This is very last minute but I'm looking for some recommendations for a couple great beaches and/or islands in the South of Thailand for last week of April/first week of May.
I'm taking a train tomorrow from Bangkok to Surat Thani and am trying to figure out where to go next. I was thinking of Koh Lanta and/or West Railay beach near Krabi. I'm looking for a relaxing beautiful beach but with a social vibe and not completely full of couples. That said, I want to avoid the full moon party scene. So any ideas for somewhere social and friendly but not a complete,crazy party scene?
I've heard Koh Lanta might be better for couples and I haven't heard much about West Railay, but it sounds promising. Also, as a single traveler would I have to book a bungalow? Are there any hostels and such on West Railay?
Any advice is much appreciated!
#1 bon527 has been a member since 24/4/2012. Posts: 2
Ko Phangan is nearer Surat Thani and the party scene is mainly centered around Had Rin. There are other quieter laid back beaches on KPN that might suit you quite well.
Ko Tao is another obvious place with some quieter laid back beaches (the party scene there is mostly Sairee beach).
Or you could island hop between the two.
Hostels aren't common in Thailand, especially on the islands so you'd have to get a bungalow. Unless there's a full moon party on Ko Phangnan at the moment (sorry it's daylight here and I can't check what the moon's doing) you shouldn't have to book a bungalow at this time of year. If it is full moon get off the train in Chumphon (before you get to Surat Thani) and get a ferry to Ko Tao till it's over.
I liked the beaches in Ko Phangan and some of the smaller hidden beaches in Koh Tao!! I went to Koh Phangan about a week after the full moon and it was nice and quiet. I heard bottle beach is really nice and quiet. I was on my way up there but got turned around due to an incident on my scooter lol..
Thanks everyone! I looked up the full moon party and it's in 10 days on May 5th. So I guess I'm ok and will avoid it if I go now.
Anyone have any suggestions of some cheap bungalows to stay at on Ko Phangan or Koh Tao?
Also, what does everyone think about Ao Nang near Krabi? My friend said she had a good experience there.
#4 bon527 has been a member since 24/4/2012. Posts: 2
Not sure how cheap you want but I stayed at the Black & White bungalows in Koh Phangan for about 600bht. It had A/C and hot water. It was right in Haad Rin close to the Pier..
As for Koh Tao - I can't remember the place but I paid 600 bht for a fan in a dirty place close to the beach. We moved to a cleaner place with a fan after that and paid 600bht again. I found a few places which were a little cheaper after that but again I guess you pay to stay on the beach...Again, we stayed during and after the full moon party. So I guess a lot of people came over to Koh Tao after the party.
If you head to Koh Phangan then stay away from beaches in the south, as they are predominately full of younger 20 year olds. The north is great and beautiful. Thong Nai Pan Yai is a favourite of mine. Try Longtail Resort at the end of this beach. Bungalows there are around 400 baht and the clientele at this beach is similar to yourself.
#6 guava_girl has been a member since 21/10/2010. Posts: 252
Ao Nang is not so nice, but it is a base for exploring the other islands. You can take a boat over to Railay in 10 minutes or so. You wouldn't find cheap accommodation on Railay West, but can find it on Ton Sai which is quieter. The problem with Railay these days is the plethora of noisy longtail boats. I've just come back from the area (also female and in my 30's) and wouldn't say that Lanta is for couples, it's just quiet. I think that Krabi is a family destination, but there are plenty of people alone or in twos.
Ao Nang is the main beach area in Krabi. It has the most hotels, bars and restaurants. The cheapest ones are up the hill away from the beach but only 500m or so. Around the corner you have Nopphorat which has some more resorts including some cheap ones.
Krabi Town is a 20 min motorbike ride away. It's a quiet thai town with 2 food markets but no beach. It's on a river.
Access to Railay is via boat from Nopphorat which costs 100 baht one way. It has a nicer beach out front but is a small bay area with limited resorts. Out the back of it is East Railay which is mudflats and some cheaper rooms. Walking around you can find Phra Nang beach which is the best beach in the area but the only resort there is high end.
Ton Sai is a small bay next to Railay. It's crowded in with cheaper bungalows.
#9 longbeach has been a member since 28/3/2012. Posts: 307