For most people that come to Thailand, Samet Nangshe is not on their list of places to go.
While they are certainly missing out, I’m not complaining. Part of the beauty of this place is that it does not attract a lot of tourists. While it has become more popular in recent years, it is not yet tainted with hundreds of people all trying to take the same picture or block your perfect view. However, if you are reading this and planning to go to Thailand, I highly recommend you put this on your list of places to go. Samet Nangshe is located in between Phangnga and Phuket and will take about an hour by motorbike. Upon arrival you are required to pay a 30 Baht (about $1) entrance fee. If you do decide to make the trip, here what you need to know before visiting Samet Nangshe Viewpoint:
Wear Tennis Shoes
Prior to my trip to Samet Nangshe I read about a “10-15 minute walk” that made you “have to really work” to get to the viewpoint. I mocked this person. A 10-15 minute walk, I questioned. How lazy are these people, I asked. Correction: 10-15 minute trek up a “hill” at 90-degree angle. I may be exaggerating a bit, but not much. While it does only take about 10-15 minutes to the first viewpoint, it is an extremely steep hill and sandals are not ideal. However, if you’re feeling lazy, there is a truck that will drive you up the hill for 60 Baht (about $2). I chose to walk in my sandals…impressive or stupid? You decide.
Samet Nangshe is beautiful at any time of the day or night, but in my opinion, it is most breathtaking at sunset and sunrise, which makes camping the perfect option to see both. You are able to rent a tent upon arrival for just 350 Baht (about $11) or a little wooden hut for 450 Baht (about $14). We were unaware of the latter option, so we ended up with a tent, but if I went back I would definitely spring for the wooden hut. Considering it is Thailand, you should count on it raining at some point during the night. It rained for about two hours when we were there and soaked everything in our tent…good times. Luckily, there was an abandon hut with no walls that we were able to hide out in during the rain.
Bring your own beer. We found out the hard way that Samet Nangshe is located in a Muslim town which means there is nowhere to buy alcohol. And I feel like alcohol is kind of a necessity when camping, but I mean maybe that’s just me. There are a couple of options to buy snacks, but your options are also a bit limited, so I would suggest bringing your own snacks as well. There’s not even a 7 Eleven close by, which is saying a lot considering there are 7 Eleven’s on every corner in Thailand. Shout out to the group of Thai people that shared their feast with us unprepared fa rangs, we appreciate you.
Up until this past weekend, I had never been camping before.
After this weekend, I am truly impressed with the people who camp at Coachella every year. I am pretty positive I smelled and looked highly unattractive after camping for less than 24 hours, so props to the people who can camp for 3 days and attend a music festival. The mud, the rain, and the trek will all be worth it when you see the view, I promise. Don’t forget to put Samet Nangshe on your list of places to go when you head to Thailand, you won’t regret it!