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Thailand Itinerary Help! Hiking and Scuba?

Thailand Itinerary Help! Hiking and Scuba?

Feb 7th, 2006, 08:49 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
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Thailand Itinerary Help! Hiking and Scuba?

Hi, I am planning a trip to Thailand for the end of March. I plan on being there for 2 or 2-1/2 weeks, most likely flying into Bangkok and out of Phuket (or should I do it the other way?). I was wondering if anyone had recommendations on how to split up the time. I was thinking Chiang Mai, but it seemed out of the way flight wise. I had heard of Koh Sumai, Koh Chang, Hua Hin, Krabi and Phi Phi but wasn't sure which one would be the best, or if it was possible to do a combo of places. I was thinking 3-BKK, 5-Phuket and 4-8 days ??? My friend and I are females in our late twenties (not backpackers) looking for a vacation from the daily grind (also, it's pretty safe for female travlers, right?). We are looking to go hiking and scuba/snorkeling or rock climbing. And we were wondering about reputable places to get certified for scuba. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. We are looking for affordable places, but would like to mix some resort hotels (we were planning on the JW Marriot Phuket -any thoughts?) with some more authentic or local places. Thanks for any suggestions!
shellgo13 is offline  
Feb 7th, 2006, 09:05 AM
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jw marriott phuket is fantastic but for you there are two issues....it is almost the most expensive place on phuket and it is remote in the northern part of the island...i stayed there and loved it, but unless you rent a car it is pretty expensive to get around...the sea there is generally too rough for any swimming...

i would think that koh samui might be a better choice for you....the area around bophut beach is very nice and there are dive operators there....

look at this hotel web site:


marriott just opened up two new places there....the anantara and the marriott koh samui....but there are less expensive places as well...

some places are also issolated there as well like laem set inn and the meridien so i would not suggest them to you or that side of the island--west side...

i would stick to two places....bangkok at both the beginning and the end of your vacation with several days each side and the beach for the middle portion....perfect for 2-2 1/2 weeks...

not sure where you are coming from but if from the americas you will be very tired on day one and two, so you sort of have to rule them out...

some flights fly into phuket, but not many....most will route you through bangkok and probably the cheaper ones as well....
rhkkmk is offline  
Feb 7th, 2006, 09:49 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions. The website link you gave is great! I am using flyer miles for the flight from La and they are allowing me to open jaw. And the Marriott Phuket is free since I have a bunch of points racked up, but the 200/nt rate isn't bad, either. I like to mix up the really nice resorts with the local places so the trips aren't too expensive. Could you recommend a smaller hotel in Phuket and Koh Sumai that is <100/nt that's closer to town? Much thanks!
shellgo13 is offline  
Feb 7th, 2006, 09:55 AM
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What is it you want to do/see/experience on your trip to Thailand. I notice that most of the places you list are beaches. Is this to be mostly a beach vacation? Do you want to spend time visiting Wats? shopping? Do you want to visit northern Thailand? If you just want one beach location, then I'd recommend adding a couple more days to Bangkok and adding in one more location, such as the Golden Triangle or Chaing Mai.
Kathie is offline  
Feb 7th, 2006, 10:44 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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My wife & I will be in Phuket in late March. We will be staying in Karon at the Thavorn Palm Beach Village for approx $60/night. It seems like a pretty good place.
I am a certified diver & have looked at some dive shops. Suffice it to say, there are tons of operators. One that caught my eye is Dive Asia, although I'm sure there are plenty of good ones.
dinks is offline  
Feb 7th, 2006, 11:31 AM
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I would do Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket, which we did a couple of years ago. We were worried about Chiang Mai being out of the way flightwise, but Thai Airways was so efficient that it wasn't a big deal-- I think there may be one direct flight a day from Chiang Mai to Phuket, but we had to connect and it was very quick. Chiang Mai is great for hiking, biking, white water rafting and shopping. I wouldn't miss it if you have the time. We really liked the Marriott in Phuket. It's a little out of the way but they do have a shuttle into town and we found it very peaceful to go back to-- we actually switched there from a boutique resort at the other end of the island. Definitely do a John Gray Sea Canoe trip if you hit Phuket.
hastern01 is offline  
Feb 7th, 2006, 11:33 AM
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Krabi has very striking scenery and great rock climbing and scuba diving. You can also kayak out to the caves and take a trip inland to one of the national parks to hike. I wold choose to visit there over Phuket. In Phi Phi also you can dive and climb. On the other coast, I would take a look at Ko Tao over Ko Samui if you are interested in rock climbing and diving - any diving and rock climbing trips you book in Ko Samui will take you over to Ko Tao in any event and it is a two hour boat trip from Samui to Ko Tao. Ko Tao has lovely beaches and low key restaurants and bars - I prefer it to Ko Samui but there are beautiful places to stay on both. Take a look at Ko Tao Resort if you want somewhere with a pool and air con. Also Sensi Paradise (some air con but no pool). There are many 5* Padi places on Ko Tao and the prices are very reasonable. If you are on the beach that Ko Tao Resort is on, try Buddha View Divers.

The website that rhkkmk suggested should list these places on it.

Best wishes BB
Bella_Bluebell is offline  
Feb 7th, 2006, 11:36 AM
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Sorry - I should clarify when I say there are beautiful places to stay on both - I mean beachwise. The choice of hotels/resorts in Ko Samui is much greater and there are more upmarket places to stay there. Ko Tao has cheaper and less luxurious accommodation but still a varied choice.
Bella_Bluebell is offline  
Feb 7th, 2006, 12:42 PM
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Thanks for all of the responses! It is much appreciated. I definitely want to see some temples and experience a cultural side of Thailand, so I am going to try and work Chiang Mai into the trip. I am trying to do a cultural trip towards the beginning and have a more beach/water based trip towards the end. But now I am trying to figure out whether Krabi/Phi Phi would be better than Koh Sumai. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Or would it somehow be possible to do Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Koh Sumai, Krabi and Phuket? It sounds very ambitious, I know. Everyone's suggestions have made me want to see as much as possible.
shellgo13 is offline  
Feb 7th, 2006, 02:25 PM
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You only have 2 1/2 weeks. You'll enjoy it a lot more if you choose just three places to spend your time. So I'd say, choose one beach, plus Bangkok and CMC. You'll want more time in Bangkok than CM, as there is so much to do there.
Kathie is offline  
Feb 7th, 2006, 03:24 PM
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Posts: 888
I think I would go for Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Krabi - you can go on a daytrip to Phi Phi.
Bella_Bluebell is offline  
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