So my gf and I are arriving in Bangkok in late July. It is her birthday in April, so as part of her birthday present I want to get her a 1-2 night stay for both of us in an island/beach resort while we are in Thailand. So I am looking for information on any resorts within 3-4 hours of bangkok that you would recommend. Im hoping to pay between 50-100 English pound per night. I would really appreciate your help on this issue as Im struggling here as I have no prior experience of Thailand....Thanks again...
#1 lynchqu2 has been a member since 13/3/2014. Posts: 1
When I lived in Bangkok, our go-to quick beach getaway was Koh Samet. It is easily within that 3-4 hours of Bangkok you want. Definitely best to go mid-week if you can, as the place fills up and gets more expensive on weekends. Have a look at the listings on Travelfish to pick which beach you might like best and a specific place to stay. You should have no trouble finding something nice within that price range. Have fun. Cheers.
I agree Koh Chang is a nicer island, but it doesn't quite fit the situation. The OP asked for something within 3 to 4 hours of Bangkok. It always took me 5 hours to drive from Bangkok to the port near Trat and at least six hours to travel by bus, plus the ferry, plus getting from the ferry to the beach. It is definitely worth it for three nights or more, but not for just one or two nights - at least in my experience.
As I recall, Koh Chang gets lots of rain that time of year too, which is why given the specifics and the short timeframe the OP gave, I still think Koh Samet is the best overland option. If you were looking to perhaps fly to a beach resort, that would open up the possibilities much more, particularly if you could work it in with visits to other places in Thailand.
Let us know what you decide and how it goes. Cheers.
I agree with exacto - big Chang is out of the time frame mentioned.
I also think it's no better than Samet. Samet has the nicer beaches, there is a beach to suit all types of visitors, and being so compact it is possible to walk all of them within a few hours. I've found the mozzie problem varies - during my most recent 3 or so visits they were no worse than most places. My first visit, in November just after the wet season, they were the size of A380s.
FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE
You could fly to Samui which opens up that island and its neighbours as possibilities.
Phuket has more flights and prices are ridiculously low. Don't let the Phuket naysayers convince you its the pits - Phuket has a beach for everyone from party animals to those seeking uncrowded and laid-back.
Comes to flying, Bangkok Air flies to Trat airport from which a shuttle leaves for big Chang.
There are night sleeper trains go to Chumpon from which you can connect with ferries for Ko Tao , Phangan and Samui (although the last is a bit of a stretch time-wise).
The sleeper train pushes on to Surathani for ferries to Samui, Phangan and Ko Tao (the latter a bit of a stretch).
The train has the advantage of saving you valuable daylight time, and saving you money because you don't have to pay for an extra night in Bangkok. Could be an interesting or romantic option if you haven't used a sleeper train before.
btw there are overnight buses do the same trips. Lomprayah runs one out of the KSR precinct which connects with its fast ferry out of Chumpon. Hassle free because you get dropped right at the pier and often praised by other travellers. The disadvantage is that many people cannot sleep on buses.
Um - as usual I didn't read the question properly:
"So my gf and I are arriving in Bangkok in late July"
Late July slews things a little bit:
It is wet season in the Andaman. But I have visited Phuket often in wet season and got the usual mixture of sun and cloud with a few storms or showers between. Never lost a full day to rain, although it can happen. The biggest worry is that in wet season about 20-25% or the time the onshore monsoon westerlies get blowy for 3 or 4 days in a row, making conditions on Phuket's predominately west-facing beaches unpleasant and the surf big and dangerous. Other times the wind can be benign, conditions on the beaches real nice. The positives include heavy discounting by Phuket's accommodation places - you can get a very classy room in a nice resort for the same price as a backpacker joint in high season.
Here's a thought. Punch in Coral Island Resort and your dates into travelfish's accommodation function. Coral Island (Ko He) is a 15 minute speedboat ride out of Chalong pier in Phuket's south east, Coral Island Resort is a nice midrange place and the best news is that it is on a beach which is largely sheltered from the monsoon winds, and it discounts big time in low season. So too does Rayaburi resort on nearby Ko Raya/Racha - the beach is even more sheltered and quieter. But the trip longer - maybe 30 minutes which may not be so much fun if the seas are bumpy.
btw July is usually not the peak of wet season in Phuket. Statistically late August thru October is wetter.
It is also wet season in the Eastern Gulf and Ko Chang is one of the wettest islands in Thailand. However I've seen plenty of wet season reports indicating similar conditions to those I mention above and that people have has a great visit. However when it rains it must really rain.
Naturally big Chang's resorts discount wildly in low season too.
The eastern Gulf is different. Samui, Phangan and Tao are still in dry season (although maybe not as dry as mid-Jan into April, with the occasional storm or shower). Because of this, late July is in a kinda second high season and good deals on accommodation are harder to find.
Samet is tricky. It is in wet season but that part of the Gulf statistically has least rain in wet season. But it is still low season and good accommodation deals should be found, except maybe on weekends and Thai public holidays when locals from Bangkok and nearby Ranong like to visit.
As Exacto and Tezza say: Ko Samet.
I went for a few nights in late July and, although we had some rain, it was mainly hot and cloudy.
Considering your generous budget, take a taxi. If you leave in the early morning, you should arrive at the port in 1 1/2-2 hours. You can then get the 9am ferry which will have you on the island (and possibly in your hotel) by 10. If you left at 5pm the following day, you'd still have enough time to enjoy Samet.
We made a huge mistake in getting a taxi very early (we had cleared customs by 5am) and arrived at the port at 6:30 and then found out that the first ferry wasn't for another 2 1/2 hours! Cue two night-flight grumpsters sitting outside of 7-11 in the rain! Check the time of the low season first ferry!