Thailand Islands Compared: Koh Chang, Koh Samui, Phuket

Koh Chang White Sand Beach

After our exhausting 28 days in Burma – we relaxed on a Thai island. I am a huge fan of Thai beaches and this time we went to Koh Chang, not one that I’d been to before. Koh Chang (Trat) Location Koh Chang (Elephant Island, because of it’s shape) – is actually Thailand’s second largest island, after Phuket. The nearest town is Trat in eastern Thailand. The permanent population of 5,000 is vastly outnumbered by the tourists. How To Get There It’s about five to six hours from Bangkok to Koh Chang. There are mini-bus services, government buses, and taxis that […] Read more »


How To Get to Koh Lipe

Tourists arriving at Pattaya Beach, Koh Lipe, Thailand

I first saw Koh Lipe from the window of the ferry from Langkawi, Malaysia.  I haven’t often entered a country by sea. In fact when I thought about the last time was when  I got on the wrong boat out of Sumatra, and it took nearly 24 hours, including some fairly terrifying middnight hours in the middle of the Straits of Malacca before I got on the ferry from Bintan to sail into Singapore. Arriving in Koh Lipe wasn’t anything like that at all. To start off with – there wasn’t actually a wharf or jetty.  There was a floating […] Read more »


Chaweng Beach Hotels and Accommodation

Chaweng Beach entrance, Beach Road, Koh Samui

I written before about Chaweng Beach – Koh Samui’s most famous beach before. And yes its a beautiful beach. Which is why the picture below may shock you. Its one of the main beach access points for Chaweng – and yes the Beach Road area, is an ugly mess. Power lines are strung everywhere, footpaths are uneven, inconsistent and often absent. The step up is large too – a huge inconvenience if you are not agile or are pushing a stroller. If you have rolling luggage you’ll be wanting a cab. Let’s face it, most of Thailand’s streets aren’t exactly […] Read more »


Koh Samui’s Chaweng Beach Guide

Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui

Driving into Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui’s most famous beach, for the first time, I wasn’t, to be honest, that impressed. I’d been told over and over that Koh Samui was so much nicer than Phuket, which we’d just left, but to be honest I wasn’t that sure.  Koh Samui is basically a fairly circular island and there is one main road which circum-navigates it. The road is only rarely in sight of the beach. So you can drive all around Koh Samui – and miss seeing the beach! Strange but true – blame the explosive development of the island since […] Read more »


Weather in Phuket, Thailand

Patong Beach, August, Phuket

Let’s face it if you are planning a beach holiday in Phuket – the weather is pretty important. Most of us do not want to be dodging showers on the beach, or worse, tropical downpours! Phuket does have a wet and drier season, but its tropical – its never cold here.  And the wet season does not see the hurricanes or cyclones that cause mass destruction in other parts of the world. In fact the picture on this page – I took it at the height of the “wet” season, in August. For two weeks we had no rain at […] Read more »


Koh Lipe Beach – Working on the beach NOT

Koh Lipe, Krabi Thailand

I’ve used a version of this photo for a while as my “gravatar” around the Internets. It was taken outside our 800B resort on Koh Lipe in southern Thailand. Its a bit of a joke.  You’ve heard of the dream – working anywhere, living anywhere? Well Koh Lipe is not the place to indulge it. Which is not to say I didn’t absolutely love the beach, the cheap accommodation, the cold beer and good food. Nope the problem is the netbook I’m holding has a shiny screen. And the reflection from the sun was so strong I not only couldn’t […] Read more »


Hotels Near Phuket Airport – Phuket Airport Guest Houses

Nai Thorn Beach, near Phuket Airport

Phuket airport is unusual. Although over 8 million people pass through it each year, the area around the international airport  include some of the nicest, unspoilt beaches in Phuket and one of the few national parks.  It is actually in one of the least developed part of Phuket island, and is around 35km to the more popular tourist areas  of Patong, Karon and  Kata beach, and even further to the southern areas of Cape Panwa and Chalong. The vast majority of tourists arrive at Phuket airport and immediately jump in transport and drive an hour or more to the popular […] Read more »


Phuket International Airport: Arrivals, Transfers, Departures – All You Need To Know

Photo courtesy PnP! via

Phuket International Airport (code: HKT) is Thailand’s second busiest airport.  I was surprised at that fact because having flown through the airport a couple of times – its fairly small, and feels like a medium-sized domestic airport, rather than one that sees more than 8 million visitors who passed through in 2011.  It gets a bit crowded at times, its fair to say, particularly as the airport was originally designed for a capacity of only 6 million passengers. The airport is being expanded – but, as any of us who have transited an “under construction” airport, this only means that […] Read more »


Cheap Flights to Koh Samui: Do Cheap Samui Flights Exist?


So you are little frustrated about the prices you’ve found for flights to Ko Samui? I’m not surprised, the route has very little competition on it, and until recently the ONLY airline that flew the route was Bangkok Airways – who, not coincidentally,  own Ko Samui’s airport. Koh Samui Airport Although its not obvious to the casual visitor today, Samui is very late to the Thai tourist scene. As late as 1970 the island’s main crop was coconuts, and there were only limited boat services to it. Things have changed a little since then, but the Ko Samui Airport (airline […] Read more »


Thailand Prepaid Internet: Prepaid SIM Card for Thailand Visitors

Cell Phone Seller, Thailand Photo Credit: bluemonkey via CC

OK – so you are planning to travel to Thailand and you want to stay in contact with the peeps back home. In today’s inter-connected world you may be just assuming that your smart phone/ iPad /netbook will just WORK. Well – yes it probably will – at a price.  Not working out how you want to connect to home can cost you heaps if you just assume that you can just use your home phone. I mean hundreds and hundreds of dollars, in a few days. Yes international roaming is a huge profit centre for your local friendly ISP or teleco. If […] Read more »