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-   -   Phuket, Koh Samui or Phi Phi? (https://www.fodors.com/community/asia/phuket-koh-samui-or-phi-phi-695438/)

dthom Apr 9th, 2007 10:45 PM

Phuket, Koh Samui or Phi Phi?
 
Hello! Need some advice please....
My husband and I will be in Southern Thailand between May 1-8th and were wondering wether we should split our time between all 3 beach areas- Phuket, Phi Phi and Koh Samui or spend more time in one specific place since getting from Phuket to Koh Samui doesnt seem easy. Ive read all the boards on the different places and all 3 sound amazing! Were looking at beach areas that might be less crowded with powder sand beaches and clear/calm waters? In addition, if you think that all 3 places are do-able would you have advice on the best ways to get to these places fairly inexpensively?
Thank you so much for any advice!
danielle

Kathie Apr 10th, 2007 07:41 AM

Start by taking a look at the weather patterns at www.weatherbase.com Thailand has two monsoons, so when one side of Thaialnd is rainy the other is dry and vice versa. Use Surat Thani for Samui weather.

You have very little time in Thailand. Do you want to spend all of your time in transit, or do you want some time to relax and enjoy? Choose one beach area if you want to relax and enjoy.

Are you visiting any other part of Thailand? Beach areas give you little taste of the culture,as they are resorts built for foreigners.

JamesA Apr 10th, 2007 09:32 AM

Rainfall stats May to compare with Samui the stats show May 6.9
Phuket that time May 13.7

You can get ferry and bus easily from Samui to Krabi and Phuket, easy and cheap.

From Samui you though easily take a short boat ride to Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, Koh Tao good for all diving, relaxed and laid back after busy Samui. From Koh Tao you can ferry/express bus back to Bangkok for about USD 30.
You can also do it the other way around and perhaps stop at Koh Talu ( different from Koh tao ) which is a small private island so really away from it all but still a/c accommodation, on the way bewteen Koh Tao and bangkok, or you can do the other way around.There are budget airlines to both Krabi and Phuket but 'not' to Samui where it is only Bangkok Airways.

JamesA Apr 10th, 2007 09:33 AM

I was guessing you would be routing in/out of bangkok but if you are coming up from the south ( Malaysa/Singapore) other ideas would come in.

dthom Apr 10th, 2007 09:36 AM

Thanks Kathie! Thank you for writing Ive seen you on the boards and I value your advice! We will be in Bangkok actually April 28-May 2. I have a friend stationed in Bangkok working with Doctors without Boarders who will show us around and I have read all the boards here to make sure to visit many of the cultural spots! The 2nd half of our trip will be enjoying Thailand's beautiful beaches that we have heard so much about, we did want it to be relaxing...
Since we really wanted to see the phi phi islands we were thinking we should just go to Phuket and phi phi but I have seen on the boards the advice of koh samui possibly being dryer this time of year so I am torn on which way to go?

dthom Apr 10th, 2007 09:39 AM

Maybe I should ask- When it rains how bad is it? Raining all day or is it like a Hawaiian tropical rain that comes in and goes away within 15min?

LeighTravelClub Apr 11th, 2007 01:01 PM

Kathie, so often you equate beach with no culture. You are OH so wrong. There are not many more exciting cultural experiences than watching a longtail being built. You certainly wont see that happening in Bangkok and you will for sure see it if you choose the right beach. There are many more, REAL cultural experiences to be had at beach locations in Thailand without being stuck too long in megga smoggy Bangkok. Sit on the beach with the kids playing among the longtails on one side and the grown ups preparing the evening meal on the other, using primitive methods and tools to prepare all the local ingredients before cooking the evening meal!
Beach resorts built for foreigners???? and what is Bangkok!

Yes, dthom, the rain is very much like Hawaiian rain and really,often comes as a welcome relief. Early May, you should be OK.

Phi Phi could be a good choice. More info and video at www.leightravelclub.com

More video going on site soon from our visit in Feb/Mar this year, including a lovely wedding on the beach. (Which will show a beautiful, near deserted, white, sandy, beach)

dthom Apr 11th, 2007 04:51 PM

That is great news! I was bummed thinking i would completely miss Phi phi islands...
So the best way to get from phi phi to koh samui would be by the 6 hr bus?
I was going to fly from BKK to Phuket but the tix are getting expensive if i fly from BKK to Phuket to Koh Samui back to BKK. Any ideas? I saw the bus takes 6 hrs! :) Thank you everyone!

Kathie Apr 11th, 2007 07:02 PM

dthom, I'm glad to hear that you'll have some time in Bangkok as well.

While the rain typically comes in (relatively) brief downpours, when you are getting 12 inches of rain in a month there will also be days when it rains off and on all day. Note that in inclement weather the boat to PhiPhi may be pretty miserable SInce it's low season, you can chance it more on the Phuket PhiPhi side and not book far in advance.

Leigh, I know that PhiPhi is your favorite place, but I can't call it a cultural experience. The beach resorts cater primarily to tourists. If you know that and that is the experience you want, great, but don't think you'll learn a lot about the Thai culture.

"Beach resorts built for foreigners???? and what is Bangkok!" You think Bangkok was built for foreigners? It's the largest city in Thailand - it's like saying that London or New York were built for tourists. It's in the cultural center that you learn about the history, religion, culture of a place. No doubt watching locals catch, cook and prepare their food is interesting and very down-to-earth, but I wouldn't call it a great cultural experience. You and I may simply disagree on what is a cultural experience.

JamesA Apr 12th, 2007 03:23 AM

There are mini vans organised by tour agents that go from Ao Nang to Samui ( road and ferry ) but these are 9-12 seaters, if it is not full then fine, but if full it would be cramped and a bumpy ride. There are the normal express buses from Krabi to Town that are large.
It is so easy to arrange, any hotel/resort/tour shop/counter will give you the options, bus, mini van or a car with driver, what a car+driver costs depends how busy they area, but in low season they are glad of a Samui trip, note much cheaper if you only have the driver take you to the ferry and not take the car across, you can get local transport on arrival on Samui to wherever you are going, easy.
From Phuket the express buses run from Phuket Town, same situation, but from Krabi easier.

dthom Apr 13th, 2007 12:52 AM

Thank you all this is great help! Do you think i should fly into Phuket or Krabi if we would like to make sure to go to phi phi and koh samui mainly?


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