Just back from Thailand...

Dec 14th, 2006, 11:25 AM
  #1  
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Just back from Thailand...

My husband and I just returned yesterday from a AMAZING 3 weeks in Thailand. I will write a more detailed trip report later but wanted to post a quick report. This was our first time to visit the land of smiles and our trip more than exceeded all of our expectations. We experienced so many amazing things at each of our destinations as each one was so different. As they say in Thailand "Same Same...but Different" =)

A little bit of background about us...my husband and I are from Philadelphia and are in our early 30's. We love to travel and are especially into the beaches and scuba diving. With this trip we really wanted to have an adventure and experience a new culture as well as have time to relax on the beach and scuba dive. This vacation was all of that and more...

I really want to thank everyone on this messageboard that made our vacation such a success. When I first started researching this trip I found it very overwhelming to choose hotels and things to do as well as which destinations to visit in our 3 weeks as there were so many to choose from. I cannot express my appreciation enough to everyone who responded to my questions...I chose most of my hotels based on reviews from my fellow fodorites and they all were fabulous. I hope that I will be able to assist others with their travel planning...

Our itinerary was:

4 nights Bangkok-Majestic Grande Sukhumit
5 nights RaiLay Beach-Sunrise Tropical
3 nights Pee Pee-Phi Phi Island Village resort and Spa
4 nights Ko Lanta-Royal Lanta Resort and Spa
2 nights Bangkok-Majestic Grande Sukhumit

New BKK Airport-Loved it...it was beautiful and everything so fresh and new...no bad experiences to report...

We took the Thai Airways non stop flight from JFK-BKK...17 hours and direct. We were in economy and had plenty of legroom as we are both tall! We rented a car to drive from Philly to JFK and return as well. It was half the price of parking at the airport and so effortless...I think I got this tip from this site-it was brilliant!

More details to follow...
pmalinow is offline  
Dec 14th, 2006, 11:31 AM
  #2  
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Forgot to add that we booked all of our hotels using www.sawadee.com and everything was seamless...

I was a little hesitant in using an online site but all was fine! Would definately use them again for future trips.
pmalinow is offline  
Dec 14th, 2006, 11:41 AM
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i hope you loved phi phi island village as much as we did...and the diving was great...
i look forward to your trip report
divediva is offline  
Dec 14th, 2006, 12:27 PM
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I'm glad you had such a wonderful time! I look forward to your trip report.
Kathie is offline  
Dec 14th, 2006, 06:35 PM
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glad everything worked out so well...did you happen to eat at shaz at the MG?? we had lunch there and were very pleased...
rhkkmk is offline  
Dec 14th, 2006, 07:48 PM
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Bob, I think the name is Sacz. It's a great restaurant, yes! I've been there a few times and have always enjoyed it. I'd have to look at my journal, but if I recall correctly, they had an amazing foie gras.

pmanilow, were you happy with your room at the Majestic? Just curious. I toured the hotel and though that most of the rooms were quite small, but nicely furnished. The bathrooms were nice.

Another question, did you feel that with all your beach time that you maybe cut Bangkok a little short? It's such an amazing city.

Carol
simpsonc510 is offline  
Dec 14th, 2006, 11:55 PM
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Looking forward to hearing your response. We've got reservations at the Majestic Grande, so curious to hear what you have to say about the hotel.
boobaby is offline  
Dec 15th, 2006, 10:31 AM
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Answers to the questions posted...

When I started planning our trip I really struggled with the Bangkok hotel. We had decided on the Novotel Siam but they were booked and I think it was Bob who recommeded the Majectic to me. We absolutely LOVED the Majestic Grande Hotel and I would recommend to anyone visiting Bangkok-it was a great "home base" and although we weren't in the room very often it was a nice place to come back and relax after a long day of sighseeing and its in a great location(close to 2 skytrain stops). The room wasn't large per say but I didn't notice it being too small in any way. It was definately a bit larger than a room at the Sheraton in DC or NYC if that helps. The hotel was a great value for the money-I think about $80-$85 in sawadee.com. Not only was it beautiful but the service at the hotel was wonderful. We had bought a lot a lot of souveniers at the weekend market that we didn't feel like bringing with us to the south and the hotel let us leave a bag there and we picked it up when we returned at the end of the trip. They also let us check out late our last day as our flight wasn't until 1:00am and we were able to store all of our bags there while we explored the city our last afternoon and were able to shower at night at the finess center. Breakfast was wonderful-many things to choose from. We did eat dinner one night at the restaurant and thought it was great. They also upgraded us for free when we returned for our last few night without us having to ask. We used their business center as well for checking e-mail and a few phone numbers.

As for the question about spending too much time at the beaches-we did not think so at all. Although we enjoyed Bangkok-we thought that the time that we spent there was enough. We had enough time to see everything that we wanted to see both in the city and outside of the city (We spent a day with Yuth from Ratt's team going to the floating market, Bridge over the River Kwai and Tiger Temple). We are beach people and really enjoyed all of the islands that we visited. There was so much to do and the scenery was absolutely amazing as well as the food. Actually-If I could do it again I would have cut a day off of Bangkok at the end and stayed at the islands one more day...but I think everyone looks for different things in a vacation. We really enjoyed Bangkok but we thought 4 days was plenty to see everything and we fit a lot into those 4 days too =)

Hope this helps...trip report coming soon but still trying to shake this jetlag and get caught up with reality...UGH!! =)
pmalinow is offline  
Dec 15th, 2006, 08:14 PM
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For that price, you stayed in one of the smaller rooms. The Grande Deluxe rooms at 40m2 don't seem small at all and have a very nice bathroom.
Bisbee is offline  
Jan 6th, 2007, 07:40 PM
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Hi pmalinow,
Enjoyed your report. We are also from Philly area ( Bucks C.) and will be taking the Thai Airways flight from JFK on Feb 7th. How did you get from the airport to your hotel? Did you use a taxi or limo? Let me know what's best. Also, we are staying at the Phi Phi Village Resort as well. Anything you would like to point out?
thanks so much,
Kirsten
kirstenrdh is offline  
Jan 6th, 2007, 08:54 PM
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IF YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN TO thailand before i suggest the limo route...it should be about 900B +/- plus tolls of about 65B...well worth it after 17 hours on a flight....there is the official limo service right outside baggage claim or i like to use AAC limo...
rhkkmk is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 10:53 AM
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We are also flying Thai and from Bucks County. We are leaving on February 10th. Can't wait!!!
wegoldb is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 01:39 PM
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pmalalinow-thanks for your report-we will be in Thailand in October. I have a question of you floks who flew Tahi did you get frequent flyer miles?? With whom. Also I have been trying to get a price on Business with Thai and the computor won't let me as we are staying til November-too far our of range-how did any of you get the flights|?? Thanks Chris
BeniciaChris is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 01:56 PM
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Thai is a member of Star Alliance so you could get points with United, for example. Normal price for business class is about $6000 but there is a sale right now for about $4000.
Craig is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 03:45 PM
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Glad you had a good time, P. Please tell us where you went in BKK. I will be there in 11 weeks =)

K
Mango7 is offline  

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