Phuket during Christmas

Nov 5th, 2009, 01:50 PM
  #1  
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Phuket during Christmas

Hello,

My wife and I were planning to go on a Honeymoon trip to Thailand during the Christmas timeframe. We wanted to spend 4 days in a beach resort and were wondering the best place to do that. Naturally, the first place that came to mind was Phuket -- the most popular / well-known beach area in Thailand. But we have recently heard that Phuket is not a great place to be over Christmas holidays due to the crowds... is this true? Can anyone with experience validate this for me or offer alternative suggestions?

Thanks so much in advance.
dag312 is offline  
Nov 5th, 2009, 02:36 PM
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Christmas is the highest of the high seasons. You might look at either Krabi or Khao Lak. Both are beautiful, but the availability of nightlife is significantly lower. In any case, if you are thinking of 2009, you should book hotels and flights (in that order) as soon as possible. they fill up quickly
Gpanda is offline  
Nov 5th, 2009, 05:02 PM
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Christmas is not as crowded as New Years will be. Remember, Christmas is not a holiday in Thailand, so most Thais will still be at work.

The main issue with that time frame, IMO, is that many of the hotels (including those in Khao Lak) have minimum 5, or even 10 night stays, and possibly a expensive compulsory gala dinner on Christmas. You'll have to hunt around to find a place that doesn't have these conditions.

Do keep in mind that Phuket is a large island, with several beach areas. The area that gets crazy crowded is Patong, which is almost certainly not where you'll want to be on your honeymoon. The Laguna resort, where the Banyan Tree is, or Maiklao, where the JW and Anantara are, are probably where you want to be. Marriott just opened a new JW Marriott in Khao Lak as well.
MichaelBKK is offline  
Nov 5th, 2009, 07:23 PM
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Thanks guys for your responses.

I have already booked my flights so we're all set there. It's just a matter of figuring out where to go. We fly into Bangkok and are open to anything afterwards. I figure we'll spend a few days in Bangkok, then head over to Phuket, unless you guys can think of a better place to go for a nice beach resort.

In terms of hotels, we have a temporary booking at Indigo Pearl, which is located in the Nai Yang beach.

Thanks again for your help and I welcome any further thoughts.
dag312 is offline  
Nov 5th, 2009, 10:45 PM
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I haven't stayed at the Indigo Pearl, but have heard great things about it. At least one person has posted a review on the forum, so you should do a search on that topic.
MichaelBKK is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 01:37 AM
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During Christmas Phuket will be overcrowded. But u will enjoy lot during christmas days. I think this is the best time to visit Thailand for bachelors But as you are going on Honeymoon can't suggest same to u
rohanarora536 is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 03:45 AM
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I've been to Phuket a couple of times, but for the New Years Eve celebration, not Christmas. The weather is fantastic at that time. Do give Phuket a try. It is possible to find quieter places. Avoid Patong Beach, unless you want to go for shopping, strolling the beach. Patong is too busy, too many pushy touts, but you should give it a look. I just would not want to stay in a hotel/resort on Patong.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 04:28 AM
  #8  
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Has anyone been to Phi Phi island? Would that be a better option than Phuket?

Also, if I'm staying 4 days in Phuket, does it make sense to go to Phi Phi Island for 2 days and Phuket for 2 days?
dag312 is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 05:37 AM
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Many people love PhiPhi. But I don't know that I'd divide my time. I'd say choose one or the other. If you have a hotel booking, that's great. I doubt you'll have much choice at this late date.
Kathie is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 05:43 AM
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You can do a day trip to Phi Phi. Not quite the same as staying on the island, but at least you will see what it is all about. It is a bit too isolated for my own tastes, but many love going to Phi Phi and staying on the island for several days or more.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 08:24 AM
  #11  
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How does one get to Phi Phi from Phuket?

I don't know why everyone is saying hotel bookings are impossible this late in the game. I have looked at both Phuket and Bangkok and there are numerous hotels with availability even as of yesterday. Perhaps it won't last long, but it's not too late at this point.
dag312 is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 10:02 AM
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Bangkok will be easier to book at this date than Phuket. Phuket is usually booked full in the better places months in advance for Xmas. If you are finding availability now, it tells us that the economy is impacting on hotel bookings. But I wouldn't dawdle - if you find what you want, book it.

You take a ferry or a private motorboat transfer to/from PhiPhi.

Take a look at this listing of honeymoon hotels:
http://www.phuket.com/hotel/recommen...ic-resorts.htm
Kathie is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 11:49 AM
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Thank Kathie.

I have 2 temporary bookings. 1 at the Holiday Inn Pantong Beach and another at Indigo Pearl in Nai Yang.

Does anyone have any experience with either of these spots?
dag312 is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 01:29 PM
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You do NOT want to be at Patong Beach for your honeymoon. It's busy, loud, lots of touts, girly bars... I expect it's not exactly what you have in mind.
Kathie is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 01:35 PM
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One of our regular posters, Bella Bluebell an family stayed at the Indigo Pearl for their honeymoon. I expect the Indigo Pearl is more of what you had in mind. Here is a link to that report:

http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...and-feb-09.cfm
Kathie is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 08:24 PM
  #16  
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Very helpful, thanks. Looks like Patong is a no-no!
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Nov 7th, 2009, 11:24 AM
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we did bkk, phuket, chiang mai- chiang rai, and a 2 day elephant experience up north last year between xmas and new year. the only place where crowds were a problem was bangkok (awful! could barely move at some sights on new year's day) the rest was fabulous. many hotels allowed short stays of a few days. we did phuket over xmas, and there were no mandatory celebratory meals: over new years most had mandatory dinners (quite pricey) so we planned to be in bkk over new years (marriott resort and spa) where the dinner was optional. it was an extravagantly priced affair that we did not participate in but it looked quite lavish and yummy.
4bams is offline  
Nov 7th, 2009, 11:51 AM
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Thanks for the info 4bams. Mind sharing with me where you stayed in Phuket?

Also if anyone has information on where we can do an elephant adventure, I'm all ears, especially if it's close to BKK or phuket.
dag312 is offline  
Nov 7th, 2009, 12:10 PM
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If you want a real elephant experience, you have to go to Northern Thailand. You will find places in Phuket to give you an elephant ride, but I'd recommend you save it for next trip. The elephant rides in the Phuket area are very commercial, and people voice concerns about how the elephants are treated. In the North, you can go to one of the Thai Elephant Conservation Centers. You can even do a a two or three day experience (such as mahout training) as mentioned by 4bams.
Kathie is offline  
Nov 7th, 2009, 02:30 PM
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we stayed at the chedi
very private and not at all crowded
pay the extra and stay facing the beach (the back rooms have way too many stairs.)

amazing breakfast. stunning private beach. lovely rooms

we booked on one of the discount sites ? agoda? cannot recall.

se did our elephants at thai elephant conservation area. (north, near chiang mai)
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