I’ve just spent a few days on Ko Samet island, the first thing you see as you arrive at the pier is this statue of Pisuea Samut, one of the characters in a famous Thai poem written a couple of hundred years ago. Apparently the poem is 30,000 lines long and took 20 years to write ! It is about a young prince that is exiled to an underwater land ruled by a female giant, Piseua Samut, who disguises herself as a beautiful woman to entrap the prince. When he discovers the truth the prince escapes to Ko Samet with the help of a magic flute and a mermaid.
The prince falls in love with the mermaid, but no, they do not live happily ever after.
The author wrote the story in instalments over the 20 years, and the prince went on to have many more adventures and romances.
Nowadays it is people escaping from Bangkok that go to Ko Samet, as it is only a few hours by bus and a short ferry ride. While it is a pleasant enough place, it is certainly not a quiet tropical paradise. There were quite a few large groups that seemed to be on a company picnic who came over for the day, had dinner and karaoke on the beach, then got a boat back to the mainland. There were also a lot of Russians who must have decided to invade Samet instead of the Crimea.
I saw 3 of them get off their rented scooters and go into a 7/11 ….one was wearing just shorts (with a HUGE beer belly), another almost as fat wearing speedos, and another wearing a G-string ….Ugghhh !! That’s the sort of people who taint all of us farangs.
At night most of the restaurants set up tables on the beach for a bit of extra “island ambience” but it seemed a bit contrived to me. Maybe I’m just a grumpy old sceptic ? The package tourists seem to like it though. And then of course there has to be a fire show. Is there any Thai island beach that does not have one ? There were 3 groups working the crowds on the beach I was staying at, and I could see more at other beaches just around the bay.
And then there has to be a reggae bar too, the one at the end of my beach was “Reggae Pub 2”, so I assume there is another, Number 1, somewhere on the island.
I had hoped to do a bit of snorkelling, but it was rather windy and too choppy for decent visibility so I settled for just a bit of relaxation on island time.
All in all, it was a pleasant way to spend the week, only a 4 hour/173 baht bus ride and 50 baht ferry trip from Bangkok so I’ll probably be back sometime.
Some more pics :