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Thailand???: Where is the best place for me?

Thailand???: Where is the best place for me?

Old Mar 1st, 2004, 07:32 AM
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Thailand???: Where is the best place for me?

I have a somewhat unlimited budget for my honeymoon in November (15-29) and I really would like to go to Thailand because I have heard it is just beautiful and fun etc...

We would like to go to Chiang Mai for 4/5 days or so (so where would you recommend to stay here) and the rest of the time we want to be at the beach in the south- it is really important to us for there to be great beaches with the crystal blue waters plus lots of water sports and activities available- Can you all please help me? Thank you!
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Old Mar 1st, 2004, 07:48 AM
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You will love Thailand. If you're a city person, I strongly suggest that you spend several days in Bamgkok. It's stunning. Many are frustrated by it and put off by the air quality, but we're going back for our thirs time in three years. If you stay by the River in the Peninsula, Oriental, Royal Orchid Sheraton, Shangri-la or Marriott, you'll be sufficiently separated and can choose when to sally forth. Chiang Mai is fascinating, but Bangkok is unique. Have a great time.

I've not been there, but the Rayavadee in Krabi gets superb beach reviews.
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Old Mar 1st, 2004, 08:04 AM
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Thank you! I dont think the air quality in Bangkok would be good for me which is why I did not mention I was planning to go there...I am pretty sensitive to pollution (ie: LA- even NYC) and will be stuffed up and coughing so I am going to avoid it for this trip...

Any recommendations on where to stay for beaches? I heard Rayavadee did not have private beaches is that right? Public beaches seem like they are extremely crowded and what do you do when you want to go in the water? Is it safe enough to just leave our stuff ont he beach and go in the water?
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Old Mar 1st, 2004, 08:09 AM
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our first trip, we stayed at the Chedi in Pansea Beach on Phuket. If your budget really is unlimited, you should look at the Amanapuri, which is next to the Chedi. It's beautiful and I'm sure they can arrange for any activity.

Perhaps you could stay one day in Bangkok and see the Grand Palace and take a tour of the Khlongs in Thonburi. Both should not be missed.
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Old Mar 1st, 2004, 09:31 AM
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I'm sensitive to pollution, but I do love Bangkok. When I've been in Bangkok (Nov, Dec, and Jan) I've never experienced the pollution as being nearly as bad as LA. Staying by the river, the air seems better than in the midst of all the traffic. I, too, recommend that you spend some time in Bangkok on the river.

What is the purpose of the Chaing Mai part of your trip? There is good shopping in Chaing Mai, but it's Thailand's second largest city and has air quality problems as well. If you just want to experience part of northern Thailand, let me recommend going to the Golden Triangle and staying at the Anantara. If you must go to Chaing Mai, there is a Four Seasons outside of town that is renowned to be "out of this world" but so are the prices.

I believe that all beaches in Thailand are public beaches, but that doesn't mean that they are all crowded. There are busy areas of Phuket and more isolated areas of Phuket. There are also lots of other beach areas in Thailand.

I' suggest that you browse through some of the many meessags about Thai beaches on this board. I expect that may prompt some more specific questions. Also, there are guidebooks devoted specifically to the beach areas of Thailand. You may want to buy one.
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Old Mar 1st, 2004, 09:54 AM
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kathie and i always agree on chiang mai...i would limit my stay to maybe 3-4 days and the four seasons is the best place with the sheraton (former westin) the next best quality wise...there are also some smaller places but not for a honeymoon...the 4 seasons is best, but it is way out of the town...like maybe a 20-30 minute ride....

in bkk stay a day or two at the peninsula....i do not find smog nearly as bad in bkk as i do in many other places in the world...treat yourselves and get a large suite... there are fabulous restaurants in bkk as well....

have you looked at koh samui?? what about the jw marriott in phuket?? it also is not near town....
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Old Mar 1st, 2004, 10:48 AM
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All beaches in Thailand are public, as they are in many places, but you can find plenty of beaches that only have say 1 resort on them and are pretty much the resort's own beach. The Rayavadee is obviously a great resort but I think there has to be a 'limit' to what can be provide for a price, and the price of the Rayadee is 'staggering'. The Laguna area on Phuket may suit, there is a Sheraton, Banyan Tree and Dusit amongst others and the beach is not busy. The Marriott Phuket pretty much has the beach to itself but very very isolated. If you want as close to a private beach as you can get but at the same time be close to activities, shopping and restaurants the Meridien Resort at Relax Bay on Phuket is in a cove on it's own, hence, a 'private' beach as the only access other thatn through the hotel would be by boat. It has 4 or 5 floors but it is a great hotel, as I say, ideal if you want to be close to a busy area yet stay in a relaxed quiet area. The Boathouse is another good option on Phuket at Kata Beach, it tends to have it's own stretch of beach used pretty much just by the hotel guests.
I agree about Chiang Mai, it 'is' a city, if you want to get into a Jungle area the River Kwai area is just a few hours from Bangkok, you can also take a 3 night 4 day cruise on the River Kwai, about $425 each which is good value as it only carries about 20 people and you get to see small villages, hot springs, I have not been on it myself ( too pricey for me! ) but it is pretty amazing, it is a great way to spend 4 days slowly weaving along the River Kwai and stopping at local places.
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Old Mar 1st, 2004, 01:30 PM
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The air up north in Chiang Mai are isn't all that clear either - there is a layer of grey air hanging over the city here also. And if you plan to pass on Bangkok, and then head for a beach, why bother with a trip to Thailand.

In Thailand your hotels will be air conditioned, as will most restaurants. For any tours, if you arrange for guide/driver, your car will be air conditioned. But as far as sites, whether in BKK or in Chiang Mai most are open and not air conditioned. And then there are all the candles and incense burning in temples. You won't be able to breath anywhere.

You might want to consider Bali or the Seychelles Islands or the Maldives for beach holidays. All three are ideal for a honeymoon.
Old Mar 1st, 2004, 01:31 PM
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For blue water, white sand and no crowds go to Karon or Kata beach just a few minutes south of Phuket's main beach at Patong (which does get crowded). You reach them on the local 'songthaew' buses which only cost 50cents (20 baht pp) a ride.

But don't expect anything more than sand and sea - no developments are allowed ON the beach in Thailand.

Plenty of water-based activities at Patong, though, and a huge range of accommodation there too.
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Old Mar 1st, 2004, 08:32 PM
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Just make sure you don't stay at the run down, old, smelly, yellow water, ancient water filtration system Oriental if you go to Bangkok. Pen is a far superior choice.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2004, 06:11 AM
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Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. I think you'll have a great time in Thailand. My girlfriend and I had a great trip there and really enjoyed Koh Samui and Koh Tau. World-class diving and some nice resorts on beautiful beaches, including Chaweng Beach where we spent most of our time. GREAT local restaurants and it's a fun night of food and shopping when you get tired of the resort. You can also rent scooters for a change of pace and explore the island. I was in Thailand for three months so a couple of other quick notes:

Bangkok - fantastic. Definitely worth a trip to Wat Pho, the Golden Buddha temple, and some of the markets. There's also a short ride to the floating markets - romantic and fun.

Chiang Mai - I only spent a day here and would suggest exploring more of the BKK area before heading to the beach. I did have a great day trip to the temple ruins in Ayuhtaya, which was the ancient capital of Thailand, about an hour north of BKK.

Phuket - I really didn't like Patong beach at all. VERY touristy, but if you do go, rent a jeep or a motorcycle from downtown and cruise to some of the outlying temples. A better option is Karon or Kata beaches just south of there as the other poster said.

Also, when outside of a high-rent resort, I would be very careful about leaving anything unattended on the beach, particularly in areas like Phuket. I found the Lonely Planet Guide to be a great resource, particularly for transportation options within the country. They're a little light on the high-end resort info, but I'm sure there are some good books out there on those as well.

Good Luck!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2004, 05:54 AM
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Was in Thailand a year ago (ChaAm, Chaing Mai, BKK). The beaches at ChaAm were so so. I enjoyed Chaing Mai much more than BKK. Yes there was traffic and some smog, but no where near what it's like in BKK. I highly recommend the River View Lodge in Chaing Mai. It's a small hotel right on the river with a great staff. If you decide on it, ask for a 2nd floor room with a balcony overlooking the gardens and reive.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2004, 07:17 AM
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My wife and I have been to Thailand a couple of times on vacation and we have had a great time there We have been to places like Bangkok, Koh Samui, Phuket, Hua Hin and Ao Nang (Krabi) and they are all charming places...in their own way We probably had the best time on Samui where we had a bungalow on the Chaweng beach. I have posted a couple of trip reports and lots of pictures on my personal homepage www.gardkarlsen.com Maybe you can find some useful information there. I'm sure you will love Thailand...it is a great destination. Have a great honeymoon.

Stavanger, Norway
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Old Mar 5th, 2004, 01:15 PM
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I just got back from a 2 week trip from Thailand and a good plan would be to stay in Bkk for three days , i recommend
the Mariott on the river, beautiful gounds and river access via a shuttle.
The hotel can arrange your air and hotel
arrangments to various destinations. You might want to consider Chang Rai,
its a little north of Chang Mai but not as busy. For the beach area i stayed at Kata Beach area in Phuket, beautiful area and a bit quiter than pudong beach.
For a honeymoon consider staying at the
La Meridian hotel in Phuket. I rented a
motor bike for a day and took a ride around the property and believe me it is just beautiful.
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Old Mar 5th, 2004, 02:09 PM
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If I was honeymooning in Thailand I would have 3-4 days at four seasons golf resort just out of Chiang Mai (walk-in rate in July 03 was USD 175-hire a car and drive out there 30 mins easy drive from town) then I would drive up to Mae Hong Son and have 3-4 days at Fern Resort. This place is paradise for US50 per day. Great food, lovely private cottages, nature walks & treks or relax by the pool! I love Fern Resort, the staff are so delightful!!They are mostly Karen from the local village and they make the most exquisite woven handicrafts weve seen in Thailand. The Tamarind Village in Chiang Mai looks great-give Riverview Lodge a miss-overated is an understatement, imho, stayed 4 nts in July - food, service and room were mediocre. BKK in July was an pollution nightmare for me and after 3 nights breathing that crud, we got out in a hurry! Pimalai resort on Koh Lanta near Krabi looks good (considering it for next month). Have a wonderful honeymoon and a long and happy life travelling together!
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