Bangkok: Escape – Koh Samet
Turn a stop over in Bangkok into a dirt-cheap island weekend.
If you’re visiting the land of Thai, nestled in the bustling city of Bangkok and want to get a quick fix of the island party life, listen up!
Koh Samet – where the vibe is chilled, the drinks are chilled and the sun (and locals) are hot.
How to get there: From Chatuchak bus terminal, jump on a local bus to Rayong bus terminal (probably around 150 Baht or $5 and an hour-and-a-half ride).
TIP: Local buses in Thailand are cheaper and safer. It’s rare for bag theft and their shitty conditions are on par with tourist buses.
From Rayong, fill a songthaew (open back taxi) with anyone heading to the pier/bay for Samet. This journey will take around 20 mins and set you back a mere few Baht. From the pier, buy a ticket to the notorious party island and jump on an old junk boat for a few more pennies. Hit up a 7/11 for an ice-cold Chang beer and enjoy the serenity of the sea.
Ta dah! When you arrive at the island’s wharf it’s about a 10-minute walk to the accommodation and main road (there’s only one around the whole island), and from there, the search is on.
Accommodation: Basically, you can grab a simple room off the main road for under 300 Baht a night ($10). We managed to fit three in a room and split it, though you’ll probably spend the night sleeping on the beach for free anyway.
Food: The restaurants on the beach are fairly pricy when compared to city street food. On the main street there are locally-run joints and the Pad Thai and Gow Pad Gai is fresh, cheap and delish.
TIP: Western meals are shit. Never order Western food in Thailand. Go for the local cuisine: they know their flavours man.
Partying: Now we’re talking tactics. Start at the northern side of the island and bar crawl along the beach, stopping at the Thai boxing ring and watching English chicks mess themselves up. Or for a bit of culture, locals battle it out with an excited crowd and cheap buckets of Samsong and coke (Thai Whisky). Stumble over the rocks to the other stretch of beach and shake what your mumma gave you on the sand dance floor.
If you’re not up for full frontal grooving or simply too hung over from the night before, head to the beach restaurants on the front of the island and plunk down on a futon. Smoke some cheap apple shisha; watch the stars and light a pretty lantern, sending it into the sky with a cheesy wish.