We loved the two islands we visited on the gulf of Thailand (Koh Tao and Koh Phangan). We felt we got great value for our dollar in terms of accommodations (our lovely hotel on Haad Yao was only $24/night). The beaches were amazing- crystal clear, warm (sometimes HOT) ocean water. Very relaxed and laid back atmosphere; overall just a great place to unwind.
While the cliffs and landscape in Krabi were beautiful and seeing the monkeys on the beach was awesome, we aren't in love with the Adaman Sea side of Thailand (keep in mind our review is based on one location). The water/beach was nothing special- most of the time it was very windy and the water was murky and choppy. The beach town of Ao Nang was also nothing special- it was filled to the brim with tourists and pushy shop-owners. Additionally, the accommodations here were way over-priced, at least compared to places we visited prior. We stayed in a budget guest-house for 3 nights (which cost the same as the hotel in Koh Phangan), and then decided to splurge on a nice hotel for our last night. Unfortunately the hotel was terrible and we wished we hadn't spend the extra cash on it. Oh well!
Our bags are packed and we have a bit of a journey ahead of us: this afternoon we take a 3 hr mini-van to Surat Thani, then we plan to take the night train up to Bangkok. The next day we will take another train towards Cambodia- first stop is Siem Reap to see the ruins of Ankor Wat.
We might not be blogging for a few days while we are in transit. Thanks for reading!