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After a little more research - advice welcome on itinerary!

Posted by alexlazarus on 19/8/2009 at 00:56

Hello again,

I've been researching like billy-oh and have come up with the following itinerary. What do you think?
12/12 arrive in bangkok and overnight
13th train to Phetburi
14th - 15th Kaeng National Park
16th - 17th Bang Suphan
18th - overnight sleeper to Trang

(We had wanted to head over to Phang Nga and get a ferry to Ko Yao from Bang Suphan but i can't identify a route - any help?)

if not then:
Ko Lanta - 4/5 nights
Maybe Ko Ngai for 3 nights (this would be over xmas though)
Ko Kradan - 5 nights
OR if not Ngai then from Kradan would spend NY on KO Sukorn

Then back to Trang to fly to BKK

Does this seems do-able?
Ideally i wanted to go to Ko Yao, then Lanta for a couple of days before headig to Kradan.

Have I missed any cracking sites / islands out and for those i the know - how would you rate the places that we are planning to stop?

Do trains / boats etc run a usual service on sundays and boxing day etc

Thanks in advace, i kow there are a lot of questions in this post!
Alex

#1 alexlazarus has been a member since 18/2/2008. Posts: 30

Posted by BruceMoon on 19/8/2009 at 05:44

Alex

Why only one day at Kaeng. To my way of thinking, it seems a long way to go to only spend one day.

Also, as you are going to Trang (assumedly for the islands), I'm unclear as to why Bang Suphan is on the journey. Is there something special there to 'consume' holiday time to be spent in travel only to spend one day there? Or, some other reason?

I ask this as the second half (ie. from Ko Lanta on) is all focussed on several days in a location (as I support going slowly, this schedule appears OK).

Thus, the first route set is helter-skelter, while the second is laid back.

Cheers

#2 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941


Posted by alexlazarus on 19/8/2009 at 05:57

Hey Brucemoon,

Thanks for your reply. Sorry the above wasn't clear, the dates were nights rather than days - so planning to spend 2 nights in Kaeng, 2 nights in Bang Saphan etc. I;ve read a bit more now and Kaeng is a malarial area (is this right?) so we will probably have to avoid this.

The reason for going to Bang Saphan was because we wanted to do a little bit of "exploring" on the mainland before heading off to the islands. Bang Saphan sounds like a good place to stop! I also wanted to go to Phang nga, and am thinking that if Kaeng is out then maybe we will head over there from Surat Thani on the bus after spending a couple of days in Suphan.

Or are there better places to stop on the way down to Trang - we'd like to do about a week on the mainland before headig out with the rest of the tourists to the islands!

Thanks
Alex

#3 alexlazarus has been a member since 18/2/2008. Posts: 30

Posted by BruceMoon on 19/8/2009 at 06:34

Alex

I've read your post and I'm still unclear...

13th train to Phetburi
14th - 15th Kaeng National Park
16th - 17th Bang Suphan


To me, 13th gets you to Kaeng (if you leave BKK very early). So, 14th (day) is trekking, and 15th (day) means you have to leave Kaeng to get to Bang Suphan. And, 16th (day) is free at Bang Suphan. So making 17th (day) a departure day.

This is how I read it.

As for malaria, if i were you I'd not be running scared on that. Yes, there are mosquito's. Yes, in some quite small parts of SEA the mosquito's can have the malaria bug. But, not the whole of SE Asia.

There's a host of discussions here on Travelfish about malaria.

My suggestion is:

1/. wear appropriate clothing for the circumstances.
2/. use an appropriate bug repellant (see this and this ).
3/. be wise about mosquito nets when sleeping.

In many respects, Kaeng would make a nice contrast to the beach/island focus. And, Bang Suphen may also offer different attractions for you.

Cheers

#4 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by somtam2000 on 19/8/2009 at 10:45 admin

This trip is in December right? I only ask because Kaeng Krachan is closed till Nov 1 (for expansive road repairs).

Bang Saphan Noi is a fun little spot -- very laid back.

You can get a boat from the pier in Krabi province to Ko Yao Noi -- or from the pier in Phuket -- no boats from Phang Nga that I know of.

If you want xmas on Ko Ngai or Ko Kradan, then I'd strongly recommend making a reservation, or getting there earlier to be sure of a bed. Ko Sukorn will be less of a problem.

If you're looking for another "off the map" mainland spot, try Nakhon Si Thammarat for size

#5 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,709
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Posted by somtam2000 on 19/8/2009 at 11:08 admin

Sorry, meant to mention, if you do go to Kaeng Krachan, have a yarn to Tom at Rabieng Guetshouse in Phetburi -- he really knows his stuff and runs some good overnight trips into the park.

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Posted by alexlazarus on 19/8/2009 at 15:08

Hi Somtam,

Thanks for your response, some good advice in there! Is it possible to get from Yao Noi to Lantra or do you have to go back to Krabi? I got Phang Nga as a leave point from the 'getting there & getting away' page on this site - is that no longer the case?

Yep, the trip is in mid-December. The reason that i am cautious about going to a specified malarial area is that I am hoping to be pregnant by the time we go - so tablets and deet based repellants will be out. Obviously our plans will be fluid so if i'm not, then we will!

In order to enjoy the islands we would like to travel to only 2 of 3. We definately want to go to Kradan, but the others are undecided.
Option 1: Yao Noi, Lantra, Kradan
Option 2: Yao Noi, Kradan, Sukorn
Option 3: Lantra, Ngai, Kradan
Option 4: Lantra, Kradan, Sukorn

We dont want to spend alll our time gettig from one to another and would like a little bit of variety in the islands that we visit. Also, Dave wants to dive so suggestions of the best island would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again for all your help, and all votes welcome on the options above!
Alex

#7 alexlazarus has been a member since 18/2/2008. Posts: 30

Posted by somtam2000 on 19/8/2009 at 15:19 admin

My mistake on the Phang Nga note -- the more common approach is from Phuket and/or Krabi.

As far as I know you can't go from Yao to Lanta direct -- rather you'd go via Krabi.

Yao islands not known for their diving -- the waters are clearer further south (around the other islands you mention) -- a good site for dive info is http://www.divehappy.com or plonk a question about the diving over in the diving forum and you may get some useful tips ( https://www.travelfish.org/board/topic/asiadiving )

Ko Ngai and Ko Kradan are quite close together, Ko Sukorn a bit further south -- I'd say Ngai and Kradan are quite similar, but Sukorn is a pretty different kinda place, so if you were looking for more variety, p'haps Lanta, Kradan and Sukorn -- and save Ngai for next year ;-)

Cheers

#8 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,709
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Posted by alexlazarus on 19/8/2009 at 15:26

Good call on next year - seems we're ruined for everywhere else for holidays these days!

Hows this for an itinerary then
Bangkok
Bang Saphan
Nakhon Si Thammarat - couple of nights in each
Lantra - would it be possible to travel from Nakhon to the island in a single day?
Kradan - i've found a boat that says it goes Lantra - Ngai - Muk - Kradan, have you ever heard of this
Sukorn - would we be able to go straight from Kradan or via Trang

Thanks againa for your speedy response!
Alex

#9 alexlazarus has been a member since 18/2/2008. Posts: 30

Posted by somtam2000 on 19/8/2009 at 15:29 admin

Lantra - would it be possible to travel from Nakhon to the island in a single day?

Yes

Kradan - i've found a boat that says it goes Lantra - Ngai - Muk - Kradan, have you ever heard of this

Is that the island hopper thing? Think it is high season only, but yeah, sounds familiar.

Sukorn - would we be able to go straight from Kradan or via Trang

Think via Trang -- though being high season there could be all sorts of weird boat routes going.

Cheers

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Posted by alexlazarus on 19/8/2009 at 15:50

Would the island hopper be a good way of getting from Lanta to Kradan then? or better to go to Trang and out again - better cost wise i mean :)

Also, does anyone happen to know when the boats go from Krabi to Lanta? Ad a train time-table they can direct me too? I've rather struggled to read the southern line one!

Cheers
Alex

#11 alexlazarus has been a member since 18/2/2008. Posts: 30


Posted by alexlazarus on 19/8/2009 at 20:35

Can anyone offer advice as to places to stay on Sukorn over NYE? The Sukhorn Cabana has a 1500 gala dinner charge, and the Sukorn Island Resort seems quite pricey for what is it. These are the only 2 i can find any infortmaion about on the whole island!

Thanks
Alex

#12 alexlazarus has been a member since 18/2/2008. Posts: 30

Posted by somtam2000 on 20/8/2009 at 07:15 admin

A lot of the places on Ko Sukorn are not profiled much online -- the five guesthouses we list are not all of them -- I think there are about a dozen places all up.

Gala dinners are such a bleedin rip-off!

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Posted by seagypsy on 20/8/2009 at 15:24

"Would the island hopper be a good way of getting from Lanta to Kradan then? or better to go to Trang and out again - better cost wise i mean :)"

Although I've only hit the Trang islands from the Trang side, when we were in Ko Lanta this past spring, many places were advertising boat-trips to the same Trang islands. The speedboat trip costs something like 1,600bahts but I think there are larger ferry/fishing type boats that also make those trips though obviously not as fast. I don't think it'll be a problem to have them drop you off at an island since when we did a snorkeling trip from Trang to the islands, they dropped off passengers at Ko Ngai as one of the last stops of the day. Might have to pay extra but not sure.

If you're going to be staying at a resort during the New Year's period, I would recommend booking in advance because these places get crowded my merry makers for the holidays. And yes, it's expensive but it seems that quite a number of resorts with restaurants impose a 'gala dinner' on their clients for NYE. Comes with the territory, I guess, of staying at fancy resorts.

"does anyone happen to know when the boats go from Krabi to Lanta? Ad a train time-table they can direct me too? I've rather struggled to read the southern line one!"

For the Krabi-town's Pier by ferry to Ko Lanta's Saladan Pier, I think it was either 10:30 or 11AM when we went in April. Took a little over 2 hours. I think the ticket was around 250bahts or so. We bought our tickets from a hotel and they provided the free transfer to Krabi Pier.
Then we went back to Krabi from Ko Lanta by shared minivan which was even faster. Cost something like 150-200bahts/person with drop off at your hotel.

For the train, I once took the overnight sleeper from BKK's Hualamphong, arriving in Trang in mid-morning. Not sure if it was the Rapid 167 or Express 85 but here's a link to the southern line:
http://www.railway.co.th/English/Time_HTML.asp

If you're going from Krabi, it's also very easy to take a shared van or bus to Trang since it's only several hours away. The area around Trang's train station has a concentration of travel agency for getting to the islands too as well as shared vans to the pier for the Taruatos.

But budget carrier Nok Air also offers inexpensive flights between BKK and Trang and we booked via their internet service 3 weeks in advance.

#14 seagypsy has been a member since 5/2/2009. Posts: 136

Posted by alexlazarus on 21/8/2009 at 02:47

Thanks again for the replies.

I was hoping for a train schedule in order to try and plan the trip down to Nakhon. We're now planning to stay a couple of days in Bang Suphan and then Nakhon (i think!) before heading over to Krabi to get the boat over to Lanta. However, due to the difficulty of finding somewhere on Sukorn that doesn't do the gala dinner thing (and these aren't expensive resorts! 600 bht per night. Nice - but hardly a resort!)we thought we might stop off at Ko Jum on the way over to Lanta, then Lanta for a few days over Xmas before Kradan at NY, ,hopefully at Wally's.

How's that sound? And any recommendations for Jum?

Thanks
Again!

Alex

#15 alexlazarus has been a member since 18/2/2008. Posts: 30

Posted by seagypsy on 21/8/2009 at 03:01

Alex,

Again, you're traveling during PEAK season so most accomodations will go up considerably for that period. Really supply and demand economics then. If you're finding a resort for 600baht, that sounds like a steal since many resorts don't drop below 1,200 or so even during the slower monthhs.
The Krabi-town ferry to Lanta drops off visitors for KO Jum with longtails pulling up alongside so that's no problem. Just hope accomodations are still available.
Don't forget that Thais also take off for several days of holiday as well so lots more road traffic at this time of the holidays, too.

Anyways, have an excellent trip!

#16 seagypsy has been a member since 5/2/2009. Posts: 136


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