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Phuket and Khao Lak - or not?

Maidenhead, United...
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Phuket and Khao Lak - or not?

Is it worth doing a two centre trip staying in these two places, or are they too close together? Would it be worth doing Phuket and Ko Lanta instead?

We are nervous about seeing the seedier side of Thailand, but I assume that we can avoid this in Phuket by choosing our hotel carefully?

Any help gratefully received!

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1. Re: Phuket and Khao Lak - or not?

hi stayed at the cape panwa phuket and the le meridien khao lak last year and were 2 very contrasting areas to stay and enjoy. apart from the bangla road area of patong you will probably avoid the side of thailand you want to avoid.

happy planning it is a great country to explore with some of the most hospitable people in the world.

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Phuket and Khao Lak - or not?

I did both on one of my first trips and can tell you I wish I would have stayed put in one place or the other. It's all about the type of vacation you're looking for...

Khao Lak is more laid back than Phuket and there are less options as far as different beaches, restaurants, things to see and do, etc. Phuket is livelier, there are more options, and the seeded areas are easily avoided with a little research and planning.

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3. Re: Phuket and Khao Lak - or not?

If you are going to see two areas, i would reccomend Krabi and Phuket.

if its your first time, Phuket should be more than enough,

But once you have seen all the sights , a week in Krabi and a week in Phuket is a nice contrast.

Krabi doesnt have the night life of Phuket but has nicer beaches and scenery.

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
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4. Re: Phuket and Khao Lak - or not?

Must disagree with FreedomRider1 (but I would oulkdn't I?) that "there are less options ..." than Phuket in Khao Lak. In KL as well as over 25km of beaches, plenty restaurants, bars and shops (but only 1 McD's so not commercialised!) you have ready access to 2 of the best Dive/snorkelling sites in the World in the Similan and Surin Islands, Phang Nga Bay is just over an hour south and the beautiful Khao Sok National Park an hour north.

Whilst only just over an hour from Phuket Airport it's a world apart in many respects!!!

Virginia Beach
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5. Re: Phuket and Khao Lak - or not?

When are you going, Anna? If it's after the beginning of December, I can let you know then how it is .. because I'm doing it! :-)

I decided I wanted to see another beach area than Phuket, but I have limited time .... so driving up to Khao Lak to me seems like a great idea because I get to experience another area, a different beach, a different pace, ect. but without taking up a FULL travel day of having to hop on a plane or something. I'm looking forward to it.

Also, I too understand what you mean about not wanting to visit the seedier places of Phuket. I don't care about nightlife at all, so I've decided to stay in the Mai Khao area of Phuket. This may seem too quiet for some and I don't think it has many options for alternate places to eat, shop, etc. .... but I'm doing tours during the day (all of which include lunch), so it fits my needs.

Just saying that, depending on what your priorities are with location, food, shopping, nightlife, etc., there are many (very different) options in Phuket and I'm sure you'll find something to really suit your needs :-)

Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: Phuket and Khao Lak - or not?

It depends how long you have to spend in either or both places..??..

However,if you think you have the time,then I would definitely spend equal time in Phuket and Khao Lak....

Khao Lak does not have a Bangla Road which could be deemed as a seedier side of Thailand,tho' I have spent many a night in Bangla and find it extremely interesting...Some things in Bangla you will never see at home...and it is safe(I've seen families pushing prams up Bangla at night albeit early evening)So,no need to be nervous...

On the other hand,Khao Lak is laid back,beautiful,quiet,but not so quiet that you will ever be bored...We never had the chance to be bored...!!...And no seedy areas...!!

Go for it...You'll love it....!!

Perth, Australia
Destination Expert
for Patong
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7. Re: Phuket and Khao Lak - or not?

hi AnnaLee

it depends on what time of year and how long you have but i would say go to both, if you don;t like the busy areas of Phuket ie: Patong then stay at Kata or Karon beach areas, its easy to go over to Patong for a visit and its only just over 1 hour drive north from Phuket airport to KL to spend some time there

agree with Arondora with plenty to do in KL even though it is more laid back than in Phuket, we are going for 10 days after Phuket stay in Sept and i'm now thinking we don't have enough time in that area, plenty to do and see, even though its low season when we go and the tours to the islands are not open then so unfortunatly we will miss that this time, our son and his wife going in Dec/Jan Phuket and KL and only have 12 days total so definatly worth doing

have a look on www.khaolaklovers.com for some info on KL

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8. Re: Phuket and Khao Lak - or not?

If you have the time then i would suggest staying around the Karon or Kata area for a few days then head up to Khao Lak. There are so many beautiful beaches & little villages to explore.

I personally think Khao Lak has the better beaches compared to Krabi however the scenery around the Krabi area is spectacular. Khao Lak to Krabi/Ao Nang is a great drive,maybe hire a driver for a couple of days to take you around the area. We spent 10 days in Khao Lak a couple of years back & as we had a hire car we explored so much of the area.

In our two visits to the Khao Lak area i never saw any seediness.

Happy decision making. CJ

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9. Re: Phuket and Khao Lak - or not?

Where to go in combination with Phuket. Of the three alternatives mentioned above I will recommend

- Khao Lak for the proximity.

- Krabi (Ao Nang/Railey), for the scenery.

- Koh Lanta for the beaches.

There are beautiful, famous beaches around Ao Nang, but this area is the busiest of the three, and perhaps not the right place if you are staying in one of the livelier main beaches in Phuket and want to combine it with a quieter and more laidback place.

Melbourne, Australia
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10. Re: Phuket and Khao Lak - or not?

Totally different - do both