THAILAND

 

THAILAND

For the budget traveller, Thailand has just about everything – world class food, ancient culture, fabulous island beaches, jungle adventures etc. And all at a cost that shouldn’t scare even the most thrifty.

In fact, we love the place so much it feels like home whenever we return.

BLOG POSTS
THAILAND’S ANDAMAN COAST – THE ULTIMATE ITINERARY
If you’ve got three weeks to spend in Thailand then this Andaman coast itinerary, combining island hopping, jungle trekking and plenty more besides, will help you to get the most out of your visit
56 DAYS IN THAILAND – THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY
The best, worst, scariest and most bizarre moments from our first 56 days in Thailand
REFLECTIONS ON KOH PHRA THONG
Looking for a gorgeous Thai island unspoilt by mass tourism? Look no further. We only decided to visit remote Koh Phra Thong at the last minute. And what an inspired choice it was
ONE NIGHT IN BANGKOK
How to get the most out of 24 hours in Bangkok, Thailand’s frenetic capital city
THERE’S STILL HOPE FOR THE ELEPHANTS OF CHIANG MAI
How we spent an emotional day with elephants at Lek Chailert’s Elephant Nature Park, near Chiang Mai
THIRD CLASS TRAINS AND WORLD CLASS SEAFOOD
Our favourite way to travel in Thailand and how we discovered some of the best seafood we’ve ever tasted at Prachuap Khiri Khan
SENSORY OVERLOAD AT KHAO SOK
The sights, the sounds and the smells of the jungle
CHEOW LAN LAKE – CONFRONTING SNAKES, BATS & SPIDERS
A fantastic two-day tour of Cheow Lan Lake in Khao Sok National Park, where my phobia of spiders was to be well and truly put to the test
TREKKING & CAVING AROUND THAM LOD
Exploring Tham Lod and some of the other natural wonders of beautiful Mae Hong Son province
KOH KRADAN – A PARADISE LOST
A back-to-nature paradise and a magnificently deserted beach on which to watch the world go by. Until the day trippers arrive…
KOH LIPE – STILL AN IDYLLIC ISLAND?
Koh Lipe has built a reputation for its sublime beaches and gourmet food. But then there’s also the crowds and the rubbish…
LIMPING BY BOAT TO KOH LIPE
All aboard the Tigerline hi-speed ferry from Koh Lanta to Koh Lipe. Tell you what, make that the “slow boat to Lipe”
GETTING PADI-CERTIFIED IN KOH LANTA
How I got my PADI licence for open water diving at Koh Lanta’s excellent Dive and Relax
FOODIE HEAVEN IN PHUKET OLD TOWN
Our first point of call when we landed in Thailand was Phuket Old Town, for which our taste buds were truly grateful
WHERE WE’VE STAYED

PHUKET TOWN

99 Old Town Boutique Guest House
Our guest house

99 Old Town Boutique Guest House

Cost 890 baht per night

What that included bed & breakfast, air-con, wifi

Rating ****
Friendliness 4 Cleanliness 3 Location 4 Comfort 4 Facilities 5 Food n/a Value for money 4

What we thought
Located right in the centre of the old town in historic Thalang Road it was perfect for getting the most out of Phuket Town. Lovely old building, four-poster bed and very comfortable mattress. The only downside were the paper thin walls and noise from the street – which is why we took ear plugs away with us!

Website

Trip Advisor reviews

AO NANG

Ban Sanai Resort
Ban Sainai Resort, Ao Nang

Ban Sainai Resort

Nights 2

Cost 4400 baht per night 

What that included bed & breakfast, air-con, wifi

Rating ***1/2
Friendliness  3 Cleanliness 3 Location 5 Comfort 4 Facilities 5 Food 3 Value for money 2

What we thought
This was our splurge for when we were acclimatising with our travelling and, in that respect, it fell short of what we expected. For instance the bathroom was rather shabby and the food was average yet expensive. However, the pool was superb, as were the grounds and location. Ultimately we felt it was overpriced and we found better accommodation for much less.

Website

Trip Advisor reviews

KRABI TOWN

Greenery Hotel

Nights 2

Cost 850 baht per night

What that included Room only, air-con, wifi

Rating **
Friendliness 1 Cleanliness 3 Location 3 Comfort 3 Facilities 3 Food n/a Value for money 2

What we thought
We didn’t like Krabi Town particularly and neither were we over-fond of this hotel overall. The surly staff didn’t help. Neither did the burst plumbing which led to Ian getting soaked while he tried to stem the flow. Ultimately we used it to catch up on things using the wifi which, to be fair, was efficient enough.

Trip Advisor reviews

KOH LANTA

 

Lanta Castaway Resort

Nights
5 (wood/bamboo bungalow) + 5 (concrete bungalow)

Cost
1147 baht per night (wood/bamboo bungalow)
1600 baht per night (concrete bungalow)

What that included
Room only, fan, wifi (wood/bamboo bungalow)
Bed & breakfast, air-con, wifi (concrete bungalow)

Rating ****1/2
Friendliness 5 Cleanliness 4 Location 5 Comfort 3 Facilities 5 Food 5 Value for money 4

What we thought
Super-friendly and helpful staff, great food, superb location on the beach, PADI dive school on site. The only negative was the oppressive heat in the wooden bungalow. Thoroughly recommended.

Website

Trip Advisor reviews

KOH LIPE

 

Gypsy Resort

Gypsy Resort

Cost
892 per night

What that included
Room only (wood/bamboo bungalow), fan, wifi

Rating **
Friendliness 2 Cleanliness 3 Location 4 Comfort 2 Facilities 1 Food n/a Value for money 2

What we thought
We got off to a bad start when we found out that, despite booking for seven nights in advance online, the advertised rate for walk-ins was actually 100 baht cheaper. In addition, the wifi hardly worked, the whole place closed down by 7pm each night and we were ripped off on a boat trip they arranged for us. Nice flower garden and sunrises on the beach, though.

Website

Trip Advisor reviews

KOH KRADAN

Paradise Lost
Paradise Lost, Koh Kradan

Paradise Lost

Nights
3

Cost
1300 baht per night

What that included
Room only (wood bungalow), fan, wi-fi

Rating ***
Friendliness 2 Cleanliness 2 Location 4 Comfort 3 Facilities 2 Food 3 Value for money 2

What we thought
We were divided on our opinion of the room. Ian liked it but Nicky felt it was dirty, particularly the bathroom. The location away from the beach and within the jungle was lovely, but the owner appeared somewhat disinterested and everything was unnecessarily over-priced (40 baht for a bottle of water!). The food was certainly plentiful but it was definitely a case of quantity over quality.

Trip Advisor reviews

TRANG

Yamawa Guest House
Yamawa Guest House

Yamawa Guest House

 

Nights
2

Cost
450 baht per night

What that included
Room only, air-con, wifi

Rating ****
Friendliness 5 Cleanliness 4 Location 3 Comfort 4 Facilities 4 Food n/a Value for money 5

What we thought
Amazing value for the price. The room itself was basic but spotlessly clean, the wifi was fast, the air-con good and it had a fridge! Best of all, the family who run it were very friendly and helpful. Thinking about the place just raises a smile for both of us.

Facebook page

Trip Advisor reviews

KOH SAMUI

Kanlaya Park Motel

Nights
2

Cost
1000 baht per night

What that included
Room only, air-con, wi-fi

Rating ***1/2
Friendliness 3 Cleanliness 5 Location 2 Comfort 4 Facilities 4 Food n/a Value for money 4

What we thought
Great value for money and spotlessly clean, it’s only let down being a rather poor
location. Our expectations were low but it turned out to be a pleasant surprise.

Website

Trip Advisor reviews

KHLONG SOK, KHAO SOK NATIONAL PARK

Our Jungle House
Our Jungle House

Our Jungle House

Nights
3

Cost
1177 baht per night

What that included
Room only (wood/bamboo bungalow), fan, wifi

Rating ****
Friendliness 4 Cleanliness 4 Location 5 Comfort 3 Facilities 3 Food 3 Value for money 3

What we thought
Ian liked the room and its setting within the jungle more than Nicky did. A stunning location overall, let down by fairly average food. Although it wasn’t the resort’s fault, there were a number of extremely noisy French, American and Danish guests who made it difficult for us to get a full night’s sleep – you’re in the jungle with open-to-nature rooms, not a club 18-30 resort guys!

Website

Trip Advisor reviews

CHEOW LAN LAKE

Tone Tuey Floating Bungalows
Tone Tuey Floating Bungalows

Tone Tuey Floating Bungalows

Nights
1

Cost
(Included in two-day tour – 450 baht if booked independently)

What that included
Room only, mattress

Rating ***
Friendliness 3 Cleanliness 2 Location 5 Comfort 2 Facilities 2 Food 3 Value for money 4

What we thought
This came as part of a superb two-day package to Cheow Lan Lake. The bungalows are basically over-sized kennels on a raft with a mattress, mosquito net and lightbulb. The boardwalk along the front of the rafts was a bit rickety though – and the toilets were a scary 50-metre walk along those boards in complete darkness at night. But the setting on the lake and waking up in the morning to the sights and sounds of the jungle were unforgettable.

Website

Trip Advisor reviews

KHLONG SOK, KHAO SOK NATIONAL PARK

Palmview Resort
Palmview Resort

Palmview Resort

Nights
2

Cost
780 baht per night

What that included
Room only (wood bungalow), fan, wifi

Rating **** 
Friendliness 5 Cleanliness 4 Location 4 Comfort 5 Facilities 3 Food 3 Value for money 4

What we thought
Very friendly and welcoming family run resort, close to Our Jungle House and set amongst palm trees. Clean and spacious wooden bungalow too.

TripAdvisor reviews

RANONG

Palmy Home Resort
Palmy Home Hotel

Palmy Home Hotel

Nights
2

Cost
500 baht per night

What that included
Room only, air-con, wifi

Rating **1/2
Friendliness 2 Cleanliness 2 Location 3 Comfort 3 Facilities 2 Food n/a Value for money 3

What we thought
As a basic room with wifi and air-con it was ok.

KHURABURI

Khuraburi Resort
Khuraburi Resort

Khuraburi Resort

Nights
1

Cost
500 baht per night

What that included
Room only (concrete bungalow), air-con, wifi

Rating **
Friendliness 2 Cleanliness 1 Location 3 Comfort 2 Facilities 2 Food n/a Value for money 2

What we thought
The room smelled damp and the floor was carpeted with lino that had lifted. Dated furniture and a very basic bathroom. However, wifi was good and there was a porch to sit on overlooking the river. For one night only en route to the ferry boats in Khuraburi.

Website

KOH PHRA THONG

 

Phra Thong Nature Resort
Phra Thong Nature Resort

Phra Thong Nature Resort

Nights
12

Cost
600 baht per night

What that included
Room only (wood/bamboo bungalow), fan, wifi

Rating ****
Friendliness 5 Cleanliness 4 Location 4 Comfort 4 Facilities 3 Food 3 Value for money 5

What we thought
May 2015 (6 nights): Beautifully relaxing place on a gem of an island. Sleep in your wood/bamboo bungalow to the sound of wildlife and the waves crashing on the nearby beach, And it’s a shoes-off experience too, as all the grounds are sand-based. Highly recommended.
December 2015 (6 nights): With different staff and some issues over transportation we had a less positive experience on our second visit, which also coincided with the Christmas season. Our ratings are based on our first visit.

Trip Advisor reviews

CHUMPHON

 

Chumphon Gardens Hotel
Chumphon Gardens Hotel

Chumphon Gardens Hotel

Nights
3

Cost
590 baht per night

What that included
Room only, air-con, wifi

Rating ***
Friendliness 1 Cleanliness 4 Location 3 Comfort 3 Facilities 3 Food n/a Value for money 3

What we thought
More like a business hotel than a tourist one. Surly staff but it served its purpose well (air-con and wifi) while we planned ahead.

Website

Trip Advisor reviews

PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN

Sun Beach Guest House
Sun Beach Guest House

Sun Beach Guest House

Nights
4

Cost
1100 baht per night

What that included
Room only, air-con, wifi, pool

Rating ***1/2
Friendliness 2 Cleanliness 5 Location 4 Comfort 3 Facilities 4 Food n/a Value for money 4

What we thought
Spotlessly clean and bright room, with good wifi, air-con and balcony overlooking a lovely small pool. Could have been perfect had it not been for the German co-owner who took it upon himself to get blind drunk on our last night and trash the place at two in the morning (furniture thrown into the pool, Buddhist shrine vandalised, two panes of glass in reception kicked in). Bizarre.

Website

Trip Advisor reviews

PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN

Grandma’s House
Grandma's House

Grandma’s House

Nights
3

Cost
890 baht per night

What that included
Bed & breakfast, fan, wifi

Rating ***
Friendliness 3 Cleanliness 3 Location 4 Comfort 3 Facilities 3 Food 3 Value for money 3

What we thought
Lovely old converted Chinese shophouse – all polished wooden floors and antique furniture. Our room faced the street and so was quite noisy at night but it’s perfectly placed in the centre of PKK to explore the seafood restaurants on the promenade and the morning market.

Facebook page

Trip Advisor reviews

BANGKOK

 

Phranakorn-Nornlen

Nights
4

Cost
2340 baht per night

What that included
Bed & breakfast, air-con, wifi

Rating ****
Friendliness 5 Cleanliness 5 Location 3 Comfort 4 Facilities 4 Food 5 Value for money 3

What we thought
Lovely retro-styled boutique hotel with very friendly staff. Kudos to whoever designed the place as the attention to detail on the retro-stylings from the 1950s and beyond is incredible. Best of all was the sumptuous breakfast served freshly in front of you on converted rickshaws by a small army of mini-chefs. Our favourites were the Masaman/Red/Green chicken curry with rotis, three-egg omelettes and ultra-fresh vegetable spring rolls. Highly recommended.

Website

Trip Advisor reviews

PAI

 

Pai Chan Cottages

Nights
2

Cost
500 baht per night

What that included
Room only, wifi

Rating ***
Friendliness 2 Cleanliness 2 Location 4 Comfort 3 Facilities 3 Food 3 Value for money 4

What we thought
The best thing about our bungalow was the setting next to rice paddy fields and the mountains beyond, which we could look out to from our bedroom by opening a set of four large doors. Unfortunately, the owners didn’t seem too interested in maintaining the place – a dirty swimming pool, overgrown garden and pathway, despite the fact that they seemed to spend most of the day sitting around with their extended family and/or friends. Which is a shame because the place could be a real gem. Not overly friendly service either.

Website

Trip Advisor reviews

THAM LOD

 

Cave Lodge
Cave Lodge

Cave Lodge

Cost
700 baht per night

What that included
Room only, fan, wifi

Rating ***1/2
Friendliness 3 Cleanliness 3 Location 5 Comfort 3 Facilities 3 Food 3 Value for money 4

What we thought
Perfect rural/jungle setting for a few days trekking, caving and kayaking. The accommodation is basic, but we were glad we upgraded to the sealed bungalows as the noise around us at night from the local wildlife was a bit un-nerving! The lodge is owned and managed by a legendary caver in these parts – John Spies, an Australian who’s responsible for discovering most of the 200+ caves in the area. Most of the activities in the area can be arranged directly through the lodge and this is a good enough reason alone to book in here. As long as you don’t get freaked out by the sounds and wildlife of the jungle surrounding you.

Website

Trip Advisor reviews

CHIANG MAI

Baan Hanibah Bed & Breakfast
Baan Hanibah

Baan Hanibah

Nights
7

Cost
1450 baht per night

What that included
Bed & breakfast, aircon, wifi

Rating ****
Friendliness 4 Cleanliness 5 Location 5 Comfort 4 Facilities 4 Food 3 Value for money 3

What we thought
Comfortable, clean, friendly and in a good location, away from the noise of the busy old town. Possibly slightly over-priced but we found it a relaxing place to stay for a week. Lots of dark wood throughout,including the upstairs floors. Our only complaint was that we had a ground floor room which meant that we could hear anybody moving around in the bedroom above us. And they certainly did move around!

Website

Trip Advisor reviews

CHIANG DAO

Chiang Dao Nest 2
Chiang Dao Nest 2

Chiang Dao Nest 2

Nights
4

Cost
945 baht per night

What that included
Room only, fan

Rating ****
Friendliness 5 Cleanliness 4 Location 5 Comfort 4 Facilities 3 Food 4 Value for money 4

What we thought
Beautiful setting beneath the mountains and a great base to explore the local area. The place is renowned for its authentic Northern Thai food, and we certainly did have a few stunning dishes. But to be fair it was also a little hit and miss – and we couldn’t work out why as the chef didn’t change. Nevertheless, we’d still recommend it as a place to stay. You can use the pool in its sister guest house (Chiang Mai Nest) just up the road, too.

Website

Trip Advisor reviews

TRAT

Rimklong Boutique Hotel
Rimklong Boutique Hotel

Rimklong Boutique Hotel

Nights
2

Cost
1100 baht per night

What that included
Room only, air-con, wifi

Rating ****
Friendliness 3 Cleanliness 5 Location 4 Comfort 5 Facilities 4 Food n/a Value for money 3

What we thought
Everything you’d expect from a quality “boutique” hotel – large super-comfy bed, immaculate room, top service, great location in Trat’s “old town”. Just too many mosquitos!

Website

Trip Advisor reviews

KOH MAK

Good Time Resort & Villas
Good Time Resort & Villas

Good Time Resort & Villas

Nights
7

Cost
1800 baht per night

What that included
Bed & breakfast, air-con, wifi

Rating ***1/2
Friendliness 3 Cleanliness 3 Location 3 Comfort 4 Facilities 4 Food 4 Value for money 3

What we thought
We were upgraded to an “Island Suite”, which was lovely – huge, comfortable bed in a huge, clean room with a large balcony overlooking tropical gardens. One caveat, though – the first room we were put into was just awful. Musty smelling room, old furniture, uncomfortable, cheap mattress etc – and this was next door to the room we eventually ended up in following our complaint! Bizarre. The food in the restaurant was great but there was just no atmosphere or a sense of anybody caring about the place or its guests. A shame, really.

Website

Trip Advisor reviews

MORE ON THAILAND
Lots of tips and advice from one of the world’s top travel bloggers
Excellent blog from two US ex-pats now living in Chiang Mai
Comprehensive guide to Thailand and the rest of SE Asia
An in-depth Thai travel guide from the collaborative working site
Optimization WordPress Plugins & Solutions by W3 EDGE

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This