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laurenanne Jul 17th, 2009 09:06 AM

Honeymoon in Thailand and Bali
Hi- I will be posting a few threads, but for starters, I am getting married December 12, 2009 in NYC (where I live). On the 17th of December, we are leaving for our honeymoon!!!

This thread is for general suggestions on our overall itinerary. I will post a thead on Thailand and then on Bali as well, unless someone has a direct comment to make here. thanks!!
The tentative plan: (we have only booked our round trip flights to hong kong and the first 2 nights at the W, by the way).
Fly to Hong Kong. 2 nights at the W (we have lots of starwood points).
Fly to Bangkok for 2 nights (most flights, by the way, are on Air Asia which seems to be the cheapest I have found, but suggestions appreciated!)
Overnight train to Krabi (maybe phuket, but more interested in stunning scenery). I will have a thread on phuket v krabi and where people recommend/suggest to stay. We are on our honeymoon, but we do like nightlife and aren't huge on being completely secluded, unless of course the place we are secluded at is absolutely stunningly beautiful with a private beach. Total of 6-7 nights in Krabi/Phuket region.
Flight (or maybe overnight train) to KL. 1 or 2 nights there (going here in order to catch a flight to Bali, the next leg of the trip).
Arrive Bali- And this is the hard part- How should we split up our 8 or 9 nights in Bali? The island is huge and the Gili islands look nice as well, but we will be there over new year's through January 8th in the rainy season.
Fly back to KL on january 8 or 9. (this is to catch a flight back to hong kong-it appears flights between bali and hong kong are much more expensive than just going through KL on air asia. Plus I have no problem hitting Kl and doing malaysian food for another night.)
3 nights in Hong Kong and return to NYC on January 11th.


Kathie Jul 17th, 2009 10:16 AM

I understand there is now an Air Asia flight from Bangkok to Bali. I'd recommend you take this flight rather than flying through KL. KL is not an especially interesting city, frankly, and you time is better spent elsewhere. I'd highly recommend that you spend more time in Bangkok. Take the nights you would have spent in KL and add them to Bangkok.

Is there a reason you want to take an overnight train to Krabi rather than flying? Flying is quick and efficient and flights are not expensive.

Bali is not that huge. Choose two areas for your time there, one on the coast the other inland near Ubud. The one place I recommend you NOT choose is Nusa Dua. It's an entirely sterile tourist enclave. Kuta is a very busy beach, filled with backpackers and intociated adolescents, so is not likely what you want either. I'm rather fond of Sanur for beach time. I'd skip the Gilis, as the water will not be very clear for snorkeling, and I've not heard anything else about the Gilis termed "amazing."

I'm sure you'll have a lovely honeymoon.

Kathie Jul 17th, 2009 10:18 AM

PS You can tag posts with two countries, so you could tag a post about your honeymoon with both Thailand and Indonesia. Sometimes for a trip like this it makes sense to keep the whole post together rather than a separate one for Thailand and another for Indonesia.

Hanuman Jul 17th, 2009 06:51 PM

Agree with Kathie - there's no need to fly to KL and you can fly direct to DPS(Bali) from BKK. When using the Air Asia web site choose Thailand as the country of your departure and you'll get the proper flight detail and prices.

Weather in Thailand is usually beautiful around the new year and even considered cold up North of the country. I would use the time that you had planned in KL and add it to Thailand or Bali instead.

For Bali I prefer Ubud more than coastal cities. IMHO, more romantic.

tengohambre Jul 17th, 2009 07:34 PM

We loved Bali but, from friends we talk to there they tell us that weather in December can be very disagreeable at times. If you want to assure yourself sun, you may be better staying in Thailand. Good luck.

filmwill Jul 17th, 2009 07:58 PM

We did our honeymoon in Thailand (and Cambodia) in 2006...and I have to say, from my own experiences (we've been to Thailand 3 times now), it doesn't seem like you're spending much time in Bangkok at all. Trust me, we're beach people I get it. But 7 nights on the beach and 2 in Bangkok seems like a bit off balance. There's so much rich culture and amazing sights in Bangkok and it would be a pity to miss out on that in favor of a couple extra nights at the beach. We've been to both Ko Phi Phi and Ko Racha, and as stunningly beautiful as both were (especially Phi Phi), I wouldn't recommend more than 5 nights at a Thai beach/island...that's more than enough before you start getting itchy to move on. I would do 5 at the beach and at least 3 in Bangkok. Book a tour with Tong (just do a search on Fodor's for her)--it's something you cannot go to Bangkok and miss out on!

KimJapan Jul 17th, 2009 08:09 PM

We loved Bali in late December/early January....there is rain, most often in the form of afternoon and evening downpours...but it is so green and lush and the rain is beautiful, too, and cooling.

You can't actually take a train to Krabi or can take a train to Surat Thani or Trang and then a bus on to Krabi or Phuket.

If you book flights from NYC on Cathay Pacific, you could use them for almost your whole itinerary...JFK - HKG - HKT (Phuket) ... DPS (Bali) - HKG - JFK. Use Air Asia or other Thai carrier to fly HKT - BKK - DPS.

Beware of connections on Air Asia. Cheap and good, yes, but miss your flight for any reason at all and you are stuck buying another ticket to get where you are going.

ginny22 Jul 18th, 2009 07:08 AM

Hi I fly air asia all the time from australia (gold coast)to asia and if you make sure you leave enough time in between flights you will have no problem. Walking distances from LCCT airport there is a little hotel called TuneHotel you can book on air asias website. It's great if you have any layovers it is cheap as chips. Tiny rooms but new and clean. Good accommodation in KL is not cheap. Bali is a popular destination for westerners especially aussies. It's a small island and Kuta is the main part for young people and night life. However lots of people stay in Legian,Seminyak for less hassles. Ubud is a must visit in the rainforest. It's lovely there.You can get a driver and a car for about $40 for the day and go and see whatever you want.Do your homework as there are lots of good things to see on the island and all worth going to. We love Thailand. Bangkok has heaps of cultural icons and worth the stay. If you get a chance check out Chang Mai another wonderful place to see in Thailand. My daughter went to Krabi on her honeymoon and they were bored after 2days she liked Phi Phi more but said 2 days was enough. Phuket is a nice island and has good beaches and plenty of nightlife too. Just a tip always be prepared to barter price first for anything you do on the street eg.transport,tours,merchandise etc.Have a good time!

laurenanne Jul 19th, 2009 08:48 AM

Thank you all for the recs. We weren't planning a ton of time in bangkok because my fiance has been there before and he doesn't want to spend too much time there. Why do people get bored in Krabi so quickly? Would it make more sense to fly down there, spend 2 or 3 nights in krabi, 2 nights in phi phi and perhaps take the bus/train through penang for a night? then the train down to KL and spend one night there? I do want to hit Malaysia for the food and had originally considered penang/langkawi but heard the beaches weren't nice, so we rerouted the trip to bangkok/southern thailand(thailand wasn't originally even on the itinerary, only malaysia/bali/hong kong).

Also, how much of the trip do we need to plan ahead v. wing when we get there? do the flights on air asia get booked early? the flights on air asia are the cheapest (cathay pacific is double the price), so a lot of the planning was based upon the air asia flights.

And how many hotels need to be planned in advance? it will be peak season in both bali and thailand over xmas/new year's, so does everything need to be booked in advance? or can we book just the first 4 nights in bali and then book the rest when we get there?

Kathie Jul 19th, 2009 01:37 PM

Over Xmas and New Years you need to book everything in advance if you are at all picky about where you stay. Flights will be more expensive if you book just before (Air Asia ticket prices go up the closer you get to your flight date) - if they are available.

Kim's suggestion about Cathay Pacific was if you fly it trans-pacific you can get cheap add-on fares for other locations or a pass that allows multiple stops. How are you getting from New York to Hong Kong?

The comments about people getting bored at Krabi, aren't about Krabi, but about the contrast between the beaches and places that have more to do. If you really want beach time, choose one and spend your time there.

Penang (Georgetown) is a great destination with fabulous hawker food. Given your time constraints, I'd fly. And one night in Penang is not enough. Stay at the E&O (worth the trip in and of itself) and spend several nights. Click on my name and you'll find a list of recent trip reports including one of Penang. I wouldn't go to Penang for the beach.

laurenanne Jul 19th, 2009 02:41 PM

We are flying round trip on cathay pacific. The asia pass wasn't available over the holiday season. However, how do I add on stops if we want to? Call the airline?

And when you mention penang, would you say fly there from Krabi? and if so, is there an airline that makes that flight? i originally looked for that, but couldn't find one.

Kathie Jul 19th, 2009 02:55 PM

Call Cathay Pacific and see what it would cost to add stops or switch to an open-jaw ticket. You could see if you can get an open-jaw ticket into Phuket and out of bali (as per Kim's idea above), then you could buy your other flights on Air Asia or others.

There is a flight on Firefly Airlines between Phuket and Penang.

rhkkmk Jul 19th, 2009 06:24 PM

couple of thoughts....always on air asia pay the extra for early boarding and seat assignment....believe me its worth go on before anyone else and get settled...

bangkok air has flights to macau which you might check out as macau is an easy connection from HK...

krabi might be dull for action seeking folks...its beautiful but for that much time you might become bored....take a look at amari vogue, but its really issolated....krabi is a great place for a car rental, btw...

bali...fantastic place....lots of hotels to consider....ubud and sanur at the two places i would consider...

look at kajane mua in ubud, also alam shanti....high end--four seasons....a villa like villa kipis in seminyak....or other lux hotels in seminyak....

rhkkmk Jul 19th, 2009 06:25 PM

i second air asia from bkk to bali....i did it before they had that route from bkk direct and stopped in K/L and there is nothing much to do there

Kathie Jul 20th, 2009 08:44 AM

gee, mathew, I don't think most honeymooners are looking for the "amazing" nightlife at Pattaya. Your link to your website really has no relevance to this thread.

laurenanne Jul 20th, 2009 09:47 AM

So- thank you again, for your continued input.
Although someone said nusa dua was not the place to be, it turns out that is the only hotel available for us to use some starwood points. We have to use some points for the 9 nights we are there in order so that we can splurge a bit on other hotels. So, it looks like three nights at the westin in nusa dua. Then we are debating which hotel in Ubud- anybody stay at the komoneka hotels? And then for the last 3 nights, we are debating between seminyak or sanur. Is going somewhere up north worth the effort, or are you completely isolated up there?

As for Thailand, any recs for Krabi/Phi Phi that aren't too expensive? We plan to rent a car, by the way, in Krabi. We may have to stay at the Sheraton there as well, a few nights, in order to help expense the lengthy trip.
thanks again!

budg Jul 20th, 2009 11:55 AM

OK, just reading through all the threads.... since this is your honeymoon, I would take time out to ENJOY Bali instead of moving around so much. We have been to Bali twice and the first time was for 6 days and ended up staying for 9, the second time for 1 week over Christmas and New Years. We did almost the same trip you are doing. Flew from Paris to HKK, stayed there 1 night, then flew to BKK, stayed 4 nights (The peninsula would be my recommendation). Did not do beaches in Thailand, but since it was Christmas and flights are full, we had to fly via Singapore to Bali (not a bad connection and Singapore is great, we did the same on the return to HKK via SIN but stayed overnight there and had some suits made for hubby!). We stayed in Jimbaran in Bali. I agree that Nusa Dua is nice to see but you don't want to stay there. The Four Seasons in Jimbaran is nice, but we stayed at the Ritz twice and LOVED it (now it is another brand, not sure which one). Maybe go for 3 or 4 nights in Jimbaran then to Ubud. You can take day trips as we did and see everything (Temples, volcano, etc.) but Bali is for relaxing, balinese massages and experiencing the wonderful people, flowers and scenery. Out of our 7 days over Christmas and New Years, it rained maybe twice for about 30 minutes. Then it was HOT and humid, as expected. Bangkok was actually cool during that time and too cold for us to use the pool, but comfortable for walking around, etc. I hope you have a great time! An additional note, in Bali, the new Bulgari resort is AMAZING and might be a nice splurge for a honeymoon. We went and toured for the day and it is AMAZING.

rhkkmk Jul 20th, 2009 11:58 AM

i think there is another starwood alternative....a golf course resort on the northwest coast....let me look it up

rhkkmk Jul 20th, 2009 11:59 AM

yes le meridien nerwana golf

rhkkmk Jul 20th, 2009 12:00 PM

avoid nua dua....its stark and horrid really

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