My son is doing a TEFL course in Ban phe in Jan. We are travelling out and want to spend time with him (and his thai wife and new baby!)but do not much like the sound of ban phe. need to be within easy access of Pine Beaches hotel but has anyone any suggestions? As it is also our holiday we would like to stay somewhere fairly relaxing , beach etc. Mid range prices.
#1 roothc has been a member since 11/12/2006. Posts: 8
Samet Island is just a 30 minute ferry boat ride off the coast of Ban Phe, and one of my favorite spots in all of Thailand. I recommend spending at least part of your time out there. Go midweek for best prices and less of a crowd. There is quite a bit of good and fairly recently updated info about Samet Island on the Travelfish website. See what you think.
thanks, any recommendations for hotels?
#3 roothc has been a member since 11/12/2006. Posts: 8
i will also be passing through Ban Phe to get to Ko Samet. will be arriving in the evening, and was wondering if i should just show up and hope to find a place, or book in advance. any recommendations?
will be there middle of the week, arriving on a wednesday, january 3rd (i hear accommodation is often more full on the weekends).
#4 sideflip1 has been a member since 16/10/2006. Posts: 18
i have several recommendations. please give me an idea of the type of experience you are seeking and a dollar/baht value that you have to spend, i'll narrow that list to a few.
also, please have a look at the accomodation listings and other info for samet on the travelfish website. that will help you get a better idea of what is on offer.
you are exactly correct that samet is much busier on the weekends, when thais and expats alike pop over for a great time. arriving midweek like you have planned should be okay without reservations, although that is a bit close to the new year, which means that the island may have more guests than usual on a wednesday. some of my favorite spots, including naga and tok's little hut, do not accept reservations. does that help? cheers.
hi exacto. thanks for your help! i have another question for you: we will be leaving from siem reap that morning, and hope to arrive at Ko Samet that evening. i was advised that i can go from siem reap to ban phe in a day, to make the last ferry from ban phe to ko samet by 6p.m. any advice on what time i should leave siem reap? i know early, but was wondering how early. i plan on taking a bus from aranya prathet to chanthaburi, and then switching for a bus heading to rayong/ban phe. not sure how long either of these bus rides are. thanks!!
#6 sideflip1 has been a member since 16/10/2006. Posts: 18
i'm not sure i'm the best person to ask, since i haven't taken this route myself. i know that a taxi trip from SR to the border takes 3 to 4 hours depending on road conditions, and then an hour or so to clear border formalities on both sides. after that i'm guessing that it is a 4 to 5 hour bus trip to chantaburi, if there is a direct bus, and if not, you'd need to change buses in sakaeo. from chantaburi, it is probably 2 to 2.5 hours to rayong. that bus might pass nearby or even go through ban phe. from rayong, it is a 20-30 min ride back to ban phe. the unknown factor is how long you'll need to wait for the next bus during each leg of the trip.
if anyone else has better info, please jump in.
any way you look at it, it will be a long day of travelling. if you get to ban phe after the last regular ferry, you can hang out at the ferry terminal to see if there are any extra ferrys or perhaps even go in with a few other late arrivals and charter a speed boat over to the island that evening. if not, or if the price is too dear, there are a few mediocre at best places to stay in ban phe.
thanks for the help, exacto. i know it will be a long travel day, but i hope i can make it to ko samet by that night! thanks.
#8 sideflip1 has been a member since 16/10/2006. Posts: 18
Sorry for delay in answering, been away for a few days. Thanks for your reply. I thought about 800-1200 baht a night but would want something with shower /wc and also a fan room . Not sure whether staying on Ko Samet would be a good idea if we have to travel back daily to see my son, what is Rayong like...I have looked at the travelfish site but cannot seem to get a good idea of distance / time from there to Ban phe.
#10 roothc has been a member since 11/12/2006. Posts: 8
If you are expecting to visit with your son and his family every day, then you're probably best off just staying in Ban Phe. If Ban Phe doesn't look all that great to you, I'm not sure there will be much for you in Rayong. The trip to/from Rayong is about 20 to 30 minutes by minibus - not all that different from the ferry ride to/from Samet island.
If you do decide to head over to Samet, I'd recommend Pineapple Beach Resort on Ao Lukyon, Laem Yai Hut on Haad Sai Kaew, and almost any of the places in the Ao Hin Khok or Ao Phai areas. They fit what you've said you are looking for. You can check out the listings for these places on the Travelfish website's Ko Samet section. Have a good visit.
Rayong is about 30 minutes from Ban Phe by songtheaw or minibus. If you don't want to stay on Samet or in Ban Phe there are a few resorts further east along the coast from Ban Phe town that are probably just what you're looking for. Unfortunately we don't list them on Travelfish, but they're there!
Ban Pae Cabana is about the best in the area -- I stayed there years ago and had no complaints... You can read more about it here: Ban Pae Cabana.
Looking into last suggestions. a concern is the national park entry fee...do you have to pay each time you go to the island? Could get very expensive if travelling back and forth daily!
#13 roothc has been a member since 11/12/2006. Posts: 8
I've been handed a receipt-style ticket when I pay to enter the park, and flashed that whenever I popped in and out of the fee area. The park guys have always just waived me through.
For the record, there are large parts of the island that are outside of the fee area, but my favorite spots are all within the national park fee area.
It sounds like commuting to/from the island isn't going to be your best option roothc, but I hope you at least get to pop out there for a day trip, or better yet, an overnight. It is a great spot. Cheers.
Just an addit to this, found a decent bar / cafe with rooms just outside the centre of Ban phe which was clean, reasonable, and just opened. Only has five rooms, but one has aircon, TV VCD with ensuite, also has adjoining room which has three beds so useful for families, large groups etc. Owner is rather outspoken austrailian but very friendly and helpful, great food both Thai and Aussie BBQ. Bonus was that the room was outside the fish smelling area but near enough to walk to for shopping bars internet etc. Songthaw go both ways regularly and ferry to Ko Samet is just accross the road. Avoided the National Park fee as went by speedboat direct to beach on one occasion and took taxi on the other. Helpful driver sat me in the front, hid my small rucksack under dashboard and the fee was not requested! Some great beaches there!
Also spotted some other bungalows near Ban Phe just past the Pine Beach Hotel (S.Land resort). These were reasonable and looked quite decent. Within walking distance to Ban phe.
#16 roothc has been a member since 11/12/2006. Posts: 8