Cancel upcoming Thailand trip?

Old Dec 26th, 2004, 10:41 PM
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Cancel upcoming Thailand trip?

We are schedule to leave for our honeymoon on Tuesday. We were planning to go to BKK, Siem Reap and Khao Lak. We obviously will be cancelling the Khao Lak portion, but our questions are:

What is the current climate/feel in the rest of Thailand?

Should we cancel since the trip will not be what we anticipated?

What other northern beach areas near BKK would you suggest?

We are very concerned and just feel like the trip may not be the relaxing one we anticiapted and don't want to fee anxious the whole time we are there. Any insight or advice would be welcome b/c we need to make our decision ASAP.
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Old Dec 26th, 2004, 11:02 PM
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IMO avoid traveling into Thailand right now. As someone living in Asia I can tell you the climate currently is very uncertain. Bangkok specifically is diverting resources to cope with travelers who have been directly affected by what has happened in Phuket or who are otherwise now nervous of staying on in the region and are trying to get home. Hotels, flights, transportation is necessarily going to be first priority for these people. People who are already in Thailand and were booked to go to Phuket or Phi Phi will now be changing their own plans as they are already in the country. Thailand is a great country and I hope you have an opportunity visit it some time in the near future - I am hopeful that in the aftermath of this terrible disater they will be able to regain their well deserved prime tourist site status. But if you have an option to go somewhere else explore it.
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Old Dec 27th, 2004, 02:39 AM
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I think you are right about Khao Lak but I would simply change your location to somewhere that was not affected. As already advised the Gulf area is fine and felt nothing at all, as Hanuman on another post described the Peninsular of Malaysia and Thailand acted as a buffer so there were no effects on the Gulf of Thailand area. As the sceientists appearing on CNN etc have stated this is a 'natural disaster' that the world experiences and has always done so. I would not change your overall plans though as it has obviously been long planned.
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Old Dec 27th, 2004, 05:37 AM
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I don't know what too say. but the thai government have helped place tourists from the south in too bangkok Hotels.. So I get the impresion if you do come it may not be too relaxing or fun you may come accross with some people that may have been too close too the action or worse. for a change I say try somewhere diffrent especially since it's your honeymoon..
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Old Dec 27th, 2004, 06:03 AM
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I agree with orgy7 but it has to be your decission. Read the latest news below. More than 21,000 are dead

The death toll in Thailand included scores of foreign tourists and a grandson of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, with more than 7,200 injured.

Almost 29,000 people were evacuated from the worst affected areas, which included the resort islands of Phuket and Phi Phi where thousands of European tourists had been enjoying holidays.

Hardly a building was left standing on Phi Phi island east of Phuket, where bodies were seen strewn about the island, covered in white cloths before being taken away by emergency crews or Western tourist volunteers.

"I saw bodies almost everywhere on land, and in the water too, and I think there are many more bodies trapped under the bungalow debris," said rescuer Wirat Mansa-ad, estimating 300 died on the island alone.

As Thailand mobilised its army and navy in a huge rescue operation, dazed foreigners began flying home -- still struggling to come to grips with what had happened.

Just before the first wave struck, "there was no water left in the ocean. The fish were just flapping and dying on the beach," Danish tourist Svend Falk-Roenne, 52, told AFP in Bangkok on his way home from Phuket.

"Then the wave just came towards us. I've never seen anything like it."

Melina Heppell, a six-month-old baby girl from Australia, was swept from her father's arms on Patong Beach, Phuket, when a tsunami wave hit, her uncle Simon Illingworth said on Australian television.

"They were walking along Patong Beach yesterday ... He thought he had the baby in his hands, but all he had was clothes," Illingworth said, tears streaming down his cheeks.

The United Nations rushed disaster teams to south and southeast Asia, saying hundreds of thousands of people in coastal areas were at risk, with livelihoods from fishing and farming wiped out and disease threatening to wreak more havoc.
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Old Dec 27th, 2004, 06:10 AM
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JamesA-I would agree with you, up to a point. I'm heading into BKK in a week and a half, but I'm not on my honeymoon, either. I think if ricster would spend minimal time in BKK, divert to Hua Hin and/or other locales on the Gulf of Thailand side, and then maybe spend the bulk of time north relaxing at one of the large resorts in Chiang Mai or Rai, it would be absolutely lovely. However, you most likely would not be able to shelter yourselves completely from this tragic situation, and I'm not sure you'd necessarily want to, however, I still think you could have a really wonderful honeymoon there.

My sense of things is that up north, everything is pretty much the same; it's like reading about a disaster that happened in another part of the world - one feels great sympathy, and a desire to help the victims, but there is no tangible connection to the event otherwise.

I would suggest maybe the Four Seasons in Chiang Mai, or the Anantara in Chiang Rai as an alternate Thailand honeymoon destination.
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Old Dec 27th, 2004, 06:16 AM
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I don't know whether this will help or not, but two years ago after the Bali bombing, the many honeymooners (and others) scheduled to vacation here were mostly switched to Thailand for their honeymoon, vacations. If you are working with a tour operator you might have this person check on whether they can rearrange your itinerary in some way. In '02, most airlines, hotels were more then accommodating.

If you can be guaranteed your room in BKK, and, no doubt, the Seam Reap portion will be in tact, maybe as an alternative for the beach portion you can get time in Bali. These are suggestions to consider.

I do hope you have trip insurance should you have to cancel/postpone your honeymoon if alternatives cannot be found.
 
Old Dec 27th, 2004, 07:46 AM
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Yeah, that's good, Sandi. Suggest Bali, where there is an updated 12/17/04 Travel Warning in effect, advising against all non-essential travel to Bali and the rest of Indonesia, and where credible intelligence exists that terrorists may be planning yet another attack on a large western hotel chain, possibly a Hilton (there are 3 in Indonesia, one on Bali). For those foolish enough to disregard such Warnings, the State Dept. is advising against staying at any large western hotel, or gathering at western businesses or other places where westerners are known to congregate.

Scrap that idea, ricster. Check out the Northern Thai Resorts of the Four Seasons or the Anantara-they are really lovely. Chiang Mai is becoming known now as a place to go for spas and spiritual sanctuary. There's a lot to do and see in the area.
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Old Dec 27th, 2004, 09:14 AM
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continue with your bkk plans...just check with the hotel to make sure you have your room....i would call them directly or via e-mail as a second resort....

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Old Dec 27th, 2004, 02:24 PM
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There are lots of options to replace your time in Khao Lak. I'd recommend the Anantara at the Golden Triangle (you fly into Chaing Rai), or one of the lovely hotels in the Hua Hin area (there is an Anantara there as well, I liked the Hyatt, too, which is walking distance from the Chiva Som, the "best destination spa in the world"). While it is true that there are current travel advisories for all of Indonesia, you may still want to look into Bali, or even Lombok. (You can read my recent trip report on Lombok by searching this board for Lombok.)
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Old Dec 28th, 2004, 10:13 AM
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I agree with Kathie and Sandi. Bali would be a wonderful option (despite what the state dept. warnings say). There is nowhere in the world where you will be guaranteed safety - not even in your own home. So go someplace where you WANT to go and live happy.
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Old Dec 28th, 2004, 10:22 AM
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You have a large choice of beaches in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Chang, Koh Samet or Koh Samui for an island or if you weant mainland beach within a cab ride of Bangkok Pattaya or Jomtien if you want lively or Hua Hin if you want relaxation and nature. These areas were totally uneffected. If you are doing BKK and Siem Reap and want beach close to Bangkok there are choices, the only propblem is finding accommodation as Jomtien and Hua hin are pretty much full this time of year.
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Old Dec 28th, 2004, 11:32 AM
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I can't imagine what it must have been like on those beaches. We enjoyed Phuket immensely on our honeymoom there in 2000 and I fear for the safety of many of those we encountered at our hotel.

On a personal note, I was a 1/2 block from the WTC when it was attacked and have numerous friends who worked in the building. Based on the reactions of those who I know and my own initial instinct, you just want to be home. I have several friends who simply left New York as soon as possible in order to be near their families and their childhood homes.

I would suspect that those who can leave Thailand, would simply want to be home as soon as possible. Although, given how many tourists are still missing, I don't know at what point you would make that decision to leave if a loved one is unaccounted for.

It is a tough call. If it were me, I might consider delaying my trip, if practical.
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Old Dec 28th, 2004, 12:49 PM
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Overall death toll is now approaching 60,000. Disease is spreading throughout the area like wildfire. I would avoid this trip at all costs! I can't imgaine that anything in this area of the world will be fun and relaxing, or anything but downright dangerous and distressing, for quite some time to come. I am sorry that your honeymoon will be disrupted. Make plans to go somewhere else, even if you have to delay it for awhile.

God be with those who lost their lives and loved ones.
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Old Dec 28th, 2004, 12:54 PM
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cat, it isn't all of Asia or even all of SE Asia that is affected. It's like suggesting that you shouldn't go to NYC when then is a hurricane in Florida.
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Old Dec 28th, 2004, 01:12 PM
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Kathie,

I do understand that, however, Thailand does not have the resources, or the amount of geographic land area, that we have here and I'm sure that a natural disaster of this magnitude will have an effect on flights, supplies, services and, if nothing else, the general demeanor of people who are trying to cope with the horrible tradgedy that is still unfolding in their country. My point is, why risk going when you just don't know what to expect? Especially when its your honeymoon and you have particularly high expectations.

Just my opinion.
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Old Dec 28th, 2004, 01:58 PM
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My plans were to go to phuket - phi phi area this weekend. I have changed them to Koh Samui. My only concern is if the bodies are incinerated, the smoke, smell and disease may make it to Koh Samui. Any thoughts?
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Old Dec 28th, 2004, 02:44 PM
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I don't know if your question is serious or not. However, Koh Samui is an island in the Gulf of Thailand several hundred km from Phuket/Krabi area.
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Old Dec 28th, 2004, 02:50 PM
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Yes, actually I've talked to a couple of doctors that gave me that concern. However, They may be looking at the total of 50,000 fatalities. Thailand seems to have few by comparison. I'm not sure how far disease may travel.
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Old Dec 28th, 2004, 02:55 PM
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Sorry, I sometimes forget that others don't know the area as weel as I do ! Apologies...anyway, no, don't worry, it is too far away from that area for any concern. It is difficult watching TV to keep track of which area they are talking about.
PS Do check on flight and accommodation on Samui as a lot of people have changed their plans and heading to the Gulf islands and coasts which are busy anyway at this time of year.
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