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May trip - questions on Phuket/Railay/Phi-Phi area

  • ls1dreams

    Joined Travelfish
    25th April, 2013
    Posts: 1

    Hi all,

    I'm headed to Thailand for the month of May on a solo trip.

    I'm starting with Bangkok and Chiang Mai for the first 2 weeks, and then was planning on doing the 2nd two weeks exploring the beaches. I was suggested to check out Railay and Phi-Phi on the Andeman side, and then head over to Ko Sumai/gulf coast side for the full moon party on May 25th.

    My pending itinerary: http://i.imgur.com/gQ8QoTZ.png

    HOWEVER - here are my big reservations and questions:

    1. I can get bored on beaches pretty easily, especially when traveling solo. Given that May is the start of low season, particularly on the west coast, how busy will Railay/Phi-Phi/ Phuket area be? Basically, I want to know that if I head over there I won't be sitting on a beach alone and have no one in the hostels. I realize some people love isolation, but I like being around people, even if they are tourists.

    2. Is there any nightlife around Railay worth mentioning?

    3. If Railay is not dead, is it easier to fly from Chiang Mai -> Phuket and then take a ferry, or just go directly from Chiang Mai -> Krabi ( no stops ).

    4. If Railay will be dead, would Phuket be better?

    5. I might be overdoing it trying to see all the islands, but I'm not sure how to fill my time otherwise. If anyone would like to comment on my schedule for improvements, I'd love to hear it.

    http://i.imgur.com/gQ8QoTZ.png

    Right now it's:
    * 4 days in Bangkok
    * Fly to Chiang Mai / Ri, stay around 6 days
    * Fly to ??? Phuket or Krabi ??? This is the week I'm the least sure of because I don't want to be lonely on a beach and the logistics of getting around are tricky
    * From there, take a shuttle van towards Ko Sumai and bounce around those islands for the full moon party for another week
    * At that point, my 30 day visa-on-arrival will be expiring, so I'll take a quick flight to Cambodia to see Siam Reap/Angkor Wat. Maybe Phnem Phen just to kill time? I have around 8-9 days at the end of my trip to fill up. I can kill some of it with more time in Bangkok I suppose or stretch out Cambodia a bit longer.

    Anyway, I'd love to hear back, particularly about how slow/boring Railay might be for a solo traveler at the start of low season. (mid May)

    Thanks for your help!

    #1 Posted: 25/4/2013 - 17:52

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  • Captain_Bob

    Click here to learn more about Captain_Bob
    Joined Travelfish
    27th May, 2006
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 1625

    May is probably the quietest month of the year for most of Thailand, after April/Songkran and before the Uni-aged kids roll in for summer break in June). It's also usually either hot as hell or stormy when the SW monsoon kicks in, especially on the west coast. However, the likes of Phi Phi and Railay don't ever really get dead quiet as they are two of the top spots in Thailand and tourism is booming. Phi Phi definitely has more nightlife than Railay. I'd say fly Chiang Mai - Phuket (only direct flight from CM to the south) then go to Phi Phi, then Railay, then Ko Phangan. The east coast should have better weather then.

    #2 Posted: 26/4/2013 - 04:40

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    1. I can get bored on beaches pretty easily, especially when traveling solo. Given that May is the start of low season, particularly on the west coast, how busy will Railay/Phi-Phi/ Phuket area be? Basically, I want to know that if I head over there I won't be sitting on a beach alone and have no one in the hostels. I realize some people love isolation, but I like being around people, even if they are tourists.

    a: Phi Phi is busy all year round. Railay is fairly quiet that time of year (I've been May/June/July). BTW there aren't any hostels in that area. It's resorts. Thailand has very few hostels at all because rooms are so cheap.

    2. Is there any nightlife around Railay worth mentioning?

    a: No. It's a small bay area with limited food and drink options. Ao Nang has some nightlife which includes the fake irish bars plus some naughty stuff.



    3. If Railay is not dead, is it easier to fly from Chiang Mai -> Phuket and then take a ferry, or just go directly from Chiang Mai -> Krabi ( no stops ).

    4. If Railay will be dead, would Phuket be better?

    Phuket has more nightlife but it's just more fake irish bars and naughty stuff mostly. Bangkok has the best nightlife in Thailand by far.

    5. I might be overdoing it trying to see all the islands, but I'm not sure how to fill my time otherwise. If anyone would like to comment on my schedule for improvements, I'd love to hear it.

    a: There are dozens of islands so you aren't seeing them all.

    #3 Posted: 26/4/2013 - 11:56

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    "boring Railay might be for a solo traveler at the start of low season. (mid May)"

    If you are bored go talk to some Thai women.

    #4 Posted: 26/4/2013 - 11:59

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