A Travellerspoint blog

June 2022

Koh Samae San


Koh Samae San or Samae San Island is an island located off Sattahip city in Chonburi province, Thailand. This is a little known vacation island both by the locals as well as foreigners or perhaps it was simply bypassed due to its off beaten path. Most tourists prefer to visit Pattaya and head on to Koh Larn instead due to the convenience of travelling from Bangkok. While Koh Samae San may not be the preferred island retreat choice for most tourists, it indeed offers some of the most enjoyable experience of sunbathing and swimming in a far less crowded beach, opportunity to snorkel not far from the beach area as well as getting into the fun of kayaking around sea and have excitement on hiking up the hill to get some awesome view of the island.

Ticketing office

Some informations about Koh Samae San as an orientation. This island was under the management and authority of The Royal Thai Navy Military but accessible to the public with a fee. The ticket counter was located adjacent to the pier area. Foreign visitors are charged a fee of THB600 per head for child and adult. Thais are charged THB300 for adult and THB220 for children. While this can be rather costly, the reason for charging such a fee structures comes with the underlying statement - restricted entry to preserve the island's nature and environment. Under the command of Princess Sirindhorn, Koh Samae San has been selected as one of the dozens of islands in Chonburi province to be under the island preservation projects. The main reason for this project was to limit pollutions so that the nature and environment in the island and surroundings were being protected and not damaged by tourism activities which in return this would then be benefits for future generations. There was also restrictions on number of people allowed on the island in a day which was limited to 500.

Pier to Koh Samae San

Contrary to what has been written and said about the attire restrictions, I had seen people donning any kinds of beach and swimming apparels of their choice. However,there was a notice at the ticketing counter that indicated foreigners must be accompanied by a Thai to get to Koh Samae San. Had Luk Lom or Luk Lom beach was the main beach that can be accessed for activities including swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and hiking. In less than 15 minutes, you will reach Koh Samae San with the ferry docking at Had Tien. These are the only 2 areas allowed for public use on the island. From Had Tien, tram will be picking up visitors to Had Luk Lom.

Arriving at Had Tien

Once at Had Luk Lom, you will be greeted by a huge crab replica as well as clear sea water. During my arrival in the morning, the beach was literary quiet and sun was shining brightly though it was pouring quiet heavily while boarding the ferry at the pier. Awesome weather for a good swim and snorkeling day out. The good thing about snorkeling at Koh Samae San, the snorkeling spot was just a short and quick speed boat journey from the beach at Had Luk Lom. While the corals, fish and other sea livings were not impressive, you still get to see them at close vicinity within touch. Of course you avoid touching them or stepping on them. Just to enjoy watching them while you snorkel.

Had Luk Lom

Back to the beach, there was a small hills that you can go hiking. The view of the island was marvellous and awesome from the peak of the hill. You can enjoy the panaromic and spectacular view from the top of the hill. To get to Koh Samae San, it is best to spend at least a night at Sattahip as can be read on my blog about Sattahip. Koh Samae San has no accomodation facilities and can only be access daily from 9am to 4pm. In summary, I would say that this island deserve to be explored at least once in one's travel itinerary.

Hiking view at Had Luk Lom

Posted by kidd27 10:34 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Sattahip & Koh Samae San

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View Koh Samae San on kidd27's travel map.

Sattahip is located in Chonburi province, Thailand and was basically overlooked by tourists both locals and foreigners. This was mainly attributed to the fact that Sattahip's location which edged close to it's popular neighborhood city of Pattaya. Pattaya has been long on the tourists radar while holidaying in Bangkok being the closest beach retreat to the capital of Thailand. While Sattahip being less travelled by many, this city in Chonburi province is also home to the Royal Thai Navy which has its base over here. The U-Tapao airport is also located not too distance away from Sattahip. Most of the areas in Sattahip in particular those that located on the coastlines were under the management and jurisdiction of Royal Thai Navy.

Had Toei Ngam

My recent short holiday trip in Thailand brought me to Sattahip to explore this coastal city on what vacation activities can be done, what's interesting and to experience new travel spot. As the city is under the authority of Royal Thai Navy, the presence of military officers could be seen in areas including beaches that can be access by the public. Literally, any beach activities basically focused at Had Toei Ngam or Toei Ngam beach. This was also where tourists could go for sunbathing, swimming and picnic. There were some specialty store selling souvenirs as well as packaged food and a food area selling mostly coffees, grilled chicken and grilled seafood. Entrance to Had Toei Ngam would see guard posts where military men on duty would randomly check personal details for security purposes. Over here was also where the Royal Navy Military Museum being built which access was free. Some replicas of military fighter jets were seen within the area of the museum as well as a huge military monument a symbol of pride of Thai Navy Military were standing proudly greeting visitors as you arrived at the Had Toei Ngam. Inside the museum, it provided visitors with few informations and knowledge on the different military uniforms donned by the navy officers during different time period, military equipments and ammunitions, military ranks and badges as well as replicas battlefields.

Had Toei Ngam Monument of Royal Thai Military

Royal Thai Navy Museum

Sattahip has no bars dotted walking street staged for those looking to enjoy themselves after sunset unlike it's neighbouring city of Pattaya. But that shall be a plus point for this quiet, less touristy beach retreat city as you can enjoy the calm and the beauty of this holiday spot minus the noisy, hectic and chaotic night atmosphere. I personally enjoy it that way as you can take your time to explore the place, experience some local food in a calm surroundings and get into some conversation with the locals as you explore around.

Had Dongtan Bay


There may not have any bars for one to have dozens of cans or bottles of beers to cheers while in Sattahip but one of the main night entertainment one can do was to head to Had Dongtan or Dongtan Bay. Here at Dongtan Bay, with the sun sets down, street food traders started to set up their food carts to start business. When the day still sees the sun shining brightly, Dongtan Bay is the heaven for many yacht enthusiasts. This is when you could witness many yachts sailing out at the Dongtan Bay during day time. The atmosphere at Dongtan Bay can be summed up as refreshing with winds blowing constantly from the sea. While there were no sandy beach at this bay to enjoy some swimming and sunbathing, you can stroll along the pine tree lined area overlooking the sea. During night time when food vendors started their trade, you can try out some of the Thai street food of all kinds available over at the Dongtan Bay Walking Street. You can rent mattress to picnic at the selected or available spots along the bay while enjoying the street food and drinks.

[b]Dongtan Bay Walking Street

My opinion on Sattahip is that it was worth to experience this beach retreat city if you do visit Pattaya which can be paired up with a trip to Koh Samae San. The main streets for tourists to settle down and experience some good time basically centred within Dongtan Bay area where some cafes, restaurants, hotels and the walking streets can be found. There were also some hotels found within and off the main road area a little far off from Dongtan Bay as well but the best spots will surely be at Dongtan Bay. To get to Koh Samae San, transportation need to be arranged either from your accomodation facilities or asked around as the pier to the island was distance away from Sattahip city and not within walking distance. In smart, you could stay.a night at Dongtan Bay after exploring the city during the day and head over to Koh Samae San the next morning or head straight to Koh Samae San after arrival at Sattahip and head back to Sattahip in the evening and stay over the night. My thoughts on Sattahip and Koh Samae San was that this both spots deserve to be explored at least once in your travel diary.

Posted by kidd27 08:06 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

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