Thailand Islands in July???

Old May 29th, 2007, 08:48 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 16
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thailand Islands in July???

Well, one things seems clear. All of the quiety beautiful island beaches we want to visit are on the west, but in July the good weather is in the east. What to do?

I'd really like to know how bad the rain will be. Does it make any sense at all to spend a few days on the west coasts in the middle of monsoon season?

Thanks as always.
awwill is offline  
Old May 29th, 2007, 10:22 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,160
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Around Phuket the sea can get quite rough making swimming from the beaches hazardous. It will be hard to visit any of the islands from Phuket but if you just want to lie on the beach then I guess it's ok. Most of the time it doesn't rain the whole day(unless there is a lingering front like a depression storm) perhaps only around 2 - 3 hours a day.
Hanuman is offline  
Old May 29th, 2007, 11:08 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,751
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You have the islands in the Gulf, Koh Chang, you can go from Koh Chang to smaller nearby islands, snorkel in the marine park. You also have Samui and you can easily get to Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, these are popular in July due to the weather.
Rates for that time are cheap in the Phuket area, as Hanuman says you take your chance on the weather, it might not rain, it could be ligh for a short while, if you hit a bad time it could make swimming impossible, so it's a risk, best time to visit Phuket area is December through March/April, I would look at Koh Chang area or the other islands, as it's low season you won't have any problem getting accommodation in the west areas, you can always monitor the weather and then go across from the east to the west.
JamesA is offline  
Old May 30th, 2007, 03:01 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
But it can rain on Samui as well... my only visit to Samui was in July, for 2 full days, 3 nights. It absolutely POURED one day, so we pretty much had to stay under the cabana at our villa! But Samui is a nice island... so it wasnt' all bad!
simpsonc510 is offline  
Old May 30th, 2007, 04:01 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,894
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We were on Samui for 3 days in July 2000 and it never rained. Go figure. Weather is generally SUPPOSED to be good.
Craig is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2007, 09:19 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 52
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi everyone,

I read your responses to awwill and was wondering if your comments relate to travel in August as well. I have a trip planned to Thailand Aug 8 and wanted to spend a whole week of it on a nice beach somewhere. Should I also be looked at the beaches on the east side of thailand?

Also, any specific hotel/resort recommendations would be welcome (at this point all i have is a flight as I havent had time till now to research). I am looking to stay at a 5 star property, maybe even something with individual huts or something.

Thank you in advance for your help!
swinggal is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2007, 10:27 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 6,664
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
East side in August. Ko Samui is probably the best.
Gpanda is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2007, 01:04 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 52
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Gpanda, thank you for your advise. I have noticed that you are one of the Thailand experts so I want to bother you for some more advise, if that's ok.

I am traveling with my fiance for 18 days - so that's really 16 days of vacation. We def want to spend the last week on a gorgeous beach somewhere, preferably somewhat remote. But i am not sure what to do with the rest of the time. After reading the many threads I can see that one itinerary is to go to BKK (that's where we are flying into), then Chiang Mai, then Golden Triangle, then to beach/island. But this means we wont get to go to Angkor and I have read it's a must.

My dilemma is that if we do BKK, then Chiang Mai, then Angkor, then beach - that will be way too much flying around since all the flights connect through BKK and end up taking too long.

A whole other idea is to change my flight to fly into Hanoi, then BKK then beach. And no Angkor, nor northern Thailand.

Please help! Any advise?

swinggal is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2007, 01:09 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 52
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
PS: I also welcome advise from anyone else who has wisdom to share! (in reference to directing my last posting to Gpanda)
swinggal is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2007, 01:43 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,245
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Asia lends itself best to slow travel. So with 16 days on the ground, you should choose three places.

My recommendations would be:

1. Bangkok, Angkor, Beach

2. Bangkok, Golden Triangle, Beach

I'm not a fan of Chiang Mai, so it would be much farther down on my list.
Kathie is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2007, 11:38 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 52
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Kathie - thank you for your advise!

I was wondering if you can elaborate more on why you dont like CM. I have read your commends in other posts but couldn't figure out exactly why you feel that way. Is it just b/c it's a busy city and doesn't have much charm?

Since I would be going to BKK, I dont feel the need to spend time in another bustling city but it sounds like CM is a good base for excursions in the area. And it's my understand that we can go to an elephant farm and hike in the area. Is that wrong? Should we go to Chiang Rai for that instead?

Also, I got very excited about the Four Seasons Golden Triangle after reading a post about it but then learned that it costs 1,500$ a night!!!! I want to have a luxury type of vacation but I don't think i can justify paying that much. Do you think we can have a similar experience (in terms of nature and elephants and nice hotel) in the north somewhere without paying that much?

Or maybe we should just go to Angkor instead and do North Thailand when we have more money to spend?

Thank you in advance for all your help!
swinggal is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2007, 11:54 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,245
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I do find CM rather charmless (though not everyone does). It is a huge sprawling city with all of the big city problems like traffic and pollution, but without the great restaurants, great hotels, clean and efficient public transportation of Bangkok.

If you want an experience of northern Thailand ouotside the big city, I'd recommend either a resort outside CM (and there are many) or going to the Golden Triangle and staying at the Anantara where they have a small branch of the Elephant Conservation Camp on the grounds of this gorgeous resort. Do a search here, and you'll find lots of reviews of the Anantara.

Angkor is another option - a truly stunning experience. The Golden Triangle and Angkor are both wonderful but very different experiences.
Kathie is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2007, 12:17 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,433
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
As Kathie has said before, some people are Bangkok people and some are Chiang Mai people. I proudly call myself a member of the latter--I much prefer to manageable small city vibe of Chiang Mai to the madness of Bangkok. It's much like the difference between Boston and New York to me...both have their upsides, but Chiang Mai I found to be more charming, less noisy and easier to navigate. I will agree with Kathie about the restaurant situation, but that didn't bother us nearly as much since it was such a nice change-of-pace to be surrounded by mountains and lush greenery.
That being said, I do agree that since it sounds like you're looking to do more excursions outside the city, that staying outside the city is definitely the way to go. Chiang Mai proper is quite a trip from some of the elephant camps, the hiking, the rafting, etc. There are lots of amazing hotels to check out...first and foremost the Four Seasons Chiang Mai which is located right around where you want to be and doesn't carry that $1500/night price-tag its sister hotel does.
We stayed at Baan Rai Lanna, a stunningly beautiful place (to us) in the same area but it might not be as luxurious as what you're looking for.
But please don't miss out on the north--it's part of the essential Thailand experience. I wouldn't suggest missing Angkor either, but if you can manage both, I think that's your best bet. Hope that helps...
filmwill is online now  
Old Jun 4th, 2007, 01:23 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 52
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Kathie and filmwill - thank you so much for both perspectives and for your other suggestions!

I would love to squeeze in both the North AND Angkor but I am afraid we will rush too much then. We have 16 full days so we really can do BKK, North, Angkor and beach but I read on these threads that all these flights go through BKK. Is that true? Because if we could fly from CM straight to Angkor and then Angkor to Koh Sumai (or another beach destination), perhaps that would make seeing 4 places feasible.

I know Kathie feels like I should stick to seeing 3 places but I am tempted to push it if we can find a way...Any suggestions?
swinggal is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2007, 02:34 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,245
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
All of your flights do go through BKK, so you would spend much of a day transferring from place to place.

One of those destinations can wait until your next trip, Make this a memorable trip - not one where you only remember all the airports you sat in!
Kathie is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2007, 02:51 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,433
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Again, just my opinion. But last November we did Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Angkor and Phi Phi Island in 16 days.

I never felt rushed or robbed of any experience, but, then again, that's just the way I like to travel--too see as much as possible and still maintain a sense of enjoying each destination. If you can afford to go back again to visit then definitely break it up...if you can't then consider doing it all. If you have 18 days, my suggestion would be 4 nights Bangkok, 4 nights Chiang Mai, 4 nights Angkor, 5 nights Ko Samui (or some variation thereof.)

One more thing, if you DO try to squeeze this all in, then definintely consider Chiang Mai proper over the Golden Triangle area...and settle on somewhere like the 4 Seasons in Chiang Mai, which is MUCH easier to get to/from. A Golden Triangle visit will definintely add transit time you won't have.
filmwill is online now  
Old Jun 4th, 2007, 03:04 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,245
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you can stretch your time and are willing to take away from the week at the beach you said you wanted, you can do it all, but it will be hurried.

I disagree with filmwill about the Golden Triangle - you simply fly into Chiang Rai rather than Chiang Mai. You can even arrange for transfers by the Anantara. It's a one hour drive from the airport to the Anantara. By all accounts, the Four Seasons outside of CHiang Mai is lovely. It's a good 30-45 minute drive to/from the airport, so you really don't save much time over going to the Golden Triangle. Read peope's trip reports on both so you can make a decision that is right for you.
Kathie is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2007, 08:50 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 52
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you both again for more info.

I really want to go to both Golden Triangle and Angkor so am now considering trying to squeeze it in (sorry Kathie) and cutting some beach days. I am dying to stay at the 4 Seasons but...I just don't think it's justifiable since it's not my honeymoon!!!

I read more posts about the North and Anantara and am slightly concerned about the smoke that ppl keep mentioning. Do you know if that's still a problem? Also, posts mentioned that Anantara has a package that combines elephants and cooking and seeing the area but I didn't see it on their web-site, hopefully they still have it since I think 3 whole days with elephants might be a little too much for me.

I was also trying to figure out the Thai Air Pass but their site is not very informative. Does it cover 3 legs of a journey or does it include return flights too?
swinggal is offline  
Old Jun 5th, 2007, 06:32 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,751
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's 3 sectors, so BKK-Chiang Mai is one, back to BKK 2nd, flight elsewhere 3rd, so if you did 2 return flights out of BKK that is 4 sectors.
JamesA is offline  
Old Jun 5th, 2007, 06:35 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,751
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You can always do a few days in Hua Hin which is just a limo or cab ride from BKK, if you stay at the Hyatt or Dusit they have lux shuttle vans between their BKK properties and their Hua Hin resorts. If you feel very rich you can always splash out on the Chiva Spa ! Though the Hyatt Regency with their new Barai Spa would be nice for a few days.
JamesA 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 07:44 AM.