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Contemplating trip to Phuket. Think we are 'over' Bali.

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Contemplating trip to Phuket. Think we are 'over' Bali.

Hi TA's.

I am a complete novice to this forum so forgive my ignorance. We have been to Bali 4 times and have booked to go in October but mainly because friends of ours wanted to go. To be honest, I'm not really looking forward to it.

The last time we went (Jan/Feb this year) we both came home feeling like it was a bit of a waste. The constant haggling and the traffic just started to P me off, not to mention the filthy Kuta beach with rubbish and used syringes. I think the cruelty of animals has got to us too. Normally I put up with it but it just seems to be getting worse.

My son has just done a tour with his band of SE Asia and he said the nicest place they went to was Thailand. He said Bali wasn't what he remembered a few years ago. He said he couldn't get over how aggresive the shop sellers had become! I told him how I felt the same way. He was supprised cos I usually defend Bali.

We are all planning to go on a holiday around Dec/Jan so I am thinking of booking Phuket. I have absolutley no idea where to even book! We normally stay 4 star but I don't know how they compare with Bali 4 star.

Has anyone else ever had similar issues or am I just getting less tolerent as I get older?


Bangkok, Thailand
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1. Re: Contemplating trip to Phuket. Think we are 'over' Bali.

Places change alot over the years; Bali certainly has and so has Phuket, there's not much we can do about it as we, as tourists, are partly responsible.

December and January are peak season in Phuket, which Is a mass tourism destInation, and the single most expensive place in Thailand. Many people love It and return year after year.

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: Contemplating trip to Phuket. Think we are 'over' Bali.

Funny. I went back to Bali after 3 recent trips to Phuket in 4 years. They are a little different. Phuket is a little more expensive, especially for transport, and hotel staff can be snootier.

Took me a few days to get used to Bali differences, but then I really enjoyed it. Bali is more down market and run down, but also more relaxed. Surprisingly the pool in Bali was much cleaner, as was the room, despite it being a little shabby. Some Phuket hotel staff are far lazier than the Balinense. Didn't find I was hassled by sellers much at all (and we stayed in the heart of Kuta !), but those I dealt with did try very hard to sell me something. Traffic was only a problem if taking transport - walking around it was less crowded than Patong.

Biggest problem you are going to find is that Dec/Jan Phuket hotel prices are ridiculous. Much more reasonable come April.

For first timers to Phuket, it's good to spend at least part of your holiday in Patong. Splitting b/w 2 areas works well.

If you want hotel advice, you really need to give price range.

Edited: 30 March 2012, 16:03
Phuket Thailand
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3. Re: Contemplating trip to Phuket. Think we are 'over' Bali.

Actually, coming from Adelaide, you probably will be over Bali on your way to Phuket. Don't forget to wave.

Seriously, if people hassling you to buy something is getting to you then don't plan to spend too much time in Patong. A few days at the most. There are some very nice places only 20 minutes or so away. Kata and Karon are very popular, I think Surin and Bang Tao are very nice. If you want real peace and quiet go further north to the JW Marriott and the other hotels in the Mai Khao area, up near the airport.

If you are getting less tolerant, then so am I. Maybe it is a part of growing up? Or just getting grumpy. I dunno.

Anyway, welcome to this forum, I am sure you will learn heaps. Watch out for Andy.


Perth, Australia
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4. Re: Contemplating trip to Phuket. Think we are 'over' Bali.

And watch out for the smooth talking Capt Mark haha,

I say do it, so good to try somewhere different. Both Phuket and Bali have their good and bad points, but I am sure you wont be dissapointed, like Mark says try different areas, Patong is the hub of Phuket, like Kuta is for Bali, but much nicer places to stay a little way out. Sue

London, United...
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5. Re: Contemplating trip to Phuket. Think we are 'over' Bali.

I would suggest Karon as a good area if you want to be a bit away from the crowds.

Victoria, Australia
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6. Re: Contemplating trip to Phuket. Think we are 'over' Bali.

Have a look at Khao Lak. It is an hour north of Phuket airport. It sounds like what you are looking for. Patong is very busy with everyone touting for everything. Tailors, tours, massage, scratchies.



Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: Contemplating trip to Phuket. Think we are 'over' Bali.

I travelled to Bali in '89 for the first time and returned 3 more times up until the mid 90's and must admit that the sellers do give you a hard time even back then...They waited for me outside my resort for hours for me to come out...!!..??..

Since 2004/pre tsunami I have been going to Phuket...7 times including twice to Khao Lak as mentioned....The shop sellers in Phuket are much less aggressive......Tho' on my first trip to Phuket I really thought Phuket was similar to Bali in certain ways....but after a while you realise that they are so totally different in a good way....

Love Thai food...!!...Especially the northern variety....

Do yourself a favour and go see Phuket....Lots have and are not disappointed...

I have thought about returning to Bali,however you reminded me of the aggressiveness of the place which disappoints me somewhat....

Anyway Patong is the Kuta of Phuket....!!

Pattaya, Thailand
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8. Re: Contemplating trip to Phuket. Think we are 'over' Bali.

Thailand is hub of annoying sellers - especially when you are lounging on the beach trying to relax. You should feel right at home in Phuket. :)

Get immune to it after a while... (except for the tailors and well I'd love to give them a good smack especially same ones ask if I want a suit over and over again. :D

Brisbane, Australia
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9. Re: Contemplating trip to Phuket. Think we are 'over' Bali.


If you want to see the most spectacular fireworks anywhere come to Patong at New Year.

Accommodation costs in Dec/Jan are more expensive than other times of the year in Phuket - but they are still a bargain, about half or less of what you would pay at Xmas/New Year in resorts in Oz.

Sorry I can't give any comparisons with Bali - but you can't beat paradise.

Give it a go - you won't be disappointed.


Gold Coast
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10. Re: Contemplating trip to Phuket. Think we are 'over' Bali.

Hi Sharronleigh,

I agree with your comments about Bali. My wife and I have been to Bali many times and although we still think it is OK we much prefer Thailand. As mentioned things are a little more expensive in Phuket but I reckon the quality is much better.

The high season in Phuket is very dear(accommodation) so we tend to go around May/July.

Many people bag Patong, but I thought it was great and much better than Kuta.

We are off to Koh Samui and Bangkok in June.

Edited: 31 March 2012, 00:11