Thailand Itinerary

Apr 11th, 2004, 04:37 PM
  #1  
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Thailand Itinerary

We are a family (with teens) traveling to Thailand for the first time in July. After 4 days in Bangkok (we are also playing golf there) We go to Chiang Mai for 4 days then back to Bangkok and travel by Hua Hin. We wanted to end in a beach resort.
Would love some input. Also hotels In Bangkok the Oriental or Banyon Tree? Any other suggestions.
In Chiang Mai the Sheraton or the Four Seasons (is it worth it)
In Hua Hin leaning towards the Grand Hyatt.
What shouldn't I miss. Total 15 days or so.
Thanks in advance
Karen
krmrn is offline  
Apr 11th, 2004, 05:05 PM
  #2  
 
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karen--you have done good homework so far....
hotels: think the kids would not be happy at the four seasons in CM...way out in the middle of no-where--worth the money but i don't think for a family---great for adults but not for kids--nothing to do period..sheraton is good---a little out of town...pool is ok...easy access to town...i have stayed there when it was a westin hotel--maybe 4 years ago...we were happy with it...price is great...you might want to look in town a bit more, however--someone will suggest places (jamesA has kids and listen to him)....make sure there is plenty of a/c...one advantage to the sheraton

in bkk...look at the marriott resort and spa....simply the best all around...the pool is the best in bkk---great for the kids and you...there is a mini-mall attached which the kids will love...mcdonalds, burger king, pizza hut, sweansons ice cream....shopping...it sounds large but it is quite small...the perfect place for you...price about $100...lots of good restaurants in the hotel...a good thai rest. for families is in the mall...first floor with green awnings...dinner for two with beer is about $12-15 and it is delicious...
tailor in mall---jack at monet il sarto...second floor...i always use him...
bank out on street just to the left of the mall is great and has atm too...save money on cash/trav ck exchange...fun being on the river--the kids will love watching this too--make sure you get a room up high (only 4 or 5 floors) on the river..costs extra

in hua hin i would go to either the marriott (owned by the same company as the one in bkk) or the hyatt...the hyatt is more spectacular but is further out of town--somewhat issolated...the marriott is smallish and again perfect for families....maybe a bit cheaper as well....
we love both marriotts
we will be at the bkk one in both may and june this year...
south of the hyatt on the hill is La Mer Restaurant---fish--a must on your visit....take a cab up to it..

the oriental and the banyon tree would not suit a family as well...i find the oriental a bit stiff and the banyon tree is a bit issolated for the kids...

of course you have to do the grand palace...wat arun is great across the river...shopping....jim thompson house and the main jim thompson store...river city shopping center--the marriott boat goes there....the kids might like the zoo and nearby the largest teak palace in the world--name starts with a "V"....

mbk is a fabulous one stop shopping/bargain emporium...not far from the jim thompson house...you probably will get off the sky train in front of it when you go to the JT house...7 floors of shops selling everything you ever thought of...not upscale...

you have a good trip with just the right amount of variety...

day number one is a lost day after arriving...you will be dog tired--i assume you are coming from usa or thereabouts...

have fun and ask more questions...remember lots of cotton clothing for all

you must take at least one long-boat ride...the kids will love it...the hotel will arrange it for you...do the thornburi klongs tour with the boat and it will stop at wat arun and the royal barges for you if you ask...the kids and adults will love this trip
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 14th, 2004, 03:09 PM
  #3  
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Thanks,
I posted this and then ended up in the hospital. So appreciate your comments. A frend is hot on the Banyon Tree because of the club and the roof views of the city.
We are leaning to the Hyatt in Hua Han. I figure there will be enough kids and other action. Everyone says it is quiet but I don't want to spent the whole vacations flying all over the country I want some R&R.
Thanks
again Karen
krmrn is offline  
Apr 14th, 2004, 06:06 PM
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banyon tree is a nice property and was probably the #1 business hotel about 4 years ago when it was still a westin...i just find the area boring...in the middle of a business/embassy area...lots of concrete and little green and no water...
please tak another look at the marriott...it is fabulous for the kids...there are several "view" places in bkk....you can always eat and drink there...
you will be very happy with the hyatt...i just happen to like marriotts and these two marriott better...the HH marriott is so close to town that it is a plus in that respect...i think it has the better beach also...as i remember the hyatt beach was narrow...the hyatt pools are huge and interestingly decorated
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 14th, 2004, 06:24 PM
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I've stayed at the Hyatt at Hua Hin, and it was great. It would be a wonderful place to take kids - great pools. I'm not at all fond of the town of Hua Hin, so I consider being away from the town to be an advantage. By the way, if you like spas, the "best destination spa in the world" the Chiva Som is a 5 minute walk from the Hyatt via the beach. My full day spa experience there was absolutely incredible!

I always recommend that people stay along the river in Bangkok. It's what gice you the feel of being in Bangkok. The Banyon Tree is just another nice hotel in a large Asian city. There are a number of excellent hotels along the River. Bob's fave is the Marriott as he mentioned above, mine is the Sheraton Royal Orchid. Either would be appropriate for kids. The Pen and the Oriental are likely too formal for kids. I haven't stayed at the Shangria La, but that's another option.
Kathie is offline  
Apr 14th, 2004, 11:48 PM
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As usual, I agree with rhkkmk. Staying on the river in Bangkok is key, IMO, to both a more enjoyable stay and to observe the sights and sounds of the river which is the lifeblood of Thailand. The Banyan Tree is really in a concrete jungle (which much of Bangkok a\way from the river feels like) but on the river you get the occasional breeze, and there are trees and just generally a more relaxed feeling; I could (and have) spent hours watching the traffic flow by from rice barges to long tail boats, to the great waterbuses with monks in their orange robes hanging out the back. . . .

Also agree with rhkkmk about the Marriott Resort and Spa, one of my favourite hotels in Asia and definitely the best city hotel pool in SE Asia, there is actually shade, a rare and welcome commodity in Thailand at any time, but esp in July when it is very hot and humid even if the sun is not out. I think the kids would love the pool (there is a big hot tub too) and the bit of green areas which they have, the staff is very welcoming as well. They have an excellent spa. Virtually all the rooms have a river view, but do ask for one. Their standard rooms are OK, but they have junior suites which are a very good size, and several one bedroom suites which front the river and could easily accommodate one or even two roll away beds in the living room. (There is also a JW Marriott in Bangkok, a very nice hotel but also in the concrete jungle and I only stay if my clients are in that area Small pool, although they have a great health club.)

I also have to put in a good word for the Peninsula. I think the location is better than the Marriott as it is further up river right in the center of moist of the action. Rooms are luxurious and large, again they have very nice suites that might work for a family. The pool is not as nice, IMO, no shade and it is rather long and narrow.

The Oriental is perfectly fine, and their pools (I recall there are two) also have some shade. It just is not one of my more favourite hotels, although I couldn?t say for sure why; as they have a great history and their restaurants are very good as well. The location on the river is excellent. You might run a search here, as most people who have stayed there in recent years have enjoyed their stay, including several people with children. I have not stayed there in more than 15 years, so can't really give a current comment about service or what the rooms are like, can only comment on the public areas and restaurants. I don't think it is particually stuffy. I a not a fan of the Shangri-La as it is just too big and glitzy for me, plus many of the rooms in the newer wing look out onto a noisy highway bridge.

Bring a hat for golf and drink lots of water. Get as early a tee time as you can, as being out in the mid-day heat and humidity is really not an enjoyable experience. If there is night golf at the course, consider that, as that will be the coolest time to play.

Depending on how old your teenagers are, in Hua Hin you might want to consider the Chiva Som. This is a world-class and world-famous spa and health resort disguised as a luxury hotel on the beach. They consistently are ranked among the top five spas in the world. They have every kind of fitness class and spa treatment you can imagine (suspension saline tanks for example) and healthy cuisine that is really outstanding, you won't even realize you are eating what is good for you. They have a great large pool and a nice spot on the beach, as well as lovely grounds and the rooms are beautiful. You would enjoy it I am sure. I would think your kids would need to be older than about 14 to appreciate it, and I am not sure about their rules for children, but take a look at http://www.chivasom.net.

As for Chiang Mai, one of the things I like best about the Four Seasons is that it is out of town. I would agree it is a bit of a trek into the city from there, so if you plan to be in the city every day, it might be inconvenient. However, if you are trekking or doing activities outside the city, then it isn?t such a problem, and sometimes you don't even feel like leaving the grounds of the hotel as they are beautiful and everything you need is right there!
Cicerone is offline  
Apr 15th, 2004, 06:33 AM
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Hi Karen,
Teenagers will love Phi Phi Don. There are many lodgings and the beaches are nice. Snorkelling, diving are fantastic and it is very Bohemian. As adults you will have to "put up" with the crowd that is basically dropping out of society. A person can stay here for as little as $5.- a day and eat for less. There are two sides of the island that you can walk to. I reccomend the beach side rather than the harbor just because there are nicer facilities and you can easily walk over to the harobor side where you will find fire dancers performing at night on the beach and also go to any number of outside discos, if that's what you want to call them. Food is great and I reccomend venturung into the side streets. You will think you'll be poisoned but you want and the Thai is wonderful. It is very hot eveywhere in Thailand especially Bangkok and the islands. Take as little clothing as nessasary especially when going to the islands as you will have to carry it all and go by ferry to the island out od Krabi or Phuket. Airfare from bangkok to Phi Phi Don round trip is about 140.- including the ferry ride.

lastly, Phuket and Krabi have nice beaches and resorts and might be less Bohemian. I was thinking of the kids. Have fun. Don't eat the fish balls!
butzbach is offline  
Apr 15th, 2004, 06:43 AM
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karen,

Another thing. If you are spending $100.- a night then you are staying at very expensive places by Thai standards. If you have the funds, great but don't limit yourself to being too touristy. thailand is a wonderful cultural place and there is lots to see and do. Just walking the streets and shopping and eating and seeing a different culture is great. I don't know where you are from but if it is the US you are in for a real eye opener. Soak it up. It's a long way to go just to play golf and sit at the pool at the Hyatt. Good luck!!
butzbach is offline  
Apr 15th, 2004, 01:27 PM
  #9  
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Thanks All,
No we definately plan on seeing the cultural sites. Chang Mai and in Bangkok. But I definately am looking for a little down and vegtable time.
We are from Los Angeles. Have done many European trips with the kids but this will be their first and my first trip to Asia.
Karen
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Apr 15th, 2004, 07:16 PM
  #10  
 
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karen---i am sure that you are prepared for asia to be 180 degrees different from europe....in europe you may plan to do 4 or 5 things in a day....in SE Asia we find that the best we can do is 2 and on a good day 3....the heat and humidity just wear you down...
golf, for instance---i can't even conceive of it in that weather....
in short i am saying that you have to pace yourselves...do lots of homework and plan your time, but have options that allow change...
ending up in HH is such a good idea....just vedge and take it easy...
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 15th, 2004, 11:40 PM
  #11  
 
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Just to clarify things, Buztbach's messages refers to places in the Phuket area (Phi Phi and Krabi), however Karen is not going to Phuket, and rightly so, as July is rainy season there. She and her family want to go the beaches in the Hua Hin area which is much better in terms of rain in July.
Cicerone is offline  

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