Thailand

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Old Apr 22, 02, 7:22 am
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Thailand

Could anyone offer some advice on when to go to Thailand? I was looking into Late May-early June. Appearantly it's the low season then. Is it too rainy then? I was looking at going to Bangkok and the Phuket area. I was told to also stay away from Phuket because of crowds, and instead go to Kho Sumai. Any help would be appreciated.

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Old Apr 22, 02, 12:40 pm
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The end of Feb I went to Bangkok and Phuket. Told to skip Phuket and go to Samui, but didn't. It was very warm and I bought water at every turn. Lived in shorts and no sleeve shirts. This even when spending half a dozen days diving. I ran the A/C in my rooms 24/7. Hope you have a great trip, I really enjoyed my vacation.
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Old Apr 24, 02, 8:45 am
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Phuket does not have to be crowded at all!!!
Just depends on what beach you go to.

If you go to Patong or Phuket town, the beaches will be terribly crowded. If you get to the North side of the Island, they are VERY secluded.

We stayed at a resort on Mai Khao beach which is a 7+ mile long beach with nothing else built on it. NO OTHER PEOPLE! one of the most secluded places I've been to. Here is the link to my report on where I stayed.
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/Forum63/HTML/001416.html

As far as rain, June is the beginning of the rainy season for Central Thailand. So you are on the edge of the hot season and beginning of the rainy season. Most showers are late in the afternoon and last for 3-4 hours. It will be VERY humid.

I believe you mean Ko(or Koh) Samui, not "kho sumai" which is an island in the Gulf of Thailand. Seeing as we do not like to be isolated on an island, we preferred Phuket that while being an island itself, had the best of both worlds IMO, a very very secluded beach area, yet a market area with good food and items like in Patong/Phuket town.

When in Bangkok, try to stay near the river, as most of the major temples are along/near the river.
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Old Apr 24, 02, 9:54 pm
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For the southern coasts, expect:
--Jan-Apr, little rain
--May-Jun, east coast (Ko Samui, etc.) drier than west coast (Phuket)
--Jun-Nov, south-west monsoon means a couple of hours of concentrated rain/day. Take a nap. It's usually not a big deal.
--Nov-Jan, like May-Jun.

Phuket is crawling with tourists, especially Europeans. Ko Samui is crawling with tourists, especially younger types (all-night raves have been in fashion in the recent past). Ko Pha-Ngan is less crowded and a bit more difficult to get to. Renowned for diving, Ko Tao, is less crowded yet and more difficult to get to.

There are a couple of good books on this area. Do a search on Amazon for "Thailand beaches." The Lonely Planet and Rough Guide books are pretty good.
Rich

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Old Apr 25, 02, 7:43 am
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Thanks for the replies. This certainly helps planning my trip.
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Old Apr 25, 02, 7:00 pm
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You might care to see www.asiatravel.com Info. on Thailand cities, transport(domestic air & airport -hotel), hotels w/breakfast & tours. Am booked thru them late June-mid July, Bangkok-Chang mai- phuket- Pattaya and back to Bangkok. I believe U will find the prices very reasonable. Good luck
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Old Apr 25, 02, 10:10 pm
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Re: Bangkok. Wanted to add that it's important for a tourist to stay close to the river if you're interested in tourist Bangkok. You don't have to stay exactly on the river, if you don't mind walking a couple of blocks and are comfortable with 3rd world traffic rules.

By the way, staying on the river generally means being comfortable with taking the river taxis. These are like Venetian vaporettos on steroids, but they're safe and very cheap. (You have to wait for the boat to fully come to rest at the dock before disembarking. Watch the locals, not the idiot tourists.)

If you want more information, this seems to be a decent place to ask.
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Old Apr 26, 02, 5:29 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by rjh:
...(You have to wait for the boat to fully come to rest at the dock before disembarking. Watch the locals, not the idiot tourists.)</font>
just FYI, sometimes "coming to a rest" means the engine engaged, water shooting out the back of the boat, while tied up. This occurs during the shift in tides(they are quite noticible).
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Old Apr 26, 02, 10:08 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by rjh:
Wanted to add that it's important for a tourist to stay close to the river if you're interested in tourist Bangkok.</font>
Is there a better choice between the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit and The Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers in terms of location?
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Old Apr 26, 02, 10:49 am
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I've stayed at the Royal Orchid but not the Grand Sukhumvit.

I mostly loved the Royal Orchid and its location. It's on the river, which can be a welcome relief from the craziness of Bangkok, and it's simple to get a boat to other river locales. Also, it's a quick walk to the Oriental, which has one of the best restaurants (the Normandie) that I've ever enjoyed, and a simple walk to many of the good shopping areas. Maybe the worst part of the Royal Orchid's location is distance from the airport: it can be a long, long ride, especially in Bangkok's traffic.
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Old Apr 26, 02, 1:09 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by wideman:
I've stayed at the Royal Orchid but not the Grand Sukhumvit.

I mostly loved the Royal Orchid and its location. It's on the river, which can be a welcome relief from the craziness of Bangkok, and it's simple to get a boat to other river locales.
</font>
Agreed, being on the river is a very relaxing, relieving experience.
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Old Apr 26, 02, 11:05 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by chexfan:
Is there a better choice between the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit and The Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers in terms of location?</font>
The Sheraton is on the river in an ok location with a river taxi stop just to the south, a South East Asian antique oriented mall (known for illegal dealing in Khymer antiquties) next door, and ok rooms. Average for access to tourist stuff for a place on the river. Predatory taxis in the immediate area (same for all "high class" hotels.)

Any place on Sukhumvit is far from the river, generally farther from tourist sites, though somewhat better for shopping. It's better positioned for single male activities. (Do a Google search on Nana Bangkok.)

If you're in BKK for the first time, I wouldn't focus on hotel affinity and try for a place that was convenient. The Marriott River Garden is somewhat south of where you want to be, but it's pleasant. I generally stay at the Holiday Inn on Silom because it's close to restaurants I like rather than thinking it's soaked in Thai culture. It's a couple of blocks walk from the river. (But, then, I like 3d world traffic and the weather.)
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Old Apr 27, 02, 6:26 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by rjh:
The Marriott River Garden is somewhat south of where you want to be, but it's pleasant.</font>
Two very positive aspects (IMO) of the Marriott River Garden are that it is removed from the city center, hence more relaxed atmosphere.

The other is that the free regular river shuttle run by the Marriott will drop you off at a number of places. The first stop the free river shuttle makes is on the east side of the river at the Sathon Tai Rd. bridge. This is also the end of the line for one leg of the Skytrain, which we found to be a very convenient and cheap way to "get into" the city away from the river.

PS: if "positioned" properly, the river shuttle will also stop at the destination of your choice.
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Old May 3, 02, 9:25 pm
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Sheraton Grande Sukhimvit is a great hotel. While it isn't on the river, it is right across from the Skytrain and more centrally located to shopping and markets. Aside from nightlife, there are excellent restaurants nearby (the Thai restaurant in the hotel is quite good). From all reports, this is a more elegant less tour group oriented hotel than the Royal Orchid.

If you want to be on the river, I'd consider the Peninsula (really great hotel and reasonably priced).
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Old Aug 16, 02, 6:50 am
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I need help or comments on doing further research on 'where to stay' in Phi Phi. Does anybody have any recommendations for Phi Phi? I am currently Marrioting my way thru Bangkok and Phuket for free, but I still need a hotel in Phi Phi. I have already read two books and checked out this web site, but first hand references can't be beat. Thanks.

http://www.phi-phi.com/

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