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undedd Trang - A travel report by Dave
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Trang,  Thailand - flag Thailand -  Trang
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undedd's travel reports

An Andaman Adventure in South Thailand

  17 votes

Trang travelogue picture
Planning a holiday? Fancy a tropical paradise with knockout scenery where you can do everything or nothing with like-minded travellers or just your own shadow for company? A place where the fantasy changes every day - if you want it to? It'll cost you. Less than US$30 a day actually.

That's what we paid for a month's holiday on Thailand's Andaman Coast. US$650 each. And we're not backpackers. Paradise has a new name and there's more than 1,000 kilometres to explore, much of it still unaffected by Thailand's tourism tentacles.

Come on a journey, I think you'll like it...

Favourite spots:
Trang travelogue picture
I've visited many destinations in Southeast Asia but the sheer unspoilt beauty of this coastline is amazing. Hell, even the tourist centres are cool! Here's a top 5:

1. The deserted beaches of the Trang Islands, particularly Ko Sukorn, Takieng and Lao Lieng. I guarantee you won't want to leave. Sand like flour, water like the sky. And no people.

2. The ancient rainforest of Khao Lak. Some of the oldest on earth and wonderfully secluded bays to explore.

3. Khao Lak beaches; miles of white-sand, tree-lined beaches and your choice of comfy huts to call home for a while.

4. The lagoon on Phi Phi Don. Plundered by tourism it is, but it's still one of the most stunning places you'll see.

5. Trang town. A brilliant market town where the living is easy.

What's really great:
Trang travelogue picture
Once again, there's so much. Here's five more to put on your list and whet your appetite:

1. Paddling through Phang Nga Bay, exploring an amazing network of caves and deserted beaches.

2. Swimming in the waterfalls of any of the nature parks in the area surrounding Krabi and Trang - usually just you and your shadow for company.

3. Phuket's gibbon rehabilitation centre - staffed mostly by volunteers, this place is proof that people care and the world can change.

4. Snorkelling and diving through the Similan Islands - 60 to 90-foot visibility in an oasis of protected marine wonders.

5. Krabi town, its food, markets and beaches.

Sights:
Trang travelogue picture
HOW TO GET THERE: Flying to Phuket is the easiest and most convenient option since its international airport connects with most overseas destinations. There are domestic airports in Trang and Krabi.
WHEN TO GO: After the monsoon, between November and May. This is peak season - the water is clearest and there are fewer rainy days.
TRANSPORT: Regular buses go everywhere, and they're cheap and comfortable. Hiring a car and driver is good value for a group. Local longtail boats operated by fishermen link smaller islands, and larger ferries service more popular destinations.
ACCOMMODATION: Beachside bungalows are everywhere, providing the definitive tropical holiday experience. You'll pay between US$8 and US$20 for a decent one with your own bathroom. Expect to pay big money for air-conditioning but it's wasted - fans are better in this climate.
ON THE WEB: Some of the best sites are sunsite.au.ac.th, www.krabi.sawadee.com and www.trangk.com.

Accommodations:
Trang travelogue picture
Here's just two of the gems we found:

SUKORN BEACH BUNGALOWS (KO SUKORN). This is my idea of paradise. Count them; seven steps to the restaurant, eleven to the beach and twenty-three to the water. Ko sukorn measures 8-by-4 kilometres and this is the only place to stay.
It was 400B a night. You get a little thatched hut constructed from local meterials, cold-water bathroom (with western toilet), fan and balcony with killer views. Even the furniture and bed are crafted from local timbers. The restaurant is cheap, the food is good and the drinks are ice-cold courtesy of the generators out the back - electricity is a recent arrival to the island and the supply is spotty at best.

ANDAMAN BEACH REPORT (KHAO LAK). This one comes close to paradise too - just not as remote. These fan-cooled bungalows are new and unbelievable value. There's a bedroom and sitting room, two balconies, fully tiled hot and cold-water bathroom for 600B a night - on the beach. And what a beach.

Other recommendations:
Trang travelogue picture
HERE'S A COUPLE OF TIPS TO MAKE PARADISE STRETCH A BIT FURTHER:

Don't make the mistake of booking an expensive tour from home. Accommodation is cheap, transport is easy to organise and the people are friendly and always willing to help.

The right attitude, a smile and a few words of Thai go a long way.

The land content of our trip cost less than US$650 each for a month; that includes everything - food, accommodation, touring, transport, even a bit of shopping. We stayed in quality budget places with private facilities, sometimes we even had our own beach!

Published on Wednesday October 16th, 2002


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Fri, Apr 11 2003 - 07:11 AM rating by andreas

Hello Dave,

thanx for your great report on the Andaman coast line. I have followed some of your recommendations while I was in Thailand a few months ago. If I find the time (after some work on GLOBO is finished) I have to upload some pictures on Kho Lanta and Kho Phi Phi.

Have a great time!

Andy

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