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South east asia Islands

Travel Forums Asia South east asia Islands

1. Posted by rbrettg (Budding Member 37 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Comparing the islands and beaches between Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia (Bali in particular), and the Philippines, what are the pros and cons of each one? Scenery, fun, prices, entertainment, things to do, diving, etc?

2. Posted by pau_p1 (Respected Member 216 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

it's quite hard to compare but I can only speak for the Philippines... the Philippines has beautiful beaches and dive sites in Boracay (famed for its sugary soft white beach), El Nido and Coron in Palawan, Panglao in Bohol, Anilao in Batangas, Pagudpod of Ilocos Norte, the Tubbataha Reef which is noted to be inhabited by a great number marine species, and Puerto Galera..

the Philippines is generally cheap and may offer other parks like the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, the Chocolate Hills, Banaue Rice Terraces, etc.. it offers culture and history that range from the historic town of Vigan and the walled city of Intramuros...

3. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru 823 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

I can't compare too many countries, only Malaysia and Thailand, but since Thailand has so many Islands and beaches, I thought it might be helpful to compare some of them. My thoughts on the ones I've visited:

Phuket: Busy, expensive, generally older package holiday type visitors, sex tourism.....very few pros in my books except for the fact that if you are looking for any sort of Island/beach activity, you can probably find it on Phuket.

Phi Phi: First visit, pre-tsunami, in the low season - very beautiful, laid back yet with lots going on, nice beaches and all around great place. Second visit, post-tsunami, during Christmas - more expensive, and in my books waaayyy past capacity for the size of it. I couldn't believe how many people were cramped unto the main beach. But lots of boat trips/diving/snorkelling related activities to do, and if you are looking to party, that can arranged on Phi Phi.

Krabi: It's been a couple years now since my last visit, but I've enjoyed it both times I've been there. It has all the fantastic scenery of Phi Phi, only it's cheaper, quieter, and since it's on the mainland, it's a bit easier to get to (not that the Islands are difficult to get to).

Lanta: Quiet, still very cheap (maybe the cheapest), laid back etc... I visited Lanta back in 2003 and again this Christmas and it's hardly changed. Its still THE place to go if you just want to chill out. While it doesn't have the party scene that some of the other islands do, there's still enough options for bars and restaurants and things to do to keep you having a good time. The only one con to Lanta in my books is that while the scenery is nice, it has nothing on Phi Phi and some other places for beauty.

Samui: My experience here is pretty brief, only a few day in the rain, but it's basically it's become Phuket's little cousin. Here you can find anything you want to entertain yourself and the beaches are nice. But with that you get all the things that are cons to some, pros to others - mainly lots of people, and higher prices.

Phagnan: This is THE young 20-something backpacker party haven. If you want to have a good drunken time and dance the night away on the beach, this is the place to go. I was there in 2002, 3, and 8 and while it was once a cheapy island, I've noticed a growth in the amount of better-than-budget accomodation options and general prices seem to be creeping up. But there are still lots of budget options available. A pro as well is that once you leave the main party beach (Hat Rinn) you find nice quiet, beautiful, and relatively cheap beaches. So it's a great place if you want to relax, yet party when you want to party.

Tao: Its been a few years since I've been here too, but generally its the place to go if you want cheap diving. I would describe it as a smaller quieter version of Phagnan with the same young crowd but who want to relax and dive rather than party. I think it's a really great Island, and when I was there at least, it was one of the cheaper islands.

Perhentian Kecil (Malaysia): Very very beautiful island. Long beach is really nice with the clearest water I've ever swam in - like a swimming pool. Lots of snorkeling to be done here. I've gone to this Island a couple times and loved it both times. It's a great place to relax. One thing that is a con for alot of people is that since its a fairly conservative Muslim community, alcohol is not allowed. Of course you can still get it, but it's expensive and the nightlife is pretty much non existent.