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Koh Phanghan to Chiang Mai

Posted by TrishyOS on 26/2/2012 at 16:13

My friend and I arrive in Bangkok on March 30th, and intend on staying there for 2 nights. We then plan on getting the over night train and ferry to Koh Tao for a day or two before getting the ferry to Koh Phanghan for the full moon party. We then have a day or two for seeing another island before travelling up north for Songkran. However, having checked out flights from Ko Samui to Chiang Mai , we found them to be very expensive, working out at around €200. Can anyone suggest a cheaper route for us to take, or should we just pay the money as it gets us there quicker??

Also, we are planning on staying in Chiang Mai for 5-6 days, and do day trips from here -Chiang Rai, golden triangle etc, Does this sound like a good or bad idea.

We are first time travellers so any advice greatly accepted

#1 TrishyOS has been a member since 26/2/2012. Location: Ireland. Posts: 7
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Posted by guava_girl on 26/2/2012 at 18:46

You should explore Koh Phangan for a few days. It is a beautiful island and offers so much more than just the infamous FMP.

But to answer your question, try flying with Air Asia or NOK Air from Surat Thani. It is much cheaper than flying from Samui.

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

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Posted by Venture135 on 26/2/2012 at 20:24

Or you could ferry from Koh Phangan to Surat Thani then sleeper train to BKK, then bus it to Chiang Mai.
I personally love Koh Tao so Im gunna say spend more time there. I would also say don't go to Samui, Its like Thailand's Magaluf.

#3 Venture135 has been a member since 15/7/2011. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 12
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Posted by TrishyOS on 28/2/2012 at 07:37

guava_girl thanks for that advice, I've checked up Nok air and got some really good deals with that. we will be spending 4-5 days in Koh Phanghan altogether and are staying on the opposite side of Haad Rin, so will probably only pop in for a look at the full moon party!

Venture135 Thanks for the advice about Koh Tao, would like to stay there longer but have the hotel booking for the FMP which required 4 days minimum. I have heard that Samui is a little commercialised, can you suggest an area of it where would be less "magaluf" style??

Can anyone advice me on the day trips from Chiang Mai- good idea or not??

#4 TrishyOS has been a member since 26/2/2012. Location: Ireland. Posts: 7
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Posted by Venture135 on 4/3/2012 at 16:24

To be honest I haven't been to Samui in years, so I'd just suggest using this site to try and find a more chilling spot than Chaweng. I did a day trip from Chiang Mai once. They all seemed along the same lines of some walking in woodland area, around some paddies, maybe along a river, then to an elephant camp, then to some sort of river rafting. The one I went on was a good day out but don't expect to be blown away.

#5 Venture135 has been a member since 15/7/2011. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 12
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Posted by Captain_Bob on 5/3/2012 at 03:00

Hi I'm in Chiang Mai and hope we get a little rain by Songkran because the air is very hazy (typical for Feb or March) then maybe we'll have some blue skies for your visit. Daytrips include Golden Triangle, Elephant Safari, Doi Inthanon National Park, or "adventure" activities like mountain biking, bungy jump, horse riding, paintball, zorbing, etc. or you can destroy a watermelon with a 44 Magnum at one of the shooting ranges. There are also several zipline outfits, like Flight of the Gibbon, Jungle Flight, Eagle Track and this is currently very popular (just went myself and had a blast). Can also do a Thai cooking course, or just eat your way around the city - tons of great restaurants plus the local food stalls. During Songkran Chiang Mai goes totally crazy so during roughly the 12-15th I wouldn't plan on doing too much other than exchanging buckets of water with everyone on the street or else hide indoors if you don't want to get soaked. Actually the water-flinging usually stops at sunset then there are music/dance shows, parade, beauty pagent, etc. loads of festival activity in the evenings

As for getting to Ko Tao I would go via Chumphon maybe check out Then hop over to Ko Phangan, do the FMP and spend a couple more days exploring the island. I would skip Samui and get a ferry to Surat Thani and fly on Air Asia or Nok Air to Chiang Mai (via Bangkok). Beware that thousands of people head to CM for Songkran and flights/trains/buses are very full just prior to the festival. Try to book something asap and get here a few days in advance if possible to find a room in the old city.

#6 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,951

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