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Customer Reviews

Average Rating: Red-stars

Total number of reviews: 1,843

Islands In The Sun TT

Visiting: Thailand
Tour Duration 14 Days
  • Exploring Koh Phi Phi
  • Koh Lanta
  • 1
  • Stunning beaches of Thailand
  • Pristine beaches
  • Tour Style: Classic
  • Tour Type: Small Groups
  • Tour Pace: Relaxed
  • Tour Comfort: Standard
 

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4 reviews for this tour

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Tour notes

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4 , 02/02/14

Name

Cathy

Tour Name

Islands in the Sun

Tour Code

TT

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

New Years Eve on the beach in Koh Hai - I had a lovely group, the hotel was the nicest that we stayed at and the staff were very friendly.

Tour Leader Name

Nui

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

It wasn't clear if the leader, Nui, either didn't know the tour well or if she was just poor at communication. One the first night I was woken at 1am (?!) by the tour leader wanting to move my room mate to be into my room. She refused to move as she'd been told she'd have her own room that night and it was 1am. Why they tried to move her at that time I have no idea. We got used to what we referred to as 'Thai time', which basically meant that we doubled all travel times as a '2 hour' minibus transfer would actually be about 4 in reality. We also weren't informed of how cold the overnight train was so those of us on the top bunks barely slept due to not being prepared with the right amount of layers. My room mate and I were also allocated the worst / smallest rooms in each hotel and when we commented on this Nui just smiled. We were also told that the only place that we could ride an elephant was at Ao Nang, so I opted for this instead of the day trip to Koh Phi Phi. It is also possible to ride an elephant at Koh Lanta (as the trip notes said, but the guide said no) so I could've done both. Generally, we weren't very impressed with her.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

Be prepared for the transfers. The start of the trip, whizzing around Bangkok and then the overnight train journey (followed by a minibus and a boat totaling around 20 hours) were quite stressful but once reaching the beaches everything became more relaxed. Take lots of layers for the train, an eye mask and maybe sleeping tablets. Although this isn't an activity filled trip, you need to be fairly flexible when moving from boat to boat on transfers as they can involve a big drop/climb of maybe 5ft at times (there are people to help, but you might struggle if you're less mobile). If you can't face the 15 hour return train journey after doing it once, you can fly from Trang (where the train leaves from) to Bangkok for a mere £60 and it takes just 1 hour. Well worth it in my opinion.

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

The accommodation was generally of a poor standard. I would much rather have paid £100-£200 more for the trip and stayed in better places. The water pressure in most bathrooms was very poor and the first hotel had no working boiler so showering there was like ice. We had one room near Ao Nang (Emerald Beach 'Resort') where the room smelt due to the constantly wet and mouldy bathroom floor. The electricity here was also turned off at certain times of the day, breakfast was a farce and the air conditioning spat over me for the times that it worked the first night. We found out from other travellers that it worked out at £6 per night to stay at that 'hotel'... My friend wanted to go on this trip but I currently don't recommend it due to the standard of accommodation for what isn't a cheap holiday.

Our Response

Thank you for your feedback.  We’re sorry you were disappointed with much of the accommodation; it’s all what we would regard as very typical mid-range Explore hotels.  The first one – the Royal in Bangkok – was having some issues at that time in getting parts and workmen in to repair the boiler, due to the protests taking place in the city during December. They are normally prompt to fix anything that isn’t working.  We don’t fly from Trang because the train is more in keeping with the Explore ethos of experiencing local travel (and keeping our carbon footprint down) but we know that from time to time some customers do choose to fly instead.  We’ve no plans to make a change from train to plane at the moment.

 
10 Bob Holt, 31/12/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

"The highlight of the tour had to be the snorkeling off Racha Yai albeit closely followed by the paradise island of Koh Hai."

 

Read more
 
0 Paul Stroud, 23/12/10
This was exactly as described and better. I was on my honeymoon and wanted a relaxing time for a couple of weeks but still seeing new places, i can get very restless but this kept me occupied. I was concerned about what the level of accomodation was going to be however this more than exceeded my expectations. Our guide Pok was fantastic and couldn't ask for a better tour guide, this seems to be as standard going on the other review. There was time to spend alone and also time to spend with the rest of the group. I couldn't of asked for more. The only thing I would have changed would have been to spend more time in Koh Lanta and a day less in Koh Hai. There is a lot more to do in Koh Lanta. Would recommend to anyone wanting a beach holiday but wanting to see some of Thailand as well. (TT - 1st November 2010)
 
0 Elaine Edmondson, 18/10/10
An enjoyable and relaxing trip around the beautiful islands of Thailand, including some more off the beaten track islands as well as the better known ones. Our guide, Nok, was superb and went out of her way to show us her country. This trip also uses lots of modes of transport from trains, planes and automobiles to ferries, tuk tuks, speedboats and feet! The highlights for me were Koh Hay and the Emerald Cave as well as snorkelling and seeing the effects of the tsunami on Phi Phi island. Of course the food is also fantastic. Overall this trip offers an appealing mix of culture, sightseeing and relaxing and is ideal for those who enjoy the beach but don't want to stay stuck on the same one for 2 weeks. (TT - 4th February 2007)
 
 
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