Nice, Safe Place Koh Samui / Koh Tao

Nov 22nd, 2005, 09:50 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 9
Nice, Safe Place Koh Samui / Koh Tao

Any suggestions what beaches/areas are best/worst on Koh Samui/Koh Tao?

There's too much choice out there to not get lost.. I feel like a headless chicken looking

Posts mostly talk about which island but not which area on the suggested island.
Does this mean its nice anywhere on those islands?

I'm after:
Nice clean beach/water, easy life (food etc), some nightlife maybe but not too
many wild parties late night.. I.e. a relaxing, safe place more than anything..

Looks like places are sorted by beaches so
any suggested for good ones to narrow down my search?
saschas is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 01:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,751
Koh Tao and Koh Samui are totaly different. Koh Samui is large busy and lively island with lots of restaurants, nightlife etc, Koh Tao is much much smaller and although previously a backpacker place it became popular with divers and is now a main dive island, a few nice places to stay but no nightlife such as you would find on Samui, it's a quiet place maninly for diving though it attracts those who also just want relaxation.

On Samui Chaweng is busy beach area, nightlife, restaurants and shopping, Lamai is quieter, Bophut quieter but easy acces to Chaweng, other quieter such as Maenam.

Bophut or Lamai sound what you are after, try or just give us an idea of whether you want large resort, small boutique style, luxury spa type and rough budget.

If you want to dive/snorkel of course you could do a few days on Koh Tao and then hop over to Samui by boat or vv.
JamesA is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 01:36 PM
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Excellent - thanks for the info James.
saschas is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 02:09 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Ooops - did I send my reply off already?
I was nowhere close to done...

OK I just typed all the blow and realise I seem to have had the need to "get it all off my chest"...
Sorry for rambling on like this, I promise I will get better (shorter) as I get more used to this..

Meant to say I'm completely new to the backpacking but want to trip down from BKK to some islands, stay for few weeks before travel north thailand (1st part of RTW). JamesA you suggested elsewhere to take the high speed catamarans to get to the islands. Sounds fund so i try to organise this.

Looking at the link you provided it seems like I could do a few stops on the way to Samui but a lot to plan for this.. feel like running out of time..

New to backpacking i think maybe take it easy, start slowly.. travel a bit, relax at beach, travel more.. get used to it...

So maybe best just pick one place stay there for week or two then move on.. Samui seemed good idea maybe. Like Diving.. PADI course on my list sometime while in thailand. Hence Tao unless its for pro divers only...

Fears.. Well new to travelling alone.. Prefer to know where I will stay at least initially rather than just "arrive" esp. around xmas/nyear. peace of mind u know;-) So I'm planning xmas/new year for island if I find place to stay;-)

Also after North Thai travel thinking about a week or so on Koh Chang (planned to do padi there but why not right away when I arrive in Dec on Samui/Tao). Then on to Camb. & vietnam

Will be in Thai/Camb/Viet til end March so time to explore and "get used to" travelling ;-)

So JamesA thanks again for tip island on locations.

Think Koh Tao as 1st stop for dive course and then on to samui OR maybe
fly to samui, get used to sun;-) then boat to koh tao for padi etc.. and onwards to BKK and up north.. i.e. reverse trip of your suggestion JamesA.

All depends on accomodation of course.
I want to minimise cost but don't like bugs all that much, some cleanish bathroom would be nice and beach & food nearby maybe ;-) Naively I hope £20-£30 max per day for acomodation on islands buy really I want to try cheaper if possible without need to stay under the stars or in some dirty hut sharing with 1000 mossis ;-)

And of course being new to backpacking I do worry a bit about safety in general.. you know.. culture shock and all coming to SE Asia from Europe (Have been to Asia a few short times so kinda know what to expect.. touts and all but still dont feel all that comfortable about walking around on my own as I do at home.. who would I guess ;-)

My... who cares about all this I'm rambling on and waste readers times;-)
Sorry! Clearly there's lots going on in my mind preparing for that RTW trip.. *blush*

saschas is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 02:39 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,751
If you want to beach hop down to Koh Tao / Samui you can follow the main highway ( bus ) or rail, but buses are easiest, air con, cheap.

This gives you distance and places to stop along the way

Around Christmas/New Year your budget is tight. An absolute bargain on Samui is Moonhut, B 1,000 ( USD 25 a night )

Buses as a ball-park think of B 180 for a 3 hr 180 km trip, B 100 for a 2 hr 100 km trip. Cheap and fast.

JamesA is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 02:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,751
Just realised if you think of maximum 1 baht a km that gives a very good guide to the express air-con bus fares.

Personaly I feel far far safer in Asia than I would in Europe, honestly you have little to worry about as long as you use common sense. If you ever feel a bit lonely you can always 'latch on to a couple/family'. Just make sure you know where you are going and plan ahead and it's easy!
JamesA is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2005, 05:33 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 888
Hi Saschas - we backpacked extensively around SE Asia when we were younger. Thailand is a great place to start off.

As regards where to stay in Ko Tao, I would take a look at Chalok Baan Kao. Here you will find relaxed beach bars and a nice beach, lots of dive shops, lots of divers and other people who are on longer travelling trips as you are. Sairee is a bigger beach and another good alternative. On both beaches you will meet lots of people and there is some nightlife.

On your way to/from Ko Tao to Ko Samui, you could stop at Ko Pha Ngan and visit Thong Nai Pan Noi. The most beautiful beach! Lovely relaxed atmosphere - take a look at a placed called Baan Panburi or New Star or Star huts.

Samui is quite expensive for the backpacker but I am not sure what you budget is? But there are some more reasonably priced places around - best value will be on Bophut or Maenam I think.

If you are on a budget, many of the cheaper huts/resorts on these islands don't take bookings in advance (although this is changing with the internet). Lonely Planet Thorn Tree and Boots n All forums are good places for budget accommodation recommendations.
Bella_Bluebell is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2005, 05:38 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 888
oops - sorry have realised that you have put down a budget! I think that if you are willing to stay in a fan room (we always did when on a budget and backpacking), you will be able to get accommodation for less than £20- £30 per night. On Ko Tao if you are on a PADI course, the accommodation is often reduced cost, about £5-8 per night. In Ko Pha Ngan you should be able to get accommodation for about the same. In Ko Samui, I think you are looking to pay more like the £20 to £30 you have earmarked.

Re. the mossies, most places have mosquito nets but I always took my own as sometimes there are little holes in the ones in the rooms. Also, the ones you buy in the UK are impregnated with DEET to ward the horrid things off. I would also always carry a large sarong with me when staying in cheaper accommodation and use that as my sheet.

Bella_Bluebell is offline  

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