We took a day trip to Koh Samet one weekend, the ferry across to the island takes 40 minutes, and it costs 50 baht each way (under $2). The Thais like to cram as many people and objects as possible on any mode of transport, and this freaks me out – especially on water. The amount of stories I read about boats sinking in Thailand before we left added to this anxiety.
There’s a large contrast between Ban Phe on the mainland, and this small island only 7km away. You can tell that they base their income here, on tourism. Everything is accommodating to westerners. After seeing the real Thailand, seeing the booming tourism industry in Thailand makes me understand why people love it so much. It’s cheap, you can get basically anything you like, you can do a lot more than you would have been able to in your own country. But you don’t experience any Thai culture, or language, and I have to admit, not many people try the food either! Being a couple alone here, only makes it apparent that the only things you can do on this island are sunbathe, swim and drink. Maybe explore, but it’s too small to do much. I like Koh Samet, but I prefer the larger islands down south that are not packed to the brim with tourists, and which have much more to do.
Overall though, the beach was beautiful and the shopping wasn’t bad.