1 Getting to RayongRayong, as a province located along a highly traveled route, Chonburi is easily reached by private car, public bus, and even air from Samui and Phuket on Bangkok Airways. Once in one of Rayong’s coastal towns, it may be easier to get around with your own car, but there are standard forms of local transport available for visitors: i.e. songtaews, motorbike taxis, tuk tuks, and public busses.
Rayong is the eastern gateway to the north and northeast of Thailand. As such, there are many regular bus services connecting Rayong and Bangkok and other provinces such as Chiang Mai, Nakhon Ratchasima, and Nong Khai. Busses from Bangkok to Rayong depart regularly from Ekkamai eastern bus terminal (near BTS Ekkamai). There are specific busses for those who wish to go to Koh Samet that terminate at Ban Phe opposite the boat pier. Timetables
Route 2 : The most popular route, starting from Bangna-Rayong Road (Highway No. 34) via Bang Phli and Bang Bo District (Samut Prakan Province) and Highway no.3 at km. 70. The total distance is 220.
Route 3 : Drive along Highway No.3 to Bang Lamung, then turn off of Highway No.3 at Km.140 and continue on Highway No.36 to Rayong. Total distance is 210 kilometres.
Route 4 : Taking Highway No.344 (Ban Bung-Klaeng) at Chonburi town, passing Ban Bung, Nong Yai, Wang Chan and finishing at Klaeng District, Rayong Province. The total distance is 100 kilometres. (Bangkok-Chonburi is 80 kilometres)This route is suitable for those who like to go sightseeing in Klaeng District and Khao Chamao-Khao Wong National Park or passing through Chanthaburi Province.
Route 5 : Use the Motorway, starting from Phatthanakarn Road, Prawet District, Bangkok and drive all the way up to Pattaya (120 kilometres), then switch to use Highway No.36 and proceed for another 50 kilometres to Rayong.
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2 Getting to Koh SametAs it is such a popular island, Koh Samet is easy to get to, with various boat companies providing ferry and speedboat service to the island from the pier at Ban Phe on mainland Ranong. Once at Nadan pier on Koh Samet, songtaews (covered pick-up trucks with seats in the back) provide transportation to the national park entrance 1 km away and then onto Sai Kaew Beach or Ao Phai for 10 or 20 baht (Price are subject to change). For beaches farther south, the fare increases dramatically, particularly if there are fewer passengers.
Once on the island it is possible to get around with your own vehicle, if you brought one, or via songtaew or rental motorbike, both of which are available on most beaches.
There are difference ferry services from Phe; Nuan Thip Pier, Phe Pier and Sri Ban Phe Pier to Koh Samet everyday. The trip take about half and hour. As well as the ferry, hiring private boat is also available. Transportation on Koh Samet is local bus services and on foot.
Alternatively, there are two speedboat companies that operate from Ban Phe. You will need to take a Speedboat if you arrive when the ferry is not operating. Service is available 24 hours a day, what you will end up paying is based on how many others also want to go to your destination. One advantage of taking a speedboat is that it will drop you off on the beach so you can avoid taking a taxi from the pier. The speedboats have a much rougher ride than the ferry and will not necessarily be any faster as they will make more than one stop.
For the return from the Koh Samet public pier, take either the Nuan Thip or Ban Phe piers for your destination - it doesn't matter which one you departed from as they are only a short walk apart, and you might get an earlier boat back if you are willing to be flexible and return to a different pier. Both are served by songthaews: Ban Phe has an informal "taxi stand" in front of the 7-11 across the street with passenger cars used as cabs but no need to go looking for them as they will find you. It costs 200 baht for a ride from Ban Phe to the Novotel, quite a distance down the coast, in early 2009.
Ferry Schedule from Ban Phe to Koh Samet:
- Ferry leaves at 09:00 am., 12:00 pm., 01:30 pm. and 05:00 pm. every day to Ao Wong Duean
- Ferry leaves at 11:30 am. and 02:00 pm. to Ao Wai
- Ferry leaves at 10:00 am. to Ao Kiew Na Nok
- Ferry leaves at 08:00 am., 11:00 am., 01:00 pm. and 04:00 pm. to Ao Prao
Ferry Schedule from Koh Samet to Ban Phe:
- Ferry leaves Ao Wong Duean at 08:30 am., 12:00 pm., and 03:30 pm.
- Ferry leaves Ao Wai at 02:00 pm.
- Ferry leaves Ao Kiew Na Nok at 08:00 am., and 12:00 pm.
- Ferry leaves Ao Prao at 10:00 am., 12:30 pm., 03.00 pm., and 05:00 pm.
Pier to Koh Samet
- Nuan Tip Pier : Tel. 0 3865 1511, 0 3865 3639, 0 3865 1508, 08 1642 4232, 0 3865 1956
- Sri Ban Phe Pier : Tel. 0 3865 1901, 0 3865 1736, 0 3865 1556, 08 6113 5594
- Chok Kritsada Pier : Tel. 08 1862 4067, 08 5501 0009, 0 3865 2040
- Saphan Pla Ban Phe Pier : Tel. 0 3865 1441
From Pattaya, busses also head to Rayong, from where visitors must also get a songtaew or tuk tuk to the pier at Ban Phe. Minibuses from Pattaya go directly to Ban Phe. Timetables
The nearest airport to Koh Samet is U-Tapao, about 45 km from Ban Phe. There are limited flights on Bangkok Airways to and from U-Tapao, namely into and out of Koh Samui and Phuket. Timetables