Honeymoon in Thailand?

Old Nov 15th, 2009, 03:13 PM
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Honeymoon in Thailand?

My fiance and I are planning a honeymoon at the end of March for 2 weeks. We are contemplating Thailand, Maldives, Bali...and just have no idea what to choose! We'd like some time spent on a nice beach resort, some culture, and some activities (elephants?). So for approximately 12 days not including travel to and from, does anyone have any great ideas for us? I won't say budget is no option, but we would like to be pampered and stay in some amazing resorts. Thanks!!
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Old Nov 15th, 2009, 04:54 PM
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For a Thailand base honeymoon in March I like to suggest 3 nights in Bangkok, 3 nights up North in Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai and 4 or 5 nights in Phuket.

For Bangkok look for a hotel next to the river and for a honeymoon hotels like the Mandarin Oriental or the Peninsula would be perfect. While in Bangkok hire a guide/driver for a day or two and enjoy care free sightseeing at your own pace. Many here like a guide name Tong and she can arrange for a car and driver too. http://tourwithtong.com/

For Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai I suggest hotels like the Mandarin Oriental or the Four Seasons, both in Chiang Mai, but if you want something less expensive then there are a lot of options available. Check hotel booking sites such as Sawasdee - http://www.sawasdee.com/

For Phuket an ideal hotel would be one on a secluded beach but do note that this is will most likely be the most expensive part of your trip. The Amanpuri is a very nice honeymoon hotel but very expensive.

Elephants - you can find them, the domesticated kind, throughout Thailand. If you want to visit conservation centers then those can be found up North around Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.
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Old Nov 16th, 2009, 11:35 AM
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Just returned from Thailand and Burma- Recommend that you enroll in the Starwood Frequent Guest Program. We stayed at the Royal Orchid Sheraton on the river (they ran a special of $100 a night including breakfast but it was only for Oct) and the Meridien Hotel in Chiang Mai- both outstanding experiences. With the Starwoods program, they will upgrade you with the card. For the Royal Orchid Sheraton, I checked the website first and for the Meridien, the travel agent at the Royal Orchid Sheraton got us a rate of $125 a night including breakfast (it may be higher during a high season). The Sheraton is on the river and easy to access water taxis up and down the Chao Prao River. Great staff at ROS, right next to River City Shopping Center for antiques. In Chiang Mai, the Meridien is right next to the Night Market; has really elegant features and a fabulous breakfast and a pool/spa. It was featured in Architectural Digest.

Chiang Mai- We got a woman taxi driver - Ratana in cab #95 from the Chiang Mai airport who ended up being our driver for most of our adventures. She lived in San Diego for 6 months to study English and is a charming, fun woman. She took us to Lampang to the Elephant Conservatory ("This is where Thai people go") for a fun experience . The King's elephants live at this property (they apparently commute to Bangkok for special ceremonies); the king's sister was one of their biggest supporters. They are planning a nursing home for older elephants . There is an effort to save these wonderful beasts who have given their lives as beast of burden in the Thai forests.
Congratulations and enjoy Thailand.
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Old Nov 17th, 2009, 06:37 PM
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Here are my thoughts and suggestions:

1. March is a good time weather-wise in all three places, Bali is just out of their rainy season but that really should not make too much of a difference for most activities; if you can go toward the end of March this may be better. For the Maldives, I would stick to the northern atolls from Male and north as they will be very dry. For Thailand beaches you could consider Phuket, although by mid to late March the east coast areas like Koh Samui should be in good shape weather-wise as well. See weatherbase.com and other sites to make sure you are comfortable with temps and rainfall chances. Thailand will be the hottest of the three.

2. You can find some very amazing resorts in all three places, you will be spoiled for choice I would say. It will be a matter of budget and location. See the Aman chain, Mandarin Oriental chain, Shangri-La chain, Four Seasons and then the Luxe Guide for a start as well as shl.com and lhw.com. You could also rent a house in Bali, see vrbo.com and other sites.

3. I love the Maldives and think it is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and has the friendliest people I have yet to find anywhere (this includes Thailand and Bali where the people are lovely). However it is ALL about the beach, and water sports like snorkeling and diving. There are no cities worth visiting and really no sights. If you would be bored with 12 days of beach and water (but the most beautiful anywhere and much, much more beautiful than Bali or even Thailand which has some lovely ones), then the Maldives may not be a good choice for you. (On the other hand, if you want a hotel with over-water villas, the Maldives is the only place of the three where you will find them.)

4. Bali has fantastic cultural offerings, their painting, sculpture, dance and music are woven into daily life in an amazing manner. If these sorts of things interest you, then this may be your best choice. The beaches, while pretty, do not compare, IMO, to Thailand or the Maldives. However, the cultural offerings and the beauty of their geography in the inland mountain/rice paddy areas more than make up for it. Of the three, it is the most magical place, IMO.

5. Bangkok is a very interesting city with lots to see and do. It would make a great honeymoon city in that it is exotic, has great restaurants and shopping and offers some really wonderful hotels. The Maldives and Bali do not offer cities, although Bali has some charming villages (and some overrun with tourists, like Ubud, but that can be avoided by staying outside of the village in the countryside). I have to say that while Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are perfectly fine, there are many lovely countryside areas in SE Asia; certainly Luang Prabang, Ankor Wat and many areas of Vietnam are just as pretty and offer interesting cultural sights. So, I don’t know if that would be as big a draw for me as Bangkok itself. (Going to Ankor Wat from Bangkok is quite easy, however and you might consider it. Same with Luang Prabang.)

6. If you really really want elephants, then Thailand is the only place for this. I have to say you may find this experience to be a bit canned. I would avoid it entirely in Phuket, and perhaps consider it someplace in the north, and even there you may find it to be touristy. (IMO if you really want to see elephants in their natural state and not like a zoo or a circus, then go to Africa. Also a great honeymoon destination, by the way.)

7. It would be possible, but perhaps a bit rushed, to combine Thailand and Bali. A possible itin may be Bangkok for 3-4 days, and then the rest in Bali, splitting time in Bali between beach and inland areas. It might also be possible to go to Bangkok, a place like Chiang Mai or Ankor Wat, and then Bali. This would depend somewhat on flights, and your tolerance for moving around, but with 12 days may work. I have done it myself with visiting friends from the US, and it works pretty well; I personally would prefer just 2 places rather than 3 in that amount of time, as I like to explore the smaller villages of Bali. You would need to have an “open jaw” flight for the international portion which would allow you to fly into say Bangkok and then home via Bali.
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Old Nov 19th, 2009, 05:40 AM
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Thank you so much for your good information! I can't wait to start booking. Keep the info coming!
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Old Nov 23rd, 2009, 12:19 AM
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Hi !
Firstly congrats ! Thailand is amazing for honeymoons. Especially the beaches at Phuket..I live in Thailand for the past 1yr and actually got to visit Phuket last month.
The hotels recommended 5* would be Absolute Chandara - its beautiful and on the Patong Beach..even Aquamarine Resort on Kamala Beach ..very impressive...
You shud definitely visit Chiang Mai/Chiang Rai on ur honeymoon..around 2hrs from Chiang Mai therz a cosy place called Pai which is just apt for nature lovers and a lovely honeymoon..i want to visit it sometime as well.
Any more info , jus email me or let me know.
All the best
Anna
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