Had an incredible five days on the island. Really enjoyed it. Not a single drop of rain, great swimming, some general thoughts and tips:
- My wife and I stayed at the south end of Sunrise beach. At the Ten Moons to be specific, which will be reviewed separately.
- The south end of Sunrise beach is just fantastic. Clear waters, not a lot of people. The fish in the sea were just fascinating. You can swim above the coral and I actually swam all the way out to the little island straight out from the Ten Moons resort. Be very careful of the coral during low tides. Don't touch it! Swim with fins so you can control yourself better and not be swayed too much by the currents. There are jellyfish. I got a few nasty stings on my feet and ankles. However, not as painful as I have before. You can also get a kayak and explore.
- The further north you go on Sunrise beach the busier it gets. I liked it way down south with fewer people. You get what you pay for.
- It is a simple easy walk to bar street.
- I have been to many islands in Thailand (10+). There are others with more isolation and quietness (Koh Jum for instance) but I didn't feel overwealmed with people like other people have posted about. I'm sure ten years ago it was way more remote. I also didn't feel threatened by any of the trikes or tuktuks rolling by. It was all pretty chill. Nobody hassled us at all. This is way way way different than Phuket where you can't walk 5 meters without somebody trying to sell you something. I felt totally at ease and safe.
- Alcohol is a little pricier than other places. But it's not insane expensive like a bar in Europe or New York City. I thought it was all reasonable. Bring a few bottles of liquor if that is your thing. It will help save you some funds.
- There are some fantastic BBQ places on the beach and fire / dance shows and music. I just really enjoyed the vibe of Sunset beach. Way chill.
- We came in through Langkawi but LEFT through Hat Yai. Here are some thoughts. Langkawi boat is much more chill and easy. It's only fifteen minutes to the ferry. Customs super easy. Zero problems. Boat ride mellow and chill. Getting to Hat Yai leaving was a whole different story. The boat is a big speedboat and it is not for the sea-sensitive. I had fun with the bumps on the waves but its not for everyone. It is 90 minutes of hardcore bumping. I would not bring a prego wife. We left at 0930 for a 1420 flight and BARELY made it. I paid an extra 2000baht for a private taxi to get to the airport on time. It was like MArio Andredi driving. But we made it. Barely.
- Another tip.... If you are flying on Air Asia or one of the other cheaper airlines, please make sure to buy your baggage BEFORE you get to the airport. It is way cheaper.
10 out of 10 trip. Just super happy. Please find my other reviews for some of the specific places if you wish.