Thailand in August

Apr 17th, 2005, 04:59 AM
  #1  
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Thailand in August

Hello all...been a while since I posted here. Bob, sent you an email but I think I have an old address.
Anyway question for everybody...we are seriously considering Thailand in August for 14 days with kids. I know it is not recommended (the time of year, I mean) but it is the only time we can get a 2 week stretch. Our friend in Bangkok says no problem, when it rains it is a quick shower and then it's over. But maybe that is just in Bangkok. We have a 15 year old son and twin 12 year old daughters. My preliminary itinerary is BKK - 4 days at the Marriott Mayfair apartments (the full service ones that Bob recommended - and a very nice place we can save some money so we can splurge at the other 2 hotels) - 4 days in Chiang Mai at the new Mandarin Oriental (nice rates for a suite until this October) and 4 days in Phuket at the Aman (also a nice rate special, the 50% off they are offering now).
Before I get into details of exactly what we're going to do in each place....how bad is the weather (really!) Up in Chiang Mai, is it horribly buggy, damp, etc.....will it rain all the time in Phuket.....would it be better to pick another country during that time? We'd really like to visit while our good friend is living in Bangkok and it may not be for much longer. But not if it will be miserable all the time.
And lastly! (sorry so many questions) has anyone taken the non stop JFK - BKK flight yet? How is the economy, does it compare to the non stop Singapore airlines flight from EWR to SIN in executive economy, which we took last summer? THANKS for everything, as always!
stockexchanger is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 05:26 AM
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Search the forum for "rainy". We are planning the same although not with kids. Bangkok and Chiang Mai sound fine. Phuket though not. Consider the other" side of Thailand for a beach, Hua Hin, Koh Samui or Koh Chang are some that are suggested here for summer. We were looking at Hua Hin (Anantara) as you can take the train from Bangkok (3.5 hours) and there seemed to be other cultural and nature things to do not just beach. In the end we decided no beach and Cambodia (Angkor) instead. Enjoy planning your trip!
laurie_ann is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 08:38 AM
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Thanks for the reply! Has anyone stayed at the new Anatara on Ko Samui? My husband really wants to give the business to Phuket, although not at the cost of 4 days in a monsoon. As far as the new Anatara, I didn't see good reviews somewhere, but I know it is new and might just be going through growing pains. I think the reviews were on asia-hotels.com. Not sure how reliable a source that is.
stockexchanger is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 08:45 AM
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Ko Samui is certainly better than Phuket in August but you will still give a fair amount of rain all be in short heavy downpours. Hua Hin will have less rain in fact you may get none at all.
cambe is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 10:34 AM
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Phuket at that time of year you are right in the middle of the Monsoon season. Just how much rain you will get can vary a great deal, I have been in Patong when we have been flooded out, it varies, but it 'is' the peak rainy season and you have to considor that. The climate on the Gulf side is the other way round and August is fine at that time of year. Koh Sanui will be particularly busty in August as it is a favourite for Europeans who take most of August off. As said for dry area Hua Hin. You can also look at places like Koh Chang.
JamesA is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 10:35 AM
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Me and my typos, in addition to Koh Samui being 'busty' it will be 'busy' too!
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Apr 17th, 2005, 12:44 PM
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Thanks for all the great advice. I posted separately asking about Sala Samui b/c it looks great on the website but I can't find any reviews. Location etc?
I was thinking that with kids we might want Ko Samui over one of the quieter islands or Hua Hin because we need to keep them busy....even if it is a busy time of year? Once again, this board is the best.
stockexchanger is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 01:40 PM
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Stockexchanger.
To be fair I have never been to Ko Samui but have been to Phuket. I would disagree that Hua Hin is not suitable for children 15 & 14. It is quite a lively resort especially if you stay in the town. Can I please recomment the Hilton which is slap bang in the middle and a great place for both adults and children. Ok the sea is not as good as Phuket or Ko Samui but there are lots of other things to do in the area such as elephant riding out into the wild.
cambe is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 02:10 PM
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The Sala Samui I believe is very new. We often see particular places that have obviously been heavily ptomoted overseas ( sometimes before they even opened!!) so I am not sure you will find many reviews yet. I do know though that it is a pretty classy place with rates 2 to 4 times what I would ever want to pay! if you have young teens then they will probably enjoy Samui but unless you are going for all out luxury as opposed to a vacation/holiday place that is suitable for families I personaly would stick to one of the established Samui resorts. There are probably 100 and more suitable decent hotel/resorts on Samui, if you want to be in a busy area and with your family combination I would try for a Family Dulpex at the Amari, that could be for yourselves and daughters, then a single for your son. Great resort hotel and good standard, not cheap, but I think more family orientated. You could also look at Peace Resort at Bophut beach. There really is a huge choice, it really depends how much you want to spend.
Note that only Bangkok Airways flys from bangkok to Koh Samui and the fares are around the $ 180 adult return. IF you can get the Pass fares ( probably not in August ) you could use that to/from Chiang Mai and then from Bangkok to Samui ( note that Bangkok Airways doesn't have that many flights on the BKK-Chiang Mai sector ). In Chiang Mai there are many nice places to stay, depending on how much you want to spend. Novotel is good value for US$45 a night twin.
Although I am a devoted supporter of Hua Hin and think it's brilliant, if you have the kids with you and you are looking for tropical beaches with palm tress and lots of fun activities for the kids, I really think you would enjoy Koh Samui more. Try http://www.phuket-luxury-hotels.com/...ry_hotels.html ( they actually have the whole 120+ list of accommodations on Samui not just the luxury ones, even down to the budget places ), lots of pics.
If due to having 5 of you the air fares to Samui come as a 'shock' and you decided mainland then I would suggest the Hyatt Regency or Marriott in Hua Hin ( sorry, but I find the skyscraper design of the Hilton Hua Hin just so out of character for a Thai beach vacation, sorry....)
JamesA is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 02:17 PM
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Stockexchanger - welcome back. My wife Jeane and I had lunch with Bob and Karen today - he mentioned that you seemed to have dropped off the face of the earth. He will be glad to hear that is not the case. We have tickets for the JFK - BKK flight for next February. The pitch (distance between seats) in economy is 36" which is fairly generous. Seating configuration is 2-4-2. The aircraft is a brand new Airbus A340-500. There is also premium economy which should cost only slightly more than economy. The pitch is 42" and the seating is 2-3-2. You might try calling Thai directly - when I called them they were able to provide good information on the business class seats (175 degree recline for instance). By the way there is no first class seating on these flights.

The last time we went to Koh Samui, it was mid-July which is pretty similar to August weatherwise - we had no rain whatsoever.
Craig is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 04:28 PM
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Here's a link to some pictures and review for the plane(A340-500) that Thai will be using for the JFK - BKK route:

http://www.airliners.net/discussions...ad.main/56644/

I've stayed at the new Mandarin Oriental in Chiang Mai(Dhara Dhevi) and I would highly recommended the winter months instead of August. It's beautiful but it was not design for the rain nor the heat. I was there in Jan and it was lovely but for August I picture it as being uncomfortable.

For Phuket in August, I have been there a few times during August. Very good hotel rates but that's because of the rain. The sea is also quite rough most of the time.
Hanuman is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 04:34 PM
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donna---as craig has said we just mentioned you at lunch today....so glad to hear that you are around still...drop me a line: [email protected] may not have had the msn before...

don't even think of the hilton at HH....nor the anantara....the hyatt is best, although out of town quite a ways...the marriott is still our favorite although the rooms are not fabulous, but everything else is....you can also walk to town...the beach is the widest section in HH...great pool....hyatt is newer and has great everything but the beach is narrow....the sofitel is nice....some like the anantara but we thought it only ok and far from town....

glad you are trying the mayfair....so i will get a first hand report...you will not be disappointed....karen only wanted to stay on the river this time so i could not fit it in...you can be my eyes....great rooftop pool....great location....
did you do the zoo last time, if not hubby will like as well as kids....

can i be your 4th kid for the aman stay?? we are doing the jw marriott there in june...

let me hear from you

bob
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 06:46 PM
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I've been to Hua Hin a couple of times. With kids, I'd recommend the Hyatt - gorgeous grounds! And if you want spa services, the Chiva Som is a 5 minute walk via the beach.

Personally, I don't see any reason to stay in town in Hua Hin - I just wasn't impressed with the town. (I know that others, like Bob, like to stay in town and eat at different restaurants, etc) I stayed at the Anantara a few years ago in the absolutely gorgeous Lagoon rooms. We had a fabulous time, loved the spa and the private pool for the Lagoon rooms, the great restaurants, etc., but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it with kids. The older part of the hotel looked to have family-sized rooms, but it wasn't as nice as the Lagoon section.
Kathie is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 08:25 PM
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I usually go to Bangkok in December, but last year went in August and loved it...fewer people. I have just gotten a ticket for August of this year,too. It rained on and off last August, but came down hard for very short periods of time. I wasn't affected at all by it. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Apr 18th, 2005, 02:43 AM
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The local transport in Hua Hin is a very big 'plus' as the tuk-tuks and taxis are way cheaper than most other places. All the way from Hua Hin market, past the Marriott, Hyatt, Chiva Som and onwards down to Khao Takiab beach is a local 'Songthaew' green pickup/bus type service that costs just 7 baht ( about 12 cents US ) and runs every few minutes ) and it passes all the resorts and hotels all the way down to Khao Takiab, so it is easy to stay at places 5-10 minutes from town but still get to and from restaurants, even late at night a tuk-tuk or taxi would cost not more than about $2.50 to any hotel along the coast, about $4 if you were staying at places like the Dusit or Regtn further up the coast around Cha Am. Beyond la Mer and Khao Takiab beach/Golden Buddha area the beach at Khao Takiab Bay though certainly not Samui or Phuket does have Palm trees, loungers, local restaurants, boat trips etc and is as close to a tropical beach so close to Bangkok. The Sasi Restaurant and Thai show is just outside the entrance to the Hyatt and there is a nice bar on the corner that has a live band.
JamesA is offline  
Apr 19th, 2005, 06:30 PM
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So we are now booked on Exectutive Economy on the JFK - BKK flight...which was absolutely empty as of today (in August). Interesting. The seats for Executive Economy (vs. regular economy) for adults were $500 more than coach, but from the pictures you sent me Craig (thanks!) and from reviews, seem well worth it for the long haul. Also this is the last summer I will get the 25% off deal for 2 of my children (barely under 12) and so....
Anyway one more question about Hua Hin. I know the beaches are not as nice as Ko Samui or Phuket....but are they at all comparable? I would love a few days at a beautiful beach. Cost is not an issue to fly to Ko Samui, as Bangkok Air will be $25 for 2 of my children and $50 for each of the 3 others...which to me is worth it if it's worth it!!
Sounds like the Meridien would be best for my family...but again, if Hua Hin has a comparable beach, would stay there. Obviously just easier logistically and better assurance of weather.
Hey, when is the next lunch? Ever do one in NYC? We'd come join you but will we be considered Asia traitors if we went to San Miguel De Allende for spring break??
stockexchanger is offline  
Apr 19th, 2005, 07:22 PM
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How do you get $50 seats on Bangkok Air to Samui? Is it part of a travel pass?
tnnc is offline  
Apr 19th, 2005, 07:23 PM
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donna---the meredien is very issolated on samui....not sure you would be real happy there....the hotel is very nice however...

the beach at the marriott in HH is very nice....and wide....at the hyatt the water was hitting the breakwater the day we were there so there was 0 beach...it must have been high tide...
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 19th, 2005, 07:24 PM
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also the jfk to bkk flt does not start until may i believe
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 19th, 2005, 08:01 PM
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Bob, you must have been to the Hyatt at high tide. There is a nice beach at the Hyatt. When I was in the middle of town, the beach at the Marriott and the Sofitel looked narrow, but I couldn't tell if it was just high tide...
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