Bali or Thailand?

Old Nov 18th, 2008, 02:39 AM
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Bali or Thailand?

Hello, we are planning a week stopover on our way to Sydney. We will probably be flying Thai Airlines from Rome. Our first idea was to spend a night or 2 in Bangkok and then head to Bali. I am now considering spending the whole week in Thailand and finding another beach destination. (mainly because it would simplify flights.)Any suggestions?
We would like somewhere quiet without the big hotels but with some atmosphere - not just a resort island where you don't get any sense of the place and people. Budget is not a problem.
Or should we stick to Bali?
Thanks.
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Old Nov 18th, 2008, 04:32 AM
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Sanur in Bali would seem to fit your requirements. It is very relaxing and there are some good small hotels available.
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Old Nov 18th, 2008, 07:26 AM
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sanur would be a good idea, but if you decide to stay in thailand, then i would suggest hua hin, which while it has large hotels it also has smaller ones as well...

another suggestion might be pattaya, but in the jontiem area rather than pattaya itself....

or my favorite idea would be to spend the whole time in bangkok...choose a hotel with a great pool like the marriott resort and spa, the royal orchid sheraton, the shangri-la, the nei lert or a very thai place like the old bangkok inn....
you could really get to know the thai people in this city, have great food and hang around the hotel just to relax....

btw, thai can fly you to bali directly as well from bkk and then take another carrier to sydney....
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Old Nov 18th, 2008, 11:01 AM
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Thanks. Forgot to mention this trip will be end of March. Not sure how that affects choices.
I will definitely check out Sanur but not so keen on Hua Hin or Pattaya. I was thinking something more like Krabi or Phi Phi....not really Bangkok either. We don't need to relax at all, would rather rent a motorbike and visit villages on an island with spectacular scenery and good beaches.
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Old Nov 18th, 2008, 08:15 PM
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I'd give Bali the edge for culture and nature and the Thai islands the edge for quality of beaches.

The Bali beaches are long, sandy, some with big surfer waves, some with good swimming, but they are not pristine and unspoiled. They tend to be lively and active. Personally I like the Seminyak area because of the sunsets, wave, restaurants, shops and spas but is definitely well touristed.

Once you get into the interior areas of Bali you would find a whole lot of art and culture amidst some spectacular natural scenery. A lot of visitors do rent motor bikes, but to me it's better to get a car and driver to take you around. Not expensive and less aggravation.

There are zillions of smallish places to stay all over Bali in all price ranges.

End of March is the tail end of the rainy season and is a good time for Bali. If you decide on Bali instead of Thailand I would fly through Hong Kong or through Singapore.
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Old Nov 18th, 2008, 09:17 PM
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I find it difficult recommending that anyone visit Bali now, in light of the recent executions and possibilty of retribution. This may get a lot more press in Australia then elsewhere because of the proximity and the number of Austalians that died in the Kuta bombings but if I had a choice it would be Thailand all the way.

Having been to both, I find that the people, the culture, the climate, the scenery (cant beat thoose Hongs in Phang Na Bay or the Limestone cliffs surrounding Krabi),the food, the general ambiance, the beaches, etc etc all to be more to my liking in Thailand.

There are only a few villages on Phi-Phi and no roads so that would make motor-bike hire difficult but the beaches, particularly the east coast, and scenery is spectacular. We recently divided up a 14 day stay in the region with 6 on Phi-Phi and 8 at Ao Nang. This mix would give you a good balalnce of what you want and March In Thailand is one of the best times to visit,very little rain and less tourists than Jan/Feb.

I know that there has been unrest in Thailand recently but this is strictly civil in nature and certainly not targeted at tourists or the Western world. I realise the chances are remote but even that thought of it would effect the whole dynamics of my holiday. Why risk it when you can get the same, and in my opinion better,somewhere else where you are undoubtably safer.
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 04:16 AM
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Thanks...I am leaning strongly towards Thailand. I have found I can do Rome-Bangkok-Krabi-Sydney-Rome with minimum stress with Thai airways for 1000 euros which seems pretty good. I've also been told this 4-Island tour Poda,Chicken,Tup & Railay, is really amazing. Next question is where would be the best place to stay in order to do this if we fly into Krabi? Any reccs for small but beautiful places to stay?
I hate any hotel with more than 40 rooms!
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 07:00 AM
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amari vogue
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 09:22 AM
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It looks very glam. I would almost say kitch! I was hoping for a more straw cottage on the beach sort of thing -understated luxury type....but maybe that's not the local style. I haven't found any so far anyway except maybe the Cliff in Ao nang but it seems quite far from the beach.
Thanks for the suggestions. Keep them coming!
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 10:08 AM
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Try this site. It is a great guide to "flashpacker" accomadation in Thailand ..http://tezza-thailandbeachesandislands.blogspot.com/

On our last trip we stayed at the Somkiet Buri in AO Nang, A great litle place but not right on the beach. It was about a 5 minute walk. What might suit you more is a stay on Railay beach. There are a few beachfront bungalows there and the beach is spectacular on the west side.
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 10:57 AM
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Great website Shanek - thanks.
I think may have found what I'm looking for- Le Passe Temps!
http://www.lepassetemps-krabi.com/eng/index.php

The only thing is it may be too far from anything for the evening if we want to go for a drink or a meal out....
Has anyone heard of it/been there?
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 01:30 PM
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I think Shane has it about right !!

Loads of info, videos and pics here

http://www.leightravelclub.com/thailand.htm
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 02:28 PM
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Hi Carrom,

That place looks really nice. It probably wouldn't suit us as we need to be closer to shops so my wife can get some daily retail therapy and close to some entertainment for the kids.

The other issue here is I really enjoy conversing with other travellers as well as locals and you may find without any tourist infrastructure around, English speaking Thai's may be scarce and if the other travellers were predominantly French, I would go "Bonkers".

We like to walk to restaraunts and bars at night so the first thing I would check is that there will be a few in the area. If these thing are no concern to you and you are happy spending the majority of your time by yourselves, then it looks perfect. You also have the option of renting a bike or car to go to AO Nang at night and if you dont mind spending a bit on transport,a driver is very easy to find if you want a big night out.
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Old Nov 20th, 2008, 04:22 AM
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Shanek, I am really taking advantage of you but I think we have similar tastes. You are right about Passe Temps. We also like to be walking distance to bars/restaurants in the evening and wouldn't like to have to eat in our hotel every night. I checked out Somkiet Buri. It does look nice but I just saw it is closing in April for renovation. What do you think of Long Beach/Had Yao? The Nantra looks lovely though quite expensive. Do you know if it is a very isolated beach or will there be other hotels/bars restaurants around?
Thanks a lot!
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Old Nov 20th, 2008, 02:41 PM
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Sorry Carrom, I cant help with this one. I know Long Beach on Phi Phi which is lovely but I have not been to Long Beach on the mainland. How far is it to Ao Nang?
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Old Nov 22nd, 2008, 06:12 PM
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Hi We were in Thailand & Bali last year. Pattaya was awful-beaches poluted. We went on a boat to a coral island 2 days & that was nice. I would vote for Bali. The people are wonderful-spa treatments low in price. I would go back in a heartbeat. I am enjoying my teak lounge chair & swing I got there last year-Chris
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Old Nov 23rd, 2008, 06:53 AM
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Had Yao (Long Beach), Krabi a short 20-minute drive from Krabi International Airport. Had Yao or Long beach is a new area that is still naturally unspoiled. This provides an excellent getaway break for those who seek ultimate relaxation in tranquility. From Had Yao to Ao Nang, it is approximately 40-minute drive.
This is what it says in the Nantra Hotel web site. I wonder if it is another spot which is just too isolated or if there are other hotels or village nearby. I might post again with a specific question on this.
Thanks!
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