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Antler's 2014 Holiday in Thailand

Wetherby, United...
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Antler's 2014 Holiday in Thailand

Well, we will soon be there......

After months of planning and anticipation - and Trip Advisor resesrch - we fly from the UK to Bangkok this Friday, April 4th. After a few hours stopover, we are on an early afternoon Bangkok Airways flight to Krabi.

Transfer booked over the internet with KrabiShuttle.com - how efficient that was, too! A private transfer for the 4 us, in a Land Cruiser, or similar, with aircon - and possibly wi-fi! Destination: Red Ginger Chic Resort, Ao Nang for 5 nights.

After that, it's 5 nights on Koh Lanta, at Baan Rim Lay - reading all the fabulous TA reviews, I am really looking forward to meeting Mr & Mrs Pong!

4 nights at Sensimar Beach Resort, Khao Lak follows, with a final stay in Bangkok at Evergreen Place, before our flight back to the UK (let's not talk about that, just yet!)

So, right now, I am really looking forward to our first holiday in Thailand and am very grateful for all of your TA contributions that have helped Mrs A pull this together, along with efficient booking of accomodation, on this occasion through hotels.com.

Based on some reviews, we sent emails to all properties yesterday, asking for final confirmation of our bookings and overnight, they have all come back through positive - and with some lovely, welcoming messages.....

Which islands to hop around from Ao Nang?....dinner in the street markets?.....and will we find the Frog & Catfish (been studying their menu all winter!)? Soon to find out......

Speak to you from Thailand......!

Kind Regards,

Antler

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Chiang Mai
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1. Re: Antler's 2014 Holiday in Thailand

Have a wonderful trip. Do get to the seafood street on the beach road for dinner. Beautiful sunsets and great choice of food.

Caroline.

Italy
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2. Re: Antler's 2014 Holiday in Thailand

Yes I agree with Caroline, there's a neon Seafood sign you can't miss it, here you'll find restaurants with all the fresh fish on view we like the first restaurant as you enter.

Cheshire, England
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3. Re: Antler's 2014 Holiday in Thailand

Hi Antler

We are flying on Saturday and will arriving on Sunday - Staying at the Red Ginger too for 5 nights!

We'll see you there.

Mines a Tiger or a Singha!!

Chris

Wetherby, United...
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650 posts
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4. Re: Antler's 2014 Holiday in Thailand

Yes, Chris, we will get them in, then! Just arrived BKK and enjoying a latte in the Bangkok Airways Lounge by Gate A3. Can't get over the orchids, they just don't look real.....

Seats 9A and C on KLM's 777 were well worth the extra in Economy Plus and the pairs at the back after row 60....

Can't wait to jump in the pool at Red Ginger and hope to do that in just over 4 hours, krabbishuttle.com permitting!

See you there....

Antler

Wetherby, United...
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5. Re: Antler's 2014 Holiday in Thailand

How cool is this - logged on in the krabbishuttle.com Land Cruiser, on our way to Red Ginger. Our driver is Tusm and the guide, giving us a wealth of information.....is Bang, at least, that's the part of her name I CAN pronounce.

Wetherby, United...
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6. Re: Antler's 2014 Holiday in Thailand

Only been here 14 hours and already Ao Nang feels like home.

During the transfer in from the airport last night, we asked Bang where she would eat and her response was Massaman for a typical massaman curry; so Massaman it was after a couple of cocktails at Red Ginger's Happy Hour - 2 same cocktails for Thb200.

Our first dinner in Thailand was gorgeous - thank you Bang for your suggestion. Everything seemed to be Thb100 (Gbp 2) or less, whether it was a large, 630ml Chang, a large glouse of South African red, a Chicken Massman or deep fried squid and prawns. I loved my fish fillet massman (after a Seafood Pad Thai to start) and thought the banquet we all had was superb - and the staff were so friendly.

Our first experience with Tuk Tuks was good fun, and Boon was a star on the way back, taking us along the beach road, so we could get our bearings.

Our final stop was at the local 7-11, which was busier than Sainsburys at Christmas, for a few provisions for our room.

So, Sunday morning is a warm balcony, looking down the street above the Coconut Bar, as the trees sway in the breeze and the air is thick with warmth and moisture.

I really feel welcomed in Thailand.

Antler

Wetherby, United...
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7. Re: Antler's 2014 Holiday in Thailand

Sunday 6th April was our first full day. Breakfast at Red Ginger was spot on and I never thought I would enjoy some fish curry quite so much at that time of the day.

Shortly afterwards, a quick chat with Kum and we agreed an hour (Thb 450) on his tuk tuk to get us familiar with the local area; along both beaches, photos at the pier, plantains up at the vegetable market.

A few hours of R&R at the Red Ginger pool was our afternoon, before popping next door to Feel Good for a Thb250 one hour of Thai Body Massage. Very relaxing. To follow, I guess a litre or two of water would have been correct, but at that time of day (6pm) it had to be 2 Red Ginger Special Cocktails, at their 6 - 7pm happy hour. Bright blue with curacao and including more sprits than you could poke a stick at...

Our taxi came promptly at 7.45pm, for the short taxi ride out to Frog & Catfish. At least, it should have been short. As the sheet lightening flashed away, half an hour passed and I asked the driver if he was taking us to Phuket! He laughed and got on his mobile.....

Laughing his head off as we continued to pull his leg, he turned around and took us back to the junction he had missed.

As we ate our banquet, the heavens opened and the locals were so happy with their first downpour for ages, thanking us for bringing them rain.

The rain stopped as the young taxi driver opened his doors, still laughing, for our (much shorter) journey back to Ao Nang.

Now, Monday 7th and another good breakfast at Red Ginger (although the pan piped Don't Cry For Me Argentina is beginning to grate!) and it's time to get on a boat, starting with Railay, then going with the flow.....

Happy Holidays!

Wetherby, United...
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8. Re: Antler's 2014 Holiday in Thailand

Red Ginger is ideally situated up a side road adjacent to the two beaches, but closer to Noppharatthara Beach, so a short right and right out of the Hotel, over the footbridge and you are on the beach by Lunar Beach Restaurant to purchase your ticket for the Long Boats.

It was Thb100 per person, each way, for our 15-20 minute sail to Railay with Fat in charge of Boat 79, which he had proudly owned for the last 8 months.

Over to the left and at the far end of Railay Beach was our spot under the trees and we didn't take much persuassion from Nadia to have a massage with oils in the dappled shade, for Thb300 an hour. Oh go on then, yes, sort out the cracked heels for another Thb200 while you are doing it.....!

The sea here was so warm, really warm and we enjoyed a good few hours on the beach, only breaking for a brief lunch in one of the cafes set back in the shade.

Late pm the sky got angry and Fat directed us to the opposite end of the beach where a boat was "going now". Sadly, with a choppy sea and an over laden boat we were riding the waves badly and so the Long Boat turned back after one KM and four of us got onto another.

Safely back at Ao Nang, the angry sky broke to deliver an amazing sunset, enjoyed by us and many more standing in awe, all along the beach.

After a quick haggle with the tuk tuk guy, we were at Ao Nang Boat Noodle, way up Moo 2, for another Thai "banguet". What amazing value that place is - the food was just delicious at prices little more than the Street Food. Dinner for 4 with beers and soft drinks for Thb1350 (around Gbp7 per head) as the heavens opened with rain to freshen up the thick, evening air.

We rang Fat on his mobile and agreed to go on Boat 79 for our private 4 Island tour (Thb2200) the next day, before hitting the sheets, tanned, massaged and very well fed.

Antler

Wetherby, United...
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9. Re: Antler's 2014 Holiday in Thailand

Tuesday 8th April.

I handed the mobile phone to the tuk tuk guy and Fat gave directions of where we should meet, down by Noppharatthara Pier for our private tour on Fat's Boat 79.

For Thb50, or less, Fat grabbed his lunch from a street stall under the trees - a clam shell of sticky rice and a plastic bag of fish curry, nicely secured with an elastic band.

Stopping first at Chicken and Tub islands, we walked the causeway between the two, knee-deep in crystal clear water as the sun scorched our shoulders.

A short hop around the side of Chicken Island for snorkelling amongst the shoals of Tiger Fish and the occasional Angel.

Fat let us determine the pace and dozed on the boat, under the shade, whilst we were not on board.

The sea was even more perfect at Poda as we swam amongst the fish before another sail across to Phra Nang Cave, to the right of the Rayavadee Resort. The beach here was busy with tourists as the food sellers fought for the business from their boats.

After another swim, Fat took us back along the coast and back in to the Pier in time for a late lunch at Kruathara, so well thought of by many - and now I know why. It claims to be one of the oldest seafood restaurants in Ao Nang and I can see why it gets such fabulous reviews from fish and seafood lovers.

Surrounded by tanks of crabs, lobsters, langoustines and much, much more we enjoyed some deepfried small fish to start, followed by seafood curry with rice, fried squid in red curry sauce and my obligatory Spicy Thai Salad (medium-hot).

The staff were so courteous, the food so fresh, I can understand why Bang, our guide on the transfer from the airport, suggested we try it. 10/10.

Thb100 for a tuk tuk back along to Red Ginger, an hour by the pool and then popping next door at Feel Good for a back, neck and shoulder massage to set me up for a late dinner.

This was to be at Kao Tom Por Peang - another Trip Advisor find - but as the tuk tuk pulled up outside, it was obviously closed or even shut down. So, over the road to Massaman for a return visit, this time bypassing their signature dish for a huge bowl of vegetable green curry.

Tuk tuk guy said it would be rude not to finish our fabulous day with a cocktail or 3 at Lunar Beach Cafe - and so we did until we could stay awake no more.

Antler

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Chiang Mai
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10. Re: Antler's 2014 Holiday in Thailand

Thanks antler. I've been reading your daily updates and insanely jealous. Those Aonang sunsets.... Enjoy.

Caroline.