Thailand or Tahiti??

Old Jan 28th, 2006, 04:22 AM
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Thailand or Tahiti??

My husband and I are both teachers and live in NYC. We have traveled to many resort destination in the US, Europe and Caribbean.
We are now looking for something more unusual.
We are booked for a 10 day trip to Tahiti in July. The trip will be expensive but this is OK if it will be a dream vacation.
The question is-- I have been reading about Thailand and now think that a trip to Bangkok and maybe Phuket or Ko Saui in June may be more interesting. We can get FF awards with THAI air and use Marriott and Starwood points to book hotels. It will cost almost nothing.
I am asking anyone who has traveled to these destinations to give us some input.
What do you think? I am just afraid Tahiti may be very similiar to visiting the Caribbean.
What do you think?
I appreciate your help!
travelnow2 is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2006, 06:10 AM
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Hi travelnow2,

Where in Tahiti are you going? You'll want to spend your time on the outer islands like BORA BORA and MOOREA. Tahiti itself is nothing special.

While there is not the big cultural difference that you will find with Thailand, the islands themselves, IMO are far more beautiful than the islands of the Carribean. The water is more vibrantly colored. The snorkeling is much better with firey pink, purple and blue corals and fish that are unique to the South Pacific. And the bungalow-style accomodations are so fabulously private whether you get one on the beach or over-water.

In short, Thailand and Bora Bora/Moorea are so different from each other that you really should try to find a way to do both - especially if the Thailand trip will not cost much. Perhaps you could do Thailand next year and take your time planning it?

I would just hate to see you cancel French Polynesia and never rebook it. It's really quite special.
Ericka is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2006, 07:02 AM
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I've been to both. Thailand gets my vote. Tahiti was nice but very very expensive. It was not quite the paradise I was expecting. And yes, you should spend your time in places like Bora Bora and Moorea rather than Tahiti itself... or at least don't spend all your time in just Tahiti. The other islands are so close and easy to get to. The scenery is very beautiful, yes.

I pick Thailand because it really is a unique experience and a very different culture from the Western world. It is also a terrific bargain. The Thai people are much more genuine when they smile and greet you. The Thai people are friendlier and more gracious anyway you look at it.

The Thai islands have a different geology from Tahiti. The small motus of Bora Bora are interesting, but the islands off the coast of Phi Phi and Phuket and Samui jut straight up into the air like giant rocks. It's really quite striking.

You will have to be the judge, which trip you will make. I agree that you really need to make time to see the BOTH sometime in your life. Right now, I'd opt for Thailand.

Just my opinion...

Carol

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Old Jan 28th, 2006, 07:41 AM
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Tahiti is nothing like the Caribbean, Mexico or even Hawaii. I have been to the Caribbean so many times I cannot tell you. It is part of my job and I am really bored with it (all the same, same) - it is nothing like Tahiti. I have always had a mental picture of heaven, and felt like I was there when I was in Tahiti. If you like snorkeling there is nothing like it. I felt the underwater beauty was so amazing that if you never looked above the water you would be so happy.

There are beautiful waterfalls and amazing beaches. Do go out to one of the Motu's. It will be like a private island. Be sure and so some jeep trips to get back into the more jungle areas and also to get you up high. In Bora Bora for instance, that is the only way to see the vistas of those amazing blue waters that are on the picture postcards. There are expensive places to eat and places where the locals go that are not expensive or they wouldn't be able to eat.

I love Asia, but Tahiti is also great and is heaven on earth to me. The people there are very nice and one of the best things I liked there, even with all of the beauty, was their culture and their past. Be sure and go on a guided tour to one of their Marae's (religious burial areas) like the one on Moorea - to learn more about it.

If you are teachers you will love learning about Tahiti. Maybe reading a couple of books would help too. Quite amazing when the missionaries arrived and how they changed their culture (or tried to - they still practice some amazing things in some areas). One thing I find amazing to this day. If you have a child that is gender challenged as we call it here - you are considered very special as is the child.

I just love learning the difference of other cultures and Tahiti is right up there with Asian countries. Not sure when you are going in July - but most of that month is their international dance contest, which is a great time to be there. They have wonderful competions you can attend.

Like Ericka said - please try to do both. Also, on Tahiti itself - the less populating side of the island is quite different and worth some time.
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Old Jan 28th, 2006, 12:23 PM
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Thank you for your replies. Ericka asked where in Tahiti we are going.We are actually booked on RSSC ship with the following itineary:
Jul 29 Saturday Papeete, Tahiti
Jul 30 Sunday Papeete, Tahiti 02:30
Jul 30 Sunday Raiatea 11:00 18:00
Jul 31 Monday Taha'a Motu Mahana 09:00 17:00
Aug 1 Tuesday Bora Bora 09:00
Aug 2 Wednesday Bora Bora 18:00
Aug 3 Thursday Moorea 09:00
Aug 4 Friday Moorea 17:00
Aug 4 Friday Papeete, Tahiti 19:30
Aug 5 Saturday Papeete, Tahiti Disembarks
We arrive in Papeete 2 days before the cruise.
Both places seem so opposite but also interesting.
Any more ideas?
Thanks
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Old Jan 28th, 2006, 01:04 PM
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I've been to both Tahiti (twice) and Thailand (perhaps 20 times). Tahiti is lovely, but given that you are going on a cruise, you won't get a lot of cultural flavor for the islands. It will be a relaxing trip with beautiful scenery and you should be able to do some fabulous snorkling.

A trip to Thailand would be entirely different, especially if you are going independently. As others have noted, you'll spend much less in Thailand, even for the top hotels and restaurants. You also have to opportunity to have the experience of a different culture. If you've been reading posts here, you know that many of us love Bangkok. Bangkok has amazing sights, great hotels and restaurants and incredible shopping. You've mentioned Phuket, which is a nice beach area. Ther are also places in the north of Thailnd worth visiting as well. You have a much broader choice of places to visit in Thailand, as it's larger and more varied than Tahiti. AS you can see, while I returned to Tahiti once (and might go back again), I return to Thailand again and again. SE Asia is my favorite part of the world, and I often use Bangkok as my port of entry to other areas of SE Asia.
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Old Jan 28th, 2006, 02:32 PM
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If it's a cruise you're doing, as Kathie mentions, you're not about to see much of the people and culture. And if a cruise, that's your hotel... so won't be able to enjoy those that are worth staying at.

Thailand would get my vote.

Thailand is just as easy to get to from NYC. Much better prices, more places to visit... you can even fly to Siem Reap (Angkor Wat) in Cambodia for a few days.

And if you can get most of Thailand for almost nothing... it's an even better deal.
 
Old Jan 28th, 2006, 02:41 PM
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Hate to butt in here again, but I did not realize you were going on the Gauguin. You will indeed get an amazing amount of culture on this cruise. When I went the had one of the top experts on dolphin (in fact they had an undersea documentary crew on board as well) Jean-Michel Cousteau was also onboard, the man who gives the anthropoligical lectures is considered the top in his field for the south pacific islands. They have one or more lectures daily.

And the food - we ate fresh seafood - hours old for breakfast, lunch and dinner - until I was dying for a hamburger. There is nothing like this particular cruise.

That motu is amazing. They have youngsters (as well as their resident girls - the Gaugines) come onboard for dancing and other cultural demos.

They are completely different trips, so it depends what you are looking for - but that cruise has a 100% satifaction level. Thailand is a much larger country and does deserve many visits.

I hope you do one now and one later. That ship was actually supposed to stop sailing in Tahiti, and it was extended. I think they will move it as promised and the other ships do not compare. So your chance to this cruise might be limited. I hope you have booked yourself an overwater bungalow. Please let us know what you decide.
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Old Jan 29th, 2006, 03:32 AM
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Thank you for all the help.
We are leaning towards the Tahiti cruise for this year. We will begin planning a Thailand holiday for next year.
The only way that we can have two weeks vacation is in the summer months as we are both teachers. Do you think that June, July or August are poor times to visit Thailand?
Sorry for all the questions
WE appreciate your suggestions.
travelnow2 is offline  
Old Jan 29th, 2006, 10:15 AM
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If that's the only time you can go, then go. A number of the regulars here have been to Thailand in the summer.
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Old Jan 31st, 2006, 11:31 AM
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ttt
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