We are traveling in Dec/Jan for about 4 weeks with 2 kids, 8 and 10, arriving in BKK. After getting over jetlag, we will head down to Ko Jum for 4-5 days to decompress and then would like to spend a week in either Ko Lanta or Krabi before heading back up north to visit Kanchanaburi, Ayuthya, Lopburi.
Which would be more suitable for our family - Lanta or Krabi? We want quiet, but not that quiet. Where would you stay? So many choices...
#1 westcoastmimi has been a member since 30/10/2009. Posts: 6
My vote would be for Ko Lanta as Krabi itself is just a transport hub. You could stay elsewhere in the province -- eg Railay Beach or Ao Nang but Ko Lanta is a great spot and good for travellers with kids.
Thanks! We're leaning towards Ko Lanta (staying on Ko Jum for 4 nights beforehand). I don't see any accommodation recommendations here for Ko Lanta and am getting very confused re choice. Do you think it would be a problem to show up (we'd be arriving Dec 22) and find something. Or would that be too risky with kids?
Would you give Railay Beach and Ao Nang a miss and advise just staying on Ko Lanta? We have about 10 days in total and it would be nice to split things up a bit.
#3 westcoastmimi has been a member since 30/10/2009. Posts: 6
The Ko Lanta recommendations are broken up by beach -- here's Long Beach for example. To see them, go to the main Lanta page and you'll see them listed. However, I'll be the first to say our Lanta stuff is quite out of date (we've just had it re-researched, but it's still being written up and will be another week or so before it is online)
As for reserving in advance, arriving Dec 22, with kids, yes, I'd say it wouldn't be a bad idea at all... Below are some of the resellers who have Lanta rooms (Agoda is more upmarket, Sawasdee has more cheapies):
As for splitting it up and going to Railay or something, I'd be inclined to stay on Lanta -- it's a big island, with lots of different beaches you can visit and there's plenty of scope for boat trips and other excursions.
Plus, having travelled with kids myself (admittedly younger than yours) the idea of moving around just for a few days, in peak season, makes my skin crawl!
I too reckon Lanta is way more suited to relaxing and kids. Railay/ Ao Nang tends to get real crowded at that time of year.
Even given that, if you have 10 days, a few checking out the gorgeous seascape/landscape of the Railay/Phra Nang/Ton Sai area would not be wasted. Jum and Lanta are nice islands but they can't offer that type of scenery. Lots of people with only a few days to spare find it easier to stay in Krabi town or Ao Nang and travel to the Railay area for the sights. Personally, if I could book somewhere on Railay or Ton Sai for a few nights, I'd stay there.
With the exception of Railay I think you COULD find somewhere on arrival, but once again it is a busy time and you may find yourself trudging around with kids in tow and/or accepting something that is not what you really like. I rarely book when travelling alone, but EVERY time I take Lady Tezza to Thailand, forget about the kids, I haven't the courage to not book. She don't like walking in the heat with bags.
Maybe you could give us some idea of your budget level and we may be able to suggest some accommodation on Lanta and your other places.
Hi Tezza and Somtam
Thanks so much for your suggestions. Pre kids we were pretty adventurous and would just turn up somewhere and hope for the best. However, life moves on...
Budget...would be less if we weren't traveling in peak season, but it seems that we will need to spend in the region of 3000 baht per night to get what we want on Lanta (perhaps more in Krabi). We are just finalizing Ting Rai Bay Resort (on Ko Jum) for 1000 baht a night; unfortunately completely booked from 22 Dec onwards as this would be our pick over Xmas.
On Lanta we are looking at Lanta Mermaid or Eyes Lanta ore even Sayang Beach Bungalows. Open to suggestion.
We've seen the Sunda Resort in Krabi, but notice that it is a bit out of the way.
What are your thoughts?
#6 westcoastmimi has been a member since 30/10/2009. Posts: 6
Look, I usually travel near-bottom budget, so 3k is WAY beyond my experience, but for what it's worth, here's my input:
Ting Rai - all the reports I've seen say it's a class act. I have visited the beach and checked the resort from there - looks real nice.
Lanta Mermaid - on Khlong Dao - least attractive beach IMHO, resorts packed pretty close. Plenty of restaurants/bars etc. But beach not UNATTRACTIVE if you get what I mean.
Sayang Beach Bungalows - website looks nice. Long Beach is best ALL ROUND beach IMHO.
Eyes Lanta - OH WOW! If you can afford this, go for it! Kantiang has to be one of the nicest LAID BACK beaches on Lanta. I have always fancied Lanta Marine Park View which seems to have similar elevated views on the northern headland - Eyes seems to be towards the southern headland. Looks a pretty new place - I didn't know of it.
Sunda Resort - the Ao Nang area has heaps of nice places these days. Website suggests Sunda is pretty good. Ao Nang great base for daytrips the short distance across to Railay/Phra Nang.
I doubt you'll get a place on Railay itself this late.
Pia and Tezza
Looks like we'll be staying on Lanta then.
Tezza thanks for all your info re beaches and the different resorts. 3K is not what we'd like to spend, but traveling in peak season with kids has pushed it up more than we'd originally anticipated.
Pia, I did look into Ancient Realm and it sounds nice; perhaps we'll see you there!
#9 westcoastmimi has been a member since 30/10/2009. Posts: 6
Hi Sharmani, my wife and I stayed at Sayang Beach Resort on Long Beach in Feb 08. Really enjoyed it,I did a review of this place and highly recommend it. Family run resort right on the beach. Also Long Beach is a very safe beach and there was loads of families with young kids having a ball.
Swag, we are leaning towards Lanta and Sayang Beach may very well be where we stay - they do have rooms on the dates we need them.
Somtam, you mention that you will have revised Lanta info up within a week. Many of the places are getting booked up so I'm loathe to delay much longer, but if the info will be up soon, I'd rather wait. Perhaps there will be a few new places that everyone hasn't already heard about?
#11 westcoastmimi has been a member since 30/10/2009. Posts: 6