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“Beautiful, natural, all that we hoped for!”

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Mai Pen Rai Bungalows
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 8, 2013

After staying on the very busy Koh Tao, we arrived at Mai Pen Rai and breathed a huge sigh of relief! This felt like going back in time to what we had hoped to find in other parts of Thailand, now sadly over developed. Here is a small piece of paradise, with a very refreshingly laid back, friendly atmosphere, set in a National Park, a wonderful place to go back to nature! We stayed in one of the beach bungalows, which was a very clean, simple structure, and as I'm always worried about mosquitos, we had taken an extra mosquito net, and a coil to burn, and werent bitten once. The beach is beautiful, the perfect setting for sunning, swimming, and relaxing. Everyone working here was very helpful and the food and cocktails were delicious, we just wish we'd had more time to stay, relax, and to explore the surrounds. Being woken to the sound of the waves on the shore from our little beach bungalow is an unforgettable, amazing experience!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Tia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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122 - 128 of 375 reviews

Reviewed May 3, 2013

We absolutely loved this place, infact we stayed 3 days longer than we planned. Very remote and quiet, as its states, feels like your on a private beach! We have travelled all over Thailand and this is one of our favourite places. We first had a hut right in the bay, up some stairs, beautiful, but we wanted to be on the rocks, which was no issue for us to change, the staff were brilliant and showed us a couple of huts we could chose from. We decided on one well out the way, right round the corner, through a little cave, a nice little adventure everyday. We had brilliant sea views, and felt like had the island to ourselves, even though they were fairly full at the time. People whinging about the walk with rucksacks is abit silly as the staff take all the bags if you want them to, infact they generally insist on carrying your belongings, and never expect a tip. All the food we had was excellent, the best food on that stretch of beach by far, although Plaa's is also very good if you can handle the stairs! As for the lack of power...it is very remote..and they actually have a generator so it never effects the kitchen, good quality food all day long, maybe a little overpriced, but its the same as all the Islands, still a hell of alot cheaper than back home! My girlfriend slept better here than anywhere else, we had a nice sea breeze, and yes its frustrating a little that the power isnt on at all times....but you are in paradise! For the price people expect way too much, it was 650 baht a night, so thats about £12, you couldnt get anything for that in Europe. They are currently building new aircon rooms on the beach aswell, although we dont really like aircon as it gives us a cold! But each to their own . We will deffinatley be back, really enjoyed ourselves and were sad to leave but had to do visa run. The staff were brilliant, all in all a great place, needs a little TLC, but im sure they will get to that when the new builds are done.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank harry K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 2, 2013

I had an amazing time at Mai Pen Rai. Its was just how i hoped it would be, very relaxing and a really good atmosphere. The staff were always very friendly and helpful.
The beach was beautiful. It felt like a bit of paradise.
Can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank oda n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2013

We first booked a 6-day stay, but it was so incredible nice and beautiful there, we stayed until the end of our holidays.
First I have to say... yes, it´s far away from everything. Yes, there are no a/c- or luxury-bungalows. Yes, there are insects....
BUT... for nature lovers, quiet seekers, for people that don´t need loud disco-music ´til the morning, for couples who are searching for way-out-of-top romantic place... IT´S PERFECT!

And to get some things right, the Taxi who goes two times a day to Thongsala is about 200 Baht per person. There is a free WiFi in the main restaurant (Ok, but think again... do you need a internet access so urgently? You are in paradise...)

Long story, short, Mai Pen Rai / Than Sadet is one of the last "RobinsonCrusoe-esk" places on Koh Phangan. The staff and owners are beautiful and friendly people. You can get a real Thaimassage from Mr. Singh (no "wellness", pure health massage which is perfect!).

We will come back.
Definitely.

Room Tip: The bungalows on the rocks were my favourite. Wake up and see the sunrise from your bed with the sou...
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank EvilDave108
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2013

We stayed here for around five nights. The location is great and during the day I would put this place as a very good/excellent.

However being fan rooms having constant power (overnight at least) is necessary to keep yourself cool. Otherwise you end up being up half the night like we were. By the end of our stay we were exausted from bad sleeps. The power was off for at least half the time we were there (day and night). The internet was down for most of the time as well, which wouldn't be a problem if it didn't cost an arm and a leg to get into town (we needed to book flights and accomodation for when we left). They they had the internet fixed though, so it shouldn't be a problem in the future.

Room Tip: Bring a needle/thread to patch your mosquitto net. Brign a flashlight. You can buy mosquitto coils...
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Mark S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2013 via mobile

We came to Mai Pen Rai and wanted to get a bungalow on the beach. They showed us one and then they discovered it was already booked, they were then going to give us another one but decided we couldn't stay in that one because it was too noisy from construction (they were building new huts behind). We ended up getting a room with balcony across the river. It was a bit tricky to get over the broken "bridge" but the room was actually much nicer than the ones on the beach, much more spacious and very secluded with great views. However the room had busy rats in the walls that woke us up at night and you'll be sure to wake up at 5-6am every morning when electricity shuts off and the crickets start chirping loudly. (it's like living in the jungle)

We stayed for three nights and were planning on staying four or five, but after the second night they said we had to move rooms the day after because some returning guest had requested that room (!!). We then decided to move to a different beach instead of packing and unpacking everything for just one night. The owner seemed pretty displeased about our early departure, but we kinda felt kicked out of our room.

Than Sadet beach is very quiet and seems to consist of families and couples. It doesn't really have a backpacker vibe and people keep to themselves. The food is pretty lousy on all the restaurants compared to what we've been used to getting at other places. My husband also got food poisoning from the paneng curry at Mai Pen Rai.

Mai Pen Rai seems to own Silver Cliff and Plaa's as well as we witnessed them move other guests there (moving people around seemed to be their thing). If I return I think I'd stay at Plaa's which seemed to have a better standard at some of their bungalows, with big glass doors facing the ocean.

Overall I liked our simple room despite all the other issues, and it was a good beach for swimming. Personally I'd wished for some nicer restaurants and a softer bed (it was hard even by Thai standards).

  • Stayed: April 2013
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Thank stalvik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2013 via mobile

If you want inexpensive clean accommodation Mai Pen Rai is for you. We chose a bungalow on the rocks and yes they are a walk away from the Mai Pen Rai Restaurant but you are not obliged to use their restaurant and there is a fantastic little restaurant right next to the rocks called Chill Chill with free wifi, and the walk along the beach is so beautiful it is a pleasure.

We had room 42 which had a nice big double bed with a huge new mosquito net. The bathroom was built into the rocks and uniquely designed which could be a bit off putting for some travellers as there was a big step down between the shower and toilet. However again clean and workable.

The balcony had a beautiful view over the beach with a table and chairs but no hammock so BYO.

There are no windows in these bungalows only shutters but all can be securely locked and you get a nice big padlock for your door.

The whole feel of Mie Pen Rai was safe secure and well run.

The restaurant had seats inside and out and daybeds to lounge on and was very efficiently run. Could it do with a bit of an update or tidy up, yes but maybe then it would loose some of its charm.

We only chose to eat at the restaurant once but the food was good and again service friendly and efficient.

Room tips: younger and agile with back packs take a room on the rocks. Older or with kids take a room on the beach.

Overall a lively experience on one of the most beautiful beaches in Koh Phangan. We will return. Thank you Mie Pen Rai and team.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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2  Thank MHJ1968
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mai Pen Rai Bungalows

Address: Than Sadet Beach, Ko Pha Ngan 84280, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Pha Ngan
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #45 of 380 Specialty Lodging in Ko Pha Ngan
Price Range: $12 - $23 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Mai Pen Rai Bungalows 2*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Mai Pen Rai Bungalows, one of the oldest resorts on Koh Phangan - the place of pleasure for nature lovers and Artists. For an experience of the old Koh Phangan, this is the place to come away and forget all the stresses of the outside world. Mai Pen Rai is situated in a paradise infringed with swaying palms, and green turquoise waters. Here at Than Sadet the bungalows are built in harmony with the nature around with prices to suit travellers and back packers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mai Pen Rai Bungalows Hotel Koh Phangan

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