Advice: Koh Samui or Phuket?

Can't decide between Koh Samui and Phuket?

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Q: Hi, I am looking at travelling to Koh Samui or Phuket in July. I heard this is the rainy season? We only have five days max and want to do the usual tourist things- riding elephants etc. and of course lounging at the beach.

Is this a bad time of the year to go? And what would you recommend - Koh Samui or Phuket? Cheers #wishingforsun, Samantha.

A: Hi Samantha,

Essentially Thailand has 3 seasons; the cool season (which is actually quite hot), the hot season and the wet season. 

Depending on which part of Thailand you are the timings of the seasons differ slightly.

In Phuket the wet season is from May to October, so yes July is the rainy season but being a tropical climate the rain tends to come down in short heavy bursts and then clear quite quickly. 

May, September and October tend to get the steady heavy rains. 

The good thing is that this is also the low season for hotels so there are some very sharp deals available over the wet season in Phuket.

Koh Samui is on the other side of the peninsula and July is in the middle of the hot season so you're unlikely to get rain but you do need to be able to cope with it being hot i.e. 30-35 degrees.

If you decide to head to Phuket then make sure you check out Phi Phi Island - Maya bay is stunning.

You can do it as a day trip or if you wanted you can spend a day or two there.  A kayak trip to the Hongs (sea caves) by starlight is well worth it, you can also find plenty of cultural shows and can either do an elephant day trek or if you are a bit more adventurous then I'd suggest a 2 or 3 day Jungle Safari. 

Koh Samui is a bit more laid back in terms of things to do but hiring a car or scooter is a great way to explore on your own.

Make sure you visit Bophut Beach it's a little fishing village with some great restaurants, Naumang waterfalls are worth a visit as is the Big Buddha. 

Other than that both Phuket and Koh Samui have all the usual water sports on offer and I'd also suggest you take a Thai cooking class they're a lot of fun and not to mention yummy!

Cheers, Julia Paley, House of Travel.

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