When we return from summer vacation in Europe, we fly via Bangkok, and the least couple of years we have been taking 4-6 days in Phuket “to adjust” before continuing to Taipei. The problem with Phuket is that the beach conditions are very unpredictable in July/August, due to monsoon season. So, this year we will consider other islands.
What islands or other beach resorts does have direct flight from BKK international airport:
-Ko Samui (I think…)
We are not very mobile or flexible, as we have a lot of heavy suitcases, and are tired from the flight from Europe, so any transit should be as painless as possble.
As mentioned, we have experience from Phuket for this stopover - which have really painless transit.
Our experience from Phuket is Kata Beach Resort, Holiday Inn in Patong, Laguna Resort in Bao Tang(?) and Kamala Beach Resort.
Our favorite is Kata Beach Resort - nice hotel with pool, on the beach - restaurants, shops and some nightlife just out the door.
Holiday Inn was also great, but the traffic on the beach road seems to have increased pretty much since last time, so we will not go back.
Kamala Beach Resort was great when I visited a few weeks ago, but seemed totally desertet when I visited last summer.
Laguna Resorts in Bang Tao is not my cup of tea - too complicated to get out of the resort area, and not too attractive local nightlife/restaurants/shops outside.
Now, I have been thinking about Ko Samui, but also open for other places with direct flights and reasonably safe beaches in July/August.
From what I have read, Chaweng Beach is a “hustle and bustle” place - is it as crazy as Patong in Phuket, or is it more like the calmer Kata?
Lamai comes around as a calmer place, but still with some shops and nightlife - could Lamai be compared with Kata or Kamala on these terms, or is the nightlife only girlie-boy bars?
Other suggestions for a short stopover, with easy access/transit from BKK airport, with direct access to good and safe beach, somewhat developed town with nightlife/shopping?