Me and my friend are due to go Thailand in January. We are doing a 3 day diving course in Koa Toa and then have 6 days to go and see some other islands. We are going to Ko Samui and have thought about flying from there to Phuket after spending a couple of days on Samui. It only takes 50mins by air and seeing as we dont have time on our side we thought this would be the best way. Has anyone took the bus/train instead? If so how long did it take?
Also we are thinking of missing out Ko Phangnan after going Samui as there looks like there is more to do in Phuket.
We are unsure if we should try and fit a lot of islands in, in such a small space of time or would anyone recommend seeing a few in the 6 days we have!?!
Any advice would be great!
I haven't been to thailand yet but am planning on going in April. I have heard samui can be quite overrun with tourists & is a bit spoiled. What kind of islands are you looking for, and were did you book your diving? I would like to do this and have heard the islands are great for this. Have you booked any domestic flights within thailand yet?
[ Edit: Edited at Oct 13, 2006 3:05 AM by clarife ]
There are a few islands that do the diving course. Apparently Ko Toa is one of the best. I went on to the Padi website and it brought up where they teach over Thailand so I just booked through them. I think its with Planet Scuba. They are arranging for the transport from Bangkok to Ko Tao so its pretty good. In the price you get accomodation and the diving course.
And nope, we havent booked any domestic flights as yet.
The island of Ko Tao is one of the best for diving in Thailand
(I went there). I heard that Ko Phi Phi was good too, allhough i am not sure what it is like now, since the island is on the side where the tsunami of 2004 arrived.
From Ko Tao to Bangkok by train, you should count one whole night. I would think it is about the same to Phuket....
I don't know much about Phuket, butfrom what I heard I have the feeling that Phangan might be less spoiled than phuket... Or it might be just a missconception....
Ko Tao is amazing! Easily the best of the islands I went to, really chilled out with amzing marine life and everywhere is easy to get to (the roads are amzing though so be careful if hiring scooters - especially as any accidents are extremely expensive to sort out). If you are looking for a big night out Ko Tao is not the place though, far too much of a relaxed attitude, much more likely to drink reclining on the beach than larging it in a club!
Not sure if your visit coincides with one but check out a full/half moon party on Ko Phangnan if you can, completely insane as you with either be partying in the jungle (half moon) or at the biggest beach party you will have ever seen (full moon). Not much else to see Phangnan (except the electricity pylons that you can hear electricity crackling off and see the sparks - defininately surreal after a heavy nights partying!)
If it were me, i would just visit one island, or 2 at the most, with only 6 days.
Choose either Ko Samui and/or Ko Phangnan or else Ko Phuket. Not all of them. They will still be there, if u visit Thailand, again. No need to hurry.
Going by bus or train, to Ko Phuket from Ko Samui would be a lengthy ordeal. U would also have to take long boat trips. Not suitable, when u only have 6 days.
i'd rather go diving around koh phi phi or koh lanta actually. in koh tao since theres so much diving going on, dive sites tend to get overcrowded. theres big competition in phi phi too but still far from koh tao.
i did my advanced diver there in jan06 and it was just awesome.
sure, the tsunami destroyed a lot around the island but its probably not as bad as you might think.
if you wanna go to phuket, give the major beaches a miss! room rates are enormous and so is everything else. signs are usually in english and GERMAN(!). try phuket town instead- its much more of a relaxed spot with nice and old houses and room rates are about the ones in bangkok. if you wanna go to the beaches, you can still find a couple of unspoilt ones- especially in the northern part of the island- but be aware that the northern tip is a wildlife sanctuary.
hope that helps
With 6 days i would recommend, that u stick to one or 2 islands.
Otherwise, u will spend a lot of your time on boats and busses.
The boat to the mainland, from Ko Samui takes 2 to 2.5 hours. The night ferry takes 6 hours.
Air conditioned bus to Phuket, from the mainland(after u get off the boat, from Ko Samui), takes 5 to 6 hours.
As far as i know, there is no train connection, in this direction.
Koh Tao is amazing. I did my diving training there. but what you need to know is two thing that you may not be calculating with your short stay.
1) diving is a lot of fun, but it is also exhausting, so you may want to just take one day after and enjoy the gorgeous beaches for a day after.
2) if you are flying anywhere keep in mind that you shouldn't fly for 24 hours after diving.
Phuket is a little more expensive than the samui/phangan islands. I agree with what the others have written also limit your self to like 2 islands.Apart from that every island is beautiful.
HAve a blast, just remember to relax and enjoy. It is very easy to modify your plans once you get there. I would say start in Koh Tao and see where your headspace takes you.
Phuket and Samui are zoos!!! Kinda like little island versions of Bangkok. But maybe that's what you're looking for... Personally, I loved Phangan and on the west coast Railay in Krabi province (there's an airport there you can fly to from Samui, then it's a 45 minute ride to Ao Nang, and another 20 minues by longtail. I think you can also get to Railay by longtail from Krabi Town too). Both of those places were more laid back, but there was action around for when you want it.