Advice on where to stay in Phuket

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Sep 22nd, 2009, 05:51 PM
  #21
 
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I spent last New Years Eve in Pattaya. I would NOT want to return at that time of year. It was crazy!!

Take a look at Krabi. I was just there for a couple of nights, this past October... my first time there. It really was nice. A bit more laid back than Phuket or Samui.

If you like the idea of driving to a beach from Bangkok, look at Hua Hin.
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Sep 22nd, 2009, 07:38 PM
  #22
 
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Second the idea of Hua Hin. Nicer town, nicer beach (generally a lot wider than Pattaya's narrow strip) and nicer hotels.
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Sep 23rd, 2009, 01:15 PM
  #23
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Thanks for the advice. We will look at Hua Hin. Any recommendations as to area? I saw Hua Hin North and Hua Hin South when looking at hotels - which is preferred?

Just curious about one thing - is Pattaya really that bad for the sleaze and sex factor? It's been 3 years since we last visited Thailand. Now we were only in Bangkok on that trip and while we did see a lot of young local girls with older foreign guys on the streets and in the malls, etc. we really didn't see anything like that at our hotel (we were at the Marriott) and we were never approached or bothered in any way (we were in a family group and mostly women, so maybe that was the reason), so for us it was a complete non-issue. Are you saying Pattaya is worse than Bangkok for this? Or have things gotten worse in general everywhere as far as that stuff goes?
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Sep 23rd, 2009, 01:56 PM
  #24
 
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you are never bothered by the sex trade, but when you walk down the walk-in street at nite they call out to you from the clubs....i find it amusing...
much of the central part of pattaya town is low class bars with bar girls hanging out and the main beach area has many prostitutes, lady-boys and male hookers...

hua hin----never seen a north/south designation...but maybe it is north of town and south of town...??

i prefer south usually....i also prefer the hyatt...but north of town is the sheraton which is very nice...but up there you really need a car and in fact i usually get a car at the hyatt too, but it is less necessary...

also north is the anantara and several other nice places...

many like the sofitel which is almost in town, but stay away from the hilton which seems to me like a concrete jungle...
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Sep 23rd, 2009, 01:57 PM
  #25
 
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look at www.huahin.20m.com
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Sep 23rd, 2009, 05:42 PM
  #26
 
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I absolutely agree - Pattaya is and has been very sleazy. I wouldn't go there. Hua Hin is nice. The beach isn't fabulous, but very pleasant.
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Sep 23rd, 2009, 09:47 PM
  #27
 
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The thing about Pattaya is that it really doesn't have anything to recommend it - no cultural attractions (except maybe the Sanctuary of Truth), no scenery, nothing. You can easily avoid the 'bad' bits, but then what? I enjoy nipping down there from time to time to sit on Dong Tan beach to watch the 'show', and visit a few friends, but it's nothing I would recommend to people who are traveling halfway around the world to get here.

I would be concerned that 'north Hua Hin' might be Cha-Am, which is probably not for you. Look into the Hyatt, Marriot or the Sofitel. An Intercontinental opens on 1 December. It's supposed to be near the Marriot, but I'm not sure exactly. You might get a good rate there for a booking just after they open.
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Sep 24th, 2009, 09:51 AM
  #28
 
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Back to Phuket... what about a place such as Mom Tri's Boathouse? It's on a busier beach (Kata) but has lots of restaurant/shopping options right outside the door. Mom Tri's Boathouse also has an excellent restaurant on site.. the Boathouse Grill.

Mom Tri's Villa Royale is exclusive and secluded, and maybe out of your price range, but I don't think it is what you are wanting anyway. No gym, not right on the beach (you take a wooden stairway down to Kata Noi beach) but the restaurant on-site (Mom Tri's Kitchen) is excellent!! I have not tried the spa there, but I'm sure it would be very good.

(did you look at Krabi?)

Carol
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Sep 24th, 2009, 11:57 AM
  #29
 
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There is no question that Phuket has much nicer beaches than Hua Hin. While Phuket town is not interesting (and it's not on the beach) and Patong is not what you are looking for, there are many other lovely beaches.

BTW, the Marriott has both the lovely JW hotel and the Marriott has timeshare condos that you can rent. I think many/most of the condos are 2 bedroom/2 bath. You might check into these... they are in a quieter, nicer area of Phuket.
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Sep 24th, 2009, 02:11 PM
  #30
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Thanks for the hotel tips. No dice, as all the hotels in question are showing "rooms not available" for the Christmas/New Year week. I really think that unless the entire world is descending on Phuket all at the same time (hard to believe given that so much of the tourism in Thailand comes from the West which has been hammered with the recession - I work in finance, I know), the hotels are blocking their rooms or else have not yet finalized the Christmas/New Year rates. I've seen this happen a lot in India and Dubai, so would not be surprised if that's what's going on here.

I really think that we may end up going to Hua Hin - less sleazy, pretty beaches and more affordable. You know, it's not just the higher rates. It's also a question of are you getting good value for money and with hotels charging $500 per night during that week (we looked at the Dusit and Sheraton Grand Laguna), I just don't think we would be. Will confab with the family over the weekend and I guess we have to make some decisions soon. Thanks a ton to everyone for their most useful tips!
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Sep 24th, 2009, 05:04 PM
  #31
 
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Actually, based on what local hoteliers are telling me, rooms in Phuket really are booked up for the new year period. The majority of visitors to Phuket come from Asia, which is bouncing back quickly. Also, Phuket has a strong niche in high end visitors, who may have taken a hit, but they still have lots of money. The new year is when a lot of Thais travel as well, and with special 'local' rates at many hotels, Thais may be staying home rather than traveling abroad.
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Sep 24th, 2009, 05:24 PM
  #32
 
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I wouldn't call Phuket sleazy. Yes, there is a sleazy area, but most of Phuket is just fine and many places are really lovely. But as you know, you've chosen the most expensive time of the year. Phuket is almost always booked up at least 6-8 months in advance at this time of the year. Some people have been disappointed even trying to book 10-11 months ahead, as some visitors book a year ahead every year.

In Hua Hin, the Hyatt is lovely. If I was going to stay in town, I'd choose the Sofitel. The two places I'd really avoid are the Hilton and the Marriott.
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Sep 26th, 2009, 01:53 PM
  #33
 
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Reality check!!! This is Thailand. The land of smiles. You must experience it all. If you have never been to Pattaya you must! It's a part of the whole Thailand experience. You will see some weird, wild and wonderful things here. Yes it's sleazy as some say, but it's an amazing as well. A sight to see for once in a lifetime.

Going to Phuket I would suggest Kata beach. Many sports by day on the beach. Good people everywhere and a very comfortable night life. Try the wonderful!!! (Malisa Villa Suites)http://www.malisavillas.com/
Many Russians frequent this area.

Surin beach is very quiet and as far as water sports or daily activities, forget about it here!!! Although, at night this area is very romantic. Try the Chava http://www.thechavaresort.com/

Do enjoy the Phuket Fantasea themepark!!!

My suggestion is to see it all brother!!! See it all!!!

Sawadee!!!
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Sep 26th, 2009, 03:56 PM
  #34
 
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Pattaya is indeed an experience!!! I don't know that it is an experience for everyone though. I would probably avoid it. Too sleazy for me. I was there, as I said, at New Years Eve, and it was a crazy place. The walking street was one of the most unique experiences I've ever had in Thailand.

Phuket or Krabi is much better!

Carol
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Sep 27th, 2009, 12:00 AM
  #35
 
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"Must" go to Pattaya? That's a little like saying visitors to the US must go to East LA, or the South Bronx, or (gulp) Needham.
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Sep 28th, 2009, 01:51 AM
  #36
 
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There are new small villas--sleep 4-- for appx $50 a day during the high season --a few minutes drive from Lagua Phuket !
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Sep 28th, 2009, 07:36 AM
  #37
 
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Skol,

Villas for $50 a day during the high season? What kind of "high" are we talking about mon?
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Sep 28th, 2009, 08:26 AM
  #38
 
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Hippie chicks and a $50 villa. Doesn't get any better.
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