The T-shaped island of Koh Samet occupies 7 km of lush forested hills from south to north and around 4 km of evergreen cajeput trees (tea trees) across the top.
The port village of Na Dan and the one meter longest beach of Hat Sai Kaeo (crystal sand beach) are the nearest landmarks from Rayong.
The majority of the best tourist beaches are on the eastern side of Samed and three tiny rock islets are situated off the south tip.
Koh Samet is a paradise island retreat which remains one of Thailand's Upper Gulf secrets. Traveling from Pattaya to Koh Samet is a mere two hour bus trip and a pleasant speed boat hop to the nearest beaches.
The island is the largest of a small cluster that rest south of the coastline in Rayong Province.
The natural beauty of the Mu Ko Samet National Park (declared in 1981) draws foreign tourists every year and continues to be a weekend getaway for residents of Bangkok approximately 200 km to the north.
The rainy season in Koh Samet starts in May and continues through to September. Curiously, the amount of rainfall is extremely low by Thai monsoon standards and the fact is that it's one of the most arid archipelagos in Thailand
The disadvantage of a short wet season is that the island still needs to ship potable water from the mainland.
Each daylight hour is filled with a long list of water-sport activities. Snorkel swimming and scuba diving boat trips at Ko Thalu and Ko Kut, windsurfing at Hin Khrong beach, banana rides and jet-skis are among the most popular and the party atmosphere continues as dusk falls.
Night time squid fishing trips set off out to sea as local Thai's perform spectacular beach fire shows around the 'chilling-out' bars and restaurants. On Koh Samet the life style is laid-back and slow paced. Most of the inhabitants are Buddhists and there a handful of temples on the island.
There is a pleasant and subtle mixture of tropical remoteness and tourist attractions. In fact according to local legend, the precious island was once beset by pirates and the hidden treasure has never been found.
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