Help with Thailand itinerary, etc.!

Sep 30th, 2005, 06:26 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2005
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Help with Thailand itinerary, etc.!

My husband and I are planning a trip to Thailand in April for our 2nd anniversary. We'll have 15 nights total to spend there (after taking travel time into account), and I would love some opinions as to whether this itinerary just sounds crazy!

We'll be getting into BKK just before midnight on a Saturday night and leaving very early on Sunday morning.

2 nights BKK at either Pen or Oriental
5 nights Phuket at Amanpuri
2 nights on a private chartered boat
4 nights in Chiang Rai at Anantara
2 nights BKK at whichever hotel we didn't stay in the first time

I know it will be rushed, but my husband can't be away from the office much longer than that. I also know that we can always go back. However, we're planning on starting a family soon afterwards, and we probably won't make it back for awhile. So we're really trying to see as much as possible this time around!

A couple of other questions...

1. As far as the Pen vs Oriental--I've seen the previous posts debating the merits of both, so not asking which is better (sure don't want to stir that pot!) but are there any reasons to do a particular one on the way in vs out, or does it really matter?

2. Any recs for places to look for a charter boat?

3. We also tossed around the idea of instead of a boat charter, taking a night or two off our Phuket stay and spending 3-4 nights on Krabi or Koh Samui. Any comments/opinions/suggestions on this? I am particularly interested in thoughts on which of these two islands people prefered. We are looking for quiet and unspoiled beaches, and definitely want to do at least a day trip to Phi Phi islands.

On Krabi, we'd probably stay at the Pimalai, and at the Anantara on Koh Samui, so any opinions on the relative merits of these two hotels would also be greatly appreciated! I've read all the tripadvisor reviews, but since many of you on here seem to spend a great deal of time in Thailand, I thought you may be better sources.

I apologize for the length of this post, but realy do greatly appreciate any and all advice y'all can give!

Thanks in advance!
Caroline

travelgirlatl is offline  
Sep 30th, 2005, 06:48 PM
  #2  
 
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It sounds like a wonderful trip!

I'd say to just do one beach area, either Phuket or Koh Samui, but not both. Others will have suggestions for a boat charter. There is nothing comparable to the Amampuri on Koh Samui, so that's likely a consideration. Check the weather at www.weatherbase.com for rainfall for each of the beach areas you are thinking about.

You could actually cut a day off your beach time in order to have more time in Bangkok, but you itinerary looks pretty good overall.
Kathie is offline  
Sep 30th, 2005, 07:06 PM
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I would cut two days off the beach and add it to bangkok. The beaches are lovely but once you start a family you will be able to go to just as nice or even nicer beaches a lot closer to home. But nothing is like Bangkok.
I'd stay at the Peninsula first and the Oriental second.
glorialf is offline  
Sep 30th, 2005, 07:07 PM
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first let me warn you that day one and two will almost be a wash out if you are coming from overseas, like usa....you will be beat...so i would choose the hotel with the best pool area which is the penn over the oriental and save the oriental for the end...

you have a lot on your plate...how about dropping the boat charter idea and use that time at the beach...

4 days is a long time at anantara in the north as well...there is not a great deal to do there...i spent 4 nites and found it almost too long, but going all that way it is necessary to stay that long i guess...i would use it as my vedge location....it is nice for that....you will want a car there...it is one hour north from chiang rai airport...driving is easy so rent a car at the airport (avis and budget)...driving is very easy and no traffic...

by dropping the boat i would add one day to bkk at the beginning or both days for that matter....you will love bkk...tons of great restaurants, and shopping....make sure you go to bed supper club one nite...
rhkkmk is offline  
Sep 30th, 2005, 07:18 PM
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I was just on Phuket a few days ago, and could easily have stayed for a week to "chill" but we had to get back to Bangkok after only two nights. Much too short!! We stayed at the Katathani on Kata Noi Beach. It is a very nice resort. If you are going "first class" and want to have a more honeymoon feel, check the Villa Royale!! It's awesome!! I've also stayed there a couple of times. It's the perfect place to "be alone" with someone.

I would also like to suggest that you spend more time in BKK, either at the beginning or end of your trip.

Enjoy Thailand!
Carol
simpsonc510 is offline  
Oct 1st, 2005, 05:07 AM
  #6  
 
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Your itinerary has you spending a total of seven days at beach and boat. This is too Much (IMHO). I would cut the Amanpuri to three days. Also, I suggest that you stay at the Four Seasons or the Mandarin Oriental in Chiang Mai for two days and two more at the Anantara. Bob is right that four days at the Anatara is probably too long. Also, you must be youngish (you noted starting a family), hence Bob's admonition about the first days in BKK probably doesn't apply.
Gpanda is offline  
Oct 1st, 2005, 07:15 AM
  #7  
 
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As someone who spent 6 nights at the Anantara, I certainly don't think 4 nights is too long. Given your itinerary, I'm assuming you want some time to relax, enjoy being together, and enjoy some pampering. My philosophy of traveling in SE Asia is to take it slow and do the fewest possible location changes (which eats up time) to see and do what you want.
Kathie is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2005, 08:18 PM
  #8  
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Wow--great advice--thanks everybody! I am now considering at least another day in Bangkok and one less day in Chiang Rai. We are serious beach people though, so we do want to keep the beach time at around a week. But maybe just 3-4 days in Phuket and then the rest of the beach time somewhere different (bringing me back to the Koh Samui vs Krabi issue...argh!)

Gpanda--we are relatively young, I suppose (late 20s), so I guess we should be able to not have the first days in BKK be a washout. Unfortunately, I can't sleep on planes, though, so I may spend most of at least the first day horizontal

Bob (also my husband's name!)--thanks for the comment re: the pool at the Pen. That's exactly the kind of thing I was thinking about

Anyway, thanks again to all of you--your advice is greatly appreciated!

Caroline
travelgirlatl is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2005, 09:36 PM
  #9  
 
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On a Samui vs krabi, Samui is an island so you see what is on the island and perhaps take a boat to other islands, Krabi is a mainland area so there is the advantage of being able to get to other places speedily such as Koh Lanta, Phang Nga, plus Krabi area is scenic wise more beautiful with the large stone outcrops in the waters etc, I guess you could term Samui as more of a place for beach, shopping, some tours etc , Krabi perhaps more for those who marvel at scenery, boat trips, snorkeling, plus the chance to see some rurual areas inland from krabi and along the coast heading south.


Sorry, I just noticed you deffinately want to do Phi Phi day trip, in that case it would have to be Krabi !
Try the Nakamandaq for a classy resort and Spa, just north from Ao Nang so you can get to restaurants etc but fairly quiet, note for best beaches you have to take a long-tail boat.
JamesA is offline  
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