Hua Hin or Koh Samui

Jan 15th, 2004, 07:40 AM
  #1  
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Hua Hin or Koh Samui

We are a family of 4 with 2 children aged 11 and 9. We are planning a trip to Thailand, Hong Kong and Dubai in July 2004.

Our current plan is to have 4 nights in Bangkok, probably at the Royal Orchid Sheraton. We were then going to go to Phuket for 6 nights, but reading this board has put us off due to the rainy season. Our current thinking is Hua Hin or Koh Samui. We do like beaches, though the kids probably prefer smimming pools, but we like to travel and see things as well.
Are either of these places suitable for families and is there enough to do for 6 nights? We were thinking of staying at the Marriott in Hua Hin as it is close to the town - is this a good choice?
If we choose Koh Samui, it looks like we would have to return to BKK the night before our onward connection to Hong Kong, so we are leaning towards Hua Hin. If we do choose Hua Hin, who are the best land transportation operators between Bankok and Hua Hin?
Thanks in advance for any advice and help.
JohnB1 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2004, 10:04 AM
  #2  
 
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Weatherwiase you are right to probably go for Koh Samui/Hua Hin side. These 2 places are so totally different it makes your choice easy, I won't go 'on and on' I will be as basic as I can and hope that helps to choose.
Transport - To/from Hua Hin Limo service from BKK city or airport is B 2,500 per car, usually Mercedes or Volvo, that's about US$65. Taxis are about $40, with 4 of you deffinately take the Limo. Takeds 2.5-3 hrs.
To/from Koh Samui Bangkok Airways 12+ flights per day, normal fare about US$174 return for adults, though there are promotions and you might get for $100 return, so with child discount that would be as low as $300 return. Though still naturally a lot more than Limo to/from Hua Hin.

Beaches: Koh Samui wins hand-down on this one, lots of beaches, excursions, lively at night, party atmosphere if you want.

Hua Hin is far more sedate and quiet, though some great resorts, Marriott and Hyatt Regency both have Kids clubs. Both have good pools. Marriott easier because so close to the town. Though the pool setting at Hyatt is better. Hyatt is 10 mins from town, not far. On Koh Samui Peace Resort is a good 'safe bet' place, nice beach.

If you want a lively fun filled beach time then I would honestly go for Koh Samui, it is a tropical beach vacation/holiday island with everything you would expect and need. Hua Hin is quiet, little nightlife except for bars/restaurants. Though you can elephant ride etc. You can also see Thai dance show several times a week.

Summary: Hua Hin quiet for some, boring for others.

Koh Samui lively vacation island but more expensive to get to/from, but more of a typical vacation island, much much better beachwise.

If you have an early morning flight to HKG you can overnight at Rama Gardens or Quality Suitres near the airport if flying in from Samui, if from Hua Hin 'local' limo service is 24/7 so you could leave like 4 am, sedan B 1,500 or a Large 4x4 RV B 2,500.

JamesA is offline  
Jan 15th, 2004, 10:07 AM
  #3  
 
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Sorry just thinking once again, with the kids ages I think Koh Samui would be better, take a look at the Peace Resort Bungalows, some other posters here have been and going and it overall seems to get us 'Fodorites' seal of approval as nice good value for Samui.

http://www.freewebs.com/koh_samui_hotels/

http://www.freewebs.com/hua_hin_hotels/
JamesA is offline  
Jan 15th, 2004, 06:14 PM
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james always has the best advice on this one...may i add a few things....please consider the marriott resort and spa in bkk ...it is perfect for kids...not as central as sheraton, but i think a better situation and the pool area is simply the best in bkk...the kids would like the daily free ride up the river in the boat as well...also there is a small mall attached to the marriott which has kid's food: mcdonalds, burger king, pizza hut, swensons ice cream and several others as well as my favorite lost cost delicious thai family restaurant...ground level overlooking the parking lot with green awnings...dinner for 2 with beer $12-15....

i have stayed at the marriott in hua hin and would also prefer it if i were taking my grandchildren...pool area is manageable where hyatt has huge area...you would be able to see the kids without moving out of your chair....easy walk to town where hyatt is much further and you could not walk...
can't speak to koh samui as i won't experience it until june...we are staying at the peace resort (very family friendly) on james' suggestion...very affordable...beach front cottage for about $82 including breakfast and tax and service...it is a mid range place....

getting to hua hin...we took a private limo there for about $65...took a sharred van (6-8 passengers) back to bkk for about $28 for the two of us (arranged through marriott HH....there is also a regular bus service...very cheap...

i would also suggest that you have a hotel car pick you up at the airport upon your initial arrival in bkk...it is so confusing and if you are coming from the usa it will be late and with the kids....its worth the $35 +/-....

we also use the airport limo/taxi service available in the outer lobby...reliable and comfortable...

regular bkk taxis are toyota corollas and have small trunks and limited inside room so you don't want to have to deal with that either or take two into town....regular taxi about 400-600B into town...
rhkkmk is offline  
Jan 16th, 2004, 01:00 PM
  #5  
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Thanks for your responses.

The Peace Resort looks great. I e-mailed them with a question concerning whether we could all share one bungalow but the response was a bit confusing. I have asked the question again in a different way, but do any of you know if this is feasable? We are not adverse to having 2 rooms but would prefer interconnecting ones which you can't have in a bungalow.

As to connection times at BKK when transferring from Koh Samui, what is the minimum you would recommend, bearing in mind we shall have to probably check-in for our Emirates HKK flight at BKK?

We are still considering Hua Hin - what is the sea like here? We went to Penang about 4 years ago and the sea was murky and not pleasant at all. Also are there many trips you can do from Hua Hin, either organised or on our own (with a driver)?

JohnB1 is offline  
Jan 16th, 2004, 07:21 PM
  #6  
 
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we were at hua hin in november and the sea was fairly full of medium size waves the first day...also full of jelly fish...we never saw them again and the sea was much calmer...i think the king had arrived and he told it to calm down...couldn't resist....

james will answer about cahnge times, but i think it would be what you would normally expect in any international airport...you have to move from one terminal to the next...allow 30 minutes for that...i find check-in at bkk to be quite quick...they band your suitcases as you arrive for security and safety which i like...emerites probably only has one or two flights so things should move quickly....i would ask them what they suggest....myself i would want min of 3 hours....actually i would come up to bkk the nite before probably and stay over just in case...the jw marriott is an easy escape to the airport...the rama gardens is highly reccomended as well...i have stayed at the comfort suites and won't do that again...
rhkkmk is offline  
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