Hi, we are a couple in our late twenties going to Vietnam and Cambodia for 6 nights each and wanted a 8 night Thailand beach break at the end (28th Nov - 6th Dec). After investigating we had our hearts set on Koh Tao but it seems this will be the worst possible time for weather so I am gutted! Is there anywhere else like it that we could go to as an alternative?
We want somewhere with a good choice of local restaurants and chilled beach bars (love bean bags on the beach like Bali) that we can sit in until late (not clubs or somehwere where everything closes at 11!). Would like to be able to do a couple of trips and some diving. Can anyone help? Thanks
I wrote somewhere else lately that IMHO maybe the closest island in character to Tao is Lipe - similar size, similar types of visitors (although divers don't dominate), similar good variety of accommodation/bars/restaurants, good choice of dive opportunities/operators. Beaches probably better. Landscape not as dramatic - seascape maybe better.
Biggest problem - it's a longer access from say Bangkok. If that's a problem I reckon good old Phi Phi also meets your asks.
The late November into December rain situation for the Tao area is a quandary. Just about any year it is wetter than the Andaman side, but usually tends to be the typical Thailand wet season conditions with plenty of sunshine, seldom prolonged rainfall etc. But one in every 4 or 5 years this area tends to have a shocker, not necessarily on a regular basis.
Ko Lanta and/or Ko Phi Phi could be a good option for that time of year. Scenery is spectacular on Phi Phi but it is far busier and smaller than Lanta so there isn't as nice a selection of restaurants and it's not quiet or really very chilled at all.
Lanta wouldn't be as packed with tourists as Phi Phi, but it gets busiest around that time of year, so it would have plenty of places to hang out and meet people that won't be closing early. It has a few beaches and a huge selection of places to eat and drink, and its also quite a big island that's fun to explore on motorbikes, and has diving trips and kayaking etc. available. It's also a very beautiful island in its own way, if not as postcard perfect as Phi Phi...