1 Week in Thailand - Then Bhutan!

Old Dec 5th, 2017, 05:10 AM
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1 Week in Thailand - Then Bhutan!

Hello Fodors Family,

You've been very good and helpful to me on any post I've made on here, and I'm hopeful to get some additional great advice for my next trip. My husband and I will be going to Thailand and Bhutan at the end of March/early April of 2018 and will have ~15 days on the ground. The trip focus really is on Bhutan (which I will likely do a separate post about so focus for this is Thailand), but upon talking with people, doing some reading, and working with a friend who is a travel agent, due to the limited number of cities that fly into Paro, we've decided to fly from Washington, DC to Bangkok, and then on to Paro for our time in Bhutan.

All that said, because we'll be flying in and out of Bangkok, we plan to spend a week in Thailand / 8 days in Bhutan. I'm coming to you as I don't know much about Thailand other than it seems like every person (and their extended family) is planning a trip there! We are big into culture and after reading about Bangkok, it seems like a city we'll enjoy. Aside from Bangkok though, WHERE DO WE GO?! We will do one other city outside of Bangkok and likely do 2 nights/3 days there. We aren't hugggge beach people, but it would be a shame to not go to a beach in Thailand.

I'm thinking of skipping the North (Chiang Mai / Chiang Rai as considerations) as I think the beach makes the most sense, we'll get the beauty of Bhutan for outdoor attractions (not that I can compare the landscapes having not been there), and I believe I read that at the end of March/early April time frame, there are fires and smoke pollution can be tough.Thoughts?

Some places that come to mind would be Phuket (too touristy or still good options depending on where you stay?), Koh Samui, or Krabi. Many offshoots from those cities I'm sure too, but just thinking of places that I know of that I believe we can fly to from Bangkok.

I know it will be hot as heck in early April - wish we could go earlier, but doesn't work with schedules. Is one side (East or West coast) better than others for beauty/beach/water/culture? Better for weather in April (heat or rain?). Any recommendations are much appreciated! The main question I'm asking you is: If you could go to one beach/island in Thailand that you feel like has it all, where would it be?!

Our main goals are:
1) Have it be a location that isn't terribly difficult to get to from Bangkok. Flight is fine! We would expect to fly - but ideally not more than 1 flight to get there, not a flight that is much longer than 1.5 hours, and not a flight that then requires a several hour drive to get to a particular location. With all the travel we will be doing in Bhutan, we are treating Thailand as very much so a "high level intro" into Thailand. We're hitting Bangkok and a beach and excited to see them, but plan to go back to discover and explore more on a later trip.
2) Have it be a beach that isn't completely packed and touristy, but we also don't expect remote. We are 30 years old so while we're not seeking a "party environment", people having fun doesn't scare us .
3) Have it be a lovely and special place for lodging. We have relatively flexible spending budgets for this trip so if there are any recommendations of incredible places to stay, I'd love to hear them.

I think thats it! A couple other notes:
1) I know April is hot, but the dates are set
2) I know 15 days, 8 of which will be in Bhutan, may be short to some people, but its what we have. We are happy with 8 days in Bhutan and 7 days in Thailand and these are set as well unfortunately

We are very open and excited to hear any and all recommendations for our week in Thailand! First focus is on location outside of Bangkok we plan to go...then I likely plan to come back for more! We are happy to lounge on a beach for a couple of days, but if a particular beach location also has nearby attractions or things to do, that is probably even more attractive.

Thank you so much in advance for your help and reading this long post!!!
rachaelmnelson is offline  
Old Dec 5th, 2017, 05:54 AM
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May I suggest Hua Hin to you. It is a beach community 3+ hours drive south from Bangkok. There is a brand new Marriott there, a Hyatt, an a newer Interconental. I stayed at the aMarriott at the end of last year and have stayed at the Hyatt many times. All are directly on the beach.

A taxi will take you therefor 2500B or the bkk hyatt has a daily shuttle (fee) if you will stay at HH Hyatt. res required.

I do not find bkk to be culturally rich (opera, theater, museums) but I find the culture very rich (wats, grand palace, people, etc) making for a wonderful visit. We are there now on our 21st visit.

Yes it will be hot as hell. I use taxis to help solve this problem. Very cheap.

Shopping is great in bkk. Food of all kinds is great.

Book your hotel carefully, a large pool is essential.
rhkkmk is offline  
Old Dec 5th, 2017, 06:37 AM
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Thank you so much for the quick reply, @rhkkmk! And 21st trip - wow! Good note about Bangkok - wats, grand palace, people, markets etc. are what we need/seek.

Also, thank you for the suggestion on Hua Hin - looking into it shrtly.

Appreciate your help!
rachaelmnelson is offline  
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