I'm a first time visiter to Thailand and am looking for some general advice and ideas. I wish I was able to travel for the whole summer, but due to work commitments, my girlfriend and I are planning on combining a holiday with some island hopping for three weeks in August/September.
A number of friends have been over the last couple of years and have given us some advice on what islands to visit. At the moment, we are planning on flying into Bangkok then travelling up to Chang Mai, before travelling back down through Ko Tao, Ko Pha Ngan , Ko Samui and then down to Phuket.
Firstly, would you recommend those islands and how realistic is it to visit them in three weeks?
Secondly, we're looking to stay somewhere in between hostels and modern resorts, more traditional bungalows perhaps (our friends stayed in Coco Garden in Ko Pha Ngan and loved it). What sort of budget would we be looking at to stay in similar accomodation for three weeks?
I'd be grateful for any advice that you can give us. Looking forward to reading some friendly and helpful responses... hopefully
#1 derekhowie has been a member since 26/1/2011. Posts: 1
Depends what interests you. I suggest you read all the reviews on here or get a guidebook.
By traditional you mean straw huts? Thailand has heaps of different bungalows and what not.
August/Sept is rainy season in Phuket but not in the gulf islands such as Samui.
"Bangkok then travelling up to Chang Mai, before travelling back down through Ko Tao, Ko Pha Ngan , Ko Samui and then down to Phuket."
All those places are well established places on the tourist circuit. They all have good and bad points. You might want to go somewhere off the beaten path somewhat. Check out other places on here.
Hard to recommend stuff when we dont know what you like.
#2 Krabiman has been a member since 2/1/2011. Posts: 223
Tao/Phangan/Samui is one of the more popular island hopping routes and is great for August Sept because that part of Thailand is usually still in dry season whereas others are not.
Usual route is bus/sleeper train to Chumpon-ferry hops Tao/Phangan/Samui/Surathani - and then on to Phuket . Can do the reverse direction - last trip I went Chumpon to Phuket, takes a bit longer than from Surathani but okay.
I tend to stay backpacker bungalows - usually spend 1000 to 1200 a day on EVERYTHING. I eat budget but well, drink a fair bit of booze but don't party hard - and I move on often and usually stay single both of which increase costs.
A nice circuit out of Phuket is Phuket-Phi Phi-Krabi-Phuket (or if you have time Krabi-Yao Noi-Yai Yao-Phuket).
Lots of people do Phi Phi-Lanta-Jum-Krabi but the ferries to Lanta and Jum haven't run in past wet seasons.