Which is the best island / beach to visit for 4-5 days in early September (tail end of monsoon season)?
crystal water / white sand / stuff to do
#1 dseckel has been a member since 21/5/2008. Posts: 9
Ko Samet should be OK weatherwise...not much stuff to do apart from lying on the beach, swimming, and eating though and it's quite busy. Very developed (even though it's supposed to be a National Park) because it's so near BKK.
Otherwise try Ko Phangan, Ko Tao or Samui. There's information about all these islands in the Thai islands link at the top of the page.
Early Sept usually sees the best sun in the southern Gulf - Samui, Tao, Phangan. This area normally has a different wet season, usually Oct into Jan.
Tao tends to have the best snorkelling off the beach - the east coast bays are good for this but I’m also a fan of the south-west corner of the island where there are many little bays with some neat accommodation. This travelfish page as I look at it has an add for Sai Thong Resort in the top right hand corner (this could be different for you - I think the ads. Rotate) which is one of these places. A bit upmarket is Viewpoint which I’ve singled out for next visit - you can also easily walk from eastwards here across to Shark Bay which has good snorkelling along and around the eastern headland. Travelfish’s Tao page will give you info on accommodation places at Shark Bay. I also have info on Tao first link below.
On Phangan the best snorkelling off the beach is probably Mae Hat in the north-west. Nice laid back beach. I think most of the accommodation here is budget and backpacker. Road links are pretty good out of Mae Hat so the rest of the island is pretty straightforward.
I really like Thong Nai Pan on the east coast - two very nice beaches, good scenery and accomm from top end to budget. Snorkelling is not great. Roads are very rough and it’s more of an effort to check the rest of the island.
Another east coast beach I like is Hat Sadet. Not sure how good the snorkelling is. I don’t think you get above flash-packer here. I often see a travelfish ad for a lovely looking place on Sadet. I gotta stay there!
Samet tends to be one of the drier islands of places in true wet season. And all beaches but one are on the sheltered east coast - less wind and little swell or windblown flotsam on those blowier days.
Has some lovely laid back beaches - but snorkelling off the beach is not good. One real nice beach is Tubtim aka Ao Pudsa/Putsa - see travel fish’s page on this plus his reports on Tubtim Resort. I’ve got some stuff on this below.
Sept aint really the END of the wet season most places. In the Andaman Sept and Oct are statistically the wettest. See travelfish’s great interactive weather map. But travel is still usually okay with enough sun for a good beach holiday and good discounts at most resorts.
Two islands with very sheltered east facing beaches and good snorkelling off the beach are Ko Ngai and Ko Kradan. Ngai has mainly midrange and high end. Kradan struggling to reach flash packer.
I’m also a big fan of the sheltered laid back east coast of Phi Phi in wet season. All standards of accomm along here and good snorkelling by Thai standards off the beach.
You are pretty isolated across here - not a lot to do besides some trekking. Ditto Samet, Ngai and Kradan BTW. Although Samet has nightlife beaches easily walked to from Tubtim.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention Ko Nangyuan Dive Resort about I km off the nw coast of Tao. google for their website and be blown away by the scenery. Very good snorkelling in the little bays each side of the sand spit.
You don't have to be a diver - they actively persue the midrange non-diving traveller. Midrange.
You are a bit isolated here, but they run a free shuttle across to Tao so you can spend time exploring the bigger island. There are also plenty of longtails shuttling back and forward - the island is popular with daytrippers - which could be a downside. I didn't find this troublesome - but it is several years since I stayed on the island.
Have you check out this site for Beach Tour.
So you can check it out for yourself: http://www.viamigo.com/place/1182/thailand
Great site, loads of info here http://www.viamigo.com/activity/20/beach
#5 Lusiya has been a member since 30/5/2008. Posts: 3
Great feedback - thanks very much.
Even after perusing the TF site, Ko Nangyuan didn't jump out at me - thanks for the insight. Will also give Ko Samet a look. And surely Ko Tao.
Also thought the Andaman was out of the question for September (will likely consider the Gulf in advance, but nice to know i shouldn't entirely close that option).
#6 dseckel has been a member since 21/5/2008. Posts: 9