Koh Samet (also known as Koh Samed) is the closest island to Bangkok and Pattaya, where you can go and experience the laid-back atmosphere, pristine beaches, and crystal clear waters of a relatively unspoiled Thai island.
Koh Samet is the best of the islands near Pattaya to go and enjoy doing nothing at all.
There are some beach and water activities, fire shows at night, and excellent restaurants, and you can hire motorcycles or quad bikes to explore the island. But if you want more in the way of adventure, you should consider Koh Chang.
Going to Koh Samet from Bangkok or Pattaya is easy by bus, minivan or taxi, and you can also quickly and cheaply book transport to Koh Samet online.
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KOH SAMET TRAVEL TIPS
A few things to remember in case you want to make your own way to Koh Samet:
- It’s best to book your hotel in advance
- You take the ferry to Koh Samet from Ban Phe, Rayong.
- You can’t take your vehicle to Koh Samet
- Secure (paid) parking is available at the ferry terminals
- Driving time from Pattaya to Ban Phe is 1–1.5 hours
- From Bangkok to Ban Phe takes 2.5–4 hours
- From Ban Phe to Koh Samet ferry terminal is 6.5 km
- The main ferry terminal on Koh Samet is Na Dan
- Ferry services (usually) operate from 07:00 to 18:00
- To Koh Samet by wooden ferry takes 40–45 minutes
- By high-speed ferry or speedboat takes 10–15 minutes
- You need to pay a (national park) entry fee upon arrival
- The price is 200 baht for foreign adults, 100 baht for children
- For Thai adults, it’s 40 baht, and 20 baht for children
Secure parking at the Koh Samet ferry terminals in Ban Phe costs around 50–100 baht per day.
If you arrive in Ban Phe after the last ferry has departed, you MIGHT be able to charter a speed boat. There are no guarantees, though, and expect to pay more than the usual rate.
BEST HOTEL DEALS ON KOH SAMET
Like anywhere else in Thailand, Agoda is the go-to for hotel booking on Koh Samet. They have the widest choice and the best deals.
On the Agoda Koh Samet page is an overview of hotels, including:
- Top trending hotels on Koh Samet
- Hotels by beach and neighborhood
- 5, 4, and 3-star hotels
- Cheap hotels on Koh Samet
Most popular beaches, including Sai Kaew Beach and Vongduan (Wongduan) Beach, are on the island’s east side. But if romantic sunsets are your thing, consider Ao Prao Beach on the west side.
HOW TO GET TO KOH SAMET FROM BANGKOK
The best way to get from Bangkok to Koh Samet, other than driving or taking a private taxi from Bangkok, is to take a bus or minivan from Bangkok Ekamai (eastern) bus terminal to Ban Phe. And if available, buy a ticket that includes a bus or minivan + connecting ferry ticket.
Several bus and minivan companies go to Ban Phe from Ekamai at (approximately) hourly intervals between 06:00 and 18:00 daily.
BUY BANGKOK TO KOH SAMET TICKETS ONLINE
To buy tickets online costs just a few baht more than buying them at the bus terminal ticket counter. What you get is a confirmed ticket/voucher, including clear instructions on how to use it, directions to your departure point, advice on baggage allowance, and just about everything else you need to know.
Click on Bangkok to Koh Samet to view all options on 12GO.asia, including combined bus and speed boat tickets to Koh Samet, or tickets for buses and minivans to the ferry terminal in Ban Phe, where you can buy your own ferry tickets at the ferry terminals.
Click on Ban Phe to Koh Samet to buy high-speed ferry or speedboat tickets separately.
HOW TO GET FROM PATTAYA TO KOH SAMET
There are no big buses from Pattaya to Koh Samet. Apart from driving yourself—the options are private taxis, Grab or Bolt taxis, or shared transfer minivans.
PATTAYA TO KOH SAMET BY BOLT OR GRAB TAXI
If you’re not already using the Bolt and Grab apps, you should. They are a great way to get around Pattaya cheaply.
There are many different types of vehicles capable of carrying various numbers of passengers on the Bolt and Grab taxi booking apps. So it’s worth comparing prices according to the number of people in your group.
A standard saloon-type Grab or Bolt taxi from Pattaya to Ban Phe will cost 700–1000 baht.
PRIVATE TAXI TO KOH SAMET FROM PATTAYA
Most taxi services in Pattaya offer a service to the Koh Samet ferry piers in Ban Phe, either by car or minibus, with prices ranging from approximately 1,100 baht for a car or 1,600 to 1,800 baht for a minivan.
BOOK A RIDE TO KOH SAMET FROM PATTAYA ONLINE
Because it’s so convenient, it’s always worth seeing what (if any) options are available online.
Click on Pattaya to Koh Samet and see what comes up on 12GO. If it shows nothing, try a different day of the week or choose a date a few more days in advance.
BOOK TRANSPORT TO KOH SAMET THROUGH PATTAYA TRAVEL AGENTS
Almost everywhere you go in Pattaya, there are travel and tour booking agents, especially along 2nd Road and the Soi Buakhao area. They might be a shop, office, or even a tiny kiosk like in the picture below.
They can usually arrange taxis, and if they are available—Koh Samet minivan + ferry combination tickets. They will include their commission, so compare their prices to those of Taxi booking apps, private taxis, and any services you might find online.
35 GROUP MINIVANS FROM PATTAYA TO KOH SAMET
If you have already searched on 12GO for transport to Koh Samet, you might have noticed the 35 Group minivan service. 35 Group also provides bus and minivan services to Koh Chang, Koh Mak, and Koh Kood.
If you want to inquire in person, 35 Group’s office is on 3rd Road, about 40 meters north of the South Pattaya Road and 3rd Road junction.
BAN PHE FERRY PIERS
There are 6 ferry piers in Ban Phe; they’re situated within easy walking distance of each other; they are as follows:
- Nuan Thip (most popular), wooden ferry, speedboats
- Tarua Phe, high-speed ferry, wooden ferry, speedboats
- Municipality, wooden ferry, speedboats
- Sri (Seree) Ban Phe, wooden ferry, speedboats
- Chok Krista, wooden ferry, speedboats
- Jadet, (private speedboat)
Boats to popular beaches:
The main piers also have ferry and speedboat services to various beaches on Koh Samet, most notably Vongduan, Saikaew, and Ao Wai. Of course, Samet is only a small island, and you won’t save much time (if any) taking a ferry to your preferred beach, but it’s an option.
Koh Samet ferry/boat ticket prices:
- Tickets for the wooden ferry cost 50–100 baht per person
- Tickets for speedboats cost 200–500 per person
- Tickets for the high-speed ferry cost 150 baht per person
GETTING FROM THE FERRY PIER TO YOUR HOTEL
Songthaew taxis wait at Na Dan (Nadan) pier. When filled up with passengers, they head to the beaches and resort areas, dropping passengers off along the way. The price per person depends on the distance traveled, but expect to pay between 50 and 200 baht.
The songthaew taxi from Na Dan usually stops at the national park office, where national park entry fees are collected. If you go by speedboat or ferry to a beach, park rangers are usually waiting to collect the fee when you arrive on the beach.