Phuket - right up to the minute report

Feb 19th, 2005, 04:28 AM
  #1  
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Phuket - right up to the minute report

OK just got back from 2 days in Phuket, was a short notice trip as was trying to sort out our branch office.

Will post in detail tomorrow but general quick reviewsbr />

1> Patong Beach's 'beach' is 'not' deserted so I don't know why the press keeps showing a picture of 1 person sitting on the beach as if it was empty, it is 'not', the umbrllas and loungers stretch all the way along except at one small point wherre and earhtmover is moving sand around ( near Club Andaman ).

2> Patong is busy, OK, so it's not as busy as normal peak season but any ideas that it is empty, well, my favorite local place to stay was "full" so had to stay in the hills. The streets are relatively busy, people in the restaurants and bars. Starbucks on the beach is open, Mcdonalds looks like about ready to re-open, Walt Disney Shop also looks ready to open, Hagen Dass being repaired, don't know where "Hooters" is but they say will open as planned, Molly Malone's Irish Pub being repeaired ( yes, I am talking about Patong, not Myrtle Beach ! ).

3> Inn on the Beach at Karon is amazingly 'open', the shops, bars and restaurants of Karon has been open all the time and the streets were busy, my favorite local restaurant: Couldn't get a table, absolutely FULL.

4> Yes, there is a bit of a mess along Patong's seafront area but it is building and re-construction, the front of the Holiday Inn is fenced off as they are still repairing but they plan to re-open very soon.

5> One street up from the beach you would never ever know anything had happened!!

More in detail later, but the idea that it is empty and deserted, sorry, not true, again, not nearly as busy as this time when maybe 5-7,000 loungers would be in rows deep along the beach, but still there are certainly tourist there, restaurant etc are open and the music is still the same !
JamesA is offline  
Feb 19th, 2005, 04:36 AM
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Just to add to the real 'jist' and that is that if you have/had plans for Phuket there is absolutely no reason whatsover not to go, it is fully open for business, and has been said so many times, except for the beachfront at Patong and Kamala there was only minor damage at other hotels/beaches. Khao Lak of course is different story but Khao Lak is "not" on Phuket, it is a couple of hours up the coast in Phang Nga Province which was the worst hit.
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Feb 19th, 2005, 04:43 AM
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Bill C and GB Senior were due in today but I flew out mid morning so missed them ( bet they were upset ), I look forward to what the press coverage says about the place hours after I drove along Patong Beach, will be interesting!
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Feb 19th, 2005, 05:34 AM
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GB & BC asked for you when they were there....surprised that you missed their arrivals....everyone wants to meet jamesA
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Feb 19th, 2005, 06:40 AM
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I think they had to wait until my Thai flight had taken off! 2 days before was Swedish Royalty. Anyway glad to see that Bill and George Senior actually went to where the suffering was the worst and didn't head straight to Patong like so many others have done for their photo shoots.

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Feb 19th, 2005, 05:38 PM
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Thanks for this report, JamesA. I'm so very glad In on the Beach is OK. It was a lovely place to chill-out and the beach in front was beautiful! One of the best run small hotels we've stayed at!

Have fun!
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Feb 19th, 2005, 10:55 PM
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I was surprised as, as you know Lyndie, you can't get more 'on the beach' than that!! and to see it open shows the reality. If you remember that sort of 'gully' canal almost that runs behind the sands at Karon main beach, that took it seems the water and except for market stalls on the other side little damage at all. Karon Felix untouched, same to those hotels around the lake area, Karon Circle lit up and fine.
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Feb 20th, 2005, 05:04 PM
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Yep, certainly great news about Karon Beach. Also good of you to post here with an update as anyone wanting a lovely quiet place to stay would love In on the Beach and I for one, was very worried that they had sustained major damage. Happy days, JamesA!
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Feb 20th, 2005, 05:32 PM
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i would like to add that for anyone hotel searching in phuket, directrooms.com has just posted some amazing bargains. literally, low season rates for peak season. no reason not to go!
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Feb 20th, 2005, 05:41 PM
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hipvirgochick-I also noticed that directrooms.com rates for Vietnam have risen dramatically since we used them in Dec 2003. So if there is a bargain to be had-carpe diem!
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Feb 20th, 2005, 09:43 PM
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There are a lot of bargains, try www.beachsiam.com or www.huahin.20m.com, lots of choice, including guesthouses and B & B type places in addition to hotels and resorts. For those who just want an a/c room that is clean and reasonable service without luxury extras a lot of places around the lower price ranges offer good value. If you plan on spending most of the time on the beach or tours it is cheap and easy to get nice rooms with perhaps just a bar and restaurant and small pool in the $25-35 region at low season prices.
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Feb 20th, 2005, 10:01 PM
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JamesA and any others with info-

We will be staying on Krabi and are sturggling on decided which part to stay on Railey or Ao Nang. We are a party of two adult couples traveling in the beginning of April. We don't need any night life or large varities of restraunts (will only be there for two nights). But we do like nice beaches, clean accomodations and great snrokeling. Can anyone give me any direction?

I have reserached Sand Sea in Railey and Ao Nang Villa Suites in Ao Nang.

Also, JamesA, I was told by fellow fodorite to ask you about current scuba and snrokeling info for Phuket, Phi Phi and Krabi. Any good info for me?

We are so excited to leave and are counting down the days...33
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Feb 21st, 2005, 04:16 AM
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Glad things are getting back to normal for the wonderful Thai people who live & work there, but Patong sounds dreadful -- Walt Disney shop, McDonalds, Hooters, Starbucks, Molly Malones Irish Pub. As you say, why not just go to Myrtle Beach?
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Feb 21st, 2005, 05:05 AM
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Best Western at Karon beach is about US$36 for a twin with tax, service, brekfast from after Thai New Year ( mid April ) which is a good deal, for Patong the Club Bamboo is in the hills behind Patong but has great rooms, bit of a hill but that is compensated by stylish rooms and very good service, Twin including everything from mid April $33, bungalow suite room $41, an actual suite $58 or their amazing Penthouse for about $95. Very Balinese in style, nice. Well managed place.
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Feb 23rd, 2005, 09:06 AM
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ttt for aa777flyer
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Feb 23rd, 2005, 09:11 AM
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Travelmom, try Kon Tiki, but I wouldn't book ahead, it will give you ideas, book when you get there to see the going pices. I think maybe they might be avoiding Phi Phi area at the moment.

http://www.kontiki-krabi.com/
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