Posted by pzakus on 8/6/2019 at 20:56
Hi: Both of these sound pretty laid back. Any comments on either or both would be appreciated.
#1 pzakus has been a member since 12/12/2010. Posts: 3
Posted by exacto on 11/6/2019 at 02:54
Last year David did an excellent article on "Bangkok to the islands the slow way", including a bit of information comparing Ban Krut and Bang Saphan. It is worth a read at:
Apart from that, the regular Travelfish write ups for both places are solid, and should give you an idea of which place would better fit your needs.
I can't speak for Bang Saphan, as I only stopped by for the afternoon, but I did spend a few days in Ban Krut and liked it very much. The place was laid back over the weekend I was there last February. The beach is just okay; there were not many people swimming or even out on the sand. There isn't much of a town, but you'll find a 7-11 and another similar convenience store, enough restaurants and food carts to give you a choice both near the waterfront and along the road to the train station. There are a few good coffee shops, massage places, and other shops.
I stayed at Ban Krut Resort and loved it. It is near the northern most section, near several restaurants and a decent stretch of beach. It also has a pool. Best is that they have bicycles to use, for the 2 km or so ride to the main part of town.
Ban Krut isn't for everyone. The lack of nightlife could be a minus for some, and it doesn't have the variety or excitement of many other beach towns. The average age of western visitors is higher than elsewhere too. Then again, it appealed to me for all those reasons. Cheers.
#2 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,833
Posted by fondo on 12/6/2019 at 11:31
I pretty much agree with all that exacto said. At the risk of being simplistic, Ban Krut is very much a Thai beach resort and Bang Saphan is a bit more farang beer and singlets.
#3 fondo has been a member since 23/6/2006. Posts: 185
Posted by DLuek on 15/6/2019 at 05:01 TF writer
Recently passed through both and liked Ban Krut better. As Thai mainland beaches go, I'd call Hat Ban Krut pretty decent. The sand on the notably wide southern stretch that I walked on was soft, fine and pretty close to white, although it's a long beach so a lack of headlands keeps the water cloudy. Also enjoyed Hat Sai Kaew, another long beach with even less development a tad north on the other side of the Khao Thong Chai hilltop temple, which is worth a climb. Endless coconut trees around here.
Bang Saphan Yai has a similarly sleepy vibe but the beach isn't quite as good (at least what I saw of it). Ran up and down the northern half and saw some long stayers and expats and Thais. They mostly seem to live in a house and rent out a few bungalows built in the yard or by the beach. Very lazy and quiet all around, with lots of open spaces and land for sale between the little resorts. I was not impressed with the town of Bang Saphan Yai, located a few km from the beach.
Bang Saphan Noi district further south has Hat Bang Bert, a far superior beach with no development at all save a cluster of fisher shacks at the southern end. Helped a local family pick giant rhino beetles out of the son trees while here, good eats. This is a remote stretch of coastline, but highly recommend it if traveling with a vehicle. In that case, also go down into Pathio district in Chumphon province b/c there are some terrific mainland beaches - in fact some of the best I've seen in Thailand - including Ao Thung Sang and Ao Yai-I.
If up for leaving the mainland, check out Ko Thalu and/or Ko Wiang.
#4 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,346
Posted by Tennouji on 15/6/2019 at 15:03
I stayed three nights in Ban Krut in 2017 as I'd stayed in Ban Saphan about ten years before and had liked it.
I much preferred Bang Saphan. I remember that the beach had a very steep drop off so it might not be safe for young children to swim. It was nice and quiet and I enjoyed walking along the beach and there were a few places to eat. I stayed in a basic hut at Lola's. Of course, it may be busier now...
At Ban Krut, I stayed in something called Green Resort (or something). It was OK apart from the blaring karaoke from the nearby beach one night. I didn't enjoy the place much. I thought the beach was unattractive, the town scruffy, and there were several of "those type" of aging ex-pats that won't even nod hello. It was far too windy for swimming in late December, but I have no idea if that was atypical or not.
There were good places to eat and the temple on the hill was magnificent so it wasn't all bad. The northern stretch of the beach was the nicest and there were some cafes near it.
#5 Tennouji has been a member since 22/9/2007. Location: Japan. Posts: 139
Posted by exacto on 17/6/2019 at 20:28
Helped a local family pick giant rhino beetles out of the son trees while here, good eats.
You are a better man than I, David! I tried beetles and other bugs when I first visited Thailand back in the mid 1980's. It was for the experience, and to be polite. I don't think I would do it again...
It sounds like the appeal of Bang Saphan vs Ban Krut depends on what each traveler seeks. I was definitely looking for a local type experience, and that must be why Ban Krut was exactly right for me. Regards.
#6 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,833
Posted by gatoguts on 1/7/2019 at 23:32
As I recall, Bang Saphan is a bit more laid back, but you could easily see both as they are not far apart. If you like a little more action and markets, try Ban Krut, which also has a nice temple to visit on the headland. I also took a nice inexpensive snorkeling trip from Bang Saphan to Koh Talu.
#7 gatoguts has been a member since 23/7/2012. Posts: 29
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