Plan your trip

Nazeema's Wanderlust 1 - Honeymoon

Trip details:

Hi Deepti


I'm planning for my honeymoon trip to Thailand from the 14th to 19th of June, 2015. I've done my bit of research in terms of asking around, collating info from different sources and coming up with a rough idea of how I plan to spend our days in Thailand. I'm planning to spend 4 night in Phuket and 1 night in Bangkok (optional).


Here's a gist of my the rough plan:


14th start from Chennai and reach Phuket by 9.10am, via Bangkok ( I have the flight details).
Spend the rest of the day relaxing, leisure at the patong beach, looking around and retiring early to bed. (Open to your suggestion)
15th -  phi phi Island tour, whole day
16th - open agenda (open to your suggestion)
17th - James Bond island (open to your suggestion)
18th - morning flight to Bangkok. Shopping in Bangkok and seeing ariund OR Evening flight to Chennai via Bangkok
19th - visit the aquarium and pack up for night flight back to chennai


I have booked my hotel at C & N Hotel: 151 Rat-U-ThitSongRoiPi Rd., Patong Beach, Phuket, Patong Beach, 83150, Thailand


My budget for both of us is around 80k (including everything and not exceeding this). We are non vegeterians who opt for only Halal food, else veg works as well.


I'd need the following support:


1. Put this in an itinerary format


2. Suggestion on any other hotel (if required), based on your experience


3. We'd like to explore the beaches, island, any calm picturesque place


4. Is Bangkok worth visiting? (with the budget in mind)


5. Places to eat


6. Sources to book the local phi phi island tour and james bond tour and the approx price


7. Anything else you think we should know :)


 


Look forward to your response.


Cheers


Azeem


 

... Show more

Getting Started By Deepti Gadekar
Replies (+)

Deepti Gadekar wrote:  

Hi,

Thank you for planning your trip with us.

And thanks for providing a detailed background and expectations...

So for starters, below are initial comments to your questions:

  1. Detailed Itinerary: Based on your rough draft and interests, will draw up a detailed itinerry (with options that you can include/ reject). Will send this to you by Monday 27th April (Is that okay? The timelines is primarily cause I am traveling Thursday to Saturday. Do let me know if the timeline is okay with you).
  2. Hotel: I looked up your hotel. Seems like a decent budget hotel (not luxurious but decent - and no point paying a bomb on a luxurious hotel when you will be out sightseeing most of the day). The location of the hotel is very close to Bangla Street (the hub of nightlife in Patong). The hotel is not right across the beach and the main road (where you will get all utilities and restaurants) but is a short walk. 
  3. Shall include these suggestions in the detailed itinerary in Pt 1
  4. Bangkok:
    • Is worth visiting? Yes - if you are interested in: Culture & Shopping (primarily).
    • But given that you have just 1 day, I personally think you should skip it. You may not accomplish much in 1 day (except some shopping) and when you change cities and hotels, you end up spending time packing/ unpacking/ checking in/ airport transfers - all of this just for 1 available day. I would not reccomend you stop at Bangkok - you'd rather relax at Phuket an additional day. 
    • The only reason to stop for a day in Bangkok would therefore be:
      • Shopping - you will get good deals on Clothes, Handbags, Shoes, Household Curios & Items, Souvenirs, etc.
      • We have come to Thailand, may as well at least see Bangkok once
  5. 6. 7. - Shall include these 3 points while sending in the detailed itinerary

Happy Travels!

 

Azeem Marecan wrote:  

Hi Deepti

Thanks for the prompt response.

I was looking at booking my flight tickets latest by 26th April. We have decided that we'll ditch Bangkok and will choose to either stay back in Phuket on the 18th and fly back to Chennai on the 19th or fly back to Chennai on the 18th itself.

Since we'll any which ways be there till the 17th, you can take your time to give us the itinerary for the first 4 days. However, what you suggest for the 5th day will help us decide if we should stay back or take the flight back to our home. 

Hence, if you could list only the options and itinerary for the 5th day alone by the 24th April, it'll give us enough time to think about and take a call. 

Hope this works. 

Azeem

Deepti Gadekar wrote:  

Hi Azeem,

 

Sure if thats the case, wil try and send you something by 25th morning... is that okay or too late? Lemme know ...

 

Just that I am traveling thurs to sat hence the timeline. Will try and send by 25th morning .. Lemme know if that is okay?

 

Cheers!

Azeem Marecan wrote:  

Thanks Deepti. Yes that will work. 

 

Azeem


Itinerary for Starters By Deepti Gadekar
Replies (+)

Deepti Gadekar wrote:  

Hi Azeem,

Below I have listed things you can do in Phuket -

 

The list has what you can do in 4 days + possible options for 5th day.

We can refine this as we go along. This is primarily for you to decide the duration of you stay and book flights.

Day

Itinerary

Remarks

Day 1

Phuket Town (day)

Phuket FantaSea (evening)

To keep the day you arrive a bit light, you can do a tour of the Phuket Town. The town is beautiful with Chinese and Portuguese style houses, temples and markets. It’s not a hectic ride to the town. While out in the town you should try a ride in the local open buses, they re fun.

Evening you can do the Phuket FantaSea

Day 2

Island Hopping

Most private tours that you book (anywhere in tours shops in Phuket), will have island hopping tours. Half a day at Phi Phi and the other half at the other island (James Bond, Hong, Viking Caves, etc) should be good. One island hopping tour should cover most islands around Phuket. Should you want to spend more time at a particular island, you can always go back the next day specifically to that island only.

Day 3

Phang Nga Bay & Phang Nga Mainland

This according to me would be good in a whole day than clubbed with other islands. 

1 - Phang Nga Bay has great Sea caves that you can approach by a boat and then further explore thru a kayak or a sea canoe (self paddled or paddled by a the tour guide).

2 - Phang Nga Mainland has a variety of things to do - jungle treks, waterfalls, elephant rides, whitewater rafting, etc. 

Ideally dont club this with the other island hopping else it could be too hectic.

 

Day 4

Explore/ Laze on the beaches of Phuket

You can spend a whole day lazing on the beaches of Phuket - Patong where you are staying is touristy and action packed beaches or the other quieter beaches if you want lesser crowds - Kata Thani, Nai Harn, Mai Khao

 

Above are tours that are good to do within 4 days. Additionally, suggesting a few more things that you can choose to do (instead of the above or in addition to the above) - to help decide what you want to do in 5 days.

 

Additionally

Sailing Trip to Phang Nga Bay

You can book a sail boat to the Phang Nga Bay and explore.

 

Thai Cooking Class (usually 3-4 hours)

I personally think this is a great experience for a couple - to cook together and learn a new cusine.

 

Bangla Street for the nightlife

The famous nightlife of Phuket

 

 

 

Offbeat Phuket

Koh Yao Noi 

Just off Phuket - not touristy, not commercial. People are on bicycles - great experience I am told.

 

Phuket Cable Ski

At Kathu, you can cable ski - on an artificial lake (Skiing on the lakes pulled by cables). About 500 THB for 30 mins … equipment can be rented.

 

Orchid Garden

I havent been here - but from what I understand from people who have, basically rows of orchids. Unless you are very keen on studying varieties of Orchids, it apparently is not worth USD 12 per person…

 

Baan Chinpracha

A century old mansion - Sino Portuguese architecture - with first floor open for public to get a glimpse into houses in Phuket a century ago

 

Sirey Island

This island is home to a community of "Sea Gypsies," a name given to fishermen and their families who now live permanently on the island. Great place to walk around, watch the mangrove swamp and the wild monkeys. Basically a great place to see what "real" Thailand is like, away from the fancy hotels. 

Azeem Marecan wrote:  

Great!! Thanks Deepti. Can you help me with the indication of the cost for the Island trips? This would help us in planning further.

Azeem Marecan wrote:  

Hi Deepti 

I think the budget forecast that I sent you is good as an indication of the itinerary. We'd like to add some activities like scuba diving, para sailing and the other usual ones there into the plan. 

Please let me know where we can fit this in. 

Just to be on the same page, I picture the final itinerary as a detailed one that includes each activity with the timings as well. 

Azeem


Bangkok Itinerary By Deepti Gadekar
Replies (+)

Deepti Gadekar wrote:  

Hi, 

Just for your decision making process, I am listing what you can do in Bangkok (not in one day of course... these are things you can generally do in Bangkok):

 

Day

Itinerary

Remarks

Day 1

Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha Temple (within the palace)

This place ideally needs 4-5 hours to see the Grand Palace, The Wat of Emerald Buddha inside the palace, the murals and intricate architecture. Side note - You have to wear full pants/ skirts and Sleeved Shirts/ Tops (basically no shorts or sleeveless) to enter the complex. Shirts & Sarongs available at the entrance in case someone is wearing shorts/ sleeveless. 

 

Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha)

This is very close to the Grand Palace - can be clubbed with Grand Palace. Ideally start your day with Grand Palace, break for lunch and then do Wat Pho and Wat Arun (next).

 

Wat Arun

From Wat Po, you walk across to the river bank (Chao Phraya River). There are water taxis to get across to the other side of the river. Right across is Wat Arun - you can end the day with Wat Arun.

 

 

 

Day 2

Day trip off Bangkok - Ayutthaya

You can book a private tour to Ayutthaya (the ancient capital of Siam, a UNESCO world heritage site) - this is both historic and spiritual. The drive outside Bangkok is beautiful thru the countryside/ paddy fields/ etc. 

Ayuthaya: you will see Wat Phra Mahathat, famous for the Buddha head embedded in a tree’s roots, Wat Phra Si Sanphet, with its three dominant chedis, Wat Ratburana, and Wat Chai Wattanaram.  

It is fun to cover Ayuthaya on an elephant…

Most private tours cover: Ayuthaya and the Bang Pa In Summer Palace. If you take a private tour, you can pace your day.

Day 3

Day trip off Bangkok - Tiger Temple

The temple of tigers at Kanchanaburi - where you can walk with, pet, feed tigers.

Day 4

Floating Market

You can do this in the morning. There are many floating markets but the most recommended is the Damnoen Saduak floating market. It is interesting but a caveat is also that it is very touristy. If you start early (say 7.30 or 8 am) then you beat the crowds that come in by 9 or 10 am.

There is another one - Amphawa Floating market. I have heard it is less touristy - but I have not personally visited this one. 

 

Siam Ocean World

This can be done in the second half.

Some other suggestions not included above

Jim Thompson Thai House

Sort of a museum of arts/ thai heritage with old thai houses. It’s a good flavour of the old world Thailand. It is very close to Siam Sqaure/ MBK/ etc - which are the prime shopping places so you can choose to split the group if required.

 

Cowboy Soi

If you wish to experience Bangkok (sleazy) nightlife, this street is THE place. If not, pardon me for suggesting this.

Shopping Areas

Chatuchak weekend market

Apart from the usual MBK/ Siam Sqaure area shopping, I would recommend a visit to the Chatuchak market if you are in Bangkok on a Sat-Sun. This place is not really touristy, usually locals shop here for everything from home decor, household items, cheap electronics, pets, kitchen ware. It’s like a huge expo ground - very colourful and interesting and great deals (eg - souvenirs, vases, articifical flowers, cutlery, cheap electronics like bluetooth speakers/ mobile accsories/ fancy electronics/ etc)

 

Indira Market

Clothes, handbags, etc

 

MBK

Handbags and Footwear

 


Budget Notes By Deepti Gadekar
Replies (+)

Deepti Gadekar wrote:  

Hi, Below are notes that can help you build your budget: 

(Broad indicators, do let me know if you want further information):

Island Tours

Approx THB 1500 per person per tour (usually includes pick up drop, lunch, snacks, entry fees)

Meals

If you are okay with street food (which is very hygienic, authentic and yummy) - you can do a meal for 2 at approx THB 500. You can specify you want Halal Meat - usually easily doable. 

 

The fine dine restaurants are a lot more expensive - may be you can go to one on one of the evenings for a romantic candlelight dinner kinds - but wouldn't recommend daily. The street food is far more delicious (IMHO).

Misc

You can keep a buffer of approx 100 THB daily for things like - light snacks, mineral water, local sim card etc

Azeem Marecan wrote:  

  Activity 5 Nights in Phuket  
    INR Bhat
Fixed Flight 46000  
Stay 9600  
Day 1 - Sun (Check in, relax, quick exploration Breakfast 600 300
Cab to hotel 600 300
Lunch 1000 500
Dinner 900 450
Misc (water, snacks, local conveyance) 400 200
Day 2 - Mon (Island) Breakfast 0 0
Island tour for 2 7000 3500
Misc (water, snacks) 800 400
Dinner 900 450
Day 3 - Tue (Phang nga) Breakfast 0 0
Phang nga tour for 2 8800 4400
Misc (water, snacks) 800 400
Dinner 900 450
Day 4 - Wed (Laze) Breakfast 0 0
Misc 2000 1000
Lunch 1000 500
Fine Dine 3000 1500
Day 5 - Thu (Koh Yao Noi - Cycling or Sirey Island) Breakfast 0 0
Misc (1000 - 2000) 4000 2000
Lunch 1000 500
Fine Dine 1000 500
  Total 90300 17350

Exchange rate ==> 1 Bhat = 2 INR

Hi Deepti, is this a fair forecast? Please validate.

 

Azeem

Azeem Marecan wrote:  

Hi Deepti

Please ignore the above one as I've missed to include the visa cost. The updated one to be validated is below:

  Activity 5 Nights in Phuket  
    INR Bhat
Fixed Flight 46000  
Visa 4000  
Stay 9600  
Day 1 - Sun (Check in, relax, quick exploration Breakfast 600 300
  Cab to hotel 600 300
  Lunch 1000 500
  Dinner 900 450
  Misc (water, snacks, local conveyance) 400 200
Day 2 - Mon (Island) Breakfast 0 0
  Island tour for 2 7000 3500
  Misc (water, snacks) 800 400
  Dinner 900 450
Day 3 - Tue (Phang nga) Breakfast 0 0
  Phang nga tour for 2 8800 4400
  Misc (water, snacks) 800 400
  Dinner 900 450
Day 4 - Wed (Laze) Breakfast 0 0
  Misc 2000 1000
  Lunch 1000 500
  Fine Dine 3000 1500
Day 5 - Thu (Koh Yao Noi - Cycling or Sirey Island) Breakfast 0 0
  Misc (1000 - 2000) 4000 2000
  Lunch 1000 500
  Dinner 1000 500
Day 6 - Return to Chennai Breakfast 0 0
  Cab to Airport 600 300
  Lunch 1000 500
  Dinner 800 400
  Total 96700 18550

 

Deepti Gadekar wrote:  

Hi Azeem,

 

Your budget estimate is great... Just made a few changes (changes in green):

Activity

5 Nights in Phuket

 

 

 

 

INR

Bhat

 

Fixed

Flight

46000

 

 

Visa

4000

 

 

Stay

9600

 

 

Day 1 - Sun (Check in, relax, quick exploration

Breakfast

1000

500

If this breakfast is at the airport, you may want to buffer a bit higher.

 

Cab to hotel

1100

550

Airport Taxi from Phuket airport to Patong

 

Lunch

1000

500

 

 

Dinner

900

450

 

 

Misc (water, snacks, local conveyance)

400

200

 

Day 2 - Mon (Island)

Breakfast

0

0

 

 

Island tour for 2

7000

3500

 

 

Misc (water, snacks)

800

400

 

 

Dinner

900

450

 

Day 3 - Tue (Phang nga)

Breakfast

0

0

 

 

Phang nga tour for 2

8800

4400

 

 

Misc (water, snacks)

800

400

 

 

Dinner

900

450

 

Day 4 - Wed (Laze)

Breakfast

0

0

 

 

Misc

2000

1000

 

 

Lunch

1000

500

 

 

Fine Dine

3000

1500

 

Day 5 - Thu (Koh Yao Noi - Cycling or Sirey Island)

Breakfast

0

0

 

 

Misc (1000 - 2000)

4000

2000

 

 

Lunch

1000

500

 

 

Dinner

1000

500

 

Day 6 - Return to Chennai

Breakfast

0

0

 

 

Cab to Airport

600

550

Ideally, cab from Patong to Airport should be the THB 300 you projected (usually cheaper to go from city to airport than other way around). But better to buffer 550 - as depends on the kind of taxi you book

 

Lunch

1000

500

 

 

Dinner

800

400

 

 

Total

96700

18550

 

 

Shopping

2000

1000

Phuket not recommended to shop extensively as everything comes mainly form Bangkok - and it’s much cheaper there. But good to buffer a 1000 THB - just in case you wish to buy souvenirs for your family/ home.

The other thing people usually buy from Phuket/ Bangkok are ‘first copy’ watches or handbags… if interested, those will be approx 3000 to 5000 INR

 

Buffer

6000

3000

This is for the ‘just in case’


Flight to Phuket By Deepti Gadekar
Replies (+)

Deepti Gadekar wrote:  

Hi Azeem,

We didnt get around to discussing flights in detail - so just a note:

- If you are taking the same airline MAA-BKK-HKT, then that's super...

- In the event you are changing airlines at BKK, and taking a budget airline to HKT, (like Air Asia) - then please note that you have to change airports, Most budget airlines fly from Don Muaeng Airport (the old airport) and you will land from Chennai into Survanabhumi Airport (if u take a regular full service airline)... So just check your airline and terminals.

 

Azeem Marecan wrote:  

Hi Deepti

I'm planning the book the tickets for the below flight:

Please let me know if there is anything we should know about change of flights.

Chennai to Phuket Duration: 7hr 30min

Thai Airways
TG 338
Chennai (MAA)
Terminal:4
14 Jun, 00:55
to Bangkok (BKK)

14 Jun, 05:55

Class : Economy | Duration : 3hr 30min |Aircraft: Airbus A330-300

Change of Planes    Connection Time : 2hr 35min

Thai Airways Thai Airways
TG 203
Bangkok (BKK)

14 Jun, 08:30
to Phuket (HKT)
Terminal:1
14 Jun, 09:55

Class : Economy | Duration : 1hr 25min |Aircraft: Airbus A330-300

 

Phuket to Chennai Duration: 6hr 10min

Thai Airways Thai Airways
TG 218
Phuket (HKT)
Terminal:1
19 Jun, 19:00
to Bangkok (BKK)

19 Jun, 20:25

Class : Economy | Duration : 1hr 25min |Aircraft: Airbus A330-300

Change of PlanesConnection Time : 1hr 25min

Thai Airways Thai Airways
TG 337
Bangkok (BKK)

19 Jun, 21:50
to Chennai (MAA)
Terminal:4
19 Jun, 23:40

Also, please advice on how and where do we need to get the visa issued. When do we exchange currency and where.

 

Azeem

Deepti Gadekar wrote:  

Hi Azeem,

 

The flights seem good.

  • Flights:
    • Since you are taking Thai airways thru and thru - no issues of changing airports.
    • The time between connecting flights seems sufficient (including visa on arrival). Since I suppose you & your luggage will be thru and thru checked in. (Just double check that at Chennai that you and your luggage are thru and thru checked in). So you will be hassle free
  • For Visa:
    • Are you getting your visa from india or on arrival. I would reccomend on arrival as it is cheaper (and as easy as you'd do it in India).
    • For Visa on Arrival: There are several Visa on Arrival kiosks as soon as you land from India (before your domestic flight). You can find signs at the airport directing you to the Visa on Arrival Kiosks.
    • Remember there are more than one visa arrival kiosks (in case you find that there is a longer queqe at a particular kiosks, look for the next one, since you have a connecting flight. In any case, it generally quite quick.
    • Do carry 2 photographs for the visa. In case you forget to, dont worry, there are several instant photo booths at the airport as well (better to carry along though).
    • You will need 1000 THB per person - so make sure you have foreign exchange before you go for Visa on Arrival.
  • Foreign Exchange:
    • I reccomend you carry some foreign exchange with you to cover the following spends:
      • Visa on Arrival
      • Quick bites at the airport between your flights
      • Airport Transfer from Phuket Airport to Hotel
      • Some marginal Buffer (may be for 1 meal at Phuket in case you re too tired to go change money)
    • The above, I recommend you exchange at Chennai (city, not airport)... This way you will say 15 mins when you land at Bangkok... and can straight head to visa on arrival. The other option as a back up is, when you land at Bangkok, just use your India ATM to withdraw the required THB (usually works out to the same as exchaging INR to THB at Bangkok Airport). 
    • Rest of your foreign exhange: Get to Patong Main Street... as you walk past, you can compare rates at various foreign exchange/ bank counters (there are several) and exchange at the cheapest.

Trust this helps...

 

Happy Travels!

Azeem Marecan wrote:  

A quick clarification, Deepti:

I've noticed that the flight from CHN to BGK and BGK to PHK is the same. So if the transit time is 1-2 hours, is there a possibility that the wait will happen inside the flight itself?

This happened once during one of my flights to Saudi and hence I wanted to double check. We'll need to get down in BGK to get the visa on arrival issued.

 

Thanks

Azeem

Deepti Gadekar wrote:  

Hey Azeem,

 

From the looks of it, these are different flights (so you change airplanes) - since Chennai BKK is TG338 and BKK to Phuket TG 203... Best to reconfirm with the airline - but 99% from the looks of it - these are separate flights where you get off and take another flight.

 

 

 

Azeem Marecan wrote:  

Hi Deepti

I have booked the following tickets:

Onward 14th june -  TG 338 & 203

Return 19th June - TG 216 & 337

We'll now focus on finalizing the itinerary. 

 

Azeem

Deepti Gadekar wrote:  

Hi Azeem,

Great, now with your dates finalised, let's refine the itinerary.

Starting a separate topic for easier reference.

Thanks

Deepti


Phuket Itinerary By Deepti Gadekar
Replies (+)

Deepti Gadekar wrote:  

Hi Azeem,

So in the Phuket Itinerary I had suggested earlier (given below again, with minor changes):

The itinerary broadly covered:

  • Phuket Town & Phuket Fantasea Show
  • Island Hopping
  • Phang Nga Bay & Mainland 
  • Relax on beaches

To refine this, do let me know your thoughts on what from this interests/ doesnt interest you. And any other activities that you'd like to include in your itinerary.

 

Phuket

 

 

Day

Itinerary

Remarks

Day 1

Phuket Town (day)

Phuket FantaSea (evening)

To keep the day you arrive a bit light, you can do a tour of the Phuket Town. The town is beautiful with Chinese and Portuguese style houses, temples and markets. It’s not a hectic ride to the town. While out in the town you should try a ride in the local open buses, they re fun.

Evening you can do the Phuket FantaSea

Day 2

Island Hopping

Most private tours that you book (anywhere in tours shops in Phuket), will have island hopping tours. Half a day at Phi Phi and the other half at the other island (James Bond, Hong, Viking Caves, etc) should be good. One island hopping tour should cover most islands around Phuket. Should you want to spend more time at a particular island, you can always go back the next day specifically to that island only.

Day 3

Phang Nga Bay & Phang Nga Mainland

This according to me would be good in a whole day than clubbed with other islands. 

1 - Phang Nga Bay has great Sea caves that you can approach by a boat and then further explore thru a kayak or a sea canoe (self paddled or paddled by a the tour guide).

2 - Phang Nga Mainland has a variety of things to do - jungle treks, waterfalls, elephant rides, whitewater rafting, etc. 

Ideally dont club this with the other island hopping else it could be too hectic.

 

Day 4

Explore/ Laze on the beaches of Phuket

You can spend a whole day lazing on the beaches of Phuket - Patong where you are staying is touristy and action packed beaches or the other quieter beaches if you want lesser crowds - Kata Thani, Nai Harn, Mai Khao

 

Above are tours that are good to do within 4 days. Additionally, suggesting a few more things that you can choose to do (instead of the above or in addition to the above) - to help decide what you want to do in 5 days.

 

Additionally

Sailing Trip to Phang Nga Bay

You can book a sail boat to the Phang Nga Bay and explore.

 

Thai Cooking Class (usually 3-4 hours)

I personally think this is a great experience for a couple - to cook together and learn a new cusine.

 

Bangla Street for the nightlife

The famous nightlife of Phuket

 

 

 

Offbeat Phuket

Koh Yao Noi 

Just off Phuket - not touristy, not commercial. People are on bicycles - great experience I am told.

 

Phuket Cable Ski

At Kathu, you can cable ski - on an artificial lake (Skiing on the lakes pulled by cables). About 500 THB for 30 mins … equipment can be rented.

 

Orchid Garden

I havent been here - but from what I understand from people who have, basically rows of orchids. Unless you are very keen on studying varieties of Orchids, it apparently is not worth USD 12 per person…

 

Baan Chinpracha

A century old mansion - Sino Portuguese architecture - with first floor open for public to get a glimpse into houses in Phuket a century ago

 

Sirey Island

This island is home to a community of "Sea Gypsies," a name given to fishermen and their families who now live permanently on the island. Great place to walk around, watch the mangrove swamp and the wild monkeys. Basically a great place to see what "real" Thailand is like, away from the fancy hotels. 

 

 

Azeem Marecan wrote:  

Great Deepti

Here are my thoughts on your recommendation, day wise:

Day 1:

Looks good.

Day 2:

I want to check if this includes snorkeling as well. And where to go to book this tour.

Day 3:

Looks good. I assume Phang nga bay is half day and the mainland is the other half right? And where to go to book this.

Day 4:

Need suggestion on places to shop for the first made watches.

Day 5:

We'd want to do the Sirey Island. So is this a full day activity of half day? Can this be clubbed with any of the below?

Thai cooking class - How long will this take?

Koh Yao Noi - Will we be riding bicycles as well?

Phuket Cable Ski

Para sailing

Additionally, we'd like to ride bicycle along the countryside and explore a little bit. - Can this be done in Sirey Island?

Also, what's the difference between the Sailing Trip to Phang Nga Bay and the Day 3 agenda?

 

Let's close this soon Deepti. I guess your service is available till the 21st right?

 

Azeem

Deepti Gadekar wrote:  

Hi Azeem,

 

Thanks for your inputs on the base itinerary.

Comments:

Day 1 - ok

Day 2 - usually most of these tours include snorkelling at one of the islands and most of these give out/ rent out gear (you just carry your swimwear and towels). But it is good to check this when you book the tour. 

You can book this (and most tours) at any of the tour shops on main Patong Beach Street. My suggestion, the day you arrive, you can walk down Patong Main Street by the beach and browse through 3-4 tour shops (will take you may be half an hour I guess). And book with the best tour shop/ tour you find. The Main Street is lined with many tour shops, convenience stores, restaurants and shopping places... so it's an interesting walk.

Tips while booking a tour:

- Ask the tour shop for the specific tour you want first (and of course browse other tours they have to offer later)

- Ask whether the tour includes meals (most do and should)

- Ask for pick up and drop from your hotel (most do)

- Ask for snorkelling included 

- Ask them how many bookings (people) do they have per tour and how many bookings done already (dont know if they will answer the second one correctly, but just helps to know popularity of the that tour shop).

Day 3 - Yes you re right - it's half day and half day. So we had done Phang Nga Bay as a separate tour and Phang Nga Mainland as a separate tour on separate days - about half a day each.

Mainland has a lot of activity choices and can stretch across the whole day. But I think half a day is okay. There's river rafting, elephant ride, waterfall trek, etc in the Mainland bit. 

The Phang Nga Bay - has great sea caves - fun to kayak/ canoe around. Some island hopping tours (mentioned in Day 2) cover Phang Nga Bay as well... that's also not too bad. Dont club Mainland Phang Nga with any other tour - that may be hectic.

Day 4 - first copy watches - while widely available in Phuket, difficult to point to a shop. Most of these (being as such not the most legal way to sell), are sold in small shops behind street food restaurants. Many of them have a watch and accessories shop - and when you ask them for first copy, they take you to their storage room behind the shop (for example). So in that sense you will have to look out/ ask out. Same for first copy handbags and purses.

Day 5 - will come back to you with more notes by tonight on Sirey Island/ Thai Cooking Class/ etc. and we can refine it by tomorrow. Okay?

Azeem Marecan wrote:  

Great! Thanks Deepti. Look forward to your notes.

 

Deepti Gadekar wrote:  

Hi Azeem,

Please find further notes for Day 5:

 

Sailing Trip to Phang Nga Bay

This is the same Phang Nga Bay in Day 3. But what I had mentioned in Day 3 is going there on a normal ferry boat. This suggestion is a Sailing trip - on a Sail Boat. 

What you can therefore do, on Day 3, just do Mainland Phang Nga. and on Day 5, go Sailing to Phang Nga Bay. 

As against a ferry, sailing to Phang Nga Bay will be - a better experience, a smaller group, a more experienced guide/ captain (usually), more expensive.

You can see a sample tour/ price here (I am not necessarily recommending this tour, this is just to give you an example): http://www.phuketsailtours.com/tour_koh_panak.html

 

Thai Cooking Class (usually 3-4 hours)

This is usually a half day thing. Start in the morning, finish with lunch. I would highly recommend this… not really for learning to cook (you can possibly also learn that on youtube ;-)) but it’s a great bonding activity, great fun and you make friends with others travelers in class.

 

Most of these classes have pickup and drop to your hotel and include lunch. 

 

Unlike all other tours, which I strongly recommend booking right at Phuket (cheaper and you get a better assessment), this one, usually better booked online.

 

You can see this one for sample (again, not saying you should book this one - just a sample): 

http://phuketthaicookery.com/onlines/

 

Approx cost for most cooking classes is roughly 2500 to 2900 THB

Koh Yao Noi 

Just off Phuket - not touristy, not commercial. There are luxury resorts and beach shacks/ beach bungalows - but is not the touristy, commercialised Patong Beach. 

 

From Phuket - you can take a ferry boat and you will arrive at Manoh Pier. You can take the local songthaew pick up truck which are waiting outside the pier (roughly THB 100 per pax) to take you to the main part of the island (southern part). 

 

What you can do here is - take a snorkelling trip, go kayaking or just walk around and explore by walking around watching fisherman fishing, rubber tapping, etc.

 

While bicycles are available on rent here - the caveat also is that many of the roads here are either narrow or are dirt tracks.  

Phuket Cable Ski

At Kathu, you can cable ski - on an artificial lake (Skiing on the lakes pulled by cables). About 500 THB for 30 mins … equipment can be rented.

Sirey Island

This island is home to a community of "Sea Gypsies," a name given to fishermen and their families who now live permanently on the island. Great place to walk around, watch the mangrove swamp and the wild monkeys. Basically a great place to see what "real" Thailand is like, away from the fancy hotels.

What you can do here:

Rent a motorbike from Patong and ride over to Koh Sirey (it’s a short, beautiful ride)

Go to the Reclining Buddha at Koh Sirey Temple on the hill : this also gives a panoramic view of the island

Walk around the old village part (which you can see from the hill temple as well) - exploring the village folk/ fisherman.

Have Lunch at one of the street food/ local restaurants

Rent a bicycle here and ride around (most bicycle rentals are done from the hotels or bungalows).

 

What you can also do:

Book a cooking class in Sirey Island (so you explore Sirey Island and do the cooking class on the same day)

They will pick you up from your hotel, take you to Sirey Island. You do the cooking class till about 2 pm (post lunch). After this they will drop you, but you can choose to explore the island after that.

Cycling around the countryside

While you can cycle at Sirey Island or Koh Ya Noi as well, you can also:

Rent a bicycle from Patong beach and cycle around Phuket (off Patong, with a map - towards Phuket town). Not really countryside but a comfortable ride

You can take a bike tour - this will give you an experience of a bicycle tour along the countryside of Thailand just off Phuket (off roads, along sea coast, etc). There are several bike tours you can book either at Patong Beach or online. Approx cost is THB 3000-3700 per peron for a half day tour - including pick drop from hotel, bike rentals and meals. This option is a great experience but also tiring.. so you may want to factor that since this is your honeymoon, you would anyways possibly be tired from a hectic wedding phase. If you choose to do this, do this on Day 3 or 4… so you have a day to chill and relax before you come back to India.

 

 

Therefor my recco for Day 5:

Book a Thai Cooking Class at Sirey Island - do the class till about 2-3 pm. Explore the island after 3 pm for about 2-3 hours. 

Instead of taking the pick up from the class, you can rent a motorbike/ car from Phuket (it’s about a 15-20 mins from Phuket.

Deepti Gadekar wrote:  

Just an addendum on the cycling bit - when I mentioned you can rent a bicycle in Patong and cycle towards Phuket town... Am not sure of as many cycle rentals in Patong - most of them are on other beaches like Kata/ Karon. Can look up some bicycle rentals there if you'd like. So you can rent a bike from there and ride around towards Phuket town (Patong itself as you will see when you get there is quite un-cyclable with all the traffic and crowds).

Azeem Marecan wrote:  

Hi Deepti

So, if we do the Sirey Island plan on day 5, it means we can't do Sailing to phang nga Bay right?

In that case, do I do the phang nga mainland and sailing to phang nga Bay on the 3rd day? 

Also, the bike tour your mentioned, is it a motorbike or a bicycle? 

I presume the cooking class starts in the morning and ends at 2-3pm is it? And the site says 2900 bhat per person for the cooking, so if we both are doing it together it'll be the double then right? 

I like the idea of renting a motorbike and explore Sirey Island. Besides cooking, what else can we club this with? 

Azeem Marecan wrote:  

Hi Deepti

Pls ignore my previous message. I wrote it in a hurry and missed to read someof your comments. This is the updated one.

So, if we do the Sirey Island plan on day 5, it means we can't do the Sailing to phang nga Bay on day 5 as you suggested right?

In that case, can the sailing to the phang nga bay be clubbed with the phang nga mainland on the 3rd day? You suggested to do only the mainland on day 3. Is it a full day at the mainland that you're suggesting? Or is it the half day stuff? In that case how about the remaining half?

Also, the bike tour your mentioned, is it a motorbike or a bicycle? 

I presume the cooking class starts in the morning and ends at 2-3pm is it? And the site says 2900 bhat per person for the cooking, so if we both are doing it together it'll be the double then right? 

I like the idea of renting a motorbike and explore Sirey Island. Is the Island accessible by a motorbike? Also can the ride to Koh Sirey and exploring it be a full day affair? Or will it be an overkill?

 

Deepti Gadekar wrote:  

Hi Azeem,

Thanks for your comments .. 

Replies/ Recco as below:

1. So, if we do the Sirey Island plan on day 5, it means we can't do the Sailing to phang nga Bay on day 5 as you suggested right?

- You possibly can. You can do sailing to phang nga bay in the morning (usually such tours back by say 3 pm) and you can go for an evening ride into Sirey Island. That will possibly give you 2 hours at Sirey Island (may not give you that idyllic afternoon at Sirey Island, but I think it's okay).

2. In that case, can the sailing to the phang nga bay be clubbed with the phang nga mainland on the 3rd day? You suggested to do only the mainland on day 3. Is it a full day at the mainland that you're suggesting? Or is it the half day stuff? In that case how about the remaining half?

- Dont club Sailing on Phang Nga Bay and Mainland Phang Nga Tour. Mainland tour is usually done by lunch (sometimes a little more depending on which tour you take. But till lunch is okay). Sailing also usually starts in the morning.. and both on the same day usually difficult as you would not do justice to both.

3. Also, the bike tour your mentioned, is it a motorbike or a bicycle? 

- The bike tour I mentioned was a bicycle tour. Very interesting.. but would be tiring.

4. I presume the cooking class starts in the morning and ends at 2-3pm is it? And the site says 2900 bhat per person for the cooking, so if we both are doing it together it'll be the double then right? 

- The cooking class timing depends on the class you book - but yes most of them start by 8 or 9 am and end by 2 or 3 pm. And yes it is 2900 THB per person (double for 2 of you... do check if there are couple discounts though).

5. I like the idea of renting a motorbike and explore Sirey Island. Is the Island accessible by a motorbike? Also can the ride to Koh Sirey and exploring it be a full day affair? Or will it be an overkill?

- Yes Sirey Island on a motorbike would be great fun. You can surely ride to Sirey Island on a motorbike. The whole island may not be motorable so you will have to park at places and explore.. which is okay. But yes full day at Sirey Island perhaps an overkill on a 4 day itinerary (use of time wise). 

6. Therefore, Day 5 you can:

- Sailing to Phang Nga Bay in the morning and late afternoon rent a motorbike and go to Sirey Island in the evening.

OR 

- Book a cooking class at Sirey Island, cooking class till post lunch and then explore the island on a motorbike (that you rented from Patong). You possibly can take the Cooking class pick up and rent a motorbike at Sirey Island - but I am not sure of motorbike rentals at Sirey ... can find out more if you wish.