I'm planning to go to Koh Phayam for 1 month around december 10th.
I'm travelling for 6 months and therefore have a budget around 400/500 bath.
My choice goes for Ao Kwai North for more quiet beaches and no waves.
I still don't know where I should stay, it can be simple huts, but clean; Mr Gao, Marina, Jansom,Sai Thong, Baan Suan Kayoo2, Starlight...
Can someone help me making my choice?
Because of this busy period, I was thinking to book, I try some mail and telephone but no answer.
Is it because off season now in July and nobody answer?
Any recommandation or comments would be great.
Thanks a lot
Have you been to Koh Phayam before? It was a decent island but I wouldn't want to stay there for a full month myself as there isn't that much to do. Ao Kwai North was probably my favourite beach though so good choice there.
I actually stayed close to the town/port in Sabai Sabai but walked to the other beaches to check them out. It was decent but I wouldn't spend a month there.
Heard good things about Mr. Gao but sounds like they fill up quick so make sure you get ahold of them if you want to be booking for a full month.
I actually wanted to check out Koh Chang but didn't have time. Koh Phayam was quieter then I thought it would be though.
Sabai Sabai is the only place to answer my mails, but I read that the beach is not as nice there.
I wonder how to book Mr Gao if they do not reply to the mails or the phone.
Maybe I'm to early and will try again in a month.
The area around Ranong is one of the wettest in Thailand and a lot of bungalow places on the nearby islands tend to shut down for the low season. I'd be waiting until November to contact these places.
I've always been impressed by the appearance and location of Mr Gao but never stayed. The two places on that beach I've stayed at are Jansom which I thought was pretty good and Kho Kwai Hill which was exceptional value.
I agree with the others that a month is a long time. I always combine a stay on Phayam with some time on nearby little Ko Chang Andaman side which has got to be one of the most laid back islands in Thailand. Ko Chang Bungalows (you don't have to stay there) has a small ferry which joins the islands in under an hour which sure beats having to go back to Ranong and out again.
I think I will have to wait till november to book, just hope it is not going to be too late!!
Ever heard about Starlight bungalows close to Banana Resort? Looks interesting too...
I know little Koh Chang, have stayed at Cashew and like it very much.
We will probably combine our stay with a visit at our friends in Koh Chang.
Do you mean that to go to Koh Chang from Phayam, there is only the small ferry from Ko Chang Bungalow that is doing the join?
Ao Kwai north isn't particularly quiet any more. In addition to the Hippy Bar there are two new bars on the road behind the beach (Jungle Bar and Forest Bar) and there's even a bar in the jungle overlooking the beach now (Bird Bar). I didn't notice any loud music coming from the latter, but the noise from parties at the other bars can be excessively loud and sometimes goes on until after dawn. The resorts at the northern end of the beach get especially blasted so Baan Suan Kayoo 2, Starlight and Marina aren't very good choices if you're looking for guaranteed peace and quiet at night. There aren't loud parties every single night but if you're unlucky you could well find yourself having 3 totally sleepless nights in a row.
The GHs furthest from the party noise are Saithong and Mr Gao. Guests staying at Jansom said the noise level was tolerable and the rooms were good but they often complained about the unfriendly atmosphere and said the food wasn't great.
There were two new resorts at the quiet end of the beach near Mr Gao's and Jansom was building luxury bungalows on the remaining piece of empty beach front.
One of the new places, Heaven Beach, belongs to the people who own PPland and is an expensive upmarket affair with deckchairs on the beach and parasols etc. The other place, Baan Klong Kleng, was better value @700B/night and it has an excellent restaurant with free wifi but their bungalows are set back from the beach so they don't have particularly good views.
Maybe LP did a big write up on Ao Kwai in their latest Thailand guide or something because it was much busier than usual there last season. Tourists started arriving in droves from November onwards and some resorts reacted to the unexpectedly high demand for rooms by significantly increasing their prices. eg Marina Resort doubled their room rates a few days after Christmas. They still achieved 100% occupancy all through January and February so it's quite likely everywhere will be charging significantly more next season.
The Khao Kwai Hill Resort tezza mentioned as being good value for money was closed down all last season and there were no plans to reopen when I was there.
Southern Ao Kwai is still devoid of noisy bars and parties but the water on that beach is only deep enough for swimming at high tide. Vijits still hadn't knocked down their cheap back bungalows last season (they'd squeezed in some more new beachfront ones though) and you'd definitely need to book in advance if you wanted to stay there. They're always full and have more or less stopped accepting walk ins during high season.
The beach at Sabai Sabai tends to get waves and washed up trash in December but at this time of year it's the wind is blowing in the opposite direction so it's calmer than Ao Kwai. That may explain why you got a response from Sabai. Try the other resorts again in late October/early November and you'll probably have more luck.
PS. I was told by a very reliable source that the beachfront land the Hippy Bar occupies was sold earlier this year. That could mean the Hippy Bar won't get its lease renewed. If so the party noise will be a lot less of a problem at Baan Suan Kayoo2 and Starlight. Unfortunately there's still plenty of space for new bars along the road behind the beach!
Thank you, that's a lot of good information, even if it's a little scary! May you reliable source be true.
We are travelling for a long time and are free to move and change easily from one place to the other.The reason why I don't want to make a mistake in my choice, is that we meet our son coming from Australia only for 2 weeks!
I wonder if Koh Kood would not be a better choice, have you been there, it is not easy to find budget bungalows, but I hear good things about Cozy House. Do you know the place or any other suggestions?