We are a bit puzzled by all the negative reviews of this lodge. Maybe we haven't been in Southeast Asia long enough to get angry about a large, en suite, air-conditioned bungalow straddling the jungle, world-renowned limestone cliffs and a beautiful beach cove costing $74. Yes, it's more than you paid in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, but what do you expect? This is one of Thailand's most beautiful and famous beach areas. We got terrible food poisoning (from a local restaurant - not this hotel) and we still had a fabulous time. Stop yer whining.
Our connected bungalow was situated about a 5-minute walk from the shore in a quiet area nestled beside the enormous rock formations. Strolling to the beach and area restaurants, we often spotted monkeys (even a baby one riding on its mom) running alone the rocks or swinging from branches.
There seems to be accommodation priced both above and below the duplex we stayed in: more spacious stand-alones and smaller fan rooms. The fan rooms are closer to the beach but appear a bit run down from the outside. They are located in a high-trafficked spot with some litter about.
Although our bathroom was long overdue for a remodel, our duplex room was spacious and clean. Towels, water and toilet paper were restocked and the bed was made every day. The breakfast needs work, but it's included in the price.
We were surprised to read reviewers complaining about Tonsai's beach. At low tide, it is similar to a mud flat, but even then it's beautiful with the sunlight reflected in the pools of water left behind. At high tide, it's perfect. After visiting Railay and the famous Hat Phra Nang, I'd take Tonsai any day because it's protected from the wind (no sand blown in your eyes) and not overcrowded with fat, pasty European men strutting in colorful banana hammocks (Note: If you are anyone but Michael Phelps and wearing a Speedo, we are all making fun of you). Plus, you won't get accosted by touts trying to sell you a massage!
-Take a 1/2 day rock climbing course with the Rock Shop. For $25, you can't beat this experience in arguably the rock climbing capital of the world. You WILL be sore tomorrow.
-When the tide is low, you can walk from Tonsai to Railay along the shore. When the tide is high, walk to the far end of the beach and look for a narrow crevice in the rocks. Crawl through there and then follow the rocky path. I don't recommend doing either walk in flip flops
- On the way to Hat Phra Nang by foot, you will likely see a sign for a lagoon and lookout. The lookout hike is very steep (pull self up with ropes) but doable. The lagoon hike is vey difficult and a bit dangerous (shimmy down ropes over sharp rocks) but if you're in the area to rock climb, you probably know what you're doing. Some people use climbing gear to get there. Don't attempt in flip flops. The lagoon is a quiet, secluded tidal pool with no view of the beach, but it is worth the laborious hike/climb to see a body of water completely enclosed by high cliffs on all sides. You can swim, but the water is not pristine.
-Don't feed the monkeys. It just makes them aggressive (they will snatch items out of your hand if you're close enough). And certainly don't give them junk food. Not cool, man.
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- Also Known As:
- Tonsai Bay Hotel Krabi Town
- Tonsai Bay Resort Krabi, Thailand