Phuket or Hua Hin?

Old Jul 16th, 2001, 10:41 AM
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Phuket or Hua Hin?

My family (mom/dad/14 and 6 yr old boys) is traveling to Thailand in August. Will spend a week + in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Want to go to the beach for a week at the end of trip. What are pros/cons of Phuket - Dusit Laguna Resort vs. Hua Hin - bungalows next to Sofitel? If we only go to Thailand once in our lives - will we miss something by not making it to Phuket to see the beauty of the islands and sea nearby?
Old Jul 16th, 2001, 11:28 AM
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Anne: I've visited the Dusit Laguna Resort on Phuket. It's huge, very international but a little sterile. There is also the Banyan Tree within this resort and I think a third place, too. We stayed at a different hotel nearby, but could walk easily from the beach to that resort. It's *very* quiet on Bang Tao Beach. There is a small shopping mall close to the hotel, but everything is overpriced. They live more or less on the hotel's guests. You can only compare, once you have been away from the resort. If you want just a little action (shopping, dinners in restaurants other than at the Dusit (there are some nice ones, but very expensive), you are more or less obliged to go to Patong. But that is the very opposite, comparable to Kuta, Bali. Too much traffic, too loud, too everything (for my taste). The street to Patong is hilly and I always got sink on the taxis when we went back to Bang Tao (takes 15-20 min). Also, you can tell the drivers ten times to slow down a little, the won't. If we should go back, we would probably choose Kata beach (Hotel Kata Thani), south of Patong.

We've been to Cha-Am very close to Hua Hin and have visited the Sofitel (for tea). We went a couple of times to Hua Hin in the evenings for looking around and for dinner. It's definitely a much nicer place than Patong. Also, Hua Hin can be reached in some 3 hours from Bangkok by bus.
If you decide to go to Phuket, I would choose a hotel on Kata beach or Karon beach.

PS: Sorry, cannot tell you about the climate in August. We were in both places in early spring. And it was fine.
Old Jul 16th, 2001, 01:22 PM
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Hello Anne, I have to agree 100% with Ursula. Although Phuket is a lovely island it has sadly become expensive and the tuk-tuk example is right-on! They drive like crazy and are expensive. Patong is busy but not the place for a family, especially as your older child is probably grown-up enough to 'understand' what they will see on the streets.
Now the good news, the bungalows next to Sofitel ( Central Village ) in Hua Hin are superb. Very nice. We were allowed to bill anything that we spent on meals/drinks at Sofitel back to the 'Central Village'(same group).
Also as Ursula pointed out the 4 of you can get to Hua Hin for B 2,500 (US$55 approx), air-con Mercs or Volvo, takes a couple of hours. You'll save B 10,000 even allowing for 1 child fare over flying to Phuket, and that's a lot of bucks.
Hua Hin is much quieter than Phuket but as it is totally 'sleeze-free zone' you can take the kids anywhere in the evenings without worry. The National Park 50 minutes south has beaches, caves etc. You 'will' find picturesque beaches along the coast. If your husband likes golf you 'won't see him', excellent courses. There is sailing at the Marriot Resort. There are local treks, boat trips etc. You can hire push-bikes or use richshaws or tuk-tuks (cheap and decently driven!)The beach at Hua is 'not' a palm fringed tropical type, but is sandy and very long. Your hotel choice is perfect, lovely bungalows, though in the center of everything.
Old Jul 16th, 2001, 01:41 PM
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The islands near Phuket, e.g Phi Phi and the beaches near Krabi are lovely but very much overun with b/packers and will perhaps not meet with your visions.Also agree around Dusit everything is overpriced. For the children's ages, I would go for the Huahin option. Plenty to do in the tours filed, try,
If you really fancy a night on a remote beautiful island, just 2 hours from Hua Hin try this site, I think it could be fun and satisfy your 'tropical island'
I live in the big BKK and we find weekend breaks in Hua very pleasant and the Central Village also owned by Sofitel Group is top 4-star class, and the cottages/bungalows are absolute beachfront (though this is not the best part of the beach, but a few minutes walk along the sands and you will see miles of beach). Just a thought, the new Marriot Resort is getting 'rave' reviews (how cliche!) and they have sailing plus health spa and very good value, might be worth looking at. Overall, with the kids, I'd say Hua, but do take tours along the coast for fun.
Old Jul 17th, 2001, 10:22 AM
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No one has mentioned that August is peak of rainy season in Phuket and swimming off the coast is quite dangerous. Gulf coast where Huahin in located has few waves and swimming much safer, although beaches not as 'postcard type' as Phuket it is a lovely resort and the rainfall will be 'far far lower' than Phuket.
Old Jul 20th, 2001, 07:52 AM
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Thanks to all for your advice. Based on comments on Phuket and other reading I have done - we will rule out Phuket.

My husband has now suggested Ko Samui - so I will post a new note asking for thoughts on its advantages/disadvantages vs. Hua Hin.

Thanks again!
Old Jul 20th, 2001, 08:20 PM
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Hi Anne!

We too are looking at visiting Phuket with our two children as part of our three week holiday mainly in Malaysia. After reading all these replies, I am thinking twice about it & may consider Koh Samui as an alternative.

Look forward to reading some comments on this.

Old Jul 21st, 2001, 08:56 AM
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Now you're making it tricky!
Ok, let's see, Samui is a lovely island, very golden sands and palm trees, very nice. It is without doubt more of a touristy place. I think your decission can be made based on simple criteria.
a> Cost to travel: 4 people in Limo/air-con car BKK-Hua Hin 'return' would cost B 4,100 (US$90). The air-fare BKK-Samui is going up just over B 7,000 return, so if we said 2 adults and 2 kids return would be B 21,000(US$460).
b> See/do: Samui is lovely island and you can boat also to nearby islands. Hua Hin is more for access to culture/history in terms of Phetchburi temples, River Kwai for the bridge and eco-stuff, plus of course beaches.
You can sum it up, if you seek a palm beach type place for lazing in the sun, I'd go for Samui. If you want beach but want excursions/tours to other places too, then Hua Hin.
Hope this gives you something to think on and don't hestitate to post back anything more you need to know.
Old Aug 1st, 2002, 05:44 AM
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topping for Mandy (Hua Hin vs Phuket)
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