I've been looking at a bunch of sites for hours now trying to figure out where to go next April for 3 days in the Thailand islands. For myself and my husband, I'd like somewhere quiet (not into partying), with just a few bungalow type accommodations on the beach (that aren't too expensive, under 1000 Baht per night)and maybe a restaurant or two. I would love a beautiful white sand beach and it needs to be fairly easy to get to since coming from Bangkok and we don't have too much time. I've narrowed it down to Ko Kood, Ko Phayam, Ko Bulon Lae, Ko Kradan, Ko Phangan or Ko Nagai. Does anyone have any notes as to why one of these islands would be better than another? Or any other suggestions? I really appreciate any help I can get, I'm not sure how to narrow this down! Thanks!
#1 canada28 has been a member since 27/10/2013. Posts: 3
"Most of those islands are pricey - Kood, Kradan and Ngai are. Very little below 1000 baht near the beach that's any good."
3 days is barely worth it but I'd go to Ko Samet near Bangkok or catch a train to Prachuap - beach there isn't great for swimming due to low tides but seafood is awesome and great town.
Some of those other islands would take you most of a day just to get there.
#2 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
For three nights? IMO not worth heading to Bulon Lae, Kradan or Ngai as you'll spend too long in transit. Even Phangan or Phayam a push.
Leonard's suggestion of Samet fits the bill, but if it was me, I'd head to either Ngam Kho or Dusita's on Ko Kut - at risk of repeating myself:
Great places to stay on KoKut
Yes, I loved it
You're looking at a few more hours to get there compared to Samet, but the beaches are better (snorkelling, not so much) and the eating options are more limited, but the two places I mentioned above have great restaurants.
Ko Kut is indeed lovely but the 5-6 hour bus ride each way, plus a possible overnight stay in Trat if you miss the ferry, would only guarentee two days on the beach. You could fly to Trat airport but you would still have an hour long trip to the port and a 1 1/2 hour ride if you get the speedboat and still might not arrive until the afternoon. 4-5 days would be great...
I second LeonardCohen: Ko Samet. You can get to the port from Bangkok in a 3 1/2 hour bus ride or less than 2 hours in a taxi and the ferry ride is about 45 minutes. If you left Bangkok at 6am in a taxi, you could be there by 9:30am on the first day. Once on Samet, there are quieter plces to stay or you can hire a bike to ride to quieter beaches. Just don't go at the weekend as its proximity to Bangkok means it will be very crowded.
For some of your other ideas you would need to get the earliest flight to Krabi or Ko Samui to make it worthwhile. You would then need several hours by bus or boat to get to your destination.
If three days includes travel time, it would be hard to see how going to any of those places would be all that fun. It would be two half days of travel and one full day on the beach. None of those islands are really conducive to a quick trip. If three days doesn't include travel time, then they're all doable. Taking an early morning flight to Trang and pre-arranging a minibus transfer direct from the airport to Ko Kradan or Ko Bulon via Wunderbar (www.wunderbar-trang.com - quality travel agent I've used many times) could be an option. But it's not like there are speedboats shooting to either of those islands every hour -- more like once or twice a day, if that by April. Phayam and little Chang are even more of a pain to get to.
As already suggested, Samet is the obvious quick getaway choice. If you go there, the northern beaches (Haad Sai Kaew, Ao Phai, Ao Hin Khok) definitely don't sound like they're what you're after. Check out Tubtim Resort on Ao Tubtim or Nuan Bungalow on Ao Nuan -- those are secluded spots (especially Ao Nuan) that should be just the ticket given what you wrote.