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Ko Samet is not overly renowned for its parties (unlike Ko Pha Ngan) or its diving (unlike Ko Tao), but it has both convenience and quietness in its favor. It's a popular tourist destination for Thais as well as foreigners for its proximity to Bangkok.

Even though Ko Samet is only a few kilometers from the mainland of Rayong, the island with its micro-climate (the driest archipelago in Thailand) gets much less rainfall than the rest of the province. The rainy season is May to September but even then it still has significantly less rain than the other islands in Thailand. Tourists should, however, be careful of occasional storms.

It is believed that once upon a time, Ko Samet was the home of pirates and that until this very day there is still lost treasure buried somewhere on the island.

Thailand’s legendary poet Sunthorn Phu was the first one to put this island on the map when he set his classical epic there, Phra Aphai Manee “The Story of Princes, Saga, Mermaids and Giants”.

Even though Bangkokians had known about the beauty of Ko Samet for decades before, the Thai government put this island off limits and restricted overnight stay there; that was until 1981. In that year, on 1st October, the Forestry Department of Thailand declared Koh Samet and its surrounding to be a national park.