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Thailand at Christmas - beach ideas please!

(15 Posts)
heathcliffthe2nd Sun 14-Aug-11 21:08:11

We are going to Thailand at Christmas. We will be spending time with friends in Bangkok until around 26th then heading to the beach for a week of sun, sea and sand! The thing is I have no idea of what we should be looking for - we don't have masses of money to spend but this is a once-in-a-lifetime holiday so want to make it special.

I know we want to be walking distance of a beach and restaurants etc but don't want anything too noisy or rowdy. Our friends have mentioned Phuket but wondered if anyone could provide any more suggestions?

Any tips gratefully received. Many thanks.

(two daughters age 10 and 7 by the way)

kittensliveupstairs Mon 15-Aug-11 14:06:06

Phuket is many different places [mystical]. There are quiet beaches, loud bars with prostitutes and places of spectacular beauty, although, it is such a small place you can stay in one place and get to others with relative ease.
I would consider Kamala or Cape Panwa and hire a car. Phuket is easy to drive around and you avoid the greedybastard taxi mafia.
If you do choose Phuket, try to get to the Green Man in the centre of the Island. It is an English style pub in a jungle. Possibly not as interesting for you as it was for us, but such an anomaly.
Alternatively, consider either Krabi or Samui. Both are nice and both have airports.

Runoutofideas Fri 26-Aug-11 18:01:03

How about Ao Nang in Krabi? We've been twice as for us it is a good mixture of peace and tranquility (we stayed at this villa which is tucked away in a quiet location) but with plenty of restaurants and street stalls to have a wander through in the evening. The main beach is ok, but gets a lot of longtail boat traffic as Ao Nang is a great place to pick up boats out to the islands, where the beaches are absolutely stunning. We spent many a happy moment sitting here. Christmas is high season though so it may be busier than we have seen it. We have been in November and Easter.

PernodPeril Fri 26-Aug-11 18:31:41

Couldn't your friend recommend a beach? Kata is nice, or was 20 years ago!

hsmom Sun 28-Aug-11 08:46:01

I am going too this Xmas!! We are real huge fans of Thailand and try to go every year (this year we will be with our new baby who will be 6 months old, and son who will be 8.
We have been taking DS since he was tiny too and find it hard to top Chong Mon beach in Ko Samui.
We always stay at the Boat House, in a Boat suite (they advertise as 4 star)- the good thing is that they have room for 2 kids in the suite and you get a lovely sitting area (with sofa, TV and DVD player) and private balcony on the boat itself - great fun!
The beach at Chong mon is fantastic for families - very shallow and safe, the sand is powdery (unlike Bophut or Maenam) and there are some lovely laid back bars and restaurants right on the beach to have dinner or a sundowner- we simply dont wear shoes from one day to the next as you can walk straight from your room to beach barefoot!
Prices are a bit steeper this year as the ex rate seems to have got nasty - I have got a price direct of 6100 ThB per night (about £140) but that would be for all of you, I think....

Good luck and maybe see you there :-)

Runoutofideas Sun 28-Aug-11 10:13:52

hsmom - Do those Boat Suites have a separate bedroom for the children? I'm always on the search for anywhere where the children don't end up in the same room as us! Fancy going to Koh Samui too as we've never been there.

hsmom Sun 28-Aug-11 10:55:32

Kind of.... the downstairs bit of the boat is the bathroom at the back end, in the middle where the stairs from above come down into is a roomy dressing area with a sofa that turns into a double bed so big enough for 2 kids (but space is v limited when its pulled out - you have to climb over it to get around - but the staff put it away every morning and pull out again in evening at turndown service), but then this leads into a lovely bedroom with 6ft bed in the front of the boat!
Hope that helps - we love them! We get a bit of privacy too ;-)

hs xx

hsmom Sun 28-Aug-11 11:19:24

OOh - forgot to say that its probably not the safest for crawling babies up to about 4 yrs as the stairs arent able to be stairgated off from the top, so you need eyes in back of head - maybe best to have 2 adjoining rooms in main building if kids are little.
.....last thing is that the rate includes bfast for 2 but you have to pay bfast extra for kids - I think it was 250 Bht per day (so about an extra £5 per child).

Runoutofideas Sun 28-Aug-11 12:39:58

Thanks for that. Children are 6 and 4 so stairs probably not too much of a problem.

heathcliffthe2nd Sun 28-Aug-11 17:09:47

Sorry not to get back sooner - have been away (in a caravan so we can afford Thailand ! )
Thanks everyone for your advice. Will have a google of those!
Look forward to it!

GiraffesHaveMoreFun Sun 28-Aug-11 18:10:57

We're going to Ao Nang in January with baby DD. A thai friend assures me it's v child friendly and fairly peaceful, less of a nightlife scene than on some of the islands [been there done that / old codger emoticon].
Lots of flights from Bangkok to Krabi, so easy to get to.

Runoutofideas Mon 29-Aug-11 09:51:29

Have fun Giraffes - We first went when dd1 was 20 months and we all had a fab time. Where are you staying? Definitely child friendly nightlife - more restaurants and small chilled out bars than big substance fuelled beach parties! Most of the restaurant staff seem to love babies! We are looking to go back at Easter, but flights are looking pretty pricy at the moment. We had a brilliant price with Air Asia last year.

GiraffesHaveMoreFun Tue 30-Aug-11 13:02:57

We got a good deal with EVA air - a lot cheaper than the others, and I've flown with them before and know they're good. Not flown with baby before, however! We found a nice place on trip advisor (phu pii maan).
Restaurants and chilled out bars sound perfect. Singha, chicken and rice : ) Send any recommendations this way!

I went to koh samui a few years ago, but much prefer koh pha gnan (spelt wrong). Koh samui felt a bit western-theme-park to me.

Runoutofideas Tue 30-Aug-11 17:26:43

I found that hotel online the other day - it looks really lovely. The 2 bed villas were out of our price range though I'm afraid! We flew EVA the first time too - now we are unfortunately tied to school holidays which puts the prices up.

We loved the Last Cafe - linked to further up the thread - which is down the pedestrian path to the left if you are facing the sea at the bottom of the main road to the sea front. Walk along past the beachfront hotels and past all the outdoor massage huts to the far end of the beach towards the cliff. Very chilled out for lunch and a few beers and a nice place to sit in the shade in the heat of the day. Our children spent hours fiddling about in the sand and playing on a little swing with some local children. For evening meals I think the best ones are the seafood restaurants at the far right hand end of the beach rd. I'm not actually a fish fan but my husband thought the lobster was fabulous and they were great at providing simple barbecued fish for the children. There were a few meat options for me too! Great views of the sea and sunset - try to go at the right time to get a beach front table. We also ate loads of times from the street stalls selling bargain pancakes/satay chicken etc and never had any stomach problems.

Definitely take boat trips out to the islands, or round to Railay - very easily bookable from a little hut at the end of the main rd. Ask them when is the best time to go to avoid too many other people, or charter your own boat so they'll move on whenever you want them to. The beaches they take you to are fabulous.

Hope you have an amazing time - I'm getting very jealous just writing about it!

GiraffesHaveMoreFun Tue 30-Aug-11 19:17:21

It's very much a travel cot on a standard bedroom floor for us ... unless we win the lottery before then!

thanks for the travel tips - am SO excited. Hope you find somewhere reasonable - got a few years before school holidays, thank god.

sorry for thread hijack...

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