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Are ALL Thai Beach Destinations crowded and new resorts?

Asheville
Level Contributor
114 posts
15 reviews
Are ALL Thai Beach Destinations crowded and new resorts?

I'm starting to plan a trip for 3 weeks in mid April and every site I read talks about the crowds at the beach areas (not interested in Patong type places) and would like to stay in laid back areas close to snorkel destinations, etc. But after reading so many comments about crowds, I'm wondering if it's worth the cost to travel with hoards of people everywhere. I'm wanting to go to Khao Sok Park 2 days, then other options are Khao Lok, AoNang, Koh Lanta, and Krabi, takng in the Phang Nga Tour. (Arrive Bangkok stay 4 days, then Chaing Mai or Chiang Rai 5 days, before heading to Andaman Coast). I thought Thailand was affordable, but it looks like much is generic resorts.

Please share your insights. I need help - and any suggestions on places to stay $60-$100 US would be great. I'm traveling with my 31 year old son and snorkeling buddy...

Motherwell, United...
Level Contributor
4,158 posts
119 reviews
1. Re: Are ALL Thai Beach Destinations crowded and new resorts?

Hi

Thailand is affordable, although the timing of your trip is in the middle of the high season and is also during Songkran (new year). If you could put your trip off until the beginning of May I'm sure the costs would drop dramatically. Unfortunately the weather could also change as you would head into the wet season.

That said, we have visited 6 times during May, June and July and although encountering rain on most visits we keep returning.

We spent some time this year in Khao Lak (Bhandari) and Ao Nang (Mercure) and stayed in 4 star resorts for around $45 to $50 a night. We also ate in bars and restaurants and it's unlikely we spent more than $20 on any meal including some beers. Lunch was generally eaten from the streetcars for $3 each.

Thailand can be as expensive as you wish but can also be great value for money. I'm sure you'll have a great trip.

Kind regards

Jim

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
Level Contributor
45,458 posts
107 reviews
2. Re: Are ALL Thai Beach Destinations crowded and new resorts?

Khao Lak beaches are NEVER crowded even in the height of the Peak season (Xmas and New Year) and even though Easter/Songkran (which only lasts 1 day, 13th April in Khao Lak) is popular the beaches are not crowded - after all there are over 25km of them. Unlike the more well known beach destinations, particularly those on Phuket, with one small part of one beach, there are none that have rows and rows of sun loungers lined up with sun bathers like mackerels toasting in the sun. Loungers are kept mostly to the edge of resorts either on the grass or one or at most two rows on the beach itself. As all beaches in Thailand are public beaches this allows the public free and unfettered access to enjoy their natural beauty. To give you an idea of them have a look at this link for access to each of the beaches between November last year and April this year tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g297914-i10908-k…

Also have a look here for access to pics of some of the popular tours from Khao Lak tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g297914-i10908-k…

This is a link to a comprehensive list of accommodation in Khao Lak throughout the various locations www.seadragondivecenter.com/accommodation.htm

and if you go to this link you will see the various maps of the area tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g297914-i10908-k…

One problem you may have is that there are not many hotels that will accommodate 3 adults in 1 room if that is your intention. To get a good idea of those which will go to Booking.com and search for hotels in Khao Lak for your period and increase the room options to either 3 in 1 room or 2 rooms, 1 with single occupancy. Perhaps a more affordable option is at the smaller bungalow resorts like the Cousin Resort In Bang Niang where we stay for 5 months each year and which does allow 3 adults in one bungalow or two bungalows would be as cheap if not cheaper perhaps than hotels offering this. See http://www.cousinresort.com/

Hope this helps.

Asheville
Level Contributor
114 posts
15 reviews
3. Re: Are ALL Thai Beach Destinations crowded and new resorts?

Thank you both motherwell and Arandora. Since my birthday is April 18 I must be in Thailand then, celebrating with my son and anyone who cares to join me on the beach. As for Songkran, we'll probably be in Chiang Mai at that time (or Chiang Rai - which would you suggest?). I've heard about the water dousing/blessing and will come prepared.

Arandora, you've given me such helpful advice. Wondering if we should rent a car (if easy/inexpensive) or can we get by with taxi/driver/ferries.

It will only be 2 of us, so no worries about 2 rooms or 3 people.

Any suggestions for lodging ANYWHERE in Bangkok, Chiang Mai or any of the islands on the Andaman Coast would be welcome!

Certain to be a MEMORABLE 65th Birthday!

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
Level Contributor
45,458 posts
107 reviews
4. Re: Are ALL Thai Beach Destinations crowded and new resorts?

I wold say the celebrations of Songkran will be more memorable, and prolonged, in Chian Mai. Many resorts reduce their rates from about 15th April, quite considerably in some cases which would reflect in a Booking.com search, or Sawsdee.com, Hotels.com, AsiaHotels.com, Hotels"Thailand.com (searches for best providers).

As for car hire, where are you thinking of hiring from? When you arrive in Kao Lak or, for instance, picking up and returning to Phuket Airport, assuming that is where you are arriving into/departing from. Be sure to read the FAQ on the right about DRIVING LICENCE Requirements at tripadvisor.com/Travel-g293915-c133830/Thail…

A small saloon/hatchback will be about 1000 - 1200 baht per day.

For accommodation in other areas you are better asking on individual destination forums.

5. Re: Are ALL Thai Beach Destinations crowded and new resorts?

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