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itinerary help! please!

Bethpage, New York
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itinerary help! please!

I've spent hours pouring over Fodors and Frommers Thailand books along with internets searches etc. We are planning to go from 7/4-7/15. My younger daughter (23) and I will be arriving in Phuket a day earlier than my husband and older daughter (25). Many people have recommended that we visit Ko Phi Phi. So my questions:

1. What can we expect weatherwise?

2. Where should we stay before taking a ferry to Ko Phi Phi? Trying to take into consideration the safety of me and my daughter, so I think Patong will not be a good idea. Looking at Kata Thani, Le meridien (can use some spg points), Laguna Beach resort?

3. I figured 2 nights on Phuket Island? Wed, Thurs, leave Friday

How many days would be good for Ko Phi Phi? 2 nites,ok? Friday(travel), Sat., leave Sunday

Krabi- Sunday(travel), Monday, Leave Tuesday (someone recommended I stay here or should I just skip and stay in Ko Phi Phi longer or Chiang Mai shorter

Chiang Mai-Tuesday (travel), Wed, Thurs. Friday (leave late for Bangkok-my husband and daughter's flight will leave Sat. morning).

The trip is a graduation gift for my daughter after 5 long years of college and very possibly our last adventurous family vacation....so, I just want to 'get it right'.

I would love your advice.....!

Gold Coast
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for Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Samui, Thailand
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1. Re: itinerary help! please!

Weatherwise, you will be right in the middle of monsoon season, so you could potentially get a lot of rain, although not always, but sea conditions will be rough and can stop you doing any sea based tours, particularly with regard to going to Phi Phi. The east coast of Thailand will have better weather at that time (Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao).

Chaing Mai deserves longer for sure.

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: itinerary help! please!

Agrees with cassnu...weatherwise...??...Nobody can predict the weather in July 2012 either in Phuket or even at home....

One cannot go on weather conditions in the past....That is totally unpredictable....So,you can only depend on averages or as time grows nearer,ask the question again to other TA'ers who are in Phuket in July...

Mmmm..??..Your splitting time between places could be quite confusing....However,I would not stay for more than one night on Koh Phi Phi....That's just my opinion...everybody is different....I found Koh Phi Phi nice,but a bit too quiet for me....I would spend more time in Krabi and/or Chiang Mai and more time on Phuket.....

It really does not matter where you were to stay on Phuket as regards to getting to the ferry....The drivers always allow enough time to pick you up and drop you off at the ferry terminal on time....

However,staying in all of those places with a 11-12 day time limit...??...You will be spending your holiday packing and unpacking quite a bit....

Bethpage, New York
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3. Re: itinerary help! please!

Thanks for your input! I didn't realize that I would have to worry about ferry service to Ko Phi Phi....just want to see/experience something like no where else!!

I've been to Bora Bora/Moorea, Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean and the Meditteranean.....so I don't want it to be just another beach destination.

One of my concerns was just what you mentioned....a bit too much packing and unpacking!! We have to do Phuket since we are landing and waiting for each other there--and I think we will need a little time to acclimate to the time difference and the very long travel time.

Maybe I'll look into Koh Samui, Koh Tah, etc and skip Krabi and Ko Phi Phi?

Keep those ideas coming!

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: itinerary help! please!

About all of the places you have mentioned and have been to...Koh Phi Phi really is just another beach destination akin to Waikiki Beach is just another beach destination,however all of these beaches/places are different and offer that little difference which is so welcome to experience....

Koh Samui is a fair way from Phuket and will cut into your limited travelling time...whereas Koh Phi Phi and Krabi is a mere couple/few hours from Phuket....

To give you an idea,we are considering staying at Kata Beach/Phuket for a few days this May and then the rest of our holiday in Khao Lak which is 2 hours drive north of Phuket...A total of 18 days....By the way,Khao Lak is wonderful...!!....Been there twice already....

Gold Coast
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for Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Samui, Thailand
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5. Re: itinerary help! please!

You can fly direct from Phuket to Samui in under an hour, so really not that difficult and island hopping from Samui will be easier and better weather conditions than Phuket (normally) at that time of year.

Adelaide, Australia
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6. Re: itinerary help! please!

1- As mentioned, July is in monsoon season so you can expect som rain. However, we went in July and had no complaints with the weather. Yes it did rain (usually in the afternoon), but it was short, heavy showers which were all over and done with within 15 mins and then the sun came out again. It was actually quite a welcome relief from tghe heat and humidity. I think we had one day where it rained on and off but it still didn't ruin the day for us - we went shopping and bar hopping. We were able to go out on 2 boat trips still, even though it was monsoon season.

2- Why don't you think Patong would be a safe option??? Patong is always busy and bustling and I never for a moment felt unsafe there. The people were friendly (sometimes overly so lol). I often went off on my own - left my partner at a bar somewhere and did some shopping and never had any reason to feel as much as uneasy. Love Patong. If you're only there a couple of days, then I'd definately stay here as there's so much to do and see, all in walking distance. You'll want to visit Patong at some point I'm sure, and then you'll have to pay ridiculous tuk-tuk prices to get there and waste time travelling.

3 - Agree with above posters re: being 'rushed' with only a couple of nights here and there. If you cut out Phi Phi, and stay 4 nites in Phuket, you could always use one of those days to take a day trip out to Phi Phi, see the (beautiful) sights, scenery, go snorkelling etc. There are HEAPS of tours that leave daily for Phi Phi from Phuket. I can highly recommend Phuket Sail Tours - top class - check out their reviews on here. As cassnu has said, it is very easy to get from Phuket to Koh Samui, and without a lot of travel time and you should have better 'beach' weather there. Depends on what you're interested in doing though - are you planning on relaxing at the beach, visiting cultural attractions, shopping, day trips??? Maybe thinking about what you want to do on your holiday will help you pick which destinations to choose?

Just personally, I'd rather spend more time in fewer places than trying to cram in a whole heap of different destinations. Otherwise, you'll just settle in to one place and then have to up and leave again... I prefer to be able to get a bit familiar with one place, get your bearings, and be able to relax a bit rather than worrying about having to pack up and be back at the airport. With 10/11 days, I would only go to 2 places, as you do lose a good 1/2 to 1 day travelling when you factor in packing, checking out, getting to the airport, getting to your new hotel and checking in etc etc.

Good luck!

Erin :)

Bethpage, New York
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7. Re: itinerary help! please!

Thanks everyone for the great advice. Reworked the itinerary, taking into consideration ALL of your advice!

Day 1- Phuket - mom and daughter (was concerned about Patong only because of 23 year old daughter)

Day 2- Phuket- husband and daughter arrive. maybe horsebackriding?

Day 3 - Phuket- Day trip to Koh Phi Phi, etc OR Day trip to Koh Sok depending on predicted weather/sea conditions Ideas on this ??

Day 4- Ko Samui- Flight- Bangkok Air - only 55 mins! Expensive though

Day 5- Ko Samui

Day 6- Ko Samui Or Onto Chiang Mai @Cassnu -is there a reason you think we should have another day in Chiang Mai??

Day 7 Chiang Mai - Thai Air -9:30 am(is 55 mins between flights in Bangkok ok?)- Night Market/Explore

Day 8 Chiang Mai- Elephant Swim??

Day 9 Chaing Mai- Hilltribes

Day 10 Chiang Mai- -Late flight to Bangkok Leave 19;55 Air Asia

**Air Asia only $12 USD /person Could this be real!!! Are they reliable??? Should I book now??? There is one more flight scheduled after this one....we must get to Bangkok for my daughter and husband's flight the next morning....my younger daughter and I will have the day and the next in Bangkok

Would love any feedback on my new and Improved ???? itinerary!

Sydney, Australia
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for Patong
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8. Re: itinerary help! please!

Postcard

As with Erin Patong is safe, I am not sure what you think will happen to your 23yr old daughter there, And I am sure she would know about all she would see. It is also very easy to avoid Bangla rd if you want to. We have taken 16-19yr old girls and never a problem

Anyway all other places are nice too.

Day 1-3 Phuket????? Where in Phuket, Not Patong we know, but Katas Karon????

Day 3 - IMO skip Phi Phi and go out on Phang Nga, weather rarely effects this trip and in my opinion, a better trip. Check out Phuket Sail Tours on TA.

I wouldnt move that often in 10 days, but thats me, I prefer to be settled from a base more and relax.

Pattaya, Thailand
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for Pattaya, Ho Chi Minh City
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9. Re: itinerary help! please!

Too much flying I would limit yourself to 2 destinations for a 10 day trip.

Bethpage, New York
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10. Re: itinerary help! please!

Thanks again! I totally agree about the flying(and is a big concern for my husband!!), but I am not sure how to get around it.

I really never wanted to stay in Phuket but that was the best we could do flight wise to get to Southern Thailand/beaches from the US-we got two free plane tickets.

Seems like the weather is a big risk on the west coast in July-reason for going to Ko Samuii

Want to go to Northern Thailand-Chiang Mai-so we can get a feel for Thailand's culture

Flight is leaving Bangkok. I have been trying to get a flight from Chiang Mai to NY-this would at least eliminate a flight for my husband and daughter (our FF ticket give me no choice but I have almost 3 more days than him) but this doesn't seem possible. Can't get a flight to Phuket and out of Chiang Mai.

Keep those ideas coming....you all have been a great help!