I was hoping to visit Koh Lao Liang in late August, but according to http://www.laoliangresort.com, it appears the beach doesn't offer housing (the tents on the beach) until November!
I am open to suggestions for other comparable non-party islands to visit.
#1 ct999 has been a member since 22/6/2012. Posts: 3
Yes, Ko Lao Liang is closed until November (I tried to visit last October, unsuccessfully). Honestly, August is a bad time to visit the Andaman islands due to serious rain everyday and rough seas, not to mention the majority of small resorts being closed for the season. All the Andaman Sea national park islands with accommodation (Ko Similan, Ko Surin, Ko Tarutao, Ko Adang, Ko Ra) are also shut down from now until November. Places like Ko Bulon Lae are hardly open, and even Ko Lipe feels like a ghost island in August. You could hit Ko Phi Phi or Phuket, but they're a far cry from Ko Lao Liang in terms of atmosphere.
If I were you, I'd look to the east coast... It doesn't rain nearly as much there until later in the year and there are beautiful (and quiet) spots there as well. Ko Tao still has some very remote places to stay on the south, east, and north coasts, and I'm fairly certain Ang Thong national park is open year-round. I've never been to Ko Phangan but from what I understand there are still some good quiet areas there too.
I prefer the southern Gulf in August too. But I have holidayed the Andaman a few Augusts and have always got enough sun for an okay beach holiday.
What is best is an east facing beach for those 15-20% of days when the monsoon westerlies get a bit brisk and make beach conditions unpleasant. Quiet islands that do this in the Laoliang area are Ko Kradan and Ko Ngai (Muk's east facing beach aint real nice unless you can afford to stay at the Sivalai).
I stayed on Kradan two wet seasons ago - problem was only 2 joints were open and I was the only visitor on the island - a bit dead. I know for a fact that more Ngai places stay open, so this might be the go.
One problem with the Trang islands is they are a bit of a hassle to access - Phi Phi is way easier and despite the Phi Phi knockers whose only departure from town is Long Beach, the laid back east coast is as nice and as islolated from the parties as anywhere in the Andaman. I'd be thinking about Relax Resort which would be around the area of expenditure of Laoliang's tent resort.
But not as inexpensive as some of the quieter beaches on Phangan. Can't get much nicer than Ao Thian east coast or adjacent Had Wai Nam. Hell one of the resorts on beautiful Bottle Beach was offering bungalows for 380 when I arrived at Thong Sala pier two months ago.
Thanks a lot, DLuek and tezza! This is very useful information!
Unfortunately, I already booked plane tickets:
Aug 12: Bangkok -> Phuket
Aug 15: Krabi -> Bangkok
During this time, yea, maybe just sticking to Ko Phi Phi and Railey is the best I can do.
and later in the month, I'll re-visit the area w/ my girlfriend:
Aug 23: Bangkok -> Krabi
Aug 30: Krabi -> Bangkok
During this time, maybe it is worth travelling to the Gulf side since we have so many days.
Thanks a lot!
#4 ct999 has been a member since 22/6/2012. Posts: 3
During your second time down, you might consider a trip to Phang Nga Bay and/or Khao Sok National Park, both beautiful spots to explore by boat and in the general vicinity of Phuket (if you went to the gulf side you'd probably pass right by Khao Sok on the way).
"I stayed on Kradan two wet seasons ago - problem was only 2 joints were open and I was the only visitor on the island - a bit dead. I know for a fact that more Ngai places stay open, so this might be the go."
Kradan had some guests at the upmarket resort there recently but other places were closed and we walked past Wally's and all we saw were 3 angry dogs, Wally and a ladyboy dressed in a towel. Nice beach but that island is a hole. Better off with Muk or Hai/Ngai or Trang mainland.
Most locals call it Ko Hai but guidebooks prefer Ko Ngai.
#6 longbeach has been a member since 28/3/2012. Posts: 307