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Reviewed 11 June 2010

Baan Suan Thip Homestay(Magic Garden Homestay) is situated in the Ao Luk region down a quiet road in a rural area.If you are looking for a true local Southern Thai experience....this is it.!!Accomodation consists of several types of rooms, situated round a small lake/pond(not for swimming in...it is full of fish),and in which are reflected the limestone karsts which is the scenic backdrop for this homestay.www.homestaythailandkrabi.com gives good pics and info as well as booking form and e-address.
The garden is a delight,an assortment of tropical flowers, trees, & shrubs, artfully arranged with winding paths and seating areas.Is it not surprising that the owner,Tan, also has a landscape gardening business in Phuket ??(www.gardenphuket.com).There is also a thatched communal area for sitting/relaxing and eating meals.
Prior to arrival we had excellent contact with Tan by email who answered all our queries.There is as added advantage in that she has really fluent English.We arranged for her to meet us off the flight to Krabi,with a 40 min drive to the homestay stopping off at a Bank to get some cash(useful)Transfer 500TB.We paid 500 TB per person for the aircon bungalow overlooking the little lake.It was large enough to have a double + single bed in it with bedside lamps,mosquito netting on the windows(altho we weren't troubled by mosquitos),sliding wooden doors which gave a panoramic view onto the veranda,water,palms and karsts.There was fan+air/con,bathroom with shower+hot water,separate toilet,kitchen area which had microwave,kettle,fridge,sink.There was cable Tv but we couldn't seem to pick up any English language channels,however being without TV was a pleasant change and you could tune into the sounds of nature instead.Bring a book.There was no wardrobe,but a hat stand and bamboo clothes airer allowed for some unpacking to be done.As we only stayed 4 nts it wasn't a real problem.

10 mins walk along a country road brings you to a main road where there are several shops,including a pharmacie(chap spoke English),a few small roadside restaurants(no English menu,or spoken),a beauty salon where my husband and I each had an excellent manicure and pedicure(100TB)Lovely cheerful lady.There is a clean seafood restaurant with menu and pictures of dishes.There is also apparently a nearby police post and clinic(fortunately we didn't need either)
We would have had difficulty eating locally as we are vegetarian and this was not an option in the village.However,eating arrangements can be organised at the homestay(thank goodness) and meals are cooked by Manoop(Tan's ManFriday).Meals are from 50TB(fried rice level) to 250TB.We settled for an arrangement of 150TB per person per meal and had delicious local meals ,soups,fruit,fish,main courses,vegetables,rice,etc cooked freshly for us..Excellent!! A local breakfast is included in the price.We had savoury dishes like noodles and curry and fresh green vegetables from the garden,sweetmeats,biscuits,fruit,coffee,teas etc.Each morning was a revelation of discovery!If you can't live withour cornflakes,toast,big Macs...you may be out of luck.

An activity programme can be arranged with Tan,and this I would recommend as well as discussing meal options in advance?The eco-kayaking in a mangrove estuary was a good option.Arranged instantly,pickup in jeep from homestay...20 mins drive away.. 300TB per person/half day.2 person Kayak with life vests and waterproof bag to put valuables in as well as staff guide in separate kayak .About 2 1/2 hours on water with stops at caves.It was our first kayaking venture,feet and legs get wet so wear suitable clothing and sunscreen.good value.
The proposed elephant ride was a no-no.A local person came to discuss it,but actually wanted 2,700TB JUST for transport!!Did he have a Rolls Royce ??Instead we did a full day excursion including an elephant ride,temple visit,national park,lunch for 1,300TB per person from Ao Nang later on in our holiday.
Fortunately Tan was available to tailor-make a prog otherwise we would have felt isolated without access to transport.One day we went into Krabi with her and Manoop(1000TB for petrol),visited a local market,bought fruit,had a nice lunch in town,and an excellent massge at the Katawan Spa which is in an old Thai house(rather like a film set) Tan negotiated a special rate for us for the massage,otherwise the prices are exhorbitant(we still paid twice the price of a Ao Nang massage)but the setting and so on made it a good experience.(Thanks for the day out Tan)
Tan also dropped by at meal times for a chat and to plan activities and as her English is perfect we were able to discuss a wide variety of subjects which was really super,and an appreciated personal touch which made it a real "homestay" experience(but with the independance of having your own privacy if you wanted it)
The Tharnbok Koranee National park is a 10 min stroll away.Foreigners have to pay 200TB entrance(free for Thais)But if you go in late afternoon there is rarely anyone at the ticket booth.We were there at the end of a dry season,so water levels were low and waterfalls minimal.In theory you can swim in the pools,but there were leaves and detrius in the bottom which made it a bit offputting.However the walks are green ,tropical forest atmosphere,with concrete pathways.
The proposed cooking course was with Tan herself,but due to various circumstances we didn't get round to it.
All in all it was an interesting experience,wonderful setting,and our thanks go to Tan and Manoop.The option of independant cheap transport would have been an advantage..song teow information?rentable bikes?.The local people are very friendly and open,the children enchanting,but don't necessarily count on English being spoken or understood in the immediate area,altho we understand there is a new prog in place for teaching English to the locals.Catch this experience while it remains authentic!! Fab!

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Dee1189197
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 September 2016
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Stayed: October 2015, travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 December 2011
Google Translation

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC