I'm I just found this site and think its great how much useful information it has!! Anyways after doing some reading i'm still have some questions/concerns.
I was thinking of traveling to Thailand for the month of august but was concerned because Of how much rain certain areas which I really want to visit receive ex: southern Gulf islands of Samui/Phangan/Tao, KO Phi Phi, Chiang Mai, and Krabi. I think this may be one of my only opportunities to go so don't want to pass it up, however I don't want to spend the money and not be able to do everything because of the rain, for example snorkel, sun bathe on the beach, and trek in Chiang Mai. For example how much sun will I get during this month in the South? Any suggestions from experience on what would be the best places to visit during these times (I saw the weather map which is great!)?
I was also wondering how to get around. For example if I go from bangkok to ko samet and then want to head south do I have to go back to Bangkok to get a bus or train, for example to say Krabi? or will I be able to get back to right outside ko samet and take a bus from around there? Is it easy to find transportation to where you want to go next?
Also I want to go trekking in the North. Should I head there from Bangkok in the beginning of my journey and then go South back through bangkok or Start in the south and work my way up?
Thanks so much,
#1 cmz11 has been a member since 23/7/2008. Posts: 4
The southern Gulf islands (Samui, Phangan, Tao) are usually real good in August - still well short of their normal wet season of Oct into Jan. It does rain, but sunshine usually domintes.
Elsewhere is wet season, but travel is usually okay - we get plenty of posts saying people had a good holiday with the usual daily mixture of one or a few showers/storms and sunshine/scattered cloud, some days with no rain.
This has been the pattern in all my wet season visits. The latest, last August, I was on Phi Phi and Phuket in what the newspapers called the wettest period for some years. In 15 days got 2 days virtually cloudless, about 2 where it rained more often than not (but these still had some sunny breaks and were not write-offs), and the rest were the normal mixture of one or a few showers, sun/scattered cloud. I had a great holiday. Check the uncredited shots on the 2 PP pages and 1 Phuket page in the link below, lots of sunshine in them. BTW, Phi Phi/Phuket and Krabi are within sight of each other, so weather patterns are similar.
The driest of the non-Southern Gulf islands tends to be Ko Samet near Bangkok. Most of Samet's beaches face east and are sheltered from the prevailing wet season winds which on the days when they get stronger can cause rough seas and blow a lot of flotsam and jetsom onto the beach.
The wettest are Big Ko Chang and neighbours + the Ranong area islands (little Ko Chang and Ko Phayam). Nevertheless I have seen plenty of posts from visitors to the former in the wet season saying they enjoyed themselves.
I think the only way you can bypass Bangkok doing Samet to the South is to go to the airport near Pattaya (U Tappao?) and get a flight to Samui. Aint cheap, being Bangkok Air.
Otherwise you neeed a bus to the eastern bus terminal at Ekamai and then a transfer to the southern bus terminal (a pretty long trip) or to the railway station, or to KSR where Lomprayah (Google) do an oft-praised bus/fast catmaran onto the southern Gulf islands.
The transport set-up in Thailand is quite efficient, so yeah, it is easy to organise and do.
I don't know much about the north. I can't see any advantage in timing one way or the other, but other people may know something which should be considered.
For weather questions, you're best to check our Thailand weather section and our interactive weather map.
Re Getting around.
From samet you will need to go back to Bangkok -- if you take a look at a map of Thailand you'll see it is the transport hub of the country.
To go north or south first is six of one, half dozen of the other -- some choose to do the beaches last as otherwise they never get around to heading north.