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Looking for fun on a budget in Krabi/Phuket/Koh Phi Phi


Sep 9th, 2010, 11:13 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 31
Looking for fun on a budget in Krabi/Phuket/Koh Phi Phi

First of all, I'd like to thank everyone for their patience. These forums are a great resource; I've spent hours combing through the archives. I'm having a bit of a dilemma that I hope you fodorites can assist me with.

My husband and I are planning on spending 6 nights in Thailand. Two nights first in Bangkok then three nights in either Krabi, Phuket or Koh Phi Phi and then back to Bangkok for one night before flying out. From what I have been able to gather, each have their own pros and cons. Our budget for hotels is $100-$150 a night, so unfortunately places like the Sheraton and the Amari Vogue are out of our reach.

I don't want to sit on the beach or snorkel or shop. I do want to explore (hike? walk?), take a sea canoe starlight trip, or maybe a longboat. I want to see the beautiful scenery and beaches and limestone cliffs. To that end, Krabi was recommended. It does seem beautiful, however, I'm a bit concerned it might be too quiet. Would it be practical to take a day trip to Koh Phi Phi from Krabi? I was also interested in James Bond Island (which some have said are overrated).

It seems to me that using Phuket as a base would be best, because it's accessible to both Koh Phi Phi and is the jumping off point for the sea canoe trip. However from what I've read, it's very overdeveloped, crowded and expensive. Thoughts? Suggestions?
nandgexperience is offline  
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Sep 10th, 2010, 07:48 PM
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You can get quite nice places in Krabi for $100 to 150 a night. If you went with the Sheraton or Amari, then yes it might be too quiet for you, but if you stay in the main beach areas like Ao Nang or Railay then there will be plenty going on. I personally really like the Sunrise Tropical in Railay, which I think might offer enough for you for your limited time.

I would agree that James Bond island itself is over-rated, but the rest of Phang Nga bay certainly is not and is a must see. The sea canoe tours generally don't go near James Bond island but do show you the rest of the bay very nicely. I think they're a must-do, although I haven't done the starlight version. You can take the sea canoe trip from anywhere in Krabi without going to Phuket first.

I'm not sure why anyone would want to take a day trip to Phi Phi, but technically you're closer to Phi Phi in Krabi than you are in Phuket.
MichaelBKK is offline  
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Sep 11th, 2010, 02:06 AM
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I agree with Michael, AO Nang or Railay would be your best option. It is not quiet, just devoid of the girly bar scene.

With your short time frame, I would not bother with trying to get to Phi Phi. The day trips give you so little time there. You are better off discovering the many smaller Islands that are close to Ao nang.

The good thing about taking trips to Phang Nga from Ao Nang is that you dont have to spend any time travelling by road. It is at least 45 minutes from the main beaches of Phuket to where the boats leave. From most Ao Nang Hotels it is less than 5 minutes.

The scenery around Ao Nang is also far more spectacular.
shanek is offline  
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Sep 12th, 2010, 10:57 PM
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Thanks Michael and Shanek. I'll look to stay in Krabi near Railay beach... it's interesting that no one really recommends staying in Phuket anymore.
nandgexperience is offline  
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Sep 16th, 2010, 03:56 AM
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I visited Thailand for the second time last year. It was first time to Krabi and it was beautiful. Having previously been to Phuket - Id pick Krabi any day. It was less touristy and you didnt feel like people were constantly in your face wanting you to purchase something or watch a 'show'.

Im not the type to sit by the pool or the beach either. We booked day trips from our hotel but you can also book them from the many vendors down the street. We took a day trip out kyaking through the caves and along the river. It was amazing! We were picked up from hotel, given fresh fruit and drinks, life jackets and were in a small group which gave it a more personal feel to the tour. The staff were friendly and loved the tourists! Highly worth doing something a little different...

We also did a day spa which was very inexpensive. It was the very first day of the tour and we were a little lost along with the staff. Maybe now they might know how to run the joint? I am sure there are plenty of other places offering this service.

The last place I highly recommend a vist to is the Emerald Pool - an hour or so out of Krabi. You take a walk through the forest and find a hidden crystal clear lagoon that you can swim in. Most amazing thing Ive ever seen. After lunch you are taken back and have a home cooked meal by a local Thai family. Was seriously beautiful food!

Hope just a few of these tips help - let me know if you would like some more information!

Angie_Lee_2011 is offline  
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Sep 24th, 2010, 12:31 PM
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Angie, How did you organize the Emerald pool and local family dinner? Sounds great. Thanks.
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