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  1. #1
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    Talking Holiday in South Thailand

    Just returned from a two week holiday in Koh Lanta, Trang and Krabi.
    Decided to break the drive up so we stopped at Pranburi on the way for two nights at a lovely new resort in town. Visited the local beaches around this area for the first time and I have to say I was impressed and will try to visit again for longer. Visited Sam Roi Yot National Park on the second day, unfortunately had to pay the foreign price despite my Thai ID card and driving licence. However the park I think is one of the best in Thailand with much to do. We visited the Pavilion which is in a sort of cave, climbed a small mountain to the veiwpoint, went in two caves and visited the wet lands at the northside of the park, a good full days trekking/climbing etc. Next day up early for the long drive down to Koh Lanta.
    At Koh Lanta I was impressed by our pre-booked bungalow but not by the local beach which has an old reef off the shore making swimming not feasible. We had our truck and found many other beaches that were lovely further south on the island, Klong Nui a small quiet beach I think was my favourite. There is also a big nice beach close to the town Saladin at the top of the island. The island was not busy like Phuket and a lot cheaper, I preferred it to Koh Samui as it was nice and relaxing and always found lots of space on the beaches. Didn't find any beaches suitable for snorkeling, nice for swimming though and it reminded me of Koh Chang at times with the hills in the south but Lanta I feel is nicer overall. Did a boat trip to Koh Rok for snorkeling as its quite a way out in the Anderman, the water was very clear and lots of fish too but the coral wasn't very varied so neither were the fish, still a nice day out. The wife talked me into having another boat trip to Koh Phi Phi as on our last visit to Maya Bay our camera let us down. Anyway it wasn't too busy this time and with two cameras and a smart phone we got all the photos we wanted, it's still a stunning place despite the crowds. I saw an advert at Phi phi don promoting an early bird trip to Maya bay 06.00 which I thought would be good if you can get up. On our last day at Koh Lanta we went to the old town and did Kayaking in the mangroves which was different. Wife's comment when we got the kayak was do I need an oar too? YES! Anyway most of the rowing was done by me and the 9 year old girl but still a nice half day out. (600bht for the kayak.)
    On to the beaches at and around Pak Meng in Trang. I felt the beaches were quiet, pretty and peaceful but a little dirty with litter and I had to walk a long long way out for a swim. Also took a boat trip on a big boat to the Emerald cave on Koh Mook which is a truly wonderful place to visit. You have to swim 80m through a cave to a beautiful white sand beach surrounded by cliffs. You can only visit at low tide which makes the place busy as everyone visiting for the day is there almost at the same time. After that we spent time at Koh Kradan which is a lovely "get a way from it all" place, I would like to stay there sometime but I guess it may prove expensive. Did some snorkeling off the coast there not bad but the water not too clear.
    We were going to visit Koh Lippe in Trang but it seems very expensive so we decided to go to Koh Bulon Ley, I like to visit one sort of unknown place but the wife talked me out of it as there was no aircon on the island, so it was back to Ao Nang for the last few days. This area though busy never disappoints and we visited Ao Nang, Railay and Pranang beaches we were lucky at Railay as it rained a little and the tourists were slow to arrive so we had the place almost to ourselves, sadly though not the case at Pranang.
    On the way home we stopped at Ao Manao, Pratchuap Kiri Khan, nice beach there on the RTAF base no problems for falangs there and also went to a hill hoping to walk up to see the Dusky Langurs and the veiwpoint at the top, but the walk is only open on bank holidays etc. However the Langurs were at the hill bottom and not afraid of humans so we got some good photos of these endangered monkeys, they are not aggressive like the other monkeys can be. Again we drove up to Pranburi to stay at the same resort and next day drove home at a leisurely pace.
    We all really enjoyed all the places we visited and would like to return to Pranburi (not so far) and Koh Lanta as we loved the relaxing feel to it.

  2. #2
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    That's a great report Das!

    PKK is one of my favourite places. The climb you wanted to do was previously open every day, but they have since tightened up. A newish member here completed it with his sons and took some stunning photos. So far, I have restricted myself to climbing up the temple, where the monkeys can be lively!

    Pranburi is near to me and I agree about the coastline and parks there. I too have visited the 'temple in a cave' (Phraya Nakhon). I walked there and it was probably one of the dumbest things I have ever done. As I had meant to take my walking sandals to change into, but accidentally left them behind. But having made the effort to get there, I thought what the hell - and completed it in flip flops! My feet and legs ached for a good few days afterwards.



    We popped down that way for lunch yesterday, by a fishing village, which was very nice. The tide was out further than I have ever seen it, but still a nice spot for lunch and the food was good as well, albeit not the cheapest lunch we have had down that way.

    'Tis me

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    Lovely photos caller that's certainly the place, not a walk for flip flops. I did the temple climb about 6 years ago and got mugged by the monkeys there, our fault we took bananas for them, good views though. There's a nice guest house on the seafront, Sun view or something, it has a pool and is quite modern or was. I much prefer Pranburi and Pratchup town to the over priced and over rated Hua hin, but of course it's horses for courses as they say.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAS View Post
    I much prefer Pranburi and Pratchup town to the over priced and over rated Hua hin, but of course it's horses for courses as they say.
    I like both as well, but I live about 15 minutes drive south west from the centre of Hua Hin, where it is very quiet, which suits me fine and Hua Hin has the infrastructure that the other places don't. Pranburi is not such an issue as it's nearer, but PKK is a long way from decent hospitals and other comforts that I crave.

    But farangs are gradually migrating south, there's already a colony in Bangsaphan, over an hour south of PKK and all parts in between are slowly being colonised. The other half wants to buy a condo as an investment (her money, or loan!) and we're actually going to look at a condo 10km south of PKK, already fully built and ready for occupation. 40 units, with 10 sold so far.

    PKK is changing rapidly from when I first visited in 2009, I'm amazed at how many more tourists there are and hotels have upped their game - and the guest house you mention is still there. The border with Burma at Dan Singkhon is gradually being used more and more and eventually, that will be open to tourists. My understanding is that a road is being built, or planned, on the Burma side, that will link with the Burmese coast some 200km away. If or when that happens, PKK will become a gateway city.

    They have already completely ruined the once wonderful market at Dan Singkhon by taking down the trees and killing the jungle feel that was so attractive, leaving a concrete jerry built monstrosity as it's replacement. Let's just hope they don't screw everything else up.

    By the way, an unspoilt coastline / road that I would recommend is the Bangsaphan to Chumphon stretch, which is stunning and largely empty. You can actually pick this road up at Thap sakae and follow it through to Ban Krut, then BS, doing a left at Bangsaphan Noi.
    'Tis me

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    I have actually visited Bang Saphan and over-nighted south of the town on the coast road, had a look at the local beach wasn't impressed and headed further south, didn't spend enough time to form a proper opinion but didn't have the time as we were booked in next night in the south. I did once stay at Thung Wallen beach near Chumpon that wasn't bad though a bit of litter around.

    We also found an expat group near south of Chumpon near where the ferry leaves to Koh Tao and there are some pleasant quiet beaches especially away from the Thai guest houses.

    It wouldn't be Nishaville you are looking at (condo) would it. That is a lovely clean stretch of beach next to Won Kon national park, miles from anywhere though.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAS View Post
    It wouldn't be Nishaville you are looking at (condo) would it. That is a lovely clean stretch of beach next to Won Kon national park, miles from anywhere though.
    No, it's called Blue Marine, I think it must be near Huai Yang, but even that may be too far south? As I say, just 10km south of PKK.

    As for the road I mentioned, after Bang Burd, there's only a few villages until you get to the outskirts of Chumphon where the road becomes a resort area. I just recall lots of deserted and clean beaches, including on a national park. But not many places to stay, but that might have changed.

    I think at certain times of the year, all beaches in the gulf suffer from the detritus spewed out from Bkk.
    'Tis me

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