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Bang Saphan Yai- Fantastic Beach

  • forestmat

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    Location Thailand
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    Hi, just spent 17 days in Bang Saphan Yai, Prachuap Khirikhan province. I live in BKK and have been coming to Thailand since 1994. I highly recommend the beaches of Bang Saphan Yai and Bang Krut, they are some of the most beautiful i have ever seen anywhere in the world...20 or 30 miles of white sand with only a handful of travellers. Whatever you do, don't tell the LP guide book about this place, it's clean, cheap and quiet. I stayed at the Suan Luang Beach which is right on the beach (not to be confused with the Suan Luang Resort which is about 1 km away from the sea and looks really run down) My bungalow was number A1 and although they asked for 700 Baht and we agreed at 450 Baht and spent 17 nights there with my wife. The bungalow looked out directly over the beach, had air-con and a refrigerator...a small kitchen outside and a bathroom with shower and hot water. I can honestly say that i will never have to go back to those grubby little islands of Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Tao ever again.
    The main beach of bang saphan yai is clean, white and great waves in the afternoon, a superb wind comes in off the water from Noon onwards. Further down the beach is the Coral Resort, a snobby and apparently "upmarket French/Thai concern" which I frankly wouldn't give the time of day considering the cheapest room starts at 1,500 Baht and has Thai staff who greet you with "Bonjour" (a bit much to take for an Englishman!). If you want a beach holiday where you don't see an umbrella on the beach and rarely a human being, then this is the place.

    #1 Posted: 21/3/2007 - 11:45

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  • somtam2000

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    Indeed it's a great spot -- if others are interested you can read more about Bang Saphan Yai on Travelfish here.

    Thanks for the report forestmat

    #2 Posted: 21/3/2007 - 16:34

  • shevago

    Joined Travelfish
    16th March, 2007
    Posts: 2

    hi forestmat,

    do you have more info on this Suan Luang Beach? I was actually planning a trip. staying at Suan Luang Resort.....with my kids
    Do you have some good advice on trips to Ko Sing...Sang...Thalau? Or any good advice?

    Thanks!

    #3 Posted: 24/3/2007 - 00:36

  • forestmat

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    Hi shevago, if you head for the Coral hotel on the beach and then walk about 500 metres further south you will find the Suan Luang beach resort. The best bungalow is number A1. There are a couple of wooden salas (Huts ) just on the beach, when you reach them you know you have found the right place. We took a boat to Koh Talu for the day with a local fishing boat, cost 1000 baht and we had lunch on the beach, the fisherman is friends with the owner of the island which is private. The other islands you mentioned have no beaches, but Koh Talu snorkelling was fantastic! We literally had fish all around us! The beach is great for kids as the water is shallow for a good way out, so kids can play safely. To get to Bang Sapahan Yai, the best way is go to the Southern bus terminal, go to counter number 10 and book a ticket with Bang Saphan Tour company, they will take you to Bang Saphan Town, all the other buses going that way will drop you off outside of town!!! Or you can take the train. To get from the town to the beach you will need to hire a tuktuk. When are you going to the beach? Hope this posting helps...

    #4 Posted: 27/3/2007 - 12:55

  • shevago

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 2

    Hi forestmat, many thanks for all the info! We are first in June in Thailand, but because of the kids I try to check some places in advance... Sounds like this Saphan Yai is a good alternativ for Koh Tao.
    To tell the truth, last time I have been to Ko Tao, was 10 years ago - and though friends were telling about the goods and the bads of the development of the island, I´m still looking forward to seeing those fantastic snorkelling spots on Ko Tao. Maybe I´ll be disappointed..:)
    Sounds like you have experience on Koh Tao as well. By the way, if you are still in Thailand, visit Khao Sok National Park - bit more south...fantastic jungle!

    #5 Posted: 28/3/2007 - 02:44

  • dlewingt

    Joined Travelfish
    24th October, 2007
    Posts: 4

    My wife and I are planning a trip to Thailand in Feb/08 for about 3.5 weeks. Were flying into Bangkok and then taking a train up to Chiang Mai. After touring Chiang Mai we're looking to spend some beach time at a quiet tropical locale in the south. We're thinking about going to Bang Saphon Yai for 3-4 days and then hitting a Island off trang. As are time is limited does anyone know the quickest way from Chaing Mae to Bang Saphong Yai and then from there to one of the Islands off trang?

    Thanks, any help is much appreciated and if anybody has any ideas about a nice island off trang that would be great.

    #6 Posted: 30/10/2007 - 06:05

  • somtam2000

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    Quickest way from Chiang Mai to Bang Saphan is flight to Bkk then bus or train to Bang Saphan. Onwards down to Trang I'd say overnight train to Trang which will get you in early so it's easy for boat connections out to the islands.

    #7 Posted: 30/10/2007 - 09:00

  • jewels

    Joined Travelfish
    6th November, 2007
    Posts: 5

    Hi Forestmat,
    Do you perhaps have somewhere contact details or a website for the Suan Luang Beach resort which you mentioned in your post? It sounds great!
    Thanks!

    #8 Posted: 6/11/2007 - 21:41

  • somtam2000

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    Hi jewels,

    You can read about Suang Luang Resort right here on Travelfish, and here is a link straight to their website.

    #9 Posted: 7/11/2007 - 07:33

  • ThaiWhiteBoy

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    24th December, 2007
    Posts: 1

    Sorry Somtam2000, but the resort that your URL links to is NOT the resort that forestmat pointed out. It was actually the place that he said way kinda crummy. I was going to spend a few days in Bang Saphan chilling out in (hopeful) peace and quiet before I take move on to Koh Tao and Koh Pang Ngan and have my experience disturbed by drunken Farang Kee Nok (if you're going to Koh Pang Ngan, and you're catching the bus from Kao San, then you're probably a kee nok... ask a friendly Thai what this means... hehe).

    Anyhow, I first booked with the cheapie, Lola's resort. They were fabulously friendly and sweet, and I wish that I could stay there. To me, a bungalow is just the place that you crash in between having a great time. But my gf wanted someplace decent. I must have spent an hour on google looking for this Suan Luang Beach Resort of yours, but I couldn't find anything. I had to google it under Thai characters to find it, and then I got a page that was out of commission. Thank God for cached pages. Anyhow, the people that I called there perfectly described your place, forestmat... it's 500 south of Coral Hotel, 700 baht, and has all the amenities that you describe. I even booked your bungalow A1.

    I'm quite in your debt, forestmat. Now I'll be happy with the nice snorkelling, and she'll be happy with the nice place. I'm debating if I should post the phone number on this website, but I'm afraid that I'll "ruin" this place eventually. Anyhow, I'll keep you aware on how this place is... if it's the dream that forestmay says that it is.

    #10 Posted: 24/12/2007 - 23:44

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  • somtam2000

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    Thanks for the correction TWB - my mistake!

    #11 Posted: 26/12/2007 - 18:33

  • hooch

    Joined Travelfish
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    Hi folks. I'm going to Bang Saphan in May but have never been there before. Is this resort contactable? Are there restaurants nearby? Can you get a tuk-tuk to there from the station?

    Thanks

    #12 Posted: 14/1/2008 - 09:25

  • forestmat

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    So, I am thinking of going back to Bang Saphan in March and wondering if anything has changed. Is Suan Luang Beach Resort still as good as ever? If anyone has been recently can you please post your experiences. Oh and I am not interested in Suan Luang Resort, by the way, it is crummy and miles from the beach. I work in Bangkok and need a really good place to relax with my Wife!

    Appreciate your comments

    forestmat

    #13 Posted: 20/1/2008 - 14:49

  • forestmat

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    So, I am thinking of going back to Bang Saphan in March and wondering if anything has changed. Is Suan Luang Beach Resort still as good as ever? If anyone has been recently can you please post your experiences. Oh and I am not interested in Suan Luang Resort, by the way, it is crummy and miles from the beach. I work in Bangkok and need a really good place to relax with my Wife!

    Appreciate your comments

    forestmat

    #14 Posted: 20/1/2008 - 14:53

  • talepleym

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    20th July, 2010
    Posts: 4

    Hi - we're going to Thailand for 6 days in Sept, with our 18 month old son. All we want is to relax on a nice beach, and having read your comments I'd love to check out Bang Saphan Yai. It's easist to get there by train from Bangkok, right? How long is the train ride? Once we're there, is it easy to get around with a pram? (from the info pages here it sounds like the only way to travel around is by motorbike..) Thanks!

    #15 Posted: 20/7/2010 - 20:37

  • SBE

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    Sorry to put a damper on things but I didn't think Ban Saphan was all that great as a beach. Went there for a few days last February. The access is not that easy, especially with a pram. If you don't have your own transport you'll need to get a motorbike taxi from the station to the beach. Other than motorbikes, transport to the beach is a bit thin on the ground, no songthaews or tuk tuks as far as I could see.

    I liked the atmosphere there, refreshingly laid back and very friendly locals. Far preferred it to the over-commercialised vibe on Ko Tao .

    Very laid back and slow... slow as in there's only one place that does breakfast and the lady goes off to the market at about 7.45 for an hour or two and nobody else knows how to work the coffee machine. Very good filter coffee though, rather unexpected in a place as low key as that and the food available was pretty good too... if you could find somewhere open! As I said, very laid back and uncommercialized atmosphere. Tourists had to fit in with the locals daily routines rather than the other way round... I like that myself.

    I was quite surprised to find that all the bungalows on the beach were full... a lot of people seem to be in on this "secret"! I found a place a bit further back that was a great deal... not on the beach but a very large room and huge balcony, fridge, kitchen area to do washing up (no stove though) and TV (that didn't work)... it was almost like a private apartment, much bigger than the usual beach bungalows and 2 minutes walk from the beach...we could see the ocean from the balcony. Cost 300B/night... very good value for money I thought.

    There's just one small shop, otherwise you need to go into town for supplies and there's a bar/restaurant where most people seem to congregate in the evenings. Good food and I think Saturdays was party night.... live music and singing but very low key compared to Ko Tao and Ko Phangan!

    Now the downsides of this place ... the first thing we saw on arrival was a guy in considerable pain getting treated for a jellyfish sting. Lots of jellyfish there apparently (don't know how seasonal they are). The owner of our bungalow proudly pointed to his aloe vera plant when I asked ... yes a few people get stung every week but no worries, we've got treatment right here. Hmm! I like swimming far offshore but it's very risky if there are lots of jelly fish about.... the sting can paralyse you, making it almost impossible swim back.

    Anyway, there's a jellyfish problem there.

    Then there's the water quality which is murky....don't go there for the snorkelling because there isn't any.

    The beach wasn't as clean as Forestmat makes out either... quite a bit of trash, I've seen cleaner beaches in Thailand for sure.

    If I lived in BKK I'd certainly prefer to escape the city stress here rather than somewhere like Cha Am but I don't think it's a good choice for people with a pram and young kids.

    #16 Posted: 21/7/2010 - 18:42

  • forestmat

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    @SBE It's hardly fair for you to say "The beach wasn't as clean as Forestmat makes out either" bearing in mind the time that has since past between me making that comment in March 2007 and you visiting in Feb 2010.

    Actually I go back to Bang Saphan regularly now, and these days still stay at the same resort. Agreed, there appears to be a jellyfish problem sometimes, usually around April when the water is literally hot!

    It is true that the beach can get covered in debris from high tidal waves, but this is true of nearly all beaches which are so long and lined by coconut trees.

    The beach at Bang Krut, further up the coast is also stunning. It really does still have my vote as one of the best Thai 'secret' beaches. Albeit you will need your own transport otherwise it's hopeless, especially if you have children.

    There are resort style places along the Bang Krut beach which will cost 700-3,000 Baht.

    Finally, Bang Saphan is not the place to go if you want nightlife, lots of restaurants, taxi service, shopping etc. When we go there, I drive my pick-up truck laden with everything needed for a DIY beach holiday, including camping gas, plates, cutlery, food and plenty of wine!

    It's quiet, friendly and off the beaten track...

    forestmat

    #17 Posted: 21/7/2010 - 19:00

  • talepleym

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    20th July, 2010
    Posts: 4

    Thanks, SBE and Forestmat, unsure if Bang Saphan is the best beach for us after your replies - not considering jellyfish or changing weather, that can happen anywhere. But we need to be able to get around with the pram.

    Do you suggest any place else? I've looked at Cha-am, but that sounds a bit 'ex-pat like' - any where else not too far away from Bangkok? Like the idea of bungalow on the beach and being able to do a bit of snorkelling/diving if poss.

    Thanks!

    #18 Posted: 21/7/2010 - 19:34

  • forestmat

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    @talepleym no I don't think it's the best place with a pram and no car. Bang Krut would be possible if you stayed near the northern end of the beach...it's flat, has a great beach and has some shops (but not many), it's also got a small train station for access to Bangkok. It is most definitely not an ex-pat place.

    Best

    forestmat

    #19 Posted: 21/7/2010 - 19:40

  • talepleym

    Joined Travelfish
    20th July, 2010
    Posts: 4

    Great - sounds perfect! Thanks for your help!

    #20 Posted: 21/7/2010 - 19:53

  • tezza

    Joined Travelfish
    13th April, 2006
    Posts: 1291
    Total reviews: 61

    Good thread - gotta check this place sometime soon.

    #21 Posted: 22/7/2010 - 17:37

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