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The Andaman is not cheap

  • tezza

    Joined Travelfish
    13th April, 2006
    Posts: 1306
    Total reviews: 61

    I was in theAndaman for a couple of weeks starting mid April - well and truly shoulder season. You would't know it by the prices of bungalows.
    Try 1000 for a simple thatched fan bungalow at Seafood on Ko Ngai. Hey Camping had tents for 500. Neither had guests - can't think why. I ended up restaying at Ngai Villa for 700, no great deal.

    How about 570 baht for a leaky tent in the Similans? Or 2000+ for one of their fan bungalows with views blocked by trees?
    .
    Phi Phi is seriously expensive. Joints were asking ridiculous prices. Toh Koh Resort on the east coast wanted well over 1000 for their tiny basic backpacker bungalows with bathrooms above the rocks south of the restaurant. They have some new thatched fan bungalows overlooking the northern part of the beach at 2800 in high season, 1800in low!
    Sand SeaView down the unexpectedly nice far western end of Ton Sai near the cliffs wanted1000 for a third row job which I stayed at for way less in 2010.

    Contrast - I was paying 400-500 for way superior bungalows on nicer beaches with better views a week later on Ko Phangan. Two of them even had hot water. And the weather was better there, as is usual that time of year.
    .
    Seems to me it is real hard to get a decent place under about 700 away from low season inthe Andaman unless you are in the Ranong Islands or some of the cheaper parts of Khao Lak and Phuket.
    I know some of you dudes will be posting in with OH YEAH? WE GOT A GREAT PLACE FOR 500 AT X LAST FEBRUARY. Great, this is part of my motivation for writing this thread.

    #1 Posted: 31/5/2012 - 06:15

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  • longbeach

    Joined Travelfish
    28th March, 2012
    Posts: 307

    April is high season then. Phuket/Phi Phi/Ngai/Lipe are just about the top 4 most expensive islands except for those 1 resort islands.

    I must say though going to those places and expecting cheap prices is like going to KFC and expecting a low calorie meal.

    I actually found KPN to be expensive when I visited. Think it was Sept/Oct can't remember, was a few yrs ago. 700 baht for a small fan room, 1500 baht for aircon, big room but bed was too soft and shower not good.

    #2 Posted: 31/5/2012 - 10:47

  • DLuek

    TF writer
    Joined Travelfish
    19th June, 2008
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 932
    Total reviews: 14

    Tezza,

    Couldn't agree more. I think Ko Ngai is way overpriced and not worth it compared to other spots considering you have to rely completely on resorts for their overpriced food too. Think I paid 40 baht for a small water at one of the cheaper resorts there last October. Similans and Surin pricey for what you get as well.

    Lipe still has some decent 500-800 baht bare bones bungalow options (even during high season) due to the level of competition there, but food is pricey there. One standout is Ko Bulon, where you can still find a good bungalow for 300 baht, at Jungle Huts, for example, although it's electricity only at night. Ko Muk still has some decent budget spots like Meow and Coco Cottage -- good place to day trip to Ko Kradan from too. And at Kradan, while Wally's Paradise Lost spot is a bit pricey considering it's shared bathrooms, it's not too bad for being in such a gorgeous spot, and that everything else on Kradan is 2000 baht plus.

    But even Ko Libong is pretty expensive during high season. Ko Sukorn is pricey for being near the beach, but there are some good dirt cheap homestay style bungalow joints inland and on the east coast.

    Still, overall you're very right... I just took my first ever trip to Ko Tao after spending tons of time in the Andaman islands over the last six months, and I was amazed at how practically everything (food, accommodation, even diving) were close to half the price of what I was seeing regularly on the Andaman side. I guess since their high season in Andaman is so short they need to make up for it with the prices?

    #3 Posted: 1/6/2012 - 00:42

  • tezza

    Joined Travelfish
    13th April, 2006
    Posts: 1306
    Total reviews: 61

    Good stuff DL - I knew there were some out there. Kinda jogged my memory a bit. Yep competition is good on Lipe.
    Muk's Mookies, Rubber Tree and Had Farang resort have always been reasonable although Charlie is a joke - dead low season 2010, I'm the only person in the joint but they wanted 1000 for a bungalow I wouldn't rate as flashpacker. I managed to talk them down.
    Ao Niang resort on Kradan (this is a newish joint on the southern beach) had a few basic thatched bungalows for 600 not too long ago. But yeah, the other joints are exxy. Last I heard Wally had closed his dorm - but quite a few of his bungalows have bathrooms. Expensive or not, I like staying at Wally's because he's such a hard case - and the food is very good.

    Yep, Tao is cheaper than the Andaman but I've always thought it more expensive than Phangan (away from Party time) - I blame the divers. Those dudes are used to paying over the top for everything. Please don't feel insulted.

    longbeach, Phangan prices can get out of control around Party time and that 4 days minimum thing that many places bung on is a bummer. At other times I've found it one of the most competitive islands re prices. But I don't stay in Had Rin these days.

    One thing I didn't put in my OP. The mass-booking sites like sawadee.com and Agoda* seem to be able to squeeze some very good shoulder season (and of course low season) prices out of the Andaman, but more so for midrange and better joints. How about 1200 baht including a huge buffet brekka for two at Ko Ngai Fantasy in mid April. Aircon room plus a nice pool - makes Seafood's 1000 for a thatched fan joint or those 500 tents at Camping seem stupid.
    500 for a tent in shoulder season!

    *isn't travelfish's booking engine associated with one of these?

    #4 Posted: 1/6/2012 - 09:20

  • DLuek

    TF writer
    Joined Travelfish
    19th June, 2008
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 932
    Total reviews: 14

    Oh yes, I recall seeing that Ao Nieng spot, think they were renovating when I was there. Basically bamboo bungalow with a bed for 600, but it is on the beach. Confirmed on Wally no longer doing the dorms; I was there solo so the shared bath bungalow was the way to go, but you're right they do have some bigger bungalows with attached bath.

    Good call on checking Agoda, although if booking less than 24 hours in advance good chance the place will be full when you get there (I speak from experience on that one)!

    Another good budget island that comes to mind is Ko Phra Thong, which I believe you've covered on your outstanding website ;)

    #5 Posted: 1/6/2012 - 11:50

  • Tilapia

    Click here to learn more about Tilapia
    Joined Travelfish
    21st April, 2006
    Location Canada
    Posts: 1425
    Total reviews: 15
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    At least 113

    Shhhhhh ... just don't mention Koh Si Boya ...

    #6 Posted: 1/6/2012 - 18:32

  • tezza

    Joined Travelfish
    13th April, 2006
    Posts: 1306
    Total reviews: 61

    Okay, except to say that heading east well away from the Andaman, things get pretty reasonable.
    Ko Wai Paradise still had some 250 baht bungalows in March. Hell, I got an overwater bungalow on stilts on Ko Maak with brekka thrown in for less than 1000. And Island Hut's beachfront jobs were 400. Some real good deals up adjacent Rock Sand in the nice less-visited northern part of White Sand Beach, Ko Chang, Siam Hut virtually on the beach at Long Beach was 380 for a fan, 560 aircon. And there were some very reasonably priced places up the river at Ban Chao on Kut.

    #7 Posted: 3/6/2012 - 07:42

  • longbeach

    Joined Travelfish
    28th March, 2012
    Posts: 307

    If someone knows a good resort on Tao with rooms under 1200 baht post it please.

    #8 Posted: 3/6/2012 - 18:13

  • longbeach

    Joined Travelfish
    28th March, 2012
    Posts: 307

    Andaman high season goes from nov to may so it's long. I didn't stay in Haad Rin (way overdeveloped). I stayed at Haad Yao and prices there were high. I haven't made it to Tao yet but I've searched for resorts there and there isn't much below 1200 baht that looks any good. People complained about transport and food being expensive as well and the gulf islands have a shorter high season.

    #9 Posted: 3/6/2012 - 18:14

  • longbeach

    Joined Travelfish
    28th March, 2012
    Posts: 307

    http://www.travelfish.org/accommodation_profile/thailand/southern_thailand/surat_thani/ao_thian_ok/all/632

    expensive prices for a fan room even in low season
    1500 baht for a fan room is double what you'd pay on other islands

    #10 Posted: 3/6/2012 - 18:39

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  • tezza

    Joined Travelfish
    13th April, 2006
    Posts: 1306
    Total reviews: 61

    Try MOONDANCE bungalows on the very nice Gul Jea beach, one of the small relatively unknown ones in the south west of the island. Isolation means you best need a longtail with bags from the pier (although a new flash dive resort has apparently opened high on the hillside behind the beach so transport may be okay to there now) - without bags it's a 10 minute or so walk to Chalok Ban Kao via Viewpoint resort and about 25 minutes to town via the other south west beaches including Sai Nuan 1 and 2 (which also have some cheaper bungalows). When I last passed by MOONDANCE 2 years ago in March they had some 250b bungalows.

    HING WONG RESORT on Hing Wong Bay was not over expensive when I stayed there - but there is no beach on this wonderfully scenic bay. Very good coral by Thai standards but I don't know how the recent bleaching has impacted it.

    Plenty of cheap rooms in town of course and I understand some outfit has even opened a dorm. Google should be able to find these.

    #11 Posted: 4/6/2012 - 04:44

  • longbeach

    Joined Travelfish
    28th March, 2012
    Posts: 307

    What is there to do at night at these remote places? Seems like during the day transport is also an issue with taxi pp quoted at 200 baht 1 way and roads are bad so bike riding is risky. After watching a youtube video on sairee which looked seriously overdeveloped i wouldnt want to stay there either. Tanote Bay does look the best allround beach experience with both good swimming and snorkelling. Shark bay looks quite shallow and more for going further out to see sharks. Are all these sharks harmless?

    #12 Posted: 4/6/2012 - 18:20

  • tezza

    Joined Travelfish
    13th April, 2006
    Posts: 1306
    Total reviews: 61

    On the remote beaches at night I nurse my bottle of elcheapo Thai rum and read a book. Often there is some good company in the restaurant to share a drink and some bullshit.

    For more lively prospects from Gul Jea you will need to walk over to Chalok Ban Kao. Ditto from Shark Bay. CBK has a few bars with music etc.

    Shark Bay does get a bit shallow at low tide but not as much as Chalok. Overall I reckon it is a pretty attractive area. The sharks are harmless reef sharks.

    I agree that Tanote is one of the best all round beaches. Nice sand, water and snorkelling. A couple of dive outfits and a good range of accommodation. Enough people and places to have its own (not too raging) entertainment at night.

    #13 Posted: 5/6/2012 - 05:50

  • longbeach

    Joined Travelfish
    28th March, 2012
    Posts: 307

    Is the road between Shark Bay and Sairee safe enough on a bike?

    #14 Posted: 5/6/2012 - 06:56

  • tezza

    Joined Travelfish
    13th April, 2006
    Posts: 1306
    Total reviews: 61

    I've never taken the road into Shark Bay. I've always come in thru the fence from Chalok Ban Kao (which is now quite tricky). But I have seen the road - from memory there are none of those super steep sections which are easy to lock a brake up, slide into a transverse rut and go head over turkey.

    #15 Posted: 5/6/2012 - 22:55

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