Firstly I want to congratulate travel fish for a great e-guide on Ko Tao. This is the first E-Guide I bought and it's really great... worth every penny. Wonderful reviews, maps and a ton of information on this Island I knew nothing about.
Now a question for the authors - if you read this, or for that matter anyone.
I have a 6 days in Ko Samui and I'm having a hard time finding a secluded quiet beach area with decent accommodations (I mean really private without hundreds of sun-bathers)... I'm also concerned the areas I've found aren't as pretty or postcard like as I would want them to be.
Would Ko Tao be worth a visit? Are the places mentioned in the guide more picturesque and quiet than Ko Samui? should I go for two days and a night? (I'm with a wife and baby...)
Thanks a lot
#1 chaimdan has been a member since 12/6/2007. Posts: 17
Thanks -- glad to hear you like the guide!
Ko Tao is a very different scene to Samui. It has more secluded beaches -- often beaches that have just one or two guesthouses on them -- but the facilities are a bit more on the basic side compared to Samui.
It's difficult to make recommendations without having an idea of your budget, but here's a few tips:
If you've got a fair-sized budget, there's a few places that stand out for families and which have the comforts you may be after with a baby -- ie., hot water and the possibility of a cot (though I'd suggest checking beforehand that one really is available). Sensi Paradise at the southern end of Mae Haad is a terrific option, then for a bit less money, further south lies Sai Thong Resort, which I believe has some family-style rooms. Another option, at the northern end of Sairee is Koh Tao Cabana -- they're rooms are lovely and very well appointed. There's a lot of other places about -- especially Ao Tanote may have a guesthouse to your liking, but it depends how much you're willing to rough it with a baby.
Going back to Samui, the beaches there tend to be long and exposed where many of Tao's are sheltered bays, but somewhere that springs to mind as being ok with a bub is Lamai Wanta on Lamai Beach. We've stayed there a few times, it is very reasonably priced, with a beachside horizon pool and a relatively quiet stretch of beach out front -- I wouldn't hesitate to return there with our seven-month old. The downside is it's in Lamai, with its seedy bars etc, but that doesn't matter if you're just hanging out at the resort.
Thanks so much somtam, I really appreciate your help.
You confirmed what I thought was the case, the Ko Tao beaches are more secluded and private and also more picturesque (from a photographers point of view) so that's probably what I am looking for.
Re budget originally wanted to spend $100-125 but if there is something absolutely amazing for more I would consider.
Sensi looks gorgeous, the only question I have I noticed some people complained the beach was non-existant or very dirty, do you think that's the case? they mentioned Charm Churee as being a great nearby alternative... Also it doesn't seem to be as secluded or quiet as I Would like.. (for taking pictures without many ppl on the beach, I a photo freak...)
The only thing I'm wondering, if I'm after nice thai looking settings, on a pretty beach without the masses (to be more precise - mostly deserted) would one of the other beaches be better? Any other resorts come to mind? Or will I go out of my mind from being bored elsewhere?
Re samui the resort looks lovely but I think there too Lamai might be too busy for us, we maybe if the resort was at the absolute end of a beach that would be quieter, but we really don't want to be in middle of a beach with many or a nice amount of ppl.
Thanks again in advance....
#3 chaimdan has been a member since 12/6/2007. Posts: 17
somtam when you have a minute can you please respond to my reply... Thanks
#4 chaimdan has been a member since 12/6/2007. Posts: 17
Sorry for the late reply.
Charm Churee is on the better, more secluded beach, but I'd say Sensi has more of a nod towards families in its accommodation. Sensi is within earshot of the main port and the beach does get a bit of trash, but the staff are quick to clean it up. The snorkelling near Sensi is also very good -- I'd argue better than Churee's.
Churee's beach is quite small -- maybe 100m wide -- while Sairee (the main beach north of Sensi), goes and goes and goes -- but the latter if far far busier.
It's a trade off -- the quietest, most secluded beaches (eg Laem Thian or Ao Leuk) have the most basic accommodation and can get a bit boring if you're after anything more than swinging in a hammock and reading a few books.
I'm not doing a great job of answering your question here! Ko Tao is a small island, and anywhere can easily be visited on a daytrip, so there's little reason to restrict yourself to one beach.
Just to confuse the matter further, given you're budget you may want to take a look at Thepwimarn on the north end of the island looking out over Ko Nang Yuan.
just re-reading what I wrote -- between Sensi and Churee, if an isolated beach is your number one criteria, then go with the latter -- but spend some of your time looking at other beaches -- it's easy to arrange a longtail to take you around the island visiting whatever beaches you like.
Thanks so much for your help.
Looked up the Thepwimarn, looked so nice, but unfortunately they're fully booked the days I'm going. Would you have any other recommendations for beautiful views and nice private beach? seems like I'm back to the Charm churee for now but that seems to be much lower quality than the thipwimarn (as there is no TV, smaller older rooms etc...)
Thanks again... any other advice also appreciated..
#7 chaimdan has been a member since 12/6/2007. Posts: 17
well just found out they actually have one room available for one night (honeymoon garden) so I have to decide if it's worth staying there a night and somewhere else the other night or if I should just book elsewhere for the two nights...
would charm churee be the next best choice? (for view, private beach and scenery)?? is their beach accessible for non hotel guests and perhaps better off staying elsewhere?
Would be nice if they also had a pool...
#8 chaimdan has been a member since 12/6/2007. Posts: 17
This is looking stupid, a third reply to myself...
Just read the Ko Tao guide again for 4th time.
Would the Ao Muong Resort suit my needs? is it a nice part of the island? if you have any idea how that would compare with the charm churee I would love to hear...
#9 chaimdan has been a member since 12/6/2007. Posts: 17
Ao Muang is very isolated but the bay is largely rocky -- very little in the way of sand.
As for booking one night at one place and another at the other, I'd lean towards having two nights at one as otherwise you'll be spending half the time packing, unpacking and moving from one to the other.
Charm Churee's beach is private, but non-guests do use it -- they ostensibly have a fee for it, but it's easy to dodge.
All this talk about resorts -- it's making my feet itch!