Koh Samet, Thailand
Updated: Jul 3, 2020
This page contains affiliate links, meaning at no cost to you I earn a commission if you make a purchase through the link.
Now that we have settled back into some semblance of normalcy since my oldest is back at school (at least for the next few weeks!!!) I finally have time to write again! I think we can all agree that schooling at home is not the easiest with young kids! After almost 4 months of COVID Schooling… I’m ready to start thinking about something else! I’ve been busy organizing a few trips within Thailand for this summer – so stay tuned! But in the mean time I wanted to highlight some of our favorite little getaways that are close by, no flight required!
Today I’ll be sharing about #KohSamet. This Island is only a 45 min ferry ride from Ban Phe Pier in #Rayong, so it’s quite close to our city of #Pattaya. It is a very popular destination because it is relatively close and beautiful with its white sandy beaches! You’ll want to book your hotel before arriving, and there is a large selection of styles of hotels to choose from. As we’ve learned with traveling with kids, we do not get to be as flexible with the hotel selection as you can be if you are just a couple. With 4 kids now (3 at the time), we are typically *required* to book 2 hotel rooms, so it’s vital the hotel has inter-connected rooms or suites. My husband and I have had to sleep in separate rooms in some hotels (each with half the kids) in smaller Thai cities, but thankfully at Koh Samet we chose to stay at Sai Kaew Beach Resort which had inter-connecting rooms right by one of their pools!
This was the very first getaway we went on after moving to Thailand 2 years ago. We had only been in country 1.5 months at this point, so to say we didn’t know really what we were doing would be an understatement! Our driver wasn’t exactly sure where the pier was to catch the hotel ferry, so we missed the last free hotel ferry of the day. Thankfully there are always ferries or speed boats regularly going to the island, so we just caught a different one. Once you arrive to the Island there are tuk-tuks (the truck taxi’s that you sit in the back of) to take you where you need to go. It cost a few dollars and was our kids first experience in one, which they thought was pretty awesome! Tuk-tuks can also be organized from your hotel lobby if you need a ride to get anywhere else on the island.
Depending on your resort, the beach may be quieter or busier, but it’s beautiful and clean. You can choose to eat at your hotel restaurant or walk up and down the beach to find a variety of restaurants and food stands. Click here to learn more about the Island and all it has to offer.
I don't know about you, but when we go on a road trip, I tend to WAY overpack because I don't have a weight limit like when flying. I can only laugh at what we must have looked like arriving to the ferry for a 2 night stay with TWO FULLSIZE SUITCASES and stroller. I must have packed everything I could possibly need, including 10 outfits per person? I can't even remember. I do recall we brought items for the kids "rest time". Our older 2 kids no longer nap but still have a time in the afternoon when they play or read quietly in their room. I packed activities for this time to continue, but in reality we've realized with all our traveling that we can typically forgo this time, and instead go swimming or play at the kids club that many hotels have. My biggest take-away from that first trip (and with every trip I'm getting better at it) but not packing choices for clothes. Now I only pack 1 outfit per person per day and 1 extra, except for a baby or a kid who is recently toilet trained - in which case pack extra shorts etc! However, I don't need multiple shoes and outfits to choose from while on vacation. That was hard to do at first (and still is at times) but I'm really trying to pack as light as I can, and with 6 people that's not easy if we all have multpile outfits and shoes to choose from.
Oh, and if you consider taking a speed boat trip anywhere (or a transfer back to the mainland) this is what it'll look like leaving the beach! We have seen this in Pattaya when people leave from the beach for day trips, and we witnessed it here as well. People carry their luggage overhead to get into the boat, and then everything gets sprayed with water when the boat tries to get going! So, if you are ever taking a speed boat (especially with luggage with you) find out if it actually goes to a dock or just a beach.
We were thankful for this short getaway that was a few days before our 8th wedding anniversary. #SaiKaewBeachResort has multiple swimming pools, is right on the beach and even had sand toys for kids to use. During nap time we were able to swim at the pool next to our hotel room while the baby slept and our baby monitor still worked! When traveling with kids who still require naps, it is a huge plus to have a room with pool access or directly on the beach for this exact reason. They can sleep and you can enjoy the day while still watching the monitor. We enjoyed the weekend of #beachtherapy and relaxing with kids while eating food I didn’t have to cook (anytime I don’t have to cook I call it vacation 😉 ).