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Wanting rest and relaxation... and to experience local life.

Norfolk Island...
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Wanting rest and relaxation... and to experience local life.

I'm travelling to Phuket with my partner the week before Christmas 2013. We've booked flights from Bangkok to Phuket, and have three full days at the end of our holiday, so wanted to spend that time relaxing and preparing for another 12 hour flight to get us back to NZ (we're start our journey in London).

A friend of our who has lived in Thailand has scolded us for trying to book everything before we go, and has suggested we just turn up as hotels and flights are so much cheaper if you do this apparently. I'm a bit of a planning freak, and don't think this is a good idea for my sanity or stress levels.

My main question is - where would you recommend we stay? We don't mind travelling from Phuket Airport to anywhere on the island, or to one of the surrounding islands. We'd like to stay somewhere where we can walk to local markets and get street food, but not that is as touristy and I've heard Patong to be. We were also considering a pool villa - is this advisable? Or will we not really make use of it? If not, would a property on the beach be a good idea?

Any help and recommendations are appreciated!

new brunswick
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1. Re: Wanting rest and relaxation... and to experience local life.

Everywhere in Phuket and including the nearby vicinity such as Koh Lak are touristy. You are going for only 3 days and unlikely to speak the local language, pretty well to experience Phuket the tourist way rather then to experience local life.

There are plenty of hotels with pool villa room/suite. Do some research to determine your preferred area. Many stay in Surin beach, Bangtao Bay, Mai Kao, Kamala Beach, Kata beach etc rather than Patong. Tourists are everywhere though.

Bangkok
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for Thailand
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2. Re: Wanting rest and relaxation... and to experience local life.

"A friend of our who has lived in Thailand has scolded us for trying to book everything before we go, and has suggested we just turn up as hotels and flights are so much cheaper if you do this apparently" ...

If they knew ywhen you were visitng then .... total utter incorrect misleading information which could have spoilt your entire trip !

The week before Christmas is high peak season and many popular hotels will be full, many will be heavily booked already, just turing up and walking the streets door to door trying to find something is not a nice way to have a holiday, also 'walk-in' rates are mostly a lot more than pre booked / paid rates.

Also flights will be heavily booked and in general the cheapest fares are he first to go and you can end up paying high fares or even finding lots of flights already sold out.

If you want a more natural area p[erhaps look at heading north from Phuket airport to Khao Lak on the mainland which has lovely beaches and not nearly as developed.

Pool villas anywhere 'on the beach' would be mega expensive, otherwise many pool villas can he away from beaches, I would go for a nice smaller / boutique style resort on the beach perhaps Khao Lak , from waht you say woul suit you. or look at Nai yang , Surin Bangtao on Phuket, but they will be very busy at that time.

Edited: 16 September 2013, 19:49
Sydney, Australia
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for Patong
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3. Re: Wanting rest and relaxation... and to experience local life.

I am with Monica, If this is the info your friend is handing out, dont listen to them anymore.

As she has said the week before Christmas!!!! You have to be kidding, I would be booking Now ( actually I already would have booked for that time, to get the accom and flights I want.

Have a look at Khao Lak, it might just tick your boxes and suit

Michelle

Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: Wanting rest and relaxation... and to experience local life.

Completely agree, your friend does not know what are taking about. What a crazy idea to just turn up at the busiest time of year!! And anyway, prices are usually much higher for walk in rates anyway.

If you want quiter, more "local feeling" I think khao lak would be perfect, we loved it there and are returning in may for 11 nights.

Norfolk, United...
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for Chaweng, Ko Samui
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5. Re: Wanting rest and relaxation... and to experience local life.

sorry, but also agree.

If you were travelling in June and not in the highest season of the year, perhaps, yes it would be ok just to rock up.

It you were travelling to a none-mega popular tourist area, then yes it would be ok just to rock up.

Your knowledgeable expat friend seems not to know the tourism industry!

If you want to relax and enjoy local life, then don't head south, head east towards Cambodian boarder!

But you are heading to Phuket. Nai Yang still feels like a village, and Khao Lak feels less touristy. You will not experience local life unless you move well away from Phuket, or walk down the side streets around the hotels and see how the employees live! You don't get a real local feel in much of Phuket. Some of the east coast villages perhaps.

It is a fact that flights are cheaper the earlier they are booked

It is a fact that hotels will offer deals if paid in full in advance of staying.

If you book flights when you get there you have to pay the going rate (and will not be cheaper) at what is available, which might not fit in with your schedule.

If you just rock up at a hotel, you will get the room that they can't sell at the price they want for it.

Sadly your friends advice is about 20 years out of date!

6. Re: Wanting rest and relaxation... and to experience local life.

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