I'm heading to Thailand/Laos in May and was hoping to get some advice on the second half of my trip.
I fly into Phuket on the 14th May and will have 8 nights to spend on the islands before flying to Bangkok (hopefully from Koh Samui) on the 22nd)
I was originally thinking of spending 3 nights on Phi Phi Island and then 5 nights at Koh Samui but the more I look into it the more I think there might be a better island to see.
I want somewhere with a beautiful beach and a lively (but not crazy) town to explore. We are comfortable riding scooters/motorbikes and are wanting somewhere with a bit of luxury to spoil ourselves.
I know it's coming into the low/wet season so if anybody knows an ideal island to spend a few nights (easily accessible from Phuket) that would be fantastic.
Phi phi has no roads and bikes. Small island.
Its not an island but i like riding around krabi. Really good scenary and there is enough.nightlife.
2 nights phuket
2 nights phi phi
U can catch ferries easy peasy.
Samui is ok but takes longer to reach and i dont think it offers anything more than.phuket.
Flights from krabi to bkk r much cheaper than from samui.
Tipa resort in ao nang is good and central location.
Kata beach on.phuket is a good spot there.
#2 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
I just got back from 10 days on Ko Lanta and it sounds like that would fit you well, and you could get there straight from Phi Phi. It's big enough to explore by motorbike, has no shortage of luxurious resorts/spas and good Western restaurants, has some interesting cultural areas on the east coast and multiple phenomenal beaches on the west. Khlong Nin beach is a great central one that makes it easy to explore elsewhere on the island. The northwest (Saladan, Khlong Dao beach and Long beach) have a busier, more touristy feel, while the far southwest (Ao Kantiang, Ao Mai Pai, etc.) still feel remote. If you go, don't miss the national park at the far southern point; on a clear day, the views from the old lighthouse are incredible.
May is getting into rainy season, so you'll probably have to deal with some clouds and rain on most days. But it generally doesn't rain all day, and you'll find some great deals on resorts at that time. You'll also have massive beaches basically to yourself. And as an added bonus, you can use the nearly up-to-date TF Ko Lanta info that I'm procrastinating working on right now.
There really aren't many other islands that fit your description of "beautiful with a lively (but not crazy) town to explore." None of the smaller islands really have "towns". I suppose Ko Tao would be another good choice, especially if you're more into diving and snorkeling than just chilling on the beach (most of the coral right around Lanta is dead but you can take a boat trip to great snorkeling around Ko Ngai, Ko Haa and other small islands down that way).
Not sure boats from lanta to.trang islands.operate in may. Normally high season only unless its changed.
Lanta is dead quiet low season. Beaches tend to be full.of rubbish as resorts r quiet they dont worry about cleaning them.
Lanta does have good food though. Very.little.nightlife
Basically none low season
Khlong nin was covered in broken beer.bottles when i went in june. Would be.a.nice beach if they cleaned.it. we spent an hour.picking.up.glass.
#4 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
Dont think so. Lack of numbers. None in June. Island felt like 30 people was on it. Our resort had no other guests.
70% of restaurants were closed.
#7 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
can you tell me where is the movie "The Beach" taken? is it actually thailand? which beaches? thank you
#8 tamara_91 has been a member since 18/3/2014. Posts: 11
Phi phi. U can catch a boat there.
#9 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
Thanks for all the replies!
Our flight gets into Phuket at 3.30pm and I've noticed all the public ferrys/boats stop at around 1pm.
Are there any suggestions on how to get around to the different islands in the late afternoon?
I'm also a bit worried as have been reading that lots of transfers stop if the waters get too rough - has anyone experienced this?
Catch a taxi to Kata Beach on Phuket. Nice beach. Stay there 2 nights then book a ferry from the hotel to Phi Phi. Easy peasy.
See booking.com for kata beach resorts.
Ferries to Phi Phi and krabi run everyday unless there's a big storm. Ferries to Lanta stop in May due to lack of demand.
#11 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
Maybe it is possible to make the last speedboat from Phuket 's Bang Rong pier which is not too far from the airport, to nearby Koh Yao Noi or Koh Yao Yai. These are nice islands, have traditional non-touristy villages, a number of non- budget resorts, some great moto touring but no outstanding beaches. Maybe the best beach is Loh Paret on Yao Yai.
It is possible that some of the resorts on Ko Racha close to Phuket run a late speedboat. Maybe you could google Ban Raya Resort. This island does not have a village or hire motos (you can get ATVs - the road network is very limited) but a couple of superior beaches.
But yeah, I reckon Phi Phi is a good choice apart from not offering moto-touring - and as you have found out, it is too late to catch the last ferry on your arrival. I like Leonard's idea of spending 2 nights at Kata which is the nicest of the big 3 beaches and then catching the morning ferry to Phi Phi. You will find you can buy a ferry ticket from your accommodation or from the travel counters on the street cheaper than at the pier and they all include free van transfers to the pier.
If you want to include another location, Krabi or Lanta are the most obvious. I kinda think that time of year that Krabi might be the better. The Ao Nang area of Krabi should be best for your town wants + moto touring and you are very close to the really nice beaches at Railay and Phra Nang.