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JBR - 10 days in May

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
1,283 posts
548 reviews
JBR - 10 days in May

Flew direct Sydney/Phuket with Jetstar - $600 return (purchased “on special” in March).

The wife couldn’t get off work this year (or maybe the 3 days in Takua Pa Hospital last year had something to do with it) ... so I went with a mate ... and before anyone asks … “separate rooms” thank you! :-)

Arrived Phuket about an hour late due to head winds and Braun Car Rentals were waiting outside to complete the paperwork for our Honda City (good car, good price, good service – same as the last 3 years).

Drove direct to Baan Krating Resort in Khao Lak (purchased a few supplies at a 7-11 on the way) and checked in around 10.30pm.

They had previously advised they didn’t have a private car park (but would have our car under 24 hour surveillance by their security guard), so on arrival, we were pleasantly surprised when they waved us into a small private area.

I’ve written separate reviews on where we stayed and where we ate, but suffice it to say our Baan Krating deluxe pavilion rooms were great. The views would have to be the best on the coast and overall, the place was magic … IF YOU’RE FIT (read the review)!

We spent four nights at Baan Krating, then 5 nights at Nang Thong Bay Resort. It was my second stay at NTBR1 and I’m now content to make it my “resort of choice” for any further visits to KL.

It was a very laid-back, relaxing holiday … plenty of beers whilst on the balcony/balconies gazing at the view, good food, reading books, swimming (only in the pool/s), more beers, more food, visiting the markets, the occasional sight-seeing trip to other beaches, plus Takua Pa … Phang Nga, Khao Sok, (visited the Cliff & River Jungle Resort at Khao Sok for a look-see), etc ... more beers, more food, and so on ... as I said “very laid-back”!

A bit of info … Chung beer was B27 a can at Nang Thong Bay Supermarket, Bacardi was just slightly cheaper than Sydney Duty Free price (taking into account the different size bottles). Chung ranged from B50 to B65 in the various restaurants we ate at … and we only ate at one or two restaurants that we wouldn’t bother going back to.

We had two days with about 50% rain, 6 days with about 30 minutes rain, and the rest varied between overcast/scattered cloud/sunny. Ideal weather and plenty of swimming and sun-tan time.

Our “find of the week” was the Orchid Café, 2 doors north of Boonyarat Kitchen (opposite the Book Tree). We were so pleased with the place that we ate there five times.

Many thanks to Arandora (and others) for background information and specifics previously received on KL … most useful.

KL was very quiet with many businesses closed and/or under renovation … very few people on the street, and very little traffic on the roads … Just the way I like it !

Unfortunately, due to “off-season” many recommended restaurants were closed … but we certainly didn’t go hungry and there were many great eating places still open during our stay.

Do yourself (and the locals of KL) a favour and pay them a visit during the off-season … It’s much more relaxing, they desperately need the business, are generally very nice people, they don’t hassle you or get in your face, and accommodation is usually 50% cheaper.

I lashed out and spent around B300 in total on souvenirs - the last of the big spenders :-) … but I made up for it by supporting the local community with my intake of beer and food.

NTBR1 was just as good this time as on my previous visit, and they very nicely allowed us a complimentary late check-out (4pm from one room) so that we could freshen up and change prior to our flight back to Sydney - ETD 10pm.

Once again, after check-in I headed up to the 3rd floor to the Thai Airways restaurant (take the escalator or lift up one floor from the main check-in area) … and we spent a comfortable 90 minutes there consuming a couple of entrees and 4 beers prior to our flight. Much better than mixing it with the mob in the departure lounge. And confirming that Phuket Airport Duty Free will still not sell you duty free liquor if flying direct to Australia (they will not deliver to the gate, so do not comply with Australian Government regulations).

Our Jetstar flight home was 90 minutes late arriving into Phuket (due to head winds), so left Phuket one hour late at 11pm, but made up time due to strong tail winds and arrived back in Sydney 30 minutes early.

The food on the flight going up was reasonably good, coming back was cr-p … probably the worst I’ve eaten in over 40 years of international travel.

Apart from that, the service/comfort on the flight was ok … no better or worse than you can expect from “cattle class” with most airlines.

Last year we flew “business class” with Jetstar (effectively premium economy) and whilst it was better, I can’t justify the extra expense compared to the extra service/comfort. Also be aware that Jetstar now has 2 levels of “business class”. Only the more expensive of the two allows you access to the Qantas Business Class Lounge … thereby costing many hundred of dollars more for a "free" snack and a "free" champers or two!

Also note: The Phuket Jetstar staff were policing the carry-on luggage rule - one item - 10kg max'.

And no water etc past the final security inspection at the ramp (even if purchased in the duty free secure area).

A great relaxing holiday … just what I’d planned … you can’t get any better than that!

PS. Feel free to pm me if you have any queries.

melbourne australia
Level Contributor
1,893 posts
146 reviews
1. Re: JBR - 10 days in May

Hi jjumpstart

nice read..

spring rolls, beer, sunsets and khao lak..

nice combo..

orchid cafe is ' on the list. '

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
Level Contributor
45,458 posts
107 reviews
2. Re: JBR - 10 days in May

Great JBR - again!

Port Stephens...
Level Contributor
417 posts
246 reviews
3. Re: JBR - 10 days in May

Thanks jjumpstart only 9 days till we are at NTBR1 & can't wait!

Our itinerary is very similar except with a few massages thrown in. Hope to find some happy, friendly folk like yourselves to mix with.

Great read thanks :)

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
1,283 posts
548 reviews
4. Re: JBR - 10 days in May

Hi Guys ...

procal - would you believe that 2 of the restaurants we ate at were out of spring rolls?

Update: Unfortunately T/A rejected my submission to create a listing/review for the beach restaurant at Suwan Palm Resort (they did accept 4 other new listings from me) ???... so will give my opinion here:

"Right by the beach but very run down - food is cooked outdoors (in the open). No serviettes or condiments until we asked for them. We ordered an omelette and spring rolls - both tasted good but were swimming in oil (which had that burnt look about it) - the only food we ate in KL that made us feel queasy and we both had stomach rumbles the next day (not blaming the food, but the oil is highly suspect). Give it a miss!"

Level Contributor
703 posts
66 reviews
5. Re: JBR - 10 days in May

We are flying Air Asia from Sydney, first time with them from Sydney hoping it will all go well. Cant wait to be back to NTBR1 just a bit over 5 weeks now.

Looking forward to room 105 again havent been in any other just makes it feel like home..Thinking of the pool all the time with no people most of the time and the beach where you may not see another person for hours.

This is the way I feel after reading a great report thanks jjumpstart .

Victoria, Australia
Level Contributor
1,665 posts
33 reviews
6. Re: JBR - 10 days in May

Ohhh sounds good. I can't wait. 12 days to go.

Which area is orchid restaurant in?


Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
1,283 posts
548 reviews
7. Re: JBR - 10 days in May

Hi Kev ...

Same feelings for KL & NTBR1 ... same room 105 for past 2 years :-)

Add to my list of activities: Morning walk on the beach ...


melbourne australia
Level Contributor
1,893 posts
146 reviews
8. Re: JBR - 10 days in May

2 of the restaurants you say...

what a disgrace...

we stayed at NTBR2, just next to the suwan palm.

after many times walking past,

there is no way food would have been administered in any form from there.

keep walking....

Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
15,864 posts
9. Re: JBR - 10 days in May

The owner of Chang beer is already the rIchest man in Thailand, and it looks like you've contributed towards a brand new Mercedes for him!

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
1,283 posts
548 reviews
10. Re: JBR - 10 days in May

Hi LindaE

To find Orchid Cafe ... head north from Nang Thong Supermarket ... when you see the sign for "Book Treee" on the right, the Orchid is almost immediately opposite (maybe 50 metres before). It's in the very last group of shops/buildings on the left as you leave Bang La On going toward Bang Niang - check the exterior photo on my review.