We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Khao Lak or Koh Samui.

AUSTRALIA
Level Contributor
1,280 posts
22 reviews
Save Topic
Khao Lak or Koh Samui.

Hi Guys.

My wife and I have been to Samui a number of times and are looking for somewhere different. Just looking at Khao Lak at the moment. Want to know if the beaches there are really nice with clear water for swimming ( on par with Chaweng Beach Samui ) also wanted to know if there is plenty of restaurants ect and is a trip to the Similan Islands good for snorkelling.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Regards Bob.

Hell, Norway
Level Contributor
13,182 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Khao Lak or Koh Samui.

Have a look at the FAQS on the right, most of your questions are answered there.

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
Level Contributor
45,458 posts
107 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Khao Lak or Koh Samui.

Hi Bob,

The ocean along the coast of Khao Lak's 25km of beaches is more tidal and full of movement than certainly I recall at Chaweng so the water is not clear, although it still has the beautiful turquoise colour.

There are plenty of restaurants, bars and shops throughout Khao Lak, both on the beach, overlooking it or on the highways and byways. There's information about them in the FAQs referred to.

The Similan Islands to the South and the Surin Islands to the North are both World Class snorkelling and diving sites and accessible on day or overnight trips and liveaboards. Again, plenty of info in the FAQs.

arctica
Level Contributor
931 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Khao Lak or Koh Samui.

Khao Lak is nice, but the sea is not clear, and the beaches are spread out without any restaurant and shopping street similar to Chaweng. If that is what you are looking for, I would recommend one of the main beaches at Phuket with their many restaurants and rows of sunbeds. The sea at Kata beach is clear, but I don`t know if it is clear at Patong and Karon.

Ao Nang is a popular town in Krabi with a lot of restaurants and accommodation within walking distance to the beach. The sea is not clear in Ao Nang, but there are great beaches and clear water at Railey west, Ko Poda etc. only 10-20 minutes away by longtail boat.

However, as “dragonc” posted earlier, clear sea isn`t necessarily clean:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293915-i3686-k382…

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
Level Contributor
45,458 posts
107 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Khao Lak or Koh Samui.

Imagion,

With respect when did you last visit Khao lak?

"... the beaches are spread out without any restaurant and shopping street similar to Chaweng".

Shops and restaurants line the beach road from the highway down to the beach in Bang Niang. The Road leading down from the main part of Bang La On, which is full of restaurants, bars and shops, next to the Nang Thong supermarket has a growing number of restaurants, bars and shops.

In fact what you claim as being better on Phuket especially "..... rows of sunbeds" is what makes Khao lak an increasingly popular destination for people who want less commercialism rather than more.

Edited: 10 August 2010, 13:57
Cape Panwa, Thailand
Level Contributor
3,063 posts
120 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Khao Lak or Koh Samui.

Hi,

I can not comment on Samui but if you are looking for somewhere different Khao Lak has something for everyone. As has been said you do not have crystal clear seas but it is a beautiful turquoise and the beaches I consider as some of the best IMHO. My favourite beach is Pak Weep which has a handful of beach restaurants and a few on the highway along with some 5 star hotels this area is only 15 minutes from Khao Lak town . Bang Niang certainly has enouigh bars restaurants and shops for anyones needs 5 minutes from Khao Lak Town as does Khao Lak town ( Bang La On ) where you will find the Nang Thong Beach area.

Have a look at www.khaolak.de and also www.khaolaklovers.com where you will find plenty of maps and info .

Julie

arctica
Level Contributor
931 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Khao Lak or Koh Samui.

Why on earth did my post provoke you, Arandora? I know that Khao Lak is your #1 destination, but it is not the right place for all of us, and I will not recommend it as an alternative destination to someone who seems to prefer and appreciate more developed places like Chaweng with their many choices within walking distance.

For me “plenty of restaurants” in Chaweng is veeeery different from “plenty of restaurants” in Khao Lak. It is two different worlds. That is why I carefully used the word “similar”, and wrote “if that is what you are looking for” in my first post.

When I described, compared and recommended different places, I based it on my own experience and how I understood Bobs questions and wishes, not MY personal preferences. What I like is not interesting.

If you read my post again Arandora, you will see that I did not claim Phuket as being better, or worse for that matter, for everyone in general. I gave an honest and neutral description to explain why I thought it perhaps would be a better place regarding the OP question.

Swansea, Wales
Level Contributor
367 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Khao Lak or Koh Samui.

Like so many others, our first trip to a thai beach was phuket, central village (now centara) karon, on a headland between karon and patong. While the resort itself was gorgeous, we felt phuket was too busy, so reloated to samui the next year.

Like you, we also liked samui and went there several times, staying along chaweng beach, but then....we decided it was simply too comercialised and built up for our taste. So we looked around and decided on khao lak, where we have been going for the past 3 years, and now can't imagine going to another beach area! (except, of course, our annual pilgrimage to visit my family in westport massachusetts, where we also stay on a beautiful beach next to Elephant Rock Beach Club. Just for the record, the water is much, much warmer in thailand!)

I find the beach in khao lak (we stay at the orchid) similar to that in chaweng, ie beautiful, soft and wonderful for bathing and walking. the difference for us is that at the orchid, it is peaceful and quiet. Last year for the first time the hotel had a few wooden sunbeds on the beach and this was a little controversial! compare that to samui...

KL is a different set-up from samui altogether as regards the town. The main road in chaweng is much more 'full-on' than the main road in khao lak, which is much gentler, but still full of restaurants etc. The main difference besides being more laid back is one of price. Khao Lak doesn't rip you off like phuket or samui, although I expect aspect may develop in time. Anyway, we like it and will be returning. It's all a matter of personal taste.

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
Level Contributor
45,458 posts
107 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Khao Lak or Koh Samui.

Immagion,

I responded as I did because the OP posted on the Khao Lak Forum and said specifuically that he was looking at Khao Lak and comparing it with Koh Samui. You introduced Phuket and, in my view, unfairly said that Khao Lak did not have "any restaurant and shopping street similar to Chaweng."

Therefore, not only for the benefit of this member but for others I thought it was only fair to ask when you had last visited Khao Lak so that potential visitors would have an upto date and fair comparison. If the OP had asked for alternatives to Chawenng without specifying Khao Lak, then I could understand your comments but I'm sure if Bob had wanted to compare Koh Samui with Phuket as well he would have said so and/or posted on the Phuket Forum.

Bob said he was looking for an alternative. I still can't see anywhere in his post where he said he preferred Chaweng. If you read my reply to you I asked when you had last visited Khao Lak only to ensure that perhaps your memories and, hence, recommendations were upto date. I also referred specifically to what appeared to be your recommendation that "rows of sunbeds" was a positive in favour of Phuket when anyone I know who has been to Khao Lak welcomes the absence of these lines of "mackerels baking in the sun".

At the end of the day Bob will make the decision and will take all our comments, whether we agree or not, into account.

The reply by Sue_in_Wales addresses a specific comparison between Chaweng and Khao Lak which is what I thought Bob was looking for.

AUSTRALIA
Level Contributor
1,280 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Khao Lak or Koh Samui.

Dear Arandora.

Thankyou and the other guys who have helped out answering my questions. My wife and I have stayed at Chaweng Beach about 6 times now and are just looking for a quite romantic place to stay with a nice beach for swimming and I am seriously considering Khao Lak. We also like a fair few restaurants nearby as we enjoy having dinner at different places each night ( Particularly seafood/thai ).

Once again, thanks all.

Regards Bob.

AUSTRALIA
Level Contributor
1,280 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Khao Lak or Koh Samui.

Dear Sue_in_Wales.

I think you have talked my wife and I into staying at the Orchid Hotel in Khao Lak for a few nights. We might stay 8 nights in Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui then fly to Phuket and transfer to Orchid Hotel in Khao Lak for about 4 nights before flying home from Phuket.

How do we get from Phuket airport to the resort at Orchid Hotel, Khao Lak and how long does it take in time????

Weather in Samui is supurb in March and would it be nice in Khao Lak in March also?????

What class of room would you recommend at the Orchid.????? Is it on a nice clean beach for swimming???? Thanks in advance. Regards Bob and Chris.

Get answers to your questions about Khao Lak