Travel & Tsunami--Phuket/Ko Samui?

Old Oct 10th, 2005, 12:38 PM
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Travel & Tsunami--Phuket/Ko Samui?

Hello,
I will be traveling to Thailand in late November for about a week 1/2. I fly into Bangkok and would like to travel to either Phuket or Ko Samui. I have heard the areas near Phuket were hit pretty hard by the tsunami...is this true? Which one would you recommend for me? I am a 26 year old female traveling solo too. Any advice would be appreciated....
Thank you so much!
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Old Oct 10th, 2005, 12:50 PM
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The Tsunami was 10 months ago, 80% of hotels and except for some coastal areas Phuket was not effected as much as you might have been led to think by the media. Koh Samui of course was not effected whatsoever as it is in the Gulf of Thailand.
In November the weather in Samui will probably be not as good as Phuket.
If you can tell us more about what you are looking for, if you are into heady nightlife and busy areas or if you want queit relaxation, the more you can tell us about what you are looking for in your trip it makes it easier to give ideas. You have lots of choice in Thailand ranging from quiet and remote beaches to beach areas packed with nightlife, bars, shopping, it really depends what you are looking for. The beach areas on both Samui and Phuket also differ from quiet to very busy.
tell us a little more what you are looking for and many will come in with tips and ideas.
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Old Oct 10th, 2005, 02:07 PM
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I was in Phuket last week and stayed at Kata beach about an hours drive from the airport. This was my first trip to Phuket and was very impressed. I would recommend Katathani Resort to you without reservation. Due to the unfortunate lack of tourists the price is right and the place is superb. All the rooms face the ocean and there are 4 swimming pools. Everything you need is there so you would never have to leave unless you want to explore the island. Walk out the front door, turn right and you will easily find a driver for the day, which makes getting around very easy. Koh Samui I understand is very crowded now with tourists opting to go there instead of Phuket. I don't like huge throngs of people so Phuket was perfect. You will enjoy your stay there.
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Old Oct 10th, 2005, 07:01 PM
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you have to tell us a little more about what you are looking for and about your budget...both would be ideal, there are the weather concerns mentioned above...
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Old Oct 13th, 2005, 06:49 AM
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Hello! Thank you so much for your advice. A little bit more about my trip: I am traveling around Europe w/ my mom, then heading to India for a few weeks, and then to Thailand for a week and a half (on my own). Budgetwise, I would like to keep it inexpensive (safe hostels are OKAY). I am into nightlife and meeting new people, but also enjoy exploring the land/beaches during the day. i am also trying to extend my trip so i can spend a few extra days in Bangkok. Does this info help? Let me know what else you need to know. Sorry for the delayed response too....I have been traveling the past few days. THANK YOU SO MUCH AGAIN!!!!
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Old Oct 13th, 2005, 07:40 AM
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A few other quick questions...
--at this time of year (late NOV), will i need a reservation? or accomodations easy to come by?
--Any good hiking in Phuket or Samui?
--Any recommendations on hostels that are safe to stay in in Bangkok? i have been directed towards the khao san (sp?)rd.

Thanks again! i love this site!
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Old Oct 14th, 2005, 03:10 AM
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Tell us your budget in terms of money, unless you are looking for $5-10 a day for a hostel or something there is plenty of budget accommodation available, $20+ gets you a double air con room in Bangkok with breakfast, $25-30 probably a swimming pool as well, remmeber, that's for 2!

Samui are Phuket are different, forget hostels, guesthouses etc are cheap but you are going peak time, Samui and Phuket are not hiking places but they have plenty of bars, discos, nightlife, clubs etc, if you are looking into hiking and nature perhaps other beach locations might be better though you could loose on the nightlife side.
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Old Oct 14th, 2005, 09:55 AM
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Thanks James! I really appreciate your help...
Okay, budgetwise...i've saved quite a bit of money, but I would like to keep it on the inexpensive side. I'm more of "living it rough" adventure type girl vs. 5 star hotel, etc. But, I do need to factor in the safety element too, as I will be traveling alone.
So, people have told me if the place does not have screens/bug nets/fans--DON'T do it. I also want to make sure I can lock my stuff up safely ( i am bringing my own padlock). I am guessing that my budget will be $60.00/day for everything....just a guess....and i know things are really cheap there (yeah!)

-Do you know anything good/bad about Chaweng beach vs. Lamai beach?
-What about the Koh San Rd? Safe???
-Can I book my flight from Bangkok--Samui around a week in advance? think i'll run into much trouble?

THANK YOU SO MUCH James!!!!! Sorry if I am asking dumb questions....just want to educate myself as much as possible. You are the best!
Alia
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Old Oct 14th, 2005, 02:20 PM
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No problem at all. USD 60 a day is B 2,400, that is just 'fine', travel in Bangkok using Skytrain etc is cheap. Most accommodation includes breakfast so once you've had that you are only needing a snack at lunchtime ( allow $4 for snadwich/cold drink ), you could get by on less than that but for the sake of budget say $4.
Eating out in the evening varies like anywhere, but think that a main course might be $2.50, starter $2, so for $6 you can eat fine, so even if we shoot that higher to say $10, add a soft drink or couple of bottles drinking water during the day $15-16 well more than enough, and that is not going too 'budget' at all. Food is everywhere but even if temped to 'fill-up' with Mcd would only cost $3-4, in 7-11's a can of Coke is B 13 ( 33 cents ), small pack of cookies B 5 ( 12 cents ), a plain burger in 7-11 is B 17 ( 40 cents ), small bottle water B 9 ( 24 cents ).
Koh San Road, well, I know some people like it, but honestly unless you really want to go well down budget and hang out with cool types ( "I remember when in Khathamdu my Yak got a headache which I cured with a mantra I learnt in the Himalayas" types ) I really wouldn't bother!
if you 'do' want to hang out in that area SUK II www.suk11.com )guesthouse is famous and well run, from about $11, but if you want a clean comfy hotel 'near' Koh San Road without being on it:

Viengthai Hotel ( $ 32 ) a/con, TV, place has a s/pool too.

http://www.r24.org/huahin.20m.com/ba...gtai/pictures/

between $20-30 there are lots of options.
Hotels and service change, I will ask another regular 'Orgy7' if he can suggest some others for you as he is in BKK, Asia bangkok Hotel is a good 3 star and that runs about $30-33 a night.

Now, getting to Samui, only one airline operates, Bangkok Airways (www.bangkokair.com ), now this airline isn't cheap, but if you take the first flight out or back or last flight out and back it's about USD 100 return, plus about $8 dep tax. Cheaper way to get there is overnight bus and ferry combo, takes a great deal longer ( flight is just over 1 hour, bus and ferry about 12 hrs ) but costs about $25-30 each way. That might be a false economy as you will be tired out.

Chaweng beach is busiest on Samui, lots of bars and nightlife, lamai is cheaper, I think Bophut is good becasue it is not crowded or loud but you can easily get into Chaweng in the evenings if you want.

Cactus Bungalows at Bophut for a/c about $ 23 ( but no breakfast included )

http://www.r24.org/huahin.20m.com/sa...ctus/pictures/

Sandy resort at Bophut is $ 22.50 including breakfast, it has around 70 rooms so not a small place and I think it might suit you.

http://www.r24.org/huahin.20m.com/samui/sandy/pictures/


There are probably 50/60 odd places under $30 and also guesthouses and real budget from about $10, but I think sandy at under $23 you would like!

Ok, now Phuket, the big plus is that Phuket is served by 5 airlines, 3 of which are budget carriers, you can get real cheap fares,

www.airasia.com
www.nokair.com

These are the 2 better budget airlines, the other one One-2-Go just doesn't have such a good website, Thai Air Asia will get you a real cheap fare, they have more flights than Nok Air.

Phuket accommodation shoots up in price from November, so expect to pay more for accommodation, and you won't find a place right on the beach as cheap as Samui, so if being 'right on the beach is important' considor that, Phuket is more pricey than other arear for pretty much everything including transport, but the other side is that the air fares are less and at that time weather better !!

On Phuket there are various beaches, Patong is the busiest for nightlife, bars, shopping and restaurants, Karon beach is next beach down which is quieter but you can get into Patong easily, next one down is Kata, now if you want to be in a very very busy and lively place then Patong ( this is where it is noisy, crowded, active, you know yourself if you want that type or something more relaxing, we don't know you so have to guess! ),
in Karon about the cheapest is Southland Inn, about $ 25 a night ( excludes breakfast ), this is amonsgt shops a few minutes from the beach,

http://www.r24.org/huahin.20m.com/ph...land/pictures/

You 'can' get guesthouses in November in Patong from about $15-20 but note these will be not close to the beach and will be in areas with shops, off the main roads sometimes, I think before going further on Phuket you need to let us know a bit more of whether you want a lively area and don't mind guesthouses in not so 'pleasant/charming' areas, or whether you don't mind paying more for something closer to the beach, I wish it was more simple but the fact is that from November 1st prices shoot up on Phuket and something that was $15 in October suddenly costs $40 or more!
I lived on Phuket for several years and seeing the rates now shocks me!
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Old Oct 14th, 2005, 02:29 PM
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I must emphasise again if you can tell us more of what you are looking for, remember Phuket and Samui are the busiest Tourist islands, if you can tell us more of how you want to spend your time and your interests we may come up suggesting lots of other places instead, there is Koh Chang and Koh Samet islands for example south east of Bangkok which are cheaper to get to as a bus and short boat ride, but these are much quieter, but that might appeal, or maybe even Hua Hin which is a $ 4.50 bus ride by a/c express taking 3 hours from Bangkok. Very tame so does not attract the 'loud crowd' type.

I hope I am not too 'pressumtuous'(my spelling!! ) but if you could say tell us and answer to this it would help a lot!!:

Do you want to laze on the beach all day or a nice pool is enough ? Would you be happy staying a few minutes from the beach? How important is beach quality?

In the evenings would you prefer to have a meal and then head to the bars and disco into the small hours or would you prefer perhaps to tag-along with that 'nice couple' you met at your accommodation for a meal, a few bar drinks and some street stall shopping and be happy getting shut-eye by 10.30 pm?
It might be that we can suggest easier beach areas and places that would suit you.

I will post a message asking 'Orgy7' to give you ideas for Bangkok.
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Old Oct 14th, 2005, 09:57 PM
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lol, in my apartment, you guys are bad.

anyways....

sunshine do you want to be around other young travelers (backpackers) or do you want to stay solo.?.

if ya want too be amongst young travelers stay around banglampoo district. khaosan rd is the world famouse hot spot for backpackers.

I'd agree with James and say that maybe staying in a hotel/lodge that costs $20/30 will give you all the safty and confort you will need. many guest houses offer crapy beds with shared squat toilets for $10, so the extra $10/20 bucks can get you far, maybe even a swimming pool.


just quickly checking around
new world lodge $22 is close too hhaosan rd.

the rooms are fully furnished have privet bathroom with aircon.

sawasdee, banglumpoo and swasdee khaosan both go for $15 and offer privet rooms with aircon and tv. etc.

royal hotel bangkok $25 is near khaosan rd. it ofers privet room with the works plus has a swiimming pool

I used www.gotthailand.com to quicly check these places out.

james maybe keep this one in mind for future suggestion.

trang hotel. it costs about $25 has a pool, the place looks nice and It's located in the quite part of "old bangkok" I've yet too read reviews and they seem pasotive.

http://www.tranghotelbangkok.com/facilities.htm
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Old Oct 19th, 2005, 07:10 AM
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hello,
I'm looking for a flight from Bangkok to Koh Samui from 11/15 or 11/16 to 11/20 or so. I've been told this flight should be around $100 ~ $150 or so, yet I haven't found anytying in that range. I'm sure there are websites I missed to check. Can anyone point me to some cheap fare sites? I rather book something in advance than to book something when I get there. Thanks!
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Old Oct 19th, 2005, 08:05 AM
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yes that's right, including taxes it is about B 7,560 which is about USD 185 return.
The 'only' airline that operates on the route is Bangkok Airways so you have no choice. The only way you can save is by flying on the 6 a.m flight or the 2120 flight and that is about USD 100 return plus tax.

I have just suggested to others that apart from doing a bus/ferry or train/ferry you migth considor going one way on the Express bus/jet catamaran island hopper, that leaves bangkok 6 am and gets to Samui 1645 or leaves about 9 pm getting to Samui about 1130. On the day one you have a bus journey south from Bangkok and then the 'Jet-Cat' zooms across to Koh Tao, Koh Phangan and the Samui, with the right mindset treat it as a day trip, that cost USD 30.
heading back would not be interesting so maybe take the bus/jet-cat combo down and fly back.

http://www.lomprayah.com/E/route.html


We checked the fare with Thai to Surat Thani on the mainland ( you would then road and ferry to Samui ) but the saving really was just not worth the hassle.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2005, 09:22 AM
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Thanks guys...once again--VERY helpful! Regarding beaches...I would love to meet other travelers and hang out with them!!! I like beaches vs. pools....budget seems like it will do me well in Thailand. I am headed to catch a flight to Paris right now and will let all of this great info "absorb"...and I'm sure will come up with a few more questions... THANKS!!!!
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Old Nov 8th, 2005, 06:53 AM
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My boyfriend and I are going to Thailand for 5 days(November 24-28). We are coming from South Korea. We are interested in relaxing on a relatively clean beach, siping yummy drinks and eating good food during the day. We want to go somewhere were we can rent a motor bike and explore the surronding area easily. We are NOT interested in going on any sort of day tour.
In terms of nightlife we definitely want something exciting and lots of fun. We are also on a budget so we don't have too much money to spend(approximately $50 for both of us per day). We are debating between Ko Samui and Phuket. The flights from Bangkok to Ko Samui are much more expensive then those to Phuket but the cost of accomidation and everything else is more expensive in Phuket. I cannot figure out which destination is the cheapest and best suited for us. Can you give me any suggestions? Is it worth it to go for only 5 days?
Thank You

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Old Nov 8th, 2005, 09:25 PM
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If you want exciting nightlife then it really has to be Phuket or Samui, weatherwise Phuket would be a better choice, but USD 50 is B 2,000, are you pklanning on that being accommodation only or are you planning that to include other expenses? For Phuket that would mean low budget and guesthouses, although you might just manage it B 2,000 a day if that is for everything will be very very tight.
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Old Nov 8th, 2005, 09:32 PM
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You can actually get to Samui from Bangkok for about USD 30 by bus/ferry or bus/Jet cat, but it is either overnight or takes up a whole day.

If you plan on Phuket choosing beach location is important, you could get somewhere near Karon/Kata such as Kata Garden resort about USD 45, but if you want to get into Patong for nightlife that is going to cost at least another $10 or more return. If you stay near nightlife in Patong you will find it very busy and crowded, but about the best value there is the Montana Grand, basic air conditioned rooms but only about USD 25 a night double, which I can tell you for Phuket at that time is an absolute bargain ! It has a pool etc and is close to nightlife, about 5 minutes walk to the beach. Family Inn is 5 mins to the beach, much smaller place, air-con room with breakfast about USD 38.
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Old Nov 10th, 2005, 11:56 PM
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Hi Guys,
I'm also travelling solo to Thailand from 14th Dec- 7th Jan. I'm hoping you can help me out with quality info on the best places to stay/play in Ko Samui & Phuket, I'd like to hook up with other travellers along the way. I'm not looking for backpacker type accomodation but nothing over the top either. Somewhere clean, safe for a solo female traveller & not too out of the way. I plan on doing some diving in Phuket, maybe an elephant trek, a little relaxation but I really wana get out there & party as well. Any thoughts on the Full Moon Party, do you think it's too risky to go alone (being that I'm female & all)?? Ahh daily cash expendature, thats a tough one seens I'm a Thailand virgin not too sure what I should be allowing but roughly say 1800-2400B everything inclusive.
Cheers guys
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