My boyfriend and I have 2-3 weeks (depending on how much time we can get off from work), and we've decided we want to go to the islands Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangang. We haven't really done any travelling by ourselves, so we are wondering if it would be best to do some sort of pre arranged tour, or if it's easy enough (very easy!) to just turn up and try and work it out by ourselves.
We've looked into a tour and it looks like we can do those islands in about 7 days, and someone told me Koh Semet is a good place to go. Can you get from Koh Phangang or any of those 3 islands to Koh Semet, or would we need to go back to Bangkok first? In which case, would it be better to just fly from Koh Samui to somewhere like Krabi and spend a few days there? Or, would it be best to just have longer on the first three islands? So many things to think about! We're planning on going late November, if that affects any decisions
You can get from Phangan to Samui and Tao by ferry pretty easily I hear. I am not familiar with travel to Semet. If you need to fly back to Bangkok for any reason .. you might want to leave from Samui. It's about 2 hours from Phangan to Surat Thani then you would be on a bus to Krabi... basically this is an all day travel 6+ hours.
I don't know what you mean by "turn up". Is that going without any reservations? You should keep in mind dates for Full moon/half moon/black moon parties on Phangan. During these times most accommodations require a certain length of stay, and there will be many backpackers and loud party noise near Had Rin .. if that is NOT your thing.
There are many websites which show a map of Koh Samet and where ferries come from. I think they only come from the mainland (Rayong). I believe you would have to fly back to Bangkok from Samui and then take a bus to Rayong. A lot of travel time.
Personally, if I had additional time to KS,KP & KT, I would fly to Krabi and stay at Ao Nang (longboat around to Railay beach). You can also do a 1 day tour to Koh Phi Phi from here.
If your visiting Koh Phangan during a full moon party then as suggested DEFINATELY have your accom. booked in advance. Suggest a look at travelfish.com
I travel to Thailand each year during low season and no need to prebook. However, late November I'd probably want to have a reservation at the place I want to stay at.
Good luck with your planning.