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Where to go !!!!

Newcastle
Level Contributor
10 posts
1 review
Where to go !!!!

We are in the stages of planing a trip to thailand for next October.

Is this a good time to go?

We are thinking about Khao lak. We are young 50,s but dont want a busy lively resort.

Would like a nice hotel in easy reach of local restaurants.

Any advice would be great. Thanks Pauline

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
Level Contributor
45,458 posts
107 reviews
1. Re: Where to go !!!!

Hi Pauline,

First of all, Khao Lak is not a "busy, lively" resort in comparison with other popular beach destinations in Thailand. We are of your age range and find it offers great local, restaurants and bars, just touristy shopping, friendly people and wonderful natural beauty, from beaches to mountains to waterfalls - it is surrounded by National Park.

October is the end of the low season so visitors will be fewer, places that have been closed for the season re-opening and freshening up. There probably will be rain about - there is even in the Dry Seson - but sun should be plentiful and it will still be hot but warm in the evenings.

The main area for restaurants is called La On Village which is just up from Nang Thong Beach.

Have a look at the latest map of Khao Lak at http://www.khaolakmap.com/index.html

and a list of hotels at http://khaolaklovers.com/hotels.htm

The Baan Khao Lak is one which receives regular good reports and the Nang Thong Bay Resort a very popular bungalow type resort with many return visitors.

Newcastle
Level Contributor
10 posts
1 review
2. Re: Where to go !!!!

Thanks for that.

We are really confused as to who to book holiday with, right time to go and places to visit.

Therefore any advice you can give us would be greatly appreciated.

Pauline

Cape Panwa, Thailand
Level Contributor
3,063 posts
120 reviews
3. Re: Where to go !!!!

HI

I allways bookwith a travel agent this year i got a quote with Thomson Worldwide Tailormade as i found this company to be the cheapest useing Emirates for the flight and then Thai airways for domestic. I have noticed Emirates now fly from Newcastle. I then got a quote useing the same hotel and flights with Thomas Cook signature but then asked them to price match and also dont forget to ask for your discount if you dont ask for this they dont give. The difference between the two companies came to £700. They did pricematch as this is one of their promises. I have booked the Le Meridien in khao lak. I also did a do it yourself price and could not come any where near price wise the travel agent was by far the cheaper by about £400. Also if anything goes wrong with your booking or holiday your tour operator is allways on hand to sort out problems. Not so if you do it yourself.

It is cheaper to go in October but i allways bookfor mid November as this is supposed to be the start of high season.

Julie

Durham, United...
Level Contributor
135 posts
86 reviews
4. Re: Where to go !!!!

Agree with Julie!

We are booked with Premier Holidays for Le Meridian for November this year as they came up with a better than tailor made price. Fancied a trip to Bali next spring and Premier seemed expensive so got my helpful 'Travel Counsellor' to try round and he came up with Thomas Cook Signatureat a £500 saving plus included upgrades to Club rooms. We are flying Thai to Khao Lak this year and fancied Emirates from Newcastle to Bali but it meant a night stopover in KL so ended up with Malaysian from Heathrow

We are also young 50's and stayed at Le Meridian last year. Loved the hotel but more so it's location on an an unspoiled beach that goes on for miles. The area is beautiful and it's good to support an area that is in recovery, especially when you are made so welcome.

Good luck with your planning

Pete

Newcastle
Level Contributor
10 posts
1 review
5. Re: Where to go !!!!

A huge thanks for that info.

We are re thinking and prob go for November now and have been looking at the Meridien. Is this hotel in walking distance to any restaurants in the area and is it easy to get into the town.

If you have any tips at all you can pass on that would be great.

Going into Newcastle on Monday will get some prices from Thomsons and Thomas Cook.

Cheers Pauline

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
Level Contributor
45,458 posts
107 reviews
6. Re: Where to go !!!!

Hi Pauline,

Good choice! We have stayed at Le Meridien for past two years - well our holidays for past two years, though staying there all the time would have been wonderful! LOL

There is a small, basic but very good beach restaurant, the Rim Lay about 200 metres down the beach from the hotel which is popular for lunch and dinner by moonlight. Don't expect silver service but food is great and cheap. Walk past there along the beach and around the headland (or over it if tide is in) and you reach the Similana which has a nice restaurant overlooking the beach, then further on for about 400 metres and you reach three very good and cheap beach restaurants just before you reach the Sarojin, whose (relatively expensive) restaurants you can use too.

Outside the Le Meridien turn right on the highway and there is a local restaurant about 500 metres up on same side. There may now be one directly opposite the entrance to the Le Meridien too.

Other than that you are relying on the 4 restaurants at Le Meridien, the international Bang Sak Grill, the Thai and Beachfront seafood restaurants (relatively expensive compared with local ones ) and the Khu Khak which is Thai, Korean BBQ, Chinese and open to non-residents so is cheaper to attract custom. Drinks also much cheaper there too. Only open for dinner and certain times according to season.

Otherwise it's a shuttle into Khao Lak town (or La On village to give it its proper name) about 15 minutes away where there are plenty of restaurants, bars and shops. Shuttle is (was) 200 baht ber person return and you have to book it in advance. It only runs in the evening. Last one returns at 9pm but if you want a late night, taxis in Khao Lak are plentiful. The owner at Rim Lay will also arrange one to pick you up from Reception if you want to go at different times or to different places.

One great place to dine is north of Le Meridien at Bang Sak promenade, outside the Haadson resort (for lunch or dinner) where there is a lovely promenade with two or three local restaurants on one side of the road and you dine on the other either in the open air or in little cabanas overlooking the beach and sea. Very popular with locals but visitors made to feel very welcome.

Good luck at the travel agents but I have to say I booked both trips independly, flights and hotel (and hire car) at best prices I could get and these were cheaper at tyhe time than travel agents. On the other hand the price for the Le Meridien for same period next year as last year had gone up by over 50% which is an indication of the returning popularity of this hotel which has been significantly underbooked since the Tsunali.

Have a look at some of our pictures of the Le Meridien and beach at:

http://photos.orange.co.uk/album/3635279

We stayed in a Deluxe Pool Room the first time, which was ground floor but changed to a (far from ordinary) Deluxe on top (2nd) floor last time, which are a bit cheaper, as we preferred to sit out on balcony at sunset with our G&Ts rather than look at the fliage of the garden in front of the patio on ground floor rooms. However, there are are several other more expensive room types, including the fabulous beach front villas with their own plunge pool!

Any more questions, please feel free to ask.

Durham, United...
Level Contributor
135 posts
86 reviews
7. Re: Where to go !!!!

Hi Pauline

There is a great restaurant just 2 mins along the beach. The hotel has a beach bar/ restaurant and 3 more formal restaurants(Thai, Bansak Grill by the pool and International with buffet and theme nights) plus a night club that also serves food. Prices at the hotel are higher than the local ones but not excessive. If you make your way into toon sorry town which is a 10 minute ride either by taxi or the hotels evening shuttle there is a huge choice and great value.

Cheers

Pete

Newcastle
Level Contributor
10 posts
1 review
8. Re: Where to go !!!!

Thanks for all that info it is really useful, and really kind of you to take the time to reply.

Another couple of questions though!!!!!

Planning to start hol with a couple of days in Bangkok. Any ideas on hotels, restaurants, things to do?

Also rough idea on budget for spending money, prices and in what form to take money.

Regards Pauline

ps. Was that a bit of the old geordie coming through Pete.

Durham, United...
Level Contributor
135 posts
86 reviews
9. Re: Where to go !!!!

Good Afternoon Pauline

Bangkok has a huge choice if hotels and restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. We like to stay on the river as it is fascinating watching all the river traffic pass by and means you can get a ferry to a lot of places. We are staying at the Shangri La in November which is next to a Sky Train station and makes getting around easy. The Marriot resort (also on the river) is a popular hotel and runs a river shuttle to the Sky train and ferry stop. When you sort out your hotel you can look for local restaurants

There are lots of things to do and I would suggest taking a city tour or hiring a guide for your first visit. The Grand Palace is a must and China Town is fun

We make sure we hit Bangkok at a weekend so we can visit Chatuchuk market, said to be the biggest in the world, its a real eye opener and sells pretty much anything and everything and easy to get to on the sky train.

We take a mixture of card, travelers cheques and stirling (change money in Thailand for a better rate)

Budgeting again depends on your tastes, where you stay and what is included. If we are on B&B then average £50 a day for a couple to cover meals, drinks and some trips. Can be done on less or you can blow a lot more if you like the high life.

Again it's up to you but we prefer to visit Bangkok on the return as it breaks up the journey home.

You will get lots more help and information on the Bangkok forum but sure most people who visit Khao Lak will have also been to BK

Time for a stroll round the Bigg Market

Pete

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
Level Contributor
45,458 posts
107 reviews
10. Re: Where to go !!!!

Hi Julie,

Pete and I obviously the same tastes - Le Meridien in Khao Lak and Shangri-la or Marriott Bangkok. We stayed in the latter last April and enjoyed it a lot. It was cheaper than the Shangri-la through Airline Network and we upgraded to a Junior Suite in order to get access to Club for pre-dinner drinks and nibbles (well much more than nibbles actually. Some guests just filled their boots with drink and food (samples from various restaurants) before 8pm and didn't bother going out for dinner. However, it appears we (and others) exploited a loophole as asscess to Club through a Junior Suite is now only available if you book direct with the Marriott or pay extra if you book through an agent. Without that facility it's not worth upgrading. The Deluxe rooms are spacious and well-equipped and river facing ones particularly good. They do an excellent riverside all you can eat BBQ dinner with very goof traditional Thai dance show for 1500 baht per person or an excellent dinner cruise on the river on one of the hotel's converted teak rice barges, also 1500 baht.

One extra tip re spending money. I now always just use a Nationwide Flex Account Debit Card drawing cash from ATMs as and when needed. No commission, no fees, excellent rate of exchange plus the Nationwide, commission/charge free Credit Card as back up for larhe purchases/settling hotel bill, but not for drawing cash.