I haven’t been to many islands in Thailand yet but I think the closest island to travel from Bangkok is Koh Samet (or Koh Samed, Koh means Island in Thai) where I had a very nice weekend with some friends.
From Bangkok, you can take a bus, either from the Ekamai Bus Station or Mo-chit Station. My friends got me a ticket of the VIP bus from Mo-chit Station to travel from Bangkok to Rayong right after I got off work (9:00 pm maybe), Friday evening. It took us roughly 3 hours to arrive. But the bus was quite comfortable with the seats that looked like airplane seats, with even more space. Each seat had a massage machine underneath too. So really no complaints about the ride.
We arrived Rayong around midnight. A friend of us picked us up from there and we went out to have some food, and went to a club there. We had to stay at a hotel that night since there is no boat that goes to the island at night because of the darkness.
We took a boat to go to the the island in the next morning. Koh Samet is really close, we only sat on a boat and got there after 30-40 minutes. We first tried to look for a place to stay. The island was quite full of tourists because it was during the weekend. But finally we found this place to stay, it’s like a wooden complex on the sea (different guest rooms, a karaoke bar, a bar and a restaurant). It was overall okay for a short stay. Here it is:
After that we hired a boat to have a half day trip around the island. I think next time I better hire a speed boat, it’s much faster. It’s so cool when they took us around the island, to see different sides of it. Then we stopped, joined for some BBQ with a bigger boat and a bunch of Germans. After that, swimming was cool.
This is our boat:
The bigger one we joined for BBQ & the speed boat I like (10x zoomed):
Looking towards the island:
Fish Farm from afar (10x zoomed):
After a while we went fishing. I didn’t catch one though. And the last thing is to stop by the fish farm, then we asked them to bring us to the side with lots of restaurants, close to our place, to eat and enjoy the sunset. They have pretty good food there too.Here is the beach:
At night we also went to a beach bar, lots fun on the beach. The nightlife on this island is not bad at all, especially in the weekends, I guess. After crushing a bottle of Jim Beam and mingling with some cuties (not me because I was busy watching the fire show), we lost a friend. Actually, he fell asleep somewhere by the beach in total darkness, it took me half an hour to find him.
We got back to our place and continued partying with another group there because a couple in that group just got married. It was good fun. Next morning we had really nice breakfast and chilled out by the beach. We headed back to Rayong at noon, and Bangkok in the evening. There the party carried on at my apartment with cocktails I made.
Overall, I think Koh Samet is really nice for about a 2 or 3 day trip. It should be more fun in the weekend with many tourists. I’d suggest you take the VIP bus because it is so comfortable with a lot of space. And don’t travel at night because you don’t want to stay in Rayong, there’s nothing there.