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Early stages of planning...

London, United...
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Early stages of planning...
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Firstly, thanks for reading yet another 'help me' message. I'm grateful...

After several (perfectly fine) Bangkok-then-Phuket 10/14 day experiences, I'm trying to mix it up a little for the next trip.

We're thinking 14 nights in total (plus travel from London), half/half split between Ko Samui and Kao Lak. Haven't quite worked out which bit first, but KS > KL seems the obvious-is choice without anything more than a few hour transfer at BKK on the way out.

We're a 40/50-something, non-clubby, gay couple very much into our Thai food. I like Airbnb, he likes hotels.

A few questions, please:

- right split between the two places

- if Airbnb, Bophut for good access to restos? (looks quite hilly, so a car might be necessary - he hates mopeds)

- how to get to KL. We'll prob head from there to BKK for a night before the schlepp home

Thanks very much for any insight/advice or ideas.

Taling Ngam...
Level Contributor
6 288 posts
87 reviews
35 helpful votes
1. Re: Early stages of planning...
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It would be better to say when you guys are planning on coming, mostly because the west coast and the gulf coasts have different season when it comes to weather.

With only two weeks, I would stick to one coast and if say the Gulf side perhaps consider Koh Phangan and or Koh Toa.

As for Bophut, being hilly, it really depends on what area you stay in, as Bophut includes Chawang areas most of which is fairly flat although there are some hilly areas.

You could perhaps rent a car and perhaps look at KL being a drop off point, driving across to the west coast is a heck of a lot easier than driving in Chaweng! Stopping in Khao Sok can be interesting, but it depends when!

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2. Re: Early stages of planning...
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When and weather aside....you've been to one touristy island, why bother going to 3 more touristy islands, and on the Gulf side, not as nice as the Andaman sea side.

KL is a good idea, as easy and inexpensive into Phuket, and instead of another island, maybe hop over to Khao Sok are and Cheow Lan Lake. Take a peek at that.

Or if coming during rainy / 'GREEN' season, then best time to explore the north, Chiang Mai, and the lovely mountain vista, in crisp clear skies, and no worries of smog for slash & burn. Chiang Mai out of Phuket having non-stops, so not time wasted conx thru Bangkok from Gulf locations.

Unless you want to do the same same, not really different. Diverse country, spice it up a bit. KL if need some beach time, then nature, lakes and or mountains.....a bit of diversity. More research for you....the fun part.

ENJOY

Norfolk, United...
Destination Expert
for Chaweng, Ko Samui
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3. Re: Early stages of planning...
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Hi

- right split between the two places

A] depends very much on the time of year. Personally I would not head from one side of Thailand to the other,why not try one of the other islands near Samui, or the mainland at Khanom? When the sea and weather are great on Samui [March to October] the sea is rough in Khao Lak and there is more chance of rain there too [October to March, and vice versa. The islands / Mainland away from Samui are easy to get to by ferry.

- if Airbnb, Bophut for good access to restos? (looks quite hilly, so a car might be necessary - he hates mopeds)

A] Restos? Restaurants perhaps - I am not a youngster into urban slang as a good few years older than you - sorry. Bophut is a large district area [think local council area], which includes Chaweng, Choeng Mon etc. Bophut the beach is a gritty beach with limited restaurants and bars, but is popular with those that just like to chillax and be in bed by 10. Depending on where you stay you will need a car etc unless you stay in one of the hotels along the front at Bophut Beach, and there are some nice apartments and small hotels there.

- how to get to KL. We'll prob head from there to BKK for a night before the schlepp home

A] Its not an easy one . . .you can fly to Phuket then get a car to take you up to Khao Lak. Or you will need to get a ferry to the mainland and then get from the ferry port [which depends on which ferry company] across the Ismis to Khao Lak - will take all day if you get the early ferry - Lomprayah do a combo deal I think, but you might have to get your own transport from Phuket if they don't offer transfer to Khao Lak. One way rental is an option but can work out expensive if you do it for under xx number of days. Khao Lak is very quiet - I'm not a fan, as its a long thing place spread out with not much going on,so a car might be essential there - you would then take it back to Phuket airport for a flight back to BKK.

Hobart, Australia
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81 reviews
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4. Re: Early stages of planning...
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One of the issues with Airbnb/private villas on Samui is that they are more often than not away from the beach and from areas with concentrations of bars and restaurants. Not all though, there are some in the Bangrak area that are nice. But on the whole, the restaurants dominate the land around beaches. You could get something away from the beach and tourist areas and use grab instead of scooters to get around although that is of course more expensive.

You might instead look at a resort that has more private villas instead of rooms as a compromise? Where you are within walking distance of restaurants?

London, United...
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5. Re: Early stages of planning...
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Thanks all for the very helpful responses. The benefit of Tripadvisor very evident in these situations. I'll map this out and come back with more questions.

Thanks again.

London, United...
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2 041 posts
379 reviews
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6. Re: Early stages of planning...
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I should have said, we're there early January, perhaps 5/6th, just after the majority of tourists' kids have gone back to school (cheaper airfares, and quieter!).

The split idea came from 1) a friend at work who raves about Samui and 2) a Thai friend who doesn't, but says KT is a must.

Thanks again.

Taling Ngam...
Level Contributor
6 288 posts
87 reviews
35 helpful votes
7. Re: Early stages of planning...
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January to March is usually good weather too... only areas I would avoid is most of the east coast areas if you want calmer seas for swimming.

Ban Rak/ Fisherman's village in Bophut area would have calmer seas.

You can check out some areas on the live Samui web cam.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmYyJaUxYiF5IbLx-0jFXHQ

Edited: 1 year ago
Hobart, Australia
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3 280 posts
81 reviews
37 helpful votes
8. Re: Early stages of planning...
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Early January is a very busy time in Thailand. Even though the direct Christmas - New year is THE peak, early Jan is not far off. The UK kids might have gone back to school but the southern hemisphere is still on school holidays. So you will want to make sure you book your accommodation reasonably in advance to get the best selection.

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