first trip to asia...going solo. 33 year old male.
would like to visit some of more scenic beach areas for good sea kayaking, snorkeling, and play...and of course would like to meet and travel with other people.
for this time of year...suggestions? islands? beaches? not completely against certain touristy areas i suppse...where ever is going to lead to to meet people and have a good time.
4 weeks will probably be the max time.
I would go to the Krabi area. There are hundreds of islands off shore, many uninhabited. Several outfits sea kayak in this area and it is the prettiest part of Thailand(IMHO). Use google and type in 'krabi sea kayaking'. Phuket is close by for some wild nightlife if you need a break from paddling! Best of both worlds.
During that time you can go any beach or island in Thailand...everywhere will be good weather (very hot).
Here are the list of islands you may consider as your destination:
Thai Gulf side:
1. Koh Samui (Koh means Island)
2. Koh Pha-ngan
3. Koh Tao-Nang Yuan
5. Koh Phi Phi - Ao Nang
6. Koh Lanta
7. Koh Tarutao
8. Koh Lipe
9. Koh Ngai
15.Koh Mun nok (package only)
2. Hua Hin
Visit this site, I always use it for my own trips.
April-May is the start of the rainy season. You needn't let it stop you, you'll probably still have a great time. As long as you are prepared for some crazy hot humidity and heaps of rain!
If you want to do diving and/or snorkelling, the visibility isn't quite as good in the rainy season.
I totally agree about Krabi. It was really beautiful! There's plenty to see and do in that area to keep you really busy, and you'll meet a lot of really fun people. If you're interested in climbing there's some world class climbing in Krabi, from beginner to crazy advanced. I stayed in Ao Nang and loved it. Super convenient for shopping, eating, and booking tours.
If you do end up going for a little longer you might want to check out the hill country in the north. My friends did a 3-day trek in Chiang Mai for something like $60 US, and it was really cool. Flights/buses to Chiang Mai are frequent and inexpensive.
-In Bangkok when you get into the cab don't try to negotiate fares, just tell them "on the meter," much cheaper.
-If you've got the cash, fly to Krabi. Overnight buses are not that comfy. The trip there was painfully long b/c we stopped in Surat Thani and transferred to a local bus, but the trip back to Bangkok wasn't that bad b/c it was direct.
-Learn some Thai phrases because it makes people laugh and sometimes gets you a better price. (pang bai=that's expensive, mai ow=I don't need it, aroi=delicious)
-Don't book your hotels beforehand, just walk around the town and find a travel agent you like when you get there and ask them to help you find a nice place in your price range. They'll give you good advice because they want your return business.
-Talk to other people travelling alone and invite them to go with you on tours. They've usually got some interesting stories and advice.
You're going to have so much fun! Thailand is really incredible.
Yes I'd go for krabi too! Recently stayed in Railay & it is good for snorkeling, diving, climbing, swimming kyacking etc. The scenery is stunning too! East Railay beach is the cheaper place, but it's a bit of a dump, luckily the other beautiful beaches are a short walk away.
Get a cheap flight with airasia which go to Phuket & Krabi. Fly12go fly to Phuket & you can get a boat to Krabi. But I think during the rainy season there maybe problems with boats as the sea can get quite rough.
Thailand has to be the best country for beaches IMO! Have fun!
Krabi is definitely a good advice; if you are more for lively beach scene, try Phi Phi (more info at: http://phi-phi.com); if you are more for quiet evenings on the beach, I would rather recommend Koh Lanta.
Beware of some rain and high wave during that time... but mostly it's fine!
Mid April to Mid May .Is really still in the high season on the west coast .Rain dosnt really kick untill end of May ,even liveaboards are still operating till June or Mid June to the Similans.If your looking at diving the best place to be based is Phi Phi island .This has far better sites than Koh Tao ,which is really just a sausage factory for churning out cheap courses.Diving on Phi Phi is cheaper than Ao nang & Phuket ,which dont really have local sites of there own & its still Whale Shark season so you never know your luck .Best to dive with a 5 star IDC center though they have to keep up certain standards with Padi.The only active ones on Phi Phi are Barakuda Diving & Mosquito
Barakuda Diving (http://barakuda.com) is a very reputable company on Phi Phi; other companies I would recommend for diving on the Phi Phi Islands would be the Phi Phi Scuba Diving Center (http://ppscuba.com).