Thailand Honeymoon

Jun 23rd, 2003, 10:30 PM
  #1  
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Thailand Honeymoon

My fiance and I are planning a trip to Thailand for our honeymoon. We are planning to go late October/early November. We spoke with an online travel consultant and he gave us an itinerary for 3 days in Bangkok (at the Peninsula Hotel)and the rest of the time in Phuket at Le Meridian. We have not booked anything yet and we are wondering if anyone has stayed at either of these places or can recommend some others to us (mainly in Phuket). We are looking for as nice and plush as possible, but not more than $130 USD a night. We'd appreciate any advice anyone can offer!! Thank you!
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Jun 24th, 2003, 01:41 AM
  #2  
 
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Hi

My wife and I have been on vacation a couple of times to Thailand. I have posted quite a lot of information on my homepage. Maybe you can find some useful information there. The address is www.gardkarlsen.com

If you have any question please get in touch Thailand is a great destination.

Regards
gard
Stavanger, Norway
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Jun 24th, 2003, 04:12 AM
  #3  
sandi
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When you say "spend the rest of the time in Phuket" how many days are you talking about?

Reason I ask - Thailand, and Phuket especially is so godawful hot and humid that time of the year - so unless you are sun worshippers or plan to be in the water constantly, it's very uncomfortable.

We traveled to Thailand/Cambodia late October last year and were kicked in the butt by the H&H. Though we have survived what we call "the uglies" of a NYC summer, and last year sure was one of the worst, we're used to H&H, but 2-hrs on the beach in Phuket and I was out-of-there" heading for someplace under the trees.

We also met many honeymoon couples who had originally been scheduled for Bali but after the terrorist attacks, were rescheduled to Thailand, which they were all enjoying tremendously. All couples had spent a few days in BKK, then headed up north to Chiang Mai and/or Chiang Rai/Golden Triangle (where the heat was less overpressive) for about 3-4 days, then ending at either Phuket or Ko Samui for about 3-4 days.

The Peninsula Hotel is magnificent, each room at least a Jr. Suite and wait till you see the bathroom! Cannot comment on the Meridian in Phuket. We stayed at the complex at the Dusit Laguna where there are 3 or 4 hotels that share facilities and restaurants - believe there is a Sheraton, the Dusit, the Banyan, and another. Nearby is The Chedi where a few couples stayed with good reviews, but don't know the prices.

Again, this is a heads-up on the weather which you should be aware of.
 
Jun 24th, 2003, 12:06 PM
  #4  
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We are planning on 10-12 days total in Thailand. It sounds like we might want to change our itinerary to include Northern Thailand as well. I grew up in Michigan and I am NOT a fan of the H&H. Would you recommend maybe 3 days in each location? (Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket). Also, would you recommend going through a travel agency or should we just try and make our plans on our own?
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Jun 24th, 2003, 01:32 PM
  #5  
sandi
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If you're not keen on H&H, then SEAsia is not the place for you except that it would be a mistake not experiencing a wonderful country, friendly people, good food, amazing sights - granted I had water running from pores I didn't know I had, but we're certainly glad we did it.

As to whether to use a US based agency or not - lots of people don't mind getting to a foreign country, having their first nite booked and then arrange everything else locally. Not Me.

Regardless where I've traveled, I'm planned ahead, though with lots of research beforehand. Certainly you can find a Thai agency online and possibly get better prices, but I used a US Tour Operator and was very pleased.

Not knowing your budget all I can do is provide info on the tour operator we used and you can arrange to get hotels in the price range you want - just ask!

I used InnovAsian Travel - Ask for Greg
You can check the website:
www.InnovAsian.com
or email: [email protected]

We did 4-nts at the Peninsula, then flew to Chiang Mai where we stayed at a trekking lodge (voted best eco-lodge in Asia) - really very nice (great mattresses, linens and down duvets - which we didn't need - still kind of warm even up north) but admittedly the best night's sleep we had the entire trip; then road to Chiang Sean/Golden Triangle (2-nts) at the Baan Boran (which is best in area, though there are less expensive right across the road); then flew via BKK to Phuket for 4-nts at the Dusit Laguna.

All our vehicles throughout were Mercedes with a/c, so we were very comfortable while traveling locally or long distances.

With all our transfers, tours, all breakfasts, lunch in our full-day tours and intra-country air (4-flights) was about $2200/person. This also included 2-days in Siem Reap, Cambodia at 5* Sofitel Angkor and transfers, tours, meals and air (which I think might have cost about $500) - so figure the Thai portion at $1,700/person. We booked our trans-Pacific air on our own.

Give him a call and check it out.
 
Jun 24th, 2003, 01:59 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
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For a Thai online travel agency I would recommend www.thaifly.com, they have good fares and can arrange a honeymoon programme for you, to compare with your US Agency (they have online chat, which is very convenient for asking doubts).

On the other hand, I agree with others in this forum, that Northern Thailand might be also a fantastic destinantion for your trip (no because of the H&H since anyhow it will be part of your holiday in SAS!).

Regarding the Peninsula Hotel, you may contact the hotel directly to try for a better rate (at [email protected]). Then you can bargain with this rate with your agency to pack everything into one itinerary, given that for Honeymoon it is better to have all pre-arranged before getting into Thailand, no last minute worries!)

saludos and congratulations.
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Jun 24th, 2003, 03:20 PM
  #7  
 
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Thailand is a tropical country so it should not come a surprise that is might be hot and humid. Many of us however cope very well indeed and the sunshine is what we enjoy.
Back to the question. The Peninsular in Bangkok is fine, there are countless 4/5 star hotels it would be easy to confuse which is better than another. I would stick to that. The Meridien in Phuket is a fine hotel, on its own beach in a 'private' bay. Good facilities, nice rooms. The pool areas are large and it is a romantic location. I could suggest many others but whilst others have their own individual plus and minus points I think overall you could call the eridien a good Honeymoon hotel that would suit most tastes.
It is secluded but at the same time under 10 minutes from Patong for restaurants, shopping and entertainment. It has about 5 or 6 floors, so if you wanted a rather more 'low rise' property you could try the Thavorn Village, about 15 minutes north of Patong or the Chedi, somewhat further. If you are young at heart and want to mix relaxation with nights out at various restaurants, see Thai dancing and take some excursions then the Meridien will do nicely.
I would simply get a quote from your local agent and then check rates on the Internet. A tour is not necessary. You do not have to worry about transfers between airport and hotel because even if you take the Mercedes Limo service from Bangkok Airport to the Peninsular it will cost you less than half what hotels/agents charge for the transfer.
In Phuket the Airport Limo service is mid-size air-con sedans about $11. The return air-fare from Bangkok to Phuket is maximum $130 return on Thai Airways, it is about $20 cheaper on Bangkok Airways but they only have 3/4 flights a day compared with Thai Airways 12-14 wide-body flights every day.

If you budget $100 for Bangkok and $130 for Phuket you should be fine. End October is not yet reral high season so air fares should be good. If you feel you want some Northern Thailand then you can get a 3 sector deal Bangkok-Chiang Mai-Phuket-Bangkok from any Thai Airways office in the States for a special cheap price, you do not have to be flying with them to buy the deal.

Check with Northwest/United for fare offers and then look at what Cathay Pacific can offer ex-West Coast. if you want to get straight into finding local based hotel rates try this site, they also have a link for the cheap Cathay pacific flight deals too:

http://www.huahin.20m.com ( Thai based but it will show you the rates in USD at current exchange rates ).

Good luck and Congratulations!
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Jun 24th, 2003, 03:33 PM
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The Marriott resort in Bangkok is $80 for Garden view double or about $100 for River View, you may want to look at that. When making you plan note that October 31st is when the rates change from Low to High season and that can mean a big difference. The Club Andaman resort in Phuket is busy location but nice pools and gardens, about $75 for a Garden Cottage near the pool. Worth looking at. If you want to have a nice hotel with a balcony overlooking the beach to watch the sunset ( 3-star rating ) then the Karon Beach resort in Phuket is good value. It is not a Peninsular or Meridien but it cane save you plenty of $ whilst you can still have a great time. You can find them all from that link.
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Jun 24th, 2003, 08:06 PM
  #9  
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Sandy, what was the name of the trekking lodge in Chiang Mai?
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Jun 25th, 2003, 03:54 AM
  #10  
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Kelly - I had to go check my diary, but the name of lodge is The Lisu Lodge managed by the Lisu Hilltribe people with pofits being returned to the tribe.

Located about 1-hr. north of Chiang Mai, they have about 4 or 5 buildings each containing 4 rooms, each with bathroom (incl. shower), towels on the thin side (more like what we consider dishcloth weight; coming from Peninsula its a changes,but you don't need more). Rooms have raw-wood plank floors, bed on raised platform with great 10" thick mattresses, great linens, the down duvets (oh I told you that yesterday). Walls are woven bamboo. There is electricity and fan to cool the room.

The grounds are lovely (mornings are amazing hearing chickens, seeing the mist above the rice fields, quiet). Meals are served on floor at typically low Thai tables with cushions to sit on floor. Meals are basic, but sufficient. After dinner the children in traditional dress entertain.

We were one of two rooms occupied at that time - the other a honeymoon couple who had been scheduled for Bali, but due to the terrorist attack had been switched to Thailand. They were enjoying their trip tremendously.
 
Jun 25th, 2003, 02:20 PM
  #11  
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Thanks Sandy!! I've touched base with Gregg at Innovasian travel and he is working on an itinerary for us. I appreciate your replies!!
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Jun 26th, 2003, 08:39 AM
  #12  
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Sandy,
I was wondering if I might be able to email you the itinerary that Gregg has set up for us so you could let us know if we are seeing all that we should or something that we could leave out? I'm not sure how to get your email, but mine is listed there if you want to email me first and then I can send it to you. Thank you!
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Jun 26th, 2003, 08:45 AM
  #13  
 
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kknapper

After getting married in Italy, my husband and I flew to Thailand for our honeymoon in late October/early November 2001. It was my 6th return to the Land of Smiles and my husband's first. We spent a couple of days in Bangkok at The Oriental Hotel, then flew to the beaches of Krabi, just south of Phuket. Ao Nang Beach in Krabi is one of my favorite places in the world. Unlike Phuket, it's a charming tranquil seaside village that offers an intimate feel- it has less pushy vendors, less visible prostitutes and easy to get around on foot. After a relaxing week of diving, snorkeling and beaches in Krabi, we flew to Chiang Mai in the North for the lantern festival of Loy Krathong. Floral floating lanterns with candles are placed in the river under the full moon. We stayed at the Westin- although lacks in charm, it's the best hotel in town, a good location a great deal- $65/night. I wanted to stay at The Regent Hotel (Four Seasons resort) just outside of the city, but this heavenly place was way above our budget at over $400/night. During our stay we took a cooking class, went bamboo river rafting, rode elephants, shopped and just enjoying the local culture. After a Chiang Mai, we flew to Siem Reap Cambodia to see the amazing temples of Angkor for two days. Then back to Bangkok for our final two days- last minute shopping etc...

Massages are a must while in Thailand. We had a massage almost every day. The best inexpensive massage was at Wat Po Temple in Bangkok- $5/hr. The best luxurious massage was at the Oriental Hotel's spa. It's located on the opposite side of the river from the Oriental Hotel, next to the Peninsula. The Oriental's spa was one of our last stops a few hours before the long flight home.

The food was fantastic everywhere, we particularly enjoyed eating with the locals from street vendors. It's distinctively different in the north from the central and the south parts of the country.

I have used www.planetholiday.com to book hotels in Thailand. They have great service and are based in Phuket.

Please let me know if you have any questions.
If you would like to see photos of our trip, visit my husband's website at www.slrobertson.com.

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

Nicci
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Jun 26th, 2003, 10:34 AM
  #14  
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Nicci - thank you so much for all that info. We are currently working through a travel agency and I'm wondering if you think that we should just do it on our own. If you don't mind me asking how much do you think you spent on your time in Thailand? The travel agency has quoted us $5100 for a 14 day itinerary (including travel days). Basically I'm wondering if you booked everything yourself (hotels, tours, travel within Thailand). I've heard it's better to do that, but I'm just nervous about getting there and being totally lost.
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Jun 26th, 2003, 10:42 AM
  #15  
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Nicci - One more question. Where did you stay in Krabi?
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Jun 26th, 2003, 11:26 AM
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kknapper

We stayed at Krabi Thai Village in Ao Nang, Krabi- http://www.krabi-bangkok.com/krabi/head.htm
I think it was about $120/night. It was at the end of the beach past all the shops and restaurants, which was nice because it was quiet. I forgot to mention that there aren't many hotels directly on the beach in Ao Nang. We were on a cliff with a nice view. The best place to enjoy the beach is by renting a longtail boat with driver for the entire day, only $15. Tell them what you want to do for the day and they'll take you to little islands for best beaches and great snorkeling. There's an island with a restaurant and bathrooms, so you can stop off for lunch. Another fun day around Krabi is sea kayaking through the mangroves, sea caves, lagoons and hongs(large limestone pillar like islands). If you scuba dive, the diving is fantastic.

We booked the entire trip ourselves. We found that you can get the best price by contacting the hotels directly either by e-mail or fax. We also used Planet Holiday because they had even better prices for the Westin Chiang Mai than the Westin was offering.

$5100 seems too high for two weeks in Thailand. What does this include? Our trip was under 2k, not including international flights and the Cambodia portion. Shop around- check directly with hotels, domestic air, and wait until you get there to book day tours.

I can directly e-mail you our trip e-mails, if you're interested.

Nicci
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Jun 26th, 2003, 01:50 PM
  #17  
sandi
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Kelly -

You can email me at: [email protected]

I'd be more than glad to look at what Greg has prepared, and with more info coming in on the board and if something strikes your fancy, you can always make changes.
 
Jun 26th, 2003, 06:01 PM
  #18  
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Nicci - That would be awesome if you could email me your trip info. Thank you so much. [email protected]
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