About 125 miles from Bangkok in the Gulf of Thailand there is a small island called Koh Samet.
It has white sandy beaches, exotic coral and aquamarine waters. Back in 1999 a thatched bungalow cost about 10 bucks. No AC and the electricity would often be out. The roads were dirt, rocks and potholes. It was cash only and hardly any English. But, it has developed steadily over the past decade which is both good and bad. The Mafia got booted and the Army is currently in charge. Everything is now booked online and it is at least $30 a night for a house on the beach and the new 5-star resorts ask Hollywood prices.
(It's not really my island)
The island is around 5 sq. miles and about 80% jungle. Lots of wildlife, for now. Koh Samet is considered a National Park and has an entry fee of around $6 for a non-Thai. The wife pays about a dollar. We often go there to chill-out for a few days during the low season. Many times we have been the only ones on the beach. Don’t ask which beach.
Looking out from the front porch.
We keep looking for buried treasures, but no luck so far.
The views along the sea shores are fantastic.
The trek to reach this bungalow takes some effort, but the isolation makes it worth while.
Keep in mind
that big ones eat
A great way to tour Koh Samet is to rent a motorcycle. FYI. The locals say that no one has ever stolen a motorcycle from the island.
Some people use the green truck taxis. Prices are negotiable.
Our Beach House
What's for Dinner?
If money is not a problem, the 5-star resorts have rooms starting at B10,000 or $300 a night. Food and drinks not included.
We enjoyed an iced tea by the pool by the sea. Our motorcycle rental for the day was cheaper.
Here is the story. Back in the early 1800s a famous Thai poet liked his drink. He ended up in prison where his epic poem (which is 30,000 lines long) was written.
Basically, it is about a prince who has some troubles but eventually falls in love with a mermaid. They finally escaped to the ‘Magic Crystal Island’ or Koh Samet and lived happily forever.
Time for a relaxing walk.
An Evening Meal.
Most of the workers on the island seem to come from Cambodia.
They earn about B9,000 or $250 per month.
Housing and food included.
Hauling in supplies.
Sometimes once a week. Sometimes daily.