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phoenix111g
5th Nov 2006, 07:19
Hi All,

We plan to visit LOS again in April for 3 weeks as Nana wants to visit her family around Songkran festival and this time she suggested that we should go to Phuket and Chiangmai but believe it or not when I asked her where is the best place to go cos in Phuket there are a lot of beaches and also in Chiangmai, again a lot of towns to visit she said she has no idea cos she never been to that 2 provinces before. WHAT?!!? I don't believe this!! She been living for 30 years but never visited once...poor wife :lol:

So I have to ask help from experienced people here about where should we start please ? (+ hotel with a reasonable price if possible)

Cheers,
Gary

johnb
5th Nov 2006, 10:44
In Phuket it depends a little bit on your ideal kind of place. Patong is obviously very busy and full of bars and night life.

Mam and I prefer Kata Beach which is much quieter but a short tuk-tuk ride from Patong if you want to visit.

Can recommend Peach Hill Resort (http://r24.org/hotels.thailand-uk.com/phuket/peachhill/) (look on the Hotels section of this website). They have comfortable and pretty bungalows on the hillside at a reasonable price.Only two minutes walk from shops, restaurants, Thai massage etc and 5 minutes from the beach. The hotel itself has three pools to choose from, a good buffet breakfast and very friendly staff.

We chose it simply because it had Hill in its name, post-tsunami,at Mam's insistence but were not at all disappointed.

John B

phoenix111g
6th Nov 2006, 08:14
Hi Johnb,

Thank you so much. That hotel looks really nice. I will get my wife to sort it out, she may have to phone her sister in LOS to see if they can have any discount cos we feel that if we book from the UK they may charge us more than we suppose to pay.

We have to find out about Chiengmai too :)

Cheers,
Gary

Lucky
6th Nov 2006, 08:51
You may be suprised! Sometimes it is cheaper to book from the UK than in Thailand. Obviously check both and see which is cheapest but I have found as a general rule internet bookings are the cheapest.

One tip about Chiang Mai, to enjoy it fully you need transport, either hire a car yourself or a car + driver. You really do need to get around to make the most of your visit.

michael001
6th Nov 2006, 09:48
gary
in 2005 we were in chaing mai we were impressed with the lotus garden had a shopping mall ajoining it as well as a KFC and a well cared for lge pool, staff were excellent.its location was pretty central but in songkran time there was so much going on the roads full of people a taxi could'nt move so you had to walk. so be prepared to get very wet
for 2004 songkran we were in phuket we went to patong beach and stayed in the baan laimai beach resort 200 mtrs from the beach here again excellent hotel friendly staff nice pool.
(got washed out in tusanami so had to be redone)
good luck where ever you go

colin244
6th Nov 2006, 13:52
When in Chiang Mai (3 times so far) we stayed at Chiang Mai Orchid hotel which was excellent and cheap to book online from UK (we used asiarooms.com)

The hotel also gives a free transfer from airport (one way unfortunately inbound)however we found it good value and very comfortable :)

As Lucky says you need transport and we used a local taxi (not hotels) who stayed with us all day and when I asked the driver how much he said up to you so we kept him for 3 days touring around

I and Dao had no idea how much and as he was good for locations etc gave him THB1000 plus tip a day which considering how many places and miles we went I considered good value!

Apart from city sights he took us to many places :-

A royal palace on a mountain(not sure of name)
Hill tribe in same area (watch the photo scams)
Orchid Farm
Elephant Camp/monkey place/snake show/craft shops (many)
Night market
Cave Dao (Dao was impressed)
Long neck tribe (Karen I think)

These are only the highlights I remember as there were more!

Anyway if you go to Chiang Mai I hope this helps
colin 244

Nick1810
6th Nov 2006, 16:50
Hi Gary

We went to Phuket and Chiang Mai in March of this year. We didn't really like Patong Beach on Phuket much - probably because it was raining at the time! :lol: We were travelling with no set itinerary so we soon disappeared off to Phi Phi Island by boat, which IMO was a million times better - but it depends on what you want from a holiday. We hired a taxi from Patong one afternoon and he took us around the many viewpoints nearby, and to the harbour where the ferries go from. You can also visit Phangnga Bay and see "James Bond Island" where the filming was done for "Man with the Golden Gun". You also visit the caves in the bay by canoe on the same trip, which was fantastic. You can book this day trip from either Phuket or Phi Phi. If you are into diving (or fishing!) there are a huge number of trips you can go on from both locations. Phi Phi is much more laid back and has stunningly beautiful scenery - but nowhere near as lively as Patong Beach in Phuket, so if you want nightlife and loads of bars then choose Phuket. The rest of the resorts on Phuket looked very "sleepy" and the taxi driver says most people head into Patong at night anyway.

As for Chiang Mai, as Colin244 says loads of stuff to do. We stayed very centrally and booked a couple of day trips out with a local travel agent. We went on the Hill Tribe tour, where you visit the Karen Long Neck Tribe and 5 others, as well as loads of other local tourist hotspots which Colin244 seems to have done as well! ;) We also went to Doi Sutep, which is the temple on the hill Colin 244 mentions. An absolute must this - stunning views and is a place highly revered by many Thais. We booked a local driver for the day for about 1000 baht. We also visited several Wats in Chiang Mai itself - one housing the second most revered Buddha image (after the Emerald Buddha in the Royal Palace in Bangkok) the Buddha Sing. I invested in a DK Eyewitness Guide to Thailand - which went everywhere with me on my travels and was invaluable. Lonely Planet or similar also do the trick.


I know from your PM's that you are a bit of a fisherman like me too! ;)There is a cracking lake just outside the city where you can get a guided trip to catch Mekong Catfish to around 30kg. I can dig out some details for you and send it by PM - but a fantastic day out for around 1500 baht! Not as good as Bung Sam Lan in Bangkok but good sport nevertheless! Fon even caught one of 15kg herself! :thumb:

Have a great trip Gary. I'm back out in LOS in 8 weeks time!
Can't wait!

Cheers

Nick

Lucky
7th Nov 2006, 01:09
Other attractions around Chiang Mai include:-
Silk weaving and painting
Butterfly farms
Hot springs and small geysers (a couple of miles south of the city)
Jewellery factories

Phuket I personally find pretty boring unless you are into water sports even then there are better and cheaper places to go for that sort of thing. Not a lot going on and restauarants a bit pricey especially on the beach front in Patong. If you just want to lie on the beach though its fine. If you are a competent motorcyclist you can use up a couple of days going around the island. Apart from the roads between Patong, Phuket town and the airport the roads are pretty quiet and you come across a few wats etc.

maokaang
7th Nov 2006, 03:37
I would definitely recommend Chiang Mai unless you're a beach-aholic.


Jewellery factories Tip: If you're hiring a private driver/tour guide for the day, don't let them take you to any jewellery factories unless you particularly want to see one. These can eat into the day and you may miss out on better places you could be seeing. The only point of you being taken to them is to earn the driver some extra cash in commission. If you don't want to go, insist they don't take you. The same goes for orchid farms and silk/umbrella factories. If you want to see them, that's fine, but don't feel like you have to. You're the boss, you tell them where you want to go.

:thumb:

Lucky
7th Nov 2006, 12:42
Paul totally agree with your tip re people trying to earn commission.

I was basing it on my own experience on my first visit to Chaing Mai where we just hired a car and and spent four days going N E S & W in turn stopping off at anything that took our fancy.

adam
7th Nov 2006, 13:36
While you're up in Chang Mai the day trip to Chang Rai and the Golden Triangle is worth the trip. We did the Elephant farm,white water rafting and Golden Triangle all in one day.Thouroghly enjoyed it with some great pictures.

colin244
7th Nov 2006, 15:41
Lucky,
Forgot about the hot springs and the egg cooking episode there as I didn't twig where we were going as we drove through the air base to get there (thought we were destined for an aircraft museum as Dao said we were going somewhere good!)

Turns out it was good for her as it involved eating for about the fifth time that day :eek: the signs in english for cooking times were handy though so I had a couple of very hard boiled which Dao thought strange with beer whilst she had the tiny bird eggs sold there with some sort of salad arrangement

My conclusion it was was a good place to go as she said! ;)
colin 244

•°•.* a N g 3 L i c i o u $ *.•
9th Apr 2007, 11:24
hi phoenix
me only been to thailand once and had the best time of me life as i went to meet me gf who has been waiting paitiently for me to visit her.anyways we both got air tickets and flew out to phuket and she had never been on a plane b4.highly recomend sheraton hotel as u are just a couple of steps from the beach.anyways had time of me life there and ppl very nice and going back this october :banana: hopes this helps u out