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“Camping in the Sand -But What a Location”

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Laoliang Island Resort
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
82 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Camping in the Sand -But What a Location”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 24, 2013

You are staying in tents, but it is still quite a treat. The place is really popular with the climbers, but if you love snorkeling, or relaxing on a very quiet beach, you will also like this. The tents were comfortable, and the electricity for the fan helped make it good for sleeping, because it was pretty hot there. The food was good enough. Everything has to be brought over on the longtail boat. The service is not perfect, but the staff was friendly. The bathroom was clean, especially in the morning. The snorkeling is great-if the weather is calm, with warm water and lots of stuff to see, including moray eel. The snorkeling trip is not necessary, you can save the money and just snorkel off the beach, going out to the buoys. The kayaking was good depending on the weather (I was lucky to have muscular family members.)The scenery is phenomenal-to stumble out of the tent and watch the sunrise every morning-ah! I stayed for 4 nights, with adult family. We enjoyed the small island best when there were only about 15 guests. When we got there, there were more than 40, and it felt more crowded. The process of getting there and back was long. I thought 4 nights there was about right.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank birderPa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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60 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Thai first
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English first
Munich, Germany
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 14, 2013

In a few years they will have run down that beautifull piece of paradise.

Paradise like nature:

1) good climbing - enough for 5 full days. Grads: 5 up to 7b+, but mostly around 6c.

2) really nice reef directly in front of the beach with rays, nemos, pufferfish, many different fish shoals, and really nice corrals.

3) at that time clearest water

BUT

1) horrible mattress in all rundown tents, the barrel-arbor imprints your ribs, you can't sleep.

2) no regular cleaning of the restrooms - bad smell - but blue chemicals in the toilett water

3) piles of litter behind a fenche - they collectively burn plastics and leaves in that place

4) avarage traveler lunch and breakfast for the guest, but nice diversified thaifood for the employees themselfs.

5) Unfriendly staff, they do not greet back, when you say: sawadee oder hello.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank LarsReis2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 11, 2013

All-inclusive resort with accomodation in large, comfortable tents, tasty food and easy access to great climbing and snorkeling. The island is very small and feels a bit crowded when there are many visitors (and that is from around 20...).

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Martina K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
87 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2013

Kho Lao Liang wrapped up a 6-week climbing holiday in Southern Thailand. I became interested in the place after reading comments in a climbing guide that sated, "if you want to experience Tonsai as it was 15-years ago go to Lao Liang". The guide is correct. Lao Liang is a pretty cool spot without question worth experiencing. For climbers it offers 5-walls of fresh limestone with many routes on moderate grades of 6a, 6a+ and 6b. "House-of-the-Rising Sun" is super mulit-pitch (6b-6a) - requires a 60m rope so bring one. Also some great face climbing at 6c-6c+ for those working up. The island is only 600 m long which makes it a small chunk of limestone in the middle of the Andaman Sea. You can read the other reviews on accommodations, but they are lovely, large tents with a front living-room, back bed-room separated by mosquito netting and curtain. Mattresses are at ground level and comfortable. You step out directly on to the beach. One climber had a scorpion crawl across his face so be sure to keep the mosquito netting zipped up. Food is average, toilets rustic, but for people accustomed to places like Tonsai, very good (western style that flush). Toilet paper is provided! Shower facilities are adequate, they need some maintenance, but clean and with sufficient water pressure. The grounds are cleaned daily. Snorkelling gear, kayaks and water safety equipment is available for anyone to use. Some climbing gear is available but the place is not set-up to handle beginners - bring your own rope and rack and take all climbing courses in Tonsai/Railay before coming is you need them. I had a great time at Lao Liang, but frankly extremely disappointed in the return logistics to Ao Nang. You will pay 1000 baht to get to the island and another 1000 baht theoretically to return. Our group of six departed Ao Nang by private mini-van and hence expected to be returned to Ao Nang in the same manner, but that did not happen. On our return day we were a group of five and got dumped off at the Trang bus station where the resort mini-van driver bought 5 public bus vouchers for 500 baht and then left us alone after mumbling instructions that we were to take the public bus back to Krabi. We were very much surprised and totally confused. Matters were made worse by having to sit for another 2.5 hours before being stuffed in a local mini-van bus and driven to Krabi where we were dropped off in the middle of town with again no explanation. From there we had to make our own arrangements to get to Ao Nang. Frankly, I was so disappointed in how our returning group of 5-people were treated after each paying 1000 baht to be returned I could have given this resort a 2-star rating. However, in all fairness the island itself, the climbing, the facilities are very good. So, Word of Caution - make sure your travel arrangements are well understood. Make sure who ever is booking or handling the arrangements get it straight. Erin is not that person - her price quote for the trip was 500 baht higher than what we paid. Be up front on this, the cost of the trip is expensive, Get what you Paid for. Remember the bus ticket the resort driver bought for each of us was 100 baht. That will give you an idea of the actual costs to travel most of the way to the point of water departure. There was no excuse for the driver not to drive us directly to Ao Nang - a total of 5,000 baht was paid to the resort people for that leg of the journey. That travel day put a dimmer on the entire experience, but as rated - it is a very lovely place, quiet and peaceful. I'm looking forward to going back, but for sure with a greater understanding.

Room Tip: You really don't need to purchase a tent facing the beach. All of the tents are situated over-lo...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank ClimbngShuksan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dogville
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2013

Firstly - the islands, coral, sea, sun, views, beach and especially climbing are absolutely spectacular. If you would like a couple of days of peace and relaxation, away from the crowds of noisy Scandinavian children (though occasionally one or two are brought, only for the parents to quickly realise their mistake and leave soon after) then it is worth a visit; if you're a climber of moderate ability, there is a couple of weeks worth of word class rock to keep you going, without the polishing and crowds associated with the more accessible spots in the area.

The real shame about this beautiful island is the ethos with which it has been developed. It is variously presented as 'by ecologically-minded people for ethical travelers' or 'by climbers for climbers', but the sad truth is that 'by acquisitors for quick bucks' would be more accurate. 'Ecological' in this case means 'tents are cheaper to build and transport than bungalows and concrete'; the leaking and inefficient generator that runs for 16 hours per day and the swamp at the rear of the toilet are true testaments of the lack of ecological care involved. The current resident 'climbing guide / visitor liason', Erin, is a devious cash sponge who manipulates guests into situations that cost money, informing them of the cost only afterwards - two examples: i). Approaches a family and waxes lyrical about how she would love to climb with them, how brilliant the climbing is, how much an honour it would be for her to climb with them, coaxes out agreement from the excited children - then asks the mother for a room number to add the 500BHT for two top-roped climbs (an unbelievable extortion in itself) to their bill. ii). Incites a drinking party, brings bottles of strong alcohol to the table as is as gifts, encourages shots then goes round the next morning with the bill book getting each involved to pay for her 'gift'; after this one incident I actually heard her on the 'phone to the owner of the resort - Michael Weitzman - bragging about how much money was made. Rumour has it she gets a share of the bar tab...

In short - come and climb as the climbing is spectacular; don't bring under 10s, and definitely don't expect real ecological conscience or honesty, and stay well away from the despicable Erin.

Room Tip: They're all pretty much the same
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank Helmut S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2013

We (myself, hubby and 5yo daughter) just returned from 5 days on Koh Laoliang over New Year's. It is a stunning island paradise and a great place to get off the grid of email/internet, and just focus on *being* for a short time. We found it invaluable, as most holidays have my husband tethered to his email several hours a day, thus no holiday for him usually. He was actually on full holiday while on Koh Laoliang.

The tents are roomy and comfortable, with power on (fan, light) for about 12 hours over the nights. There are no indoor structures on the island, but there is a lot of natural shade from the trees and the limestone walls. The bathrooms are dark and outdoors, so bring flip flops.

Mosquitoes are a small issue at dusk and dawn, and in the bathrooms. No surprise to SE Asia travellers. We didn't get any mosquitoes in our tent. Bring repellent for dinnertime, though.

The meals were very tasty and fresh, and my daughter, who is a very picky eater, managed to eat pretty well on the fish, chicken, rice and fruit. We also brought our own peanut butter and bread, all of which we used.

My husband and I started climbing on this trip, and it was really enjoyable. Our daughter could play on the beach with the other kids while we climbed and hung out.

And speaking of kids, this is a great family destination, especially for those who have done the backpacking thing in their child-free days, and are familiar with Southeast Asia. We were one of a half-dozen families on the island at the time we were there. In fact, the manager told us that families are becoming the most common visitors to the island.

Things to bring (besides the obvious stuff):
- snacks for the kiddies
- plenty of ziplock bags (for the snacks and your toiletries)
- rash guard shirts or dive skins for everyone (I have an allergic reaction to the plankton in the water in the Andaman area, they sting and cause an itchy rash, easily avoided with a shirt or dice skin)
- beach toys and other non-electronic activities for kids (crayons, paper, games, etc.)
- a nalgene water bottle for refilling
- coffee press and decent coffee grounds (so great to have this)
- a couple small towels
- a good medical/first-aid kit

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank nambypamby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
191 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 11, 2012 via mobile

Very good for canoeing around island and neighbouring island. No boats unlike everywhere else in Thailand. Good for backpackers and rock climbers. Amazing beach on next door island. Not good for people who won't be doing activities all day as is boring. Not good for families. Bathroom and showers dark and not very clean as made of sticks and gravel floor. Toilets didn't flush properly - by day 3 all toilets clogged. Food was average - food prep area didn't look too hygienic as was camp site, but utensils always looked clean. Nothing to do at night if you aren't into the backpacker mingling and drinking scene.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Maria N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Laoliang Island Resort

Property: Laoliang Island Resort
Address: Kho Laoliang, 92120, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Trang Province
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 69 Specialty Lodging in Trang Province
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Laoliang Island Resort 2.5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Koh Laoliang is a small island 20 kilometers offshore in the Koh Petra Marine Park, in Trang Province, Thailand. Koh Laoliang is a place of unspoiled natural beauty - no trees were cut down and almost no concrete was used in the resort's construction. Laoliang combines peace and relaxation with adventure sports. ... more   less 
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