I personally love the islands and do a lot of online research concerning these alone. The problem is that they all sound so perfect for one reason or another. So just a flip side to that coin please. What is your worst Thai island and why?
#1 greenman42 has been a member since 18/9/2009. Posts: 63
Koh Lipe was really disappointing because of the uncontrolled development. When I was there in Feb. 2008 all the rooms were full, there was a water shortage, and mountains of empty beer and water bottles. It was described in the 2006 Lonely Planet as an undiscovered paradise populated by sea gypsies, but I guess I was a bit too late!
Ko Samet -- the beaches are kind of scruffy and lots of Thai tourists from Bangkok means lots of litter and loud karaoke.
If your gonna complain about uncontrolled development and rubbish then you would have to complain about phi phi and railey as well...
Samet has some nice spots though. Hopefully lipe does as im going in December!
#3 furneburner has been a member since 5/9/2009. Posts: 180
"Ko Samet -- the beaches are kind of scruffy and lots of Thai tourists from Bangkok means lots of litter and loud karaoke."
Maybe we can see if the Thais can be banned. They are really not good about keeping down noise pollution and they litter incesantly.
#4 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
*tries to figure out if there is a hint of sarcasm*
yeah cuz god knows us farangs don't make any noise when we are away on holidays...
#5 furneburner has been a member since 5/9/2009. Posts: 180
"yeah cuz god knows us farangs don't make any noise when we are away on holidays..."
They do, of course, but the Thais make noise all the time - holidays, no holidays... They're just loud. Fortunately I am not into quiet.
#6 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
What Nationality are you Mac? I find it hard to believe that yours are a quiet people.
#7 greenman42 has been a member since 18/9/2009. Posts: 63
I'm from the US. I'd say we're middle of the pack. Quieter than the Somalis or the Thais... louder than the Germans (who really have a thing about noise).
#8 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
I dunno, here in Oz i can here an American from about 10km's away...and that's when they're being quiet! ;)
#9 furneburner has been a member since 5/9/2009. Posts: 180
Ouch! Still, my Kiwi friends say the same thing about Americans being loud as well. Maybe it is because we are so friendly and outgoing. I agree with MADMAC though that we're somewhere in the middle of the pack.
"I dunno, here in Oz i can here an American from about 10km's away...and that's when they're being quiet! ;)"
Actually I wasn't talking about voice volume, although again the Thais are often super loud there too. I was talking about radios, TVs, clubs, Tuk tuks... my wifes "sleepy little village" is ridiculously loud with kids on motorcycles riding at all hours - they all seem to need new mufflers. The neighbors cranking the stereo at eleven at night, not to mention the dogs and roosters. The place is just loud from about six in the morning until midnight. Contrast that with where I grew up and it's usually pretty quiet all the time. Right now as I sit here and type this someone has hooked up a guitar to an amp and I can hear it quite plainly from three streets away.
#11 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Furne -- I've avoided Phi Phi and Railay for exactly that reason.
I was in Lipe during high season and it was not fun. All the accommodations were full and people were sleeping on the beach. I was there for about a week doing TravelFish research and took to spending the night in the park accommodations on Ko Adang (10 min away by longtail) instead.
** Most tourists are noisy and litter, I just found it more noticeable on Ko Samet. I stayed in Ban Phe for a month and was going to the island every weekend, so my opinion is based on more than just 1 visit.
No one has mentioned Ko Si Chang south of Pattaya yet - but from what I've read it's no all that gruntling for the average visitor.
Haven't been there yet but of the places I have visited it's hard to say what whelmed me least. Probably the island which offers least in the way of gorgeous beaches and things to do is Ko Siboya, but I found it wonderful and the bungalow place I stayed at was one of the best ever.
I reckon time of visit impacts your appreciation of a place. Just after the start of high season sees lots of islands with wet season junk on the beaches. So we get cries of rubbishy island!
If you go in wet season, particularly to a beach facing the prevailing wind you can have the same problem plus have lots of building activity and building junk as bungalow owners prepare for high season.
And sure, if you hit popular islands in peak you can get overcrowding.
In all my trips to Lipe I've always hit early or late dry season - real relaxed then.
Also important is WHERE you go on an island. Plenty of people think Samet is crap because they never venture past the first 3 beaches on the east coast. Ditto for Chang because they never stay any days other than at White Sand Beach (and even here, they never push north of Rocksand and find the nicest part of the beach).
I avoid Ton Sai when I go to Phi Phi - but I sure do like the east coast. And Long Beach still aint too bad.
Okay, not an island but one I thought jumped the shark some time back because of overcrowding, overbuilding and bungalow/resort owners not putting enough back in infrastructure - Railay.
Despite this I will not advise people who haven't seen it not to visit if they can spare the time - the landscape-seascape it too spectacular.
And I myself will go back when I get the chance - just to see the changes.
Thanks Tezza, I was hoping you'd weigh in on this one, with all your island experience. On the whole, this thread seems to be a tough one to comment on, a fact that makes me all tingly inside. You make a good point about bad beaches, rather than islands. Maybe I'll post a "Worst Beach" when this one has run its course.
#14 greenman42 has been a member since 18/9/2009. Posts: 63
Ps. "Jumped the shark"? What does that mean? I thought I was clued up to all Aussie lingo!
#15 greenman42 has been a member since 18/9/2009. Posts: 63
"Jumped the shark" is when something reaches the point of no return.
Originates from the old HAPPY DAYS tv show when the producers got so desperate to stop flagging viewer figures they has an episode where The Fonz jumped a shark on water skis. It was all downhill from there.
I think it's an international expression - I've seen it mainly in relation to show biz - for instance GRAY'S ANATOMY or whatever it's called - when the doctors all started operating on each other. Jeez.
Maybe you guys can think of other examples.
Another BEACH I think has jumped the shark is Pattaya on Lipe. But I like the rest of Lipe.
Crazy thing is I'm going back to Lipe next season and I've already booked some of the nights on Pattaya! Curious to see if it is as bad as I think.
Think islands can be really bad in many different ways, but my vote goes for opportunity lost goes to Ko Phi Phi
It had such an amazing opportunity to "reinvent" itself out of the tragedy of the tsunami, but instead it reverted to its same self.
Parts of both Samui and Phuket can be pretty dire, but other parts remain lovely. I think it's difficult in most cases to bin an entire island.