Attn: Beach Experts and JamesA

Jul 29th, 2003, 05:14 PM
  #1  
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Attn: Beach Experts and JamesA

Hi Everyone. I actually 2 detailed questions. We're in BKK Nov 24th 2003. We need help choosing the best beach for our timeslot: Langkawi(malaysia), Phuket, or Krabi. We're looking for white sand, clear warm water. Option of snorkeling, jetskis to rent. No interest in diving. Right now we're leaning to Langkawi, but would love any tips on how to get there from BKK. Thai Airways, and Malaysia Air doesn't offer flights from BKK to Langkawi. They offer flights from BKK to Phuket, BKK to Penang. Does anyone know of any direct carriers from BKK to Langkawi? If not, what is the 1) cheapest and/or fastest method to get to Langkawi from Penang? It seems that Phuket and Krabi are much more convenient to get to, and I'd love your opinions if you think Langkawi is worth the hassle. We're not planning to go to Malaysia otherwise. If Langkawi isn't an option do you advise we go to 1) Phuket or 2) Krabi? Thanks so much. I have to decide on this by tomorrow!
tulip is offline  
Jul 30th, 2003, 01:48 AM
  #2  
 
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Just to add that if snorkeling is high on your list then Krabi area, railey/Ao Nang/Phuley beaches would be better than Phuket. However again, Phuket island is a busy lively resort whereas Krabi is quieter.

http://www.freewebs.com/koh_samui_hotels/krabi.htm

http://www.patong-beach-hotels.8k.com

http://www.r24.org/huahin.20m.com/phuket/hotels/

(This site has customer hotel reviews too)
JamesA is offline  
Jul 30th, 2003, 08:52 PM
  #3  
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Hi JamesA.
Thanks so much for telling it like it is. We've decided to fly inot Krabi from BKK. We'll then fly out of Phuket to BKK to catch our connecting flight onto SIN. Let's Go and Lonely Planet both rave that Phra Nang and Rai Lay are the nicer beaches near Krabi. I've researched the hotel leads you've passed on. THanks so much, they were a huge help. When do you recommend we book hotels for Nov 24th arrival in the high season? and what beach bungalow do you recommend off one of those two beaches? We'd like to stay somewhere $50 a night,closest to beach possible. THanks again for all your help.
tulip is offline  
Jul 30th, 2003, 10:04 PM
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You have not said which airline you are using, but Silk Air has 2-3 x daily flights Phuket to Singapore and 4 x week krabi to Singapore, Thai also flies daily Phuket-Singapore.

Railey beach is nice. I would book 'soon' as places really are getting heavily booked up now, after the previous 'problems' there now seems to be a mad rush to book.

I see a friend who is a Krabi fanatic tomoorow lunchtime and I will ask him. We both live in BKK so know these places. Did you say you will 'not' fly into krabi?
JamesA is offline  
Jul 31st, 2003, 09:42 AM
  #5  
 
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While I don't profess to be an expert on beaches like the above, we did just get back from a great time in both Krabi and Phuket and can offer our 2 cents. The two Rai Lay Beaches were in our opinion the two most beautiful beaches to stay at, followed by Surin/Pansea in front of the Chedi in Phuket. We flew into Krabi from BKK in the afternoon (Thai Air- lots of flights) and were met by the Rayavadee staff and treated fantastically from that point on. Their boat was nice (but hot and stuffy), but the views more than made up for it. We had a nice bungalow with our own small pool which our kids loved to play in. However, the two beaches were just picture perfect even though it was monsoon season, and the large pool at west Rai lay was always inviting.
We saw lots of long tail boats but no jet skis, but took a trip to the Phi Phi islands for snorkling which we all said was far and above better than Hawaii. In fact, the tour we went on stopped at about five different snorkling places, the last of which was a coral reef in the middle of the ocean. No such snorkling at the resort. but they did offer free kayaking, sailing, and other non-motor water sports.
It was not cheap however, and we found the restaurants costly and not as tasty as the others nearby. Add in the need to dress for dinner and we happily opted instead for walking down the beach a short way to a restaurant on the beach next to the Sand Sea Resort where we could eat and watch the sunset still in our swimsuits and the kids could play in the water and collect shells. If price is a consideration I check out the other places at Rai Lay beach,of which there appeared to be many. I'd stay away however from the Phi Phi island resorts which are way too close together and cluttered with the usual tourist shops.
As for getting to Phuket, there are no flights between Krabi and Phuket that we could find and although we were wary of a long and twisty two hour drive, we had no other way of getting to the Chedi. So we booked a car and driver and prepared for the worst. We were pleasantly surprised. The road was relatively new and well maintained and far less curvy than we were led to expect. Driving past Ao Nang(sp?) we saw ocassional scenery, but for the most part it was an uneventful hour and a half drive- we've had much worst cab rides in BKK. The only traffic was in Phuket due to road construction in anticipation of an international conference later this year.
We can't wait for our next trip back next year. Good luck.
dywong is offline  
Jul 31st, 2003, 02:30 PM
  #6  
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Thanks James and Dywong. I am flying into Krabi from BKK. JamesA thanks for checking in w/your Krabi fanatic friend on accommodations and restaurants. On my wish list is a bungalow for $30-60, a walk to or on the beach..private. I know we're going high season but I don't want to feel like we're in Waikiki. Sounds like Rai Lay is a big contender. Dywong, as much as we'd love to stay at Rayavadee, our budget is going to allow it. Sounds like your family had an awesome time. I am so glad! We're doing 21 days in Asia and one week of that is in Japan, so most of our tourist dollars will have to go there.
tulip is offline  
Jul 31st, 2003, 02:39 PM
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Correction. I meant to say, as much as we'd like to stay at Rayavadee resort our budget will NOT allow it. Sorry. Got to remember to preview before I post.
tulip is offline  
Jul 31st, 2003, 05:02 PM
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Hey, I understand fully...we wondered ourselves how it could cost so much compared to everywhere else but now somewhat understand after seeing the place and realizing that they have to bring everything in by boat. Talking to the staff, we even found out that they have a dorm for their employees in Krabi town. The money for all that has to come somewhere..
Anyway, other than the Sand Sea Resort I mentioned earlier, there are several other places on Rai lay beach and non-guests can get still get access to the beaches and climbing spots around Rayavadee. They just can't hang out at the pool or use the loungers. But there are lots of other options, both now and when you want to go. In fact, we had an unusual situation which led us to discover Krabi town and find that it wasn't half bad. (Reminded us of Santa Cruz or Kaneohe in Hawaii)
On our second day, we had to go into Krabi town by long tail boat in search of a pet store for a bunny-long story. The point is, we stopped off at a coffee shopon the way back and ended up talking to a booking agent for local tours and hotels. The deals were substantially better than anything I had seen previously on the net, perhaps because it was all so last minute. So one other option may be to book a place to begin with and then check in town for last minute cancellations or openings at a place you'd prefer more and then switch. Krabi town, by the way, was also a delightful sleepy town with dramatic views of limestone cliffs visible from the center of town. The pier is where lots of long tail boats serving as taxis moor and will take you to the resort for 70 baht. We saw lots of backpackers and rockclimbers come in for the day and then leave for Krabi, as well as a large group of Thais who played soccer on the beach. Next year we'll probably book a place like the Sheraton and then try to switch at a fraction of what we paid this year. good luck and enjoy yourselves.
dywong is offline  
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