Hong Kong to Beach in January

Sep 18th, 2005, 09:45 AM
  #1  
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Hong Kong to Beach in January

Hi
We're going to be in Hong Kong in January for a conference (from the US). Is there an easily accessible beach that is safe for Americans? We just want a good resort, warm weather and relatively inexpensive. (I'm correct in assuming it would be "beach weather" during this time, right?)

When I say easily accessible, I mean by a plane ride from Hong Kong to an airport reasonably close to a beach. I don't want to be transferring, shuttling etc. too much.

I would avoid Bali as I understand they're still under a travel advisory for us.

Are there beaches near Bangkok? I'm really quite unfamiliar with this area.

Is Phuket easy and inexpensive to fly to?

Thanks for your help!
LM3682 is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 10:11 AM
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Dragonair and Thai 'used to' fly from HKG to Phuket but still not at the moment and neither showing any non-stops for Winter Season, I belive Dragonair is operating some charters but that probably won't suit, also charters with orient Thai but again that might not be suitable.

Hong Kong to Koh Samui is about 3 hrs with Bankok Airways ( not daily ) but January is not so good weatherwise.

So it's either beaches/islands near bangkok or transferring in Bangkok down to Krabi or Phuket.

(HKG-BKK is 2 hrs 50 and then about 1 hr 20 for flights south ).

Koh Chang Island is a 40 minute flight from BKK to Trat ( twice a day only ) and then road and boat.

I am guessing this is for days or a week at most?

The beaches close to bangkok are not as nice as those down south so you need to think about flying via Bangkok to the south around Krabi and Phuket or going to a beach near Bangkok ( which a lot of HK residents do for l/weekends ).

Taxi/Limo to Pattaya/Jomtien area is about 1 hr 30 from Bangkok Airport so nearest timewise, hotels are cheap but little in the way of beachfront places, very lively and busy area, but beaches better around Hua Hin which is south of BKK about 2 hrs 30 by Taxi/Limo from Bangkok Airport. HKG-BKK is a highly competative route and fares are cheap.

Hua Hin has lots of top resorts, January though is peak season with New year rates until about mid january and then rates drop down a lot, you would be looking at the USD 150-200 region for good resorts like Hyatt Regency beach Resort about USD 160-220, Hilton Resort USD 140-190, Sofitel USD 160-220 etc. Also there's a Marriott resort and others.

There are lots of cheaper boutique style resorts USD 70-120, plus cheaper boutique places down to budget and guesthouses. as I say the beaches aren't great but there lots of sports, golf courses, elephants and good restaurants etc.

So your choices really are flight direct to Samui but weather might not be so good but it 'is' a non-stop flights ( www.bangkokair.com ), very large choice of beach places right on the sands, restaurants, nightlife etc.

Or change flights in Bangkok and head to the best beaches are Krabi and Phuket.

Or head to places near Bangkok where beaches not great but easy and cheap to get to by cab from BKK airport.
Depends how you rate the actaul 'beach' as opposed to being on a beach and lazing around a nice pool and nice restaurants, if the qaulity/color of the sand itself is not a major point then Hua Hin if yo want to avoid flight changes.
JamesA is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 10:25 AM
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If you can let us know if you are looking for roughly 3/4/5 star places or even budget we can give you a better idea on places. Although January on Samui weatherwise not as good as Phuket you can still be lucky and get nice weather.

I did a post with rainfall statistics a week or so back, I will report it, look for the post about Thailand Weather/Rainfall and you can compare.
JamesA is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 10:31 AM
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There really is 'nothing in it' rainwise really for January ( in inches )

Samui: 1.5
Phuket: 1.4
Bangkok: 0.4
Chiang Mai: 0.3
Hua Hin: 0.2
JamesA is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 04:41 PM
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It's not so easy to get to the beach from Hong Kong. Once you add up the airport transfers it takes the whole day even to a "nearby" country like the Philippines.

Maybe you should think again about Bali. The US State Department has had a don't go to Indonesia warning since 1998. During that time thousands of Americans -- including just about everyone working for the State Department in SEAsia -- has visited Bali.

There is risk everywhere. Bad things happen in good places and Bali -- like Phuket and New York and London -- is no exception; however the chance of your being adversely affected by terrorism (or another tsunami) is very low.

There are daily non-stops from Hong Kong to Denpasar. There are many choices of resorts in all price points.
marmot is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 05:02 PM
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Hmm. Thank you for your comments. I had just found a good looking place in Samui too! But we are definitely doing this to get some goodweather...it'll make the China trip a little more palatable. So we wouldn't want to risk it.

We would only be going for 3-5 days, but it's the first week in January...we know this'll run up the price. In Samui, the Amari was $150 night and this is reasonable for us. I think Phuket is more expensive, so we'd be willing to go a little higher...say $200/night/room. But if good quality places are available for less, by all means let me know! We're all MBA students, so the funding is low right now

The little research I've done, Kragi's beach doesn't seem as nice? JamesA-it sounds like you don't think Hua Hin's beaches aren't nice either??

I think Bali is out-even though I'm 27, I can already hear my mom with the advisories!!

Please keep the comments coming!
LM3682 is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 06:22 PM
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JamesA-can you clarify your description of bad weather in January in Koh Samui? Are we talking low 80's and mostly sunny? The rainfall you posted doesn't look terrible. Or is it too cool to sit out or swim? Just wanted to find out how bad "bad" is. Thanks!
LM3682 is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 08:10 PM
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I didn't do Hua in justice.

Unfortunately the Hua Hin area beaches are "always" and I mean "always" compared with those around Krabi, Phuket etc, compared with those no, not as good, but depends on how much value you have for those picture post card white sand blue ocean or whether you just need a beach!

My humble opinion is that Hua Hin is very very underated as a 'beach area' because it is always compared with Krabi/Phuket that it gets a rough deal on forums sometimes, though strangely for Thai and many Asia tourists they love it!
Hotels, drinks, resdtaurants and general shopping I find way cheaper than Phuket as the place does not rely upon tourism, and as so popular with local people pointless theym doing tourist style pricing!

Weatherwise it's the driest provincial area of Thailand, as an overall destination.

I actualy rate Hua Hin very highly for the only resort area that can actualy achieve that claim of mixing beach with culture. Nice temples with no tour guides no touts, nor entrance fees !!, old palaces, lots of 1920s building, working fishing piers and villages, elepahants, caves, waterfalls etc, the ebenfit of being a cab, bus or train ride from BKK add to the benefits.

No, I rate it very highly but it does not appeal to those after heady nightlife or the pristine beaches.


January first week !! Ah, this is absolute peak week on the year !!

Peace Resort on Samui is nice, and rates for Samui would be cheaper than Phuket, problem you may have is getting flights as that is really the abolsute peak or peaks.

Interesting on the weather because the difference is so minimal, it's not so much that Samui weather isn't good at that time but more that Phuket weather 'is' good at that time.
Accommodation is easier to sort than flights!
You should decide on wether to go to a beach via Bangkok or take the Samui direct flight.

JamesA is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 08:12 PM
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Temperatures probably around the 29-34 degress ( sorry don't know what that is in the other scale but I think that is 80's to high 80's )
JamesA is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 08:20 PM
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Here are some websites to familiarize yourself more:

Samui: http://www.kohsamui.org

Phuket: http://www.phuketgazette.net

Hua Hin: http://huahin.sawadee.com/

JamesA is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 08:30 PM
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LM.. wow $200 is a truck load of money in thailand for accomidation. and for that money you could literally stay in some of the worlds best hotels. 100 will get you some of the worlds best hotels. and 75-100 will land you a good luxury hotel.. may'be you should do more reaserch on thailand and costs. DON"T compare it to HK where for $75 you may get a 10 sq foot room in a brothel.

kah samui is one of the best places for partying.

I think they have signs on the beach that say "raaw raak America." (we love america}

what dates are you planning too come down?
orgy7 is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 08:46 PM
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orgy some of the rates for Phuket high season are downright .......!!
Just looked for a family and Meridien would cost them like USD 400-500, even the 3 star Karon beach resort which used to be around the 2,200-2,500 range now showing over 6,000 a night for peak season!

I am still in the 1,000-1,500 range and always stay comfort, sometimes we get 4 to a room, sometimes they give us an extra room free, imagine that the Sofitel Khon Kaen is 1,800 !!
Samui rates over peak are much much lower.
JamesA is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 09:13 PM
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Jeez... it seems that since hotel accumpancy has not picked up too regular rates in phuket they are going to gouge those that do make it down.
------------
james A. lol.. I just can't imagin too many fodorites going too khon kaen. and if they did make it up too isaan they'd probably bunker themselves in the hotel.

ya. I thought about posting $25-$50 will get you a verry good room in thailand. but once again fellow fodorites just can't grasp that concept.

a 4 star hotel in Bangkok costing the same as a dumpy motel in "east corn kernal", Nabraska.. well come too think about it does make no scence, but I guess we've been in thailand long enough too stop thinking too rationally. or is it just me.?
orgy7 is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 10:06 PM
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I guess for many the hotel itself is part of the vacation, and hey if you have the bucks why not! I have absolutely no problem with that at all, I would do the same and have done so, but if people are 'truly, realy, seriously, honestly, absolutely' trying to grasp something about the country staying at nice smaller places certainly helps.

I think Baan Orapin in Chiang Mai is a good example, some have ventured to stay there are the response is 'wow!' and a lot of that I doubt is not because rooms are better than some classy hotel but simply because people can interact with the local owners, get a highly personalized service and can can get to know a little more about the place. And a lot of these places can 'shame' the service offered even by 4/5 star places.

I guess putting it simply, if you have the bucks then enjoy the best, but don't think that because you are on a $ 30-50 budget that you can't find places that are superb!

JamesA is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 10:11 PM
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....except perhaps peak season Phuket
JamesA is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 10:26 PM
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LM3682: On that price range if you think about Hua Hin the Wora Bura Resort and Spa is a bargain at about USD 115 twin including tax, service, breakfast, great new beach spa resort

http://www.r24.org/huahin.20m.com/hu...bura/pictures/

How many of you? If more than say 4 then you could look at places on Samui with multiple room places too and that would save you a lot, there are quite a few places with family houses within the resort and if you are friends a great way to save a lot!
You need to check on the Bangkok Airways website for schedule for the HK-Samui flights and check the fares as they could be more expensive than you anticipate, I think it's 4 times a week now but goes up to daily peak season, but from HK to BKK there are perhaps 14-15 daily flights.

www.bangkokair.com

(They us a Boeing 717 on the route, looks like a DC9 but new )
JamesA is offline  
Sep 19th, 2005, 05:13 AM
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Again, thank you for your comments. I'm all for staying at a cheaper rate if I'm way off! Maybe I'm not looking in the right places. I've used that www.r24.org site and many places are listed as 10,000thb/night for the first week in January. That's a per room price...so we'd divide it by two or three people. When I say we'd spend $200US, that's total, not per person. So are we just going on the one really expensive week or am I searching the wrong websites? I have traveled enough to know that we don't have to pay a lot in other countries to get the quality we're used to in the States. So maybe I'm looking on the wrong sites?

We can do four to a room, but do want the amentities that come with a resort.
Somewhere the Peace Lodge or Amari looks totally fine for us. So comparable hotel suggestions are definitely welcome!
Samui seems cheapest, so if the weather is basically good, maybe we should do that route?

I think what we would do is fly into Bangkok from the states, then transfer to somewhere (Samui, Phuket, Hua Hin??). It would be ideal if we could fly direct to Hong Kong after that for our conference. But weather is really important too!
JamesA, I'll check those websites for more info.
Thank you again! If you have any further comments and aren't sick of writing to me yet, I'd appreciate it!!
LM3682 is offline  
Sep 19th, 2005, 05:51 AM
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Why don't you try Borneo? I flew there from HK with Dragon Air, It took 2.5hrs. We stayed at the Shangri-la Tanjung Aru which is 10mins from the airport in Kota Kinabalu. Great 5 star resort, got back yesterday, highly recommended. I felt safe pretty much everywhere in Sabah, The Malaysians are lovely people.
emtee is offline  
Sep 19th, 2005, 05:55 AM
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I should add that the Shangri la in KK, doesn't have a big beach but 2 great swimming pools and islands with Coral reefs 10 mins away by boat.
emtee is offline  
Sep 19th, 2005, 07:36 AM
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orgy7- Most of the fodorites here DO stay at 4-5 star hotels when visiting because it IS affordable when compared to the likes of NYC, Paris, London, SanFran or HK. But you are absolutely right that you can get a good place for much less and meet the Thai people and interact with them, which is a bonus. I'll treat myself to the Penn when I want to splurge, but I can also stay at Patumwan House in a serviced apartment and spend about $25 and LOVE the place and the people there!

LM3682- Koh Samui used to be a more quiet laid back island, but since the tsunami it has gotten a lot more of the tourist business. Flights to KS are way up as far as passenger numbers. Numbers to Phuket are way down. It's too bad they don't adjust peak season prices there, but it does not look like it will happen, even though numbers are down significantly. I've stayed on Phuket during peak season, in a small resort with only 6 villas, and paid $500+ per night. It was FABULOUS!!! If it were not so expensive, I could do it every year! I'm on my way to BKK tomorrow and hope to go to my favorite Phuket resort in the next 10 days or so, and I HOPE to get a bargain for a villa at this time of the year. We shall see...

I think you would enjoy either Samui or Phuket. If you opt for Samui, the busiest beach is Chewang. I've stayed at Chewang Regent and would say that the beach at "that end" is not as nice as the other end, near Poppies, although the Regent is a very nice resort itself.

Have fun on your trip.

Carol
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