Thailand Trip Details
Travel Date: April 2001
Thailand is an amazing place. The people are so friendly, the
food was amazing, the sights are spectacular and once you are there you
can travel and stay pretty cheaply. We loved it and would
recommend it to any of our friends. You can stay very cheaply if you
chose or you can stay in world class resorts at a fraction of the cost
of other places. For most people I would recommend spending
enough to at least get air-conditioning. Honestly, on this trip we
chose to live it up and stayed at mostly high end places.
Hotels in Phuket - We did a
lot of research on hotels. The web is a great resource for finding
pricing and booking information. We booked one hotel through a discount
web site since they seemed to have the best price. The other we
dealt directly with the hotel via FAX and phone and got a good deal. We
wanted to have the places in Phuket booked before we arrived. In
Phuket we stayed at two places. The first was The Chedi
which was absolutely amazing. It shares an almost private beach with
the very exclusive Amanpuri
resort. It comes complete with beach ladies who will give you a
great 45+ minute Thai massage for about $5 USD. The Chedi is removed
from the crowds of Patong Beach which is great if you want some
peace and quiet but it will require a cab ride if you want to go into
The second hotel in Phuket was The Panwaburi
which was on the opposite side of the island and a more of a locals
resort. This resort was also secluded and away from any sort of
town. The beach is not great and the view would occasionally by
filled with a large commercial cargo ship but the resort itself was
very nice and the pool was wonderful. It was also reasonably
close to the boat launch point for going diving or to the Phi Phi
Activities - In terms of
activities we enjoying kayaking around some of the islands. We
actually went on a trip that takes you and your inflatable kayak to a
group of small islands & lagoons. We also went on a three in
one safari - boating down a local river, a jeep tour and an
elephant ride. On the same tour you visit a traditional Thai
villiage, ride a water buffalo and learn how rubber is harvested and
made from the rubber trees. The diving was also wonderful.
The water clarity wasn't great but the diversity of life was incredible
and the water tempurature was like taking a bath.
Hotel in Bangkok -The Bangkok
hotel we booked once we were there and had decided what nights we
wanted to stay in Bangkok. We got a great deal on a room at the Royal Orchid Sheraton.
We had a choice of a couple of different free upgrades and took
the one putting us on the "Towers" business floor which was fantastic.
Free cocktails in the floor lounge every afternoon with a beautiful
view of the river. Staying on the river worked out great because
you can take the water taxi to see all of the major Wats.
Airlines - We flew from San
Francisco to Taiwan, from Taiwan to Bangkok and then took a short
flight from Bangkok to Phuket. A very long trip indeed (something
like 23 hours including layovers)! Fly direct to Bangkok if you
can afford it. We flew on China Airlines
which was inexpensive but not great and we later learned had a very
poor safety record with a number of fairly recent crashes. Once
in Thailand we flew Thai Airways
International with whom we were very happy.
Thailand Travel Links
- Great beach resort hotel in Phuket.
- More of a high end locals resort on the very tip of Phuket. Not
nearly as nice as The Chedi.
Hotel Guide by WiredDestinations - The Chedi - Pricing web site for
hotels in Phuket. This link is specifically for The Chedi Hotel and
includes rates, descriptions, pictures and maps. We actually booked one
of our hotel stays through them.
Map - Another traveler's (German) web site with a nice map of the
Royal Orchid Sheraton
- Beatuiful hotel on the river in the heart of Bangkok. Right next to a
water taxi stop means easy access up and down the river to many of the
sights such as some of the more beautiful Wats (temples).
The Sea Bees - A very good
professional dive company in Phuket. Run by Germans but plenty of
English speakers as well. We did a wonderful couple of dives at Anemone Reef . Their boat "The Excalibur II" was a large comfortable boat.
Once at the dive site we broke up into small groups, ours being the
English group had only 2 people in it.
Phuket Maps - Maps of the
Tourism Authority of
Thailand (TAT) - General information about Thailand travel.
Planet Guide to Thailand - A great guide for the budget
- News from Bangkok and Thailand. Also has a price guide
for local hotels. Feels to me to be for english speaking Expats.
Thailand Travel Photos - Photos of
from our trip to Thailand including Phuket and Bangkok.