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Bangkok - Ao Nang - Ko Lanta for first-timers?

Chicago, Illinois
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Bangkok - Ao Nang - Ko Lanta for first-timers?

My husband and I are heading to Thailand at the end of January - our first time there. We are in our early 30s. We'd like mixture of culture and easygoing, secnic beach-hopping for our 12-day trip. What we don't want is to travel all the way from Chicago and feel like we didn't get real Thai flavor. That said, we're not at all averse to places with a tourist infrastructure; we work hard and would like to be able to relax without too much difficulty in the process.

I'm thinking about three to four days in Bangkok, perhaps with a day trip thrown in, followed by three or four days based in Ao Nang (side trips to Phi Phi and Railay) and then three or so days in Ko Lanta. Does that seem reasonable for a first trip? Any other suggestions? Am I missing something?

Many thanks.

whitehaven
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1. Re: Bangkok - Ao Nang - Ko Lanta for first-timers?

For your first trip to Thailand you have chosen in krabi provence one of the most scenic places to stay and Koh Lanta for a more laid back island, with a feel of what Ao Nang was like years ago .I also think Bangkok is a must for your first time in Thailand take a trip to the Grand Palace and a day trip to the floating market you will not be disappointed

lewes uk
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2. Re: Bangkok - Ao Nang - Ko Lanta for first-timers?

Hi,

Just a suggestion, but I'd be inclined to add Bangkok to the end of your trip rather than the beginning. To me there's nothing like waking up after a really long trip, hearing the sea and feeling the sand between your toes, mind you, you don't have to sleep on the beach, lol. Also, if you want to do some souvenir shopping, Bangkok is the best place and it means you don't have to lug stuff down to the south and back again. But for a first taste of Thailand, you've chosen well imo

cheers

Glasgow Scotland
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3. Re: Bangkok - Ao Nang - Ko Lanta for first-timers?

I did almost exactly this at the start of November. 4 nights Bangkok followed by 7 night Ao Nang. It was perfect. Hectic and cosmopolitan big city then the chill out of the wonderful scenery of AoNang, great island hoping tours and lovely swimming. You'll have a wonderful time.

arctica
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4. Re: Bangkok - Ao Nang - Ko Lanta for first-timers?

Totally agree with Paulosussex. Nothing to add :)

New York City, New...
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5. Re: Bangkok - Ao Nang - Ko Lanta for first-timers?

We are in our 30s and sounds like we like the same things. We have spent the last week in Krabi and here's my advice:

Spend more time in Lanta than Ao Nang. There are long tail boats constantly bringing people to the "most beautiful beaches" of Railay and Ko Phi Phi so there is loud noise and black gasoline clouds to look at from Ao Nang/Railay...not the untouched paradise I had pictured. The atmosphere in Koh Lanta is so chill and peaceful, that I would give up finer sand in a heartbeat. Maybe 2 days in Ao Nang max before catching the ferry to Lanta.

We found a great little place (cheap, basic, with great little balconies) right on the beach with bungalows all around and nice beach bars at night on the 2nd beach. Besthouse Guesthouse. But there are dozens of places to stay if you want a bungalow or some fancier accommodation. Red Snapper looked like they had really cute bungalows in a great location, too.

I would divide your stay between Long Beach and Kantiang Bay at the very southern part of the island (we went yesterday afternoon to this stunning beach and there was just one other couple...and nobody trying to sell us stuff every 20 min. like in Ao Nang). Or if you don't feel like moving a lot just rent a motorbike for around $8/day and cruise down to Kantiang (takes about 20-30 min).

Also, If you do stay on Long Beach (Phra Ae), go to Dreamy Spa...awesome massages!

Have fun!

London, United...
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6. Re: Bangkok - Ao Nang - Ko Lanta for first-timers?

Hi,

I'm 22 and I'm planning to go to bangkok then to koh lanta. Do i have to book everything before i go or can i just turn up at koh lanta and find a place to stay.

im finding difficult to plan everything!!

Mtwapa, Kenya
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for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
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7. Re: Bangkok - Ao Nang - Ko Lanta for first-timers?

Hi,

When are you going? The only time most of the accommodation is full on Lanta is between mid-December and mid-January. of course if you have a particular place in mind there is always a risk it might be full, but generally there should be a choice of accommodation available on arrival throughout the island

Canada
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8. Re: Bangkok - Ao Nang - Ko Lanta for first-timers?

Good itinerary for a first trip. We were in Bangkok for 2 nights (went to Grand Palace and wats) then head to Chiang Mai for 3 nights (for tribe, elephant riding and rafting tour) and then to Ao Nang for 2 nights. From Ao Nang, we went to Railay to do rock climbing. After Ao Nang, we went to Ko Lanta for 4 nights. At Ko Lanta, we did trips to Koh Phi Phi and snorkelling and also took a cooking class. And then it was back to Bangkok for 1 night for last minute souvenir shopping. It was a good mix of culture, adventure and relaxation.

New York City, New...
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9. Re: Bangkok - Ao Nang - Ko Lanta for first-timers?

@i_am_ellie

You don't have to book ahead, but it helps if it is high season, especially if you are on a budget and are picky about cleanliness (there are tons of places on Lanta and many Tuk Tuk drivers with fliers at the ferry dock...but it is nice not to have to waste time checking places when you want to be on the beach). A lot of guesthouses don't require credit card numbers so if you see a good place, book it through email and then just cancel if you change your plans. Most guesthouses are very flexible as long as you keep in touch. I like Besthouse on Long Beach (about 700-800 during high season and on the beach).

Stockholm
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10. Re: Bangkok - Ao Nang - Ko Lanta for first-timers?

Pick a hotel in Bangkok carefully with an eye to nearby transportation (river boats, sky train, or really good location) - being stuck in traffic jams for several hours everytime you want to go somewhere takes the joy away from the most beautiful temples. A river boat to the old capital Ayotthaya 80 km north off BBK (vast temple ruins) is a nice daytrip.