After a few days and nights in Bangkok most holidaymakers feel the need to escape city life and go in search of sandy beaches and clear blue ocean and to spend time on some of the most idyllic islands in the world, so here is a guide to island hopping around Thailand’s Gulf Coast with our 10-day itinerary!
Day 1-3 ADVENTURE ON TURTLE ISLAND
Image Source: Pixabay
Take the ferry from Chumphon to Koh Tao, also known as Turtle Island, the smallest island in the Chumphon Archipelago in the Gulf of Thailand. It may be small(only 21 square kilometers) but there is lots to do. It’s known as a major diving destination due to its clear and deep water close to shore, so don your wet-suit and try scuba diving for the chance to see whale sharks that pass by at certain times of the year.
If diving isn’t your thing, there is still a chance to see the marine life and colorful corals by hiring a kayak to go snorkeling at places like Nang Yuan or Shark Bay. Koh Tao is steep and rocky with huge boulders dotted around the island, so it’s perfect terrain for rock climbers. If you fancy a bit of exercise to clear your head, take a hike through the island’s interior of dense forest to resorts like Mango Bay and Laem Thian but don’t forget to wear decent shoes and take lots of water.
Cost: Lomprayah Ferry from Chumphon to Koh Tao 600 baht ($18USD) or inclusive bus and boat from Bangkok to Koh Tao 1,100 baht ($32USD)
Open Water Diver Certification (Ban’s Diving Resort) 9,800 baht ($284USD)
Rock Climbing 2,200 baht ($64USD)
Day 4-6 EXPERIENCE THE FULL MOON PARTY ON KOH PHANGAN
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Jump back on the Lomprayah ferry and travel to Koh Phangan, an island of thick jungle, sheltered bays and infamous monthly parties. Take a songthaew(passenger vehicle) to Haad Rin and party at the hedonistic full moon party with up to 30,000 other merrymakers all crammed onto the resort’s curved sandy beach. Dance the night away and wait for the sun to begin the new day, with music for all tastes, fire dancers and jugglers.
Don’t worry if you miss the main event because the island is also host to the Half-moon Festival and Black-moon Culture parties. If you’re looking for a more sedate visit, head north and hire a long-tail boat for the day to explore the top of the island. Visit places like Ao Mae Hat, Hat Khuat and Ao Thong Nai Pan for chilling on white sandy beaches, swimming and snorkeling.
Lomprayah Ferry from Koh Tao to Koh Phangan from 500 baht ($15USD)
Longtail boat hire around 200-250 baht per person ($6-8USD) (Please note this price can vary depending on how many passengers there are and whether it’s for a full day or half a day.)
Tip: Always agree the price beforehand.
Day 7-10 THE NATURAL WONDERS AROUND KOH SAMUI
Take the 30 minute ferry to Koh Samui, Thailand’s second largest island and brimming with beautiful palm fringed beaches, blue sea, delicious food and a vibrant nightlife. Take a trip out to Angthong National Marine Park to see one of the most stunning landscapes in the whole of Thailand.
Image Source: Pixabay
Spend the whole day exploring the natural wonders of the park and while you cruise through the archipelago you’ll discover some of its 42 tiny islands, peppered across the cobalt blue water, stunning hidden pools only accessible by tunnel and you’ll have time for swimming, lunch and visiting cliff top caves that hide intriguing stalactites and stalagmites.
There is accommodation and camping on Ko Wua Talab if you fancy staying the night in the park. A jungle safari tour is the ultimate way to get to know Koh Samui fully. See Grandmother and Grandfather Rocks, the secret Buddha garden and a mummified monk. Do elephant trekking, swimming and visit a rubber plantation. The jeep will drive you up into the mountains for spectacular views over the island and you’ll enjoy a traditional Thai lunch before watching the sunset disappearing over the horizon.
After a day’s exploring why not relax on the beach and have a manicure or pedicure or indulge in a facial or a jasmine scented oil massage and de-stress in tropical gardens in one of the island’s spas.
Lomprayah Ferry from Koh Phangan to Koh Samui 300 baht ($9USD)
Boat trip to Angthong National Marine Park 1,100 baht ($32USD)
Ko Wua Talab accommodation 600 baht ($18USD) Camping 250 baht ($8USD) Please note
that reservations are required and there is no electricity at night.
Jungle safari tour 1,900 baht ($56USD)
Please note: All prices are correct at time of writing.
This article was contributed to TripDukaan by Gill Morris (www.talkingthailand.co.uk http://www.morrisophotography.co.uk )
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