Greetings from Sweden (...and also a bunch of questions)

Bangsaphan general discussion and questions.
robert.liljedahl
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Greetings from Sweden (...and also a bunch of questions)

Post by robert.liljedahl » 06 Oct 2010 14:13

Good day people. Found this forum the other night. My name is Robert, I'm 24 years old and I'm from Sweden. There you have it. =)

Me and my girlfriend are seriously considering going to TH this winter (winter for us anyhow, end of november / beginning of december). At the moment Bang Saphan seems very interesting.

In 2006 we stay about 2 weeks in Ban Krut and last year I went there again. I was amazed over how much had happen since the last visit. A bunch of new hotels / resorts along the beach who were more or less empty just a couple of years ago!

The reason we're thinking of going to Bang Saphan is that we want a rather quite place but still would like a little more restaurants than what Ban Krut can (or atleast could) offer. In 2006 after we had been in Ban Krut we went to Hua Hin for a week, but we really couldn't stand it. I hate to be yet another of these tourist who wants to go abroad yet don't like tourist (oh the irony) - but that is in fact the case. In Hua Hin we simply saw more europeans than thai people, and that just felt wrong. The good thing about Hua Hin was the absolutley excellent amount of restaurants, but one can't both eat the cake and have it - right?

Now to my real questions:
I'm having a real hard time getting a grip of Bang Saphan's size. I understand that it's nothing near Hua Hin but it should be bigger than Ban Krut, but I'm having real trouble visualizing it. I've been looking at bangsaphanguide.com and as far as I can see there should be about 9 restaurants, most (all?) attached to a hotels / bungalows. Is this still updated information? And how far is it in between them? How long is the "main" road where most restaurants / hotels are?

Both time I visited Ban Krut I rented a scooter. I went south at the bang saphan direction - but I'm really not sure -if- I've actually been there, or if I didn't go far enough. So you who are famillar with the surroundings, please comment on my attached pictures and tell me about where they are taken. Much appreciated. (On some of the pictures I'm perfectly aware of there were taken, this will be obvious in the comment)

Accomodation & Koh Talu
There seems to be a bunch of hotels / bungalows in the surrounding, so I think we'll try to book one or two nights at a place and then take a walk and find something we like. We're looking at a budget of about 1500thb/night (750thb / per person).

I looked at Koh Talu after remembering the iland from the 2006 visit when we went there diving and started woundering if there might be some accomodation there, and right I was. As fas I can see there are two hotels there, but I didn't find any prices 'just like that'. What do you people think, is it a good idea spending a week at Koh Talu, or is it too empty? (I guess that's about personal preference, but I'll still ask). How long does it take to walk around the iland?

Getting there
Both times I've visit Ban Krut I simply took the train and jumped off at Ban Krut. But I'm a bit unsure here, because at the homepage - bangsaphanguide.com - I'm beeing told that if I take the 08.05 train from Bangkok I'll arrive in Bang Saphan 13.00. However when I look at the time table at "State Railway of Thailand" (http://www.railway.co.th/English/Time_HTML.asp) they don't mention any station named "Bang Saphan". It's Ban Krut 12.47 and then arrive at Chumphon 14:19. So my question here is: Does the Bang Saphan station exist, with that name, and is the times at the website (bangsaphanguide.com) correct? We will be arriving in bangkok 09:40, so we would be taking the 13.00 train.

This ended up to be quite the essay, hope anyone of you find the time read it and give me some helpful answers. Thanks alot!

Since I could only add 3 pictures here I've put ALL the images here instead: http://yodo.se/precis/thapics/
Attachments
2009.1.JPG
Some hotel, south of ban krut. Where are we?
2009.2.jpg
Sun chairs, just across the road from were the last photo were taken.
2009.3.JPG
Looking south from the beach. Just 30 meters from the were the last photo were taken.

Mr Chin Chok
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Re: Greetings from Sweden (...and also a bunch of questions)

Post by Mr Chin Chok » 06 Oct 2010 15:13

Welcome Robert - good to see some fellow Swede interested in Bang Saphan. This is still very much a town for Thais rather than Western tourists so far. Which adds to its charm if you ask me - nobody will try to sell you anything when you go to the beach. In fact, you are likely to find the beach (and there is plenty of that around here) more or less deserted.

Not to say that there are no restaurants or shops. But while there may be around nine (sounds a bit low, I would guess twice that) with Western menu, there are a hundred or so shacks that serve Thai food for a few bahts, and often very good. You will find a large number of small shops spread out all over the place that have the basic stuff: water, beer, snacks and stuff but no warehouses like Tesco or Big-C. There is a good day-market to buy fresh food ingredients - again, I have yet not met a farang face there.

So there you have it: a small town where you stand out a bit as a Westerner, because there are not too many around. I am curious myself about the population size. But I would say the town center is quite lively with much traffic and then there is the "seaside center" about five kilometers south of the town center which is very quiet with a few restaurants and small bars. Here you also have a small community of mainly retirees from western countries, especially France.

robert.liljedahl
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Re: Greetings from Sweden (...and also a bunch of questions)

Post by robert.liljedahl » 06 Oct 2010 16:53

Hi there Mr Chin Chok!

A deserted beach sounds nice enough, it was the same in Ban Krut! And as goes for the shopping, that doesn't bother me at all. Food is all we need access to. Shopping will be done the last days of our visit in Bangkok. I can eat western food when I'm home, when I'm in TH I'm mostly interested in thai food.

When you say "Town center", that's not along the beach is it? It's a bit further into the country? If so, about how far is it from the beach to the town center.

Did you look at the pictures I linked to at the end of the post (http://yodo.se/precis/thapics/) - and if you did, did you recognize where they could be taken? Would really like to know if I've visited Bang Saphan or not :)

Best regards,
Robert.

Mr Chin Chok
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Re: Greetings from Sweden (...and also a bunch of questions)

Post by Mr Chin Chok » 06 Oct 2010 20:01

I took a look at the pics and they don't look like anywhere in Bang Saphan that I have seen. I am sure somewhere else here knows where they are taken - not me, unfortunately.

Yes - the main beach area is outside the center of the town. Have a look on the maps at bangsaphanguide to find the way there. Not too hard, take the road out of town and follow it about 5 km until you are in front of the building supplier TOA and then make a left turn down to the fanciest part of the beach in front of Coral hotel and the Why Not bar (less than 1 km down that smaller road). You have a large supply of bungalows in that area.

Mr Chin Chok
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Re: Greetings from Sweden (...and also a bunch of questions)

Post by Mr Chin Chok » 07 Oct 2010 09:04

Just to clarify: with western menu I meant menu written in English (seems like a non-standard definition with hindsight). As for farang food restaurants there are less than nine that I am aware of (GK, Biw Beam, maybe Suan Luang or Coral Hotel for some French grub but then what?)

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Re: Greetings from Sweden (...and also a bunch of questions)

Post by buksida » 07 Oct 2010 15:10

Yes, there is only a handful of farang eateries, this covers most of them:
http://bangsaphanguide.com/bangsaphan-restaurants.htm

As said above BS is a lot more spread out the ban Krut, the town and main beach area are a few kilometers apart.

Your pics are of the Ban Krut bay, more info on that area here: www.bankrutinfo.com

robert.liljedahl
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Re: Greetings from Sweden (...and also a bunch of questions)

Post by robert.liljedahl » 07 Oct 2010 16:08

Thanks alot for the answers guys!
Your pics are of the Ban Krut bay, more info on that area here: http://www.bankrutinfo.com
Oh really? In other words not Bang Saphan? I thought the Ban Krut bay was north of the monument. But it sounds like it's south of it as well then, good to know.

What about getting to Bang Saphan by train, does a train station with the name "Bang Saphan" exist even though it's not mentioned on the "State railway of Thailand" homepage?

Regards.

Edit: When I say "monument" I'm referring to: http://www.bankrutinfo.com/img/bkpics7.jpg

Mr Chin Chok
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Re: Greetings from Sweden (...and also a bunch of questions)

Post by Mr Chin Chok » 07 Oct 2010 19:59

robert.liljedahl wrote: What about getting to Bang Saphan by train, does a train station with the name "Bang Saphan" exist even though it's not mentioned on the "State railway of Thailand" homepage?
Yes, and the train at least from Hua Hin to Bang Saphan is a very nice trip in my opinion (I haven't traveled all the way from BKK by train yet). Along the seaside all the way with a good view. Don't trust the time table too much though, trains can be an hour late or so. Take a "sprinter" train which is just one that is not unbearably slow.

bajm
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Re: Greetings from Sweden (...and also a bunch of questions)

Post by bajm » 08 Oct 2010 18:01

Robert,

I think the above pictures are taken from Keeree Waree resort in Ban Krut.

robert.liljedahl
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Re: Greetings from Sweden (...and also a bunch of questions)

Post by robert.liljedahl » 08 Oct 2010 18:04

bajm wrote:Robert,

I think the above pictures are taken from Keeree Waree resort in Ban Krut.
Hi Bajm! You are very correct indeed! I found that out last night when I was just browsing around looking for accomodation in the area! And that also confirmed that I infact haven't been to Bang Saphan, but rather just Ban Krut.

bajm
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Re: Greetings from Sweden (...and also a bunch of questions)

Post by bajm » 09 Oct 2010 14:24

When you follow the road along the seaside it is about 20Km's to Bang Saphan.
From Bang Saphan town, it is another 8 km's to for instance the Coral Hotel and other venues in that area.

robert.liljedahl
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Re: Greetings from Sweden (...and also a bunch of questions)

Post by robert.liljedahl » 10 Oct 2010 17:27

Last night I ordered fly tickets! We'll be getting to bangkok 27/11 and leave late on the 14th of december. We'll be in Bang Saphan approx. from 28/11 - 11/12, so about 2 weeks.

I've been looking over the accommodation showed on bangsaphanguide.com over and over again.
Sunrise Resort seems lovely! Really in our taste, perhaps a bit too posh. The downside is that it's a bit off.

We like a room/bungalow with AC that has WiFi internet access. Sattelite-tv would be nice but no biggie. WiFi would be greate since I then wouldn't need to bring my main laptop, I could rather just take my iPad. It doesn't need to be WiFi in the room itself (even tho that would be -sweet-).
What would you say when it comes to WiFi now a days? Is it quite common? Last year In Ban Krut that hostel had WiFi, which they didn't in 2006.

The other thing we'd like is the ability to easily eat at different places, so places such as Coral Hotel and Why Not Bungalows are interesting when it comes to their position.

Our budget is 2000 baht per night / room - but that's really really max. I'd say we're more a 1300 baht-couple. =)

If I sum it up: What accommodations have WiFi-internert access besides Sunrise Resort?

Thank you so much everybody for your answers, appreciate it big time.

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Caller
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Re: Greetings from Sweden (...and also a bunch of questions)

Post by Caller » 10 Oct 2010 23:48

robert.liljedahl wrote:Sunrise Resort seems lovely! Really in our taste, perhaps a bit too posh. The downside is that it's a bit off.
I spent 6 weeks at Sunrise over Christmas and posh it ain't! Its endearingly eccentric as are the owners (mildly), Franco and Ya(?). Brekky was a bit samey for a long stay, which is why I ventured to the Guest house so often for a great brekky (now closed, same owners at GK's), but otherwise the food was good. The owners and staff are extremely helpful.

Its a nice walk along the beach (20 minutes?) to the why not/coral area and just 5 minutes on a bike or in a car.

robert.liljedahl
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Re: Greetings from Sweden (...and also a bunch of questions)

Post by robert.liljedahl » 11 Oct 2010 00:45

Thank you so much for your reply Caller!
I've been looking at all the pictures and videos available at their homepage today and I'm really starting to fall in love with the place. It seems to suit our needs perfectly. And since we're only going to be their for 2 weeks perhaps the breakfast won't be an issue =)

About 20 minutes walk along the beach sounds great! That's really really good news. I was under the impression it was alot longer.

What type of accommodation did you choose Caller? And how were the prices in the restaurant? Reasonable?

Regards

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Caller
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Re: Greetings from Sweden (...and also a bunch of questions)

Post by Caller » 12 Oct 2010 01:15

Thinking about it, the walk may have been a bit longer - I was told its just under 2km, but I really wasn't counting! Here's a photo from near Sunrise and although its reduced in size you should just be able to make out a little yellow boat and volleyball net centre left - they are directly in front of the Coral Hotel - zoom lens obviously! Actually that little yellow inflatable came over from Koh Talou and 3 uniformed Thais of one sort or another wandered over to Why not for a beer, which is where I was - this was from the walk back.
IMG_1672.JPG
Beach cattle
I think we had a deluxe suite - No. 15 I believe? The ones with the kitchen area, it was fine, not the height of luxury but VFM, but then we got the reduced rate, which then was 800 baht per night! No complaints there at all. It does help if you have that certain 'This is Thailand' attitude if you do stay there, but I loved it and although I would be happier if it was nearer the why not area, it was very, very peaceful.

Everyone, including the other longer staying guests were very friendly - about 5/6 units in all, others sporadically came and went. Next to us were a young Italian couple with 2 pre-school age kids who were staying for a year! He spent a couple of hours working on his laptop everyday and that was it - job done.

The free wifi worked well, although when we 1st arrived it was only for the restaurant/bar area, but by the time we left, it had been relayed to the whole resort, It was very fast.

I thought the restaurant menu odd. A mix of Thai and Italian (Franco), but no separate childrens menu - in a resort? The Thai food was very, very good, but for me, quite a limited choice (seems a trait in Bang Saphan) and the pizzas were fine, but otherwise it had no western basics apart from pasta. Once I fancied a burger, don't ask me why, but I had to go to Martins (now GK) for that.

The prices for the Thai food were excellent, stuff like rice noodles at 50 baht as was things like chicken or seafood with rice. It may have gone up a bit now? The western dishes were more expensive - up to 200 baht I recall. To be honest, the prices for Thai food seemed pretty much the same everywhere (cheap), and its also worth visiting the night markets for food to take back with you, we did that quite often - much spicier and really good chicken.

I really enjoyed Bang Saphan and look forward to going back.

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