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Holiday in Thailand (August)
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GeminiTiger



Joined: 15 Oct 2004
Posts: 999
Location: China, 2005--Present

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

7696 and everyone else thanks for all the helpful advice.
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GeminiTiger



Joined: 15 Oct 2004
Posts: 999
Location: China, 2005--Present

PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I confirmed the unknown weather factor about the west coast being in a rainy season and the east coast being in a far less severe rain season. So as I Bangkok is somewhat centralized I will need to find a place to the east of that has a suitable place to go beaching.
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MaiPenRai



Joined: 17 Jan 2006
Posts: 380
Location: BKK

PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are looking for clean water, then forget the advice to go to Jomtien beach. Its a soulless, dirty, boring and umbrella-infested beach.

Personally I much prefer Krabi to Phuket and anything you could do from Phuket, you can do from Krabi.

BUT August is usually very very rainy especially in the southern islands. A much better choice would be to go to Koh Samed or Koh Chang (Koh Kood and Koh Mak very close by).

Samed has the least amount of annual precipitation of all the islands. Its about 3 hours from Bangkok by bus (no flights). The knock is that it is small with not much to do but enjoy a massage on the beach and do dome snorkelling. There is no shopping or things like that. The beaches are very nice (2 years ago anyways). Accomm is reasonable (700-1500++/night in low season I would guess). Transportation is not an issue (just walk down the beach) unlike in Phuket where you will get charged 3-500 baht just to go a kilometer down the road. Worst ripoff in Thailand IMO. Samed is only 2 km long so. It is national park so you will probably have to pay 200-400 baht to enter the island when you arrive (no worries as its about the same cost as getting a tuk-tuk back to your hotel in Phuket).

Koh Chang is about 5 hours e/se from Bangkok. Can fly to Trad and then bus to Chang or just take a bus to Koh Chang (5 hours) which is probably easier after you consider airport time and all. Buses from Ekamai bus station (I beleive) which is right next to the BTS (skytrain) Ekamai station so easy to get to. Buses should be going from about 5-6 am till 5-6 pm every hour or so, but the ferry will probably stop at nigt so leaving later than 2 or 3 pm will probably mean spending a night on the coast and catching a morning ferry. Best to go earlier and aim to arrive at about 1 or 2 pm when the rooms will be available. Different beaches have different things to offer in Chang. Just google. Koh Mak and Koh Kood are more expensive but very nice beach resorts and great snorkelling/diving.

As you only have about 6 days, I would suggest these 2 islands. Both are within your price range and both have nice relaxing beaches. Samed is much much more beach oriented though and has some of the nicest beaches IMO. Chang has much more to do though. Both should have fewer rainy days than Krabi or Phuket.
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GeminiTiger



Joined: 15 Oct 2004
Posts: 999
Location: China, 2005--Present

PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As you suggested Koh Samed, I checked Google Map

I also checked a hotel reservation site for Hotels

So a lot of the hotels are already fully booked two weeks in advance, that surprised me for low-season?

Where to get the ferry between the mainland and islands?

Once your on the island can you go to any beach you want? I'm mostly worried I'll book a hotel on the wrong side of the Island--
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MaiPenRai



Joined: 17 Jan 2006
Posts: 380
Location: BKK

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Koh Samed is a very small island. 2km x 1km I think. There are about 4 or 5 beaches ll on the same side. Sai Gaew (White Sands Beach) is the main beach which has about 6-10 guesthouses/hotels. Vongduen is the next main beach which is quieter and has about 4 or 5 hotels/guesthouses i think. There are a couple other beaches that will have 1 or 2 resorts/hotels. SO its a popular island with very few rooms available.

If you want to be sure about getting a room, you could opt for Koh Chang which has many more options. A little more to do as well. I would think you will be able to find something on Koh Samed though.

The ferry to Samed in in Ban Phe. Easy to find as people usually only go to Ban Phe to go to Samed. Ferry costs about 100 baht i think or hire a speedboat for about 1000 I think. Its only about 45 minutes to Samed by main ferry. After ferry, get on truck (100 baht or so or just walk) and go about 500 meters to park entrance (White Sands Beach). Here pay your 200-400 baht for park entrance. Walk to hotel or stay on truck to go to next beach. As the island is so small you can just walk to the next beach along the coastline if you want and the tide is low. Sucks if you are bringing suitcases or bigger bags though.

Ferry to Chang is near Trad but not in the city. Easiest to just take the bus from Bangkok strait to Koh Chang. Bus goes on ferry. After you get across, hop in a Songthaew (truck) for a wild ride to the main beach. also called White Sands.
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Solar Strength



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 560
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I spent a lot of time teaching in Bangkok. It truly is the arm pit of the EFL world. I would not recommend going to teach in Thailand. Even for a vacation these days, there're just better places to visit.
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7969



Joined: 26 Mar 2003
Posts: 5682
Location: South China, by the sea.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FYI Gemini Tiger, I flew to Krabi from Bangkok yesterday and took the bus to nearby Ao Nang. I visited here in 2003 and wanted to see how it had changed. Not a lot really, still a small and pleasant tourist/beach town. My plan was to take a longtail boat to Railay Beach and stay there but on a whim, I walked into the Best Western hotel across from where the bus dropped me off in Ao Nang to see what their rooms were like. Huge rooms, restaurant, wifi and swimming pool for Bt1000 per night - low season rate was 1500 but they gave me a discount to 1300, then I opted out of the breakfast and the rate was further lowered to 1000/night. This resort is better than anything else I've ever stayed at in Thailand (I'm usually pretty frugal with my accommodation) and it's only about 300m from the beach.

Best Western Ao Nang Bay Resort & Spa
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MaiPenRai



Joined: 17 Jan 2006
Posts: 380
Location: BKK

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats a great price for Railay. I like the Krabi area as well and I think Ao Nang would be a good place for the OP and his fiancee. It has a nice beachwalk with restaurants and shops. Nice clean beaches. Plenty of touristy things to do (kayaking, snorkelling, elephants, island hopping, etc.). Fairly cheap to fly to as well.

Only downside is the possibility of lots of rain. Ive been there in August for 10 days and had almost no rain, but also had it rain on me for 60% of my vacation in another year. Never know.
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7969



Joined: 26 Mar 2003
Posts: 5682
Location: South China, by the sea.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The weather has been gorgeous here in Ao Nang the past two days. Had a 30 minute rain-shower while having breakfast by the pool this morning but it passed and it was sunny all afternoon. I fried myself in the pool today and will be paying for that in the days to come . . . .
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GeminiTiger



Joined: 15 Oct 2004
Posts: 999
Location: China, 2005--Present

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

I flew to Krabi from Bangkok yesterday and took the bus to nearby Ao Nang.


Sounds very nice -- we haven't book any hotels -- is there any chance that place will be full around august 17-21st? How much did it cost to fly there?
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7969



Joined: 26 Mar 2003
Posts: 5682
Location: South China, by the sea.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GeminiTiger wrote:
Quote:

I flew to Krabi from Bangkok yesterday and took the bus to nearby Ao Nang.

Sounds very nice -- we haven't book any hotels -- is there any chance that place will be full around august 17-21st? How much did it cost to fly there?

The place is mostly empty right now and I doubt that will change in the next couple of weeks. The flight ticket between Bangkok and Krabi on Thai Airlines is about Bt2700 per person one way. I just booked the ticket the day before I got here and I booked my return ticket to Bangkok yesterday (same price).


Last edited by 7969 on Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was at Jomtien last weekend and Cha Am the weekend before that and you could shoot a cannon down the beach at either one of them and not hit anyone ; even if you tried.

It is LOW season and not hard at all to find a room in just about any price range from b600-6000.

If you are looking for rooms try a Thai website rather than a US based one.
Prices will be better and so is room availability.

.
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GeminiTiger



Joined: 15 Oct 2004
Posts: 999
Location: China, 2005--Present

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was checking out Krabi on the web and found it's in the west and south, isn't that likely to be a lot more wet than than places around Koh Samed?
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7969



Joined: 26 Mar 2003
Posts: 5682
Location: South China, by the sea.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GeminiTiger wrote:
I was checking out Krabi on the web and found it's in the west and south, isn't that likely to be a lot more wet than than places around Koh Samed?

I took this photo in the Krabi area (Railay Beach) three hours ago. You decide . . . . Laughing

Railay Beach
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GeminiTiger



Joined: 15 Oct 2004
Posts: 999
Location: China, 2005--Present

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks perfect, also enjoyed your photos of what looks to be Jiuzhaigou. I think my plan is not to make too much of a plan, I'll book the first and last night at the previously mentioned airport hotel and wing it from there, especially keeping an eye on the weather.
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