We are currently in Phuket - for one month (end aug/ beg sept) and are looking for somewhere to go for our second month. I presume if we want to avoid the rainy season we will have to stay in the south east and I am getting overwelmed by all the islands and choices! Can anyone suggest a quiet out of the way place to stay - we dont mind if it is an island or mainland. I did read about Koh Tao and it sounded ideal then read another website that said its all party party party. I welcome your suggestions.
Ko Tao is not all party party party at all. It's got some nightlife if you want it (think beach-side DJs with drinks and fire dancers) but it's not even in the same universe as southwest Phuket 's nightlife scene with its endless go go bars and the like.
Ko Tao is a laid back island with good Western food and great diving, and there are many secluded places to stay on the south, east and north coasts, as well as some houses that can be rented by the moth. A very relaxing place to spend a month, I reckon, and you could take side trips to Ko Phangan, Ko Samui and Ang Thong marine park, which looks spectacular. You could also hit Chumphon, Surat Thani and/or Nakhon Si Thammarat if wanting a more "local" Thai setting for a few days, or even take the two hour bus ride from Surat Thani to Khao Sok National Park for a dose of one of the world's oldest rainforests.
If you want a bigger island that's more similar to Phuket with shopping malls and no shortage of upscale resorts, then base yourself in Ko Samui. Ko Phangan might not be a bad choice either, but I've never been.
I think Koh Phangan is my favourite of the three - in spite of it's rep as a party island. As long as you stay out of the Haad Rin area, you can avoid the party scene quite easily. I love the relatively quieter Northern and North-East corners. It's also a great island to spend time travelling around by jeep (or motorbike if you're experienced.. the roads can be a bit rough in places unless they've done recent work on them!)
Koh Phangan really is charming as long as you steer clear of Haad Rin. Every corner of the island has it's own vibe which is why it's my personal favorite of the 3. Rent a motorbike for 150 baht a day from Adam's place in Thongsala and see for yourself. Chakolum for sea food, Srithanu for yoga (or head to the Sancuary for the full blown experience), Haad Yao, Haad Salad, Mae Haad are all beautiful beaches near by. I rented a bungalow and motorbike for a few months and had a very relaxing time. As DLuek said above, many wonderful places to visit in the surrounding area if your interested. If you rather stay at a smaller island with much better diving, than base yourself in Koh Tao for sure.
#6 indigobaabs has been a member since 19/8/2012. Posts: 2
thanks Captain Bob and Indigo - we really enjoyed all your photos Capt they inspired us - we think we will make the most of our time and hire a jeep to drive to drive along the south coast - Krabi to Bangkock - leave the jeep at the airport and fly to Chang Mai (we could have a beer Bob) and into Laos as our first visa runs out. We would appreciate any ideas as we have only just come to this conclusion. Presumably we would get a ferry from Phuket to the mainland??
Oh a bridge? really!! We will probably take the ferry tho as we will be picked up from the hotel - it takes 2 hours. We will look on computer for a hotel for one night then look into the rest of it! We will be in Chang Mai for December and January so will look forward to that beer! Any other info re getting around would be greatly appreciated - we are such novices at this!
I also love Koh Phangan as long as you stay away from Haad Rin. Haad Yuan is about 10 minutes away from there by boat (seems close I know) but it is a totally different world! We spent two weeks there and it was such a quiet, laid bacper cool k chill beach we never wanted to leave! Check out the blog post I wrote about it... The whole island, up north by Haad Yai in particular, is also really amazing! We have been to this island a few times and even though we know we should try some new ones, its just such a cool place! Hope you find what you are looking for, Haad Yuan was exactly that for me :)