Whilst being very picturesque from afar, this Muslim floating island is a real tourist trap. If you take a boat tour to Ko Ping Gan (James Bond Island) a stop here for a meal and visit will certainly be included.There are a good half-dozen restaurants lined up with roughly 4/500 places each catering to the tourist trade, and the quality of the meal shows it. On top of that there is no alcohol here and none must be taken onto the stilted island. After your meal, you are told you have a half-hour to visit, and of course the whole place is full of souvenir shops. The salespeople are not at all aggressive, but what was certainly a very pretty place has been taken over almost exclusively for the tourists (although of course I am one) and their supposed needs.
Some tour companies offer a homestay here.
Unique Suggestions: As the meal is probably included in the tour price, enjoy it as much as you can.
Fun Alternatives: Try to wander down behind the shops where they all live, but be careful the boards are not always nailed down.....It is colouful but there is MUD underneath (you can see it on the photo.) Probably not very good for the health if you fall in.
make sure to haggle everything in terms of transportation from tuk tuk, taxi and especially the LONGTAIL BOATS! it's one of the worse things in krabi on low season.. we stayed at railay east and the only way to go to ao nang or anywhere else is through longtail boats.. the ride costs 100bhat.. there should be at least 6 people for the boat to go.. but if not you can rent the whole longtail boat.. one day longtail boat ride will cost 470bhat the next day it'll be 800bhat! its ridiculous!
Unique Suggestions: you can try to wait for other people to fill up the boat.. if you're lucky you don't have to wait, if not it can take you hours (really long hours) to fill up the boat.. during low season, it's hard to get passengers but high season wont be a problem..
if you're really desperate (like you have a flight to catch like what happened to us) you have no choice but to bargain really hard and rent the whole longtail boat.. good price would be 500bhat-650bhat.. boatmen normally asks 800bhat+
Fun Alternatives: unless you have time to spare or loaded with cash, try not to stay in railay so that you wont suffer longtail nightmares.
Koh Lanta (south) is quite sparsely populated by the hotels and resorts. To get around you can either hire a scooter or tuk-tuk. Make sure you haggle the price. Fares from Rawi Warin Resort to Ban Saladan (main town on island) should be around THB300 for 2 pax.
yes every single one will try to milk you for all you're worth, especially on railay west it may be easier and cheaper if you walk the 5 min path to east railey and catch a boat from there, just haggle with them they should come down wherever you are.
On airport Krabi there is only Limousine -services offered .
350.-Baht from Airport Krabi to TownTown is real much !
( for example :
to Koh Lanta = 90-120 minute ride cost in 9 seat van only 200 .- Baht .
Unique Suggestions: Ignore them .....
Fun Alternatives: Looks like there is no( Meter-)Taxis nor Sangthews .
This you can catch , if you go out of Airport , and go straight to the
busy Road (maybe 50 m only) .
There you can catch them.
There are several places in Railay that charge by the garment, sometimes up to $1 per shirt. If you just need to wash some t-shirts and shorts, there's a place on East Railay near the King Climbers office that charges just $1/pound..... a great deal if your clothes don't require special care.
Seems that one of the main attractions of going to Krabi is to view its supposingly beautiful corals. Well, they are not that beautiful, simply because most of them are dead.
Apparently, with the exception of Hin Klang located within the deep sea, most of the corals near the beaches have died due to disturbances to its surrounding caused by well, the droves of visitors.
So, to help in the regeneration of the coral colony, we should give them a miss for now. Trust me, you are not missing out on anything at all. In fact, after seeing the pitiful conditions of the various colonies near the beaches, I felt quite angry with the tour operators for still bringing us there since we were only doing more harm to the colony.
Chow-Fa pier has apparently been moved to a new place. Its not next to the town anymore, its in the outskirt of Krabi Town. We were wandering around town looking for the pier when a taxi car offered us to take us to the new pier for 200 BHT. We refused.
Unique Suggestions: We then walked to the old pier, and what a relief to find that they do provide a Tuk Tuk to take us to the new pier FOR FREE !!!
Theres a tour agent at the old pier PP FAMILY. We even bought a ticket there for our next trip to Phuket.
The row of shops opposite the beach in Ao Nang charge the skies for everything, even a bottled drink. If you don't bargain, you lose out.
Unique Suggestions: Do your research and scout around for the best deal. Bargain, haggle alot.
Fun Alternatives: Go into the main city. That's where tourists don't normally go, but the locals do. Contrary to most cities where the central business district has a surcharge on retail prices, Krabi's doesn't normally have, and you can still bargain.
All water transportation and sea vehicle rentals / charters can cost you more than you think.
As you can see from the picture...these guys standing there work hard for their money.
BUT they also work hard to get a few more bucks out of you than delivering you the promised.
The ploy? They will tell you that they can do a private 'boat' charter for you. What they don't tell you are 2 things:
1. the boat that they will give you
2. the private - you may end up in a boat full of people but in a private corner!
so...take your time to negotiate and bargain, but don't make yourself a fool for bagging a few dimes out of them, some are legitimate and do offer what they say...be wise!
Unique Suggestions: There really seems to be no other way to get across the waters and oh, those other islands seem so tempting...so what do we do?
ask the fellas that you want to see the boat that they are offering (especially if you decide to charter a private speed boat).
if you like what you see, negotiate and talk about the terms of charter (ie: duration of hours, gas included, etc? drinks?)...
then set sail.....
Fun Alternatives: Ask your hotel to hire the boats or get you on the boats if you wish.
You may also try to bargain with the hotel, but please be reasonable, don't put your pennies to shame.
You may pay a little more if you go through the hotel, but well worth it....
Local tour and travel agencies jack up the prices of travel and accomodation in order for them to make some money. They have been known to charge up to double the walk-in prices for accomodation.
Unique Suggestions: For accomodation, the least you could do is insist on seeing the rooms first before you commit to anything. If you find that it's worth the amount you're paying then it'll be a little more bearable.
Fun Alternatives: You could do better by going around on your own and finding your own hotel or transport. Talk to the locals or other tourists and get tips from them before making your decisions.
The film the beach certainly helped to stimulate tourism in this area - as if it needed it.
If you are to visit the location for the beach (Koh Phi Phi) then bear in mind that the place is trading upon it's new-found fame.
Some people feel that the environmental damage caused by the filmakers means that we should not further add to the decay experienced on the isalnd : 20th Century Fox shot portions of the movie on Maya Beach of Phi Phi Le Island in Thailand, a Thai National Park. But the producer Andrew Macdonald was unhappy with this natural paradise, so bulldozed some sand dunes, removed native vegetation (Giant Milkweed, Sea Pandanus, Spider Lily and other beach grass), and planted 60 temporary, non-native coconut palm trees.
Find out more about it at WWW.Thaistudents.com/the beach
Unique Suggestions: Just take a day trip across to see the place - such as it is.
Fun Alternatives: It's only a beach - plenty more where they came from around here - go discover your own !
To to me, Phuket is a big Tourist Trap. It is crowded, very commercial, completely gueared towards tourists and prices are very high.
The "James Bond Island Discovery" tours (1200 B) are particularily horrible - unless of course you like guided tours where you are amuzed every minute of the day.
I have taken a picture during the Elephant Farm tour just to show how pitiful this tour was...
We went to a camp where they had some elephants. It is always fascinating to get close to these big animals and we even got to ride them and see a show. But it is also a bit sad to see these animals in captivity. I’m not expert on elephants so it is hard to say if they were being treated well or not. I hope of course that they are taken well care of.
I guess this is one of the most well know landscapes in the world and it was made popular by the movie “The man with the Golden Gun”. The island itself was not worth more that the 30 minutes we stopped there but I have to admit that it is cool to have been there :-)