I am travelling with my girlfriend to Thailand in March 2010 and would like some destination advice. I have booked my internal flights and I have nine days to travel from Krabi (airport)to Phuket (airport).
After doing some research I have pencilled in 3 nights in Ao Nang or Railay, 2 nights in Koh Phi Phi and 4 nights in Phuket.
Would we be better staying in Ao Nang or Railay?
Also, have we got enough time in each destination to experience its highlights?
Any advice or changes you think we should make would be appreciated.
#1 andycotton1984 has been a member since 5/10/2009. Posts: 4
Ao Nang and Railay are quite different destinations. The former is a long, open beach, widely considered to be a "good destination for families". There is a lot of scope for boat trips and other activities and you've got easy access to other mainland attractions.
Railay Beach tends to attract a younger, more "outdoorsy" type crowd -- there is a lot of rock climbing, more parties and still a lot of other activities. However, while part of the mainland, you're nevertheless quite isolated and cut off from the rest of the mainland.
Personally I'd prefer Railay over Ao Nang, but it depends on what you're planning on doing.
Two nights on Ko Phi Phi is enough.
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,789
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I think your allocation of time is fine - although I personally would squeeze another day onto Phi Phi. I would do this at the expense of Phuket if I was going to mainly hang on the beach at the latter, but NOT if I wanted to take full advantage of the variety of daytrips in and around Phuket.
I too prefer Railay for the landscape/seascape and the wonderful ambiance at and after sunset. Note it has changed character markedly over the years - is now more a midrange destination quite popular with couples of all ages and quite a few families - adjacent Ton Sai, the climbers' beach is the one for younger people.
But if you want easier access from the airport/bus station, to do a lot of shopping, have a much bigger range of bars and party venues not to mention accommodation and have ease of access to Krabi district mainland attractions, Ao Nang is the go.
Thanks for the replies, I am thinking Railay is the better option for us.
We will have spent some time in the North before we head down to south so this leg of the trip will be predominantly relaxing on the beach and having some drinks at night.
It seems Railay has a different atmosphere to most other resorts, one of the reasons we want to go.
I noticed on another topic that most people would avoid staying in Phuket Town (unless doing boat trips), where would you advise? The most attractive from what we have seen are Kata, Karon and Kammala. I hear Patong is a bit seedy which is not our cup of tea. I was thinking 2 nights in Kata/Karon and 2 in Kammala or do you think we should stay in one resort for the 4 nights?
Thanks again, much appreciated.
#4 andycotton1984 has been a member since 5/10/2009. Posts: 4
Yep, Phuket town is great if your are in transit, but the beaches are much better if you want to stay a few days.
I stayed at Kamala in August for the first time. Very nice beach, but very quiet in low season. But I thought it would be ideal in high season because it seemed to have a good mixture of plenty of accommodation, restaurants etc without being overdone.
Of the big 3 I've always favoured Kata - prettier and less hectic than the others. Kaya Noi is nicer in high season, Kata Yai in low season.
I think reading some of the articles and checking out the resorts we will end up in Karon (closer to Kata) or possibly Pa Tong, ideally I would stay in Kata but seems a lot of the accommodation is pricey.
I'm unsure as to whether we should book our accommodation in places like Rai Leh and Phi Phi, due to the time of year we ill be there (end of high season and full moon). I don't think we would need to book anywhere in Phuket/Samui but please correct me if i'm wrong.
#6 andycotton1984 has been a member since 5/10/2009. Posts: 4
I've travelled quite a bit in March - great time because yep, it is shoulder season and so crowds are down. You will be able to find places without booking - BUT, if you are after a SPECIFIC place on Phi Phi or Railay there is some chance it could be booked out.
Less chance of this at Phuket and Samui.
As long as we can get a decent room for £20 - £30 a night we dont mind where we stay....
I think we hold off booking then and try pick somewhere up when we arrive.
Thanks for the info.
#8 andycotton1984 has been a member since 5/10/2009. Posts: 4