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Published: August 15th 2010
Weekend Island Getaway - July 16-18
This was trip number 12 to Thailand for me and the bug to travel all over the country side has decreased and now I am happy to relax near the beach in Pattaya/Jomtiem. I have made a lot of new friends in the last six months in Thailand which means that I am never lonely in the Land of Smiles. In the future I would also like to go to the surrounding countries of Laos, Myammar, return to Cambodia and also have a look around Vietnam.
Something that was planned before this trip to Thailand was a two day vist with five of my friends (four Thai and another foreigner) to Koh Samet. I had not been there before and it's close proximity to Pattaya made it an attractive destination. After a one hour drive we arrived at Ban Phe Pier near Rayong and caught the ferry for the 40 minute trip to Koh Samet. The ferry is 100 baht each for a return ticket and 200 baht to park the car near the Ban Phe pier.
It was decided beforehand to look for accommodation when we arrived on the island near
the main tourist beach of Hat Sai Kaew (Diamond Beach). After checking out a couple of places we found some newly built bungalows on the beach for 1500 baht on the first night and 2000 baht on the second night (Saturday night). They would not drop the price and it was getting late so we took two rooms and got changed for a swim. I did go for a walk the next day and found some very nice bungalows on the road between the pier and the beach for 1000 baht per night and will stay their if I visit Koh samet again sometime.
The beach was nice with the water not very clear in rainy season but some small waves made body surfing possible. There were not too may people around which I like and after our swim we enjoyed a nice meal sitting on the mats at one of the beach side restaurants. One of the highlights of any meal at the beach are the fire dancing shows near the Ploy Pub, you need to get there early if you want a seat. After the show there is an impromptu disco at the outside bar and the
large crowd were really enjoying themselves. This is low season so it must be very busy here around Xmas and New Year.
Afterwards it was back to our rooms for a game of cards before venturing to the disco at around 11 pm. The indoor disco is part of the Ploy Pub complex and a lot of fun with a live band (with the help of a computer enhancement) and great music for dancing. The disco closes at 3 am and then it was time for a walk to the 7/11 for some snacks and back along the dark beach to our rooms for a few drinks on the porch (beware the mosquitoes).
I was awake early in the morning and went for a walk to the pier on the other side of the island, it only takes 20 minutes. The soi (street) to the pier is lined with various shops, hotels and restaurants. There is nothing special about Koh Samet, the locals are friendly enough, it really is the convenience of having a nice island resort getaway close to Pattaya that makes it so attractive. I really need to explore the rest of the island to make
a proper judgement but that will have to wait for another visit. The rest of the day was spent on the beach and at night we went back to the Ploy disco and then ventured 2 km to another place where there was an assortment of bars and clubs where we found a disco being held in a large beach side hut. We purchased some buckets of spirits and mixers and they were a potent mix, sure to give you a big hangover the next day. Everyone was dancing and having a great time to very late in the morning.
Late Sunday morning it was time to check out and head back to Pattaya after a great weekend. It was a time where I learnt even more why I like this wonderful group of friends so much and that I am fortunate to have in my life (sorry no pics of them, I respect their privacy).
Kop khun khrap - Thank you
Sawatdee khrap - Goodbye
Pob gan mai - See you again soon
Click on the pics if you want a larger view of the photos
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