Koh Samet: how to go there
All the information you need to get to and leave Koh Samet. Koh Samet is easy to get to from the capital and is an ideal destination for a break from the bustle of the city.
The main advantage of this island is that it is very close to Bangkok. It is thus rather easy to get to and to come back from. There are still a few things the traveller needs to be careful about though. The bus journey is said to last from 3 and a half hours to 4 hours but if you leave at the beginning of the weekend, expect to spend two more hours on the road.
You have three options to travel to Koh Samet : bus, van and minibuses, taxi.
To take the bus, you need to go the Ekkamai bus terminal (right next to the Ekkamai BTS station). They sell a bus/boat combo ticket (open return ticket with slow boat) for 251 baht. The bus ticket alone costs 151 baht. It takes about 4 hours to travel from Bangkok to Banphe, the nearest port to Koh Samet. You can walk to the pier from the bus terminal in Banphe. It’s only about 200 m away.
On the way back to Bangkok, simply buy a ticket at the bus terminal in Ban Phe. No need to book.
Bangkok - Banphe Pier
The return bus to Bangkok
For the return of Koh Samet to Bangkok:
- With reservation, simply go to the ticket office leaving the pier to simply reserve a specific place in the bus.
- Without a reservation, you must buy your ticket at the counter: there is an agency coming out of the pier on the left. The return bus ticket costs 151 baht. The bus takes about 4 hours to return to the capital (depending on traffic). Bottle of water offered.
Banphe Pier- Bangkok
The minivan is one the quickest way to travel. You will need to go to the Ekkamai bus terminal (right next to the Ekkamai BTS station). The journey by minivan costs around 250 baht one way and is about 3 and a half hours long. Unlike the regular bus, it doesn’t stop on the way or at the gas station and takes the motorway.
It will drop you right next to the pier in BanPhe. You can buy your return ticket at the pier on the way back to Bangkok.
Minivans leave Bangkok and Banphe every hour from 6 am till 5 pm.
This is the quickest way to travel but it is not cheap: 2000 baths one way. The taxi will leave you at the pier in Ban Phe. A few agencies offer this service around Kao San Road in Bangkok. In Koh Samet, it is rather easy to book a taxi in hotels and guesthouses.
Once in Ban Phe, you will need to take a boat to cross over. Two options are available: the ferry or the speedboat.
The journey to Koh Samet by ferry takes about 30 minutes. Advantage, the ticket is cheap and will cost you only 50 baths. The ferry leaves you at the Nadan pier. They run all day from 8 am till 6 pm and leave every hour.
Koh Samet is part of a national park and you will have to pay an entry fee of 200 baths in Ban Phe.
Once in Kho Samet, there will be another 20 baths to pay (another entry fee). This last fee is included in the fare for the speedboat.
This payment gives access to the park for 5 days. Beyond that, we normally have to make a new entry. This is purely theoretical because it is rare that you are asked for proof.
The workpermit does not give derogation. You have to pay 200 baht. Thais must pay a fee of 40 Thb.