Our most recent trip abroad was to Thailand. We had been planning this one for many months. It was a 3 week trip which began in Phuket, then over to Railay in Krabi, finally we stopped off in Bangkok for a few days.
This is an area which really seems to divide travellers. Some say it is paradise, others say it is an overcrowded, overpriced tourist trap. Anyway there are now flights here from the UK and plenty of different beaches to stay, so we decided to try it out.
I was doing the planning and I decided we would start at a quite beach. One which seemed to look quite was Kata Noi (just south of the main Kata beach). We stayed there for a few days in the Kata Noi Resort. The prices were very cheap compared to the 4 star hotel which takes up most of this beach. If you need a room around the £40 mark then you won’t find better than Kata Noi Resort.
The beach was actually far more crowded than expected and there wasn’t much going on in the area. It was still an ideal way to start the trip for a few days. We did some sightseeing and the beach itself was very attractive. Although the water was dirty at times.
Our next stop was Kamala which is about 30 minutes drive north. The beach here certainly wasn’t as nice. But we used this more central location to do more sightseeing. We stayed at the Kamala Palms which didn’t start well but got better. There was a bad smell in the room when we first arrived and the cleanliness levels weren’t great. That improved though and we loved the fact that out suite was on the ground floor next to the walk in pool- very luxurious.
From Kamala we did various things like the night market (enormous), Patong for a show, mini golf in Bang Tao (excellent) and more. Just 5 minutes away is Surin beach which was far nicer.
We took a taxi to Ao Nang in Krabi and then a 10 minute boat ride to Railay West beach. This place looks great with a sweeping bay surrounded by cliffs. We loved staying here even though the hotel could of been better.
We stayed at the Railay Bay Resort who gave us a room which blasted in a strong smell of raw sewage on the first night. We asked to be changed and thankfully they did give us another room. But we never received an apology for the inconvenience. The next day we saw someone else in the sewage room so that really rubbed me the wrong way. I believe they don’t care about customers at all. Also the beds were really hard here too.
Unfortunately bad service seems to be the norm on Railay. All three restaurants had poor service. We also has a problem on walking street at one of the shops, so don’t buy anything there! Very rude service. There are more eating options on the East side but that place is nasty. If we went back we would stay in Ao Nanag and just visit Railay on a day trip. Railay and the nice beach around the corner are overcrowded with day trippers and I think that is what has led to bad service and high prices in general.
I wasn’t looking forward to this last leg of the trip. However we were absolutley delighted with the Chatrium hotel. This was a 5 star hotel only slightly more expensive than the 2 star Railay Bay Resort. The difference was amazing. We were upgraded to suites and treated like VIPs. It was a great experience to stay here and I wan’ted to stay on for another week or two in the hotel.
Bangkok was hot and I gave up on the sightseeing within minutes lol. We did enjoy visiting Chinatown and the malls but I really can’t comment on the temples and stuff, just wasn’t my cup of tea in the heat. We enjoyed the city, shopping was best at Asiatique just down the road from the Chatrium. MBK mall was best for buying presents and souvenirs for reasonable prices.
All in all we loved Thailand. We can highly recommend the first and last hotels. The Chatrium was especially good for around £90 a room, don’t hesitate if it is slightly out of your budget, it really is worth it.