Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page >

Thailand for Christmas - Where to go? (Open-minded!)

Thailand for Christmas - Where to go? (Open-minded!)

Old Sep 20th, 2011, 02:54 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 18
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thailand for Christmas - Where to go? (Open-minded!)

Hi folks,
My GF and I are setting off to Asia for 3 months, arriving in Bangkok on Nov 12th. We plan to spend a few days in Bangkok and then make our way North, over about 5 weeks, to Chang Mai, then into Laos, Vietnam (working our way South), into Cambodia for a while and back to Thailand... we'll work on that itinerary another time, what we want to have set in stone is our Christmas/New Years plans

Going by above plans, we plan on being around Pattaya by Christmas time, we don't know what to do for Christmas. Keep in mind we are completely open minded, and plan on spending the next 5 weeks after Christmas going to South Thailand to explore the beaches and islands etc. (we fly out of Bangkok on Feb 8th 2012 back home).

It would make sense for us to find something to do in Pattaya for Christmas, but we would be as happy to start out South Thailand explorations just before Christmas, and be settled in somewhere down south or Christmas, and this is where I need advise from experienced people.

Just to help with what we're after, a little more info:
Both in our mid 20's (not that that matters)
We really enjoy scenery and chilling out
But we equally enjoy bustling night-life and meeting new people etc.

I guess you could say we're typical newbie flashpackers, we're up for almost any soft of adventure, but want it to be memorable. Budget wise, I guess we have a typical Western budget... we're happy to fly to a decent destination and we appreciate that accommodation around Christmas time in Thailand will be expensive

Thanks for taking the time to read and I promise any advise offered will be seriously taken on board!
alt123 is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2011, 03:14 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A number of the 'main' hotels will possibly have a mandatory Christmas and/or New Year celebration gala dinner. And yes, you are travelling around Thailand during the peak season, when hotel rates are at their highest.... but the weather is also at its most delightful! Your trip sounds wonderful! Good for you!

My family will be in Bangkok for Christmas and Hua Hin for the New Year. We have been lucky and not had to pay compulsary dinner fees (they are outrageous!) knock on wood. Bangkok is always decorated nicely, with the falongs (foreigners) in mind. Lots of people from the 'west' visit at this time of year. It's such a nice escape from the wintry weather at home!
simpsonc510 is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2011, 03:28 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 18
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the reponse.

Ideally what we'd like to do is Pattaya for Christmas, and Bangkok for New Years - Is this doable or would it be too much travelling?
alt123 is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2011, 03:32 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,245
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You could certainly be in Pattaya at Xmas and Bangkok at New Years. Take a look at a map - it's perhaps a two hour drive.

Big hotels at beach locations are the ones most likely to have mandatory Xmas or New Years dinners.

Is there a reason you want to be in Pattaya at Xmas? While there are some lux hotels there, it's wouldn't be my first choice.
Kathie is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2011, 03:40 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 18
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Kathie - We have absolutily no specific reason to be in Pattaya for Christmas, other than that we hope to have a 'full circle' of Bangkok-Laos-Vietnam-Cambodia by Christmas. We want to chill-out for the Christmas period before heading to South Thailand for a few weeks of some serious beach action!

I will happily take in any other suggestions people have to offer. We would ideally like to be staying at a lively place (we'd like to socialise and meet similar minded Christmas-liking people) close to the beach where, for the first time in our lives, can swim on a beach in shorts on Christmas day!
alt123 is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2011, 03:45 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The beach at Pattaya is not as nice as other Thailand beaches. You might want to reconsider Pattaya, and maybe go to Hua Hin instead. It is also about a 2 hour ride by taxi or van from Bangkok. It would be very easy to be in Hua Hin on Christmas and then in Bangkok for the new year festivities.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2011, 04:22 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 18
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks simpson - at least now I have a foundation on where to start. I'll do a bit of Googling later, but can you give any basic info as to what Hua Hin is like? ie. lively / quiet / romantic / big / small etc.
alt123 is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2011, 04:25 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29,049
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
pattaya has no redeeming value really... i have been there a couple of times and find it on the lowest rung of the ladder when it comes to sea side resorts...if you want to go to that area i would by pass pattaya and continue to koh chang a little further along that coast near the cambodia border

how about heading down to hua hin instead.... tons of hotels there at all levels..

or be in bangkok at a nice riverside place like chatrium suites riverside where you can enjoy all the diversity of bkk for both holidays including huge fireworks displays over the river... you need to book those now however...
rhkkmk is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2011, 04:46 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 18
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the advise rhkkmk - Bangkok by the Riverside for Christmas/New Years may indeed be an option, I would just like a bit of diversity (since we'll already be 3 days in Bangkok when we arrive in Asia, and again for a few days before we return home) - Christmas on the beach with a bit of fun would be excellent for Christmas so we'll give Hua Hin and Koh Chang in the morning
alt123 is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2011, 08:28 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29,049
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
the amari in koh chang would be my choice...
rhkkmk is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2011, 10:30 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ditto on the comments abouts Hua Hin...you'll have more fun with the wife and be in better company in Hua Hin over Pattaya. Also don't worry about a rate increase in Dec around BKK, there are TOO MANY ROOMS...barter and you are sure to find a great deal! I am a MBA Student studying abroad here for a year. Love it! Lots of new experiences, neat things to see and beautiful sites.
Ron_Lee_Salem is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2011, 07:55 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,245
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm not sure what Ron is bartering for rooms, but I expect he really means bargaining for rooms. Also, it appears that Ron has not yet been in Thailand during high season.

In lower price ranges, you can walk up and often bargain for a better price. In mid and upper price ranges the best rates are ones you get by booking ahead on the web. If you show up and ask for a room at mid- and upper range hotel, they will quote you rack rates and are unlikely to budge much. They will not match the internet rates for you when you show up in person. I know of more than one person who had that experience, went to a nearby internet cafe and booked the hotel online for the lower rate.
Kathie is offline  
Old Oct 7th, 2011, 04:27 AM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 18
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi again folks.

I have done a bit of investigation ant Ko Chang does look lovely and would suit us as we'll be re-entering Thailand from Cambodia between 20 - 22nd December. But WOW, the prices are quite high... a bit too high infact.

From a logical perspective, being east of Bangkok for Christmas would make more sense, as we'll only be coming from Cambodia in the days preceeding Christmas.

Are there any more recommendations on where to stay for Christmas, not too far from Cambodia, that would involve a nice beach and a bit of lively activity (ie. other people - we'd like to be around other people for Christmas)
alt123 is offline  
Old Oct 7th, 2011, 04:41 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 18
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I suppose I should add what we'd actually like for Christmas....

I don't know if I mentioned previously, but we're a young couple. While we enjoy romantic time etc. we do enjoy being in the company of others.

Ko Chang sounds to be almost like a retreat place, with lots of older people using it to relax. I wonder is Ko Chang for us then? We'd like a bit of fun over the Christmas, meeting like-minded flash-packers (I hate to use the word, but it's the best description for us)

We also haven't decided what we'll do for New Years... Fireworks in Bangkok is an option, as is going to Hua Hin. Again, any recommendations here would be gladly accepted!
alt123 is offline  
Old Oct 7th, 2011, 05:33 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
kohtao.com where the in the know go best cheapest diving...

Lots of fellow flashpackers awesome party...

Located in the center of Sairee Village by Koh Tao's beautiful Sairee Beach, Lotus resort offers something for everyone. We offer accommodation to suit all budgets and ...
lotusresortkohtao.com

my fav there hostelbookers.com for booking
qwovadis is offline  
Old Oct 7th, 2011, 05:37 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you do not want a big city experience.

www.theangkorguide.net

For New Years for me largest temple complex in Asia.

seat61.com/thailand fun way to go...

www.goldenbanana.info my fav for a splurge

hostelbookers.com will have others

Happy Travels!
qwovadis is offline  
Old Oct 7th, 2011, 08:11 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,245
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
All beach locations in Thailand are quite expensive. Rates often double (or more) for the Xmas/NY holidays. You might want to reconsider going to a beach for Xmas. There are plenty of other interesting places to be where the prices won't be so high.
Kathie is offline  
Old Oct 7th, 2011, 08:50 AM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 18
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Kathie - I appreciate this and are willing to extend our budget for XMas/New Years. The main thing that kind of has us put off Ko Chang isin't the price as such, but the fact that it also seems to attract an older, more relaxed crowd (which is what we normally want, just not for Christmas!) - The fact that there's 2 negatives is what has us off.

We expect to be paying about $100US per night (if not up to $120) around the Christmas/New Years time
alt123 is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2011, 09:52 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 48
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
whatever you do, be sure to make sure you are on a beach at midnight on new years eve... The best fireworks and fun ever! have a great time...
I was on Koh Samuii last year... and it was great.
ileness is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2011, 07:32 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,245
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just to note that Bangkok has great fireworks as well - all along the river. I can often see three to five fireworks shows at a time from my room at the Towers of the Royal Orchid Sheraton.
Kathie is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:06 AM.