My bf and I came here after meeting some other travelers in Thailand that recommended it as budget accommodation with excellent food. We got a secluded room on the rocks and I was impressed by the superb view and nice design of the bungalows. Thai bungalows are traditionally very airy - so expect a few bugs. The bungalow we stayed in near the rocks had a excellent view of the ocean, a mosquito net, a balcony with hammock, and a very large bathroom. The only downside to the room was that the fan was a tad week, but the bed was raised up so that ocean breezes from the window hit us while sleeping making up for the lackluster fan. The shower hose was also a bit off and wouldn't stay in place properly.
The food though is what really makes this place top notch. You are far away from the main city since you are tucked away in a park on a very rough road, making the kitchen here one of the few places to eat. No worries though, they have something for everyone. Amazing curries, whole fried fish in tamarind sauce, fresh coconuts, and self-serve coffee available at all times... (instant though, I mean, this is Thailand still). The service is also superb. The ladies working here work super long hours but none the less are always ready with a smile. They also have a small store and you can buy mosquito coils (recommended), candles, and a lighter for reasonable prices. The decor is also artistic and lovely.
The best thing to do here is laze around all day long. You can also book a trip on their flagship boat Orion for a day trip to Ang Thong or take a hike up through the park. I'd say this place is best for those a bit more adventurous because the power will go off for a few hours each day due to national park regulations on the use of generators. I'd recommend bringing some flashlights or headlamps with you. Also, this small resort is very practical. For example, when you take the truck from the port to the resort, if the resort needs ice - they will just stop to get it and put it in the back of the truck with you. This kind of stuff may bother some people who expect a more "Western" experience, but I promise you, if you just go with the flow - you will have a positively superb time!
I can't wait until I can come back. Oh, on a final note, the crowds for the full moon party won't bother you here. For the party, there is a boat shuttle to the party beach for those that wish to go. But other than that, if you stay at the bungalows during the full moon, you won't even notice that it happened.
- 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