Me and my girlfriend will be in Thailand late feb early march after 3 weeks in Vietnam and Cambodia.
We are after a chill out offer what is going to be a hectic 3 weeks so plan on finding somewhere nice with nice beaches and a chilled out atmosphere. We went to Lanta 2 years ago and loved it so were thinking of going around there again but, coming from Siem Reap , it would mean travelling to Bangkok to get an overnight train and a ferry..... Or a flight to phucket which is quite expensive.
So I have been looking at Koh Chang, it's only 6 hours from Siem Reap so far easier to get to. But I have read mixed reviews. Some say too touristy some say not.
Does anybody have any experiences or suggestions of where we should spend a week chilling out???
#1 dnev101 has been a member since 3/1/2013. Posts: 6
I'd say Ko Chang sees slightly more tourists, especially mid-market and up than Lanta, but both get their fair share and both should be pretty busy in Feb as the weather will be great. If you want to snorkel or dive the conditions are better at Lanta, but otherwise I think you're looking at a pretty line-ball call. Not much help I know!
There's other nearby islands to both which would be sleepier options... There's also Ko Chang Noi in Ranong province -- it's about half the distance from Bangkok and is a seriously chilled out island... when one of our writers was there last year he described it as possibly Thailand's most laidback island.
You don't want more island ideas do you?
So is Koh Chang more upmarket than lanta. more like Koh Samui?
we are looking for laid back bungalow resorts but still a bit of an atmosphere with a few restaurants and bars and places to explore but nothing too lively.
Any ideas are welcome
#3 dnev101 has been a member since 3/1/2013. Posts: 6
There's other nearby islands to both which would be sleepier options... There's also Ko Chang Noi in Ranongprovince -- it's about half the distance from Bangkok and is a seriously chilled out island... when one of our writers was there last year he described it as possibly Thailand's most laidback island.
I was on Ko Chang Noi at the end of November and it was extremely chilled - i really liked it, far more so than its more developed neighbour Ko Phayam. Admittedly I was there at the tail end of the rainy season, but it was very quiet - a curious mix of German couples, Scandinavian retirees and international hippies. The beaches aren't fantastic - but still good, the bungalows are well spread out & good value and there are a few of the standard (in that area) rasta beach bars - though all very low key. Oh - and everyone says hello! I stayed at the very friendly Sawasdee bungalows - it was B500 for a beachfront bungalow - though I may have got a bargain due to the season having not really started yet.
Although Ko Chang Noi is nearer Bangkok than Krabi - if you were flying, it wouldn't really make much difference
Its been about 14 years since I've been on (big) Ko Chang so im afraid i cannot help - as imagine you can no longer get a bamboo shack for B60 on the main beach!
#5 JohnnyM has been a member since 2/9/2012. Posts: 23
"Bamboo shack for 60 baht"
Those were the days - very fond memories of a 60 baht beachfront shack on Haad Salad on Ko Pha Ngan in the mid 90s....
We've been to both islands (2010 + 2011) and liked Koh Chang the best. Mountains, waterfalls, nice little towns, laidback but lots to do and cleaner than Lanta. We are saving to go to Thailand again in 2014 (third time) and will definitely go to Koh Chang again.
Been to Koh Payam in March 2011 and it's really the most laidback island I've ever been, but it has no electricity at night so no airconditioning or fan. I couldn't sleep at night so we left after three days.
I'm not a big fan of air con, and having only power between 6 and 11pm did not bother me. I was there for 2 weeks. Keep in mind there are no ATM's on Koh Phayam or little Koh Chang so bring enough baht to cover your stay. I'd rather go back to Koh Payham than Ko Chang any day. Much more chill and relaxed.