I arrive in Bangkok on the 4th April and want to use my 30 day visa to spend time around the beaches of Thailand and surrounding islands.
I've not heard great things about Puckett and wanted some advice on the best backpacker areas to chill out.
I'm doing the North of Thailand at a later date.
All advice welcome.
I also can't say good things about Phuket. It was pretty much my least favorite place I've ever been in Thailand. I haven't been yet, but I suspect Pattaya would be even worse.
If you are looking for a backpacker Island, that would be Koh Phangnan. Its famous for full moon parties but also has some really chilled beaches in the North. North of Koh Phangnan is Koh Tao which is famous for cheap diving and another chilled area for backpackers. On the west coast, just south of Phuket is Koh Lanta, which was my favorite Island on my last visit. It's not as beautiful as some of the other beaches, and there isn't a whole lot to do. But that's the point. Days revolve around lazing in a hammock and watching the sunset with a nice cold beer. Its also so one of the cheapest islands so tends to attacks a low key backpacker scene. On the west coast mainland is Krabi, a very beautiful area that also remains a little cheaper than some of the islands and attracts a nice mix of people.
Koh Tao was my favourite....a really small but beautiful island. On the island itself theres not a huge deal to do bar sunbathe and eat banana pancakes (which is very good!) but many snorkelling/diving excursions can be arranged from here which are well worth doing. One included a stopover in shark bay, a lagoon and a beautiful private island. Koh Samui is also great fun, huge backpacking scene. Chewang beach defo worth a visit, great food, the 'All Star' lady boys club and night entertainment on the beaches.
I am going to vote you try the Krabi area. Railay Beach is postcard pretty. You can stay if your budget allows or day trip it. Plenty of other beach options closeby. Koh Jum & Koh Lanta are only a ferry ride away. As is Phi Phi. Koh Poda is off Ao Nang and pretty laid back. You can also go island hopping off of Railay Beach or from Krabi town. Many uninhabited islands in this area. This is something you would do with others that wanted to spend the day on the water.
Good luck with your planning.
Hi Kate X,
You have wonderful Koh Samui -snip- island beaches surrounding Bangkok...
Most travellers to the island come from Europe and wonder how to get to the island. Arrival in Bangkok is usually the first point of the journey. From that point it is just a matter of how quickly you want to get to Samui and what budget you have.
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]