I have been to Samed many times. It is a beautiful island close to Bangkok with nice beaches. You can get on the bus at Ekkamai bus station. It takes about 4 hours to get to Baan Pae pier and then take a boat to Samed island. You should make a decision which bay you want to stay before you hop on the boat. You have 2 options for boat. Speedboat or regular boat. The difference is of course, the price and timing.
I always stay at Vongduan bay (Ao Vongduan). This beach looks like the shape of a half moon. It has a lot of spaces to walk, variety of places to eat and stay. (Too bad I can’t find my Vongduan bay photo.) In addition to the restaurant at the resort, you also find local people selling their food or fruits by walking with their big basket in every beach. Mostly they sell Som Tum (Thai spicy salad), or grilled chicken. Check it out from my photo 🙂
The first dish that you should try is spicy Papaya salad (Som Tum). It has raw papaya, tomatoes, dry shrimp, peanuts, long beans, and last but not least Thai CHILLIS!!!. All those ingredients are mixed with fish sauce, palm sugar, tamarind juice, and limes.
Next is Cucumber salad (Tum Tang). This is for anyone who likes cucumber. It is exactly the same ingredients as Som Tum. The difference is, it has more juice from cucumber than SomTum. I call this dish “mild spice”
The following dish is my favorite, Mango salad (Tum Mamuang)!!!!. This is my favorite dish because I love mango and raw mango is a bit sour. It goes well with the same ingredients as Som Tum.
The last one is for anyone who wants to try something that is really local. Let me make it clear REALLY LOCAL because not every Thai eats it but Thais from E-Sarn (East of Thailand) love it. We call this ingredient “Plara” (pickled fish). It has a very strong smell. Some restaurants will use only the liquid from plara but some put the actual plara in som tum too. Mostly we will order plara into som tum poo (poo means crab). We called this dish “Tum Poo Plara” You can’t really see plara but you can smell it for sure 🙂
You can eat those dishes with sticky rice or kanom jeen. Let’s talk about Kanom Jeen a bit. Kanom means snack or dessert and Jeen mean Chinese. It is a small white noodle made from fermented rice flour or fresh flour. We also eat it with all kinds of curry too.
Besides those spicy salads, you also can find grilled chicken on the beach. Bon Appetit 😉