Thailand - Hua Hin, Koh Tao, Koh Phanghan, Koh Samui

Richard Harbourne 08 September 2013
Thailand is now a destination I have visited 14 times. This was only my second time to travel south to the islands. I started in Hua Hin where I stayed 10nts at the Verandah resort which is situated right on the beach. I would say this is the best area to be as the beach is much nicer and quieter. Fine white sand and the sea is very warm. The hotel is very good value for money and they have a restaurant directly on the beach which is superb. There are plenty of bars, restaurants just 5 minutes away by taxi or 20 minutes walking. Hua Hin is around 3 hours from Bangkok by road and this is a destination I would definitely recommend. There are many excursions you can take which include shopping trips, boat trips and you can also go and see some real Thai boxing which was a good night out.

I then travelled from Hua Hin to Koh Tao (top diving destination in Asia) by coach and ferry and I arranged this locally. It cost me around €25 for both. The journey was around 7 hours in total and was very comfortable. We stayed at the Montalay Resort which is on the other side of the island to where you arrive by ferry. It took around 20 minutes by taxi but was very cheap. I chose this hotel because it is on the best beach of the island and the hotel has its own coral reef. We spent hour’s snorkelling every day. The water is crystal clear and you will see hundreds of different species of fish and corals. The hotel was quite basic but they do have many room types at the hotel. We stayed in bungalows within the trees and it really gives you a jungle feel with views through the woods. The food was very good but if you wanted any kind of nightlife you have to be back in the town where they have all the bars along the beach which are open all night. They have shows every night where you can watch the locals’ fire dancing to rave music or you can find many bars with live bands etc. My favourite bar was El Murphys which is an Irish pub in the centre. They have a live band in there 7 days a week from 9pm. They are very good and also have a very good menu.

I then travelled by ferry to Koh Phanghan which took around 1 hour 15 mins and the journey again was comfortable and it was very cheap. We stayed 1 night here by Raad Hin beach where they have the full moon parties. If you are staying here during a full moon party be prepared for it to be extremely busy. When we stayed here there was no party but the bars all the way along the beach are still very busy. The beach is amazing and I would definitely recommend a few nights here for a visit.

I then travelled to Koh Samui which was just 1 hour from this island by ferry. I stayed at the Kings Garden Resort Hotel situated directly on Chaweng beach. This is the most central place to stay with all the bars, restaurants, nightlife and shopping is situated. Koh Samui is very commercialised so you will see all the fast food chains everywhere also. Having said that there are many more local restaurants also selling lots of local cuisine and sea food is very popular. If you wanted to stay somewhere a bit quieter the areas of Lamia or Bophut may suit more. Although Chaweng beach is still fantastic and there are various different types of water sports you can take part in or day trips/excursions.

In all Thailand is a destination I sell week in week out and I would recommend this exact itinerary to anyone.