A friend and I are spending a month long trip between Thailand and Cambodia. I'm a major beach/snorkel/swimming aficionado, but usually go to the South Pacific, Caribbean or Latin America (last trips were Cuba in April and Vanuatu in October). This will be my first trip to Asia. I've been reading Tezza's site, Travelfish and others online, but can't seem to make up my mind on one aspect of the trip. At the end of the trip we'll be spending some time on Railay and then Koh Ngai. Toward the beginning of the trip (mid-November) we're splitting up for four nights to do separate adventures. I've been obsessing about which island/beach/lodging to go to for that solo chunk of time. Here are my parameters>
-a beach in which you can find a quiet spot to chill out on (no music blaring from a resort, not tons of boat traffic)
-good swimming if possible
-mid range or 'flashpacker' accommodation on the beach (staying in the lower priced 'garden' bungalows is fine)
-not into the party scene at all
-nearby wildlife is a plus
I originally had my heart set on Koh Tao, then learned November is the height of rainy season there. Then considered doing one of the quiet beaches on Koh Samet (such as Ao Thian or Ao Pudsa/Tubtim), but was discouraged by the lack of snorkelling opportunities. Recently considered doing Coral Island Resort off of Phuket (sounds like there's space to get away from the daytrippers- not sure if this is accurate).........as you can see, the pesky fickle travel decision gene has kicked in!
Would love to get feedback (feel free to be as opinionated as you like) and recommendations. Thanks so much, really, really appreciate your help!
**also posted this on the Koh Tao and Phuket forums, apologies for any duplications, I'm a newbie at this forum stuff :)