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Single Traveler in Thailand: Krabi or Koh Samui?

Single Traveler in Thailand: Krabi or Koh Samui?

Old Nov 13th, 2011, 07:04 PM
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Single Traveler in Thailand: Krabi or Koh Samui?

I'm a 27-year-old guy traveling to Thailand alone for twelve days in January. I'm starting in Bangkok and ending in Phuket, but I wanted to stop at one other location on the way, most importantly where there are other single travelers/backpackers.

It looks to me like either Koh Samui or Krabi would be good for single travelers, but I can only pick one. Which one is it? I've heard Koh Samui is more resort-oriented than Krabi, and I've heard Krabi is less developed than Koh Samui. Can someone help make sense of the two places?

As a side note, I'm looking for lodging at whichever one I stay at - a single room, relatively inexpensive, at some sort of guest house/B&B.
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Old Nov 13th, 2011, 09:30 PM
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Hi Joel,

There is FAR more nightlife in Samui and that tends to attract more travellers in your age group, but you will also get plenty of that in Phuket.

Railay (Krabi)is beautiful and very "chilled-out" with a nice beach bar vibe on the east side and a great beach on the west. It is a narrow penninsula that you can only access by boat and never really feels too crowded. It is small enough to walk from east to west in a few minutes and the accommadation on the non beach side is very affordable.

Ao Nang is a nice place, which has attractive scenery but it's beach is really just a launching point to Railay and the Island as it has grainy sand and the waters edge is quite silty. I liked our time there, as a family, but it would not be a great choice for a 27 year old single IMHO.

Samui can be whatever you want it to be but the nicer, bigger beaches are very busy and commercialized with multiple fast food chains and thousands of Indian Tailors. There are still places where you can escape all that, like Chaweng Noi or Choengmon, but then you also need to commute in to the better night spots. You will find cheaper beachfront places in Lamai and it still has enough nightlife. Koh Phangan is another option and its where the backpackers are now heading as Samui gets more pricy.

If I was in your situation, I would possibly skip Phuket and do a combination of Samui/Phangan for a bit of craziness and Railay for a more relaxed vibe. There are not many backpackers in Phuket these days as it is the most expensive destination in Thailand.
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Old Nov 14th, 2011, 05:51 AM
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Thanks, you confirmed it - I'm going to Koh Samui! I'll decide if/how long I'll spend on Koh Phanang later. I'm ending my trip in Phuket regardless, so if what you say is true I'll only spend a couple days there.

Would it be easy to buy a ticket from Koh Samui to Phuket once I'm already there? Maybe I could feel it out once I arrive, then decide how long I'll stay. I'll be there at the height of tourist season, so I'm not sure if everything will be booked or not.
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Old Nov 14th, 2011, 06:04 AM
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Koh Samui is expensive to get to/from. Bangkok Air built and owned the airport there, so flight prices were very high. Thai Air also now flies there, but the prices have remained high. The budget alternative is getting to Surat Thai and taking a ferry. And the flight between Phuket and Koh Samui is pricey.

You might want to consider choosing just one beach location and getting some time to relax and get to know the place.

While Phuket has some very expensive places to stay, it still has backpacker-type places as well.
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Old Nov 14th, 2011, 07:02 AM
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i think you might find krabi cheaper, certainly to fly there.
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Old Nov 15th, 2011, 04:56 PM
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I heard about the air prices, but the ticket wasn't outrageous (I paid $114 one way from Bangkok). I booked a ticket with Bangkok Air on a Tuesday morning, and the following Thursday I'm flying from Phuket to Bangkok.

What I do between my arrival in Koh Samui on Tuesday and my departure from Phuket nine days later is still up in the air...
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