My wife and I are starting to plan our trip to Thailand for the summer of 2014 (I know that is the rainy season but seeing as we are both teachers, that is the only time we can go). We will do some time in Bangkok and then we want to go to a beach destination. Originally we said Phuket, but with reading negative after negative story about that area, we would feel more comfortable going somewhere else.
So I wanted to ask all of you experts on areas (cities or specific hotels) that you would recommend. I have read Samui and Krabi are pretty nice and romantic, and that Samet and Ko Chang are a little better for families.
Some additional info:
-I like scuba diving and would like to do a day or two of diving.
-My wife is a beach vacation sort of girl, so a nice pool area or strip of beach is important because that is where she will spend a lot of time.
-It would be nice to have some areas to go sightsee: temples, market, any other cool culture experiences.
-We have not decided about whether we are going to use hotel points or just pay out of pocket. I have had many people say that Thailand has some of the cheapest hotel rates in the world. We also do not have any status at any hotel chain.
-Although we would love to stay at 5 star hotels, we are realistic. I do know you get what you pay for, but I don't want to go overboard. If we do pay out of packet, I am fine paying up to $200-250 a night (although I would much rather pay less than that). If we pay with points, We do not need to stay at the highest category hotels. I would rather get another night or two and stay at a medium category.
Thanks in advance for you help.