Posted by Monica07 on 21/1/2018 at 05:48
I'm new here and hoping for some advice on Thailand in May - We have two weeks from 6th to 21st and are flying into and out of Bangkok.
From what I've read of the weather we are best to completely avoid the south west and head straight for the south east?
Any advice or confirmation of this would be greatly appreciated, as I was looking forward to seeing Phuket/Krabi/Phi Phi islands but if we're going all that way I don't want to be uncomfortable the whole time.
If Koh Samui/Koh Phangan/ Koh Tao are the best bets then where else is good to go on the mainland east coast to break it up a bit?
Any other tips on things to do around this area also welcome!
#1 Monica07 has been a member since 21/1/2018. Posts: 2
Posted by DLuek on 23/1/2018 at 22:26 TF writer
You're right that Thailand's southeast coast sees less rain than the southwest in May (you can see the average of how much less here). But some rain should be expected on both coasts, and May is a wild card as it marks the pivot between the dry/hot and rainy seasons. It can go either way.
I've only been through the southwest coast once in May and there was a decent amount of sunshine coupled with storms blowing through often for an hour or so in the afternoons. These often cleared in time for sunset. In Krabi and Phuket , nearly all of the tourism businesses will still be cranking in May, though many small resorts on more remote islands, like Ko Bulon Lae, close up starting in May, and some national park islands like the Similans and Ko Tarutao close in April. Seas also start to get rougher in May and I suggest not getting in a boat (especially a speedboat or longtail boat) depending on the forecast and whether or not you can see dark storm clouds in the direction you're supposed to be going. Boat tours are pre-booked and it's very rare for a tour operator to cancel and give out refunds due to weather -- trust your own judgment, not the boatman's!
But my advice would be to not necessarily avoid the southwest coast so long as you bring an umbrella and understand that there is a higher chance of rain there. Personally I love sitting on the cozy porch of a bungalow during a tropical downpour. It's also worth noting that Bangkok, where I live and have spent many Mays, sees average rainfall levels that are just below the average levels of Phuket -- and I think of May as a pretty good time to visit Bangkok, with its share of sunshine.
I once hit Ko Tao in May and we saw some rain -- so again similar to what I've experienced in Bangkok and the southwest coast. If you end up on the east side, don't miss a spin through the Ang Thong Islands. I was just thinking yesterday about how these islands, which are accessible from Samui and Pha Ngan, are some of the most stunning in Thailand. However I was also thinking that parts of Krabi (Railay and Ko Hong for ex.), as well as some islands in Trang and Satun provinces, are equally breathtaking.
I'd guess you'll have a good trip whichever side you choose. On the east side, I like Ko Pha Ngan but am not a huge fan of either Ko Samui or Ko Tao. If you're looking for something to do on the mainland, there are some great natural attractions in Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat provinces -- Khao Luang NP (and the related village of Baan Khiri Wong) and Khao Sok NP are two of the best. Though part of the same province as Samui and Pha Ngan (Surat Thani), Khao Sok is actually located closer to the west coast and can be hit directly from Krabi as well.
#2 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,346
Posted by Monica07 on 24/1/2018 at 02:57
Thank you for getting back to me!
We eventually planned our trip like this
Bangkok 2 nights
Chiang Mai 3 nights
Koh Phangan 3 nights
Koh Samui 3 nights
Krabi 3 nights
And then back to Bangkok from there for our flight home.
I hope that’s a good mix of things.
Thanks for the heads up about the Ang Thong Islands, we’ll definitely check it out.
We are staying in Krabi town, but is this a good base to explore or would be better off staying in other areas you mentioned?
#3 Monica07 has been a member since 21/1/2018. Posts: 2
Posted by amnicoll on 25/1/2018 at 00:40
I have always liked Krabi town so would say it is a good base
#4 amnicoll has been a member since 10/1/2005. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 976
Please login to add your reply