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“Paradise not lost” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Mai Pen Rai Bungalows

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Mai Pen Rai Bungalows
Munich, Germany
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Paradise not lost”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 November 2012

Travelling to Thailand for over 30 years. That´s one of the last places what remained as it was in the past. Located on a small beach, surrounded by rocks and the National Park. There´s still real natural forest around. Mai Pen Rai is managed by the owners, what makes a big difference to the big Hotelcompanies. They will help you with all your problems, if you should have some. I read the recent rewievs and must say the following:That´s no place for people arriving with heavy suitcases and big expectations. The beach is as beaches naturally are. After heavy waves normally some leaves, woods and what ever swimms around will be there.
And if there is some plastic think about what yourself do with waist. The bungalows are mainly built from natural material, except the concrete basis. Otherwise it would fly away every rainy season. There is no big comfort, like hot water and TV and what else some tourist must have. That makes it special charme. It is wrong that they have dirty beds and towels. If you have you can change. And if you take your (borrowed) towels to the beach and leave it there, as some people do, it might get wet and sandy. Dirt, what dirt exept your own.
The restaurant has nice Thaifood, but I often noticed people not really like. It´s not like the Chinese in your hometown, who doesn´t add several spieces after recognizing the guests separate. Thai food has lemongrass and chilies and other typical ingredients, as it should be.Beside there are enough dishes for every taste.
All in all a wonderful spot, what hopefully stays as it is. The road is driveable all the year. I hope they will never build a concrete highway. It´s a place for Asian-travellers, not for spoiled tourists. They better stay at Koh Samui or Phuket or Pattaya. No comment about WiFi and the Internet. I can live without. I´m not such an important businessman that I need to write unnecessary mails every day. You are on holiday !! so relax and forget home for this few days you are away from. You can travel there by road and by boat from Hadrin and Maenam (Samui)

Room Tip: There are more than 50. Have a look to the website, or look around after you arrived.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Michael H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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361 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (66)
Date | Rating
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English first
Level Contributor
18 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 November 2012 via mobile

The views from the bungalows are amazing. Your directly on the beach. The food is great and cheap. There's a lot of down sides. Theres no hot water. You cant eat food without being infested with flies. The bed sheets were stained which was a real turn off. When we arrived there were plenty of people to help check us in yet to get to our hut we had to climb over rocks. Not one of the male members of staff offered to take our bags. I wouldn't usually mind this but it's incredibly slippy and difficult to walk on the shingle sand and climb through small rock holes with a 85 litre rucksack. The electric was supposed to be on at 11 each morning but I felt you had to hassle them constantly to get them to turn it on. They switch it off at 1 in the morning so you wake up in a sweat as the fan's are off. The mosquito net in the room was full of rips and tears so you woke bitten to death. It's a way off the beaten track down the worst road on the island. A taxi is 200 baht each to get into town but only leaves at 10am which makes you feel very isolated. The wifi is expensive and they turn it off when they feel like it. If you use their computers it's $1.50 for every 2 minutes! The beach isn't cleared of rubbish and there's no sun loungers so you have to bathe among it all. Bring a head torch if you do stay as after 6 there's no way across the rocks without one! Oh and lastly you should tell your daughter with the red lipstick not to beat the dogs for fun. It's a disgusting thing to do. You should be ashamed of yourself!

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Iloveaustralia1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luneburg, Germany
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 November 2012

- wooden bungalow without any roomservice, cleaning was the guests duty
- dirty beds and towels
- bathroom with loose gravel on the floor, only cool water (mountain-cool)
- no air con, only fan if power was available
- the recptionist could speak english very well
- wifi for 150Baht/day and only if power was available
- nice restaurant and service
- they carry your bill for your entire stay or until you reach 5000 Baht
- Bungalow was in bad condition. Floor boarding was broken on several locations (termites)
- Bungalows on the rocks are far away from the restaurant and difficult to reach (climbing and ducking over and under rocks)
- Bungalows are located directly at the ocean, you can hear the waves while sleeping
- very relaxing site, it's all build on trusting each other
- it's a far way to get here, but you will love the silence, the beach and the possibility to listen to your inner self
- luckely no moon partys

- Location makes up for a lot

- stayed there in the end of low season, family bungalow on the rocks, 800 Baht/Night without breakfast

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank FriendlyBackpackers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 November 2012 via mobile

An amazing spot tucked away on its own beach. The food here is excellent and a perfect place to relax for a few days.

DO NOT TRAVEL HERE BY ROAD, we made the mistake, the road is absolutely terrible. Take a boat there.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jameswall2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
munich
Level Contributor
35 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2012

We stayed for almost a week with 4 friends at Mai Pen Rai.

LOCATION
The location is really beautiful, although not good for snorkelling as the water is quite mirky. The sand on the beach is quite rough but really clean. It is a 40 min taxi ride (200 Baht per person) from Thong Sala to get there and you are happy to survive it on the steap, bumpy roads and the dust.

ROOMS
We stayed at the bungalows on the rocks and our friends stayed on the river. They first tried to give every arriving person the bungalows furthest away from the beach and restaurant. You could clearly see they are not being used or serviced much The bedsheets were partly moldy, we had a bees nest in the room and the water in the toilet was brown. Summarized: they are not the nicest rooms of the resort.
To the person, who said the rooms are rustic and you just have to deal with that: rustic is ok, but ceartain things should be basic: no mold, running water, proper locks on doors and windows, lights and a general upkeep.

Our second bungalows were better but still lacked safety (tiny locks on doors and windows which could easily be broken with one push).

In the resort there is only elecricity from about 11am-1pm and 8pm-1am and this electricity is extremely unstable. DO NOT try to charge expensive electronis like smartphones, tablets, laptops etc. It will brake them. In our group an iPhone and a Mac Book got broken.
It is also hard to sleep without a fan in the hot nights (rooms do have fans, but as they also run on electricity they are useless).

RESTAURANT
The food here is good. Meal prices range from 80-250 Baht per dish, cocktail prices are 170 baht and a big chang was 80 or 90 I think. In our opinion it is slightly overpriced and the range of prices dont vary enough ( Pad Thai 90 Baht, Seafood Curry 110 Baht). Be careful when ordering a Bhang Lassi. Ask them first what it is.

STAFF
The receptionist was a little unfriendly to us for the first few days after I asked to change to a room without wasps (as I am allergic to wasp and bee stings) But all the other staff was extremely friendly, probabaly the friendliest on our whole 3 week trip. Give them a good tip, they deserve it!

We can recommend this place to anybody who loves a beautiful location and doesnt mind the lack of luxury.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank paul c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Deutschland
Level Contributor
69 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 October 2012

The bungalows are on the left side of the beautiful small bay Than Sadet, where the river goes into the sea.
We stayed in a fan bungalow (550 B per night). The bungalow was huge (compared to the other bungalows we stayed in during our trip) and had a two storeyed terrace with two hammocks and seaview. It was clean and there was a mosquito net (there also was toilet paper, towls and bedsheets in the room). We had to pass a small "bridge" over the creek to get to our bungalow, that was why it was very, very quiet at night.
Than Sadet beach is wonderful for swimming! Because there are only a few bungalows at the beach, it is very quiet at the bay. Perfect to relax! Also do a walk along the creek to the waterfalls, that was amazing.
The owners are young and shy, but help you when there's a problem. Food is good at the restaurant and there is a boat every day to get to the next bays or back to Haad Rin.
At Than Sadet there is hardly mobile reception and WIFI is not free and very expensive at Mae Pen Rai - so you have all the time to relax and enjoy your stay at this lovely place :)

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Gecko1105
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
422 reviews
138 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 202 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 September 2012

This is a special place, and we have visited now 3 times. The beach is very picturesque, in a cove at the bottom of hills, golden sand, turquoise waters, and huge boulders forming the points of the bay. We always get a bungalow on the boulders so you can sit on your deck and look out over the ocean watching the squid boats and the day trippers to visit the water falls. At night if you are lucky you get to see lightning way out over the ocean. . Its an all day swimming beach and even has some beachfront bungalows nestled into the trees. There are river bungalows as well, sitting over the river which is right next to the restaurant.
The bungalows themselves are very basic, wooden, shutters on the windows no glass, comfy bed, holey mosquito net (but never been bitten at night), fan, flushing toilet, cold shower, hammock on the deck, 2 chairs and table on the deck. If you are around on the boulders facing the ocean you will have to walk up and under some boulders to get to your room. We used to be able to get through with our packs on, but now being older we have to take them off to prevent injury! There are cracks in the floor boards, we always take our mosquito net and open a window and pin this over the window and the rooms get really hot at night as power is only on from 6pm to midnight (although that can be inconsistent sometimes as we had it at lunch time one day and to 4am in the morning).
We took a TA reviewers advice this time and for NZ$37 walk-in took the family room (No 17) right on top of the boulders that you walk under, this gave us 2 fans and more space so not so hot at night- you will always end up in some holiday photos sitting on the deck! The other 2 visits we never came across any animals but this time we saw pigs walking up the pathway, large monitor lizard and its baby under our bungalow, a snake and a spider in our room, and you could hear gheckos rustling around in our plastic bags at night. On our last night it rained, the river met the sea and the beach turned brown.
The restaurant is fabulous and has nice reasonably priced food. We love their thai style cashew nuts. We will always come back here for a few days when visiting Koh Phangan, its so relaxing and peaceful.

Room Tip: We love staying on the rocks and sitting on the deck looking out over the ocean
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank lynneandcarl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mai Pen Rai Bungalows

Property: Mai Pen Rai Bungalows
Address: Than Sadet Beach, Ko Pha Ngan 84280, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Pha Ngan
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #46 of 351 Speciality Lodging in Ko Pha Ngan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Mai Pen Rai Bungalows 2*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Mai Pen Rai Bungalows, one of the oldest resorts on Koh Phangan - the place of pleasure for nature lovers and Artists. For an experience of the old Koh Phangan, this is the place to come away and forget all the stresses of the outside world. Mai Pen Rai is situated in a paradise infringed with swaying palms, and green turquoise waters. Here at Than Sadet the bungalows are built in harmony with the nature around with prices to suit travellers and back packers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mai Pen Rai Bungalows Hotel Koh Phangan

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