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  1. #1
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Anantara, Si Kao (Trang), Thailand

    We visited the province of Trang, Thailand last week and stayed at the Anantara, Si Kao, Thailand ( http://sikao.anantara.com/default.aspx ). It was a nice visit. But it wasn’t my pick. I would have much rather stayed on some island off the coast of Thailand and what we first discussed when we started planning the trip, months ago. The girlfriend told me about two places she had visited years ago (on two different islands) that I wanted to visit but she said their prices were unreasonable in today’s environment.

    I am not promoting Anantara, it is just another place you can stay while in Trang. There were many guest houses and smaller resorts that we saw from the Trang airport to the resort, close to the public beach.

    With that out of the way,…more about Anantara. The resort has a nice family friendly atmosphere,...wading pool for the kids and a large game room. You can rent small sail boats, kayaks, wind surf boards, etc. by the beach, provided by the resort and you can get lessons if you are not familiar with the equipment and want to learn. The resorts pool was wonderful. It is equipped with spa like jets of water in some areas and two depressions along the side of the pool that you can lay down in while bubbles relax you.




    The Anantara has a nice open air design in most all the common areas and is furnished with nice Thai style beachside resort type furniture. It is comfortable to lounge around the entire complex, as we found out using their free Wi-Fi hook-up. The rooms were nice and very comfortable. Evenings were quiet and with the sliding glass doors open during the evening, the only thing you could hear were the waves slapping up against the sea wall, with an occasional outburst of excitement from the fans enjoying the World Cup in the outside bar close to our room. Some of the suites at this resort have their own pool as pictured below.








    The staff at the resort was exceptional; it might have been due to the lack of guests at the place (maybe 50 people while we were there), they were so attentive. You only had to look up once and someone would be at your table, poolside or by the bar. It was un-believable. We spoke to the kids working there and it seems all the help we came in contact with had degrees in either business management or hotel management/hospitality. The General Manager (Morten Junior,… a Dane and married to a Thai) seemed to be on a mission to meet all of his guests. He was a nice guy,.well mannered and well spoken.

    The resort has two menus,………one Thai and, one Italian. Every meal we ate was fantastic. Breakfast was all you could eat and free with every nights paid stay. Beautiful views from each of the two restaurants at the resort but the Acqua Restaurant (wine cooler and a large selection of wines to choose from) had the best view, where breakfast and dinner was served every day (smaller of the two restaurants and they might have opened it up due to the low occupancy).












    If you open up the link to the resort that I provided above you’ll see that they offer many spa and wellness treatments which we didn’t use, but they did look tempting.



    Spa Area


    Video of the Anantara, below.






    I’ll add a post later about some of the places we visited and learned while in Trang.

    And one other thing,.if you do open the link to the resort, don’t pay attention to the room prices. They are way off (today, June 19, 2010) for some reason.
    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

  2. #2
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    Nice report, thanks a lot. Looks like a nice resort, but it would be hard to stay there as you said knowing the white sand beaches are just off the coast on the islands.

  3. #3
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    Excellent post, I am planning to take my wife to Trang for a second honeymoon and this resort sounds ideal.

    I reckon it is a comfortable 8 hour drive from Hua Hin, so looking good for August.

  4. #4
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    ^ & ^^Thank you both

    ^I am sure your wife will enjoy her stay.

    What to do and visit while in Trang. Well what we did and did not do (but wanted to) in Trang.

    We wanted to visit the Emerald Cave and visit the sea cows/manatees/dugong, but no one would take us. We were told at this time of year the winds were too strong to go out the sea (I think they use a flat bottom boat so you can view the sea cows). The best time to visit would be during the tourist season (November, December and January, when there is less wind?). There were white caps, but I didn’t see the big deal. It would have been a little rough, so what? We also wanted to visit one of the two water falls in the province but we were warned it was too wet and we might get hurt climbing up to the falls so we were not taken by our driver.

    We arrived at the Trang airport via Nokair. I think round trip tickets from Bangkok were about 2,000 baht (less than 65.00 US dollars, each person). Take off from Don Maung airport, level out, the girls serve some refreshments, then she comes back in a little bit collecting the trash,….then they try to sell you drinks and 10 minutes later, you are descending to Trang airport.

    Flying into Trang it seemed almost every acre of land had been cleared and planted when looking out of the window of the plane.

    Plane was 95% full going to (Sunday) and about 85% full coming back (Thursday).





    We weren’t familiar with the area and were working with some time restraints so we decided to hire a chauffeur for the day to show us around, instead of renting a car and trying to find ourselves around. The resort contacted a local (Somboon’s telephone number is 0872681018) who had his own van and would charge us 3,000 baht for the entire day to show us around. He was full of information, but spoke only Thai (maybe a little English).

    While driving us to different destinations, Somboon (the driver) told us that Trang was a farming community with mostly Rubber and Palm trees (for oil) planted throughout the province. Another occupation that Somboon had was a Rubber Tree Plantation (?) owner so we learned more than we wanted to know about rubber trees. He told us how the Burmese were hired to extract the oil (sap) and how they wanted 40% (plus waste) from the take, instead of the 30% they used to charge. How they would add water to the oil to try to get more from the buyers and how the buyers would pay according to quality and quantity and not just quantity (measured weight of oil). How the buyers would now dry sheets of oil to use as a base to test the the quality of the oil they were buying. How some Burmese would cut the trees to try to maximize the flow of the oil and how it would hurt the tree, if cut improperly. How the entire tree could be used when destroyed, even the stumps used for fire/fuel because of the oil in the stump would make it burn better and how the rubber tree grew better in dry soil as compared to wetter soil.




    Samboon also told us that the man who settled/founded the province had a nephew that visited Brazil and came back to Thailand to plant the first Rubber tree (from a seed) in Thailand. Picture of the tree is below. What Samboon told the girlfriend was translated to me, so it’s second hand and please don’t quote me on any of this information.




    The first place he took us to was the Le Khaokob Cave. I was told we were going to visit a cave and thought no big deal it will be dark, musty, bats, stalactites, etc. Nothing I haven’t seen before,.just a different cave. I was soo wrong! This wasn’t going to be a Disney ride.

    There are two different routes,…one will take you to the cave and you visit two (maybe three) different areas of the cave where you’ll have to exit off the small boat, enter a certain portion of the cave and then get back on the boat to visit another area and then do it again. However there are two routes back to the dock from where you started,….the way you came and the way we took.

    The way we took back to the dock isn’t for everyone. First of all if you have any problems with confined spaces (or have kids with you),.Do Not Go. If you have any problems with claustrophobia, Do Not Go this way back. When we started back the two guides in the boat (one in the back and one in the front of the boat) told us that we would enter spaces on the way back that were low ceiling areas. Low ceiling? No! The ceiling of the route back in some areas were rubbing/scraping against us.
    We get to the first tight area,…….and I don’t have any idea how low the ceiling is going to get yet, but we get there and the guys in the boat tell us to lay down in the boat so we don’t hit our heads on the rock ceiling of the pathway out. We lay down and they do too. There is no light except for the small flashlight the guide in the back of the boat is shinning ahead for us. We hit the first tight area and it took us about 5 minutes to get about 10 feet because the guides have to push up on the ceiling (to push us and the boat down) to move us though this tight area. The boats you see along the dock have broken side boards towards the back of the boat and now I know why,…..it’s because the boats are too wide to pass these areas without scraping the sides down/off. At one point, about 20 feet into the first low point I am asked to help the guys push up on the ceiling to help move us along. I’m thinking and ask if it is going to be this much trouble why don’t we just back out. Oh No,…they weren’t having none of that.

    After about 50 meters of this we hit an area where we can lift our heads,.but cannot sit up yet (or get any pictures) because the ceiling is still too low. We push along a bit more and I start thinking,…how am I going to get out (help the girlfriend and these two other guys) if things go bad. Later I asked the girlfriend what she was thinking while in these tight spots and she tells me,…….I was wondering if I had a telephone signal down there, to call for help.

    We’re moving at a snails pace now and we hit another low point,….this one lower than the previous one. Now I am concerned because it seems we’re stuck (we cannot force the boat down low enough). I have already been scraped (girlfriend also) at different places on the body (no blood yet) and now I have to lay my head down between the seats of the boat because my nose is the highest part of my body. The highest part of the girlfriend’s body cannot be protected and is nearly missed at a few places along the way. The guides in the boat are laying down next to us again and doing their best to move us along, but it’s a slow go and I ask how much further. I’m told about 200 meters. It only seemed about 2,000 meters when we finally got out.
    After getting out of the last low spot we still have to keep our heads down until we reach the exit point,.back at the dock where we started. I was told, after asking because I was concern about swimming out, how deep was/is the route we took and they tell us about two meters. No big deal but it might have been a problem to navigate out in the dark and not knowing which way to turn (if there were alternatives), if the boat got stuck in the narrow/low passageway.

    It was an interesting ride and the guides tell us that the exit route is about 649 meters.






















    The next place we visited was a Botanical garden in Trang. I don’t remember the name but it had some nice walkways and interesting plants that I have never seen before. There is no fee to enter the park.

    They had some nice canopy walkways as you can see in the pictures below.














    Our Driver





    The last place we visited was one of the two (?) Hot Springs in Trang. The water here stays between 30 – 70 degrees centigrade and there is a regular group of older Thai’s that visit the springs most every evening.




    On our journey throughout the day the driver took us by some local places he was promoting,……like the restaurant we ate lunch at, a couple of knickknack shops and two bakeries. He also took us to visit the home (now it’s a museum) of the founder of the Trang province and the home of a past Thai PM that lives (his family does) in Trang.

    No pictures posted of these places but I did post a picture of a rock formation I thought was interesting. It looks like an older woman lying down, off the coast of Trang.






    Here’s a short video of some of the places we visited.








  5. #5
    Member ThaiAm's Avatar
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    Thanks for the posts, Trang looks like a great vacation spot.

  6. #6
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    ^ You are welcome.


    Quote Originally Posted by jojo333 View Post
    Excellent post, I am planning to take my wife to Trang for a second honeymoon and this resort sounds ideal.

    Just to let you know, while we were there they had some portions of the resort closed up. You could see the patio furniture in the rooms in some sections of the resort from the pool (no guests were in those rooms).

    Reason I am telling you this is because I think the resort wanted to keep all the guests (or most of us) in one section of the resort (the nicest part). Maybe easier to keep up, than trying to maintain the entire place when so few guests are there????? But the girlfriend booked us for a certain type of room and they bumped us up to a better room (because the type of room she booked might have been filled, in the open section of the resort). Hope you’re able to get the same deal, we did. Good luck if you do visit.




    The girlfriend’s favorite seat at the resort. I could hardly pry her out of this boat.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the fantastic and detailed trip report - this is certainly something I will consider for this summer.

  8. #8
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    why

    the white type no one can read it.

  9. #9
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    good and interesting report but again no prices !

  10. #10
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    ^^^You’re welcome.


    ^Thanks and Mr. Jordaan, if you open the link I provided to the Anantara in my first post you’ll be able to see their prices. Open this page,……. http://sikao.anantara.com/default.aspx ,...then click on “Special Packages” ,..then click on “Si Kao Best Available Rate” ,……if you’re a local (your spouse might be?),…………click on “Local Resident Special”.

    You’ll see this Today (June 22, 2010),……….for Si Kao Best Available Rate.





    Package includes:
    • Accommodation in a deluxe room or suite
    • Daily buffet breakfast for two people
    In addition, guests of Anantara Suites also enjoy the following exclusive Suite benefits:
      • In-suite soap selection and Ipod connection
      • Daily CD & DVD selection from library
      • Daily fruit basket
      • Choice of one international newspaper daily
      • Complimentary drink at Café Lounge
    Now - December 20, 2010
    Deluxe Garden Terrace Rates start from THB 6,000
    Deluxe Sea View Rates start from THB 6,600
    Deluxe Ocean Front Rates start from THB 7,700
    Anantara Suite Rates start from THB 14,000
    Anantara Pool Suite Rates start from THB 16,000
    Family Pool Terrace Rates start from THB 16,000

    All rates are in THB and subject to 10% service charge, applicable 7% government tax and 1% provincial Tax.
    Rate includes breakfast for two persons.
    The rates quoted are per night, subject to availability and a cancellation policy.
    Rates are subject to seasonal variations and change without notice.

    And this for “Local Resident Special”.





    Package includes:
    • Accommodation in a room or a suite
    • Daily buffet breakfast for two persons
    In addition, guests of Anantara Suites also enjoy the following exclusive Suite benefits :
      • In-suite soap selection and Ipod connection
      • Daily CD & DVD selection from library
      • Daily fruit basket
      • Choice of one international newspaper daily
      • Complimentary drink at Café Lounge
    Now - 31 October, 2010
    Deluxe Garden Terrace Rates start from THB 3,900
    Deluxe Sea View Rates start from THB 4,500
    Deluxe Ocean Front Rates start from THB 5,600
    Anantara Suite Rates start from THB 11,900
    Anantara Pool Suite Rates start from THB 13,900

    All rates are in THB and subject to 10% service charge, applicable 7% government tax and 1% provincial tax.
    The rates quoted are per night, subject to availability and a cancellation policy.
    Rates are subject to seasonal variations and change without notice.
    Rates are available to Thailand residents only. A Thai ID card or work permit must be presented at the time of check-in.

    The reason I don’t usually post prices in any of my travel/Thailand Hotels, Resorts and Guest Houses threads is because these threads run for years (someone might check on this thread) and prices might change as time goes by.

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    "The resort has a nice family friendly atmosphere,...wading pool for the kids and a large game room. You can rent small sail boats, kayaks, wind surf boards, etc. by the beach, provided by the resort and you can get lessons if you are not familiar with the equipment and want to learn. The resorts pool was wonderful. It is equipped with spa like jets of water in some areas and two depressions along the side of the pool that you can lay down in while bubbles relax you."


    It sounds like Butlins with sunshine!!

    However, thanks for a nice report.

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat Bobcock's Avatar
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    This is the resort that used to be the Amari in Trang, I did a thread of photos from here a few years ago. (Bobcock in Trang - sunsets and not much else) Shame I can't edit that thread now as they are too small, I didn't understand how to use TD Gallery in those days.

    We had a great time staying there, my son particularly remembers it quite fondly. He ordered room service without me knowing what he had ordered.

    Upon delivery I found he had himself a full Phuket lobster, 3650 Baht!

  13. #13
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    Whoa, upon seeing the prices I am floored. Much much too high for me. Especially on a beach mailand in Trang. Beautiful fut at those prices not for me.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by S Landreth
    We wanted to visit the Emerald Cave and visit the sea cows/manatees/dugong, but no one would take us. We were told at this time of year the winds were too strong to go out the sea (I think they use a flat bottom boat so you can view the sea cows). The best time to visit would be during the tourist season (November, December and January, when there is less wind?). There were white caps, but I didn’t see the big deal. It would have been a little rough, so what?
    Little white tips seen, but from the local guys I know, it can get really rather hairy once you get out...like rather nasty indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by S Landreth
    We also wanted to visit one of the two water falls in the province but we were warned it was too wet and we might get hurt climbing up to the falls so we were not taken by our driver.
    The other year some 35+ people were killed at a waterfall here in the wet season...flash flood wiped them out in the fall and the poor buggers couldn't hear it due the natural sound of the waterfall....so don't blame old Somboon...however he could've taken you to see them...

    Quote Originally Posted by S Landreth
    Flying into Trang it seemed almost every acre of land had been cleared and planted when looking out of the window of the plane.
    To be fair if you even take a ride around on the bike or car/pick up there are beautiful mountains and stunning scenery to be enjoyed...it ain't all cleared land and rubber trees...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kapilvastu
    It sounds like Butlins with sunshine!!
    Cobblers way better....
    There are no strangers here, just friends you haven't met yet.

  15. #15
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kapilvastu View Post
    However, thanks for a nice report.
    You’re welcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobcock View Post
    We had a great time staying there, my son particularly remembers it quite fondly. He ordered room service without me knowing what he had ordered.

    Upon delivery I found he had himself a full Phuket lobster, 3650 Baht!
    The food is still pricey,……..but good.

    Quote Originally Posted by aging one View Post
    Whoa, upon seeing the prices I am floored. Much much too high for me. Especially on a beach mailand in Trang. Beautiful but at those prices not for me.
    If you have a Thai spouse they should be able to take advantage of the lower rate residents pay.

    The reservations were made under my name (not Thai) and they charged me resident rates, however the Thai girlfriend made the reservations.

    We also were able to take advantage of the deal they have going now,…….pay for two nights and get one night free. We stayed four nights with the fourth night at no charge.

    [quote=Mr R Sole;1479539]
    Quote Originally Posted by S Landreth
    We also wanted to visit one of the two water falls in the province but we were warned it was too wet and we might get hurt climbing up to the falls so we were not taken by our driver.

    The other year some 35+ people were killed at a waterfall here in the wet season...flash flood wiped them out in the fall and the poor buggers couldn't hear it due the natural sound of the waterfall....so don't blame old Somboon...however he could've taken you to see them...


    I remember news reports about the deaths (2007), horrible. I didn’t remember it being in Trang.

    Somboon was very helpful, that’s one reason why I posted his information here. Maybe he’ll be able to guide/help someone else out, as he did with us.

    Quote Originally Posted by S Landreth
    Flying into Trang it seemed almost every acre of land had been cleared and planted when looking out of the window of the plane.
    To be fair if you even take a ride around on the bike or car/pick up there are beautiful mountains and stunning scenery to be enjoyed...it ain't all cleared land and rubber trees...



    You are right,…While in the van with Somboon he pointed out many places along the way where the farmers hadn’t cleared the countryside. It was nice to see the mountains that hadn’t been touched yet. Also around the Botanical Garden/Hot Springs he took us to was surrounded by undeveloped property (looked like) and the entire length of the beach except for one small home close to the resort was still natural (at least 2,000 meters to the inlet).





    The Pool

  16. #16
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Nice while it lasted……….

    Anantara Si Kao Resort must leave after losing final legal battle to the state


    Anantara Si Kao Resort and Spa, a luxury resort located on a 37-rai beachfront land in Si Kao district of Trang province will now become a legend of “untouched paradise” for tourists after the Supreme Court ruled it encroached on forest reserve and ordered it to move out.

    After almost five years of legal dispute, the Supreme Court on Thursday (Jan 26) upheld the Appeals Court’s ruling that the luxury hotel encroached on forest reserves and protected mangroves forest in Tambon Mai Fad of Sikao district.

    The court ordered the owner of the resort, JBB Co Ltd, to remove it’s facilities out of the area and ordered the Land Department to nullify the land ownership documents because they were illegitimately issued.

    However the court said the 4.4 million baht compensation demanded by the state for damages would be exempted because the company just bought the land from first owner.

    The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation brought encroachment case against the resort owner in 2013 after its aerial and ground survey clearly showed the luxury hotel resort was constructed on the protected forest area.

    The department then sought order from the Trang Provincial Court to revoke the land title deeds held by the resort owner, reasoning that the deeds were illegally issued.

    But the first court dropped the case in 2014.

    The department appealed and the Appeals Court ruled in favour of the state in 2015 ordering the resort hotel to be demolished.

    The company appealed to the Supreme Court in the same year with final ruling upholding the Appeals Court’s verdict.

    The verdict by the Supreme Court was read at the Trang Provincial Court yesterday (Jan 25) at the presence of both disputed parties.

    Hat Chao Mai national park chief Narong Kong-ead, who represents the department in the case, said after hearing the final ruling that he would proceed with more lawsuits for the revocation of the illegally-issued land ownership documents as there are still many business operators encroached on national park and protected forest in Trang province.: Anantara Si Kao Resort must leave - Thai PBS English News

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