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Eastern Thailand Islands 16 days advice please!

  • peejglynn

    Joined Travelfish
    10th August, 2010
    Posts: 10

    Myself and my girlfriend are travelling to Thailand for 16days from 9th – 25th October.
    These forums have been really helpful. Due to the time of year (ie end of wet season) we are thinking of travelling around the North Eastern Thai Islands such as Ko Samet and work our way down to Ko chang, Ko Maak etc. From reading these forums, it appears these islands have less rainfall this time of year. I think the rainy season ends earlier around these islands? We don’t want to risk being washed out the whole time so we feel these islands would be best. From reading it appears that more people tend to visit the other islands down around Phuket or Ko Samui, is there that much of a difference? I mean Ko Chang etc looks beautiful.
    We are in our mid 20’s and looking for a good balance, we would like to experience some lively islands and also more authentic less developed chilled Thai islands. I suppose we are looking for a backpacker vibe in general where we can chat to other travellers.
    What are your thoughts about travelling around these islands at this time of year?
    We fly into Bangcok on the 9th Oct, what are people’s thoughts on visiting Chiang Mai for a few days also? We don’t want to be on the move all the time, perhaps 4/5 places in total over the 16 days. Looking forward to the feedback. Thanks!

    #1 Posted: 10/8/2010 - 20:56

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  • Captain_Bob

    Click here to learn more about Captain_Bob
    Joined Travelfish
    27th May, 2006
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 1607

    October is really hard to predict weather-wise, as the prevailing systems which roll in from the southwest half the year start to reverse direction sometime around then. Normally the lower portion of the gulf (east) stays drier until October while both the west coast and the upper gulf tend to dry out around the same time. So it's anyone's guess which side will be less rainy / more sunny then. Even here in Chiang Mai where it usually dries out sooner it can on occasion rain a lot in October - or be clear and sunny. Every year varies a bit. I will say though that Ko Samet seems to sit under an invisible umbrella, tending to be dryish quite often throughout the year. Roll with it and keep the plan a tad flexible.

    #2 Posted: 10/8/2010 - 21:36

  • Captain_Bob

    Click here to learn more about Captain_Bob
    Joined Travelfish
    27th May, 2006
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 1607

    Woops! Forgot the Travelfish interactive weather map
    http://www.travelfish.org/weather_fish.php

    #3 Posted: 10/8/2010 - 21:44

  • peejglynn

    Joined Travelfish
    10th August, 2010
    Posts: 10

    thanks Captain-Bob, maybe its best to see what the weather system is like when we arrive then to decide what Islands we go to.
    If we leave it that late to book internal flights to the islands from Bangcok, i.e 2 days before, are they every expensive then?
    Will Ko chang/ko samet and the surrounding islands still have some decent nightlife that time of year? Or is down the Phuket direction better for more people?

    #4 Posted: 10/8/2010 - 23:43

  • tezza

    Joined Travelfish
    13th April, 2006
    Posts: 1306
    Total reviews: 61

    Hell, October is sooooo tricky. Tends to be wet everywhere, although still normally okay for a beach holiday.

    Samet IS statistically the driest October island. And its beaches are on the sheltered eastern coast.

    Big Chang although so close to Samet aint particularly dry in October statistics wise. But it is better than the southern Gulf, about the same as the Andaman - AND WAY BETTER than it is in earlier months where it tends to be the wettest island in Thailand. Sure has been wet this past month or so.

    It is true that wet season tends to end earlier in the eastern and central Gulf. The Thai Bureau of Meteorology doen not even include that area's NOVEMBER in its WET SEASON FORECAST. That kinda suggests that you could get lucky LATE OCTOBER on big Chang.

    Overall I'd say if I wamted somewhere at the beach in October it would be Samet/big Chang. I might do Samet first.

    #5 Posted: 11/8/2010 - 13:12

  • Captain_Bob

    Click here to learn more about Captain_Bob
    Joined Travelfish
    27th May, 2006
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 1607

    If we leave it that late to book internal flights to the islands from Bangcok, i.e 2 days before, are they every expensive then?

    Early-mid Oct is usually fairly quiet for tourism so I would expect to find available seats on budget carriers Air Asia, Nok Air, and One-Two-Go with a couple days' notice. Also pretty easy to grab a sleeper train from Bangkok if you want to head south to Surat Thani, or public bus running from the eastern terminal (Ekamai) to hit Ko Samet/Chang and there are many tourist minivans doing that run daily.

    For nitelife try staying at Lonely Beach on Ko Chang, and on Samet try Ao Hin Kok and Ao Pai but it's more beach hut bar and manditory fire-twirling there with the backpacker scene. If you do head south I'd give Phi Phi a try as you can get some decent bungalow prices in lower season but the island is always fairly happening and surrounded by gorgeous sea and smaller day-only islands. I've been there in Oct before and scored a string of very sunny days followed by one impressive thunderstorm.

    #6 Posted: 11/8/2010 - 13:59

  • peejglynn

    Joined Travelfish
    10th August, 2010
    Posts: 10

    Thanks Tezza/Capt-Bob, my thoughts exactly, end of oct up around big ko chang might be ok, I dont mind an hour or two of rain each day but its a different story if it buckets down all day for 2 weeks!
    I think ill keep our plans loose, check out the weather fronts when we are in bangcok and decide which islands to hit then.

    10th Oct onwards what are the ferry services like to the islands?
    I heard in low-season for example big ko-chang pretty much shuts down and ferrys dont realy go there then. Is this true?

    #7 Posted: 11/8/2010 - 21:38

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