i'm ariving in bangkok 4 days before my friend, and i wanna spend that time on an island, not too far away from bangkok. i've tried to find an island that is not too touristy, but it seems impossible!
i want beautiful beaches, but it would be nice if there were something more to see and do besides hanging out on the beach.
also, it's a monday too thursday in june i'm gonna be there.
i've been to koh chang(3 years ago) and i really liked it, but it's a bit too far away i think. especially since i wanna get out of bangkok as soon as i land (at 6 am!)
i really love this site btw!
#1 hycoscine has been a member since 3/5/2006. Posts: 9
Hi hycoscine -- glad you like the site!
Well, off the cuff, the first island that springs to mind is Ko Samet -- it is touristy, but you'll struggle to find anything close to Bangkok that isn't touristy...and the beaches are good stuff!
Another island you may want to consider is Ko Si Chang... we don't cover it on the site as I haven't been back there in AGES, but you can see some info about it here: http://www.kohsichang.com/. It isn't as pretty as Samet, but it is another option.
If you want to really confuse yourself, check out our Thailand island guide, and out story about finding the best island in Thailand -- there's lots of sand out there!
it was at your island guide i got confused :)
but i guess i'll keep on confusing myself a bit more...
#3 hycoscine has been a member since 3/5/2006. Posts: 9
another question, if i go to ko samet, what part of the island is less touristy? or is it the same all over the island?
#4 hycoscine has been a member since 3/5/2006. Posts: 9
Geerally, the further south you get, the quieter it gets... You can walk the length of the island in a few hours, so nothing is too far away...
I'd also recommend Koh Samet as your best bet for getting away from the city for a few days while waiting for your friend. It's only a 3 to 4 hour bus ride from the Easter (Ekkamai) Bus Station to the little town of Ban Phe, then a short ferry ride to the island. A few days on Samet and you'll feel like you are a million miles from Bangkok.
If you are looking for less touristy areas, just avoid the Hat Sai Kaew (White Sand Beach) and Ao Wong Duang areas and you'll be fine. My favorite is Ao Wai, towards the southern end of the 7 km-long island. There is only one set of Bungalows there, Sametville, and they are a bit expensive and the service in the restaurant is painfully slow, even by island standards, but it is a fantastic stretch of beach (with lots of shade too if you need it) and typically not crowded at all. They offer their own ferry boat service directly too/from their resort also.
Check out the listings on the Travelfish site to find the beach and a few potential bungalow options that are right for you. I would recommend not booking a room from the tour offices in Ban Phe once your bus arrives. You'll be better off grabbing a room after you arrive on the island, particularly since you'll be there mid-week.
As for other stuff to do, most bungalows sell snorkeling trips, and there is great hiking both along the coast and in the island's interior.
I'll be on Samet myself June 12th to 15th. I love it there. This will be about my 10th visit. Cheers.
i've decided to go to koh samet now.
#7 hycoscine has been a member since 3/5/2006. Posts: 9
i've checked out the travelfish for accommodation on koh samet, and i'm not sure i understand the prices. is the cheapest bungalow you can get 600bath? it seems a bit expensive. or is just me that got it all confused...
i remember staying at a nice bungalow for 150bath on koh chang, but that was three years ago.
#8 hycoscine has been a member since 3/5/2006. Posts: 9
For Thailand we've set the "backpacker" price level at 600B and under so if you use the accommodation search (on the homepage, lower right column) select "Ko Samet" and under 600B and it will list everything on the island for less than 600B.
There's a few around for under 600B, but prices have been steadily rising...
prices have definitely climbed on samet over the years, exactly because it is so close to bangkok and so many people make it their weekend escape. since you'll be there midweek, you should be able to get a break on the price.
if cost is a big issue for you, try the sleepy little resort at ao nuan. there are also a few very basic budget places in and around the ao thian and ao lung dam areas. as a last resort, you can probably find a place to sleep in town, where the ferry terminal is, and just make the short walk to and from the beach. meals and other things are usually a bit cheaper in town too. you miss out on some of the beach ambiance, but can save lots of money that way.