Hi there, I'll be travelling with my mate (both late 20s) to Thailand in jan 2012. We arrive in Bangkok before we travel the country and want your guest house recommendations. As first timers to bangkok we might as well see what the fuss is about on kho san road an we would prefer to have it booked before we go so we know we definately have a room when we arrive.
We are also going to spend a about 4-5 days on ko pha ngan relaxing before the full moon party an also need your recommendations. We want to stay away from the party on a quiet'ish' part of the island. Preferably with a guesthouse/bungalow on the beach. Can you also let us know what were expecting to pay for a nights stay too. Many thanks, your knowledge will be appreciatted
#1 slow_mo has been a member since 8/7/2011. Posts: 11
Try Bottle Beach on koh phangan. It's one of the quieter beaches which makes it more stunning. Smile Resort is cheap with cute bunglows and great food. People tend to stay up drinking but in a more chill mode... enjoy
#2 nzmissy has been a member since 10/7/2011. Posts: 3
" Can you also let us know what were expecting to pay for a nights stay too. Many thanks..."
Plan a budget out first and see what you can afford for a room and then ask for recommendations in that price range. Match the hotel to what you can pay for!
In Bangkok you can find a hotel room that has air conditioning, private bathroom, TV and security storage starting around 600 baht. And you can also find hotel rooms over 6000 baht per night.
Here is a couple links for hotels. Late twenties some might think you to be a little old for Khao San Road. More often it is kids in school or just out of school staying there.
Other areas of Bangkok, like Sukhumvit and Siam, also have cheap hotels and allow you to use the Skytrain too!
Without knowing what you can afford there is no real way to suggest a place to stay at - just random suggestions.
@sirhalberd thanks for your advice.
Smile resort and Smile bungalows look nice but isnt bottle beach a bit of a pain to get too?
Regarding accomodation in Bangkok we are looking to pay around 700-900THB. Maybe a daft question but do you pay per person or by the room? We will want a twin room.
So do you have any reccomendations in the Siam / Sukhumvit area? Would this be a good area for x2 to meet other travelers, have a few beers and sample some decent street food?
Is it worth travelling to the Kho San Road area to book tours and transport still?
#4 slow_mo has been a member since 8/7/2011. Posts: 11
Try Thong Nai Pan Yai on KP. It is much more accessible than Bottle Beach and in my opinion more beautiful. You can also easily walk over to Thong Nai Pan Noi where you will find some great restaurants. For bungalows try Longtail Resort, Dolphin or Pen's.
I would try Khao San for a night and see how you like it. Yes it is full of youngsters but I do know some that are even older than you that still stay there, although I have no idea why.
Sukhimvit is a better option and you can easily take a taxi to Khao San for an evening to see what it is all about.
#5 guava_girl has been a member since 21/10/2010. Posts: 252
Guava girl jumped in first - but Thong Nai Pan Noi is a great spot. It's in the NE area of KPN with a gorgeous beach that is great for swimming. No snorkelling here though - just lovely white sandy bottom.
When I arrived on the ferry, there didn't appear to be anyone else going up that way, so I was going to have to pay 1000 baht for the whole taxitruck which I thought was a ridiculous price. So rather than do that, I hired a 4WD (2000 baht for 3 days) and it was an excellent way to get around the entire island.
I spent my first 3 days using the car to explore other parts of the island, swimming and snorkelling at different bays, etc, then drove back to town to return the car after organising a return ride with the place that I was staying. I spend another 5 days or so just enjoying the TNPN area.
When you get dropped off by the ferry, walk a few 100m along the pier until you get to the main road. Straight opposite is a restaurant whose name escapes me, but they also run a car hire business. You will need to leave your passport. I tried really, really hard to only leave a copy of my passport with them, but they wouldn't have a bar of it.
I stayed at Star Hut Bungalows at TNPN for 600baht/night for a basic fan room with private bathroom. The resort is beach front, although the cheaper rooms are about 20-40m back. Not too bad at all! There are cheaper places on the nearby Thong Nai Pay Yai that I found later, but couldn't be bothered making the effort to move!
The 4x4 idea sounds great! Did you manage to see some secluded parts of the island and did you get any bother returning the the 4x4 as ive heard some horror stories about rental places saying travellers have damaged the cars when they actually havn't.
Will there be enough to do around Thong Nai Pan Noi? Is there plenty of space to relax, eat and drink?
#7 slow_mo has been a member since 8/7/2011. Posts: 11
I had no problems returning the car. I had actually hired one from the same place on a previous trip as well and they seem pretty straight up. Take photos of the car.. and I seem to recall that you signed a form that allowed you to indicate on a drawing any damage on the car at the start of the hire. Both trips I drove all around the island - so yep, found a few quiet places.
What is there to do around TNPN? Well, I managed to spend lots of time contemplating my belly button on the beach. I was a point on my trip where I wanted some serious chill out time - just me and my book! But there is a small village with some restaurants - some kind of pricey, and some that are pretty laid back and reasonably cheap. You can explore the area on foot - just generally wander around, and visit the beach 'next door'. But don't expect a shopping mecca or cultural tours. It's just a chillout place to relax and swim. Further south (where the boat lands, and near the FMP area) there is plenty of activity, shopping, etc, etc - so if you had the car, you could get there in 40 mins or so easily enough.
You can check out my blog for some photos of the area if you are interested.
I generally hate being around the crowds (ie the Full Moon Party is definitely not my scene) but I was there in late Jan so TNPN was a bit busier than I would have liked. But it wasn't to bad, either. I actually loved in there and would go back again.
BTW - the roads are seriously rough at that top end of the island due to the heavy rains gouging out the dirt roads. But it's fun to navigate when in a 4WD!
If you want budget accomdations than you should head to Thong Nai Pan Yai. There aren't many left on Noi, and Star Huts is no longer there. Rasananda has taken up that entire half of Noi beach.
As for things to do in Thong Nai Pan, other than relax on the beach or in a hammock there are Yoga classes on Yai, Muay Thai on Noi and a couple of waterfalls that you can walk to. You can even walk over to Bottle Beach or Than Sadet. There are plenty of restaurants on both beaches and you can easily walk from one to the other in 15 minutes.
BTW, there is a Thong Nai Pan taxi stand opposite Yellow Cafe in Thong Sala. They are there from about 11am to 4pm and go to TNP 2-3 times a day and it is 200 Baht. If you arrive after that time then you will find it hard to find a taxi for under 800 baht.
#9 guava_girl has been a member since 21/10/2010. Posts: 252
Thanks for the update guava - esp about the taxi stand. That would have saved me some grief, although I was happy with my 4WD experience. Also I didn't realise Star Hut had been taken over. A pity really a liked it there.
SLow_mo - I just came across the website that focuses on that area. Info is obviously out of date based on Guava Girl's comment, but you might some other useful stuff there. http://www.thongnaipan-magazine.com/starhuts.html