Ko Samae San is a small but stunning island in the Sattahip District of the Chonburi Province. At a mere 4 km long and less than 1 km wide, there isn’t much bulk to this tropical paradise. What land does exist above the water is home to a lush forest. The uninhabited island is a far cry from the tourist meccas that dot the seas of Thailand, which is exactly what makes this the perfect getaway for those of us who are truly looking to get away from it all.
What to know before you go
Like other islands in this area, Ko Samae San is administrated by the Thai Royal Navy, which means there are no shenanigans here. This is a government protected land and it is meant to be left unspoilt by the reaches of globalisation. What that means for you is that there are no shops, restaurants, cafes, or clubs to be found here. You will need to bring all of the basics along with you from wherever it is you are coming from. The good news is that you can find an oasis away from all of the overstimulated tourists. The bad news is that you’ll need to be organised before you arrive. Don’t expect any seafood, street food or even a glass of water waiting for you here.
There are a few different boat chartering companies that will take you to Ko Samae San but the schedules are sporadic. For a reliable service, check for options from Thai Island and Sea Natural History Museum. There are regular trips departing from 9-4 every single day.
See the land
Since Ko Samae San is such a small island, it is incredibly easy to see it all. Bike around the lanes and spend the afternoon trekking through the lush forest that lies inland. There are a million and one photo ops for such a small area and it’s well worth taking your time getting from one end to the other. Be sure to visit the meadow at Hat Luk Lom for a truly fantastic view.
Admire the local wildlife
The Princess of Thailand has set up a conservation for thousands of turtles that have been specially bred to live on Ko Samae San. When the turtles hatch, they are helped by the Royal Navy to get back to the ocean. Once you have gotten your turtle fill, head to the Natural History Museum to see whale’s bones.
Hit the water
Once you have done and seen it all on Ko Samae San, it is time to get your feet wet. Like all Thai desert islands, it is an amazing place to go swimming and snorkelling so plan for at least a few hours in the water before you head out.
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