"'The Big Three' gulf Islands" Southern Thailand by OZebomate
Southern Thailand Travel Guide: 7,825 reviews and 20,706 photos
The first Island I went to was Ko samui, which pretty much lived up to its reputation as the "mainstream" island. We trained down from Bangkok and caught a ferry from Thong Sala I think, then went to Chaweng. We stayed at Wait a While hotel which was definitely a good first impression.
Chaweng is a very busy place! Even though we stayed a km back from the main beach it only took s few steps or a motorbike taxi to get amongst it.
Spent a lot of evenings drinking the local beverages and checking out the (often crazy) nightlife. During the day we went on a whirlwind tour of the island and saw all the cheesy tourist attractions which was fun. The tour had a bunch of stuff- monkey place, kayaking, snake farm, cock fighting, elephants and a couple of funny ones namely 'lonely beach' ( the loneliest beach the drivers could find!). I gave they monkey 20 baht and he snatched it out of my hand sanrled and then gave to his trainer, which made me jump.
Other than that went shopping, swimming, jetskiing, fishing got massages and basically just chilled out.................. Not a bad place to spend a quarter of a 3 week holiday.
Went to Koh phangan on 2 occasions- once when we went over from samui for the Full moon party and another time when we stayed on our way to Koh Tao.
From what I saw and remember of this place it was definitely a healthy median between Samui and Koh tao. The FMP was the best night of my thailand trip, well worth going to see. We caught the ferry over about 6pm and came back to samui at about 5 in the morning I think.
The other time I came here I stayed one night in Hat Rin (at Thommys)on the way to Koh tao. The bars on the beach are good fun at night, though a lot were emptyish.
Never really got to see much of Koh phangan in the daytime.... but hat rin seems to be a place you could spend some quality time.
Be careful at the full moon as basically everyone I went with lost something of value through drunkeness or theft. Especially be careful of your speedboat ticket as one mate had to rely on kind strangers to get back to samui!
The last Island I went to and the best of the 3. I stayed here for about a week and didnt get bored for one second.
This island has everyhing going for it as long as it stays relatively unspoilt. A lot harder to get to than samui or phangan but well worth the effort. The water here is a hundred fold clearer than samui, plenty of fish and coral too. Spent the whole time at sairee beach doing the same thing every day. Basically just wake up have lunch for breakfast, float in the ocean on an infaltable raft, get massages, go for huge swims/snorkelling trips- overall pretty relaxing. I recommend hiring kayaks too we took them over to the double island and went all the way around it snorkelling etc. Also went on a night fishing trip which said "guaranteed catch"which must be thai for no fish.......... but it was good fun with plenty of beer. The only real fish caught was by one of the thais, he was stoked.
The nightlife here was excellent but didnt peak until real late, each night one of the clubs takes turns in hosting a feature party. We found an great little bar near 7/11at the start of an alley ( if someone can tell me what it called please would be appreciated). Basically a little outdoor bar with about 10 seats and thai karaoke on tv but had some big evenings there even drank them out of heineken one night. The girl there cooked us up an awesome BBQ too.
- In a nutshell:koh Tao number one
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