Popular as a weekend retreat for busy Bangkok folk, the island of Koh Samet is one of Thailand's eastern beauties. Just off the coast from the Thai province of Rayong, most of Koh Samet belongs to the Khao Laem Ya – Mu Ko Samet National Park and it’s shrouded in thick jungle. The island has a shorter rainy season compared to other areas in Thailand, which is perfect if you are planning to spend lots of time on the beach.
The beaches themselves can mainly be found on the eastern side of the island, one of the most popular being the 1km long Hat Sai Kaeo (Crystal Sand Beach). This is the ideal spot for all sorts of activities, whether it be sunbathing or jet skiing. While most beaches have been overdeveloped, they still retain an essence of beauty. If you’re looking for a beach stay not far from Bangkok, Koh Samet is a lovely option.