I have about a week for some beach time in thailand - as far as i can see Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Samui are pleasant and fun, where as the other side - Ko phi phi, Krabi etc seem more idyllic and pretty - in my mind the west coast is the obvious choice, but i feel like i'm missing something. I'd like to do some relaxing and a little partying, and i'm not really into diving, though wouldn't mind some light snorkelling Can anyone offer any advice? For instance, is either side alot more expensive/a bit of a cattle market? Any particular favorites on beaches?
Also, i'll be there in feb/march
#1 steffanmathias has been a member since 10/7/2008. Posts: 7
Hi, I think you just got to pick one and go there. Then next year go to the other side. :)
I love the area around krabi, but also have had great times on Samui/Phangag.
Can't really help you pick a side. krabi is cool tho.
Going by the weather(and I always try to) the east side is probably your best bet in Feb/March. But there's not much difference in the weather patterns, the east coast's only slightly better. As for prices, well the Andaman Coast is more expensive than Chanthaburi and Trat province in the east but for a week it hardly matters.If I was staying 6 weeks the difference between $8 per night and $20 per night would matter. You can still find $8 per night places on the east coast but they're in the minority.
But to give you an option, when I was at Koh Chang it was good for relaxing and had clear snorkelling waters. At the time the partying was only just picking up but that was eleven years ago. Hopefully it won't have been over-developed as it is a marine national park.
#3 mic59 has been a member since 30/7/2008. Posts: 107
I answere this for steffan on another forum. For others interested in the question:
Wow, difficult question.
I'm a bit of an island nerd, but I like both sides equally. I also rate the eastern Gulf - Ko Samet, Big Chang, Whai, Mak and Kut as equal.
The west (Andaman coast) does give you more choice than the southern Gulf, but you could spend a month just travelling around Phangan and neighbouring Tao, moving on to a new beach every now and then, and not get bored. Neighbouring Sami is pretty commercial these days, not particularly idyllic.
The beach areas of Krabi and Phi Phi are certainly more spectacular landscape/seascape wise (note none of the other islands is unattractive) but they do attract lots of people these days, even in March, so they aint too idyllic - except for the east coast of Phi Phi.
Perhaps you could go to the WHICH BEACH OR ISLAND page in the link below and check the LAID BACK and WAY LAID BACK sections to see if any places catch your fancy. I have pages on all the islands mentioned there and on this thread with a fair bit more info which may help you.