After so much helpful advice last year I am back again as I will be returning to Thailand again this year but this time to visit the islands. I will be travelling end of August/beginning of September (flying into Bangkok first) and would like to know which islands are best at this time of year. I will be there for approx 10 days. In this time would it be possible to visit 2 or 3 islands at a push? It is easy to get from one island to another or does it require a lot of organising? I was thinking maybe Phuket, Phi Phi and ??? I would basically like to chill, have beach time but see stunning scenery and a few excursions. I'm not really a party goer or diver. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
#1 Emma23 has been a member since 13/4/2012. Posts: 13
Aug/Sept are normally the wettest months for those islands. Doesn't mean it rains everyday but you could expect it to rain often. Samui is dry around that time of year.
#2 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
Aug/Sep your best weather is usually on the gulf side, i.e. Ko Samui, Phangan, Tao. With ten days you could visit all three, but you could also spend the whole time on one without getting bored. Much of the backpacker crowd prefer Ko Phangan as Ko Tao is small and focused on dive schools and much of Samui is commercially builtup and expensive. Ko Phangan is big enough to offer a variety of beaches, has enough good roads to explore by rented scooter, and still has some cheapish bungalows on chilled-out beaches. See http://www.travelfish.org/location/thailand/southern_thailand/surat_thani/ko_pha_ngan
Basically just going to repeat what was said above ^^^ but you're best of sticking to the gulf coast (Samui, Koh Tao, Koh Phangan) rather than the Andaman coast ( Phuket , Phi Phi).
In my personal experience, from about mid-June onwards the weather on Phuket and Phi Phi gets a bit rainy/stormy. As someone said above, it might be that you just get a couple of days of rain or the odd morning/evening downpour, but with only 10 days I wouldn't personally take the chance. Excursions like snorkelling/canoeing trips don't tend to run when the weather is bad and you might end up missing out.
Not sure where you're planning on flying in to, but might be an idea to fly into Samui airport, spend a few days there. Chaweng Beach is pretty built up but I don't personally mind that because I like having things to do in the evening, and the beach is lovely to lounge around on! There is also cheap accommodation to be found if you walk a bit further away from the strip to the quiet end of town.
I don't have much experience of Koh Phagnan. We took the ferry across and let ourselves be talked into staying at the Coral Beach resort (I think that's what its called). We're not much for drinks and parties so we really didn't fit in here, and we left the island the next morning. Since then, I've been told there are some much nicer areas of the island and in hindsight we didn't really give the place a chance, but I guess it all depends on what you're looking for.
Koh Tao is quite quiet in low season but the snorkelling trips are amazing. We went on one that took us to Nangyuan island which was one of the best things we did in Thailand. I'm not 100% if this is running during Aug/Sept but it's worth a look.
So yes, in conclusion, with only 10 days in Thailand I would concentrate on the Gulf Coast so you don't end up sitting in your room waiting for the rain to stop for the whole time!
Samui has the most tours plus nice beaches
Pha Ngan has some nice beaches but not much to do. Has those horrid fmp beach trashing parties once a month.
Tao has the best diving and off beach snorkeling
I'd suggest you start with Samui for 3 nights. If you like it stay longer, if not ferry it to Pha Ngan. Easy to book as you go.
#5 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
obviously aug-sep are the seasons which we cant expect when it will be raining.......................
#6 parker7001 has been a member since 5/6/2013. Posts: 1