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Thailand forum

Islands off the beaten track - which best for xmas 09?

Posted by alexlazarus on 15/4/2009 at 00:18

Hi All,

We are planning to travel to Thailand this comign Christmas after having such an amazing time there at NY just gone. We covered Kanchanaburi, Ayttaya, Ko Mak & Koh Kood last time, and i was hoping for some advice for this year!

The plan is to travel south and explore the islands down there. We really enjoyed the feel and atmosphere of Koh Mak so we'd be looking for similar - quiet, laid back, not busy, and accomodation between 400-600 per night. We stayed at more expensive places last time as well, but didn't like the feel! Plus, i dont like spending 70 baht on a beer!

I'd like to avoid Samui, but have heard the some places on Panyang and Tao are really nice and quite secluded - is this info out of date? I've onyl been there in wet season, and it wasn't my favourite! Dave would like to go diving too.

Any and all suggestions gratefully received!

Thanks in advance,

#1 alexlazarus has been a member since 18/2/2008. Posts: 30

Posted by exacto on 15/4/2009 at 09:06


We're looking for exactly the same thing on our planned trip to Thailand over Christmas 2009. So far we've been looking seriously at Ko Mak, so I'd love to hear more about the good time you had there, and if you think it is a good spot for Christmas and NYE this year.

As for down south, we've also been looking at little Ko Chang and Phayam islands just off the coast of Ranong, but we are also thinking about the islands off the Trang coast.

Frankly, I think the information on Travelfish is quite excellent, but we've also been using the wonderful blog by tezza, which has some of the most unbiased and detailed information I've seen anywhere. Just find one of his posts and follow the link to his blog. If you do, please be sure to give my regards to his surfboard caddy. Cheers.

#2 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,759
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Posted by tezza on 19/4/2009 at 14:14

Surfboard caddy says stay cool, EX, everything comes to he who waits. What I want to konw is HOW LONG????

ALEX, maybe you could check WHICH ISLANDS AND BEACHES in the link below for LAID BACK and WAY LAID BACK and then go to TRAVELFISH'S island reports and user inputs on those places that float your boat.

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

Posted by SBE on 20/4/2009 at 03:47

Seems a bit presumptuous of Tezza to tell the OP to check out his own website BEFORE looking at the very comprehensive and frequently updated information on Travelfish!

#4 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,052
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Posted by somtam2000 on 20/4/2009 at 08:57 admin

Ko Muk off Trang is a fine option, as are Ko Sukorn, Ko Libong and I've heard of a few new backpacker style joints opening on Ko Kradan. Well worth considering.

#5 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,942
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Posted by alexlazarus on 22/4/2009 at 15:05

HI All,

Thanks for your replies - i will be sure to check out the islands you all mention.
Another question - we arrive in Bangkok at 18.30 on the 12th of December and were hoping not to spend the night in Bangkok. What would you all suggest? We are happy to travel the interior for a few days on our way down to the islands...

Exacto - sorry for the dealy in replying to your post. I would absolutely recommend Ko Mak and Ko Kood for christmas and New Year! We spend 5 days on Ko Mak - 2 nights in Pano and then 3 nights in Suchanaree, the altter of which i absolutely loved. Cold water, and fairly basic bungalows, but great beach and lovely people. Good, inepxensive food too. We hired a bike and spend a couple of evenings down at Buri Hut chewing the cud with Stan (the American owner) which was fab - the man has had an interesting life.
On Ko Kood we stayed at a super little flashpacker place run by Papa Joe. I can't rememeber the name of it at the moment (will check with DP) but it was only 500 per night, great food, really laid back atmosphere. Hardly a beach to speak of, but again, we hired a bike and scooted round the island for 4 days. Seriously, if you want a laid back, quiet but absolutely amazing time then go to these 2 islands! Remember to take cash with you though, as there are no banking facilities on either - having said that, if you've got dollars, Stan would definately be able to sort you out!

#6 alexlazarus has been a member since 18/2/2008. Posts: 30

Posted by ellennn on 22/4/2009 at 21:41

Try khoa lak, its a great place

#7 ellennn has been a member since 22/4/2009. Posts: 11

Posted by exacto on 22/4/2009 at 21:54


thanks for the additional info. good stuff! suchanaree is definitely one of the koh maak options that caught our eye too.

if you haven't yet, you might also want to read the Travelfish feature story on the islands off Trang. you can see it at:

arriving in bangkok at 1830 might give you time to get to the hualamphong train station to catch the last train heading south at 2250 or so. but even that would be cutting it close, even if your flight arrives on time and you make it through the airport and bangkok traffic without too much trouble.

another option, if you really want to avoid staying in bangkok that night, would be to head directly to the southern bus station and catch a bus heading south.

a third option might be to book a connecting flight to the south, but trying to fly that late in the day will likely limit your options to samui or phuket.

by the way, one of the best parts of tezza's blog is the which island or beach? section. it helps define the look and feel of all the different islands so you can easily narrow down your research to the types of places you are seeking. great stuff. if you head back that way, please be sure to extend my regards to tezza's surfboard mechanic as well. cheers.

#8 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,759
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Posted by nathantraveler on 23/4/2009 at 23:22

Hi, last Christmas I was in Ko Maak (or Ko Mak), in Suchanaree resort. The place is just ok.I got bungalow 4. No hot water, no sink, toilet has to throw water to flush, no bed, mattress in the floor. fan, mosquito net. THB500/night. There´s a Brit resident there, Garey, very nice, friendly and helpful. the beach is very nice, with coconut trees, soft beige sand,calm warm clear acquamarine water. and you can do a short day trip to Ko Kham, just 10 minutes by boat. check the Ko Maak page here, you can see some of my pics there.

#9 nathantraveler has been a member since 27/1/2009. Posts: 5

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