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Krabi/Khao Sok then Khao Lak - too much in 13 days?

Auchterarder...
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Krabi/Khao Sok then Khao Lak - too much in 13 days?

I think I've finally worked out our 2 week plan in November but looking for some final words of wisdom before I start booking up hotels. Thought when we land in Bangkok we fly straight to Krabi and have 4 nights there to acclimatise to the weather and chill a bit, then go on a 2night 3 day trip to Khao Sok, followed by 6 nights in Khao Lak, then fly back to Bangkok and have one night there before our return flight to the UK.

I feel like I've gone round in circles, trying to balance seeing a few different things with not rushing about too much. We only need 3 days on a beach/by a pool plus a couple of days snorkelling/diving, so I think the balance is there. We did think about just doing Khao Lak, but it seemed to be a long transfer from there to Khao Sok and I wanted the national park trip in the middle of the chill time, hence Krabi at the start which seemed to be much closer to the park, or so the tour operator seemed to say.

And to top it all off I went to give blood today and their new policy is not to take blood if you've been anywhere in Thailand for the last 12 months so I'm feeling very rejected now! So, must plan this next amazing holiday to make up for it.

Any advice to reassure me on my timings? I know I overanalyse every detail but I do like to try and make the holiday as good as I can.

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Krabi Town
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Surat Thani Province, Thailand
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Phang Nga Province, Thailand
Adelaide, Australia
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1. Re: Krabi/Khao Sok then Khao Lak - too much in 13 days?

Your trip sounds perfect however I would probably even your days out with 5 in Krabi and 5 in Khao Lak. Khao Sok is only about 3 hours from Khao Lak but definately do as planned and stay there in the middle.... it was one of the best parts of my trip! You will not regret spending a few nights there...

Have a look at my Khao Sok blog at www.travelblog.org/bloggers/reet

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Phang Nga Province, Thailand
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Surat Thani Province, Thailand
Poulton Le Fylde...
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2. Re: Krabi/Khao Sok then Khao Lak - too much in 13 days?

Khao Sok is only an hour or so North of Khao Lak, nearer, in fact than Krabi, so I wouldn't let that be your deciding factor. If Khap Lak is your final destination, it is nearer to Phuket Airport also.

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Auchterarder...
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3. Re: Krabi/Khao Sok then Khao Lak - too much in 13 days?

Thanks you two. Arandora, the guy from Paddleasia who we think we might use ( still looking at your suggestions Emjay) said it was only a one hour from Krabi or Phuket airport but much further for them to pick us up if it were from Khao Lak. I couldn't understand this from looking at the map, but I'm guessing they enter the national park from another angle. They seemed to suggest coming from Surit Thani was the best but it sounds like there's nothing there.

We did think about a 5/5 split but reckon we'll do 2 days snorkelling from Khao Lak so that would mean less time to explore the area. No firm decisions yet though. My partner relies on me to do all the research and he happily agrees to pretty much anything so all pressure on me.

Can either of you two recommend an area in Krabi? Seem to get conflicting views on Ao Nang and Railey. We don't want to be in a Patong type area. Same for Khao Lak. Think I've found the Merlin for £41 ( althougththrough Asiarooms so it may turn out to be unbookable), that's got local restaurants nearby doesn't it? I think I'll probably do a separate post on hotels once I suss a few things out.

Arandora, can I ask, are you hiring a car from Phuket airport or just getting a transfer to the hotel? I thought maybe a scooter/motorbike for a day might be fun even though we've never been on one. And do we need an international licence or is the UK one ok?

Thanks guys. Really appreciate your help.

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Poulton Le Fylde...
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4. Re: Krabi/Khao Sok then Khao Lak - too much in 13 days?

Hi Artemis,

From Phuket, Khao Sok is only 90 minutes and you go through Khao Lak to get there. Hence my estimate of no more than 1 hour from Khao Lak. It is a good 2 1/2 hours from Phuket to Krabi in the opposite direction, so I don't understand PaddleAsia's estimates of time, unless, of course they are based in Krabi in which case for them to get to Khao Lak and then on to Khao Sok would be 3 hours plus. Also it is possible to go up to Surat Thani from Krabi to reach Khao Sok as the National Park stretches virtually across the peninsula. My view is that easiest to get to Khao Sok from Khao Lak and there are local tour operators in Khao Lak e.g. Khao Lak Land Discovery at http://www.khaolaklanddiscovery.com/ who will arrange the tours and get you there from your local hotel.

As for Krabi, we've only been there staying at the Andaman Beach Resort which was about 15 minute ride from Ao Nang, 30 to Krabi Town/airport. Good, inexpensive resort on a splendid beach with longtail and speedboat tours to the neighbouring islands, including, Phi PHI, Hen Island and Raillay Beach. Ao Nang is the commercial centre but was, and I believe still is, nothing like Patong (what is? LOL) Certainly Khao Lak is in no way comparable to Patong! We liked Ao Nang, particularly it's good selection of restaurants but the beach wasn't as nice.

The Merlin is a good hotel and £41 a good rate (don't know why you should say it may turn out to be unbookable through AsiaRooms. We booked Le Meridien in Khao Lak last April at best rate we could find anywhere and had no problems.)

As for car hire. We are hiring a car for our full holiday, picking it up from and returning it to Phuket Airport. We were going to use a local operator but after reading some cautionary advice about insurance (or lack of it) of certain operators and failure of the company we'd been thinking of to confirm level of cover, I booked an Avis car on-line through a German tour operator who had been recommended to me. For our 3 week hire we've saved over £100 compared with booking through Avis.com or Avis.co.uk (another example of how we Brits get ripped off!) We intend to travel down to Krabi. We've booked the John Gray Hongs by Starlight Tour which goes from Phuket; intend seeing more of "natural" Phuket than we did last time we stayed there; travelling up to Khao Sok and, of course, in and around Khao Lak so it is a cost-effective option.

If you do hire a scooter (I never have and never having ridden one, probably never will) make sure you both get crash helmets and wear them! You may only be asked for a UK Driving Licence and probably get away with that BUT the legal requirement is an International Driving Permit, issued through the AA or certain Post Offices in the UK. They are only £5.50.

If you want any more localised answers on Phuket and Khao Lak, the Forum at http://khaolaklovers.com/forum/index.php will get you some, I think.

Regards

Alan

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5. Re: Krabi/Khao Sok then Khao Lak - too much in 13 days?

Arandora... Hi Alan,

may I ask you how much your Avis car is for the week, please?...

We've hired from local co's in the past and paid 800 to 1,000 Baht per day without any problems.... But getting the car from a reputable co. like Avis would be "peace of mind"...

Poulton Le Fylde...
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for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
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6. Re: Krabi/Khao Sok then Khao Lak - too much in 13 days?

Hi,

I'm paying €397 or £267 for 21 days which is the equivalent of about 860 baht per day for a Toyota Vios Auto. Booked through

http://www.drivefti.de/

Even though there is a 10000 baht excess in case of your fault, you can claim this back on return.

Regards

Alan

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7. Re: Krabi/Khao Sok then Khao Lak - too much in 13 days?

Danke sehr, Alan:-)

Poulton Le Fylde...
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8. Re: Krabi/Khao Sok then Khao Lak - too much in 13 days?

You're welcome. Wish I spoke German!

Alan

Auchterarder...
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9. Re: Krabi/Khao Sok then Khao Lak - too much in 13 days?

Hi Arandora,

Thanks for all that info. I am indeed confused by Paddleasia so I'm dropping them an email today to find out what's where and hopefully figure it out from that. They definitely don't suggest that they go through Khao Lak to get to Khao Sok so must go some other way.

My comment about the Merlin was just that the price seemed so good compared to other websites and I know from experience that when you come to book it, sometimes they email back saying the price isn't available after all. I will just have to keep my fingers crossed as the hotel direct is quoting £71 so it would be a real scoop to get it.

Thanks also for the car hire info. We kind of thought it would be fun to go about on a scooter for a day and definitely with helmets! I've seen a person having been knocked off their bike and it wasn't a pretty sight. I just thought if the traffic was quiet then it might be fun to try it out. I didn't know the international licence was so cheap to pick up so we'll get that done for sure. One less thing to worry about.

Off to do more research in my lunchbreak now!

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10. Re: Krabi/Khao Sok then Khao Lak - too much in 13 days?

We have just returned from 16 fabulous days in Thailand. We flew to Bangkok, then straight on the Phuket with Nok Air, from there we were collected by the staff at the Similana in Khao Lak - perfect hotel, relaxing, peaceful, friendly staff, nice food etc, we had 6 nights there, and then did 3 days 2 nights in Khao Sok National Park, booked through Khao Lak Land Discovery when we arrived (quite expensive) this was a great trip, from there we did one more night at the Similana, and then took mini van booked through Budget Car Rental, to Krabi, and then a water taxi to Raillay for 4 nights 5 days, this was also beautiful, we then took water taxi (2 hours, but lovely) to Phuket and flew to Bangkok, two nights in Bangkok, and then home. We crammed alot in our holiday, but it still felt very relaxing, absolutely fell in love with Thailand, and hope to return next year.

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