Hello I will be finishing up a 50+ day travel through SEA in Bangkok and am looking for a quite beach to relax, that's not too far from Bangkok...before heading home and back to work... I'm not to big on swimming as i'm not a very good swimmer! I was thinking of Ko Lanta, or maybe Ko Samui or Ko Samet??? any thoughts? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated this is my first visit to SEA! Thanks!!
#1 Cyn343 has been a member since 26/2/2014. Posts: 3
For 1 week?
Id choose Chang. Nice laid back vibe and good food.
#2 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
Lanta is pretty far from Bangkok -- 12-14 hour trip by bus to Krabi town then transfer to minibus for the 1.5 hour ride to Lanta; or you could fly to Krabi (Nok Air, Thai Airways, Air Asia or Bangkok Airways) and transfer straight to a Lanta-bound minibus at the airport. Beautiful beaches, and it will certainly be quiet there in June.
I'd maybe be thinking Ko Tao - very nice little island and easy to get there with the combined Lomprayah bus / high-speed boat (www.lomprayah.com), which leaves from Khao San Road. The gulf side also sees less rain in June than the Andaman side. You could also go to Chumphon by train (or regular bus) and hop a ferry to Tao from there. Of course Ko Samui and Ko Pha Ngan are in the same neighborhood as Tao.
Otherwise Ko Chang is a fine choice as Leonard says. Samet isn't bad either if you just want a beach to relax on. But Chang has a lot more to offer. You might also consider Ko Maak or Ko Kut (just south of Chang) if you prefer a more "out there" atmosphere. All of those will be very quiet (and probably a bit rainy) in June.
I too would give Lanta a miss. It is in wet season in June and all the tourist beaches face westward into the prevailing wind, meaning lots of breeze blown flotsam onshore and at times waves and currents which can be tricky for average to poor swimmers. Lanta also has a reputation of closing down to a fair extent in the low season although more and more places seem to be staying open the full year.
Samet is not a bad choice - close to Bangkok, the driest wet season island in Thailand, and nearly all the beaches face east and are sheltered from the monsoon westerlies.
I like big Chang but it's maybe not the best in late June. Despite relative proximity to Samet, it, along with the Ranong islands near Burma, are statistically the wettest in Thailand. Check travelfish's interractive weather site.
I too think Tao, along with its neighbour Phangang, is the best mid-year island location in Thailand for budget travellers. The southern Gulf has a different wet season - normally Oct into January. And as DL says, access from Bangkok by Lomprayah or by sleeper train into Chumpon + ferry is an inexpensive way to get there.