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Koh Lanta and Phi Phi - a few questions

Posted by clare84 on 8/7/2008 at 17:25


I'm new to the website and finding it really useful so far, so thought I would join in and ask a couple of questions!

My boyfriend and I are planning a 17 night trip to Thailand late November-early December. I have been before but he hasn't, so I was thinking of starting off showing him Bangkok and surrounds (maybe Kanchanaburi if I have enough time as I love it) for 5 days or so.

He is also keen to go to an island, I've been to Koh Tao, Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan so would like to try somewhere different. We'd probably spend 9/10 days on one island to avoid wasting time on travel, is Koh Lanta an interesting enough place to spend this amount of time on or would I be better off with Koh Phi Phi? We are looking for good authentic Thai food, some walking/activities, meeting friendly people, chilling and tanning on beautiful beaches and some nightlife (but not overly hectic/clubby). I'm also slightly worried about the weather/rainfall at that time of year, will Koh Lanta or Phi Phi be very rainy?

Please could I also ask what the best/quickest way to get from Bangkok to Koh Lanta or Phi Phi is, are there direct internal flights? Does anyone also have any accomodation to recommend on either/both of the islands? We are looking to spend about £10-20 a night.

Looking forward to hearing back.

Many thanks x

#1 clare84 has been a member since 8/7/2008. Posts: 4

Posted by swag on 9/7/2008 at 06:55

Hi Clare, my wife and I stayed on Koh Lanta March this year for 5 nights. Stayed on Long Beach which is a little quieter than the main beach. Really enjoyed our stay and as the island is mainly very friendly muslims the food has a more curry style compared to other places such as Koh Chang.Beaches were great snorkelling or scuba etc.One suggestion is you could fly cheaply with Air Asia to Krabie,minivan to Lanta for 5 days than ferry to Phi Phi about 1 hour for a few nights then ferry to Phuket about 1 hour then cheap flight back to Bangkok. This would give you a nice loop and see both islands.Any questions ask away

#2 swag has been a member since 28/3/2007. Location: Australia. Posts: 331
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Posted by tezza on 9/7/2008 at 07:30

I'm another fan of Long Beach as a nice beach with good snorkelling offshore and yet close enough to town for easy access to some nightlife. Some good places to stay - depends on budget. Check TRAVELFISH'S bungalow reviews for places like The Beach Resort (expensive), Paradise Resort and Paradise Pearl (mid range), PP Hill (lower midrange/budget) and Long Beach Bungalows (budget).

There are some good tracks leading from the east end of Long Beach up into the highlands - you can go to several viewpoints this way or cut down to some real nice east coast beaches - even walk all the way to Laem Thong at the north east end of the island. I have a fair bit of info on these tracks in the link below. Actually the walk from Long Beach back into town at Ton Sai is pretty nice too.

Late November in the Andaman is one of my favourite times - the wet season has usually ended and yet crowds are still shoulder-season in nature. However Phi Phi tends to be busy even in shoulder season.

Access from Bangkok is easiest via Phuket or Krabi. Phuket has more flights, but the airport is much further from the pier.
I'm a bit like SWAG - 9/10 days is a lot on Phi Phi - I'd be tempted to spend a few days somewhere close. Lanta is a nice contrast that time of year in that it will not be real busy, and Railay at Krabi is an absolutely spectacular location - there is a direct ferry from Railay/Ao Nang to Phi Phi.
Ko Jum is a completely laid back place, but access Jum to Phi Phi is more complicated.

#3 tezza has been a member since 13/4/2006. Posts: 1,345

Posted by clare84 on 10/7/2008 at 17:59

Thanks very much for your helpful replies Swag and Tezza. We've decided to go for Koh Lanta. I've been to Phuket before and Koh Phi Phi sounds very hectic - may go for a day trip from Koh Lanta though if this is possible?

Can I please ask Swag how much the minivan from Krabi costs roughly and how often it departs? Also where did you stay? I'm struggling with the choice of guesthouses!! We'd like to spend around £20 GBP a night. Also did you go on any good snorkelling trips with local tour agents?

Thanks again,

Clare x

PS: Great website Tezza, a mine of information!!

#4 clare84 has been a member since 8/7/2008. Posts: 4

Posted by tezza on 10/7/2008 at 19:05

Clare, I have details of the Krabi town Lanta minibus on my Lanta page. From memory it cost about 200 against the 300-350 of the ferry and went from alongside a pavement table about mid way along Soi 6 in mid Krabi town. It cruised around a few guesthouses and travel agents to pick people up and called in at the bus station which is abt 3km out of town.
Last time I was there there was no minivan service from the airport to Lanta although quite a few of the better resorts send their own vehicle up to transfer guests. The airport is about 10km out of Krabi town towards Lanta - and the terminal is only a couple of hundred meters off the main Andaman coast highway which heads down towards Lanta (you have to turn off for Lanta further south).
I wouldn't be surprised if some enterprising local didn't set up a high season airport-Lanta minivan service soon.

I can recommend the Trang Island snorkelling daytrips out of Lanta. Some good snorkelling and lovely islands down there. Trouble is you may kick yourself for not staying a few days on them. Hey and you get to go into the fabulous Emarald Cave - I got some pix on the Ko Muk page.

#5 tezza has been a member since 13/4/2006. Posts: 1,345

Posted by clare84 on 10/7/2008 at 21:04

Thanks very much for the reply Tezza, I actually then found the relevant bit on your website after I had posted that. Your travels look amazing, I'm very jealous!

We are thinking of getting the sleeper train from Bangkok to Krabi to save money rather than flying, so will get the ferry to Lanta or jump on a minibus on Soi 6 like you suggested.

Thanks for the snorkelling tips too, I can't wait to get there now! The Emerald Cave looks beautiful.

#6 clare84 has been a member since 8/7/2008. Posts: 4

Posted by swag on 11/7/2008 at 06:21

Clare, we stayed at the Sayang beach resort which was right on the beach and well run. Although this was about $70 or 35quid a night.Not sure if you wanted to spend that. Although that was for deluxe bungalow and they have cheaper options a little back from beach which looked fine.In regards to snorkelling I used Lanta Diver 5star Padi Dive Centre. While I was scuba diving there was a number snorkelling on our day trip to Koh HAI.Well run good equipment and plenty of food and drinks included in price.Not sure what the snorkellers paid though.

#7 swag has been a member since 28/3/2007. Location: Australia. Posts: 331
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Posted by tezza on 11/7/2008 at 07:45

Claire, there is no train line to Krabi or anywhere near it. Plenty of overnight buses though.
Alternatively, there are two sleeper trains to Trang. Minibuses right onto Lanta leave from the small travel agents in the street right across from the train station. They time the morning departure to fit in with the trains. It's a bit further than Krabi - Lanta, but not too bad a trip.
I reckon you should also check airfares into Krabi on AirAsia and Nok Air. When these outfits have a sale, the prices are ridiculously low. Even their regular fares booked far enough ahead are pretty red-hot.

#8 tezza has been a member since 13/4/2006. Posts: 1,345

Posted by tezza on 11/7/2008 at 17:20

Wow, I just read Nok Air has cancelled Bangkok-Krabi flights - only Air Asia is doing them now.
Actually that site has a good ARRIVING AT KRABI AIRPORT section.

#9 tezza has been a member since 13/4/2006. Posts: 1,345

Posted by clare84 on 14/7/2008 at 16:52

Thanks again for all your help Swag and Tezza, I will check out Sayang resort, and I've just looked at Air Asia, really cheap flights so thanks very much for that Tezza.

Take care,


#10 clare84 has been a member since 8/7/2008. Posts: 4

Posted by travelrock on 22/7/2008 at 09:07

clarebear, be aware that lanta beaches are mostly covered in rubbish incl broken glass in low season. not very enjoyable.

kantiang bay is your best bet.

#11 travelrock has been a member since 19/4/2008. Posts: 209

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