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March 4th 2014
Published: March 4th 2014
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Haat Sai KaewHaat Sai KaewHaat Sai Kaew

Or Crystal Sand Beach. Also the most popular, akin to a mini-Chaweng (Samui) or Patong (Phuket). A very, very mini version though.
This might have been the most anti-climatic beach getaway yet so far.

I'd heard much about Koh Samet, a tiny-island about a half hour's boat ride away from the mainland in Eastern Thailand, and had for some time hoped to be able to pay a visit. Being just a four hour bus ride away from central Bangkok, and therefore really an easy weekend getaway, it's a wonder why I hadn't gotten down to it yet, until now.

But it turned out to be perhaps not quite worth the wait after all.

The reviews on Wikitravel and LP were good, and I also distinctly remembered a fellow traveller that I'd met way back two years ago in Myanmar who'd first raved about the place. But I wonder whether I've been spoiled by too many a beach escape. And perhaps it was because I went during a weekend, when the island fills up with weekending Bangkokians, taking the prices of everything up with them. Or perhaps it was because I mistakenly stayed in the busiest part of the island. But either way, Samet offered neither the tranquility nor atmosphere that I'd been led to believe existed there.

Samet (or
Ploy Talay Fire ShowPloy Talay Fire ShowPloy Talay Fire Show

Worth forking out the over-priced seafood here.
Hat Sai Kaew/ Crystal Sand Beach) essentially seemed like a very miniaturised version of Chaweng in Koh Samui, or Patong in Phuket, with neither the edge/buzz nor the off-setting peace that I would have expected from a smaller place. Yes the sand was white and powdery, and the waters azure, but when you pack that many beach-side restaurants and jet-ski and parasailing operators within such a small stretch of sand, something's gotta give. Oh, and did I mention the jacked-up weekend prices? The evening fire show was good, but the obligatory accompanying over-priced seafood dinner not.

I wouldn't say it was terrible, but it was disappointing enough for me to cut short my originally-intended two-night stay to one. Hopefully this doesn't set the tone for the next impending leg of my travels.

Stayed at Monludee Guesthouse.


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Eager BeaversEager Beavers
Eager Beavers

All crammed into the sputtering mini-ferry from Ban Phe, the mainland port.
Samed LegendSamed Legend
Samed Legend

Involves a flute-tooting man who falls in love with both an evil nymph and mermaid, and there's crocodiles and archaic Thai and I don't know what else.


4th March 2014

that island
first time I came to Thailand I was going to stay here--then heard there are lots of wild dogs--that did it for me--then Chose Koh Chang--have been going there ever since--some crowded popular beaches-you just have to find the right one
5th March 2014

Yes the wild dogs are absolutely true! But they weren't aggressive at all though, at least not the ones I encountered. Yes I was also told about Koh Chang, and how it's better. Hopefully I'll get a chance to visit sometime in the future. It's pretty close to the border with Cambodia, so might make for a good visa run pit stop!

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