This weekend my friends and I took our first official trip to Ko Samet, a small island off the coast of the Rayong Province which is southeast of where I live in Chonburi.
We left early Saturday morning (7am) and got there by way of Songtao -> Minibus -> Speedboat. It was a bit of a process but we were standing on white sand beaches by eleven so in my book, thats a win. We checked into our bungalow and we’re ready to go to the beach!
The word bungalow is used rather loosely in Thailand – it is not what you would imagine. We stayed at the Naga Bungalows, a budget place most foreign teachers stay at. It’s very cheap, on the beach, and basically gloried camping. You can pick a double room with a fan, a double room with air con, a double room with a fan and a private bathroom, or a double room with AC and a private bathroom. We picked the double room with a fan and a shared bathroom and squished 3 of us in it. We wanted to really see how rough we could go. Below is a picture of the bungalow, aka some wood, a roof and a bed. Oh and a mosquito net.
It was $6 per person. So I guess I can’t really complain.
Anyway, Ko Samet is beautiful. It’s a very small (13 KM) island that was declared a national park in the 1980’s so people can’t develop it. They are a lot of “resorts” and “bungalows” on the island illegally, however it is not nearly as built up as other islands and beaches and Thailand. There are no high rises or big buildings anywhere. It’s very quaint and quiet and isn’t commercialized.
The beaches are pretty clean, the food was good and relatively cheap enough. We also met up with a bunch of girls who went through our program, CIEE and were placed at a school northeast of Bangkok. At night we all had a big family style Thai feast at a beach front restaurant and then watched a fire show. And we had a lot of fun out at the Naga Bar. They had glow paint and some free drinks and a DJ and there were foreigners from all over there to have a good time. Dancing, glow in the dark paint and drinks on the beach makes for a great weekend and Saturday night.
I did get a bit burnt though. It was so hot I couldn’t stand to be out of the water for more than 10 minutes. Despite my waterproof, sweat proof SPF 50 sunscreen, my shoulders are toast.
That pretty much sums it up! Below are some pictures I took from the day, there are more on Facebook as well. I am sure we will back, it makes for a nice weekend getaway that feels far away from Chonburi and the city life.