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Ko Lanta (Pimalai) or Railay Beach (Rayavadee Resort)

New York City, New...
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Ko Lanta (Pimalai) or Railay Beach (Rayavadee Resort)

My husband and I are traveling to Thailand in late November for 8 full days. We are flying into BKK so we will spend at least 2 full days in Bangkok and then fly out the 3rd or 4th to Krabi.

We're trying to decide - Ko Lanta and stay at the Pimalai or Railay Beach to stay at Rayavadee.

I understand that Pimalai may be slightly longer to get to (although both require a drive + boat) but we are fine with a ~2 hour ride after landing in Krabi for the right place. The hard part is figuring our which place is the "right" place! Does anyone have thoughts on:

- Food: which location has more restaurants? We are not big party goers/drinkers but we do like visiting nice restaurants and then relaxing after a great meal.

- Better Hotel/Accommodations: We love adventure (rock climbing, snorkeling, hiking, cultural tours, cave tours, kayaking...anything!) but after a day of running around, it's very important for us to have a day of relaxation at a nice hotel. The reviews seem like Pimalai is better as the Rayavadee is slightly older...thoughts?

- Location: Is one better for adventure/culture/beauty? Railay beach looks amazing but I wonder if it's worth an "older" accommodation when we can just do a day tour to Railay or Koh Phi Phi?

Thoughts would be much appreciated!!

Thanks!!

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Washington DC...
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1. Re: Ko Lanta (Pimalai) or Railay Beach (Rayavadee Resort)

We have the same question for the upcoming trip. What would you recommend based on your experience.

Thanks!

Washington DC...
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2. Re: Ko Lanta (Pimalai) or Railay Beach (Rayavadee Resort)

We are planning the same trip. What was your experience?

Thanks,

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Ko Lanta (Pimalai) or Railay Beach (Rayavadee Resort)

Hi Primorz,

I will write a longer post about our trip later but we had 8 days, 7 nights so we did 2 nights in Railay and 5 nights in Koh Lanta. We stayed at the Rayavadee and the Layana.

I loved both hotels/locations and while neither was perfect, it was interesting as where one was lacking, the other is strong.

Rayavadee: It's a beautiful hotel but even more beautiful setting (if you want a jungle forest feel). We stayed in the cheapest room and it was still very nice. I can see why people think it's a little run down but it didn't bother me as it as even if things are a little a run down/used, it goes with the setting and it's also clean. The service was great and the restaurants are very very good. However, Railey, while beautiful, is very small and if the weather is bad, there isn't much to do. Also, there aren't a lot of restaurants choices on the island so you'll see Tripadvisor ranks Mangrove very high...it's OK but nothing amazing. The best food was probably at the hotel. Also, make sure you like jungle/forest like settings. There are a lot of bugs. My husband and I liked it a lot but 2 days was plenty. Also, definitely wake up early and get to Phranang Beach. It is really beautiful and you can swim/walk out to the little rock formation a few yards out.

The Layana/Koh Lanta: We chose the Layana because it's close to the pier (didn't want to get to the area and then have to be in the car for a bit) and because it's kid-free. We're 30 years old and while we like kids, we also like some peace and quiet :) The Layana is great. It's clean, rooms are simple, service is great (especially by the pool) and the beach is top notch (beautiful bath water, no garbage on the beach, really an untouched beauty). However, the food at the Layana is dismal. Breakfast is my favorite and while the setting is great, the food is awful. I actually am shocked at how bad it is. Imagine bad asian food (greasy and like Manchu Wok) and bugs flying all over the fruit/yogurt. Too bad they couldn't take a few lessons from Rayavadee on breakfast. But, the beach truly is beautiful--probably the best on the island. We stayed in a beach suite and it was amazing to wake up the ocean every morning. We also sat out on our deck and read a few nights which was really nice.

Also, Ko Lanta is a small area--we went down near the Pimalai and while it's beautiful, it doesn't seem to have the beaches. if you want to be in a pool suite, you'll be up at the cliffs versus on the sand...and I wanted to be on the sand. The Layana also has beach restaurants on both sides of it (a short 5-10 mins walk) which is also really fun, especially since the food at the hotel is blah.

Hope that helps!

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Washington DC...
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4. Re: Ko Lanta (Pimalai) or Railay Beach (Rayavadee Resort)

Thanks, this is very helpful. Do you have any information about Koh Samui? We still considering whether this is a better alternative to Krabi/Koh Lanta. Also, doing it again, would you spend the entire time in Koh Lanta?

Much appreciated.

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London, United...
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5. Re: Ko Lanta (Pimalai) or Railay Beach (Rayavadee Resort)

Pimalai is a great resort and can be combined with a stay at Rayavadee, they aren't so far apart

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6. Re: Ko Lanta (Pimalai) or Railay Beach (Rayavadee Resort)

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