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  1. #1
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    Default Best family friendly beaches and places to stay in Phuket area - recommendations pls!

    Hi, we are planning a trip to Southern Thailand in Jan / Feb next year. I'm travelling with my wife and 3 yd old daughter. We are flying into Phuket and planning to stay on the west coast (as apparently the weather is better on this side at this time of year). We'll be in Phuket area / Southern Thailand for 30 days and we are looking for the best beaches to visit and places to stay which are the most family friendly.

    We know there are loads of other great places to go in Thailand, I've been there a couple of times before but we are really looking for a month of chilling out and beach time. To put it into context, our trip is 2 months in total and the other month we'll be travelling around Hong Kong, Malaysia and Vietnam so will be plenty of sightseeing in this month. We're also flying up to northern Thailand to spend a week in Udon Thani. So with this 30 days we are really looking to keep our travelling to an absolute minimum and relax and enjoy some of the amazing beaches in this part of the world.

    We had a rough itinerary in mind but would love to hear if people think it is a good plan or if anyone has any other good suggestions on nice places to go or stay - particularly that is suitable for a toddler.

    So - we were thinking ...

    1 week in Phuket (we've booked nr Kamala as this seemed family friendly)

    2/3 nights in Khao Sok national park - think this should be fun and an experience with our little one, someone advised me to take a car don't know if anyone has any personal experiences here. Someone else then told me I was mad to take a toddler to the National Park so I'm now unsure of whether this is a good or crazy idea. Another option if too risky to stay overnight is a day trip - again would love to hear of anything thinks this is worth it.

    We looked at Koh Lak but some people said don't bother as its not that different or unique from the islands - but other people have recommended and said it is very chilled, would be interested in any other opinions?

    1 week in Yao Noi - this was highly recommended by Travelfish guide but looking at hotels seems very expensive here, not sure if this is worth a trip or not now. Probably one or the other - Ko Lak or Yao Noi?

    1 week in Koh Lanta - again looks very family friendly and was recommended

    Then 1 week in either Koh Lipe (beaches look incredible) or possibly Ko Jum - again I'm going off the Travelfish guides which absolutely raves about Ko Jum even though its apparently not the best beaches. Another possibility is maybe the Trang Islands.

    From there we are going south in Malaysia (so as Koh Lipe is the closest probably does make sense to stop there).

    If anyone is still reading - thank you - and I'd really appreciate any thoughts on our current itinerary, feel free to rip it apart (!) - would love to know any other suggestions on places we might be missing or particularity any good family friendly places to stay with a 3yr old.
    ​​​​​​​
    I guess my main questions are -
    Stay overnight at the National Park or not? or day trip?
    Spend a week in either Yao Noi or Koh Lak?
    Is Krabi worth staying over night?
    For our final week which island would you choose? Koh Lipe / Ko Jum or one of the Trang Islands?

    I'd also love to hear if anyone just has any great suggestions for days out or things to do around this area that would be suitable with our 3yr old.

    Our budget is mid range, we can afford about £100 a night for accommodation.

    Many thanks to anyone who finds the time to reply
    x
    Last edited by maokaang; 18th Jul 2019 at 06:41. Reason: links removed

  2. #2
    Veteran ผู้มีประสบการณ์ toddmeister's Avatar
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    For phuket I would have said Kata or Karon over Kamala personally but if you've already booked it's as good as any I suppose. We always used to base ourselves in Patong when we used to go to Phuket. Some love it, some hate it but it's ideal for families as everything is in one place with loads to do and easy access to better beaches both north and south. Kamala is only 10mins up the road from Patong though. Im not really a beach person a nice beach in between kamala & Patong which is pretty quiet is Laem Singh. Kata Noi is a nice beach just south of Kata and I also liked Paradise beach too.

  3. #3
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    I myself am looking at kph lipe December this year wife wants to go .sunrise beach having done some study seems the best place to stay .But it is a small island so once your there expect the prices to be a little higher .
    But it does look nice

  4. #4
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    You'll be limited most by your 3 year old, your tiredness looking after them and making sure they're safe all the time. (Watch out for ocean currents - I found them to be deceptively strong sometimes when taking our kids for a dip). You might find when you get there that you just want to relax in one place and your child will find fun wherever you go. I wouldn't book too much ahead. Personally I try to limit the travel with the kids, especially if it's by car (3 hours is about tops there).

    Krabi and Khao Lak are quieter than Kata and Karon. For me it's hard to compare them fairly because I went to Kata/Karon on a couple of trips 20 years apart and was disappointed by the changes but I guess those happened everywhere and it's still a nice place. It's just that you'll be completely surrounded by Russians now I didn't go to any of those places with kids though. Your itinerary looks ambitious, one made for an adult holiday.

  5. #5
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    You'll be limited most by your 3 year old,
    Travel is long and crowded sometimes many times i have been on the back of a songthaew hanging on for dear life the boat crossing is around 2 hours depending on what type you take ie speedboat i would not recommend for a 3 year old so ferry it will be .This type of travel will take most of the day .
    I am not saying you can not do it but it is a full days travel usually .
    Myself i am looking at a early morning flight from Bangkok to hat yai then bus to the pier with it just being me and the wife speedboat will do very uncomfortable after 15 mins might look great but trust me they are not .this will take around 10 hours to do .give or take a little .

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    Veteran ผู้มีประสบการณ์ toddmeister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by livingwithathaigirl View Post
    You'll be limited most by your 3 year old, your tiredness looking after them and making sure they're safe all the time. (Watch out for ocean currents - I found them to be deceptively strong sometimes when taking our kids for a dip). You might find when you get there that you just want to relax in one place and your child will find fun wherever you go. I wouldn't book too much ahead. Personally I try to limit the travel with the kids, especially if it's by car (3 hours is about tops there).

    Krabi and Khao Lak are quieter than Kata and Karon. For me it's hard to compare them fairly because I went to Kata/Karon on a couple of trips 20 years apart and was disappointed by the changes but I guess those happened everywhere and it's still a nice place. It's just that you'll be completely surrounded by Russians now I didn't go to any of those places with kids though. Your itinerary looks ambitious, one made for an adult holiday.
    I would defo agree with this. The first time we took our son over he was 9 months old and then again when he was 2 and 4 years old. The heat meant he was pretty much knackered all of the time and we couldn't do too much. Certainly couldn't walk any distance and had to be within easy reach of some air-con. He's now 6 and still struggles with the heat which can be draining when all you want to do is relax. We used to try and fit too much into our 3 week hols, trying to please everybody by seeing the family and friends which live in different parts of the country. Now we just allocate 1 week for the family and the rest of our time in one place

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by toddmeister View Post
    I would defo agree with this. The first time we took our son over he was 9 months old and then again when he was 2 and 4 years old. The heat meant he was pretty much knackered all of the time and we couldn't do too much. Certainly couldn't walk any distance and had to be within easy reach of some air-con. He's now 6 and still struggles with the heat which can be draining when all you want to do is relax. We used to try and fit too much into our 3 week hols, trying to please everybody by seeing the family and friends which live in different parts of the country. Now we just allocate 1 week for the family and the rest of our time in one place

    Hi, thanks all for excellent advice and completely agree with your points about not attempting too much. We have tried to keep our travelling to an absolute minimum and not move around too much. We plan to spend the whole 30 days in Phuket area so hopefully the travelling between Phuket - Koh Lanta or Koh Lanta - Koh Lipe won't be too bad, I've looked online and hopefully the maximum journey we'll need to take will only be 2-3 hrs.

    One option to reduce travelling even further would be to take one location out of our itinerary and just spend 1/2 days longer at everywhere else. So if we ditched Yao Noi and spent a bit longer in the other places it would look something like this:

    7 nights Phuket
    3 night Khao Sok
    3 nights Krabi
    8 nights Koh Lanta
    8 nights Koh Lipe

    Wondered if we should spend a couple of nights in Krabi - was reading about some of the amazing beaches here like Railay / Noppharat Thara - would love to hear if anything thinks this is worth 2/3 nights.

    'Livingwithathaigirl' I take your point about not booking too much ahead but at the same time with a little one in tow we don't want to just turn up somewhere with nothing booked (as I did when I was travelling with mates). So ideally, we want to nail our itinerary before we go, but its just getting that balance right of not staying too long somewhere and getting bored and not moving around too much.

    'Samsung' - you wouldn't advice going on any of the speedboats full stop? Have you looked into Koh Lipe yet?

    'Toddmeister' thanks for your ideas and suggestions. I'm guessing even though we are not staying there its worth a day trip to Kata / Karon? Maybe if we hire a car.

    Thanks all for replying and your time
    x

  8. #8
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    i have been on many speed boats and they are all uncomfortable the journey from the pier to koh lipe is 2+ hours .yes i am in the process of booking everything . Koh Lanta to Koh Lipe Ferry. The Koh Lanta Koh Lipe ferry route connects Thailand with Thailand. Currently there is just the 1 ferry company operating this ferry service, Bundhaya Speed Boat. The crossing operates up to 7 times each week with sailing durations from around 3 hours.serious you will need that massage when you get there

  9. #9
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    I wouldn't go on a speedboat with a 3 year old, especially in that region of the world.

    Kata and Karon beaches aren't worth a day trip. They're just nicer beaches than Patong, not worth putting yourself out for them if you're seeing enough others.

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    Got to say I'd be beached out looking at your Itinerary....we're all different though, the great thing about Thailand is it's easy to be flexible on the travel arrangements....

  11. #11
    Veteran ผู้มีประสบการณ์ toddmeister's Avatar
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    Same here. I would maybe book your first week/few days and then simply decide if and where you want to move to and from.
    I've done the speedboat thing as a group of lads but must admit now as a parent I really don't think I'd be taking our son on one. Been a few of accidents/incidents in that area

  12. #12
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    I took my daughter on a speedboat and wasn't too fussed but this was 3 years ago.
    I was meant to take a speedboat to Phi Phi last year but weather was too bad (was the same day the boat capsized and mostly Chinese tourist died).
    I'm not one to get motion sickness but I always feel awful on them.

    My plan last year was to get a boat to Phi Phi, stay the night. Then get a boat to Krabi, stay the night and then get some form of transport back to Phuket but weather was terrible and I was lazy.

    The only thing I usually plan is the date I'm going somewhere and the date I need to return to Bangkok.
    I went up to Uthai Thani and the day I went back down to Bangkok is the day I booked a hotel there.
    Think I booked the hotel in Pattaya the day before I went there.
    Phuket wasn't an issue as a friend runs a hotel there.
    When I got back to Bangkok for the final part I booked the hotel when I landed in Bangkok.
    I think this is me being indecisive about hotels though.

    I hired a car last year and drove around Phuket. Went to Surin Beach, Karon Beach, Kamala Beach, Rawaii Beach etc.
    Tried to go to Paradise but was closed for a private event.
    I prefer Kata Beach the best though.

    Would love to stay elsewhere when I go but Patong is the hub for getting about for me and enjoy walking up and down Bangla Road trying to decide which expensive bar I want to go into.

  13. #13
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    I am trying to post a picture of the yacht we came back from Koh kood on a big boat this was fantastic,
    But the uploads i have is full and i can not seem to delete them any help anywhere .
    It has just taken me with the wife 3 hours to plan our next trip to Thailand a fair bit of travel but there is only me and the misses .
    2 nights BKK
    Then 5 nights Koh Lipe
    2 nights in Hat yai
    5 nights in nong khai
    5-6 nights pattaya
    5 nights koh chang
    2 nights pattaya
    home
    its taken a lot of moving around due to being xmas and new year and the misses saying she doesnt want to spend to much time in nong khai family problems didnt get to much out of her just that its there problem and not hers I like that

  14. #14
    Rookie มือใหม่ Eudora's Avatar
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    If you are looking a family friendly beach resort then i would say Katathani Phuket Beach Resort would be a good option for you. It's a nice place at good location and friendly environment with good staff.

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