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koh samui or koh lanta in beginning of september? please help!

Posted by swetez on 4/9/2008 at 02:18

hello there,

i'll be in thailand for 7 days from the 10th of september to the 17th. i'm thinking about spending a couple days in bangkok, and then moving on to a quiet, beautiful island.

that being said, my friends advised me to go to krabi, and i'm highly interested in going to koh lanta. however, after checking out the extensive weather reports, i realize that it is still monsoon season. would it be worth it to go despite the chance of rainfall? there is around a ratio of 1:2 days of rainfall per 2 days, and that worries me.

should i just plan out a trip to go to koh samui instead and see mae naem beach?

i'm just looking forward to relaxing on the beach, experiencing a more authentic thailand than bangkok, and beautiful scenery.

please let me know if you have any advice at all! thanks!

#1 swetez has been a member since 4/9/2008. Posts: 3

Posted by travelrock on 4/9/2008 at 09:19

forget lanta, it's not that good.

go to samet if you just want to relax on the beach. nice beaches there.

#2 travelrock has been a member since 19/4/2008. Posts: 209

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Posted by exacto on 4/9/2008 at 11:13

hi swetez,

bangkok is authentic thailand in the same way new york city is authentic united states. bangkok is exciting and dynamic, but not necessarily the traditional, rural, tropical paradise you may be seeking.

having said that, i agree with travelrock that samet island is a great choice for just relaxing on the beach. years ago it was almost exclusively a western tourist hangout, but it is much more of a local/mixed scene now.

samet is also relatively close to bangkok, meaning it will cost you less time and money to get there and is a good fit for the relatively short time of the one week you have available.

check out the listing and info on samet island on the Travelfish website for details. it seems to me that the listings were recently updated and should be reasonably current with heaps of good information.

if you can, try to visit samet during the week, since it can get fully booked and a bit crowded on weekends and thai holidays. regards.

#3 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,759
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Posted by tezza on 4/9/2008 at 16:04

Hell, if you would really like to see Lanta, why not? It has a good range of beaches, a great mountain backdrop and will certainly be quiet in September. And if you want a few days in Krabi, its on the way and linked in September by a 2 hour minibus service. Another plus is that both places tend to have very good discounts on accommodation in the low season whereas busier Samui will be more expensive.

Weatherwise perhaps the following may help:

In Sept The southern Gulf islands (Samui, Phangan, Tao) are usually towards the end of their drier mid-year period in Sept. Their wet season tends to be Oct into Jan.
Elsewhere is normally wet season, but travel is usually okay - we still get plenty of posts saying people had a good holiday with the usual daily mixture of one or a few showers/storms and sunshine/scattered cloud, some days with no rain. This has been the pattern in all my wet season visits.
The driest of the non-Southern Gulf islands tends to be Ko Samet near Bangkok. Most of Samet's beaches face east and are sheltered from the prevailing wet season winds which on the days when they get stronger can cause rough seas and blow a lot of flotsam and jetsom onto the beach.

#4 tezza has been a member since 13/4/2006. Posts: 1,345

Posted by swetez on 4/9/2008 at 16:33

hi all,

thanks for your messages. i've been debating between kho lanta and kho samet. it seems that both places are beautiful. however, kho samet promises better weather!

i guess i'm still really confused as to which place to go to. the guesthouses are less plentiful on kho samet and are also more expensive. however, kho lanta is farther away and it'll require a plane flight.

as for scenery, are these islands both relatively the same? i'm looking to do lots of exploring and experiencing a bit of quiet Thai coastal life and perhaps participating in some watersports.

is kho samet more expensive than kho lanta? thanks for all your comments! please keep them coming!

#5 swetez has been a member since 4/9/2008. Posts: 3

Posted by tezza on 5/9/2008 at 18:43

Scenery wise they are close, but Lanta's mountains are a bit more spectacular than Samet's hills. Some of the elevated beach views from the coastal road in the south of Lanta have no comparisons on Samet - althugh that road is dirt the last 4-5 km or so and can get impassable in the wet season.
Lanta is much bigger and has more to explore. There are the caves, the viewpoints on the pass and the laid back east coast. This east coast is the best place to experience a bit of Thai coastal life - Samet is dominated by tourism. You can also hire longtails at the east coast's Lanta town pier to visit the small islands between the east coast and the mainland.
Bungalow prices drop considerably on Samet in the wet season because they don't have to ship water from the mainland - but I think Samet will still be dearer than Lanta, which is VERY undervisited in September.
But as you say, Samet is way cheaper (and less time consuming} to access fom Bangkok.

#6 tezza has been a member since 13/4/2006. Posts: 1,345

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