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Ask us about visiting Phuket, Thailand

Ask us about visiting Phuket, Thailand

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Old Feb 13, 16, 8:51 am
  #661  
 
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Originally Posted by greg0ire View Post
What is the difference between the two Hiltons? Thinking of 2 full days in Bangkok; 2 nights at Conrad Koh Samui, 2 nights at busier area in Koh Samui; 2 nights Ko Tao; 3 nights Phuket; a day in Cambodia or Vietnam.

Does this make sense? Am I moving around too much? Is it a bit redundant with the beaches?

Thanks.
You're moving around too much
I would definitely skip Phuket, and probably Vietnam/Cambodia too and just go directly to Koh Tao (or Koh Pha Ngan) if you want relaxing and beaches. Make sure you're able to time your arrival with the ferries.
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Old Feb 13, 16, 10:07 am
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Thank you. I needed that. I'm so excited to do this that I'm trying to fit everything in. I'm having trouble letting Phuket go because everyone tells me it's a must...at least to see Ko Phi Phi. Maybe it's the wrong season to do this and we're better off staying on the Eastern side.
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Old Feb 13, 16, 2:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Madone59 View Post
Mict, I'm a big fan of the JW (see TR below) and have only stayed there so I can't give you much of a comparison perspective but I can tell you the Marriott properties are North of the airport and most (...all) of the 'action' is South.

If you want to do touristy stuff like Surin Beach, Patong, maybe a boat ride to Phi Phi look at properties a little further South.

My wife and I love the JW, it's perfect for us, but we're not into some of the "going out" or night life things. So depending on what you want the Marriott properties may not work for you as well - taxi's are cheap but they add up quick when you are 30+ min from everything.

I ended up booking a Pool Villa at the Renaissance.
There are shuttles between the Renaissance and the JW so I will be able to use the JW facilities as well, looking forward to my trip!
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Old Feb 14, 16, 12:06 am
  #664  
 
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Well Krabi is close to Phuket, if anybody is familiar with the area, could you give us a recommendation for beachfront/waterfront property on mainland for no more than $90/$100 night?

Ideally - a quiet place with a good view of water and sound of waves can be clearly heard - wife wants to fell asleep by hearing sound of waves.

Thanks.
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Old Feb 15, 16, 1:10 am
  #665  
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Originally Posted by greg0ire View Post
Thank you. I needed that. I'm so excited to do this that I'm trying to fit everything in. I'm having trouble letting Phuket go because everyone tells me it's a must...at least to see Ko Phi Phi. Maybe it's the wrong season to do this and we're better off staying on the Eastern side.
I'm the opposite. Enjoyed Phuket, particularly Karon, but didn't like Phi Phi. Admittedly I only saw Phi Phi on a day trip.

Whatever you do you will have a blast!
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Old Feb 16, 16, 7:07 pm
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Phuket is an expensive disgusting rip off. I was recently obliged to go there and how I wish I could have not gone. 900 baht 90 minute taxi ride from HKT to Patong. 2 Years ago, it was 600 baht and 45 minutes. Nothing says welcome like a water shortage. More expensive fare and longer drive to Karon. The whole issue of the jet ski thugs taking 50% of the beach in Patong and now reserving large swathes at the other beaches has become a farce. Ever wonder why the local government doesn't release any water quality level reports for the beaches? Cynics say it's because of the raw sewage dumping. Even my old favourite beach of Bang Tao has deteriorated. For someone who had spend considerable time on Phuket over a decade, the rot of Phuket has been heartbreaking.

North of Phuket, across the Sarasin bridge, not far from the airport are multiple decent hotels. All the beauty of the Andaman, but less expensive than Phuket. If someone wants to pay 25% more than Bangkok for lower quality goods and services, go to Phuket

Thailand has some wonderful places with some decent resorts, but they are off the beaten track. Yes, Krabi is reliable, but it is over developed and the beach at Ao Nang is not a beach. A visit to the outer islands is nice for a day, but that's it. Consider Parchuap Khiri Khan. South of Hua Hin are a fair number of affordable quality hotels all offering quality services at reasonable cost.

Samui, like Phuket is over priced and a tourist trap. If one just wants to sit on a beach, and live in a foreign ghetto without encountering authentic Thai food or hospitality, then Samui is ideal. One could be in any busy resort in Tunisia or on the Canary Islands and not see much difference.

I know some people want a beach holiday exclusively, but Issan is awesome. It's the real Thailand with genuine smiles and kindness. Same for the North East. Chiang Mai's foreigners tend to be higher quality than what one finds down south (although not as good as in Hua Hin ) so the quality of hotels and services reflects that. In the area from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai is Thai country and its beautiful and the people outside the big city are just as beautiful.
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Old Feb 16, 16, 9:03 pm
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Originally Posted by Transpacificflyer View Post
Yes, Krabi is reliable, but it is over developed and the beach at Ao Nang is not a beach. A visit to the outer islands is nice for a day, but that's it. Consider Parchuap Khiri Khan. South of Hua Hin are a fair number of affordable quality hotels all offering quality services at reasonable cost.

North of Phuket, across the Sarasin bridge, not far from the airport are multiple decent hotels. All the beauty of the Andaman, but less expensive than Phuket.
So if one arrives at Krabi, where would you recommend to go and stay? If I rent a car would it be too much trouble to drive in and out from Krabi airport to north of Phuket?
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Old Feb 16, 16, 9:35 pm
  #668  
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Originally Posted by Transpacificflyer View Post

I know some people want a beach holiday exclusively, but Issan is awesome. It's the real Thailand with genuine smiles and kindness.
And awesome flavorful, spicy food.

Basically it hasn't (yet) been ruined by tourism.
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Old Feb 17, 16, 7:48 pm
  #669  
 
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Originally Posted by invisible View Post
So if one arrives at Krabi, where would you recommend to go and stay? If I rent a car would it be too much trouble to drive in and out from Krabi airport to north of Phuket?
Much of that is personal preference. If you want to experience the islands and beaches around the area, then Ao Nang is a good starting point. Just don't expect much out of Ao Nang itself. Aside from the small section of tourist based bars in the core in a 1 block zone, the town basically goes to bed after 10pm. And that's not a bad thing because there is lots to do during the day.

Obviously a longboat ride out to Railay Beach is a must see. (Just don't pick a day with choppy seas as the long tail boats are not overly fun in those conditions.) You can also hire a boat to take you to a number of islands. We did that one day. Just a word of warning, don't forget the sunblock. I didn't use enough and was burnt after only 30 minutes in the sun - that's how powerful it is. On Phuket there is always a bit of haze or cloud cover or some shade most days. On Krabi if out on the water or on the islands, it's an oven with searing solar rays.

I'm not much of a meat eater, but I had one of the best steaks I have ever had in Thailand at the Carnivore steak house. The Dutch owner really did a good job and his beer selection was amazing. He carried an extensive range of beers that I have yet to see anywhere else, and I suppose the large number of Nordic country tourists in Krabi support the inventory.

The best part about Krabi is that the local authority banned the jetski and sun bed thugs and it has resulted in a relatively stress free environment.

The drive isn't so bad. It's mostly maintained highway. On a good day it is about 2 1/2 hours to go from Ao Nang vicinity to Phuket. The delays are when you hit traffic on Phuket after the bridge and it can add an hour+ just to crawl from HKT down the sunshine coast to Kamala/Patong/Karon. There can also be delays at the security checkpoints when crossing into Phuket. However, if you are staying in the north of Phuket, you will avoid much of the traffic and stress. The Northern part of the island is fine and caters to a different type of market (more upscale) than what one finds in Kamala/Patong/Karon/Kata/Rawai.
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Old Feb 23, 16, 1:09 pm
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Ms. FlyingQ and I are planning our honeymoon in Thailand. We've been a few times, but mostly to the big cities. The trip is in late July, early August. We'd like to stay in one place for 7 days before moving on to the next destination.

We are pickled between many of the properties on Phuket including the Renaissance and Naka Island Resort, the JW Khao Lak, or one of the few SPG/Marriott properties in Ko Samui.

We understand that Phuket is in the low season, but that is a mild concern of ours.

While a completely subjective question, what do you believe is the safest bet? We do not like huge crowds, enjoy a good party, like eating at local places away from the hotel, and mostly want to relax on a nice beach. Our last few 'beach' vacations have taken us to Ngapali beach and Nusa Lembongan, to put things in perspective.

Is there a beach destination we are not considering? We have millions of SPG and Marriott points, but are also willing to pay if the property is compelling.

Thank you!
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Old Feb 27, 16, 2:45 pm
  #671  
 
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My wife and I are travelling to phuket in a few hours. We will be staying at holiday Inn Mai khao for the first few nights, and then travelling all the way to the westin siray Bay for several nights.

I keep reading mixed this on the best methods of transport in phuket. I downloaded the grabtaxi app, is the the most reliable method? What should I expect?
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Old Feb 28, 16, 1:06 am
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Originally Posted by scoobybpc View Post
My wife and I are travelling to phuket in a few hours. We will be staying at holiday Inn Mai khao for the first few nights, and then travelling all the way to the westin siray Bay for several nights.

I keep reading mixed this on the best methods of transport in phuket. I downloaded the grabtaxi app, is the the most reliable method? What should I expect?
Just wanted to update on this, tried it a couple times but it was unable to locate a driver. I ended up going to the meter taxi stand and using that. All was good until the driver took us way past the hotel and tried to drop us at the Marriott. He then said he didn't know where the holiday inn was. Frustrated at this point,i brought it up on my opine and told him how to get there, and that I wasn't paying more than the meter was at at that time, he was okay with that.

So far between Bangkok and phuket I haven't had a single good taxi experience! I'm already fretting getting a ride all the way to the westin in a few days. The irony is if they were honest I'd be tipping them for good service.

Even with the scamming the metered taxi still seems to be the cheapest
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Old Feb 28, 16, 6:40 am
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Originally Posted by scoobybpc View Post
So far between Bangkok and phuket I haven't had a single good taxi experience!
This is the reason why I got a rental car. And in general, won't go back to Phuket.
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Old Mar 4, 16, 1:31 pm
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Restaurants near Hilton Arcadia

any recommendations for walking distance restaurants near Hilton Arcadia?

any "must-visit" restaurants in Karon Beach?

best recommendation for Sunday Night Market visit? is there one central market? or different markets?

1st time traveler to Thailand. thx in advance
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Old Mar 4, 16, 5:30 pm
  #675  
 
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Originally Posted by scoobybpc View Post
Just wanted to update on this, tried it a couple times but it was unable to locate a driver. I ended up going to the meter taxi stand and using that. All was good until the driver took us way past the hotel and tried to drop us at the Marriott. He then said he didn't know where the holiday inn was. Frustrated at this point,i brought it up on my opine and told him how to get there, and that I wasn't paying more than the meter was at at that time, he was okay with that.

So far between Bangkok and phuket I haven't had a single good taxi experience! I'm already fretting getting a ride all the way to the westin in a few days. The irony is if they were honest I'd be tipping them for good service.

Even with the scamming the metered taxi still seems to be the cheapest
Thought I'd follow up again. It turns out I was wrong, grab taxi does run here, but it states on their site that if you're requesting a pickup at the hkt airport, the request must be made at least 2 hours (up to 7 days) in advance. I didn't see this earlier.

We ended up using grab taxi go get from Mai khao to siray Bay (about an hour drive). The driver was in a metered Taxi, he was on time, turned on the meter, and even got us to our destination earlier than google maps said we would. Overall my grabtaxi experience was a great one, and I strongly recommend it for anyone trying to get around phuket. The advance booking feature is great too!
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