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Koh Samui or Phuket? Major differences?

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
381 posts
69 reviews
78 helpful votes
Koh Samui or Phuket? Major differences?
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Hi,

We will have 3 - 4 weeks in Thailand in SEPTEMBER, 2012.

We would like to spend 1 week at the end of September in either Phuket or Kho Samui, but we don't know what the differences are, or how to choose.

We are mid-30's and would like to have a relaxing beach stay, with day trips to do snorkelling type activities, and would also like to be able to go out at night and have a nice meal, a few drinks or see some culture.

We are not total party animals, but we are also not wanting to JUST lay on the beach, we want to be able to get out and do things.

So, based on this info, should we choose Koh Samui or Phuket?

PS: We realise that this is the wet season, so any differences in weather between the two would be appreciated also :)

Thanks!

Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
15,864 posts
1. Re: Koh Samui or Phuket? Major differences?
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Choose Samui simply because you'll get much better weather there. In Phuket September is the month of heaviest rainfall (they have different monsoon seasons).

The two islands are very different. Phuket is much larger than Samui, and they each have a different 'feel'.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293920-i5037-k5042895-Weather_in_September_are_we_crazy-Phuket.html

Edited: 12 years ago
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
381 posts
69 reviews
78 helpful votes
2. Re: Koh Samui or Phuket? Major differences?
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Thanks!

Can you go to Phi Phi islands from Samui?

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
381 posts
69 reviews
78 helpful votes
3. Re: Koh Samui or Phuket? Major differences?
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LOL - don't worry, I just looked at a map, what am I thinking???

Asia
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18,140 posts
3 reviews
17 helpful votes
4. Re: Koh Samui or Phuket? Major differences?
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No, Phi Phi is Phuket / krabi area ( well you could, but ferry + road + ferry, and certainly in September with rough seas the trip could be wasted ).

From koh Samui you can hop to laid back Koh Phangan which is very near, you can also fery as said to Koh Tao - Koh tao is tops for snorkeling, Nang Yuan is great to visit

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvoQvcgi13w

You can also do snorkeling trips straight from Samui

Chaweng on Samui is busy and lively on Samui and has what is termed ' beach scene', Koh Samui is far more tropical swaying palms drinks on the beach at night style ( if that makes sense ), for your age group you will find plenty of nightlife, it also has ( again using thee cliche terms ) trendy, stylish resorts, but many go for the cabana style resorts right on the beach.

Both Samui and Phuket are very developed, but Phuket more so.

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
381 posts
69 reviews
78 helpful votes
5. Re: Koh Samui or Phuket? Major differences?
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Mmmmm, I'm think I like the sounds of Samui very much!

Just looking at some of the hotels now.....lots of choice! We want to be right on the beach :)

Thank you very much.....

Italy
Level Contributor
39,912 posts
252 reviews
212 helpful votes
6. Re: Koh Samui or Phuket? Major differences?
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We usually do a week each in both but I would'nt choose Phuket in September because of the weather.

Tel
Great Yarmouth U.K
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679 posts
16 reviews
13 helpful votes
7. Re: Koh Samui or Phuket? Major differences?
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Not sure of your budget but if you can afford that little bit extra look at Poppies. On the beach and a fantastic Thai villa hotel.

Minnesota
Level Contributor
6,330 posts
35 reviews
22 helpful votes
8. Re: Koh Samui or Phuket? Major differences?
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Hi,

As the other TAs say Samui is better at that time of year but if all was equal.

This is only Mrs Mac & my opinion,

We both absolutely love Thailand in general but depending if you want a quiet relaxing holiday then Samui is probably more you but if you want to do a bit more then maybe Phuket. Apart from Samui’s beaches which are magnificent, then when driving around we could have been anywhere in Thailand.The sea tours are similar to Patong’s as well with fantastic Islands & crystal clear water filled with multicoloured fish that you can touch. Chewang is similar to Patong so for us I think Phuket.

We stayed in Bophut at the Bandara Resort.Had a great time & it is right on the beach & you can get to Fishermans Village for nice places to eat & drink as well as get to Chaweng via Songthrew 10 mins away.

The only thing is the sand is a bit grainy at Bophut so is a bit hard on your feet

Cheers Mac

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
381 posts
69 reviews
78 helpful votes
9. Re: Koh Samui or Phuket? Major differences?
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Thank you all for your thoughts.

Can you tell me, is there much to do at night in Ko Samui, such as night markets or something similar to Pattaya "Walking Street"?

When we were considering Phuket, we thought Patong looked like it would be entertaining, is there similar areas on Ko Samui, or is a much quieter scene?

Also, if you wanted to go to Ko Phangan for a couple of days, is it easy and safe to get there fro Ko Samui?

Cheers :)

Norfolk, United...
Destination Expert
for Chaweng, Ko Samui
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40,413 posts
352 reviews
398 helpful votes
10. Re: Koh Samui or Phuket? Major differences?
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Hi

Samui is really small compare to Phuket. Samui [still] has a slightly less in your face feel about it.

It is really easy to get to Koh Phanang, and there are several ferries daily.

The main part of Chaweng is like a small Patong. We stay in the southern end (bit like a quiet Kata on Phuket) and then its a 20mins walk to the busy bit, and the busy bit is smaller if that sort of makes sense.

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