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Ask us about visiting Phuket, Thailand

Ask us about visiting Phuket, Thailand

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Old Mar 9, 08, 10:58 am
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OK I am happy to see this thread thanks Sean! I will coming in July with the wife and am going to stay at the LM for the points and stay credits. I am concerned about the weathere during this time July 14-20. Will it be to rainy? We went to Koh Sumai last summer.
It is also our aniversary and I am looking for a villa with private pool for a few days what would you suggest? I would like to be close to Patong if that matters.
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Old Mar 9, 08, 6:57 pm
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Originally Posted by PETEFLYS View Post
OK I am happy to see this thread thanks Sean! I will coming in July with the wife and am going to stay at the LM for the points and stay credits. I am concerned about the weathere during this time July 14-20. Will it be to rainy? We went to Koh Sumai last summer.
It is also our aniversary and I am looking for a villa with private pool for a few days what would you suggest? I would like to be close to Patong if that matters.
Its almost impossible to predict Phuket's weather during raining season. It can range from clear blue sky to continous rain for days.

I dont think there are many resorts with pool villas in Phuket. Closest to Patong would probably be Amanpuri, followed by Banyan Tree and Phuket Pavillion to the North. Going South, Mom Tri Villa Royale may have pool suites/villas.
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Old Mar 10, 08, 10:02 am
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Originally Posted by mario33 View Post
Whats the latest with the new (second) airport limo company. Better than the original ?
This afternoon, I flew into HKT. I landed with the purpose of finding out about this 2nd taxi service. With difficulty, and despite the lies, I was able to book a car to my apartment in Patong for 550THB, the same price as the old company.

Normally, as you exit the domestic arrivals/baggage claim, a small zig-sag left, then right, you will pass the taxi, hotel booking booths as you exit the secure area.

There are now Tax booths on either side of the exit (from secure area to public area). I assumed the booth on the left was the new one, as it had previously been a hotel booking desk.

I approached the one on the left and asked if they were the new company. Yes, they replied. How much to Patong? I asked, they responded "Benz, 1300 Baht" Wow, 1300! How many cars do you have. They said of the 5 cars they have, 2 of them are available.

I asked, again, about the new taxi company. They lied in their reply that the new company chages 650 Baht, while their cars are new and only 550 Baht. Then tried to lead me to the desk on the other side of the walk (the right side), the original booth.

'Where's the new company?' They pointed to another booth, that is located to the right of the old booth, directly in front of the exit from the baggage claim before the zig-zag, making it the 1st booth you should see as a domestic arrival.

The cars were Brand New Toyota Camrys. The ride was smooth, safe, and the average 35-45 minutes. He dropped me at my apartment, without begging for a tip.
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Old Mar 10, 08, 11:46 am
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Karon Beach recommendation

Chain hotels are not the only option in Phuket!

On my second trip to the island I discovered Karon Beach and the Old Phuket hotel. Five years ago they were one of the only hotels on the strip. Today it's a lot more "crowded" but I still find the Old Phuket excellent value as they've upgraded their decor and expanded. If you get a spa room, you can while away the evening in a delightful outdoor tub.

http://www.theoldphuket.com/home.htm

If you're willing to walk a bit (or rent a motorbike), you can get great deals in small private hotels and guest houses away from the beach (or just away from Patong).
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Old Mar 10, 08, 2:50 pm
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Originally Posted by PETEFLYS View Post
...going to stay at the LM for the points and stay credits. I am concerned about the weathere during this time July 14-20. Will it be to rainy?

Rumour has it that the official weather reports are edited. But www.wunderground.com has the straight goods. Try historical reports and such for acurate info.

As for the hotel, Le Meridian is a great property with nice rooms. If you email ahead, you'll be put in the nicer wing as a Platinum. They include breakfast too.
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Old Mar 14, 08, 4:28 pm
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I have never been to Thailand...but I am planning on going to Phuket for 4 nights at the Le Meridien in June. I really only have 3 full days.

I am thinking about spending a day doing some watersports (jetski, etc) arranged by the hotel, and 1 day getting a tour of some sort (maybe a boat ride somewhere?), and 1 day just relax by the beach getting a massage

Are there any places that you'd recommend me checking out? How do I get around? Will it be tough to get a cab?

Any recommendations for amazing Thai food? I'd prefer a cleaner sit down place

Since I've never been to Thailand, I'll take any suggestion I can get.

Thanks
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Old Mar 15, 08, 4:09 am
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Originally Posted by BlissWorld View Post
Are there any places that you'd recommend me checking out? How do I get around? Will it be tough to get a cab?
Your options for moving around is either the mafia taxi (private car) or tuk-tuk , both of which runs on a cartel system and designed to rip-off tourist. They are usually found outside hotels or shopping areas. Although meter taxis do exist in Phuket, they mainly do the airport runs; and even if you manage to find one on the street the driver will most probably suggest a flat fare equivalent to that charged by the local taxi mafia.

Some of the more popular day tours are trips to Phi Phi, Sea Canoe and James Bond Island. They will pick you up from your hotel and drop you off at the end of the day; lunch is usually included.

Since the LM is on its own "private" bay (Karon Noi), I am not sure whether you can get a cheap massage on the beach. In any case there should be a spa in the resort.

For evening entertainment, Simon Cabaret is just round the corner from the LM (well almost) http://www.phuket-simoncabaret.com/
However if you have kids, Phuket Fantasy may be a better option http://www.phuket-fantasea.com/

Cant recommend a good place for thai food in Phuket. Plenty of restaurants in nearby Patong but do factor in the transport cost; may be better off just dining in the resort unless there are several of you or if you are looking for some "entertainment" ...

Last edited by mario33; Mar 15, 08 at 4:18 am
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Old Mar 16, 08, 12:33 am
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When will the Courtyard by Marriott open on Surin Beach?
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Old Mar 19, 08, 6:12 am
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We are suffering from the "too many choices" syndrome.

Mrs. DUF, micro DUF and I want to spend 7-10 days on Phuket in January. To be more precise, it can also be Khao Lak or Krabi.
The most important thing for us will be the hotel, as we will most probably not do that much since we want to recover from a lot of traveling in the weeks before.

The big question is: Where to stay?

We like hotels which would have a modern interpretation of Thai style. Clean lines, well kept. I am also a Starwood Platinum and Hilton Gold so any of those hotels I could partially book on points. I also have a 50% off rack rate certificate from Starwood.
Ideally, we would like to have something with a bit more room. A suite, villa etc.

So where to stay:
- Le Meridien Khao Lak? Many villas etc. which can be booked for points but Rambuster and others said it is too full in January and the service is not great.
- Le Meridien Phuket? People say it is in urgent need of renovations and no idea about suites and villas.
- The Sheraton Grande Laguna? Doesn't show any availability on the website for many days. Most probably they have not released rates for some days.
- The Hilton Phuket? No idea really.
- Banyan Tree? Looks nice but very expensive. We would need to stay some nights on points in one of the chains to be able to afford this.
- Amanpuri? Like the Banyan Tree. Looks great but people say it might be a bit old. And it is too expensive for the whole stay.

We just can't make up our mind. Maybe we should give up and fly to Mauritius or Sri Lanka instead.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old Mar 19, 08, 3:33 pm
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BlissWorld, if this is your first time to Thailand, trust me, all the food will be good food! The Le Meridian has plenty of things to keep you busy (including the suggestions already made). Snorkeling off the shore is quite nice there.

DownUnderFlyer, for a modern interpretation of Thai style in Phuket, consider the Moevenpick. It's quite new and very tasteful. I've not seen the interior of the Le Meridian rooms, but for services and location, it's my favorite location. I've not seen the inside of the Karon Hilton, but it's pretty sprawling. I'd go for the Marriott first - especially if you plan to lounge primarily.

Mauritius? Sri Lanka? I've got both on my short list of destinations. If you've been to Thailand before, I'd not be opposed to trying something new, but if this is your first trip to Thailand, well, you'll love it.
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Old Mar 20, 08, 11:58 am
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Wow you guys are talking high dollar hotels! I never paid over 1300 baht per night. (Kata and Patong)

Anyways, seanthepilot what kind of visa are you on? Just curious.
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Old Mar 25, 08, 10:52 pm
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Indeed Sean, what kind of Visa are you on

I own a villa in Phuket and you are there more than me...WAY more.

Bliss World
Re:Massage.

A NICE, not seedy place is called "Lets Relax". Its on the back road (as opposed to Beach rd) in Patong about 2 blocks N from the Holiday Inn on East side of street. My wife loves it, its very clean, and swank (swank for Patong). Plan to spend 3hrs at least there..
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Old Mar 26, 08, 3:28 am
  #28  
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We're coming out there on April 4 for a week. Staying at the Marriott, but thanks to the Expedia deal I got the Amanta House for a night on Tuesday. Figure we'll use that to spend the night and see the nightlife, since the shuttle back to the Marriott stops at 11 pm and taxis can get expensive.

So, we have a number of questions:

1. How is the Amanta House as a place to stay?
2. Any restaurant recommendations? We're figuring on Baan Rim Pa as a splurge, but are open to suggestions. (I recall a recommendation for one restaurant in Patong where you go to the adjacent seafood market, pick your food, and then go into the restaurant and tell your chef how you want it cooked. But I don't remember the name.)
3. Any recommendations for places in Patong to see live music? Any other recommended shows (not into "Katooey" shows, and I'm coming with my girlfriend, so nothing seedy)?
4. Do you know of any tailors who currently are good and don't just contract their jobs out to a sweat shop?
5. We hired Mr. Sam as a driver for a day, but we're certainly open for tourist attraction recommendations (other than the elephant trekking, gibbon reserve, Phang Nga and Phi Phi islands). How is the butterfly garden?
6. Finally, we're probably going to take at least one cooking class. Any recommended schools or any that you've heard good things about?

The Baht is down from the rate at my last trip in 2006, but we're probably still going to do a lot of shopping. What is the current going rate in Patong for knock-off DVDs? Any recommended shops in Patong or Phuket for placemats, silverware, wooden bowls?

Thanks for your help.
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Old Mar 27, 08, 8:17 am
  #29  
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I'm currently on a Non-B 1year ME Visa. I own/run a small guesthouse in Patong. Hoping to expand to several locatins before too long. Currently in VTE exploring options here too.

I think the current DVD rate is 60THB.
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Old Mar 28, 08, 8:55 am
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Originally Posted by Hoc View Post
How is the butterfly garden?
I would skip this, nothing special. The "farm" is a probably on a total of half-an-acre and is a single-level house that serves as an entrance and a museum of sorts with a large tropical garden (with netting) in which a variety of live butterflies fly around.

The museum consists largely of a display of preserved butterflies and the requisite explanations of the life cycle of a typical butterfly etc.

I was in and out in 45 minutes (substantially helped by the fact that I read everything, every word, every minutiae, on display) - semi-fun for kids though
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