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  1. #1
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    First timer coming to Thailand - planning visit to Krabi

    Hello Teak Door,

    My wife and I are preparing a first-time visit to Thailand this November and have been doing a ton of research online about the various destinations and things to do and places to stay there. We've scoured forums like this and watched countless youtube videos on everything Thailand, but we'd like to hear some more first-hand advice and experiences from the knowledgeable folks here on Teak Door.

    After a few nights in Bankgkok, we plan to visit Krabi for 4 or 5 nights. We considered a few other places first (Phuket, etc), but after a friend who lives there told us about Krabi, we've fell in love with the idea from what we've seen and heard.

    So for those of you out there with the knowledge, a few questions:

    1. Where's the best area to stay down there? Ao Nang? Krabi Town? Railay? Seems Ao Nang is more like a "tourist trap" and Railay is a raggae/backpacker haven. So Krabi town a better choice? Would love to hear your insights.

    1a. Attached to the answer from #1., any good suggestions for hotels/resorts in that area? We'd like to keep it under $70/night (triple occupancy w/ mother-in-law in tow)

    2. Is 4 or 5 nights a good length to stay? too long?

    3. Best things to do? Seems there are so many it's difficult to choose. Boat-riding, snorkling, trips to Phi Phi islands, seeing Maya Bay, Monkey Island, etc, etc. I'm not one to stress about having a rock-solid "plan" in advance before I go anywhere as despite not hitting Thailand yet, have traveled a lot and prefer "just going" and deciding on things more spontaneously. Makes for a more adventurous time in my mind. That being said, I'd like to hear what some of you who've been there have to say about which are the best things to do in your experiences.

    Thanks in advance for the advice and info!

  2. #2
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    For tourists, Krabi is great, Phuket is shit. Boat trip to Phi Phi which includes snorkelling is good. Elephant trek is pretty good but don't expect absolute safety.

    Talk to an air conditioned taxi driver in krabi and have a long day out in Phuket at reasonable cost. Avoid packaged tours, from Krabi you can get great personal deals.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRed View Post
    For tourists, Krabi is great, Phuket is shit. Boat trip to Phi Phi which includes snorkelling is good. Elephant trek is pretty good but don't expect absolute safety.

    Talk to an air conditioned taxi driver in krabi and have a long day out in Phuket at reasonable cost. Avoid packaged tours, from Krabi you can get great personal deals.
    Thanks man! Great reply! These were exactly the type of suggestions I was looking for

  4. #4
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    I have stayed at Ao nang and loved it the sea was excellent to swim in there ,,, whatever you do dont just turn up pre book because you will end up with only non air con rooms and its bloody hot down there ! there is a good market you can walk to up the hill our of AN ,, expect a few power cuts as the bloody power lines come down thro the trees so when its stormy its lights out and as you will have you MIL in the same bedroom you will perhaps do well to get a strap on head torch
    I'm proud of my 38" waist , also proud I have never done drugs

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by nigelandjan View Post
    I have stayed at Ao nang and loved it the sea was excellent to swim in there ,,, whatever you do dont just turn up pre book because you will end up with only non air con rooms and its bloody hot down there ! there is a good market you can walk to up the hill our of AN ,, expect a few power cuts as the bloody power lines come down thro the trees so when its stormy its lights out and as you will have you MIL in the same bedroom you will perhaps do well to get a strap on head torch

    Haha, thanks for that advice. You're right. Don't want to be in that scenario. I'm glad to hear this because I was considering---foolishly---of just showing up and trying to find a place. So pre-book it is.

  6. #6
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    you will be here in low season and their are deals to be had try Thailand Hotels - Large selection of hotels and resorts in Thailand last time I used them I stayed 4 nights and paid for three. Agoda is good as well. check out reviews at Reviews of Hotels, Flights and Vacation Rentals - TripAdvisor.

    also southern phuket is nice kata, kata noi, nai harn, and chalong are nice. Avoid patong like the plague.

  7. #7
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    I own a small hotel in Ao Nang. November is almost fully into high season, so you definitely need to book ahead.

    Krabi Town itself has little to offer a visiting tourist. It's more of a stop-off point for changing buses. I would suggest that Ao Nang has much more to offer you, and it is only a tourist trap along the beach front, where it's to be expected that the locals/expats will try to sell you overpriced tourist junk and revolting food.

    Ao Nang has a couple of beautiful beaches, but I would say that one of the important reasons to base yourself here is to allow you to easily visit the nearby islands, such as Phi-Phi island, as well as the day tours to Chicken Island and the '4 islands tour'

    Simon

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    Ao Nang is a great place to stay and a base for day trips
    I'm sure Simon43 would offer you a special rate to stay at his place if you asked

  9. #9
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    Khun Custard is right! I won't charge a premium for your MIL

    Seriously, my little hotel is a lot less than $70 a night - about $30 in high season, spotlessly clean rooms but not on the beach, (building rentals are too high...)

    Simon

  10. #10
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    Simon, sorry I was rushing and thought I saw October, correct you are. What a wonderful offer you extended and the next time we come down to Raillay I would love to stay at your place a few days. Family or connecting rooms?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon43 View Post
    Khun Custard is right! I won't charge a premium for your MIL

    Seriously, my little hotel is a lot less than $70 a night - about $30 in high season, spotlessly clean rooms but not on the beach, (building rentals are too high...)

    Simon
    Got a website Simon? (No, I'm not offering one, just asking )

  12. #12
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    [at]aging_one, rooms are king-size doubles, twins and you can put your MIL in the shared dorm with the students

    DD - kill this URL if you object to my blatant promotion... I'll send a PM instead

    Ao Nang VIP Hotel

    This is really my wife's little business - I spend most of my time in Phuket partying with the gogo girls, (sorry - I mean slaving away on building another little hotel)

    Simon
    Last edited by Simon43; 28-09-2011 at 07:17 PM.

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    Everybody wants and looks for different things when on holiday, so any comments here should not be taken as the gospel. I have been to the area many times and all the places you mention are very different. I like Krabi Town, its a fairly quiet sleepy town and used mainly as a stopover for people travelling onwards to the islands or back to Bangkok, but if I only had a few days I would not want to spend much time there. I have stayed a few times at Ao Nong, and its nice enough, but reminded me of so many touristy places I have seen in The Mediterranean.
    Railay is one of my favourite places in Thailand, I find there is something very special about the mountain, beaches and sea there, its just so beautiful. There is a range of choice from 5 star resorts to backpacker huts and I am sure you would find something that suits you, although I would suggest you book ahead. The nightlife is generally mellow and relaxed as most tourists return to sleep in Ao Nong.
    Koh Phi Phi is becoming more and more of a party island, but again I really like it and its great place to organize trips for diving or for Maya bay etc
    Hope this helps and enjoy

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by aging one View Post
    you will be here in low season and their are deals to be had try Thailand Hotels - Large selection of hotels and resorts in Thailand last time I used them I stayed 4 nights and paid for three. Agoda is good as well. check out reviews at Reviews of Hotels, Flights and Vacation Rentals - TripAdvisor.

    also southern phuket is nice kata, kata noi, nai harn, and chalong are nice. Avoid patong like the plague.

    Thanks Aging One. I'll check out those links. TripAdvisor is nice with all the reviews to read.

    Yep, Patong seems to be a place I'll make sure I miss.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon43 View Post
    [at]aging_one, rooms are king-size doubles, twins and you can put your MIL in the shared dorm with the students

    DD - kill this URL if you object to my blatant promotion... I'll send a PM instead

    Ao Nang VIP Hotel

    This is really my wife's little business - I spend most of my time in Phuket partying with the gogo girls, (sorry - I mean slaving away on building another little hotel)

    Simon
    Simon,
    Nice hotel there and thanks for the advice on Ao Nang. I like the sound of it now from your description. I'm ok with some "tourist trap" stuff as it's to be expected and certainly don't want to be that far off the beaten path as it sounds like Krabi Town might be. (and definitely not with two Filipina women in tow, haha)

    I might just end up staying at your hotel too, lemme see what the "one-who-must-be-obeyed" thinks

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carterone View Post
    Everybody wants and looks for different things when on holiday, so any comments here should not be taken as the gospel. I have been to the area many times and all the places you mention are very different. I like Krabi Town, its a fairly quiet sleepy town and used mainly as a stopover for people travelling onwards to the islands or back to Bangkok, but if I only had a few days I would not want to spend much time there. I have stayed a few times at Ao Nong, and its nice enough, but reminded me of so many touristy places I have seen in The Mediterranean.
    Railay is one of my favourite places in Thailand, I find there is something very special about the mountain, beaches and sea there, its just so beautiful. There is a range of choice from 5 star resorts to backpacker huts and I am sure you would find something that suits you, although I would suggest you book ahead. The nightlife is generally mellow and relaxed as most tourists return to sleep in Ao Nong.
    Koh Phi Phi is becoming more and more of a party island, but again I really like it and its great place to organize trips for diving or for Maya bay etc
    Hope this helps and enjoy
    Thanks Carterone, yes that definitely helps. Love hearing the different opinions and perspectives. You're so right, everyone has different tastes for what they want in a vacation.

  17. #17
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    Another question: Tickets to Krabi?

    I've been told to try using AirAsia or NokAir, but should I book in advance or just wait til I arrive in Bangkok?

  18. #18
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    Go to their website. They now are having ticket sale. Welcome to AirAsia.com... Now everyone can fly

  19. #19
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    Ao Nang is great, especially for families, and well above Phuket in service, as well as a no tuk tuk mafia or jet ski's.

    Hire a boat and driver and go to Koh Hong for the day, beautiful little island, thread and pics here of our visit (Koh Hong)http://teakdoor.com/thailands-travellers-tales/90437-koh-hong.html

    Certainly get accross to Railay, so close to Krabi, very relaxed and stunning beaches.

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