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Trip report of BKK and Samui. Thanks JamesA, Bob, Carol and others…

Trip report of BKK and Samui. Thanks JamesA, Bob, Carol and others…

Old Aug 3rd, 2005, 09:55 PM
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Trip report of BKK and Samui. Thanks JamesA, Bob, Carol and others…

Day 1: I am not as good as Bob to write detail trip reviews. But will try and cover as much as I can. Landed at BKK airport. Took a cab. As mentioned in the forum, you have to pay 50B airport tax and if you take the toll bridge then 40B. Reached very fast at Novotel Siam. Arrived at around 9.00 am. They were very helpful in early check in and also allowed us to swap breakfast of the last day with the first day. Only problem was that even though we were married they gave us two single beds!! However, immediately changed later on. Lovely breakfast. After resting we left for the weekend market. The Siam station is absolutely at the footsteps of Novotel and hence very easy to travel around. Chatuchak was also very easy to access.. Shopped, shirts, t-shirts, watches (fakes ones), bags etc…it’s a heaven…Oh.. before I forget.. two things.. We are vegetarians so you will not here me talk to much about food… We did not venture into any of the food stalls…and the Nancy Chandler map was very helpful…
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Old Aug 3rd, 2005, 09:55 PM
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Came back to the hotel and on our way had pizzas at Pizza hut.. Yes.. in Thailand but did not have much of a choice.. We were starved. After freshening up, we left for the Baiyoke Sky Bar…Took a cab and it cost around 45B…Cover charge is 200B per person.. The view is absolutely amazing and very god singers and songs. Then went one more floor above to the rotating observatory.. It was very nice.. Thanks Carol for recommending. My husband really enjoyed it. By the time we came back to Siam all restaurants were shut. So had to eat at Novotel’s restaurant in the basement. Food was moderate…Day 2: Next morning left for Grand Palace. It was very very hot and humid. Visited the Grand Palace, the Emerald Buddha and The reclining Buddha…Everything went well… Took the river taxi and then the BTS to MBK… Was just dying to visit the place as I had heard so much about it.. Directly headed for the food court. First taste of Thai food and as mentioned by you’ll very cheap….
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Old Aug 3rd, 2005, 09:56 PM
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Shopped, shopped and shopped… After dropping the bags, headed to Cabbages and Condoms.. What a lovely place and what excellent food…but alas had to hurry up as we had to catch the Calypso Cabaret at 9.45pm. That too was excellent. First show of such a kind that both of us saw together…Long day and just crashed in bed. Day 3: Left for the Jim Thompson factory outlet.. Got good stuff and at great price.. After that headed for the Central Chidlom Department Store…Again shopped good stuff and went for lunch at The Loft.. As mentioned by you’ll met all our expectations.. Had excellent food .. Deserts were also excellent….In the evening strolled around Siam Square.. That place also has very good shopping.. very hip and trendy.. But did not find clothes of my size at all.. sizes were extremely petit … Carol, we so wanted to go to the EGV Gold to watch a movie.. But just did not get the time…Alas… BKK trip was over and next day we headed to Koh Samui
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Old Aug 3rd, 2005, 09:58 PM
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KS airport is absolutely amazing. We were totally amused by it… We checked into Anantara at Bophut. What a lovely property. Will try and post some pictures. We had an ocean view and rooms were also very nice. However, did not find the staff very courteous. The day we landed, it happened to be my Husband’s birthday. I mailed them and requested them to provide us an upgrade for a day or maybe a meal, or a bottle of wine or champagne or anything which would not be heavy on the pocket.. (dint want my husband to spend a bomb on his won birthday)..All they agreed was on a sponge cake!!! Oh yeah.. the place is done up totally with lots of plants and flowers etc…so the mosquitoes were such a menace… I had such a tough time… But guess what.. the hotel provides a repellent… and they also charge 350B for it.. And they don’t tell you that when you check in.. They even charge you for the bath salt..150 B per sachet… I found them extremely commercialized…I just wanted to use the steam bath for 5 minutes after the spa as we were off for dinner and I they told me I could not have a shower... They refused and they told me if I wanted it, I will have to pay 690B.. which is the rate for using it for 30 minutes… I had a lot of expectations regarding Thai hospitality.. All down the drain..
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Old Aug 3rd, 2005, 09:58 PM
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Well, besides all this, the hotel location is nice.. absolutely close to fisherman’s village…and the rooms were nice as the hotel is very new….had lunch at almost all the places recommended by bob and loved each one.. The Cliff, Villa Bianca, Shades, Starfish and Coffee, restaurant at Poppies…Bophut as mentioned is very quiet as compared to Chaweng… We went to see Poppies and Chaweng Regent. I think we preferred The Anantara as it was (1) On Bophut which is much quieter and (2) The hotel was pretty big and modern. My husband does not fancy cottages and a very traditional type of places.. We get to see enough of these in India.. Luxury and resorts is something we like to venture during holidays…

Well, I need to get back to work.. I can think of plenty of things to write but alas no time.. However, I will be more than happy to answer any questions… Please feel free to write…
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Old Aug 4th, 2005, 04:35 AM
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Mini
Thanks for the nice report. I'm glad you had a good time in Bangkok. It's such an amazing city.
So what did you think of the Regent on Chewang? I stayed there, in a cabin right next to the beach. It was a nice resort, but the beach there was not as nice as others.
Carol
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Old Aug 4th, 2005, 05:02 AM
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Thanks for the report. It's always great to see someone's take on the various activities and sights. Don't worry about not being as detailed as Bob, hopefully you have a well-adjusted life.
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Old Aug 4th, 2005, 06:03 AM
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mini---nice report...glad things worked out so well for you overall...
can you tell us some more about anantara---what the buildings were like, etc....i'm also not sure i understand why you had problems there?? is it that while you were in the spa that they charged for every little thing? no freebies??? no just trying things to see if you liked them?? i don't understand what the problem was....i would like to try anantara but not if there are problems...the management company is one of the best, imo, so i am disappointed to hear any of this...

new subject....i am working on a trip to india...where do you live? may i ask you questions about india? how can i contact you? my address is:
[email protected]

bob
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Old Aug 4th, 2005, 06:54 AM
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Glad you had a great time. Happy Travels!
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Old Aug 4th, 2005, 06:20 PM
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I wonder if you were in Koh Samui the same time we were- in mid July. We stayed at the Peace Resort next to the Anantara, but we walked down to the Anantara one day to check it out. The place was lovely with a guard at the entrance coming up from the beach asking for room numbers. They were also getting ready for a big party. We were shown a garden view room. It kind of reminded me of the Conrad in Bangkok. It had a small porch and the room was rather small I thought. I also didn't care for the dark colored pool, but I think its meant to look like a lotus pond. According to the rate sheet we were given the least expensive room was around $200. It would probably be cheaper on one of the hotel websites, but that isn't even an oceanview room.We felt the Peace Resort was a better deal for a more spacious ocean front bungalow. Although the Anantara is definitely more luxurious.
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Old Aug 4th, 2005, 09:08 PM
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Hi! All,
I’m glad you’ll read the report.. Every minute I spent in Thailand I thought about all you Fodorites and was really looking forward to write to you guys…OK.. Lots of questions on Anantara.. I am not surprised, as there are very few reviews on the Internet. Bob, I really liked the Anantara… No problems with the management.. Its just I was surprised with their attitude.. The spa treatment was good…Its just that when I requested them whether I can just step in the steam room for two to three minutes they just refused to accommodate me… I don’t know.. Maybe I was asking for too much.. But I don’t think so.. I took one of their very good treatments and it wasn’t that I was looking for some freebies…The episode of the bath salts.. There were sachets in the room, which if you want to use them, you have to pay 150B per sachet.. Quiet surprising, right.. especially when you are in a “Resort and Spa”… I have stayed in a spa resort earlier and they have the best toiletries there… That’s one of the key highlights of these resort… atleast IMO.. Please correct me if I’m wrong.. I’m not a very seasoned traveler as you guys…I’m only 27, from India (where people don’t travel too much)…and have a long way to go….These are very minor things but I just thought of sharing with you’ll.. I was not sure whether my dislikes were justified, but charging for such things was IMO tooo comerciallised… Bob, I’m from Mumbai and please feel free to write.. I hope I can help because for most of the tourists, India is mainly Rajasthan and I haven’t been there a lot.. and even if I have, cant afford to stay in those luxurious palaces…But will try and fill you with everything I can. I have sent you a mail at your MSN Id.
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Old Aug 4th, 2005, 09:10 PM
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TNNC, Carol
I was at the Anantara during the last week of July. I’m planning to post some pictures of the Anantara so people can get a good idea.. But it might just take some time…. Grappling with a lot of work and struggling to get back to normal life after the floods… (I stay in Mumbai, and if you guys are aware, Mumbai was in a bad shape last week). Yeah.. so coming back to Anantara… I have a feeling that the hotels which I would prefer are likely to be a bit different than what you guys would prefer.. The reason mainly being one…I am from India, and its only recently that we have had all the international chains coming in the country. So there is still an attraction to stay in these big hotels… Like whether the pool is dark or not would not matter to me.. But just to have such a big bath tub in the room, excites us… Also, we have not yet traveled so extensively. So all these small small things attract a lot…I guess after taking in all these resorts for some time, we might enjoy staying in cottages on the beach and stuff.. Carol, that’s why we did not fancy the Chaweng a lot. They showed us one of the bungalows (I guess the most basic one) and we fond it really small.. as there was hardly any walking space around.. The infity pool at Anantara excited us more than the small pool at Poppies or Chaweng Regent…I guess its just that we would prefer something more modern and luxurious.. But all in all, we had a good time at Anantara because it was very close to Fisherman’s village and was very luxurious… I guess once I put up the pictures, one will have a better idea...and yeah… we paid around USD 163 for an ocean view (without breakfast). But from August 1, peak season rates start..
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