Thailand’s Islands Summary , As I previously wrote, it is more than possible that the word “island” awakes your fantasies… and many tourists simply have a connotation of a magical holiday with that word! But keep in mind that some islands are not worth the time and trouble it takes to travel over there.
I hope that after you have read my series of articles about Thailand’s islands it is clear that Ko Samui, Ko Phayam, Ko Chang, Ko Samed and Phuket are islands but they differ one from the other in many ways – their geographic location, scenery, beaches, feel, experience, activities, the way to get to them and time and money to travel there, as well as the holiday season. In short, apart from the fact they are surrounded by water and therefore, called islands, and their location in Thailand – there is not much in common between these islands.
You are going to invest a relatively big sum in a flight to Thailand, especially when a family is travelling. Having a holiday on an island takes a lot of time and trouble in addition to the cost of extra flights, cruises, ferry boats, etc. – You should take all into consideration prior to taking a decision to which island you prefer to travel to.
In this series of articles I wrote an overview of almost all of Thailand’s islands and gave you information about islands you may not have known ever existed. I will try to summarize my conclusions and understandings regarding the choice of the most suitable island for you.
- Internet forums – don’t believe everything you read in these groups. You have no idea about the people who wrote it, what is their taste and experience. Some of the people who write are actually undercover travel agents and others have different personal interests too. They might try to influence you to go to a certain island which is not necessarily the most suitable one for you.
- Travel agents – please take into consideration that they are in business only with certain islands and specific resorts and they can only sell you these places, even if they are not the most suitable for your needs. This is especially true about the travel agencies located on “the islands” – each one will do their best to sell “their island” to you in any event, regardless if it suits your needs or if it is the right season. They may tell you great stories as far as their imagination go – as long as they can make a profit on your holiday. In addition, you should also consider that every island has its own great resorts which sell directly to avoid the travel agent’s commission, so that no travel agent will sell them to you – these resorts can only be found by searching the internet on your own.
- Time to get to the islands – apart from the islands near Bangkok, which you can reach within two and a half hours, (Phuket, Ko Samui), with a direct flight so that the way will take you a total of 5-6 hours – almost all other islands will take you 12-15 hours to get to them, which means that you will have to spend a day each way, (this is true for Ko Samui too, if you are not taking a direct flight).
- Hotels and resorts – if you are taking the time and trouble to get to one of the islands, I suggest you book a hotel on the water line, preferably with a good beach, otherwise you will be missing most of the fun that you came for. Please take into consideration that hotel web sites may not reveal everything and sometimes what you see in the picture is not what you will get.
- Time on the island – if you decided to dedicate a relatively short time to an island, please take into consideration the travel time, the tiring way, and the cost of travel back and forth. If for instance, the time you have allocated to a certain island is 3-4 days (including both ways), and if the way to get to it takes a whole day – the time left for you to enjoy the island will be very short. By the time you’ll start enjoying yourselves you will have to go back – so it is really worth your while to consider if it is worth it. This is especially true if you are “jumping” from one island to the next without any good reason apart from telling your friends about it.
- The Season – the holiday season in each island is a different. I have seen many tourists spending time and money on travelling to a certain island off season in the worst weather. Note that the monsoon season on the west coast islands, (such as Phuket), is during the summer months but on the east coast islands, (such as Ko Samui), the rainy season is in winter.
- Trust yourself and your good judgment – once you have read the series of articles about Thailand’s islands you are pretty familiar with them and know what every island offers. Take the time to read other good and objective web sites. Consider your real expectations from the island and choose the island that can fulfill your expectations best. Again, trust yourself and your good judgment.
Having said all that, please allow me to wish each and every one of you a wonderful holiday in Thailand!
Only for our tourists – at the end of Tip-Top Travel Coast to Coast Tour – the ultimate Thailand experience – Tip-Top Travel will recommend the most suitable beach and resort to your needs and desires and will assist you in getting to this island and back.
** For your convenience, here is a video of most of Thailand’s islands. Enjoy!!