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Thailand forum

Southern Islands East or West or Both?

Posted by HannahC on 20/9/2011 at 21:27

I am 23 Female and traveling alone in the beginning of January.
I am only there for 2 1/2 weeks and just trying to roughly plan my itinerary.
I thought I would fly straight to Koh Samui and go out to Ko Tao for 5 days then to Koh Phangnan for the full moon party on 3rd for 6 nights then I am not sure whether it is worth going to the West coast islands after that and just have one night in Bangkok before I go back home or instead have 2 nights on Koh Samui then head to Bangkok for 2/3 nights before going.
Is there much more to see on the West Coast or is it just great beaches which you can get on the east?
Also are there any other islands on the east coast around koh samui that are worth going to other than ko tao and koh phangnan?
Thank you in advance for any help!
Hannah :)

#1 HannahC has been a member since 20/9/2011. Posts: 2

Posted by guava_girl on 21/9/2011 at 09:34

This all depends where on the Andaman coast you want to go. I think the beaches in Krabi are stunning with amazing views but it will take an entire day to get from one side to the other, which doesnt leave you much time.
If you cut down the time you spent on Koh Tao & Phangan then it is possible but otherwise not worth the long trip on your limited time.

The other option is to visit places closer to BKK like Ayuthaya and Kanchanaburi and see the cultural side of Thailand.

#2 guava_girl has been a member since 21/10/2010. Posts: 252

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Posted by KhowNeow11 on 21/9/2011 at 12:12

I'd say there are definitely some great things to see in Krabi (Railey, Ton Sai) and the Phi Phi islands, but it is true that getting from the East Islands to the West will require a day's travel, so cutting your time a bit shorter on the East (specifically Koh Phangan) would be necessary to make it worth it.
My advice, especially for those traveling solo, is to leave itineraries loose; everyone wants to see as much as they can in the amount of time they have, but there's no way of knowing what will happen when you get going, and itineraries can often be a source of stress. Especially when you're alone, you will often meet other travelers that you get along with, and it's better to be flexible and travel a bit with others than sticking to a plan you made having never been to the country.
Have an idea of what you want to see, and go from there! You will have a great time regardless.

#3 KhowNeow11 has been a member since 10/9/2011. Posts: 19
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Posted by HannahC on 21/9/2011 at 15:04

Great, thank you for your help. I will try and make it over there. The trouble is on Koh Phangan you have to book for at least 5 nights.
Do you know if there is an over night train/bus to the east coast?

#4 HannahC has been a member since 20/9/2011. Posts: 2

Posted by KhowNeow11 on 21/9/2011 at 15:58

As I recall, there is no overnight bus, primarily because the portion of the trip that takes place over land actually only takes about 4 hours or so. The kicker is the ferry rides, both of which take about 2 hours, give or take (Koh Pha Ngan to Surat Thani, Krabi to Koh Phi Phi), and don't take place during the night, for obvious reasons.
I'd forgotten about the 5 day booking thing around FMP, though the case may be that a lone traveler might be able to book a room upon arrival for a few days, though I'm sure you'll pay a premium for it regardless.
Maybe if you get your fill of island after 10 days or so, you might do well to head up towards BKK and see some of the surrounding things like that previous post suggested, such as Kanchanaburi, which is super chill and beautiful, or Ayuthaya, which is very historic and interesting. There is, after all, more to Thailand than the parties and the beaches! (though both are a blast for sure)

#5 KhowNeow11 has been a member since 10/9/2011. Posts: 19
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Posted by guava_girl on 22/9/2011 at 08:42

You do not have to bok for five days on all beaches on Koh Phangan. Just the ones closest to where the FMP takes place. If you look for a places on the NE or NW coast you will find that many places do not require 5 nights minimum stay.
However, you are travelling at the busiest time of the year so this may be a factor. But have a look at other beaches on the island.

As for travel, the ferry and waiting around for buses is what takes time. If you leave on the 7am boat from KP you should be able to arrive in Krabi at a decent hour. The other oprion is the night boat but that will have you arriving into Surat Thani town at 4am and the first bus won't be until around 7am.

#6 guava_girl has been a member since 21/10/2010. Posts: 252

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