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Hotels in Thailand

Hotels in Thailand

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Old Jun 7, 04, 3:12 pm
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Hotels in Thailand

my wife and I are planning a trip to Thailand this next September. Our travel agent has suggested us to visit Ko Samui, PhiPhi, Phuket and Bangkok, staying 3 days in each place. Suggested hotels were Impiana (Ko Samui), Island Village (Phi-Phi), Kata Beach (Phuket) and the Sofitel Silom (Bangkok). Would anyone know anything about these hotels? I've been to the websites, but first hand info would be highly appreciated.

Do you think it is necessary to visit all these places? Wouldn't it be better to focus on maybe 2 of them and that's it? Just so you know, we are much more beach people than city people, and do not really care for typical shows or nightlife, and above all, we hate crowded places. If we had to focus on two islands only, what would be the best choices?

Thank you kindly.

FR
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Old Jun 7, 04, 3:45 pm
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Several friends have raved about koh Phi-Phi but I have not been there.

I have been to Koh Samui, I stayed at the Princess Village and I can recommend this hotel highly. It is superb.

PM me if you require further details.

Personally I would say go to two places at most; maybe Phuket and Koh Phi-Phi?
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Old Jun 7, 04, 3:49 pm
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I wouldn't hop around so much either. Perhaps Bangkok for a few days, and then two islands. You can Priceline some hotels in Phuket and Bangkok (I stayed at the Shangri La for $63 a night, including taxes and fees last month).

I'd recommend staying in Bangkok over the weekend if possible. The Jatujak Weekend market (Fri-Sun) is an incredible experience. Go early though, as it get's darn hot in there. Great crafts, clothes and so much more. You can even buy a shoulder Squirrel for $10 or so.
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Old Jun 7, 04, 9:21 pm
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I agree with the weekend suggestion but go to Jatujak (also spelled Chatuchak) on Sunday because a lot more in the city is closed on Sunday than Saturday. The other three markets I thought were worthwhile were MBK, the Panthip Plaza, and Pratunam.

Chatuchak - sells a lot of everything. Some prices can be high because my experience is that there is a bit of a farang tax. You can bargain it away if youre willing to take the time and effort and if you know what to pay. Knowing what to pay is the hard part, imo, but you will find some things there that are harder to find in other markets in the city and it's an interesting place to just go and hang out even if you dont buy anything. Take the Silom Road BTS out to Mo Chit and it's about a block or two away.

MBK - Stands for Mah Boon Kron if I remember correctly but it is a big shopping center and commonly referred to as the MBK. It is Bangkok's place for cell phone gear. Stuff's not as cheap as Hong Kong but they do still have a lot and it is reasonably priced. It is at the National Stadium stop of the Sukhimvit BTS, down the street from the Siam Center.

Panthip Plaza - Has a lot of electronics but stuff in Asia is, in my experience, more expensive than in the US. I personally wouldnt even chance it. But the second floor is all pirated software and games. Not getting into the legal or ethical implications of buying it, if you want something then chances are good you'll find it for a steal. CDs are about $1.50, VCDs about $3, DVDs about $4 or $5, and software obviously ranges from very cheap to very very cheap. On Petchburi Road in Pratunam.

Pratunam - Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. More of a wholesale market but they do sell to end buyers a lot as well. Most of what I looked at ranged from $2-5 with most about $3. If youre a funny size then youll have trouble finding things there. The smaller you are the more likely it is you will find what you want. It is very hidden so watch out for it but when you get in it's like a maze. It's more or less across the street from Panthip Plaza.

Be careful buying anything from the vendors along Silom Road and Sukhimvit. Both cater to tourists and the prices are predictibly inflated.
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Old Jun 7, 04, 10:23 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyingRabbit
my wife and I are planning a trip to Thailand this next September. Our travel agent has suggested us to visit Ko Samui, PhiPhi, Phuket and Bangkok, staying 3 days in each place. Suggested hotels were Impiana (Ko Samui), Island Village (Phi-Phi), Kata Beach (Phuket) and the Sofitel Silom (Bangkok). Would anyone know anything about these hotels? I've been to the websites, but first hand info would be highly appreciated.

Do you think it is necessary to visit all these places? Wouldn't it be better to focus on maybe 2 of them and that's it? Just so you know, we are much more beach people than city people, and do not really care for typical shows or nightlife, and above all, we hate crowded places. If we had to focus on two islands only, what would be the best choices?

Thank you kindly.

FR
Although the boat ride to Ko Phi Phi is spectacular, I found the island itself disappointing. We stayed at the Phi Phi Natural Resort and the small private beach at the resort had loads of trash (plastic, paper, bottles, cans, you name it). The larger beach near the other resorts (Holiday Inn, etc.) was not as littered, but certainly was nothing special and definitely not a place to "get away from it all". I would be more inclined to do Bangkok, Phuket, and Ko Samui. The Marriott Resort in Phuket for $43 a night on Priceline was definitely the best hotel value I have ever found.
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Old Jun 8, 04, 12:09 am
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Security note: the south of Thailand. You might want to keep an eye on the situation there. It's heavily Muslim and there have been some problems lately. Very conservative as well [no topless bathing if that's what you had in mind ]
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Old Jun 8, 04, 2:16 am
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Originally Posted by suzy1K
Security note: the south of Thailand. You might want to keep an eye on the situation there. It's heavily Muslim and there have been some problems lately. Very conservative as well [no topless bathing if that's what you had in mind ]

These is absolutely no reason to worry. These incidents have only happened in some remote towns close to the Malaysian border at least 200 miles away from Phuket and Phi Phi which are very peaceful places and not very Muslim.
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Old Jun 8, 04, 8:14 am
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My brother and I just returned from our Thailand trip.

In Bangkok I stayed at the Shangri-La which is right next to a BTS station.
Great hotel, $55 on Priceline.

In Phuket we stayed at the Kata Beach Hotel and the JW Marriott.
Kata Beach was around $45 inkl BF, the JW was $55 on Priceline (supposedly it also works with $48 and 4* and BF is $10).
The JW is really beautiful, KB just a normal hotel. Beachwise the KB is better, you couldn't really swim at the JW but then they have a great pool.
The weather was much better at the JW. Wind was very strong at the KB and it rained now and then again.
At KB you can go eat in Kata (2-5$ for a meal), at the JW there is only the hotel restaurants and Linda's Place. But if you go to the Vacation Club Sales Talk, they'll give you a $80 credit towards F&B which is enough for a few days worth of food.

If I were you I would skip Kata Beach and go for the Marriot. Or skip Phuket altogether. My brother has been to Koh Samui a few times and said it's a lot nicer.

Hope that helps.
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Old Jun 8, 04, 9:03 am
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Thank you all for your kind replies!

I guess we might end up with Koh Samui and Phi Phi only (and Bangkok, since we have to go throguh there anyway). I understand that ferrying from Phi Phi to Phuket is quite easy, is that so? That way we stay in Phi Phi and go visit Phuket for a day or so.

I must say I am getting a bit worried about finding these islands a crowded filthy place. We've been to some islands (Tahiti, Hawaii, couple of Caribean ones) and we were hoping to find a somewhat similar experience, although in a quite different culture. Should we go to the Maldives instead?

On another note: our flight stops in Hong Kong on our way in and out. Is it worth to stay the night there and get at least a glimpse of the place?

Again, thank you all for your answers.

FR
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Old Jun 8, 04, 10:54 am
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Hong Kong is an amazing city. If you have a chance (without too much burden on your itinerary) to stopover for a night or two, do so. You won't regret it. It is one of the most modern Asian cities (very different from Bangkok) and the skyline is breathtaking. But if you're not city people and hate crowded places, you may wish to skip it.

As for Phuket, it is quite touristy and I probably would not put it in the same league as Tahiti or Hawaii. That said, there are still pristine beaches and clear blue waters to be had. We took a day trip out to Phang Nga Bay and it was fascinating and well worth it. Hundreds of islands jutting out vertically from the sea and the setting was spectacular. Most tours will take you up and around the bay before settling on lunch at a village on stilts and finishing off the day at a beach on a private island (great snorkelling). It's quite worthwhile. We chose Phang Nga Bay over Phi Phi Island so I can't comment on whether staying on Phi Phi would be better for you compared to Phuket. Given the choice to go to another island in Thailand, I would probably opt for Ko Samui. We weren't thrilled with our Phuket experience.
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Old Jun 8, 04, 11:45 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingRabbit
On another note: our flight stops in Hong Kong on our way in and out. Is it worth to stay the night there and get at least a glimpse of the place?
FR
If you have the time, definitely stop in Hong Kong. Before I went there, I had only seen pictures of crowded street scenes and markets in Kowloon, so that's what I thought all of Hong Kong would be like. In reality, it also has some breathtaking scenery and the view of the Hong Kong Island skyline at night from Kowloon alone is worth the stopover. As far as large cities with spectacular settings that I have visited, only your home city, Rio, would rate higher on my list.
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Old Jun 8, 04, 11:04 pm
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I had a great experience staying the at Landmark in Bangkok. A fine hotel Stayed on the club floor for a reasonable price and had great food, snacks, and drinks. Also got free 2 peices of laundry per day. Club floor paid for itself in the savings from laundry, food, etc.

Location is excellent as is is across from MTS station.
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Old Jun 9, 04, 10:58 pm
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We stayed 3 nights on Koh Samui in March, and loved it. Not crowded or filthy. We stayed at the Hi Coral Cove bungalows (see www.sawadee.com for booking info and GOOD prices) where we had a private bungalow with bath, hot water shower, mini-fridge, air conditioning and breakfast, for 900 Baht/day (about $22.00US at the time) and there was daily maid service, too. Our bungalow was 29 steps from the beach, which was ground coral rather than fine sand. We rode the trucks into Chawang for fun and shopping, and one day we rented a motorcycle and took off on our own.
We are heading back in November, and really loking forward to it!

We flew from BKK to Koh Samui - the airport is amazing - no walls, thatched roofs and flowers! Beautiful!

Please PM me if you need more info.

Kate
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