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Bangkok to Phuket Advice Please, leave February 9th!!!

Bangkok to Phuket Advice Please, leave February 9th!!!

Old Feb 5th, 2007, 09:46 PM
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Bangkok to Phuket Advice Please, leave February 9th!!!

Hi,

We are going to Bangkok Friday February 9th and then to the south. We only have 10days total in Thailand. We are MBA students at an exchange in Hong Kong. In order to maximize our time is their a reliable preffered transportation between these two places? by air? by train?

Also does anyone know any good lodging in Phuket where we would meet and hang out with backpackers and students rather than a posh, expensive resort? Are there any beaches around Phuket worth seeing? or adventurous things to do besides lie on the beach?

Thanks,
Jameel
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 01:17 AM
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preferred transport to South would be a flight ofcourse...roughly 1 hour...trains / busses are available too but its a 10 hours ride and not advised if you are on a short holiday...

As for the south itself, if i was you i.e, in "backpacker mode" i would surely opt to go to Kho Samui / Kho Pangan rather than Phuket. In general, Samui attracts much more younger / backpacker type toursist than Phuket and the atmosphere is "younger"...more options in backpacker type accommodations in Samui as well...loads of cheapish guesthouses and bungallow type resorts on Chaweng or Lamai Beach...

Flight is a bit more expensive but in general i believe you will be better off...
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 01:18 AM
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Obviously the quickest way is to fly - have you looked at AirAsia - they have some great deals, have flown with them several times & they're fine.
www.airasia.com
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 01:27 AM
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Jameel - just to add I would look at Lonely Planet Thorn Tree for ideas of where it might be good to stay & hang out.
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 01:30 AM
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There is no rail line to Phuket, closes is severl hunbdred km away, there are buses but the journey takes about 14 hours, I would try one of the budget airlines, try www.beachsiam.com/thailand.html and you will get a list of their websites save typing them all in here, look for One-2-Go, Air asia and Nok Air.
The express bus is around USD 18-20.

There are lots of cheap guesthouses and budget accommodation on Phuket, mainly around busy resorts, most would be in Patong which has rows of cheap budget guesthouses, that beach area though is the busiest with nightlife etc. There are more cheap and budget places than 'expensive resorts', but you should also devide whether you want a quiet or busy beach area first.
You can also find guesthouses and cheap accommodation back from Karon and Kata beach.
There are lots of tours and excursions and adventure trips but be careful of eating away your budget on transport, only a few places have bus services and around the beach areas tuk-tuks are now expensive.
If you wasnt budget places there are lots up Soi Namyen / Soi Nanai area up from 2nd Road in Patong, many of these are rooms above restaurants or basic B&B places, further from the beach in general cheaper the cost. You need to expect to pay at the moment as still high season and Lunar New Year approaching around USD 30 for a room, I can give you some specific place in Patong if you want. If you can handle USD 50 a night that opens up more places.
Do note that what is B 1,200-1,500 now is about B 600 in low season(!) If you wre say 1.5 km from the beach that could cost about USD 8 for a tuk tuk(!).

Had you though perhaps about a more laid back island, if you like to dive somewhere like Koh tao you can get to for about USD 25 by bus/express ferry, accommodation cheap USD 20-25, there are more remote backpacker sorts of places but not the nightlife/shopping etc of Phuket.

There are also places a bus ride a few hours from bangkok to do jungle.treks/hang out/river raft like Kanchanaburi ( but no beach as inland ) and there are places closer although not great beaches places where you can find cheap accommodation, more Thai, and cheaper.

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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 01:34 AM
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I was going to add perhaps Koh Tao or Koh Phangan, about USD 25 to get there by bus/express boat.
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 11:42 PM
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Thanks James, That info was quite helpful. We were thinking of going from Phuket to the Phi Phi islands. However I have heard that they are quite overcrowded, especially the one from the movie, and dirty. Is it worth the journey for the experience while in the area? Thanks again

J
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 11:46 PM
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Also some specific places to stay in Patong would be great, Thanks for offering.
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 12:34 AM
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What's your budget, are you looking for real low price or in the USD 30,50,70 range ?
I was in Patong less than 2 weeks back and what was apparent was no problem getting a high end hotel room but hassle getting low budget, we only planned 1 night and that was paid for and was a lux place but then deciding a few more days it was a hassle even in the 40-70 range, but I can give you some specifics if you tell me your budget, I would 'not' get yourself arriving in Patong without a room for at least the first few nights, give me the idea of budget and I can give you some 'specific places'
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 12:58 AM
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Budget is not that big of a concern. We are more concerned with being around the same demogrpahic of people as ourselves. Anywhere under 100 bucks is fine preferable cheaper but if it comes down to it we will pay. Thanks.
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 02:10 AM
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Hi Jamee,Re Phi Phi Islands.

Maya Bay (the location for The Beach) can get very crowded.But get there early in the morning and it's fine. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. The Tonsai Bay area of Phi Phi Don is quite touristy and often very busy but still with a really good feel about it. Dirty??. Not my experience.
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 02:23 AM
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The destination has been Phuket from the start, I guess at this late time you are settled on Phuket (?) - the thing is jamee Patong is very much ( at this time of year ) Euro and Australian package tourists ( nothing wrong with that before anyone jumps ) and ceased to be what you might term a laid back backpacker/easy going hang out, that ceased many moons ago. So be prepared for a very busy and crowded place especialy at night when people head around the main areas for bars, clubs etc, as long as you have that notion in hand you are ok, but Samui tends to be somewhat more of a laid back place that might meet the picture you have in your mind. Patong is Rock Music bars, McD, Starbucks, Disney Shop, Irish Pubs, Thai boxing, shops and bars ( yes more ), very crowded and very 'alive', again, if you have that clear in your mind fine, but if you are thinking of low rise thatched a/c beach cabins to chill out then maybe you should turn your sights to Samui ( which also does have load and busy area ) but has far far more of the small laid-back chill-out beach places.
Anyway, if it's Patong 'if' you can manage to get rooms at that budget you want to get location-location as much as possible, and that would be Patong Beach Bungalows on of a very very few places on the beach itself ), busy area, but that location makes up for anything else at all, about USD 87 standard bungalow with breakfast, dollar for dollar that location makes a big difference.

www.patong-beach-hotels.com have about 50-60 places in Patong, try for Patong Beach Bungalows, or you can go straight to the list of Patong places on http://www.r24.org/patong-beach-hote...phuket/hotels/

If the concept of Samui lights up then I will preempt your question, flgihts are expensive, but you can get a bus/ferry combo for around USD 27 each way, that is bangkok to Chumphon express bus and then jet-cat boat that hops to Koh tao and Koh Phangan and then Samui, http://www.lomprayah.com/E/route.htm - you can budget airline One-2-Go to Surat Thani and then bus and ferry but you might find that bus/ferry the thing you are looking for to meet up with like minded travelers, you will all be in the same boat ( pun intended ) and Samui is as I say far more cottage/bungalow with steps to the beach and chill-out style, but also plenty of bars and evening liveliness to keep everyone happy.
Have a quick think, no point suggesting more relaxed quieter beaches on Phuket as price shoots up and is still similar but you would be expensive tuk-tuk rides to Patong.
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 02:30 AM
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Sorry clicked too soon - Patong is certainly lively and fun and we've done 2 trips down recently, it is full of 'life', I just don't want you having a picture in your mind of some quiet beach place with swaying palms, it is very very busy indeed.
As CNY is coming up accommodation could be tight, other more budget places to look at are Sunset Mansions, Aloha, Bayview etc, there are some budget guesthouses such as Boomerang, anyway have a browse to get a clearer picture of the sort of accommodation in Patong.
You can do a day trip to Phi Phi no problem and you can book that when you arrive, unless you want to spend a few nights. If yuo want a late night club place Safari Club on the hill just south of Patong is jungle style with load music into the early hours, a tuk tuk back into patong (6-7 mins ) will cost about USD 8 each way now. Rock City on the beach road loud until early hours.
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 06:05 AM
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Hi

My wife and I went to Thailand a few years back. We took a flight from bangkok to Phuket and stayed there for a few days. After that we flew to Samui and then back to Bangkok. Phuket is busy (at least Patong beach) but you can also find more quiet beaches (e.g. Kata and Karon). You can also go on different day trips...we had a snorkeling trip to Phi Phi that was nice. Have a great trip

Regards
Gard
http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 12:28 PM
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James, nothing hostile intended here,but your experiences seem to be completely opposite to mine. Samui? well it's just so awful I couldn't advise anyone to go there. Your description of Phi Phi is my experience of Samui and your 'laid back Samui'...............Where?

I have looked very intensely at some attractive property deals in Samui and all the boxes were ticked, but it's just like Costa del Sol or worse!!

Phi Phi, done properly is a different class to Samui.

Once again,not looking for an argument, but IMO Samui/Phi Phi..chalk and cheese!

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