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Advice needed, first trip to Thailand.

Glasgow
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468 posts
119 reviews
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Advice needed, first trip to Thailand.

I know most of these questions will have been asked before but we're looking to book up next week & would appreciate some quick advice!

We love the look of Khao Lak in that it's rural & doesn't seem as touristy as Phuket, but will it be too quiet for us in early May? We plan to spend our days on the beach & doing a couple of excursions, but because of the risk of rain or non-beach weather we'd like the option of bars & places within walking distance to eat out at during the day & night, also can we use the restaurants/bars at neighbouring resorts? Just how quiet is it in early May?

We've narrowed it down to 4 resorts, all with good TA reviews -

The Kantary Beach which looks like it has the best beach but seems quite isolated in that there are no nearby hotels or restaurants/bars(on google maps anyway!)

The Apsara Beach resort which is slightly closer to other resorts/bars but still quite far out from the 'centre'.

Moracea & the Sensimar Khao Lak Beachfront Resorts which seem to be within walking distance of bars & restaurants but are slightly more expensive.

Which resort would you choose and why? We're not looking for busy nightlife but just don't want to be bored at night & find ourselves having to get a taxi every time we want to go out!

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Khao Lak
Khao Lak
Phang Nga Province, Thailand
Phuket
Phuket
Thailand
Moracea by Khao Lak Resort
Moracea by Khao Lak...
1,483 Reviews
Khao Lak, Thailand
Khao Lak, Thailand
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1. Re: Advice needed, first trip to Thailand.

I'd go for one of the (literally next door to each other) Moracea or Sensimar because they're just a short walk away from the south end of Bang La On with it's multitude of restaurants, bars and shops.

Exact closing dates of beach restaurants/bars for 'green season' are always a little uncertain, but Memories (next to Apsara) has been closing in previous years... and your choices within walking distance of the Kantary will be limited.

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Moracea by Khao Lak Resort
Moracea by Khao Lak...
1,483 Reviews
Khao Lak, Thailand
Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Advice needed, first trip to Thailand.

Hi Michelle,We have just returned from staying at The Apsara for 8 nights....On our first trip to Khao Lak,we stayed at The Palm Galleria which is just down the beach road from The Apsara...However,PG is 3 star and can notice the difference altho' PG was nice....However,The Ap is a step up and so far,our best stay in KL...We enjoy staying in the Pakarang beach area....

We booked a deluxe ocean view room on Pronto and immediately upon checking in,we were upgraded to pool access room 120,with clear sight of the beach and ocean from our balcony....Our first time staying in a pool access and have to admit,we're now spoilt for PA rooms....

The Ap has a shuttle which will take you most anywhere for 100 baht/person one way....

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Khao Lak
Khao Lak
Phang Nga Province, Thailand
Palm Galleria Resort
Palm Galleria Resort
177 Reviews
Khao Lak, Thailand
Glasgow
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468 posts
119 reviews
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3. Re: Advice needed, first trip to Thailand.

Thanks for the replies, we've ruled Kantary out in that case. Cocotang we were leaning towards the Apsara because the resort looks beautiful and we're getting a good rate for the standard room, just worried we'll get bored as nowhere really within walking distance to eat or drink, how often is the shuttle?

Cruisemonkey, have you stayed at both sensimar and moracea resorts and do you have a preference?

We'd pay approximately £300 more in total for the sensimar/moracea so just want to know if it's worth it, being walking distance to bars etc would be better but if it's easy enough to get a shuttle from Apsara to these areas(how do we arrange the shuttle BACK to the hotel after a night out though?)then we'd rather save the money! How much are taxis from Apsaras/Pakarang beach area to Bang Niang/Bang La On and are these readily available? Thanks again!

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Bang Niang Beach
Bang Niang Beach
Khao Lak, Thailand
Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Advice needed, first trip to Thailand.

Booking a standard/superior room in May,you will be upgraded to an ocean view deluxe room at the Ap....

The shuttle runs morning and afternoon only....How do you get the shuttle back...??...I'm not sure you can unless you notice the Ap shuttle in town somewhere's,then you can flag them down....We are licenced motorcycle riders and rented scooters to get around....

There are also taxis at the resort...300 baht one way to most anywhere in the Khao Lak area...You could arrange for them to pick you up wherever....

There was no way we were getting bored with Apsara...It is just so nice...However depending on how long you're staying in KL,you could always split your time between 2 resorts....

The Apsara breakfasts are virtually the same everyday tho' still good breakfast and a good selection for low season....

We spent many hours across the rivermouth at Memories....cocktails,dinners,snacks,localising and just plain relaxing....

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Khao Lak
Khao Lak
Phang Nga Province, Thailand
melbourne australia
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5. Re: Advice needed, first trip to Thailand.

you had better hope you get upgraded at the apsara

otherwise there is a good chance the view you will have will be of the carpark !!!

Poulton Le Fylde...
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for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
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6. Re: Advice needed, first trip to Thailand.

In early May manuy beach restaurants remain open. They remain open as long as weather and beach conditions allow. Having said that since your concern is for restauramts that will be open and more easily reachable IF the weather is poor, then the Moracea or Sensimar or the Laguna which is next door to the Sensimar give you better options as they are right at the entrance to Bang La On, the main township of Khao Lak with its many restaurants, bars and shops. Have a look here for the location of these and other beachfront resorts thebeachfrontclub.com/beach-hotels/… The Sensimar and Moracea are on Sunset Beach which is referred to as Khao Lak North Beach in this link.

You can see maps of all of Khao Lak at tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g297914-i10908-k… They are more accurate than Google Maps wit the detail.

The Moracea entrance is part way up the highway going south over the mountain towards Phuket and sometimes you may need to take a taxi particularly if you are going to the northern end of Bang La On to dine - or perhaps more likely after dining to avoid the walk uphill, ;-)

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Moracea by Khao Lak Resort
Moracea by Khao Lak...
1,483 Reviews
Khao Lak, Thailand
Khao Lak
Khao Lak
Phang Nga Province, Thailand
Sunset Beach Resort
Sunset Beach Resort
1,140 Reviews
Phuket, Thailand
Phuket
Phuket
Thailand
Glasgow
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468 posts
119 reviews
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7. Re: Advice needed, first trip to Thailand.

Thanks again for the advice! We've decided on a completely different resort after adjusting our filter on the holiday search to include 3+ stars rather than only 4*/5* & found the Khaolak Oriental Resort, it's exactly what we're looking for in that it's minutes from the beach and only a ten minute walk into town, also really good TA ratings & looks very nice for a 3.5*, and we're getting 11 nights for £650 inc flights from Glasgow with Emirates which we think is amazing value! Has anyone stayed here?

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Khaolak Oriental Resort
Khaolak Oriental Resort
314 Reviews
Khao Lak, Thailand
Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
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107 reviews
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8. Re: Advice needed, first trip to Thailand.

Very nice Thai style resort for guests 16+ only next door to sister resort the Bhandari whose Spa you can use. It is located on the inland side of the beach access road running parallel with Nang Thong Beach so is not beachfront and doesn't have its own sun lounging area. That is a good deal to include Emirates flights from Glasgow.

If transfers from the airport are not included book with Boss of Cheaper than Hotel Taxis in Khao Lak on cheaper_khaolak@ymail.com - best rates, great fleet of vehicles, very reliable.

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Nang Thong Beach
Nang Thong Beach
71 Reviews
Takua Pa, Thailand
Cheaper than Hotel Taxis
Cheaper than Hotel Taxis
1,008 Reviews
Khao Lak, Thailand
Khao Lak
Khao Lak
Phang Nga Province, Thailand
Glasgow
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468 posts
119 reviews
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9. Re: Advice needed, first trip to Thailand.

Thanks Arandora, no transfers included but the resort can book them for 1700 baht do you think Boss will be cheaper? Yes we have to cross a small road to the beach, are there any loungers at all on that part of the beach even to hire? I think we can use loungers at other resorts further up as long as we order drinks/food. Looked at bhandari spa amazed by the rates 60 min Thai massage for £11!

Sydney Australia
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10. Re: Advice needed, first trip to Thailand.

Boss in May this year charged 1000-1200 baht 2 people from airport in a car. Great service, new vehicles, good drivers, always on time, and by far the best prices, we always us him.

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