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Koh Lanta Guide – The Ultimate Things to Do

Koh Lanta Guide – The Ultimate Things to Do

Koh Lanta is an island located in the south of Thailand, more precisely on the west coast of the Andaman Sea. Just a short distance from Krabi, for years this island has been a popular destination for backpackers and travellers from all over the world. Until today this Andaman pearl is a true paradise and a favoured stop for island hopping. As part of the Mu Ko Lanta National Park, Koh Lanta stands for pure nature, long beautiful beaches, hidden bays, deep jungles, caves and incredibly beautiful sunsets. In addition, the island offers an incredibly relaxed hippie flair, countless cozy beach bars, an interesting old town and many memorable activities. So, lots of exciting highlights and things to do await you on a holiday on Koh Lanta!

This blog post is a comprehensive travel Guide on Koh Lanta. Here you will find all lists of what to do in Koh Lanta, the travel highlights, best tours and activities. But also a lot of tips for accommodations, the best beaches of Koh Lanta and where to shop.

Best things to do in Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta offers a huge variety of fantastic attractions and amazing activities. For all who love getting active will be happy about choosing that destination. For help planning a perfect journey, we have summarized the best things to do at Koh Lanta in this guide.

Explore the island by scooter

Cruising over the island by scooter and exploring the best beaches and places is probably the most popular activity on Koh Lanta. With the wind in your hair, you will pass picturesque bays, magnificent viewpoints and discover the highlights of the island on your own. The approximately 30 kilometers long island has a well-developed road network. So, driving a scooter on Koh Lanta is a really pleasant thing.  Even the road down to the south, into the national park, which used to be more than adventurous, is now easy to ride.

Renting a scooter on Koh Lanta currently costs about 250 baht per day. If you rent the scooter for longer, then the price can often be negotiable. Gasoline is mostly exclusive. Tip: In search of gasoline, look around for the Gasoline signs and the orange bottles sold by the roadside.

Relax on the best beaches of Koh Lanta

Stand lovers beware, on this island there are numerous great beaches and many great bays to discover. Basically, all beaches are located along the west coast of the island and getting around at Koh Lanta can be organized by island taxi or scooter. In addition to the famous main beaches such as Long Beach, Klong Nin Beach and Klong Dao Beach, which are in our opinion not always the best ones, we have summarized a few tips for the best beaches on the island here. Generally, the bays become more and more paradisiacal the more south one gets.

Tip: More beaches you will find here: The 10 top beaches on Koh Lanta

Klong Khong Beach

The Klong Khong Beach is a 3-kilometer-long, soft sandy beach and is located approximately in the middle of the island. Especially lovely are its many colorful beach bars and the cozy atmosphere on this long beach. There are also plenty of backpacker accommodations.

Relax Beach

The Relax Beach is one of our favorite beaches and is still an insider tip for Koh Lanta. This small bay is really beautiful and the many bars on the beach invites for relaxing. For a perfect stay at Koh Lanta we can recommend the Lanta Casa Blanca, which has fantastic bungalows at the beach and a wonderful infinity pool.

Bamboo Beach aka “The Beachtiful Beach”

The Bamboo Beach is the next dream beach on our list of the most beautiful beaches of Koh Lanta. Hardly anyone knows this jewel with the huge palm trees, and so it is still really cozy here. Really idyllic is the green meadow just behind the beach, on which almost like an alpine pasture, cows are grazing.

Klong Nin Beach

Klong Nin Beach is one of the island’s main beaches. Here you will find a lot of accommodations and great restaurants. This beach is also really cozy, and due to its length, you will find a quiet spot for relaxing everywhere.

Kantiang Bay

The Kantiang Bay is an ultimate highlight of the island and is certainly one of the most beautiful beaches of Koh Lanta. The bay is a true dream: fantastic blue water colors, huge green palm trees, fine soft sand beach and only a few tourists.

Tip: On this beach you will find the finest Hotel and only 5 star address of Koh Lanta, the Pimalai Resort & Spa.

Tip: If you are traveling by scooter, then you should definitely visit one of the restaurants located on the upper coastal street. From there you will have an incredible view of Kantiang Beach! Perfect for taking some instagram pics.

Nui Beach

The Nui Beach is another breath-taking beautiful beach in the southern part of Koh Lanta. Although this beach is one of the best places to visit at Koh Lanta it isn`t crowded at all. Perfect for spending a relaxing day at the beach and enjoying the incredible beautiful ambience.

Klong Jark Beach

The Klong Jark is another real paradise on the island. Here you can swim and relax, and this beach is also a great place for snorkelling and bathing. Also here you will find a quiet spot everywhere.

Nui Bay

The famous Nui Bay is the favorite beach of many Koh Lanta fans. One of the beaches that has not changed for years and is still natural and original. Especially the cool hippie bar is worth visiting. Also for snorkelling this place is suited very well.

Visit Koh Lanta Old Town

Koh Lanta Old Town, the island’s old town, is mainly inhabited by Thai-Chinese families, so here you’ll find the island’s only Chinese shrine in town. The small town is really worth visiting and has a few nice things to see. Beautiful wooden houses by the sea, delicious seafood restaurants and nice cafes, invite in the village for a cozy stay. Also, those who love shopping will find something nice in one of the many colorful shops. Lanta Old Town is located on the east coast of the island and one of the must-see attractions in Koh Lanta.

Tip: Staying at Koh Lanta Old town has its own charm. For that we can recommend the Deep House Sea View. Here you live on stilts in the midst of mangroves by the sea and in the morning,  you will enjoy breath-taking sunrises.

Waterfall and jungle tour

The Khlong Chak Waterfall is the waterfall in Koh Lanta, which is worth seeing. It can be reached after a 1 hour hike through the jungle. Beware, the jungle trail is not well marked and in hot season there won`t be much water coming out the falls. Granted, it is not one of Thailand’s best waterfalls, but if you would like to do a jungle tour, go and see this lovely attraction. Also, you have the possibility to explore a nearby cave. The Khlong Chak Waterfall is located near the Klong Jark Beach, in the southern part of the island.

The National Park in Koh Lanta

Another important attraction is the Mu Ko Lanta National Park, which is located in the very south of the island. Already the journey to the park is very scenic and with a bit of luck you can discover some monkeys on the way. The ultimate highlight and top attraction inside the National Park is the Koh Lanta Lighthouse, which has almost become a landmark on the island. Inside the lighthouse itself cannot be visited, but also from the outside it is a real eye-catcher. In addition, the beach in the background is really gorgeous, the sand here is especially bright and the water crystal clear. Here is the perfect place for swimming and snorkelling. But beware of monkeys, do not leave bathing suits alone, because these naughty ones do not miss any chance for stealing. Sporty people can go for a jungle hike and explore the nature of the National Park. With a bit of luck discover wild animals and tropical birds.

Tip: The best view of the beach and the lighthouse you have from the National Park Trail, which starts at the bottom of the beach.

  • Entrance Fee: 200 baht national park entry, 20 baht for the scooter.
  • Opening hours: 8:30 am to 6:00 pm.

Lanta Animal Welfare

You love animals, you want to do something good and at the same time collect unforgettable holiday experiences? Then you should definitely visit the Lanta Animal Welfare. It is a non-profit institution that helps abused and hurt street dogs and street cats. During a guided tour through the rescue center you will learn more about the fate of these poor animals, about the great work of the volunteer helpers, and if you are interested, you can also give some help at Lanta Animal Welfare (eg go for a walk with the dogs). In the café you can spend time with the sweet cats and give them love and cuddles.

Opening Hours & Guided Tours: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Shopping in Ban Saladan

The small town of Ban Saladan is located in the north of the island, and if you come by ferry, you will land directly here at the ferry terminal. There are ATMs, some supermarkets, bakeries and even a hospital. But also many opportunities for shopping and strolling. For example, you can buy your souvenirs in the covered market halls of Ban Saladan, which is actually a great thing to do when it is raining. Additionally, during the main season every evening the Koh Lanta “Walking Street” takes place, a lovely street where you can buy yummy and cheap street food.

Tip: Don`t miss taking a walk along the waterfront promenade. Here are some good restaurants built on stilts into the sea and a dinner can be very romantic there.

Nightlife & Bars

The island has no exciting nightlife, not for example such as Koh Phangan, but the quaint beach bars of Koh Lanta are unique. There is hardly an island where you will find a cooler selection of cosy beach bars, and nowhere is the density of Jamaican bars bigger. With your toes in the sand, in original hippie style you can enjoy cool beer and delicious cocktails. Some bars do offer fire shows and lovely lightning at night.

The Sunsets of Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta is famous for its magnificent sunsets and actually they are a main attraction of the island. They are considered to be very special, and so every evening you will be offered a new romantic ambience. The best way to enjoy the natural spectacle is at one of the many cute beach bars or while a romantic walk at the beach.

Attend a Cooking Class

Thai food is known to be delicious, and Thai cooking is great fun. Why not combine both and take home delicious recipes. At a cooking class on Koh Lanta is one of the coolest things to do. Here you will learn everything important about the Thai cooking basics and after the course you can enjoy the cooked treats. Here is a recommendation: Lanta Thai Cookery School.

Boat Trips & Snorkeling Tours around Koh Lanta

In and around Koh Lanta are plenty of fantastic places to visit. On a holiday on Koh Lanta a huge selection of exciting excursions and tours await you. The most popular tours are snorkelling trips and island hopping tours. The best trips from Koh Lanta are listed here:

4 Island Tour: For the more adventurous, why not take a trip to the mystical Emerald Cave on Koh Mook? In addition, you can visit some of the ultimate Thailand island highlights when island hopping to Koh Ngai or Koh Kradan. Also, this tour is a perfect choice if you love snorkelling.

Excursion to the Emerald Pool: The Emerald Pool is another natural highlight in the Krabi region. It is located on the mainland and can also be visited on a day trip. More about this natural wonder can be found here: Excursion tip Emerald Pool Krabi.

Koh Rok: If you love snorkelling, then you should definitely book a tour to Koh Rok. It is one of the best spots for snorkelling around Koh Lanta. Especially the beach of this island is just heavenly and the perfect spot to watch huge monitor lizards crawling around.

Here are the coolest day trips:

Best food

Koh Lanta offers a variety of restaurants, bars and cafes in all kind of price ranges. At this island you can expect very cheap and also very good food. Especially recommended is the Yawee restaurant, right on the main street at the amount of Relax Beaches. The restaurant itself is kept very simple, the kitchen, however, is top-notch yummy and serves probably the best food on Koh Lanta. Be sure to try the Crispy Chicken with Lemon Sauce, the crunchy Papaya Salad and also the Massaman Curry is exquisite.

If you are looking for a good place to have breakfast, we can recommend the legendary German Bakery. Typical German breakfast, delicious coffee and every day a German dish.

 

How to get to Koh Lanta

The island Koh Lanta does not have its own airport. Accordingly, the closest airport is in Krabi Town. Cheap flights from Bangkok to Krabi can be found at Skyscanner.

From Krabi to Koh Lanta, take the ferry or minibus to the island. The ferry stops at Koh Jum Island, allowing passengers to board and disembark. The trip by minibus from Krabi takes about 3 hours and you are usually picked up at your hotel. Transport from Krabi Airport to Koh Lanta is provided. The journey takes about 2.5-3 hours by mini bus.

If you want to go from Koh Lipe to Koh Lanta, take the speedboat. The trip takes about 3 hours and is the fastest way to get to the island.

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Best travel time

The rainy season lasts from April to November. The summer months like July and August to September and October are strongly influenced by the monsoon. Accordingly, the best time to visit Koh Lanta and the best climate is during the winter months from December to March. In this period, it is dry, and the chance of rain and storms is rather low.

 

Where to stay at Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta offers a wide range of accommodation and fantastic places to stay. Whether backpackers looking for cheap bungalows, families with children or discerning individual travellers, here everyone will find their ideal place to stay. During our trip we stayed at Lanta Casa Blanca. This small but very fine bungalow complex was recently opened and boasts with very beautiful rooms and a particularly beautiful location right on the Secret Beach. We also enjoyed the fantastic pool to the fullest. Here you can find more information about the amazingly beautiful bungalows of the Lanta Casa Blanca.

In addition, we can recommend these accommodations on Koh Lanta:

Cheap Hostel: The Hub of Joys Hostel is the perfect hostel for backpackers. Clean, with delicious breakfast and only 2 minutes to Long Beach – one of the best hostels of the island.

Top Resort: The LaLaanta Hideaway Resort impresses with a wonderfully quiet location on Bamboo Beach, beautiful bungalows and a fabulous pool.


Find the best Accommodation on Koh Lanta:

 Booking.com


More about South Thailand:

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Meaning that if you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Bohemian Switzerland: Hiking Tour to Pravcicka Brana

Bohemian Switzerland: Hiking Tour to Pravcicka Brana

The Bohemian Switzerland National Park is one of the most beautiful nature places in the Czech Republic and one of the ultimate must visit attractions. The famous Pravcicka Brana sandstone bridge is the landmark of the region, and so locals as well as tourists make their way up to the montain to see this natural jewel. But at Bohemian Switzerland are many more unforgetable things to do: Not only the hike to the Pravcicka Brana is beautiful, also the boat ride through the Kamnitz Gorge is a highlight of every trip.

In this blog post we give you all the important information about Bohemian Switzerland, hiking trails and the boat tour through the Kamnitz Gorge. We will tell you about the prices, accommodation and where you can find the best tour to Bohemian Switzerland from Prague.

The Hiking Trail to the Pravcicka Brana

We started our hike to the Pravcicka Brana from the parking lot of the restaurant Hotel Mezni Louka. Here you will find many parking facilities and the best access to the hiking trail (red route). The hiking route leads over the Gabrielensteig, a very easy walk through the beautiful forests of Bohemian Switzerland. Already at that time you will notice the many sandstone formations.

The initially wide path becomes a bit narrower up to the mountain, but still all the time very comfortable to walk. During that hike you often have magnificent views over the deep forests and the fantastic nature of the Bohemian Switzerland National Park. From the car parking to the Pravcicka Brana arche you can expect a comfortable 70 minutes hike.

The last ascent will be a bit steeper. Reaching the restaurant at the Pravcicka Brana you have to pay a small entrance fee of about 3 Euros. From there you can enjoy the sandstone arche and the overwhelming view. Tip: The Prebischtor opens quite late at 10:00 in the morning. Unfortunately, it is pointed out nowhere and so we, as well as other hikers, had to wait in front of closed doors. There is no other access to the viewing terrace.

  • Opening hours: The opens hours in summer are from 10:00 to 18:00 o’clock. In winter, i.e. from November to March, the gate opens Friday, Saturday, Sunday from 10:00 – 16:00 clock.
  • Prices: The entrance fee for adults is 3 Euros, children will pay 1 Euro.

Once you reach the viewpoint, you have an incredible view of the stone archway and the wonderful landscape of the forests. Take your time to enjoy the panorama over the Bohemian Switzerland. The majestically towering rock towers, as well as the Pravcicka Brana, offer really amazing photo motifs for landscape photographers and invite you to linger. In order to preserve the Pravcicka Brana, the arche itself cannot be climbed.

The landscape of the national park is very special, almost like in a fairy tale and so even some parts of the movie The Chronicles of Narnia were produced here.

The cozy restaurant just at the arch invites you to take a break. Then the hiking trail continues with a 45-minute descent, in the direction of Edmundsklamm.

Boat ride at Kamnitz Gorge

The Kamnitz Gorge is an idyllic rock canyon also located at the Bohemian Switzerland Nationalpark and another highlight of the hiking trail (yellow route).

The access to the gorge is near the Klepac restaurant. If you are thirsty, you can take a break here. The first part of the Edmundsklamm you have to walk, but at the second part of the hike you will take a beautiful boat trip. From the entrance of the gorge to the ticket corner you walk for about 20 minutes through the Kamnitz Gorgeand, enjoy, especially in the summer, a pleasantly cool atmosphere. If you hike with your dog, you can take it (with a muzzle) on the boat.

  • Opening hours: The Kamnitz Gorge opens from 30.03. – 07.10.2019 from 09:00 to 18:00. In the autumn of 08.10. – 04.11.2019 from 09:00 to 17:00. In winter the gorge is closed.
  • Prices: The boat trip costs 3.50 euros for adults and 1.50 euros for children

The boat tour through the gorge takes about 20 minutes and is quite entertaining due to the funny anecdotes of the boatman. On top, the river and the steep cliffs provide plenty of great photo opportunities.

Tip: If you still feel like hiking a bit more, you can extend the hike and visit the Wilde Klamm.

Otherwise, it is about 30 minutes further in the direction of the Penzion Na Vyhlídce. This lovely pension not only has nice rooms, but also a restaurant that serves really delicious food! If you want to stay in Bohemian Switzerland, we can recommend you this cosy accommodation. The last 2 kilometers you walk back along the road to the parking lot. If you are very tired, you can also use the shuttle bus.

Map

The map below shows you the hiking trails at Bohemian Switzerland and the recommended hiking route to the arche. As you can see, you can shorten or extend the route as you like.

Duration: It took us around 4-5 hours. But we had a lot of breaks, took lots of pictures and walked relatively slowly.

How to get there & Parking

The access by car is well signed. It is best to park your car at one of the parking spaces marked on the top of the map and to use the shuttle buses which are provided. You can park in the village of Hrensko, near the Kamnitz Gorge entrance, at the Hotel Mezni Louka and at the Pension Na Vyhlídce.

Tours from Prague

If you are staying in Prague you still have the possibility to book a tour from Prague to Bohemain Switzerland. Wonderful Tours can be found here:

Where to stay

In Bohemian Switzerland you will find a small selection of good and cheap accommodation. Here is a selection of lovely places to stay. All of these accommodations are ideal for exploring Bohemian Switzerland and for hiking tours:

  • Penzion Na Vyhlídce: This pension is not only a great starting point for a hike, it also offers free parking, really delicious food and an idyllic location.
  • Stara Plynarna: This guesthouse offers its guests really nice rooms and an exceptionally good breakfast. The quiet location is excellent.
  • TRIXI’S GUESTHOUSE: Trixi’s Guesthouse is a great place to stay, offers very good breakfast and also the location to the trails is excellent.

 

Conclusion: The Pravcicka Brana and the beautiful Kamnitz Gorge are the absolute highlights of Bohemian Switzerland. All the National Park Bohemian Switzerland is really beautiful and there are so many exciting things to see. So if you have enough time, we recommended staying here for a few days.


Find the best Accommodation at Bohemian Switzerland:

 Booking.com


More about Czech Republik:

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Meaning that if you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Top 12 Must-Visit Temples in Chiang Mai

Top 12 Must-Visit Temples in Chiang Mai

Due to the history of the city, the temples in Chiang Mai are the city’s most important attractions. By taking a walk through the old town you will probably discover a new, pretty Buddhist temple every few meters. But you can also explore spectacular hidden temples in the forest and temples on mountain. Some of these sacred places in Chiang Mai offer meditation classes, others provide Monk Chat, a possibility to talk with a monk about questions of life. A temple tour is part of every North Thailand trip, but which are the most famous temples in the city? That is not easily answered with a choice of about 200 different temples to see.

This blog post is a guide for the best Temples in Chiang Mai that shouldn`t be missed. In addition, you will receive useful info about a temple tour, the dress code, prices and which temple offer meditation.

 

Wat Chedi Luang

Wat Chedi Luang is one of the most famous temples in Chiang Mai. This approximately 600-year-old temple is one of the highest buildings in the old town. Built pyramid-like, it stands in the middle of the temple complex and can already be seen from afar. But also the other temples of the area are impressive. For example, here you will find a beautiful reclining Buddha and you can listen to monks praying. Above all, in the morning or in the late afternoon, you will experience an incredibly beautiful and tranquil atmosphere.

Tip: At Wat Chadi Luang you have the opportunity to talk with monks at the Monk Chat. A great opportunity to learn more about Buddhism in Thailand.

  • Opening Hours: Wat Chedi Luang opens from 06:00 am to 6:30 pm.
  • Prices: The entrance fee  to Wat Chedi Luang costs 40 Baht.

Wat Lok Molee

Wat Lok Molee, or also known as Wat Lok Mo Li, is located outside the city walls in northern Chiang Mai. With its many beautiful details, the woodwork inside the temple and the extraordinary architecture, it is one of the most impressive temples in Chaing Mai. Especially nice are the elephant figures, which are located directly at the temple entrance. All the design and the color scheme in silver and brown is different from the other temples which gleaming in gold elements. Wat Lok Molee is one of the most beautiful temples in Chiang Mai and definitely worth a visit. Also, if you love photography, you will find plenty of beautiful picture motifs in the whole complex.

  • Price: Admission to Wat Lok Mollee is free of charge.
  • Opening hours: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

Wat Phra Singh

Located right in the Old City of Chiang Mai, Wat Phra Singh is one of the city’s major attractions. Classed as the highest grade of the first-class Royal temples, this temple jewel is a must on any temple tour of Chiang Mai. But not only the temple complex with its golden chedi and the incredibly beautiful architectural details are interesting. Also the deceptively real wax figures representing monks are worth seeing. As it is a famous temple for locals, as well as for tourists, you have to expect many visitors here.

  • Price: The entrance to Wat Phra Singh costs 20 Baht.
  • Opening hours: 06:00 am to 5:00 pm

Wat Chiang Man

Wat Chaing Man is the oldest temple in Chiang Mai (1296) and should not be missed on any temple tour. In this complex there are several beautiful things to discover. Particularly impressive are the 15 elephant figures on the base of the large chedi, the lotus pond, an old beautiful wooden library and the Ubosot. In addition, there are two important statues in Wat Chiang Man: The Phra-Sila statue and the Crystal Buddha, which are hidden behind a lattice window. This temple is located in the northeast of the old city of Chiang Mai and a visit is highly recommended.

  • Price: Admission to Wat Chiang Man is free.
  • Opening hours: 06:00 am to 5:00 pm

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

The Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, also known as the Elephant Temple, is probably the most beautiful and most famous temple in Chiang Mai. This golden temple is located on a mountain, the Doi Suthep mountain in the same named Doi Suthep National Park and is one of the ultimate landmarks of this region. For a visit one should be light on one’s feet, because the temple complex can be reached only via a long staircase (Naga stairs), which is decorated with snakes. After more than 300 stairs you will reach the top. Marvel at the large gilded chedi, the beautiful Buddha statues and the amazing view. Almost on every trip to Chiang Mai, this beautiful temple is high up on bucket lists. Accordingly, one has to expect many tourist groups, but they can be skipped when visiting the temple early in the morning.

Tip: Doi Suthep Temple offers meditation classes. They are offer for 4 to 21 days and cost only a voluntary donation.

  • Opening Hours: The Doi Suthep Temple is open from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Price: The entrance to Wat Phra Doi Suthep costs 50 Baht per person.

Wat Suan Dok

This temple is one of the most beautiful temples in Chiang Mai. Especially impressive is the completely white cemetery, the about 48 meter high chedi and the huge temple hall with the big 5 meter high Buddha statue. When walking through the area you immediately realize that the Wat Suan Dok is an absolute place of peace. Regularly, there is also a possibility participate a Monk chat. In addition, meditation retreats are offered at Wat Suan Dok.

  • Price: Entry to Wat Suan Dok is 40 baht per person.
  • Opening hours: 06:00 am to 05:00 pm

Wat Umong

The Wat Umang is one of the most interesting temples in the city. Located in the mountains and inside a jungle, this temple is also known as the tunnel temple or often also called the forest temple. Under an approximately 700 years old Chedi is a tunnel system located, in which one can discover Buddha statues of all sizes in almost every niche. Another highlight of this temple complex is a fishpond, where believers feed fish and the beautiful “talking trees” – where quotes and wisdoms help visitors to reflect. The tunnel temple Wat Umong is still one of the insider tips in Chiang Mai, the perfect place far away from mass tourism.

  • Price: Admission is free.
  • Opening hours: 06:00 am – 05:00 pm

Wat Phan Tao

Wat Phan Tao is another beautiful temple in the heart of Chiang Mai old town. This wooden temple is mostly made of teak and shines with many fantastic ornaments. The warm wood conjures up a really contemplative and calm atmosphere. This beautiful little temple is located just near the famous Wat Chedi Luang, so you can optimally combine a visit to these two temple highlights.

  • Price: Entry to Wat Phan Tao is free.
  • Opening hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Wat Chet Yot

This Buddhist place is located just outside the city and therefore it is probably still one of the most hidden temples in Chiang Mai. Here at Wat Chet Yot are several old chedis, adorned with beautiful stucco figures. During a walk through the large temple complex you will quickly notice the many snake figures, which are a special feature of Wat Chet Yot. Thus, this snake temple has always been a pilgrimage site for believers born in the Chinese Year of the Snake.

  • Opening hours: 6:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Price: Entry to Wat Chet Yot is free.

Wat Sri Suphan – Silver Temple

The Wat Sri Suphan, better known as the Silver Temple in Chiang Mai, is another highlight of the city. The entrance to the temple is just outside the old town, at the same street where the famous Walking Street takes place on Saturday (Wualai Road). Outside as well as inside, this sacred site is beautifully decorated. With its very own appearance, this temple in Chiang Mai is truly unique and definitely worth a visit. Unfortunately, women are not allowed to enter the Silver Temple, but even from the outside, this silver temple is a dream. Tip: At night this temple beautifully lit and then shines purple-blue.

  • Price: Admission to the Silver Temple is 50 baht.
  • Opening hours: 6:00 am – 9:00 pm

Wat Phra That Doi Kham

The Wat Phra That Doi Kham, or the Temple of the Golden Mountain, is one of the absolute insider tips of the city. Just outside, located on a hill, this temple is certainly one of the most beautiful temple complexes of Chaing Mai. The view is terrific and offers many great photo opportunities. The Wat Phra That Doi Kham blends old, its 1,300-year-old history, with many great new elements. The Big Buddha, the beautiful terrace and the many statues and details impress, and it is well worth going there. Tip: Go early in the morning, the atmosphere is unique.

  • Price: Entry to Wat Phra That Doi Kham is 30 baht.
  • Opening hours: 08:00 am to 5:00 pm

Wat Rajamontean

The Wat Rajamontean is a truly colorful temple and shines with colorful details and many ornaments. This temple is especially captivating with the beautiful, large sitting Buddha, just next to the temple building. Although this sacred site is not one of the most famous temples in Chiang Mai, it is still beautiful to look at. The temple is located north of Chiang Mai’s Old Town and can be combined with a visit to Wat Lok Molee.

  • Price: Entry to Wat Rajamentean is free.

Tips for a visit to the temples in Chiang Mai:

  • Dress code: compliance with the dress code is a must do at a temple visit. It is generally advisable to always have a cloth or a pair of trousers and a T-shirt with you. When entering a temple, the shoes must be removed. So, shoes that you can easily take of are an advantage.
  • Rules: Taking pictures inside temples is allowed. Do not disturb people while praying and behave calmly. If you like, you can sit down and stay in the temple for a while. Make sure that your toes do not point towards the Buddha, but towards the back.
  • Tours: Temple tours are offered in Chiang Mai. On a half day tour or full day tour you have the possibility to explore the best temples of the city and to learn more about the history. Check out the following tours here:

White Temple Tours

The White Temple and The Blue Temple are not located in Chiang Mai, but you can also book a tour from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai to visit these two famous temples.

 


Find the best Accommodation in Chiang Mai:

 Booking.com


More about Chiang Mai and North Thailand:

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Meaning that if you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Cameron Highlands – The Best Attractions and Tours

Cameron Highlands – The Best Attractions and Tours

 

The Cameron Highlands, which are located at a height of 1,500 meters, are one of the most impressive highlands in Malaysia. Popular for foreign tourists as well as locals, the Highlands attracts with a pleasant cool climate and a variety of exciting activities and attractions. The breath-taking beautiful tea plantations, the neat old colonial houses, a mossy forest, jungle trekking and tropical waterfalls are just a few of the main attractions of the Cameron Highlands. A tour to the Highlands is a highlight of every trip to Malaysia and it is really worth exploring the amazing places to visit. But what are the best things to do at Cameron highlands?

In this blog post we will provide you with important information about travel to Cameron Highlands, the best tours and where the ultimate must visit places are. Additionally, we will share our experiences and give you useful tips for planning a perfect tour.

Best things to do

The Cameron Highlands offer its visitors a huge variety of fun activities and most memorable experiences. Without question, the tea plantations are the main attractions of the highland. Not only the tea production is interesting, especially the scenic tea gardens have become a popular place of interest. But still there are some more great places to discover and exciting things to do! We have put together the most beautiful attractions and activities that should not be missed.

Cameron Highland tea plantations

The tea plantations spread over the entire highlands and provide a fabulous green panorama. Not only tea lovers are delighted, also nature lovers and photographers are amazed by this scenic backdrop. Of course, visiting one of these tea plantations is a must do on any Cameron Highlands trip.

A visit to the Bharat Tea Plantation is highly recommended. Here is the place where the most beautiful pictures of the Cameron Highlands are shot. Just because of this brilliant view, this tea plantation is really worth visiting. Tip: Early in the morning, the view over the tea plantations is the most beautiful. Then there are hardly any tourists around and the mood is just idyllic. If you like, you can buy delicious tea in the in-house shop or relax at the café. The entrance to the tea plantations costs 2 RM.

Another must visit of Cameron Higlands is the Sungai Palas BOH Tea Plantation. These tea fields are a major attraction and because of the many beautiful photo opportunities, a very popular tourist spot. If you are interested, you can take a short tea plantation tour, where you will learn the most important steps of tea production. In addition, you should visit the viewing terrace, from where you have amazing views over the tea plantations.

Tip: Sungai Palas BOH Tea Plantation is on the way to the Mossy Forest, so you can combine a visit with a hiking tour.

Hiking to Gunung Brinchang & Mossy Forest

The Cameron Highlands are a fantastic area for hiking and jungle trekking. A variety of trails lead you through tea plantations, high mountains and through the deep jungles of the highlands. As a special tip we would like to recommend the hike to Gunung Brinchang, with 2,032 meters the highest mountain in the region. If you like to explore nature on your own, you will surely enjoy this tour.

The tour starts at the Boh Tea Plantation and leads over a narrow road around 1:20 hour up to Gunung Brinchang. During the hike you will always enjoy a great panorama over the tea gardens and will see the field workers at work.

About 2 kilometers before the summit you will reach a highlight of this hike, the Mossy Forest. This jungle is a real fairy-tale forest. Beautifully mossy and, above all, if you are in a small group or alone, really idyllic. In order to protect nature, there is a small circular path over boardwalks. The Mossy Forest is incredibly mystical and magical, especially in the morning or on a rainy day and one of the must things to visit at Cameron Highlands. Reaching the summit of Gunung Brinchang, there is an observation tower, from which you have a great view of the surroundings.

Tip: The Gungung Brinchang can also be hiked on the trail No. 1 – a jungle trail. The walking time is around 2 hours. Unfortunately, the jungle trail is extremely muddy, steep and partly not well marked.

Visit a farm

On the Cameron Highlands you will find farms on all kind of topics, but in our experience,  they are not interesting for everyone. Whether strawberry farm, bee farm, rose farm, flower farm, cactus farm, lavender farm or butterfly farm – everything is marketed here. For example, butterflies of all conceivable colors, shapes and sizes can be watched at the Butterfly Farm. At a Strawberry Farm you can taste strawberries and buy souvenirs. If you are interested, you can schedule a visit. Otherwise you can safely skip these attractions.

Explore waterfalls

In the area around the Cameron Highlands there are some beautiful waterfalls to explore. Indeed, the most impressive waterfall is the Lata Iskandar. Its located on the road between Tapah and the Cameron Highlands. This beautiful nature spot is right on the path and who has time, should definitely plan this natural jewel in a tour.

More central in the highlands, but not quite as spectacular are the Thompson Falls, the Robinson Falls and the Parit Falls.

 

Smokehouse

The Smokehouse is one of the most famous colonial houses at Cameron Highlands. It is located next to the golf course and has been spoiling its guests since 1939 with tea and delicious scones. With its dreamlike ambience the Smokehouse is an absolute eye-catcher and is one of the insider tips for the area. A visit is really recommendable: It is a trip into the past, with a beautiful English garden and delicious food.

Tip: For a memorable and luxury stay at Cameron Highlands, spend a few days at this English country house. Not only for golf lovers a great hotel recommendation!

Tanah Rata

The small town is the main city of the Cameron Highlands and offers its visitors a wide range of accommodation, shops, ATM, scooter rentals and restaurants. Also, the best food can be found here. Especially delicious is the food in one of the many Indian restaurants. Also, some hiking trails start in Tanah Rata. Every Friday and Saturday there is a night market in town. Here you will find local products such as fresh strawberries, vegetables, fruits and tea blends. But also souvenirs and culinary enjoyments are attracting visitors to this night market.

Best time to visit

The best travel times for the Cameron Highlands are in January & February and in June & July. It should rain the least during these months. Nevertheless, the highland region can be well visited all year round. The average temperature is between 15 and 25 degrees, whereas at night it can tend to be around 10 degrees.

 

How to get there

  • From Kuala Lumpur: Buses operate regularly from Kuala Lumpur to Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands. The journey by bus takes 4:40 hours and can be booked on site or online.
  • From Penang: Another popular option is to travel from Penang to the Cameron Highlands. The bus ride from Penang Butterworth takes about 3:30 hours.
  • From Singapore: You can either take the bus from Singapore to Cameron Highlands which takes around 9-10 hours or you can fly to Kuala Lumpur and continue by bus.

Here are the timetables:

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Tip: The road to the Cameron Highlands is very winding. Travel pills can provide a good help.

The nearest airport is Kuala Lumpur. You can find cheap flights on Skyscanner. Getting there by rental car is also an option. Here you are going to find the perfect car.

Tours

There are several ways to travel the Cameron Highlands. Many visit the region on their own, spend the night in the Highlands and organize their tours on site. There is the possibility to rent a scooter, to explore the tea plantations and beautiful sights without a guided tour. For renting the scooter you pay about 60 RM per day including helmet and rain vest. Also, half day tours and full day tours can be booked at many hotels and agencies.

Another option is to book a day trip to the Cameron Highlands from Kuala Lumpur. If you like traveling in small groups, we can recommend a private tour through the highlands.

 

Where to stay

As mentioned above, the Cameron Highlands offer a wide range of accommodation options. Whether for backpacker who love to stay at a hostel or as a luxury traveller spending the night in the old colonial house hotel, everyone will find their perfect accommodation here. If you wonder how many days you should stay, we recommend at least 2 full days. Many stay for several days or even spend a holiday there.

We have put together the best accommodation for a pleasant stay:

  • Hostel: The Hikers Sleep Port convinces not only with reasonable prices, but also with clean rooms, cozy atmosphere and delicious breakfast!
  • Homestay: Do Chic In B & B is a really nice and cozy homestay. Very privately run and located in a quiet location.
  • Luxury option: The Cameron Highlands Resort is currently the only 5-star hotel at Cameron Highlands. A really chic house in the British colonial style.

Conclusion: Are the Cameron Highlands worth a visit? We think so. For us, this region was one of the most impressive during our several-week trip through Malaysia. Sure, the region has become very touristy in recent years, but the landscapes are still beautiful. We recommend travelling in the morning and in the late afternoon, then you can escape the day tourists and enjoy the Cameron Highlands to the fullest.


Find the best Accommodation at Cameron Highlands:

 Booking.com


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Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Meaning that if you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Khao Sok National Park: Guide for the Best Things to Do

Khao Sok National Park: Guide for the Best Things to Do

The Khao Sok National Park is one of of Thailand`s natural highlights. Located only 1 hour from Khao Lak and 2 hours from Surat Thani, Khao Sok is situated in the beautiful South of the country. Shaped by huge rock formations, deep jungles, tropical waterfalls and hidden caves, the Khao Sok National Park Park offers plenty of exciting activities and things to do. The main attraction is the Cheow Lan Lake, where you can do unforgettable boat tours and stay in floating bungalows directly on the water. But not only the lake is interesting. There are also various tours and excursions through the jungle, to the elephants, the waterfalls and to other highlights in the Khao Sok National Park.

In this travel blog guide we give you info about the best places to stay, unforgettable excursions and lake tours. In addition, we show you more about the popular floating bungalows at Khao Sok National Park and why a visit is definitely worth it.

Best thing to do in Khao Sok National Park

Khao Sok National Park offers huge choice of amazing activities and memorable adventures. A boat trip on the Cheow Lan Lake, a jungle trek through the Khao Sok forest, a visit of the Monkey Temple and a tour to an elephant sanctuary are just some of the best things to do in Khao Sok National Park.

Boat tour on Cheow Lan Lake

The Cheow Lan Lake, is actually a barrier lake created in 1982 by the construction of Ratchaprabha dam. After the lake quickly became one of the most important attractions in the Khao Sok National Park and a boat tour for exploring the lake is almost a must do for every visitor. When sailing across the lake, you will enjoy an incredibly beautiful landscape and sure you will be astonished by the huge rock formations, which rise up from the lake. A wonderful place to take amazing pictures.

The most famous photo opportunity and a popular Instagram spot is the Hin Sam Glur Rock (the 3 Brothers Rock). Most of the guided tours make a short photo stop there.

If you have enough time you should definitely plan to stay a night in one of the famous floating bungalows at the Cheow Lan Lake. Depending on your budget, there are basic floating bungalows, ideal for backpacker, but you will also find some luxurious deals. If you would like to spend a night in such a special bungalow, we recommend the beautiful Panvaree Resort or the more luxurious Panvaree the Greenery. Staying in a floating bungalow is one of the best things to do in Khao Sok National Park and for many it’s an ultimate travel highlight.

Tip: Do not forget your swimwear! The lake is the ideal place for swimming and kayaking. Kayaks can be rent directly at one of the floating bungalows.

During a boat trip you also have the opportunity to explore one of the many caves located inside the Khao Sok National Park. Make sure you wear proper shoes, because the paths are usually quite slippery. Also, a headlamp is a fantastic gadget inside this dark cave.

Cheow Lan Lake is the ultimate attraction at Khao Sok National Park and a boat tour is definitely worth it. Also, we were thrilled about this excursion and can recommend a tour on the lake, no matter if as a day tour or more. Here you will find a selection of the most popular tours to the lake.

 

Khao Sok jungle trek

Another awesome thing to do in Khao Sok National Park is a jungle tour. On a hike, you have the opportunity to experience the unique flora and fauna of Khao Sok very close. With a little luck, you might even spot wild animals such as different monkey species (langurs, macaques …), bats, kingfisher birds, hornbills and many beautiful butterflies. Surely, there are also spiders and snakes here, as everywhere in Thailand. Tigers, bears, and other predators tend to hide well in Khao Sok. To discover them is nearly impossible.

The most beautiful treks start from the Khao Sok Head Quaters, just near Khao Sok Town. Already at the entrance you will see a national park map where you can orient yourself. The trails are well maintained and so you actually don`t need a guide to hike through the jungle.

The paths lead past a dense bamboo forest, you will pass some small waterfalls and with a little luck you have the possibility to watch monkeys. Also, a diverse flora is waiting for you to be explored. The Khao Sok National Park is considered to be one of the oldest in the world, and many tropical plants and tree species grow in these forests.

Even the largest flower in the world, the Rafflesia grows inside the jungle of the Khao Sok National Park. Because of being extremely rare and very special, it is one of the region’s landmarks. This flower will bloom depending on the precipitation and then the flowering time only takes 3-7 days. Finding one by yourself is nearly impossible, but on various off-road tours with jungle trekking you will get the opportunity to discover the largest flower in the world.

For a little more thrill, take a guided night walk through the jungle. These special trips can be booked directly at the Khao Sok National Park Head Quaters.

Tips: Attention to leeches! Especially after rain, these little animals are really active. With the right clothes you can protect yourself from leeches: Long pants and closed shoes prevent leeches from finding their way to your skin too quickly. Also, Deet-containing mosquito repellent can provide some relief against these harmless, but annoying animals.

 

The waterfalls

In Khao Sok are also some beautiful waterfalls to discover. We recommend walking the jungle tour “Kloi Waterfall Trail“, a 7 kilometer long jungle hike which pass some nice waterfalls. The Entrance is at the Khao Sok National Park Head Quater just near Khao Sok Town. On this hike through the deep green jungle of Khao Sok National Park you will pass several smaller waterfalls, so if you are not that sportive, you don`t have to do all the tour. Wang Phai Nga, Wing Hin Waterfall, Bang Hau Rat, Wang Yao, Bang Leab Nam, Tan Sawan Waterfall, Tang Nam Gorge and the Clay Kloi Waterfall – all these little natural wonders can be explored during the hike.

National Park Head Quater and National Park Entrance Fee

The entrance fee to Khao Sok National Park currently costs 300 Baht per person. The ticket must be paid directly at the National Park entrance and the ticket is valid for only one day. Be aware that there are 2 entrances to the Khao Sok National Park. One is near Khao Sok Town, the starting point for jungle trekking and waterfalls.

The second entrance is at Ratchaprapha Dam, approximately 65 kilometers from Khao Sok. Here is the place from which you start the boat tours at the lake.

 

Khao Sok Town

Khao Sok is a small tourist town located only a short distance from the main entrance of the national park. Here you will find a great selection of good restaurants, where you get delicious Thai food. In addition, there is a large selection of accommodation, ideal if you want to start early in the jungle. Also, there are some shops where you can stock up on mosquito spray, sunscreen and even buy hiking shoes.

Monkey Temple

Another attraction of Khao Sok is the Monkey Temple, which is located just near the village. The temple itself is not that spectacular, but the many monkeys are really nice to see. The entrance to the monkey temple is with 20 Baht relatively cheap and if you love monkeys, a short stopover is really worth it.

Elephants

If you would like to enjoy an ethical elephant experience, then you should visit Khao Sok Elephant Sanctuary in the National Park. This elephant sanctuary offers a half-day tour to feed and swim with rescued elephants.

How to get there

The nearest major tourist destination to Khao Sok National Park is Khao Lak, which is around 60 kilometers away. Therefore, many tourists from Khao Lak choose a day trip to explore the Khao Sok National Park. Here you will find some great tour options.

The nearest airport to the park is at Surat Thani, approximately 120 kilometers from the National Park. Phuket Airport is 130 kilometers away. Cheap domestic flights from Bangkok can be found at Skyscanner.

Tip: We went from Bangkok to Surat Thani by night train. To continue from Surat Thani Station to Khao Sok National Park, buses and minibuses are available. Also, taxis as another transport option are provided. Depending on the negotiating skills, the taxi to Khao Sok costs you between 1,500 and 2,000 baht. All kind of transport options can be found at 12go.asia.

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Organize you excursions

As you can see, Khao Sok offers a bunch of exciting activities and nature attractions. Particularly popular are tours on the lake and walks through the jungle. But also fun activities like Bamboo Rafting, Monkey Temple and Elephants visit etc. are offered here. Tours can be booked on site, as well as online. Under this link you will find the best rated tours and excursions in Khao Sok National Park, as well as the current prices and reviews. For a special Khao Sok experience we recommend staying in one of the floating bungalows.

Where to sleep

As already mentioned above, the Khao Sok National Park has 2 main entrances. You either stay in Khao Sok Town (jungle hike, elephant, monkey temple) or at Cheow -Lan Lake (boat tours). Whether for backpackers, individual travellers or luxury traveller, here everyone will find his or her perfect accommodation!

Recommended accommodation in Khao Sok Town
  • A very popular accommodation right next to the park is the Khao Sok Nature Resort. If you want to spend the night in a tree house, then you should take a look at these bungalows.
  • Especially recommended is the Khao Sok Silver Cliff Resort. The small bungalows are located directly in the jungle, next to a small river and gigantic rocks. At night you can hear frogs and cicadas – so a true jungle feeling is guaranteed here. The food is delicious, and the lovely owner looks after her guests so well. With a little luck you can even meet monkeys and elephants here.
Recommended Accommodation at Cheow-Lan Lake

If you’re now wondering how long you should stay at Khao Sok Park, we suggest you plan at least 2 or even better several days for your visit. So you have enough time to explore the Cheow, to walk through the jungle, to visit the monkey temple and to discover the beautiful waterfalls.


Find the best Accommodation in Khao Sok:

 Booking.com


More about Thailand:

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Meaning that if you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Sticky Waterfall (Bua Tong Waterfalls) in Chiang Mai

Sticky Waterfall (Bua Tong Waterfalls) in Chiang Mai

 

The Bua Tong Waterfalls, or better known as the Sticky Waterfall in Chiang Mai, is a hidden nature wonder and a great insider tip for visiting North Thailand. This place is beautiful, and as a highlight you can climb the rushing Bua Tong Waterfalls up and down. The round, sticky rocks are almost white and offer an amazing contrast to the deep green jungle. So, pack your bathing suits and let’s go! This waterfall in Chiang Mai is really worth seeing and a tour to the Sticky Waterfall is a must do while exploring North of the country.

In this post we will share all the important info about the Sticky Waterfall, a perfect tour, and why a trip to Bua Tong Waterfalls is definitely worth it!

The Bua Tong Sticky Waterfall

The Bua Tong Sticky Waterfall, is a waterfall in Chiang Mai, in the Mae Taeng National Forest Reserve, which is a beautiful nature park that offers several exciting activities. In addition, during a tour to the famous Sticky Waterfall, you can also go on a beautiful jungle hike, have a picnic and visit the marvellous Nam Phu Chet Si Spring.

At the entrance of this nature park you will find a restaurant, toilets and picnic areas. At the weekend, this destination is popular especially for locals. Nevertheless, the Bua Tong waterfalls are never overcrowded. On the contrary, on weekdays, especially in the morning, you often have this natural jewel all to yourself. A wonderful place to relax and enjoy the beautiful nature.

The undisputed highlight of the park is of course the Sticky Waterfall. This waterfall is truly unique in Thailand and a highly recommended tour from Chiang Mai. Because of the minerals somehow there is so much grip on the rocks that you can easily walk up the falls. It is amazing to climb the Sticky Waterfall like Spiderman up and down. All the white ropes provide good grip, but you should be a little careful on the slippery green algae. A huge fun for young and old! And as you can see, we really enjoyed the waterfall climbing.

Nam Phu Chet Si Spring

Not far from the Sticky Waterfall is another beautiful nature attraction: The picturesque spring Nam Phu Chet Si. The short hike leads through an idyllic jungle path, only about 10-15 minutes to the spring. Once there, you will be astonished by the beautiful mineral geyser, the Nam Phu Chet Si spring, which shimmers in breath-taking shades of blue. If you look closely, you will discover bubbles, this is the calcium carbonate that rises. Immediately this natural wonder reminded us of the Blue Pool at Emerald Pool in Krabi.

Entrance Fee and opening hours

The is no entrance fee to the Sticky Waterfall! The opening hours are from 8:00 to 17:00.

How to get there

The Bua Tong Waterfalls are located approximately 70 kilometers from Chiang Mai. If you want to explore the Sticky Waterfall on your own, you can take a scooter or a rental car to the waterfalls or otherwise pick a taxi. The Price for the scooter is around 250 baht. The distance to the waterfalls is at least one hour, depending on traffic. Tip: The traffic in Chiang Mai can be horrible. For that you better skip the main road and take the side road Nr. 1001.

Tours to Sticky Waterfall

The easiest way to get to the Sticky waterfall is to join a guided tour from Chiang Mai. These trips usually include some other stops, such as a visit to the Doi Suithep temple. We can recommend this trip here:

Conclusion: The Bua Tong Waterfalls in Chiang Mai, the breath-taking Sticky Waterfall, is a real nature pearl in the North of Thailand. In our opinion, it is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Chiang Mai and a trip there is definitely worth it!


Find the best Accommodation in Chiang Mai:

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Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Meaning that if you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Similan Islands – A Perfect Tour to Thailand’s Paradise

Similan Islands – A Perfect Tour to Thailand’s Paradise

 

Similan Islands, also known as Koh Similan, is an archipelago of 9 islands which is located about 60 kilometers from the coast of Khao Lak. Since its part of the Mu Ko Similan National Park, the area around the islands is considered to be one of the best places in Thailand for snorkelling and diving. The turquoise blue sea and the fine white sand beaches with the mighty granite rock formations are a real highlight of this archipelago. Through these breathtakingly beautiful landscapes and a spectacular underwater world, a day trip to Similan Islands from Phuket or Khao Lak is a must-do for many.

This blog post we will share all about a perfect tour to the Similan Islands. Additionally, you will get lots of info about the best time to visit, bungalows & camping and where are the best places for snorkelling at Koh Similan.

How to get there

Getting to Similan Islands can be easily organized by joining a guided tour from Phuket or Khao Lak. The boat tour to the Similan Islands takes place with speedboat cruise, usually starting from Tap Lamu Pier. The port is located approximately 10 kilometers south of Khao Lak and approximately 70 kilometers from Phuket Airport. On a trip to the Similan Islands, the journey to the pier and often also the pickup from the hotel is included in the price. The trip by speedboat to the islands takes about 1 hour, because from Tap Lamu Pier to the Similan Islands 60 kilometers distance must be covered.

The nearest airport to the Similan Islands is the Phuket International Airport. Cheap flights from Bangkok to Phuket can be found at Skyscanner.

The Similan Island Tour

A trip to the Similan Islands is a highlight for many Thailand travellers. No wonder, because the Similan Islands with their white beaches and the breath-taking underwater world are unbeatable in Thailand. Especially for tourists from Khao Lak and Phuket taking a tour to these beautiful islands can be interesting. The price for a trip to the islands is around 4,000 baht, but the costs include mostly national park entrance, food and drinks.

We started our trip from Khao Lak. The tours are all a bit similar, so we will show you the beautiful places and beaches the we visited during our tour to the dream islands:

Island number 8 – Donald Duck Bay

The island number 8 is probably the most famous island of  Koh Similian and usually always the first stop of excursions. The Donald Duck Bay is a wonderful place to enjoy the soft white sand beach and take amazing pictures. Especially popular is the unbelievably beautiful view from the viewpoint on the huge granite rock, which is also known as “the sail”. The climb is a bit steep and narrow, but the panorama over the Ao Kuaek bay is definitely worth it.

Island number 9 – Ba Ngu Island (Snorkelling)

This islet is one of the best places for snorkelling on the Similan Islands. Here you can admire a breath-taking underwater world, many colorful fish species and beautiful coral reefs. With a bit of luck, you might even spot on your snorkelling trip turtles, such as the The Hawksbill Turtle or the Green Turtle.

Island number 7 – Payu Island (Snorkelling)

Payu Island is another great snorkelling spot. Again, you will discover beautiful reef inhabitants and maybe you can even see the pretty nemos (clown fish). Here you can take wonderful pictures of the corals and the many colorful fish.

Island number 4 – Miang Island

This island is another highlight and top attraction of every Similan trip. Here, are the Honeymoon Bay and Princess Bay, two incredibly beautiful beaches. Ideal for relaxing, swimming, sunbathing and taking amazing photos. Also, you can take a short walk through the jungle and enjoy the lush nature. With some luck you can see some wild animals and birds. Around that area live the very rare and colorful Nicobar pigeons, which we could easily discover during a walk through the forest.

In our experience, it is really worth booking one of the so-called Early Bird Tours. Here you will start pretty early in the morning and have the advantage to escape the tourist streams and definitely gain more from your trip.

Here you can book an unforgettable trip to the Similan Islands:
  • Early Bird Tour from Phuket to the Similan Islands
  • Early Bird Tour from Khao Lak to the Similan Islands

When to visit

The best travel time and thus the opening times for the Similan Islands are from November to April. In this period, it rains much less and so the National Park can be opened for excursions. In February and March, the optimal climate is expected. In the following months, such as May, June, July, August and September, the Similan Islands are closed. At this travel time a visit is impossible.

Where to stay

Actually, it is possible to stay on the Similan Islands. You won`t find any hotels but if you would love to spend the night in a bungalow or tent, then the National Park office offers a few accommodations. But you should book this in advance.

Otherwise, all the Khao Lak holiday destinations offer some great hotels and accommodations which can be found in every price range. We especially loved our stay at La Vela Khao Lak, a wonderful hotel right on the beach.

 

Conclusion: The Similan Islands are, although now many tourists visit the island, a great spot for snorkelling and diving. The powdered sugar fine white sand beaches, the picturesque stone formations, the turquoise blue water colors, but also the beautiful forests of the islands have inspired us. All in all, a tour to the Similan Islands is really worth it and with an early bird trip a unique Thailand experience!


Find the best Accommodation in Khao Lak:

 Booking.com


More about Khao Lak:

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Meaning that if you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Bangkok Shopping: 10 Best Shopping Malls in Bangkok

Bangkok Shopping: 10 Best Shopping Malls in Bangkok

 

Bangkok is an absolute paradise for all who love shopping. Thus, different malls and shopping centers attract shopaholics as well as luxury tourists from all over the world. Shopping, whether at the street markets or at Bangkok Shopping Malls, is one of the most popular activities in Thailand. New gigantic shopping centers just celebrated their openings, and so it’s hard to keep track where is the best Mall in Bangkok for shopping.

This blog is a shopping guide for Bangkok. Here, we will show you the best shopping malls and shopping centres 2019. In addition, we share with you useful tips about shopping in Bangkok, where are the places to visit and where you will find your personal shopping heaven.

Siam Paragon

Siam Paragon is one of the most impressive shopping malls in Bangkok and offers shopping experiences at its best. Located at Skytrain Station SIAM, with public transport you have direct access to the mall. Here you will find everything, from fine restaurants to the top brands, one’s that luxury-groomed shopping heart desires. Even luxury cars like Ferrari, Bentley and Porsche are exhibited and sold here in the Siam Paragon. Additionally, they also have a great selection of electronics such as cameras, etc. Also worth seeing are the colorful fish in the Siam Paragon Aquarium, which is one of the main attractions of the shopping center.

  • Getting to Siam Paragon: With the sky train to BTS Station Siam.

Icon Siam – Shopping Mall

The Icon Siam is brand new and at the moment one of the best shopping malls in Bangkok. In addition to the popular luxury brands, you will also find inexpensive fashion such as H & M inside that big shopping center. From the terrace of the Apple Store you have incredible views to the river and the skyline of Bangkok. Another highlight of the Icon Siam is the Floating Market on the ground floor, which was recreated on a typical Thai floating market. Also, a light show in the evening makes your shopping tour an unforgettable experience.

  • How to get to Icon Siam: Take the sky train to BTS Saphan Taksin Station and continue from Sathorn Pier with the free shuttle boat.

MBK – Shopping Center

The MBK opened in 1985 and so it is one of the older shopping centres in Bangkok. Hardly to be suspected from the outside, this shopping center is actually a large market, consisting of many individual stalls. Thus, the MBK offers just what bargain hunters love: cheap stuff, electronics, clothes, bags, drugstores, jewellery, watches but also many fake goods. To get cheap deals and low prices, to bargain is a must do in this mall.

  • Directions to the MBK: Visitors can easily reach the MBK with the Skytrain. Exit is the station National Stadium.

EmQuatier

The EmQuartier is a large shopping center and was only opened in 2015. This mall is really chic and also offers a great experience to non-shoppers. In addition to the ever-popular luxury brands you will find a huge selection of great restaurants in the middle and higher price segment. Some of the top attractions of this shopping mall are the waterfall between Glassquarter and Helixquarter, a helix of hanging plants that winds it’s way upwards, a dizzying skywalk and the great view of Bangkok’s skyline from the terrace on top.

  • How to get there EMQuartier: From the BTS station Phrom Phong you have direct access to the EMQuartier.

Emporium

The Emporium is a part of the EM Quarter and with the EmQuartier another TOP address for luxury brands. This Bangkok shopping center features all expensive kind of items, popular luxury items like Louis Vuitton, Rolex, Dior, as well as new designers. You can also find electronics and cheaper clothing in the upper floors. Highly recommended is the in-house cinema and the gourmet market as well as the food hall.

  • Directions Emporium: Take the skytrain to BTS station Phrom Phong.

Terminal 21 – Shopping Mall

Terminal 21 is one of the coolest shopping malls in Bangkok, many even consider it to be the best shopping center in town. This mall is modelled on an airport and on each floor, you will be transported to a completely different world. Here you can find yourself on a shopping tour in cities like Rome, Istanbul, London, Tokyo and Rome. There are almost no luxury brands there, instead many small shops and boutiques with hip fashion, inviting visitors to stroll and shop. The ultimate highlight is the San Francisco-imitated Golden Gate Bridge on the top floor. But also the 36-meter escalator in the entrance area is spectacular. It’s the longest moving stair in Bangkok.

  • How to get there: Terminal 21 is easily accessible by metro (Sukhumvit) or skytrain (Asok).

Siam Discovery

The Siam Discovery is a really stylish shopping center and thrills shopping lovers with a mix of cheap to expensive. The modern mall is connected to the Siam Center and Siam Paragon and a detour is definitely worth it. On 6 floors, the Siam Discovery offers a diverse and varied range of boutiques, shops and stores. Of course, there are also cool bars, coffee houses and restaurants inside this popular Bangkok shopping center.

  • How to get there: Take the skytrain to BTS Station Siam.

CentralWorld – Shopping Center

This huge shopping mall offers great shopping experiences to everyone. Around 500 shops and boutiques selling everything imaginable in clothing, jewellery, souvenirs, cosmetics and much more. On the upper floor there is a huge selection of national and international restaurants. Also here, the prices are not different from Europe`s shopping centers and so you can find many of the popular brands such as Zara, H & M, Adidas, Forever 21, Guess and Nike.

  • Getting there: The nearest BTS stations are either Chit Lom or Siam.

Gaysorn Shopping Mall

The Gaysorn Shopping Mall is undoubtedly one of the most luxurious shopping malls in Bangkok. It is located right next to the popular Central World and impresses with a never-ending selection of the best fashion labels. Starting with Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci up to Ermenegildo Zegna, Emilio Pucc and Hugo Boss every high-class brand can be found in that shopping place. Thus, the Gaysorn Mall is a really expensive one, but a shopping tour is still worth it. The white marble, the many chic cafes and the noble boutiques are the main attraction of that mall.

  • Getting there: Take the BTS to Chidlom Station.

Siam Center

The Siam Center is one of the biggest malls in Bangkok. Not only known for pure shopping pleasure, but also the really well-designed sculptures, seasonal decors and beautiful shop windows are well worth a visit. On 4 floors you will find a large selection of shops and some tasty restaurants. The Siam Center is a fantastic mid-priced shopping center. If you are interested in luxury, you should go to Siam Paragon or Siam Discovery, which is part of Siam Square.

  • How to get there: Take the skytrain to BTS Station Siam.

Shopping Tips for Bangkok

  • Opening Hours: All shopping centers listed above open daily, also on Sunday, from 10:00 to 22:00.
  • Due to the many traffic jams in Bangkok, you should use public transport and avoid taxis.
  • Other great shopping options are offering the famous night markets in Bangkok, as well as the Floating Markets. Especially the Chatuchak Weekend Market is an absolute shopping paradise in Bangkok.
  • Highly recommended is the visit to the Asiatique in Bangkok, a mix of night market and shopping center.
  • Round off your shopping tour with a Skybar visit. Click here for the best skybars in Bangkok.

Find the best Accommodation in Bangkok:

 Booking.com


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Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Meaning that if you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Sakarun Beach: Caribbean flair in Croatia

Sakarun Beach: Caribbean flair in Croatia

 

The Sakarun Beach, also named Saharun Beach, is a sandy beach on the “long island” Dugi Otok and this picturesque bay is one of the most beautiful in Croatia. On this unspoiled beach you will find Caribbean flair in the middle of Europe: crystal clear turquoise waters, fine white sand and a perfect blue sky makes your Sakarun Beach trip unforgettable. Bathing at the Sakarun is one of the best things to do on the island of Dugi Otok. This beautiful sandy beach is also a popular destination for excursions from Zadar town. Daily visitors come from the Zadar region to experience one of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia. Nevertheless, until now, the beach was spared by mass tourism. Its visitors are individualists and peace seekers who appreciate the incredible atmosphere of the sandy beach.

Yes, the Sakarun Beach is a true paradise. The fine white sand and the turquoise blue colors are a real postcard motive and a visit is a highlight of every trip to Croatia.

The approximately 800 meters long Sakarun Bay offers enough space for sun-seeking holidaymakers. The marvelous bay is lined with fragrant Mediterranean pine trees, which gives especially in midsummer cool shades. Especially for families and children the Sakarun beach is a popular place for spending a wonderful day at the beach. Since the beach falls off very shallow, the little ones can splash around and build sandcastles on the long white sand beach. Despite the Sakarun being located by the open sea, it’s protected by the long bay and thus always provides pleasant bathing temperatures.

Also, sailors love this unique beach and drop their anchor there for a while. As the Sakarun is a hidden beach and there are no hotels yet, swimming in the beautiful bay is a truly beautiful experience and also a true insider tip under boaters.

Right on the beach there are no restauantes, but there are 2 nice little bars that offer coffee, cool drinks, ice cream and a few small dishes. Especially beautiful is the wooden terrace of the Amarcord Beach Bar, from where you have incredible views. In the preseason the mood on the beach is really relaxed and the atmosphere is unbeatable.

How to go to Sakarun: Ferry from Zadar to Brbinj

The most comfortable way to reach Sakarun is to go there by car. To get from Zadar to Sakarun it is best to take the ferry to Brbinj. The crossing with the car ferry takes about 1:45 hours. After arriving at the ferry port of Dugi Otok (Brbinj) it is again about 15 km to the sandy beach. The Sakarun is located on the northwest side of the holiday island Dugi Otok. Nearby are the small towns of Veli Rat, Soline and Božava, which are smaller holiday destinations.

From the main road on the left side, a narrow gravel path leads to Sakarun beach. At the end of the road you are going to find enough parking facilities. Currently, parking at Sakarun Beach costs 10 kuna per hour.

If you are not traveling by car, travelling to Sakarun can be a bit tricky: There is a regular bus service on the island of Dugi Otok, but it only runs every 4 hours. From Božava you can reach the Sakarun beach with a small tourist train. This runs in the main season about every 2 hours.

Tip: Cheap flights to Zadar or to other destinations in Croatia can be found at Skyscanner and Kiwi.

Day Trip to Sakarun

A day trip from Zadar to Sakarun Beach is definitely recommended. Especially popular are kayak tours, where you can explore the most beautiful spots of the island Dugi Otok. But also boat tours to visit this dream beach are offered and can be a great experience!

 

Accommodations at Sakarun Beach

Directly at the Sakarun beach there are (as yet) no hotels or apartment complexes. But on the Island Dugi Otok you will find a good selection of accommodation in the immediate vicinity of the beach. Popular places near the Sakarun are Bozava, Soline and Veli Rat. Since there are only a few places to stay on the island of Dugi Otok, it is advisable to book your accommodation in advance. If you want to stay longer on Dugi Otok, you can also consider staying in the beautiful port city of Sali which is located at the end of the island.

The are recommended accommodations near Sakarun:

  • Hotel Maxim: Hotel Maxim is at the moment the only 4 star hotel on Dugi Otok. The hotel is located in Bozava, the nearest town to the famous Sakarun Beach. Beautiful and very quiet location, also from the pool you have a beautiful view of the sea and the quiet harbor.
  • Guest House Sakarun: Located less than 1 km from Sakarun Beach, this lovely holiday home offers guests a great terrace and great views. Perfect house for families!
  • Apartments SOL: A very nice apartment in the small village of Soline. The location is very nice, right on the water with a view of the sea.

Camping on Sakarun Beach is officially not allowed. The island of Dugi Otok offers its guests two different campsites: Camp Kargita, near the lighthouse in Veli Rat and the Camp Mandarino in Soline.

Holidays on Dugi Otok and Sakarun Beach

The island of Dugi Otok is not only a popular destination for daytrips from the Zadar region, above all, the “long island” is a dreamy holiday destination in Croatia. In addition to the picturesque beaches and little villages visitor will have the chance to explore lots of interesting sights. Particularly noteworthy is the Telascica Nature Park and the Kornati islands National Park.

More about Dugi Otok you can find here: Dugi Otok and Sakarun beach

Find the best accommodation on the Sakarun Beach:

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Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Meaning that if you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.


Dugi Otok and Sakarun beach

Dugi Otok and Sakarun beach

Dugi Otok, a 45 km long island near Zadar, is definitely one of Croatia’s best kept secret. The island with its immense beauty of nature belongs to Dalmatia and the Zadar archipelago. It’s truly tranquil and a wonderful place to spend your summer holiday in Croatia. Lots of lovely spots are waiting for you to be explored: On top you are going to find some of the best beaches in Croatia, like the breath-taking Sakarun beach. Dugi Otok is also famous for its nature spots like the Telascica National Park. You should definitely stay there at least a few days to explore all the fantastic and relatively untouched places and beaches, inhale the Mediterranean flair and chill out.

This island is surely one of our favorites in Croatia! Here are our top highlights and sights for visiting the beautiful “Long Island” Dugi Otok:

Dugi Otok – from Sakarun to Telascica NP

The Island is around 45 km long and at its narrowest point 4 km wide. Karstic hills rise up to 338 meters and while driving through the island you are going to have plenty of fantastic views down to the deep blue sea. Because of the length of the island, we recommend taking a car to explore all the fantastic places and the sleepy villages.

Sali

Sali is the village with the largest population and located on the southern tip of the island. It’s the only one which offers everything to its guests: Medical clinic, ATM, supermarket, post office, tourist information, lovely restaurants and cafes. The cute harbor with its colorful houses is really picturesque and a wonderful place for having dinner. Anchored in a marvelous landscapes, Sali is definitely the most beautiful town on Dugi Otok and because of the vicinity to the Nature Park Telascica and the Kornati Islands National Park it is the best place to stay.

Lighthouse at Veli Rat

The impressive lighthouse Punta Bjanca is located on the northern tip of the island, just 3 km from the village of Veli Rat. It was built 1849 and with a height of 42 meters it’s actually the highest lighthouse in Croatia. The picturesque Lighthouse of Veli Rat is located directly next to some beautiful beaches and because of its huge size, it’s a real eye-catcher. Inside the lovely courtyard, there is the chapel of St. Nicholas, a popular place for romantic weddings.

Savar

Savar, a tiny village, overwhelms its visitors at first sight: A small picturesque islet located in a quiet and crystal-clear bay. Savar with its small Pre-Romanesque church of St. Peregrine and the sailor cemetery on the small island is really worth a visit.

Bozava

Bozava, a sleepy village on the north of the island attracts visitors because of a new hotel complex with 4 lovely hotels. During the peak-season, guests of Bozava have the possibility to visit the famous Sakarun beach by tourist train. Near the waterfront you are going to find 2 restaurants and a small market.

Other small villages

Cave Strašna Peć

The Strasna Pec near Savar on Dugi Otok is also an interesting tourist attraction on Dugi Otok. For the opening hours you have to get in touch with the tourist office in Sali or with Mr. Vladimir Sarunic, who organizes tours inside the cave.

 

Best Beaches Dugi Otok

One of the most beautiful things to see on Dugi Otok are the awesome beaches. You can choose from a wide range of different breathtaking bays and beautiful beaches. Here are the top beaches of the island:

Sakarun

For sure, the Sakarun beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia. Visitors are overwhelmed at first sight: With turquoise crystal clear waters, the white sand and surrounded by Mediterranean pine trees, this sandy beach is like no other and is definitely the most popular beach in Zadar region. Many boats and yachts are anchored at this beach and enjoy the wonderful ambience of the bay. Families with kids will also love this white sandy beach!

Tipp: Enjoy your coffee and the great view form the terrace of the Amarcord beach bar.

Veli Zal

Veli Zal is one of the first class beaches of Dugi Otok. With Caribbean blue and crystal clear waters this tranquil beach is a secret escape at the island and we definitely recommend a visit. The sandy beach is relatively untouched, there are no crowds, no bars or restaurants. This heavenly place is not that easy to find; arriving by car you have to walk around 300 meters to the right before you reach the bay.

 

Beach Brbiscica and the Blue Cave

The blue cave Brbiscica is one of the hidden jewels of Dugi Otok and not that easy to find. Located near the road between Brbinj and Savar, it can only be reached via a steep and narrow road down the hill.Walking down a small path near the parking place you are going to reach some awesome blue natural pools.

The entrance to the cave is on the right side. For entering you have to take a paddle boat, which can be rented in e.g. Sali. – Brave ones can also swim inside but we wouldn`t recommend that.

If you are there,  don`t miss out on visiting the wonderful turquoise blue beach called Brbiscica, situated around 300 meters down the road. The beach is truly unknown and the best place to be on your own.

Sali Beach

Just a few minutes from the harbor of Sali you are going to find this picturesque stony beach. Walk in the direction of Hotel Sali and then turn down the stairs. It’s a marvelous tranquil place, perfect for spending a few hours in the shadow of the pinewoods and enjoying the wonderful scenery. For the sporty ones, along the coast there is a small pathway for hiking and jogging.

Veli Rat Beach

Around the huge Veli Rat Lighthouse are two tranquil pebble beaches. Surrounded by a wonderful ambience with the yellow lighthouse and the Mediterranean pine trees, this beautiful bay is really worth spending a relaxing afternoon.

Telascica Nature Park

The Nature Park is located at the southern end of Dugi Otok and it is one of the top sights of the island and the Zadar region. Peaceful bays, high cliffs, olive trees, intact underwater world and a breath-taking Mediterranean vegetation making the Telascica NP a true nature jewel.

Definitely first make a stop at the Fort Grpascak, from there you are going to have the best view all over the Telascica National Park, the high cliffs, and the Kornati Islands.

The ultimate highlights of Telascica are the high cliffs called “Stene” and the salt lakeMir” which can be reached by a 30 minutes walk from the last parking place. Tipp: Take the walking trail on the top of the cliffs, the scenery is unbeatable and the views are amazing.

Because of its immense beauty, we also recommend to visit the other part of the Nature Park near Sali. For entering the park you have to turn right on the road to Sali (there is no entrance fee) and then follow the street to Cuscica Beach and to Villa Rusticae.

 

 

Kornati Excursion

Visiting the Kornati Islands is one of the best things you can do while you are traveling in Croatia. With 89 uninhabited islands, islets and reefs the National Park is the most widely-spreaded archipelago on the Mediterranean.
Amongst others, the Kornati Islands can be visited by day-excursions from Sali.

 

Where to eat

Because Dugi Otok is not that touristy, there is just a small range of restaurants and also the prices are higher than in other parts of the country. The best selections of restaurants and bars you are definitely going to find in the town of Sali.  For some nice Pizza you should try out the Pizzaria Bruc located next to the beautiful waterfront. The Marinov Magazin with it awesome view down to the harbor, serves delicious food but in a higher price class.

Our favorite restaurant choice is the Konoba Regula in Zman and in fact we went there several times for dinner. All the food was really fresh and tasty and also the salads were served in generous sizes. Enjoying the delicious food on the terrace next to the sea was just great.

Ferry to Dugi Otok – Zadar to Brbinj

The island Dugi Otok can be reached by ferry from Zadar. If you go by car you have to take the car ferry to Brbinj. The trip will take you about 1:45 minutes and you should be at the harbor 1 hour before departure. For the prices and the timetables you can check here

Tip: Cheap flights to Zadar or to other destinations in Croatia can be found at Skyscanner and Kiwi.

Day trips from Zadar

Also, a trip from Zadar to Dugi Otok is definitely recommended. Especially popular are kayak tours, where you can paddle off the most beautiful spots of the island. But also trips to the Kornati Islands and the Telascica National Park are an unforgetable experience!

 

Where to stay – Dugi Otok accommodation

The Island offers a handful hotels to stay. However, it’s more common to rent an apartment. You are going to find plenty of them on booking.com. For a stay at Dugi Otok we can recommend you following accommodations:

  • Sali Modern Seaview Apartment: On our last visit we stayed at the Sali Modern Seaview Apartment, which we really liked. From the large terrace you will have a great view to port of Sali and the apartments are perfectly clean and comfortable.
  • Hotel Maxim: Hotel Maxim is currently the best hotel on Dugi Otok. The hotel is located in Bozava, near the famous Sakarun Beach. Beautiful and very quiet location. Also from the pool you have a beautiful view of the sea and the quiet harbor.
  • The House Aunt Regina: This beautiful holiday home in Dragove is an absolute insider tip for Dugi Otok. Especially for families will love this new and spacious house, which actually dates back to the 19th century and has now been renovated.

If you prefer camping, there are two campsites on the island of Dugi Otok:

  • Camp Kargita – an auto camp situated near the lighthouse at Punta Bianca
  • Camp Mandarino – dog friendly camp situated near Soline

Find accommodation at Dugi Otok:

Booking.com


Read more about Croatia:

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Meaning that if you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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