bookishaviator From Australia, joined Jun 2009, 246 posts, RR: 0 Posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 1717 times:
So this is yet another seeking-travel-advice thread, but you all seem a well-travelled (naturally) and knowledgable bunch, so hopefully you may be able to sort me out.
I have the opportunity to travel to Thailand in January of next year, although I will be making the trip on my own. I've not been to Thailand before, although I have travelled overseas on my own on many occasions. I'm looking largely for a chill out kind of holiday (read a book by the pool, that sort of thing), but wouldn't mind seeing a thing or two while I'm there.
I have two weeks. I'll be flying into either Phuket or Koh Samui. Which would be more suited to the lone traveller, or is it a bit of a case of six of one and half a dozen of the other? Are tours and the like (island hopping, perhaps) more accessible from one over the other? If I'm sounding ignorant about Thailand, it's because I am.
Any hotel/resort recommendations would also be most welcome - my budget extends to about $250 (AUD) per night for accommodation.
When I die, when I die, I'll rot. But when I live, when I live, I'll give it all I've got.
Definitely not Phuket or Koh Samui.
Especially that time of year. very crowded with lots of drunken Aussie tourist.
You may want to visit Koh Chang or maybe Krabi.
I am sure there are more but I haven't been to them yet.
There are relaxing places in Phuket and Koh Samui but they're 5-star and would cost more than $250 (AUD) per night.
Enjoy your trip.
If you're in Bangkok, let's meet up for drink.
fridgmus From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 1441 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks ago) and read 1659 times:
I've been to Koh Samui several times but not for the last two years. I stayed the Buri Rasa Village in Chaweng Beach. I don't know the rates, you can check online. www.burirasa.com
I absolutely loved it there!
It's a small, quiet, beautiful hotel situated on the beach, with a pool in case you don't want to use the beach. The staff are wonderful and can help you with other tour arrangements. Nice restaurant too. Bar right there on the beach as well. Some nights they had a great BBQ right on the beach, reasonably priced too. The rooms are very nice and vary in size. It's set up like a miniature village. Some rooms are on the second floor and some have little "cooling off pools". Kinda like a jacuzzi without the bubbles!
Check out the website and see if the rates and the place meet your criteria. I was there in January once and it wasn't that crowded, but Phuket will be!
Let us know what you decide and have a great time!
Superfly and I will be expecting pictures!!!
The Lockheed Super Constellation, the REAL Queen of the Skies!
SpeedBirdA380 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2008, 539 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 1579 times:
Quoting Superfly (Reply 1): You may want to visit Koh Chang or maybe Krabi.
Yes..both great places and more chilled out than Phuket or Ko Samui. I like Ko Samet which I found to have a nice relaxed atmosphere. You might be able to find somewhere relaxing in Phuket as it has many beaches but do not go to Patong beach as it will be packed with people in January. Karon or Kata beaches will be quiter but still busy at that time of year.
Personally I like Phuket better than Samui but both are really good. Regarding trips if you went to Phuket you could visit Ko Phi Phi from there (where they filmed "The Beach") and despite the toursim its still a awesome place to visit. By the way if your going in January you will probably need to get a move on with hotel bookings and flight reservations etc...because they sell out fast in January.
You are a very lucky man..! I have been wanting to live long term in Thailand for many years now but never had the means or opportunity's to do it yet..... If I may ask..what kind of work are you doing out there?
I'll be in Thailand in October/November staying with Thai friends in Bangkok for about 2 months so maybe we could go for a drink..?
Ken777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8045 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 1558 times:
I've only been to Bangkok a few times, and then only for a stop over between Australia and the UK.
It was, every time, a surprise for me. I stayed in good hotels (the Sheraton was my favorite) and found the people there extraordinarily gracious and kind. I also started the habit of going to Jim Thompson's each trip (even though there was a small shop in the hotels) to find gifts for the wife and daughter. A pretty grand silk shop to say the least.
Since my travels were limited to Bangkok the only thing I can recommend is a few days there. Rest up from the flights and take some tours.
bookishaviator From Australia, joined Jun 2009, 246 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1428 times:
Thank you all for the advice and information - very much appreciated! I hope to book flights within the next couple of days - TG seems to offer the best price of the full service airlines from Melbourne, so it looks like I'll be flying with them (my first time!).
Quoting Superfly (Reply 1): very crowded with lots of drunken Aussie tourist.
Brendan03 From Australia, joined Aug 2005, 951 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1409 times:
Quoting bookishaviator (Reply 7): Thank you all for the advice and information - very much appreciated! I hope to book flights within the next couple of days - TG seems to offer the best price of the full service airlines from Melbourne, so it looks like I'll be flying with them (my first time!).
Try and avoid V Australia if you can (If looking at MEL-HKT). The service was lousy and the crew were disinterested
I got back from Phuket on the 3rd of this month, I can't really share any Wisdoms with you, other than if you hate seeing animals stressed and drugged, Stay away from the Zoo.
As for shopping -- If you're into Touristy type T-Shirts with "THAILAND" OR "PHUKET" or whatever across it, Check out Carrefour (If you're in Patong Beach)
I picked up a T-Shirt which shows the country of Thailand in thai writing for 58 Baht.
I nearly bought a pair of genuine Reebok Pumps for $268 AUD but decided against it.
Other than that, I can't really provide any good jems of information.
Nothing against drunk Aussie's as I've had loads of fun hanging out with many drunken Aussie's in the past but it gets old really fast. The place I avoid the most is Khaosan road in Bangkok. Nothing but a bunch of western hippies and watered down Thai food.
mham001 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3391 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 1340 times:
I've spent months on Phuket in the high season (January). If you land there, go to the southern tip around Rawai, there are a couple of isolated beaches just north that don't see many crowds. If you rent a motorcycle and wander around the back roads, you can easily find private accommodations in houses. I was always training in a muay thai camp but if alone, that is what I would do.