are distinguished by Samet , Pattaya , Phuket and Koh Samui. Although minor, there is evening entertainment for tourists. They offer a number of cozy bars along the most popular beaches on the island, especially on weekends. Delicious cuisine is also an important factor in attracting tourists.
Samet Island is better known by the people of Thailand's most famous epic poem "Pra Apaymani" written by the poet Suntona Pu. Sunton Pu is considered one of the most influential poets of Thailand. In the poem "Pra Apaymani" a mermaid saves the life of Prince Apaymani and brings him to the island of Samet. A statue that illustrates this drama is set on the cliffs near the beach of Ao Hin Khok.
A few kilometers from the coast are small islands of Samet Koh Talu and Koh Kood, considered one of the best diving spots in the area, with beautiful coral reefs, turtles, stingrays, schools of tropical fish. On the islands there are several good bays, beautiful beaches with white sand. Fire show is a very popular form of entertainment for tourists. Young Thais juggle flaming torches demonstrates its mastery. The show is held on the beach Hat Sai Kaeo, as well as in the famous restaurant of the island Ploy Thalee (twice, about 20:30 and 22:30). Samet is not a shopping mecca. There are a number of small shops selling mostly souvenirs. In the northern part of the island is Turtle Nursery. It is possible to see several species of turtles, grown here in order to let them back into the sea.
Others The Best Places to Visit in Thailand .
Maps of Samet Islandmap Thailand
Others from The Best Places to Visit in Thailand
The country is often called the "land of smiles", because here there are more people smiling than in any other part of the world.
Only in Thailand you can take a cruise on a converted rice barge, you can scream upstream in a boat or bamboo raft, you can go into a dizzying journey and you can stay in jungle tree houses or homes of villagers floating on the river.
Equally memorable are the trails leading deep into the rainforest past cooling waterfalls and beautiful endless white sand caressing the translucent sea.
Do not miss the dynamic city of Bangkok, with its futuristic buildings juxtaposed against the glittering Grand Palace.
Early morning, monks dressed in robes leave the sanctuary of temples to receive alms from the people or in a dusty village or on crowded city streets.
Here Buddhism is a way of life and, with the respect people have for the monarchy, a dynasty that has maintained an independent country for centuries, resulting in a blend of tradition and contemporary living.
His Majesty King Bhumibol is the longest reigning monarch in the world, having come in 1946.
With the end of absolute monarchy, Thailand moved towards democracy, but this was thwarted by the military, who staged coups in protest at government policies.
The latest blow came in September 2006 when a bloody revolt overthrew the Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and replaced him with an interim prime.
Thailand has surpassed the economic collapse of 1997, SARS, avian flu and the devastating tsunami in December 2004 to become a popular destination for tourists, with its many natural beauties and rich cultural heritage.
Thailand is a tropical country, so it's warm all year round, but the best time for tourists is from November to March during the dry season.
The main attractions • Wonder at the beautiful architecture in Bangkok Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaeo, a temple complex which houses a statue of the Emerald Buddha.
Further up the river are the royal barges.
They are richly decorated and are only used for special processions on the Chao Phraya River.
• Do not miss Wat Pho, Bangkok's largest temple and the place where Buddha is Down.
The statue is huge - 46m long and 15m high.
• Discover Vmanmek, a lovely palace with 18 rooms, the former royal summer residence, rebuilt in Bangkok in 1900.
Let yourself be excited by the former house of silk merchant, American Jim Thompson.
• Travel north to Chiang Mai, the second largest city of Thailand and a center for excursions to temples in the region, hill tribes and the Golden Triangle.
Climb its 300 steps to the temple of Doi Suthep to have wonderful views of the city.
• Visit Kanchanaburi, a place about the horrors of the Second World War and Allied forces forced to build the Death Railway and the Bridge over the River Kwai.
From the town you can go on trips to explore the waterfalls and the jungle region.
You could spend a night on a floating house.
• Take a trip back in time and visit Ayutthaya, the former Thai capital.
Wander among the ruins of palaces on foot,by bike, or even on the back of an elephant.
• A visit to Ayutthaya is not complete without a trip to Sukhothai, an ancient capital of the Thai.
Beyond the city walls there are ruins of ancient temples and a few ancient engravings.
• Visit the north-eastern Thai, less known, especially Phimai, one of the most important Khmer historical sites in Thailand, dating from the eleventh century.
The complicated structure resembles that of Angkor Wat.
• Thailand is not about just beaches and temples.
Venture Khao Sok National Park exploring the southern Thai.
Here the rainforest covers the limestone cliffs crossed by streams and waterfalls.
Experience the lifestyle of a tree house or a house on the water, made of bamboo.
• Make a day trip from Bangkok by train over the River Kwai in Kanchanaburi, on the bridge that was built by Allied prisoners, led by the Japanese during the Second World War.
• Admire the skills of kite fighters.
Your opponents kites male Chula and female high Pakpao in a battle of the sexes.
Do not miss playing takraw, which involves handling a cane ball from one player to another, which are disposed in a circle, using in acrobatic feet, knees, thighs and chest.
The goal is to keep the ball in the air and place it in a suspended basket.
• Take in a Thai kick-boxing match.
This traditional sport can be seen every day in stadiums across the country.
Boxing matches are preceded by elaborate ceremonies and accompanied by music.
• Get rid of all worries through meditation.
Thailand has dozens of temples and meditation centers specializing in vipassana .
You can attend one lesson or you can follow a whole.
• Meet more closely with northern Thai, especially remote provinces of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son, hiking, riding elephants and rafting on the river.
• Join the crowd that goes to Suri, where elephants assembly occur in November.
There are demonstrations of techniques and re-training scene of episodes in history.
• Enjoy thousands of kilometers from the Thai coast on the sand or under water.
Try kayaking, canoeing in the limestone islands of Phang Nga Bay and explore the grottoes and caves that are half under water.
• Learn traditional massage and the healing properties of herbal medicine at ancient Wat Pho.
• Try Thai cooking at one of the many cookery schools.
Learn how to blend herbs and spices for the unique flavors of Thai food.
In some schools students encouraged to buy food in the market themselves.
• Take a boat trip through Bangkok's Floating Market or network of channels of the river, lined with dwellings opening directly to water.
Life has hardly changed over the centuries to those who live on canals.
• Dive with the Sharks at Siam Ocean World aquarium in Bangkok and experience to tell the tale.
• Take tea in the afternoon at the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, one of the most famous hotels in the world.
The former residence of Somerset Maughan and Joseph Conrad, today is attended by kings, princes and celebrities.
Gastronomy Thai cuisine is famous for the way that balances the five fundamental flavors in all meals and dishes - spicy, sour, sweet, salty and bitter (optional).
Thai cuisine which includes specific four main regions of the country - North, Northeast (Isan), Central and South America.
The cuisine of each region is influenced by neighboring countries of that region.
Thai dishes include plenty of fresh, not dried herbs, spices and fish sauce.
Nam pla is a fish sauce, flavored, which is found in almost all dishes.
It is widely used and shrimp paste.
Thais are accustomed to eat so much rice at every meal even.
Most of them consider sandwiches not a meal but a snack.
Also, locals do not really sit at table, because, especially children and teens eat when hungry.
If you do meet a Thai, you may be wondering "gin khao yung" every time you meet, meaning " did you eat ?" or better said "have you eaten rice?".
If you visit Thailand and stay at a local family take care not too eat too much, your body will get fat.
History Thailand existed as several small states since 1000.
Influenced more by India, Burma and Khmer people, the region was quickly engulfed in Buddhism.
By 1350 the kingdom of Siam was created.
At a distance of more than two centuries the Portuguese arrived, along with other Europeans, dealing with trade or were missionaries.
Siam avoided European colonization but was forced to cede control of more distant areas (portions of Malay, Laos and Cambodia) France and Great Britain.
Occupied by the Japanese in 1941, Siam declared war on the United States and Great Britain, while secretly monarchy suppressed resistance movements against the Japanese.
During the Vietnam War Thailand was significant especially for the U.
Attracting investors and tourists, Thailand developed until 1996, when the military government triggered a decline in the economy.
Tips The royal family is highly esteemed in Thailand, which must be respected by visitors.
Locals are concerned with the public manifestations of anger as a fact and creates a very humiliating public image.
It also discourages emotional manifestations gender and touching a person's head or your foot to straighten, it is a lack of good manners.
Take care of your shoes before entering someone's house or a temple.