Khao Laem Ya Mu Ko Samet National Park
Sparkling white sand and cliffs from an azure sea. the archipelago of Same Island is the setting that inspired classical Thai poet, Sunthorn Phu, to write his most famous epic: Phra Aphai Manee, a story of princes, sages, mermaids and giants That was 150 years ago, and today you can still enjoy the magical qualities of Samet and surrounding areas. In 1981, the Royal Forest department declared the archipelago of Samet, the headland of Khao Laem Ya and 11 kilometer of Mae Ramphueng Beach to be a national park. Samet island group comprises of several islands i.e. Ko Kudi, Ko Kruai, Ko Ma Kham, Ko Ma Kham, Ko Plai Tin, Ko Thaiu and Ko Chan [Ko means island]. One has its'own uniqueness which visitors should not miss.
Located 200 kilometers southeast of Bangkok in Rayong province, Khao Laem Ya - Mu Ko Samet National Park covers 131 square kilometers of land and sea, and is an easy destination for Bangkokians and world travelers alike. Most come to relax and enjoy the beaches, but opportunities exist for more adventurous: hiking trails and exploring reefs.
Khao Laem Ya-Mu Ko Samet is a coastal area and island national park. It is located at seaside of Eastern Thai Gulf. Topography of the area is made of granite mountain around Plet and Laem Ya mountain. Samet island is made of mountains and hills such as Kra Jom mountain. The area in the east of the island is highly sloped while in the east is less sloped. Beaches lie continuously from bay to bay all around the island. The area in the middle of the island is hilly. People settle in the plain near the coast and most villagers live in the north and the east of the island. There are another three small islands at the southern tip of the island, Ko Chan (moon island), Ko San Chalam (shark fin island) and Hin Khao (White rock). Other 8 islands near the shore in the park boundary are Ko Plai Tin (foot tip island), Ko Klet Chalam (Shark scale island), Ko Makham (Tamarind island), Ko Kruai (Cone island), Ko Kudi (Monk's Chamber island), Ko Thai Khang Kkao (Bat bottom island), Ko Talu (Hole island) and Ko Yung Kluea (Salt silo island).
Chan Island is a smallest island in the national park and located in the most southern part. It offers a good lookout and popular sites for scuba diving.
Hin Khao Island
Hin Khao Island is a small island. There is submerged rock in the north-eastern of Samet island. Rocks found on the island are all creamy white. This rock is a nesting site for Terns. Visitors can snorkel and scuba dive at the site.
Klang Bay is in the north of the Samet Island and can be viewed from mainland at Ban Phe. The bay has 1 km of long white and sandy beach. It is an area for tourist boat parking. The famous Sai Kaeo Beach is located in north-eastern of the island about 300 metres from Samet village. It's a gorgeous beach in the park.
Wong Duean Bay is located in central area on the eastern side of the island. The shape of bay looks like crescent. It is a 500 meters long white and sandy beach, located 1.5 km from Sai Kaeo Beach. It takes no more than 20 minutes of walking time that would pass Phai Bay and Cho Bay to this peaceful Wong Duean Bay.
Kruai Island, Makham Island and Plaitin Island
Kruai Island, Makham Island and Plaitin Island are island group located about 600 metres in the north of Kudi island. Kruai Island, Makham Island are connected by beach and cays in low tide. Plaitin Island is about 400 metres from Kruai Island, Makham Island. Sand Dunes and beautiful coral reef are found surrounding Makham Island and Plaitin Island.
Kudi Island is one of the island in Sun Thon Phu's literature (Sun Thon Phu is a Thai legendary Poet). It is situated on the east of Samet Island about 6 kilometers from the mainland, 8.5 kilometers from the park headquarters. The island covers the area of 0.16 square kilometers Two surrounding islands are Thai Khang Khao Island and Tham Ruesi Island. Kudi Island is a location for Ranger Station 3 (Ko Kudi). The island is full of serenity with beautiful beaches. Nin Mangkon Cliff on the steep rock in the south is a good place to look over wide ranging scenery. Coral reef is found around the island made it suitable site for snorkeling and camping.
Laem Ya Monutain and Pret Mountain
Laem Ya Monutain and Pret Mountain are a small laterite hill covering the area of 1.09 sq.km. Forests cover the southern cape that project into the sea. Spectacular scenery of curvy and sandy beaches can be viewed afar from the mountain top by looking into the west. Samet Island and another two small islands lie in the west right in front from the lookout. Looking to the east, small bay with spacious sandy beach and some rocks in crystal clear water can be seen.
Mae Rum Peung Beach
Mae Rum Peung Beach is white sandy beach on the mainland. Mae Rum Peung beach is the longest beach on the eastern side of Rayong. The beach is slightly inclined and is situated in Khao Laem Ya-Koh Samet national park. 12 km of sandy beach has made it an ideal place for holiday making. The beach is about 6 kms from Ban Pe, around 9 kms from the hi-way no. 2 and about 500 metres from the park headquarter.
Samet Island is a largest island of the national park. It covers the area of 6.72 sq.km and is located about 6 kilometers from Ban Phe. Samet Island is famous for its fine and whitish beach. Sun Thon Phu, a legendary Thai Poet, refer to this beach as amazing crystal beach comparing the beach that as fine as crystal. Samet Island has taken its name from the local tree species commonly found on the island called Samet both white and red species. There are many natural attractions on the island due to abundance of beautiful beaches and bays.
Talu Island is situated about 6km from Kudi Island. The outstanding feature is the unique form of the island that given its name. In the north, rocky cliff project out in the sea look like natural bridge. The sea current runs through the hole underneath the bridge. White and sandy beaches are found in the east and the south in which two areas are excellent for camping. Large coral reef is found in underwater world surrounding Ko Talu especially in front of the beach. This made it a great site for snorkeling and scuba diving. The island is also home to Terns and Flying-Fox that found living in large number.
Wai Bay, Kio Bay, Toei Bay, Thian Bay, Phai Bay and Phrao Bay
They are suitable sites for observing coral reef because the coral lies near the shore and every bay has beautiful beach especially Kio Bay.