Gulf of Thailand Guide: Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao

The Gulf of Thailand encompasses the coasts of Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia. Three of Thailand’s most famous islands are located there: Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.

If you are planning a trip to Thailand, it is almost unthinkable not to visit at least one of these 3 islands, if not all of them as we did. We spent one day in Koh Samui, three days in Koh Phangan and two days in Koh Tao. So, here is the story of our experience.

Thailand - Koh Tao - Nang Yuan Beach
Thailand – Koh Tao – Nang Yuan Beach

1. The beaches of Koh Samui

After a few days of relaxation in Koh Phi Phi we head to the islands of the Gulf of Thailand. We spent a night in Krabi, specifically in the area of Ao Nang, without pain or glory. It was an exact copy of Salou; lot of party and lots of tourist.

The next day we took a bus and a boat to Koh Samui, Thailand’s second largest island. We only spent a day and a half in the busiest part of the island. We stayed at a hotel for 5 euros a night. It was 50 meters from the beach and 5 minutes from all the discotheques. The surrounds and the beaches were beautiful, but they were not something amazing either.

Thailand - Koh Samui Beach
Thailand – Koh Samui Beach

2. Koh Phangan Island and the Full Moon Party

On October 12, full moon day, we arrived at Koh Phangan, just in time to enjoy the Full Moon Party. As they say, and as we could see, one of the best beach parties in the world.

When celebrating the Full Moon Party it is necessary to bear in mind that it is the only time of the year in which it is necessary to reserve in advance. We had to divide the group in two because all the places to stay were packed. It was the only time on the entire trip that we had to book a hotel before we arrived.

Xavi and I ended up staying in a bungalow on a movie beach. Later we were told that we had been lucky enough to fall on one of the best beaches on the island, if not the best: Haad Salad Beach. Three days we spent in this small paradise combining beach, naps in hammocks and a last day of motorcycle riding around the island.

Thailand - Koh Phangyan - Haad Salad
Koh Phangyan – Haad Salad

The Full Moon Party: advices

During the Full Moon Party we got lost several times, there are so many people and it’s such a crazy party that it’s very easy to get lost. It’s really something. Anyway, you get together with other people and just keep celebrating.

Be especially careful not to jump the fire fighter when drunk; many end up in the hospital with large burns. You must also be careful with the Mushroom Shakes, overdosing can ruin your party. Finally, try not to fall asleep on the beach, every year there are cases of theft or, even in extreme cases, rape.

Here’s a link to a Full Moon Party video so you can get an idea of what it’s like. Without doubt, we will remember Koh Phangan as an amazing and beautiful island with a crazy party.

3. The wonderful Koh Tao Island

The last island to visit was Koh Tao. It is known, not only because its unbelievable beaches and surroundings, but also to be the second place in the world after Australia, where more diving titles are taken.

For a modest price, we were first taken on a typical Thai boat to snorkel through coral replete with goldfish. Then, we were dropped off at the incredible island of Nang Yuan where we could enjoy its crystal clear beaches and viewpoint.

To end the day, we observed one of the best evenings I have ever seen and said goodbye to the island with a party on the beach. After all that, one understands the fame of this island.

Gulf of Thailand - Koh Tao - Nang Yuan
Gulf of Thailand – Koh Tao – Nang Yuan

From Koh Tao to Bangkok

Finally, we said goodbye to the Gulf of Thailand without having finished believing everything we had experienced in so few days. From Koh Tao we boarded a ferry to Chumphon and from there we took a bus to Bangkok, where we would still have time to visit a few more places.

Comment, evaluate and/or share if this post has been useful to you. Subscribe if you want to receive travel updates. If you plan to travel to Vietnam, you may also be interested in our list of Travel Tips for Thailand or the post about our trip to Chiang Mai.

Thailand - Koh Tao Sunset
Thailand – Koh Tao Sunset


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