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1st time in Phuket! Transportation and Tours advice.

Irvine, California...
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1st time in Phuket! Transportation and Tours advice.

Hi All,

I have ready through the forum and it is amazing the amount of information I have learned from this forum. Thank you all so much for helping travelers like myself prepare for our vacation.

IMy wife and I will be visiting Bangkok for 3 days then heading out to Phuket for 4 days. We are planning on staying at the Le Meridien as I have some points I can use. After reading through the forums, we have a tentative idea of what we would like to do and who to use. I would love recommendations or any suggestions from the T/A community regarding my plans.

For Bangkok, we would like to do the Floating Market Tour one day and then we are planning on doing a Grand Palace on a different day. Anyone have any good recommendations on tour guides or tour companies to use? We have a couple of companies in mind but would love first hand experienced travelers suggestions.

For Phuket, I have the following planned:

Transportation: Panya from the forums. I am thinking of using him for our transportation from the airport and to the hotel. Also was planning on doing a half day tour with him.


Planning on doing two tours with Phuket Sail Tours:

1. Explore Phang Nga Bay by Speedboat

2. Phi Phi Island

I would love recommendations on where to go eat also. I read that food at the hotel are good but are so many other places to go eat while we are there. Was thinking of more on the gourmet type restaurants in Thailand. Any recommendation would be awesome!

Thank you so much for reading this. Can't wait to hear what you all have to say!

Norfolk, United...
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for Chaweng, Ko Samui
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1. Re: 1st time in Phuket! Transportation and Tours advice.


No restaurants around the hotel, as it is just the hotel. There are lots of places to eat.

Personally we are mom and pop type restaurants, where you get really good Thai, as many of the regular visitprs craving good thai food, rather than Gucci overpriced food that you can find just about anywhere. Two chefs, the Boathouse, Mom Tris Royal / Kitchen in the Kata / Karon area, whilst the Blue Elephant in Phuket Town are nice for a special meal, but there are several 'gourmet' type restaurants, just click on the green restaurants banner at the top of this page. Don't dismiss the smaller non gourmet places, they often serve the best food!

You don't say when you are travelling, so I would opt for the PST Phang Nga Bay by speedboat tour as Phi Phi is not a great crossing even in the high season when the seas are not as rough as they can be in April to November.

I would suggest you post your questions about Bankgok on the Bangkok forum!

Irvine, California...
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2. Re: 1st time in Phuket! Transportation and Tours advice.

Thank you so much for the reply and suggestions. I want more of the authentic Thai places to eat so I think your recommendations are great. I will be Phuket from May 31st to June 4th.

Any other small mom and pop places would be great!

Maitland, Australia
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3. Re: 1st time in Phuket! Transportation and Tours advice.

Since you are going so soon pst and Panya may already be booked out. I would contact them ASAP. I have booked with both again for September in which I booked last September. Panya was not available back then for one of my days I wanted. Lol. Good luck Sam

Perth, Australia
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4. Re: 1st time in Phuket! Transportation and Tours advice.


For the Bangkok part of your trip we used a tour guide from the recommended tour guide list on TA Bangkok Forum, her name is Nook.

She responds to emails promptly and answers all questions.

We had Nook take us to River Kwai and Hellfire Pass for one day and the other we organised her for a tour of the temples.

She saved us so much time, especially with the temples, arranged lunch for us took us on a tour of the River all in the one tour, we covered so much ground that we would never have achieved by ourselves.

Hope you enjoy your holiday.

Jozz :-)

Irvine, California...
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5. Re: 1st time in Phuket! Transportation and Tours advice.

Thank Jozz, I will send Nook an email.

Gold Coast
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6. Re: 1st time in Phuket! Transportation and Tours advice.

Some of the restaurants already mentioned are good but quite frankly overpriced. There are hundreds of good restaurants to choose from.

Just do your homework.

London, United...
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7. Re: 1st time in Phuket! Transportation and Tours advice.

Jaemisuh , go to the Bangkok forum. There you will find a list of recommended tour guides under the FAQ's. Tours with Tong always gets great reviews.

As for the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun. You can do these easily yourself without a guide using the BTS Skytrain and River Express..

Sktrain - http://www.bts.co.th/customer/en/main.aspx

Chao Phraya Express Boat - http://www.chaophrayaexpressboat.com/en/home/

You need to read the FAQ's on the Bangkok forum: (Read them all but definetly these)

FAQ Finding a TOUR Guide



FAQ Potential scams

For Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun by yourself:

Take the BTS Sytrain to Saphan Taksin station. Go down under the bridge to Central Pier and take the Chao Phraya express boat coming from your left, and get off at Ta Chang pier. (pier N9).

Do not buy a ticket at the desk, and do not buy a 150 baht ticket for the tourist boat. Get on the Chao Phraya Express Boat coming from your left. Take a boat with no flag, an orange flag, or a green flag. You pay the fare on board to the ticket seller, tell her "Tha Chang" (pier N9).

Get off at Tha Chang (pier N9), and walk out from the pier area until you see a high white wall. Follow it to the left and then around to the right, so that Sanam Luang (a large open green space) is on your left and the palace wall is on your right. Walk about 200 meters until you get to the main entrance.

Wat Pho is right behind the Grand Palace, so you will need to go back out the way you came in, and go around the block to enter Wat Pho.

From Wat Pho go to Tha Tien Pier (pier N8) and get the cross river ferry to Wat Arun.

Enjoy Bangkok and try some streetfood.

Orlando, Florida
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8. Re: 1st time in Phuket! Transportation and Tours advice.

First time in Phuket going for 10 days April 2nd with wife and daughter ,have been to pattaya with family before and loved every minute of the place, looking for some info on good family places to eat and enjoy ,is the beer and wine cheap food etc ,how's the beach and what's to do with my daughter

Thanks in advance paul

Rotherham, England...
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9. Re: 1st time in Phuket! Transportation and Tours advice.

Paul Phuket is both the name of of the Island / Region and Phuket Town. I assume you will be staying at a beach resort within Phuker and not Phuket Town? If you let us know where you're staying we can advise on that area.

10. Re: 1st time in Phuket! Transportation and Tours advice.

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