Friday, 28 January 2011

Budget Places to Stay in Bantai

There is a wide selection of accommodation options in the small village of Bantai in the South of Koh Phangan. Bantai is conveniently situated on the road between Thongsala, the main port town and Haad Rin, the home of the Full Moon Party. There is a great stretch of white sand beach running the length of Bantai which is only broken by a small river that marks the boundary with neighboring Bankai.

Bantai offers a great combination of convenience and unspoiled beauty. There is a small selection of restaurants, internet shops and shops on the main road including the Bantai 7-11 where you can pick up cheap food and other essentials. Yet the place is quiet and laid back.

Bantai makes a great spot for those people who are keen to party. The Full Moon Party is 10 minutes away, the Half Moon Party is around the corner as is the more intimate Black Moon Party. Yet you can easily get away from the noise when you return to your resort.

Prices for accommodation are generally a lot more reasonable in Bantai than in Haad Rin.

Here is an updated list of places to stay in Bantai (February 2011) with the prices. Budget places first. Simply click on the place to take you through to the booking engine for secure online booking. Secure a great deal today.

For reviews of these resorts click the links and you will find review links at the bottom of the page just below the price lists. Don't forget to check about minimum stay requirements if you intend to stay during the time of a Full Moon Party.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Places to Visit in Koh Phangan

For those people who want to do something other than rave the night away at the Full Moon Party there are a number of interesting places to visit in Koh Phangan.

Firstly, there are over 20 temples to visit on the island. The oldest is Wat Phu Khao Noi, just outside Thongsala, near the Hospital. It has some interesting Chedis and a great view over the island. There is also the Chinese Temple on the road between Chaloklum and Thongsala. It is a beautiful temple that was built as the result of a dream that Mrs Malawan had while visiting the island. She dreamed of the Chinese Buddha, Jaomae Kuanin. After the dream she went to Bangkok and raised the money to build the temple that was completed in 1992.

If temples aren't your thing then there are a number of waterfalls to visit on the island. There is Phaeng Waterfall on the trek up to the top of Khao Ra mountain. There is Wang Sai Waterfall near Koh Ma in the north west of Koh Phangan. There is the famous waterfall of Than Sadet where 3 Kings of Thailand have their intitials on the rocks. And there is Thaan Prawet Waterfall near Thong Nai Pan Noi beach.

There are also a number of treks on the island including the walk up to the top of Koh Phangan's highest mountain, Khao Ra. The trek starts at the small village of Baan Madua Wan. You can hire a guide in the village for 500 THB. 

On really hot days a good place to cool off is at Leam Son Lake. The lake is situated on the coastal road on the west of the island just before Haad Yao. There are shady pine trees and a few rope swings for diving into the water. No fishing allowed.

Other places of interest to visit include the fishing village of Chaloklum in the north of the island. There you will find traditional architecture, long tail boats and fishermen mending their nets.

And finally, if you fancy a boat trip a good day excursion is to Ang Thong Marine Park. it is a collection of 40 islands in a protected nature reserve. There are coral reefs to snorkel, kayaking around the islands, limestone caves and a giant saltwater lake. It is possible to arrange over night camping trips to the Marine Park.

And of course when you have had enough of exploring Koh Phangan you can always return to your resort, have a swim and enjoy a cocktail as you watch the sunset.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Reviews of Phanganburi Resort and Spa in Haad Rin Nai

The Phanganburi Resort and Spa is a tall hotel style place to stay near the entrance to Haad Rin. It has 2 pools - one in a central courtyard and one on the beachfront. The beachfront pool has a towel service and a bar. One of the main advantages of the Phanganburi Resort is that it is near to the Full Moon Party and all the amenities of Haad Rin but far enough away to allow guests to get some sleep during the big party.

Facilities at the Phanganburi Resort and Spa include 2 pools, restaurant serving Thai and Western food, herbal sauna and motorbike hire. 

Reviews of the Phanganburi are mixed. Some people are very happy with the staff, service and rooms. Others complain about the dirty pools, the old sun loungers and the lack of maintenance. One reviewer describes the Phanganburi as a '2 Star resort'. That is probably a fair assessment.

Here are the prices for the Phanganburi for 2011. The prices are in Thai Baht. 's' = single 't' = twin

                      Dec-April  May-June July-Sep15 Sep16-Oct31
Deluxe Room(s)       2700     2500        2850         2500
Deluxe Room(t)       3000     2850        3250        2850
Cottage,single          2900    2750        3150        2750
Cottage,twin            3200    3150        3500        3150
Beach Side Cottage(s)3450   3350       3750        3350
Beach Side Cottage(t)3800   3750       4150        3750
Corner Suite,single     4050   4000       4350        4000
Corner Suite,twin       4350   4350       4750        4350
Beach Front Cottage(s)4050  4000      4350        4000
Beach Front Cottage(t)4350   4350     4750        4350

Click Here For Secure Booking of rooms at the Phanganburi Resort & Spa

Emily Bennett
The hotel was great. good location and good set up. The staff speak english well and are very helpful. the prices are reasonable at the resteraunt and the food is excellent. Recommended for anyone who wants to stay somewhere with a great view of the beach, but not the mayhem of the full moon party beach. two thumbs up!
Jayne Russell
Was a lovely hotel, great location for full moon party.. only a quick stroll to the party and nice and close to coral bungalows for the pool party.. only downer was the restaurant and service. It took ages for food and wasnt that great. and you may have to ask for fresh towels etc as they dont come some days..
Mananunt Ahlefeld
This hotel could use some TLC. The pool area was messy with dirty dishes and broken glass. The pool furniture was falling apart, the umbrella stands if you were lucky enough to have an umbrella didn t support the umbrella which would fall over with the slightest breeze. The entire place was poorly managed. The rooms were below average, especially for the money being charged. When I requested a comment card to voice these issues I was handed a blank sheet of paper and asked to write my comments.
Sagi Ramon
dont expect too much, rooms are below mid-level, the pool is very nice and the private beach is realy not recommended. if u lokking to stay in had-rin not many good high class resort. rate is overprice to what u get. we stayed there only couple of nights, will not go back.
Roy Michael Atkinson
Well situated on the quieter Sunset Beach but easy access to the busy town and sunrise beach. The whole resort was clean and well appointed which gives a 5 star feel to the resort. The staff were very friendly and helpful.
Hin Patelio
Had a great stay, nice room, helpful staff, ideal for a comfortable stay in koh phangan!!!
Sofia Khan
Nice Hotel would visit there again. Everything clean and staff very friendly. Nice food. Nice pools. Close to Full moon parties but far away enough to get some sleep.
We stayed here for three nights - our second stay at this hotel following a trip three years earlier. From what we ve seen it is definitely one of the better resorts in Haad Rin - the staff are good, the pool is clean, and most importantly the location is excellent!! On the good side the two pools are lovely - one is located centrally in the hotel and is very quiet - the other is directly on to the beach and has a very good pool bar including a towel service. It is also an amazing place to view SUNSET, which is spectacular!! Our allocated room was on the ground floor, but as mosquitoes love me, we asked for an upper floor and were accommodated without any hassle. The tourist desk also offers a moped hire service and for 200 baht per day (about £4) the bike we hired was in perfect condition and was brilliant for travelling around the island - but be VERY careful - the roads aren t great (bit s missing, big hills getting out from Haad Rin to Thong Sala) and further north east are basically clay, but if you know what you are doing a great way to get around. On the negative, the resort appears to have nothing done in the last three years - I d describe it as a posh way of roughing it - the rooms are good in size, but could do with a bit of a freshen up and the sunloungers have definitely seen better days... Great if you want to party (close enough to walk to SUNRISE), but also far enough out that you ll get a decent nights sleep.
Patrik Arvidsson

We stayed at Phanganburi in a Corner Suite for a week. All in all the rooms are overpriced. For the same price you will get a much nicer room on Samui. It is a typical 2-star resort. Our suite, room 3217, was ocean facing but had mostly tree-view. The room was ok, but the bathroom was not. Housekeeping was slow and not very good. There are two quit nice pools, but the sun bed mattresses were dreadful (200 years old and mouldy!). The beach had not the best sand and the seafloor is a bit muddy.

Most worthwhile just for the pool that overlooks the beach. I think the best resort by far in the Had Rin area. Beautiful deluxe cottages with everything you could possibly want except a bath tub. Staff are friendly, helpful and very polite. Very close to all the action but far enough away to escape. Highly recommend the Phanganburi!