Thailand first timers in August
19th June, 2011
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Hi we are a couple in our late 20's going to Thailand for the first time in first 2 weeks in August arriving in Bangkok. It will be our first time in Thailand. I know the weather can be bad in many parts and the gulf of Thailand seems like the best place to go at this time. We would like to see some sights as well as relax, shop etc. We prefer to stay in min 4* hotels but don't want to spend over the odds and don't want to go to places that are too westernised. Where would you recommend we go and what are the essential things we should do before leaving? Should we book onward travel and hotels before we go and what are the best sites to book on? Any help appreciated.
#1 Posted: 19/6/2011 - 23:43
There are a million Thailand threads with all that info.....use the search box. (91 views and no answer because people like to help those who try to research an answer. (I am happy and smiling as I say this I am not scolding). I am just pointing out the truth here. Where to relax and shop on the gulf side....3 major islands in the south gulf...all are doable. All have busy areas and non busy areas...all have shopping...to a degree but Samui the most. There are tons of hotel reviews on this site and others. All the gulf islands are westernized to a degree. Most of the tourists are white westerners until recent influxes of more affluent Asians and Russians in the last some odd years. 4-5 star hotels don't usually have people rocking up with no reservations and August is the summer high season. You can search which websites are popular for booking those hotels though if you google there are tons and you can compare. Book onward travel? WE DON'T KNOW what areas you are going to to be able to answer that. All routes are not the same. Depends on from where to where? Certain routes fill up quicker. Even the major guidebooks like LP and Rough Guide can tell you local airlines and booking sites. There isn't just one. We have all booked internal flights and travel on a ton of different sites for planes and buses.
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#2 Posted: 21/6/2011 - 05:41
19th June, 2011
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Thank you Thomas for taking the time to reply. In defence to your comments I have spent a lot of time researching already on here, trip advisor, virtual tourist, lonely planet, Simon seeks etc etc which is where I have picked up that the gulf islands are probably the safest in terms of weather. Whilst there are "a million threads with all that info" I have found a lot of threads have conflicting information. I have also looked at different modes of travel to Surat Thani/Koh Samui etc and found airlines such as air Asia, Nok Air etc an also info regarding trains and buses however still unsure about the best options overall. When you say you DON'T KNOW where we are going that was one of the questions I asked in my post for people to recommend the best places to go, we just wanted some personalised advice as to the answers to my post. Many thanks and we would appreciate any further help if people are willing.
#3 Posted: 22/6/2011 - 12:39
6th June, 2009
This is probably a blinding flash of the obvious, but use AGODA to book. You can get very good deals on quality hotels.
As for "westernized" - You are likely to get places catering to westerners if you want four star or better accomodation. That's not to say there won't be Thais or other non-western tourists, it's just to say that most top quality hotels are catering to the tourist market, which is quite large. That holds true unless you get away from beaches and off the tourist trail, which you don't sound too inclined to do. Once you do that, language becomes more of a challenge. Given what you've posted, I would say some place like Phuket sounds like an environment that would be appealing to you - or perhaps Krabi.
#4 Posted: 22/6/2011 - 13:13
Well as far as rain goes......Samui and Koh Pangan will most likely have the least but ...that doesn't mean Phuket is all that bad. I usually skip Phuket for surrounds so I can only speak on Samui in August which I have been several times. It is the summer peak season and there will be many package tourists. You can find many a decent hotel though I don't buy the star system on Samui. if it says 5 it is 4 unless you spend big like at Tong Sai Bay hotel. WOW! That is luxury. It is on a private strip. Now if you want smaller crowds go to Bophut but Chaweng beach has better sand.
Tezza has more info....he outa buy me a beer as I am always directing him traffic...
Samui has ALL the shopping you need. If you want a more serene atmosphere spend a few days on Pangan a couple hours away on the ferry. The ferry is near the airport in Banrak near Big Buddha beach. There are some nice hotels on the southwest of the island but no nightlife or shopping. Just small strips of sand and sunsets. You will need to spend money to get to the shopping. There is a large TESCO-LOTUS mall on Samui. I love it. Shopping with locals is fun to me it gives you insight. Many Samui locals sold their family plots and have money, but this is still an island and Tesco is like a WAL-mart here and is the center of community gossip and stuff. Along beach road in Chaweng you have all the brand name and fake stuff and night market type of stuff. Tons of tailors and all of that. Lamai beach is laid back by day and adult oriented by night. I don't recommend any kids here. If you choose Samui or Pangan you can fly into Samui with Bangkok Air.(ONLY) It is expensive to many but at $150 or so to me it is still cheap if I am on vacation. The 6 am flights are 40-50 bucks cheaper but must be booked web specials on their site. If you fly to Surat Thani You need to go from the airport to the ferry to Samui and then taxi to the hotel. At the airport you can get a package deal to Samui for 10-15 bucks I forget but flying to Surat Thani is cheaper. but then you have to add 3hours-4 to get to Samui. To Surat thani on Air Asia for 50-60 bucks and on Thai Airways about $100. Go to their sites directly. You can take the overnight train also to Surat Thani whish I actually enjoy. Then I fly back. You have only 2 weeks. is it all in the south this time?
#5 Posted: 23/6/2011 - 06:45
#6 Posted: 23/6/2011 - 06:47
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