I'm planning to go to Koh Phangan with my boyfriend (both late 20's) for the full moon party in April. We want to take in the atmosphere of the party but also be able to escape to a quieter part of the island when things get crazy (max 30 - 35 drive). We're planning to stay a few days and want a nice beach as well as a good hop off point for exploring the island. With this being low tide season, I'm wondering if all beaches on the west are horrible for any sort of swimming or dipping in to cool off? I read somewhere that maybe Ao Chao Phao is quiet nice even in low tide and great for snorkelling, but other sites seem to disagree. Can anyone comment?
Also, with April's FMP falling around the same time has Songkran, is it important to book ahead of time as opposed to just arriving 3 or 4 days prior to the party.