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Thailand Honeymoon - Security?

ngouinngouin Posts: 95
Hi,



I am looking into where to go on honeymoon next June and I really had my heart set on Bangkok/Chiang Mai/Ko Samui. However, i have been looking on lonely planet and it says there have been a lot of bombings in Bangkok and there are serious security concerns over there. Is this concerning anyone else who is planning a Thailand honeymoon? Or is it just the usual terrorism threat you have in all big cities?



Thanks



KatieK

Posts

  • jomarch50jomarch50 Posts: 630
    Hi KatieK



    I'm a British girl who has lived in Bangkok for the past two & a half years so am more than happy to give you advice on the security situation here although ultimately you have to make up your own mind...



    Personally I feel safer in Bangkok than I do in London!! Yes, there have been a few bombs in and around Bangkok since January but the explosions have been no larger than those of a large firework (believe me, H2B I live down the road from where one went off on New Years Eve and had absolutely no idea).



    The general security advice for Thailand, as issued by the UK foreign office, is to exercise caution - I'd say about the same as you'd exercise in any major city. I've found the British Foreign Office to be ultra conservative (we came accross one 'demonstration' they'd issued advice to avoid and it was like a giant carnival). Generally Thai people are peaceful and non-violent, please do not let the current problems put you off coming to this wonderful country.



    If you want an example of the non-violent stance prefered here take last October's military coup. H2B called me at home to let me know a coup was taking place so I switched on the BBC World News. It scared me to see pictures of tanks rolling into the city and, following a hysterical phone call from MIL2B I called him and told him to come home. Not one shot was fired and the following day the soldiers and tanks were posing with Thais and tourists for pictures - many of them had flowers pushed into the gun turrets. The Thai government know they have too much to lose if things get violent (foreign investment would go elsewhere) - I really think things will remain peaceful.



    An exception to all of this are the three Southern counties where there is violence and bombs going off almost every day. The places you wish to visit are miles away (it would be like advising you not to visit London because of violence in Scotland or Northern Ireland).



    I really hope this helps - I should also add that I am currently expecting a baby who will be born in Bangkok. If we had ANY doubts about the security situation I'd have flown home already!



    Jo

  • vwadlewskivwadlewski Posts: 22
    Hi Katie K,



    I have booed our honeymoon to bangkok and then KohSamui, I have no worries going at all, I think terreroism is just the same as any large city. Also I work in travel and never had any queries about safety etc.

    What hotels are you thinking off booking? x

    x x
  • scottishbridescottishbride Posts: 2,023
    I also agree that Bangkok and Koh Samui are as safe as anywhere else (we are going to both places as part of our honeymoon). Although you can obviously never guarantee that something won't happen, it is definitely not a reason not to go somewhere. Personally, I think the effects of climate change are far more worrying than the threat of terrorism at the moment - especially after all the flooding in Sheffield and Hull!
  • I too am going to Bangkok & Koh Samui for my honeymoon, in just over 2 weeks time! Can't wait!!!



    I agree about security, nowhere is 100% safe and it didn't even cross my mind when I thought about where to go.



    waddlewhiskey & scottishbride - when do you both go on Honeymoon? What hotels have you booked? We're staying at the Landmark in Bangkok and The Imperial Samui in Koh Samui xxx
  • scottishbridescottishbride Posts: 2,023
    We are staying at Tongsai Bay in Koh Samui (gift from my stepdad!) and the Lebua in Bangkok. Can't wait! My wedding is not until December though so have a while to wait!
  • vwadlewskivwadlewski Posts: 22
    oohh they both sound fab!

    We are doing the Dusit Thani in Bangkok and then the Renaisance in Koh samui in a pool villa!! Not going till April but already very excited. Also it's a surprise for H2B so he has no idea!!

    Do you think we can get lots of cheap and obviously fake designer bags??

    x x x
  • vwadlewskivwadlewski Posts: 22
    oohh they both sound fab!

    We are doing the Dusit Thani in bangkok, mainly for lopcation and then the Renaisance in Samui in a pool villa!! Am soo excited but its ages away yet!!

    Do you think we can get lots of fake designer bags? I hope so!

    x x x
  • nadinauknadinauk Posts: 44
    wow we also want to go to bangkok and koh samui for our honeymoon! we havent booked anything yet as we are not getting married til 2009. does anyone know the best time of year to visit? was thinking april?

    let me know how your honeymoons go! xxxx

    ps: who have people booked with? thomson?
  • ngouinngouin Posts: 95
    hi,



    we are thinking of going to bangkok, chiang mai and koh samui. mandarin oriental in chiang mai, tongsai bay or sala samui in koh samui and have told h2b he can chose bangkok hotel (best to keep them a little bit involved!)! looks like he is thinking of the peninsula. anyone have any views on or experience of these?



    katie x
  • scottishbridescottishbride Posts: 2,023
    I have heard the Peninsula is fantastic but it is on the "wrong" side of town. I think the transport is really good though so no need to worry, and the hotel reviews are fantastic. Check out the Shangri-la and the Oriental, and the Lebua as well. I use www.tripadvisor.com to get reviews on hotels before I choose them - its really useful.
  • jomarch50jomarch50 Posts: 630
    Hi there



    Scottish Bride is correct - the Penninsula Hotel is on the 'wrong' side of town but during the daytime this isn't a problem as a free boat is provided across to the 'right' side of town. BTW - the 'right' and 'wrong' side of town is simply due to the traffic. If you stay at the Penninsula it will take you a little longer to travel around as you have to cross the river on one of the busiest bridges.



    If you want to stay right on the river the Oriental, Shangri-La & Royal Orchid Sheraton are good choices. Le Bua is good for the amazing views - the suites are excellent (I attended a work function in one). If you prefer to be in the heart of Bangkok's shopping district check out the Pathawan Princess (its recently undergone a refurb).



    If you like smaller, trendy boutique style hotels then let me know as I have checked out the best in the city for my wedding.



    Jo

  • Hi katiek

    We stayed at the peninsula a couple of years ago and it was fantastic! Although it is on the wrong side of the river it didn't affect us at all They have a shuttleboat that runs constantl from early morning until midnight that can take you either across the river tthe Oriental or to the skytrain which gives you easy access to the rest of the city. This year we stayed at the Westin Grande Sukhumvit, the hotel was nice but missed being by the river.
  • jomarch50jomarch50 Posts: 630
    Hi there



    Re-reading this thread and noticed a post about fakes... Bangkok is awash with them!



    For a good leather fake bag (think Mulberry, Chole etc) expect to pay about 100GBP (7000 baht) for a decent copy (the genuine ones retail for 800GBP up). Don't go for something covered in fur - I have a lovely fake Mulberry which is half fur, half leather and the fur has worn away where it rubs against me as I carry it.



    The fake mock leather bags are really cheap - prepare to bargain hard! Best places to buy them are in Bangkok, all the other places bring their stuff in from Bangkok and add to the price. Try the enormous MBK Shopping Mall & Patpong Night market. If you're only looking for faux leather and want to buy quite a few then check out China Town's Sampeng Lane (but only if you're feeling very brave, can deal with the heat and have a Nancy Chandler map!).



    Happy shopping!



    Jo

    x



  • LanitaukLanitauk Posts: 51
    I've just been reading this thread - I read all the ones about Thailand for good tips. I'm travelling to Thailand on 23rd December for my honeymoon and am staying in Bangkok for 3 nights first. I have spent about 5 months now searching the internet for a lovely hotel to stay in but just can't make my mind up! If I find one with a lovely room, the area isn't right, or if I find one in a good area the hotel looks really impersonal. (not too fussy am I!?).



    Miss Jo Jo - I know I have spoken to you on another thread before, and your advice and knowledge seems to be fantastic! You mention in this thread about boutique hotels - could you reccomend a few to me to look into? I have started looking at boutique hotels today as i'm struggling to find a big one I like (althoug the Royal Meridien is looking promising), so far I have looked at the Ibrik and Arun residence. Do you know anything about these?



    I hope your wedding plans and pregnancy are going well!! Isn't it next month you get married?



    Lx
  • jomarch50jomarch50 Posts: 630
    Hi there



    I'm getting married in just 34 days... Not long to go now!



    Some smaller boutique hotels...



    http://www.dreambkk.com./ - Part of our wedding reception is here.



    http://www.staywithluxx.com/



    http://www.oldbangkokinn.com/index.html



    http://www.siamatsiam.com/



    http://www.thaivillas.com/indexflash.html



    http://www.thebaanthai.com/ - This place is simply beautiful!



    http://www.theeugenia.com/index.html - One of my fave Bangkok Hotels, not many people have heard of it!



    These are Bangkok hotels... Let me know if you want help with hotels elsewhere in Thailand.



    Jo

    x





  • LanitaukLanitauk Posts: 51
    Hi Jo,



    Thanks again for your help. I have looked all the ones you recommended and so far I like The Eugenia the best. We have now narrowed it down to this one or staying in a larger hotel (http://www.starwoodhotels.com/lemeridien/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1846). Do you know anything about this one? I'm just really not sure which one would be best for a honeymoon, and the best location etc etc...



    Oh also, we were thinking of travelling by train during the day to see some sights, from Bangkok to Chiang Mai on the 26th December. Is this easy enough to do? Is it something you would recommend? Then I have found flights with Bangkok airways to fly down to Phuket.



    Are you getting nervous / excited about your wedding now? Is everything all pretty much sorted?



    Lxx
  • jomarch50jomarch50 Posts: 630
    Hi there Lanita



    If you're looking for personal service then I'd stay at the Eugenia - they are so lovely there (I was meeting a friend there a few weeks back who was unable to make it - I was ushered into the sitting room & could have happily stayed there all day!). One thing about the Eugenia is that they are expensive for extras so make sure you get a B&B rate.



    The Eugenia is a short taxi ride from Bangkok's sky train - they have a complimentary tuk tuk service now so you should be able to travel about with relative ease.



    The Meridian is a big hotel no matter what they say about themselves! If its the one on Wireless Road then the traffic can be pretty bad & you can get stuck in an awkward one way system travelling to/from the hotel.



    With regards to visiting Chiang Mai - its too far to go there & back in one day!! The train takes about 10 hours... I went by train back in December - we took the overnight express train which has bunks you can sleep in. It was a great experience and the view from the train was great early in the morning but the facilities were basic and you're best travelling light! You can fly from Bangkok in about an hour.



    In December make sure you book well in advance - we left reserving rooms right until the last minute and really struggled in Chiang Mai. We like where we ended up staying but felt it was over priced for the quality of room & the service they offered.



    Flights with Bangkok Airways are fine - they offer a lovely lounge where you get free drinks and snacks. Other airlines worth looking into are: Thai Air Asia (often suffer short delays) & Nok Air (the budget offering from Thai Airways).



    As for me - yes, we're pretty much sorted now. Just meeting the church coordinator this afternoon to finalise things and ordering alcohol for the reception. Only thing left for us to decide is our honeymoon - we haven't booked anything yet!



    Hope my advice helps



    Jo

  • LanitaukLanitauk Posts: 51
    Hi MissJoJo



    For some reason I wasn't notified that you had posted a message to this so have only just read it!!



    Thanks again for your help. After lots of deliberation we decided to go for the Meridien hotel in Bangkok and it is now booked, so I really hope it will be ok. Like I said, I only just read your message too so didn't know about the noise, so i'm hoping that won't bother us!!



    I have booked us a hotel in Chiang Mai too (http://www.sawadee.com/hotel/chiangmai/baansingkham/pictures.html), for 5 nights. I'm now considering flying there though....not sure I can suffer a train journey for 10 hours! Although H2B fancies the idea.



    We're then going to (probably) fly to Phuket for a couple of days and then on to somewhere like Koh Lanta / Krabi / Phi Phi for the remaining 8 or so days....but this last bit isn't confirmed yet and is next on my list to do. I've just spent about an hour looking for somewhere reasonable to stay in Phuket - we're arriving on New Years Eve, so we quite fancy some excitement, but can't handle too much tourism for too long! Then we want to go somewhere really gorgeous to relax and unwind until we go home. Do you have any good ideas of places to go / stay etc for this last Southern leg of the trip? (And I will make sure I check this thread rather than rely on it telling me there is a reply...)



    Sounds like you're almost finished with the arrangements for your wedding now!! Not long to go at all! Are you planning to go on honeymoon straight away? Do you have any ideas of where you want to go yet?



    Lx
  • LanitaukLanitauk Posts: 51
    Hello again MissJoJo,



    I have just come across you photos you uploaded of your maternity wedding dress fittings! You look incredible...your dress is amazing and looks so good over your bump. The baby pics are really cute too!! When is the baby due?



    Lx
  • Hey,

    I went to Thailand last year and we're going for our honeymoon too! Koh Samui is amazing! I stayed in the Nova Samui hotel at Chaweng and oh my god it was amazing! Security wise I felt perfectly safe while there- all the locals we met were so nice and always ready to help! The only thing I'd say is that I spent my full two weeks in Koh Samui and that's what we're going to do for our honeymoon- I would have considered a twin centre holiday but last time I was there I met so many people who said that they had spent their first week in Bangkok or Pattaya and although it was an experience they wished that they had just had the whole holiday on Koh Samui! But then I've never been to Bangkok or Pattaya so I'm not knocking them or talking from direct experience! I'm sure that wherever you go it will be amazing!



    Kat x
  • Oh and I just noticed nadina's post about going in April- that's when I went and the weather is amazing but be warned it's the hottest month out there and I burnt really badly on my first day there (although that was down to me stupidly forgetting the suncream!) and even the staff at our hotel were struggling with the heat at times! But that said it's the month in which I'd choose to go back! x
  • LanitaukLanitauk Posts: 51
    Hi scarlet_red_uk



    I'm just going to check out Koh Samui now as I haven't looked at that area yet! It's just so confusing though as it all sounds amazing, I want to see it all. We're going to be "down south" for 11 days, so still a good enough time to relax and see the sights...I hope...I just know I won't want to go home though image



    Lx
  • nadinauknadinauk Posts: 44
    thanks for the weather advice scarlet! i'll definately pack my sun cream as i get sun allergy rashes!

    oh i wish i didne have 2 years to wait! let me know how all of your weddings / honeymoons go, especially the thailand ones! x
  • 35broadway35broadway Posts: 600
    We have booked to go to Khao Lak in Thailand

    http://www.phuket.com/lemeridienkl/

    Cant blinking wait for 5th May 2008 to come around image
  • jomarch50jomarch50 Posts: 630
    Hi Ladies



    Living out in Bangkok I can add that YES - April is VERY hot... Hotter & more humid than anything you will experience in Europe and often too hot to sit out in the sun. However, April is also the month of Songkran, the Thai New Year when the streets are taken over by huge community water fights for 3 days (Bangkok) and up to a week (Chiang Mai).



    If you need any advice about the weather & destinations (and have some patience with me @ the mo as my wedding is in 2 weeks on 12th August image), please feel free to ask me for help!



    Jo

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