I'm sure this question has been asked but I can't find any answers! Can anyone recommend a nice Island to stay in mid September, We are flying in to Bangkok on 19/9 and going to see Ayuthaya and Sukothai for a few days but I would love to have a few days or more relaxing on a lovely quiet island with beautiful beaches. Every time I look at the weather map I get more confused about where to go!
Any suggestions will be really appreciated.
#1 MineyMoo has been a member since 2/9/2009. Posts: 6
Try one of the quieter beaches on Ko Phangan or Ko Tao.
There's a description of the beaches on both islands in the "islands" bit at the top of the page. There might be a bit of rain but it shouldn't spoil things too much.... just the odd downpour and sun in between.
PS. If you opt for Ko Phangan check there isn't a full moon party around then or if there is one, head somewhere well away from Had Rin!
Both big Chang and little Chang over near Rayong may not be the best choice(s) - they tend to be wetter than most in an average Sept. Phangan, Samui, Tao and near Bankok - Samet are usually the best bet.
I'm a weather nerd - this is my stock anwer on September:
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, prolonged rainy periods not too common. 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 jetsam onto the beach.
The wettest tend to be the eastern Gulf islands (big Ko Chang, Whai, Muk, Kut) + the Ranong islands (little Ko Chang, Phayam).
Thank you both for your replies. Of the southern golf island which one would you say is the best for getting away from the crowds and enjoying the sandy beaches? I don't like the busy party places.
#5 MineyMoo has been a member since 2/9/2009. Posts: 6
Ko Tao would probably be your best bet, somewhere away from Sairee beach which is the main drag where most of the noise and partying is.
You can get to Ko Tao on an overnight sleeper train so the fact it's a greater distance from BKK than big Ko Chang doesn't really matter. You leave BKK on the train at 7.30pm and can be sitting on the beach mid morning next day. You can also get there by overnight bus but I find sleeping on buses more difficult.
You can also fly to Surat Thani with Air Asia... in which case Ko Phangan would be the quickest island to get to. There are some quite quiet beaches there too.
Samet is another possibility, closer to Bangkok and drier maybe, but it's got resorts lining every available inch of beach and is smaller so escaping the crowds is more difficult which is why I didn't suggest it.
Yep, the little bays in the southwest of Tao plus Shark Bay in the east of the south coast plus the east coast bays are real nice.
Plenty of places on Phangan. Ao Khom (Coral Bay), Bottle Beach, Mae Had, Than Sadet and adjacent Thong Reng are just a few.
Any comments about the western (Andaman) islands in this season? We are visiting at the end of the month. Are the rains Blighty-style constant drizzle, tropical short downpours, or something in the middle? Is there any sun at all in the wet season? What about island hopping? How rough are the seas during this time?
#8 thesage has been a member since 27/8/2009. Posts: 11
Thanks everyone for your help,
We've decided on Ko Samui... so if you have any suggestions of quiet, reasonably priced, beach front that a bit lux - not ridiculously so, places to stay please let me know.
Currently considering Lipa Lodge, if anyone knows anything about it please let me know.
#9 MineyMoo has been a member since 2/9/2009. Posts: 6
I thought you said you wanted a lovely quiet island with beautiful beaches MineyMoo?
@thesage... well as you're a Brit you know that weather cannot be predicted very accurately...will it rain at Wimbledon next year? I'll hazard a guess and say the worst of the monsoon should be over by the end of September but don't blame me if I'm wrong!
Rain is usually heavy downpours with sun in between and seas can be rough at times. Don't book anywhere in advance and play it by ear once you're there.
There's a weather map with statistics on this site if you haven't already found it...rummage around at the top of the page in the Thailand bit.
I just posted in a report on TRAVELFIH'S SAMUI Thong Ta Kien page about the beach - should come up when somtam gets a chance to edit.
I also did a user's report on Thongtakian Resort on the ACCOMMODATION page which is also up.
Lovely beach. Samui Yacht Club (no yachts - real quiet bay) is upmarket a bit if you want something more swish than Thongtakian.
I saw the interactive weather map, and it wasn't encouraging. But then again, the stats were for the whole month, and we are arriving at the end of the month. Just spoke to someone in the North now, who told me the rains are light this year.
#12 thesage has been a member since 27/8/2009. Posts: 11
El Nino is for the Pacific.
In the Indian Ocean, there is an equivalent affect called the Indian Ocean Dipole (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Ocean_Dipole).
#14 thesage has been a member since 27/8/2009. Posts: 11
SBE - we were looking at a lovely quite island but as we only have 4 days to relax decided on a closer but not so quite island of Ko Samui! We've been looking at the North West coast as i believe is fairly quite up there.....
#15 MineyMoo has been a member since 2/9/2009. Posts: 6
In that case consider Ko Samet as well. It's reputedly the driest island in Thailand and it's nearer Bangkok than Samui. If you only have 4 days it's probably your best choice, especially if you're not going at the weekend when it tends to be busier with people going there from Bangkok.
There are frequent buses to Ban Phe leaving Ekkamai (one every hour if I remember right) and then you can get a speedboat over to Samet that takes about 10 minutes. It can drop you directly at your hotel. Maybe Tubtim Resort would suit you... it's not on busiest beaches and September is low season so it should be fairly quiet.