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Phuket or Samui or Krabi Islands

Phuket

Phuket is fairly spread-out seaside resort, so spread out that most people tend to find a cozy spot and stay there. They might venture out to the middle of the island where the new (Western) shopping malls are, and occasionally to Phuket Town for a change from foreigners and tourists.

But otherwise, it's a fairly isolated place that's become a bit overpriced and mired in corruption and criminal activities. Nevertheless, if you like the idea of living away from it all in a house with a sea view - but still have access to a modern shopping environment and a buzzing night life when you're feeling lonely then Phuket is probably for you.

It's one of the most expensive places in Thailand (with everything about double the price of Bangkok), but still cheaper than many US or European cities.

The Islands, Krabi, Samui, etc.

If you want isolation and total peace and quiet and are happy with a fairly slow, boring life then the islands are for you. Samui has a fairly vibrant town center that is noisy and rowdy for most of the night. But otherwise, your most exciting activity might be to walk in the forests or go sailing in the sea.

As these are small islands, don't expect total anonymity because there are relatively few expats and everybody will get to know everybody else.

And because they are islands, you shouldn't expect reliable internet connections or easy access to electronics and Western gadgetry or your favorite foods. For that you'll have to take the ferry to Phuket or fly to Bangkok.