Only an hour or two from Pattaya and you can be on a tropical island paradise. From Pattaya city you can travel to Ban Phe by minibus or in a hire care. The turning to Ban Phe is about 20 Km. from Rayong and is well sign posted to your right. Do not be confused by the signs spelling your destination as Koh Samed or Samet. It is the same place. Ban Phe is a small bustling port just about 5 Kms after you turn from the main highway. Before you board your vessel for the island you may take the opportunity to visit Ban Phe market.
Ferries and Speed Boats
On arrival at Ban Phe there are many choices to to suit you or your pocket to make your trip to Koh Samet. You can chose to get a speedboat direct to your resort (10 Minutes) or take the passenger ferry (40 Minutes) direct to the port. If you are traveling by car it will be necessary for you to park at one of the many paid car parking facilities. Your vehicle will be safe until your return.
Ferries leave from the pier on the hour between 0800-1800 and costs 50 Baht. The return ferry from Nadan leaves every hour 0830-1630.
It is best to go to the municipal pier if you want to hire a speedboat, which will cost between 2500 and 4000 Baht for the return trip. It is likely that you will have to get wet when you arrive at your resort so please ensure that you dress casually.
Arriving on Koh Samet
If you go on the main passenger ferries to Koh Samet you will arrive at the port and now bustling town of Nadan. Before heading out to your resort by the islands very organised Taxi service you may want to take refreshments. In the last few years the town has grown from nothing, and there are now some economy boarding houses as well as shops and cafes. There is even a 7 Eleven. If you are staying in an off- the -track or budget resort, you may want to takes this opportunity to stock up on essentials before your taxi ride.
You can hire a taxi direct from Nadan to your resort. If you are going a short way a motorcycle Taxi may be available, however nowadays the always available green pick up trucks handle most of the transportation on the island. They are the islands own municipal taxi service and they charge by the amount of beaches you pass 200( Baht/Beach) so in theory you could hire one to take you to every beach on Samet for 1800 Baht. These prices are for the taxi, not per person.
Keeping traffic off the island has definitely helped keep the island natural. In 2012 the beaches are still white and the sea still crystal clear. However, the downside is that there are no main stretches of paved road. Expect a fairly bumpy ride. The drivers are experts at navigating the huge potholes; and the trip will be safe.
Because Koh Samet has only been developed since 1981(before then tourism was resticted) it may not be able to compete with the likes of Samui, Chang, and Phuket. Even so virtually all of the beaches on the eastern side of the island have been developed, with modern facilities and resorts. Most of the island is part of the Khao Lam Ya-Mu Koh Samet National Park, and is therefore government protected. Despite the hurried development everywhere Samet keeps its special "feel" with white sand beaches and the cleanest seas of any island on the coast.
Hat Sai Kaew :- The longest and most popular beach on the Island (Diamond Beach) is at the North East corner of Samet. It is within easy walking distance of Nadan township. It has therefore become a favourite.
Hat Ao Cho:- Ao Cho:- is the next bay southwards from Hat Sai Kaew, and features some nice resorts like the Ao Cho Hideaway, which is a fairly new addition.
Ao Wong Duean:- Further down the East coast is this delightful bay which was one of the earliest to be devolped with probably the best established resort being the Malibu Garden Resort, which is owned by the same family that runs the Malibu tours company out of Pattaya.
Ao Phrao :- Ao Phrao beach is on the western side of the island and within easy striking distance of Nadan. Ao Phrao has mostly high class resorts and is premium spot where you find the likes of the exclusive Ao Phrao Resort.