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What First? Phi Phi or Phuket . To book or not to etc etc..

New York City, New...
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What First? Phi Phi or Phuket . To book or not to etc etc..

We just booked our flights to phuket for the end of October. We have 13 nights in all to stay. Would it be better to do phi phi first or phuket.

We are also very interested in going to khao lak. Khao Lak seems very far from the phuket main area . Is it? Or is every thing closer then it seems on the map.

I have been to Bali and it's one huge island that takes many hours to get to certain places, so I was not sure if it was the same. Also, In Bali you are able ( especially during low season) to go from place to place and see what there "special price is". Usually you can get 1/2 of the published rate. Is it like that in phuket and it's surroundings? I would think in phi phi it is not since there are only about 20 places to choose from.

Thanks!

Karen

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1. Re: What First? Phi Phi or Phuket . To book or not to etc etc..

Phuket is a very large Island and is a good base for tours etc as it's where most tourists are located in the area and where most of the action is. I would definately spend a couple of days in Phi Phi - don't get onto one of those day trips from Phuket otherwise you will only see the main village on Phi Phi and only when boatloads of other daytrippers are doing the same thing...not a great experience. As you have worked out, booking is a v good idea here.

Khao Lak is approx 1 hour from Phuket airport (approx 1 1/2 + hours from Phuket town) but is a totally different experience to Phuket. It is a beautiful stretch of interlinking beaches backed by National park, far fewer people, much more relaxed and quite. It's also a great place to base for the Similan Islands where the coral and marine life is breathtaking. Really worth spending a few days or more unless you are party people. Still getting back on it's feet so you shouldn't need to book in Oct.

New York City, New...
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2. Re: What First? Phi Phi or Phuket . To book or not to etc etc..

Thanks so much.. !

That helps a lot. Being of old age (36 :) ) we are no longer party animals. But one night out would be nice. we already are avid snorkelers but plan to get certified by September so we can Dive. I mean it seems if you go all the way there you should dive!

Can you hire "cars" for the day. I read in some article a reporter was taking buses everywhere. I have noticed things are a lot more expensive in Phuket/phi phi compared to Bali.. I know it's a totally different place,culture etc and all, but it was still surprising. Like in Bali you can hire a driver for 25 usd for an entire day trip.

Here is a question: In Bali ( I have been there twice so it's my point of reference for that side of the world) people are constantly trying to sell you items.. even in the far reaches of the island. Is it like that in phuket ?

Would it help to learn... "no thank you.... or I already have " in thai.

We were able to learn alot of bahasa indonesian while we were in Bali, but Thai looks like A LOT harder.

We were trying to stay in two spots this time but now I want to go to Khao lak/similan. phiphi and phuket i mean we have the time ... just no bangkok,, thanks again

Poulton Le Fylde...
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for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
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3. Re: What First? Phi Phi or Phuket . To book or not to etc etc..

You can certainly hire a car for a day or more. You need an International Driving Permit ( which is acceptable for booking and necessary in case you get involved in an accident and police get involved). Cost between 600 and 1000 baht a day. Ensure insurance is in place.

Driving around Patong and Phuket Town is busiest - just keep your wits about you. Elsewhere on Phuket its fine and around Khao Lak quieter. It's just one long highway maninly with roads down to beaches. I don't think you will get a car and driver on Phuket for $25. I can't comment on other price comparisons with Bali. Phuket is generally a bit more expensive for food and drink than Khao Lak.

Melbourne
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4. Re: What First? Phi Phi or Phuket . To book or not to etc etc..

I think you could comfortably do the phuket-phi phi-khao lak combination with 13 nights. Distances aren't too far from each and handy to Phuket airport.

Haven't been to Bali for many years, but I do recollect that the Balinese touts and sales folk were the most persistent I have come across in all my travels throughout Asia. Most Thais will give up if you give them a polite but firm "no thankyou" if you are not interested - this has always worked well for me. Keep smiling and keep cool.

New York City, New...
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5. Re: What First? Phi Phi or Phuket . To book or not to etc etc..

Thank you both for your responses... I will probably have many more questions posted in the next few days as we are trying to book our hotels etc

Phuket
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6. Re: What First? Phi Phi or Phuket . To book or not to etc etc..

Sales people and even the professional touts on Phuket (and Thailand in general) are MUCH less agressive than in Bali. The only places where you will even be approached is Patong and the airport. In Khao Lak it will very rarely happen - and Thais will stop if you just say "No, thank you" or in Thai, "May ouw krap" if you are male - "May ouw kha" if you are female. That "ouw" is like in "ouch".

Phuket is not as large as Bali and there are few places on the island that it would take more than an hour to get to - from anywhere else. Tip to tip might be 75 minutes driven at a sane pace.

Driving - away from Patong/Karon/Kata/Phuket Town is no difficult - and is MUCH easier than driving on Bali! I remember mostly being scared when driving on Bali and I have driven in some pretty wild places

As mentioned Khao Lak is about 75 minutes from Phuket but it depends on from where you depart - from Patong I would call it two hours. But - it is a pleasant drive on primarily on well-marked good rural roads through lushly vegetated countryside. VERY worth the trip IMO.

Try a few drives in that area to get a feel for the area as well:

http://khaolaklovers.com/pakarang-drive.htm

khaolaklovers.com/hot-springs-drive.htm

AND - in between those two drives the BoDan Beach drives is great too:

http://phuketnorth.com/Drives.htm

Depending on what part of October - early or late - you are getting close to high season and it is probably best to book what you want to avoid disappointment. Most of the booking services book literally hundreds of rooms for the different resorts - so it is difficult to get a lower rate. And, it is fairly rare for the real decision maker about rates to be standing behind the desk when you ask. Just my opinion.

7. Re: What First? Phi Phi or Phuket . To book or not to etc etc..

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