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Thailand forum

Ko Chang, Ko Samui, or Ko Phi Phi?

Posted by qpearls on 19/1/2013 at 18:36

I have limited time in Thailand and was wondering if you'd recommend Ko Chang, Ko Samui , or Ko Phi Phi ? I will be flying into Bangkok in the early AM on a Saturday, and will need to take another flight out of Bangkok at 6:45AM on the following Wednesday. I was planning to leave the beach area and be back in Bangkok in the late evening on Tuesday, and just waste some hours away at the airport.

If I did Ko Chang, I would gain an extra day or so of beach time on Ko Chang, just because traveling time would be minimized. It also seems easier since I would be able to take the bus from Bangkok, which generally is more flexible than the flight/train schedules to Samui and Phi Phi.

Are Ko Samui and Ko Phi Phi REALLY that much better than Ko Chang? I've never dived before, but I would be interested in doing one of those Discover Scuba Diving courses for 1 day, and snorkeling for another day.

#1 qpearls has been a member since 19/1/2013. Posts: 3

Posted by somtam2000 on 19/1/2013 at 18:53 admin

What time of year? Weather will be the main determinant in a useful answer and for that we need to know when you're going.


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Posted by qpearls on 19/1/2013 at 18:54

I'll be there in Mid-April!

#3 qpearls has been a member since 19/1/2013. Posts: 3

Posted by somtam2000 on 19/1/2013 at 19:19 admin

April will see Ko Chang starting to get wet and you'll be at the start of the wet season on the Andaman Coast (for Ko Phi Phi ) as well, though it should just be getting started and in both cases the wet doesn't really get going till May/June. The weather map here may be of use.

So if you're arriving Sat morning and leaving Wednesday morning, then you've got four full days. Note I don't dive, advice is that regard from friends who dive (your question is a common one :-)

Ko Phi Phi
Even if you fly down, that isn't really sufficient for Ko Phi Phi in my opinion as you'd need to fly to Krabi or Phuket and then spend half a day messing around with ferries and boats to get to the island, plus it may be a little bit wet. Best case you'd be on the island late Sat afternoon and you'd need to leave by mid morning Tuesday, so you get two full days on the island. Diving & snorkelling: very good.

Ko Samui
You could fly to Ko Samui early Sat and on last flight back Tues night -- not cheap, but it would give you the maximum amount of time on the island and the airport is very close to the beach. There are heaps of flights daily. Weather should be good. Diving & snorkelling: most dive boats will just take you to Ko Tao by speedboat as the best sites are out there.

Ko Chang
You should be on the island by early afternoon Saturday and leave late Tuesday afternoon. There may be some rain. Diving is mediocre. Snorkelling is ok.

Ko Samet
You didn't mention this one but I thought I'd throw it into the mix. It's closer to Bangkok has good beaches and you can dive and snorkel from here -- conditions slightly better than Ko Chang, slightly, but nothing compared to Ko Phi Phi or Ko Tao.

Hope that helps

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Posted by qpearls on 20/1/2013 at 20:38

Thanks for this! It's super helpful. I've never dived before, so I think that any amount of 'decent' diving should be more than sufficient for me!

I think based on what I've read and your recommendations, Ko Samet or Ko Chang seem to be the most reasonable. Would you recommend Ko Samet over Ko Chang based on the overall experience there? I'm just looking for the typical beach experience (with snorkeling;diving included). It'd be great if there were some markets to explore, as well, or other things catered to expats (cooking classes, etc). Do you think the weather would be less rainy in Ko Samet since it's not as far east? And I'm assuming it's pretty simple to get to Ko Samet by bus and then a ferry from Bangkok?

#5 qpearls has been a member since 19/1/2013. Posts: 3

Posted by stoneman on 23/1/2013 at 05:12

I've read on the net of a minivan service departing from Bangkok airport 2-3 times daily direct to Koh Chang. It may be a little further down the coast but for an overall island experience travelling solo I would recommend Koh Chang (good site -

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Posted by altmtl on 23/1/2013 at 18:25

There are about half dozen people I've met on Koh Lanta who went to Phi Phi, hated it and came back to Lanta.

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Posted by Laila1492 on 6/2/2013 at 09:23


We're also planning to go to Koh Chang in late april - start of may, the problem is, our flight arrives at 14:30 and i can't seem to find any connection to get to Koh Chang at the same day - the best would have been the express bus / minibus, but those leave before we arrive.

We arrive at Suvarnabhumi, so, does anyone know a good route / way of arriving the same day in Koh Chang?

Thanks in advance!

#8 Laila1492 has been a member since 6/2/2013. Posts: 1

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