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Thai Islands - Phuket, Krabi, Samui, Koh Lanta?

Thai Islands - Phuket, Krabi, Samui, Koh Lanta?

Old Nov 10th, 2021, 10:07 PM
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Thai Islands - Phuket, Krabi, Samui, Koh Lanta?

My wife and I have 10 days (including travel days) carved out for the Thai Islands in late January. We've never been and can't decide where to stay and more important...where to go and in what order! We're not hikers or nature people really...although we love a good view with drinks Name:  smile.gif
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Size:  93 Bytes We like walking around towns or villages or markets, shopping, shows, drinks, attractions, etc. And of course this is all woven around time at the pool or beach. We could use some help with hotels, but first we could use some help nailing down the itinerary.

I've heard Phuket can be overwhelming or crowded or super touristy and that Koh Samui might be a "better" experience. But we definitely want to see Phuket and I'm worried we may be wasting time taking flights from one area to the other. Plus we want to see other areas like Krabi or Koh Lanta. I'm guessing there are parts of Phuket that are not over-touristy or that are just as pretty as Koh Samui?? (by the way, we don't have a huge problem with touristy either, we just want things to be, er, nice?) Forgive me if it sounds like I'm clueless, but I've never been.

If Phuket can be just as nice as Koh Samui, we would probably get way more mileage out of all the nearby destinations like Krabi or Koh Lanta. So I guess the question is, do we anchor in Phuket (if there is somewhere that offers pretty scenery along with all the stuff to do) and then try and spend a couple nights in Krabi or Koh Lanta? Or do we go to Koh Samui then fly into Phuket with a pit stop somewhere like Krabi or Koh Lanta (which seems like a lot to squeeze in). On another note, I hear Krabi and Koh Lanta can be quiet but that's probably okay if we are only spending a couple nights, right? I hear there's stuff to do at night in Ao Nang? Not sure about Koh Lanta, but the Pimalai Resort looks nice. And probably a nice contrast to Phuket? I don't think we want to spend a night in Phi Phi because I hear there's not much over there and am thinking we can stop by for a look-see on our transfer to Krabi or Koh Lanta if we rent a private boat.

And now for the hotels...we are looking at the Surin (beach villa) or TriSara in Phuket. The Surin looks like it's close to various popular beaches and attractions but the rooms don't look as nice as TriSara. But TriSara feels like it's further away from everything (I could be totally off base here!) The Amanpuri looks great but my wife's thinks it feels stodgy. Keemala looks great but no beach. If we go to Krabi, then the Ritz Carlton looks ok, but no beach. Rayaveedee looks nice but I hear it's totally isolated so not sure how we go into town at night. If Koh Lanta, the Pimalai? And if we do Koh Samui then maybe the Belmond or Banyan Tree? Thanks again for any insight on any of the above!

Last edited by FullMix; Nov 10th, 2021 at 10:14 PM.
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Old Nov 14th, 2021, 11:03 AM
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It is quite a few years since I have visited any of the Thai islands. The main reason was that they were all becoming way over touristed. The worst of them, IMO, was Koh Samui which, when I last visited, had turned into a party island. Phuket seemed to be going in a different directions, i.e. more upmarket.

For a good, unbiased synopsis on Thai islands, I would suggest you have a look @ https://www.travelfish.org/location/...thani/ko_samui you may have to subscribe to view teh full sites.

IME Phuket is probably easier in terms of travel logisitics as there are multiple options for flights there ( even train if feeling adventurous). Koh Samui less so as Bangkok airways has a monopoly on flights there. Also, Phuket is better for getting to Koh Lanta and Krabi and also Khao Lak, another option perhaps. Koh Samui is off the Gulf coast where as Phuket is off the Andaman coast. The two coasts experience different weather patterns so January could arguably see better weather on the Andaman coast.
All the hotels you mention are great. (Aman hotels are in a different league of course! ) . Other to consider might be Six Senses & Anantara. Proximity to towns, shopping bars and restaurants Do not always go hand in hand with luxury beach resorts which tend towards the self sufficient/ isolated.
For me at least, the hotel itself would be the primary consideration. I have stayed in various Six Sense and Anantaras and all have been great. Probably the most memorable beach hotel we have ever stayed at was The Datai just down the Andaman Coast but in Malaysia, not Thailand. Could be worth a look if you haven’t booked flights and it has just opened up post covid..
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Old Nov 21st, 2021, 11:01 PM
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Judging by your OP, I think it would be safe to give Samui a miss. All the destunstions are of the sun sea sand variety and Phuket has the widest range and in parts is the most urban..
There are great resorts on Samui but you'd be getting a similar experience.
Koh Lanta is a much less developed place.
Sa.uis wettest time is from the end of October till the new year. Phuket will be dryer in Jan.
I'm not sure what tourist numbers will be by then...or how the industry will have recovered. This might affect some facilities offered.
I think numbers will still be well below 2018/19 levels.
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Old Dec 12th, 2021, 05:06 AM
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Koh Lanta less developed than koh Samui.
late jan, time of your travel is in your favor as both koh Samui and koh Lanta has the same weather. If you're going to be in krabi or Phuket than it make sense and easy to get to koh Lanta. However if you're going to be in krabi, fly from Bangkok to krabi I assume Ao nang beach then you can split your krabi time/week by perhaps 3 nights in Ao Nang and then 2 nights in koh Lanta. You then can fly from krabi to koh Samui direct with Bangkok airways.
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