I'm currently planning a trip to Thailand for 3 weeks over the coming Christmas and New Year. I went travelling on my own a couple of years ago and loved it so much that now I want to take my girlfriend back.
I am wondering where is a good place to go around Christmas. Maybe somewhere where they'll have some festivities (if possible) and somewhere near the coast. We're not on such a tight budget, maybe 2000 - 3000 Baht (£50 - 60) per night for a few nights over Christmas before we head off to the Full Moon Party over new year.
Any advice on nice hotels or areas to go would be great.
I am going to suggest Pattaya even with your GF. As you know, Pattaya has a reputation for their sex scene, so decide if your GF can deal with that. If not, choose another beach city.
Pat. has so many visitors from all over the world that they celebrate most holidays. Many hotels will put up Christmas decorations and offer turkey or ham dinners. Plenty of Christmas spirit in Pat. Nice beach option over on Koh Larn as well.My blog talks about my day-trip to KL. Christmas will be very busy so I would book a room in advance if you choose Pat.
Good luck with your planning.
[ Edit: Edited on 12-Mar-2013, at 10:17 by vegasmike6 ]
Bangkok is not too bad but Christmas is not a religious experience like you have in Europe or even in the Philippines. Pattaya is not a bad choice for good hotels at lower prices than Bangkok and for cheap local transportation. Pattaya Beach not so good for actual swimming but okay for sunbathing, nightlife, shopping malls and good restaurants. Like Mike says there will be several places popular with expats who will have Christmas parties and special meals. Some expat bars in Bangkok also have special Christmas meals and celebrations.
In Thailand Christmas is reason to have sales in malls and charge tourists more for hotel rooms and Christmas parties. Hotel rooms will be more expensive during the Christmas - New Years holiday season than any other time of the year. Some hotels have a mandatory "party" fee that you pay if you attend or not.
If you want a "religious" experience over Christmas you will find that more in the Philippines.
Besides the Pattaya/Jomtien beach location (that you can reach with a cheap 124 baht bus ride from Bangkok) you also have Hua Hin not that far from Bangkok.
Your budget is pretty good for hotel rooms. For Bangkok, my advice for a hotel location is one not far from the Skytrain route. The Skytrain, if you recall, is an overhead rail service. This rail service connects with the Airport Rail Link and with the subway. (The subway takes you to the Hua Lamphong Train Station for train rides to Hua Hin and to Chiang Mai.)
There are many hotels in your price range - even cheaper - with air conditioning, private toilet, TV and maid service. I like the Sukhumvit Road, Nana area. In this area you have all sorts of things within an easy walk, besides the Skytrain, you have nightlife, restaurants, malls, street vendors and even supermarkets. Possible hotel choices for Nana area are:
Nana Ibis, Swiss Park, Ambassador, Sawasdee @8, On 8 and further away from nightlife, near On Nut, the Imm Fusion. (Near On Nut Skytrain stop and Lotus Tesco Mall.)
For Pattaya my advice is a hotel on or close to Pattaya Beach Road and Pattaya Second Road (Sai Song in Thai) where you can walk to restaurants, malls, street vendors, nightlife even dentists. (Some tourists get cheaper dental work done in Thailand.) Some possible hotel choices are the Pattaya Ibis, Areca Lodge, Tune Hotel, Lido Beach Hotel, Sawasdee Hotel group and many others at cheaper prices. (Also more expensive of course!)
At least you have quite a while to plan things out.
If you let your girlfriend make some of the hotel choices and other decisions she won't be able to hang any "bad choices" YOU made over your head forever!
Thanks a lot for the good advice guys. I think my girlfriend would not mind going to a place like Pattaya, after all, seeing places like this are experiences in themselves. I will look into it and discuss with her. I never got to go there, so would be new to me too.
As we want to do the FMP at New Year, my initial idea was more southern islands, so if anyone has any suggestions for Phuket or Samui etc. that would be good.
Haha good idea Al. No doubt my decisions will all be wrong so Ill be consulting her before booking anything - that's for sure!
I assume you know about the crime problem on Koh Phangan. This is just one news article, there are plenty of others. Heed the warnings to stay safe and survivie the FMP.