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Samui or Penang?

United Kingdom
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for Gibraltar
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Samui or Penang?

Hi e're a family of 5, 3 kids. We have a choice of spending a week in Penang (Golden Sands Resort) or in Samui (Imperial Boathouse or Centara villas)

Can't decide! Flying from KL so Penang nearer. But beaches in Samui much nicer (?)

Any advice?

Norfolk, United...
Destination Expert
for Chaweng, Ko Samui
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325 reviews
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1. Re: Samui or Penang?

Hi

bit like comparing apples with cheese!!! I love both islands but for the fact one is Penang and one is Samui, they are nothing like each other.

When are you travelling? As the two islands are on different sides of the ismus / peninsular they are subject to different weather patterns.

Penang is growing up fast, whilst Samui still has some old worldy charm.

If you are a family with 3 kids, then Penang is probably more suitable with the Golden Sands. Batu Ferringhi is NOT a swimming beach, the sea is pretty murky and the beach shelves pretty steeply into the sea so there can be a lot of wave action. The beach itself if nice, and as nice as any in Samui, just the waves and water quality. There is lots of stuff outside the hotel at night, and a nice pool area.

Centara Villa is NOT child friendly, the hotel is in a really, really remote location. Centara Grand would be more suitable, plus the south end of Chaweng beach is beautiful, even when the sea has more wave action [November to March]. Imperial Boathouse is on Choeng Mon beach, which is in a much nicer location then the Centara Villas. Not sure on what the hotel is like for children.

Both islands have activities, so you can't really measure them on that as what one is good at the otheris not so good and vice versa. Guess it depends on what you like doing as a family when on holiday.

Flying from Kuala Lumpur the Penang flight is quicker, but only by about half an hour!

Not knowing your family and your style it is hard to say, but if it were me, I would go with Samui whatever!! But NOT at the Centara Villas!

Have fun!

Nuremberg, Germany
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2. Re: Samui or Penang?

Please tell us what time of the year you plan to travel, because as TravellingMitch already stated it can make a huge difference.

United Kingdom
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3. Re: Samui or Penang?

That is really useful Mitch, thanks!

Glad you've told me about the Centara villas location....I knew it was away from other resorts but I didn't realise it'd be that remote. It's nice to get out and about with the kids.

The stuff we like to do as a family? Well enjoy the pool and beach but also exploring, sites and the markets in Asia. Love those! We like how different asia is to the UK .In Samui we would be able to see elephants which would be lovely but I've read on here that it's not that great. Maybe we should visit the elephant sanctuary near KL ?

One thing that does atract me to Samui is the snorkelling.....I know we wouldn't be able to do that in Penang. But I love the idea of the street food in Penang. I've just been speaking to a Malaysian friend who has recommended we visit Penang, that it has a lot of chinese inluence and he really likes the place. He also said that if we go to Langkawi he won't be speaking to us again!

BTW we'll be there end of March/begininng of April

Arghhhh! what shall I do???

Edited: 13 December 2012, 20:57
Gold Coast
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4. Re: Samui or Penang?

I'm like Mitch, I love both places.

With kids I would go for Samui as swimming in the sea in Penang is not great, and they have a lot of jellyfish.

perth
Destination Expert
for Ko Samui, Thailand
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5. Re: Samui or Penang?

Hi

Just put my two satang in for beaches, swimming, sea based activities koh Samui it is :)

You will have street food in koh Samui and in Thailand too. March, April the weather will be hot and humid wiht blue skies in koh Samui.

Cheers,

Norfolk, United...
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for Chaweng, Ko Samui
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6. Re: Samui or Penang?

Agree, end of March/begininng of April should be just dandy in both, so that means Samui gets my vote this time!!

United Kingdom
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7. Re: Samui or Penang?

Thanks....Samui it is! Just confirmed at the IBH. I'll be bombarding you all with lots of questions soon...can't wait!

Bedfordshire
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8. Re: Samui or Penang?

The IBH is a very nice hotel in a beautiful peaceful location. We love Choeng mon and its a perfect beach for younger children or beach babies who love to sunbathe and swim. Its only 10 minutes by cab into Chaweng and Bhoput if you fancy hitting the shops and local markets or Chaweng's abundance of bars, clubs and places to eat.

Norfolk, United...
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for Chaweng, Ko Samui
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9. Re: Samui or Penang?

Personally I prefer chaweng for food and shopping. Food is very much comparable if you go back off the main drag.

10. Re: Samui or Penang?

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