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Xmas in Thailand
Old 10-06-2007, 12:11 AM   #1
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Xmas in Thailand

I'm going to be in Thailand between Dec 12th and Jan 2nd, and I'm trying to decide the best city in which to spend Christmas. I was considering splitting my time between Phuket, Bangkok (for New Years Eve), and Chiang Mai. Do any of these places have a holiday feel to them during the Christmas Season?

Will anybody be in Thailand during that time and want to meet up for some Christmas beers?

Cheers

Jeremy
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Old 10-08-2007, 11:41 PM   #2
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After several holidays in Thailand our conclusion is to maximize the beach (Phuket). Bangkok malls may decorate but the spirit doesent seem to in the air. Last year we narrowly missed some new years bombings in Bangkok so im convinced i'll skip those crowds. Hmm a few years earlier we got our feet wet in the Tsunami too... but the beach is so wonderful.
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Old 10-09-2007, 06:25 AM   #3
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The Thais are increasingly getting into the Christmas/New Years spirit. I'm sure you will see plenty of holiday decorations in the major cities and tourist destinations. The weather will be somewhat "cooler" and even down right chilly in the north.

I'll probably be in Pattaya over the holidays and there is plenty of beer to be drunk there

A bit of trivia for you, the current year is 2550 according to the traditional Thai calendar. Back to the future anyone

Lance
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Old 10-11-2007, 01:32 AM   #4
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After several holidays in Thailand our conclusion is to maximize the beach (Phuket). Bangkok malls may decorate but the spirit doesent seem to in the air. Last year we narrowly missed some new years bombings in Bangkok so im convinced i'll skip those crowds. Hmm a few years earlier we got our feet wet in the Tsunami too... but the beach is so wonderful.
What was being there during the Tsunami like? What was the Tsunami like?
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Old 10-11-2007, 11:38 PM   #5
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Good question.... we were riding a small motorbike from Karon to Surin beach. As we entered an intersection in Phuket at patong beach we encountered a frantic crowd running up the street and we can see - not a giant wave but a fastly filling street with water. We had enough time to panic and charge back looking for an uphill road - there was one - it does deadend ( at the hi rise condo if you know Phuket) we left the bike there and could see the main street now filling with water. We wnet down to the edge and did not see anyone in danger for their life but we did see a shopkeeper trying to save their goods/furniture. We helped stack the goods on wicker tables and tie it down - not knowing how worse it may get (it didnt get worse).

We entered the condo where we parked at and took an elevator up and were able to watch repeated waves pound the coast and float a few buildings.... my girlfriend is Japanese so she identified it as a tsunami but there was no communications - some condo owners came to the hall and after 30 minutes knew the relation to an earlier earthquake. After the water receeded we went down stairs and cautiously mounted our bike and putted down (as needed to get to muddy road back to our hotel in Karon - you had to go down in order to go up the road out) . We did instead of going to Karon head to the beachfront. We saw much destruction, no real looting (jewelry stores and shops washed out) but also did not see people in need.

Power never went out, sun never stopped shining. Thailand unlike sumatra has some elevation from the coastline - so much of thailand not immediately beachfront was unaffected physically.
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Old 10-11-2007, 11:54 PM   #6
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Ok - so in 2 posts i did not want to exceed a post.

BTW my typing sux i dont spell so bad.. anyway we phoned family (which went into panic 24 hours later) to let them know all was fine for us.

We did head back towards Karone and found many people on the hill roads very panicked as they should be - the waves ravaged their resort hotels and many were able to run to higher ground. It was only a few hours later and I can say civilian truck were heading in and distributing fresh water botles on the road (gee i dont recall that in katrina - but no one was shooting at them either) . Everyone was shocked - and of course the unknown of aftershocks was a fear now that the cause was starting to be known.

Well being an internet geek i did find a net connection and book tix out to Bangkok... but next morning we decided to stay. Next day was grim. We did ride towards Surin beach. We somberly observed some rescue/search being done at one stop , and our next stop we couldnt help but participate in the cleanup underway. I dont know how to help family's who lost someone - i dont think there was any situation for anyone we could have saved - that would have been a hard burden to carry.

We knew of a seaport and wanted to hire a boat to try search for a poor sould swept out to sea but in contacting our friend we learned their boat was lost in the catastrophe. At the port ther was no activity.

The thing that bugs me is how i often contemplate how the sun never faded that day or the next... this being a natural disaster and how the world is if it was a terrorist influenced disaster...
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Old 10-13-2007, 01:00 AM   #7
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I stayed at Karon beach a few times Golden sand hotel.
Christmas is the worst time to be in Thailand, to many
lager lout, beligerant drunks and Euro trash. This along with the
aggressive phoebic anti foreigner attitude the thais have been displaying the last 5 years, not a very good place to be in high season unless you are a party animal.
Iwas going to retire there but sold my house and decided if i wanted to live in the ghetto of low budget foreigners that make up the majority of foriegn residents now days, Detroit would do fine,
at least there would be a change in seasons and 11 months of the year would not be at 105 degree wet bulb index.
Bought in east Tennessee and will travel to hearts content.
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Old 11-20-2007, 08:34 PM   #8
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Iwas going to retire there but sold my house and decided if i wanted to live in the ghetto of low budget foreigners that make up the majority of foriegn residents now days, Detroit would do fine,
EEUUUWWW.....

Funny, I don't feel like I live in a ghetto... and living here is pretty good whether one spends moocho $$ or not. There is lots of variety in every category - restaurants, hotels, clothing/tailors, entertainment, housing, malls/shops, communities, volunteer work, music, reading material, etc.

Not sure what kind of Christmas spirit you want to find here JJAC, but the Thais like to celebrate, whether it's their holiday or yours.

The beach is surely hard to beat, so maybe the holiday time with Lance in Pattaya will win out. Hanging on the beach is superb, and Lance is great company. Here in Chiang Mai, - although it gets busier -- the crowds aren't as bad as in Bangkok. 'Course we live in the Ancient City inside the moat.

Hope you have a great holiday! If you come up this way, give us a shout via email....

Akaisha and Billy
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Old 11-20-2007, 10:22 PM   #9
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I guess since I have been going to the place for 20 years, I've become jaded over time. Cheap travel and with the ability of many
to muster up a 1K income some how, the place really filled
up with tens of thousands of poverty stricken retirees.
It is no longer mystical or amazing. JMHO
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Old 11-20-2007, 11:05 PM   #10
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Come spend some time in Bangsaen. About 1 hour south of the new airport. Lovely place.
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Old 11-20-2007, 11:59 PM   #11
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Might as well head to Koh Samet and enjoy Aoa Pi beach or malibu beach and the island itself. May cost $10 more a day but much better attitude from the locals.
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Old 11-21-2007, 12:03 AM   #12
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Sure, but then you couldn't have a beer with me. Plus you get a better view of a place when somebody knows their way around. Never cared much for Samet. Koh Si Chang is good fun for a daytrip and easier to get to from the Sri Racha pier.
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Old 11-21-2007, 12:28 AM   #13
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why would someone want to be in a port city with
many auto manufactures in place.
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Old 11-21-2007, 12:34 AM   #14
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Mmm, which one? Sri Racha? I think you mean Laem Chabang. A bit further up the road. As a port town that is. The automotive manufacturers are mostly located in Rayong. Anyway, Bangsaen is a great place which I have called home for many years now.
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Old 11-21-2007, 06:49 PM   #15
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I guess since I have been going to the place for 20 years, I've become jaded over time. Cheap travel and with the ability of many to muster up a 1K income some how, the place really filled up with tens of thousands of poverty stricken retirees. It is no longer mystical or amazing. JMHO
I understand - 20 years anywhere and one would need their perspective polished from time to time. No place is perfect, and certainly with the Shagrila, La Meridian, the 4 Seasons Resort, The Princess, The Empress, and all the new boutique spas, hotels and restaurants opening up here the whole tourist climate is changing.

We met up with our regular Expat Lunch Club Group yesterday at a fine French Restaurant - had an outstanding duck breast with a honey glaze, grilled tomato, and onion jam, a desset of apple tart, vanilla ice cream and hot caramel sauce for 280 baht. (less than $9 USD) Each week we go to a new restaurant to try them out. Keeps us all from getting stale.

Be well,

Akaisha
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Old 11-22-2007, 05:23 AM   #16
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Nobody’s mentioned Hua Hin. More family orientated that Pattaya and cheaper than Phuket. With the new Ring Road opened it’s easy to get to.

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Old 11-22-2007, 07:38 PM   #17
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You're right, Abby... I hear great things about Hua Hin.. We've never been.

Great idea.

Akaisha
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Old 11-22-2007, 07:42 PM   #18
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Yes, Hua Hin is okay. Depends on what you like to do. We've stayed at the Sofitel a few times (converted railroad station). That was before kids. Now with kids, I prefer other destinations, but have fond memories of the hotel itself.
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