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First time poster with questions about Thailand itinerary

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First time poster with questions about Thailand itinerary

Old Apr 17th, 2007, 02:34 AM
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First time poster with questions about Thailand itinerary

Hi everyone. It's my first time posting here, so please bear with me.

It's been my dream to go to Thailand, and now I think we are going this summer.

What do you think of this itinerary? We are flying from Tennessee...long ways!

3 nights in Bangkok. What do you think of the Peninsula and Oriental? I love the idea of a hotel on the river. They seem so romantic. Is the Oriental worth the higher price? Are these hotels good for kids too? We have a 10 year old.

6 nights in Phuket. We are thinking of the JW Marriott Resort based on good reviews I've read. Only think that worries us is the distance from town. We have a 10 year old daughter who is interested in their circus kids program.

4 nights in Chiang Rai, at the Anantara Golden Triangle. We'd all like to experience the elephants, and see the surroundings.

End with another night in Bangkok before our long trip home.

What are the must sees in Bangkok for our short time there? I've heard the floating market is fun, and I've heard it is a tourist trap. In pictures it seems quite exotic to me and I think I'd like to go, but if it's going to be a disappointment and a waste of a day I'd rather skip it. What do you think.

Any other tips? It's our first trip to Asia, so not quite sure what to expect.
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Old Apr 17th, 2007, 02:45 AM
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What do you plan to do for 6 days in Phuket?

Regarding hotel in Phuket, I suggest you look at the Club Andaman Beach resort. It's very nice and near the action of Patong Beach bur still insulated from the noise and the chaos.

The floating markets in or near Bangkok (actually there are several) pretty much exist only because of the tourists.
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Old Apr 17th, 2007, 03:06 AM
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We plan on Phuket being for relaxing. My daughter loves the idea of circus kids club, and I love the idea of a good spa. The JW Marriott gets really good reviews. I don't think I like the sound of Patong area, so maybe the Marriott is OK for us. Here on this forum, I have read a few posts about how great the Marriott is.
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Old Apr 17th, 2007, 03:13 AM
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Your itinerary looks very close to ours! My daughter, who is 9, and I will go to the Marriott Phuket in August, then the Anantara, then the Oriental...this after having spent 2 weeks in Singapore, Siem Reap and Bangkok with my husband with us too.

My daughter is so looking forward to the circus training at the Marriott and to the elephants at the Anantara. If you haven't done so already, you might want to write to the Anantara, as they have tons of information they can send you about tours, mahout training, spa, even partial restaurant menus.

I can't say whether the Oriental is worth the higher price since we haven't stayed there yet...they do have some good special rates for summer, so you might check those. I can with confidence say that the Peninsula is fabulous, and now they have a Suite Life promotion on which gets you a deluxe suite room for $275.00/night. You can only book 2 nights on the Peninsula website, but you can book 3 or 4 nights at that rate on www.asiatravel.com and www.kiwicollection.com.
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Old Apr 17th, 2007, 03:20 AM
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Sounds fine, make sure as other will also tell you to allow time to relax after the long flight.
JW seems fine, unless you want crowds and nightlife no point staying in Patong. As the main resorts have become busier the appeal of the quieter places increases. If your daughter is interested in the circus program that will keep her happy which means you can relax.
The location though is remote but it depends if you want to relax and enjoy the resort or you want to head to restaurants and shopping most nights ?

You say this summer, I pressume you know that June-October is the rainy season on Phuket ?
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Old Apr 17th, 2007, 03:27 AM
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I've been to Thailand about 20 times... hard to think of first trip and only a brief stay, but here are some thoughts.

The Penn is a much better deal than the Oriental...and the kids will LOVE taking the boat back and forth (sounds like a burden but its very fast and very frequent. Another alternative worth checking is the Meritus suites. Maybe the best deal by the river in the city. Not ON the river, but our balcony gave better views than the Shangrai La, Oriental or Penn ever offered...and you can get a HUGE 2 bedroom suite, with a bathroom one dreams of, AND a kitchen, for about the rates of a regular room at the others. Perfect location too (and our favorite street food vendor is just across Silom.

I'd areduce the time at Phuket (a beach is a beach, tho it is Thai and wonderful, and add a second night in BKK on the way home (unless you are not shoppers, you will want to get those last minute $3 Ralph Lauren 100% cotton shirts or wallets or walll hangings you didn't on the first stop.

I'd also, if your kids are up for it, take the overnight train north... a fun experience, saves a hotel night, and a great way to meet Thias.

Just some thoughts!
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Old Apr 17th, 2007, 04:25 AM
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bobble-I would consider Ko Samui rather than Phuket for the beach time. The weather will be much better. Rainy days at the beach with kids can be trouble. Especially when there are no movies. Phuket is easier to get to, but I think the better weather in Ko Samui will be well worth it. Bangkok Air is the only carrier to Ko Samui. They are very good. You can but Discovery passes for multiple (more than two) legs and save some money.

I also agree that the beach time should be cut. The beaches are Thai light. More wonderful things in BKK or the north.
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Old Apr 17th, 2007, 04:28 AM
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I'd reduce your time in Phuket --you can have a spa experience anywhere and Phuket could be anywhere in the world. Personally I wouldn't spend more than 2 or 3 days there at most. I'd add the time to Bangkok.

I think the Oriental is worth every cent. I find the Penn cold, impersonal and generic. Luxury yes. 5 star yes. But without a soul.

I know the Oriental is great with kids and there are always a lot of them there. They also have a day care center for kids in the hotel.

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Old Apr 17th, 2007, 03:24 PM
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Wow, thank you for all of your comments. You've given me some things to think about.

Rainy season - does that means it rains every day all day? I was under the impression that it rained in the afternoon or evening most days. The JW Marriott's information about weather indicated that this was the case, and they also offer lots of activities that go on even in the rain. We thought it would be a nice break kind of place. Maybe we should reconsider?

The Peninsula is much cheaper, and especially the suite deal KimJapan posted about it seems a better value. I also like the look of their pool more. But maybe we should try the Oriental too. If we add a night to Bangkok at the end then we'd have two nights to stay at one, and three nights to stay at the other.

My questions are 1. How bad is "rainy season"? Should we rethink entirely and go to Bali instead? I read it's dry season there.
2. We aren't shoppers or city people really, so how much time in Bangkok do we need to see the main sites? We are more into relaxing poolside, and my daughter is really intested in the kids activities and circus in Phuket - that's why we thought 6 nights there, plus the rate is excellent.
3. Would Chiang Mai be better than Chiang Rai? Is there a good place for elephants in Chiang Mai?
4. Which airlines are best for travel in Thailand?
5. If we went to Bali, how would we get there from Tennessee? It seems very far, much farther than Thailand. Would it be worth the extra time to make this change?
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Old Apr 17th, 2007, 04:42 PM
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bobble,

We've stayed at the Peninsula and The Oriental in Bangkok and would say the Pen is where a child might be more comfortable. We didn't see many children in out stay at the Oriental.

In fact I don't remember seeing any at the O while at the Pen I do remember seeing quite a few at breakfast and at the pool.

Also a really nice place for children in BKK is the Marriott Resort on the river and that's a call for bob to do his speech. Nicer pool for the child and a mall attached to boot.

We loved our stay at the Anantara. Do the elephant thing and don't forget to visit some hill tribes and the neighboring towns, Chiang Sean,Mae Sai,Tcichlik(sp) etc.

Sounds like you have a good plan for lots of fun.

Also check this website touted on this board for your requested weather info

http://www.weatherbase.com/

Aloha!
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Old Apr 17th, 2007, 07:47 PM
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i suggest more time in bangkok too...the marriott resort and spa might be a good place for your arrival in bkk..

i would cut phuket back by one day and add to bkk at the end....finish your vacation with a stay at the penn....you will all love it...

you can visit and eat at the oriental its right across the river if you want....you must at least walk through there one day

samui might be a thought for better weather or even hua hin at the hyatt hotel....but there will be no circus class there...
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Old Apr 17th, 2007, 07:57 PM
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Bobble -- my two cents. If you live in Tennessee, time a the beach might seem more valuable to you (I grew up in the Midwest and for years could spend days and days and days at a beach desination because oceans were so novel for me) -- so if you love beaches, spend the time there you want to spend.
I would check some of the weather sites for a sense of how long the rain lasts -- most tropical rains don't go on all day, they hit mid to late afternoon or at night.

Bali is gorgeous but it is several hours from Thailand and not a cheap airfare (like to CR or Phuket). The beaches are not known to be as nice as Thai beaches. I love Bali but you'd want at least 5 nights to justify flying in and back and you'd still just brush the surface. Save it for it's own trip would be my suggestion.
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