A March 2005 trip
to Thailand by Emms137
Quote: Bangkok, the surrounding areas, and Phuket
Phuket is a gorgeous island with tons of water activities. For my beach-loving family, it was the perfect destination. Snorkeling, swimming, and jet skiing topped everyone's favorites list.
It is considered appropriate to bargain in Thailand (at street markets and local vendors, not in large stores or Western-style establishments), so do not be afraid to ask for a lower price.
Street vendors sell tasty food at extremely reasonable prices (four of us ate and had bottled water for one day). Don't be afraid to try food from a vendor, but use common sense and make sure it looks well-cooked and reasonably clean.
Only drink bottled water. I've heard of many people falling ill from drinking tap water. Most nice restaurants filter the water, so it is okay, but try to stick to bottled water as much as possible.
Women might want to keep a pack of tissues in their purse, as many public restrooms do not have toilet paper (this is especially true as you venture farther from the city).
Luckily, there are wonderful transportation options. The BTS (Bangkok Transit System) offers affordable public transportation along Sukumvit (the main road). This is your best bet for traveling this street, especially at rush hour! Plus, it’s air-conditioned and you get a great view of the city as you ride.
Taxis are also affordable (you can ride a few miles for less than ), although most of the taxi drivers know very little English. Keep a card with your hotel's name (written in Thai) to give them so they can get you back easily.
There is also a good subway and bus network, which are worth looking into. Buses are very crowded, though, especially at rush hour.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 20, 2005
The resort features several pools (water-polo pool, splash pool, relaxing pools, scuba pool, kid’s pool, lap pool), a water slide, a hot tub, free non-motorized water sports, and other activities for your enjoyment. Kayaking, sailing, and windsurfing lessons are available at the hotel's semi-private (shared with one other hotel) on-site lagoon.
The hotel offers a kid’s club for the children and even has an elephant that children can ride. Anna, the elephant, comes by the breakfast restaurant every morning, and guests can feed her, pet her, and play with her.
There are a few very nice restaurants on-site, and several more restaurants are accessible via the hotel's water taxi shuttle, which will take you to any of the hotels in the Laguna complex.
There is a spa at the resort that can help further your relaxation if you so desire. I didn't go to the spa, since spa treatments are so reasonable in Bangkok, but judging by the spa menu and pictures, it looks lovely.
If you are looking for a lot of nightlife, you may want to look at other hotels, as LBR is fairly calm and there is not too much going on at night. You can go to the bar for a mellow drink or stroll along the beach, but there are no nightclubs or wild bars nearby. But, if you are looking for a nice, relaxing resort, this is probably good news.
The only caveat about this resort is that it is pretty secluded. There are other hotels nearby, but you are a good drive from town and the main beaches (Patong is about 30 minutes away). Again, if you are looking for a relaxing beach vacation, this is the place to go, but if you are looking for a little more activity, you may want to stay at Patong Beach.
Overall, I would highly recommend the Laguna Beach Resort, as the staff is incredibly friendly and the resort is gorgeous. The grounds are very nice to explore and everything is well-kept. I only wish I had more time to spend there.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 5, 2005
Laguna Beach Resort
Phuket, Thailand 83110
+66 76 324 352
Restaurant | "FoodLOFT"
There are several stations where you can get food: Italian (very good), Japanese (great sashimi), Thai, Malaysian, Indian, Vietnamese, etc. There is also a great drink station with fresh juice, smoothies, and other drinks, and a large selection of desserts. The food is delicious and service is good. At the Italian counter, for example, you can order pasta that will be made before your eyes, and you select the noodle type, sauce type (about eight choices), and vegetable and meat add-ins. There are lots of windows in the eating area, which has a funky, modern vibe to it. This is one of my favorite casual restaurants in Bangkok.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 28, 2005
7th floor, Central Chidlom
(02) 655 7777
Restaurant | "Crepes and Co."
I would suggest trying the appetizer crepe; it is crispy and comes with a garlicky dipping sauce - it is absolutely fabulous! I have also tried many of the savory crepes and enjoyed them all. The dessert crepes are also fabulous, especially Bananas Flambé with bananas and Baileys.
In short, this is one of my favorite restaurants in Bangkok. I have been telling everyone about it and I can't wait to go back to Bangkok so I can eat at Crepes and Co.
Crepes & Co.
18/1 Soi 12, Sukhumvit Road
Bangkok, Thailand 10110
+66 02 653 3990; 653
Attraction | "Beach Activities"
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 21, 2005
The first stop was Maya Beach, a gorgeous beach where some of the movie The Beach was filmed. You have about 45 minutes to relax and swim in the crystal-blue and perfectly calm waters. Next, you re-board the boat and sail to Monkey Beach for 40 minutes of snorkeling; en route, you will see lots of beautiful rock formations, which your guide will point out to you.
Snorkeling at Monkey Beach is pretty good. The water is about 30- to 40-feet deep but very calm, and there are a lot of fish swimming around. Lifejackets and fish food (bananas) are available for anyone who would like them. The boat next takes you to the Phi Phi Natural Resort for a tasty buffet lunch (included in the tour fee) and some time to relax at the Resort. The last stop is similar to a private island that you might sail to on a cruise ship. It is a secluded island with a huge beach and more good snorkeling. The tour guides will come to the island with you and set up a stand for people on your boat with fresh fruit, cold water, and soda; if you want anything else (ice cream, beer, a beach chair), you will have to pay for it, the only hidden cost of the ship. In short, this tour was very enjoyable and had a lot of little surprises (free soft drinks and bottled water on the boat, cookies, fresh fruit, etc.), and the tour guides were delightful.
Tips: If you are prone to motion sickness, you may want to take some medicine before you leave, as the boats go very fast and can be rocky (especially in the front outdoor section). BRING SUNSCREEN of at least SPF 30, as the sun is very bright and you are on the water all day. It is great to bask out in the sun and enjoy the tour, but you don’t want to be sunburned for the rest of the trip. Also, eat some breakfast before you go, because it’s a long time until lunch.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 21, 2005
Attraction | "Chatuchuk Weekend Market "
Chatuchak Weekend Market
A few things you may want to buy for friends at home (or yourself) include Thai silk, wood carvings, knockoff purses and clothes, and more. Be advised, however that since there are many tourists at this market, prices are significantly higher than at Chatuchack, so prepare to bargain. Many vendors at this market will drop their prices a lot, especially if you mention that prices are cheaper at chatuchack (we got scarves starting at 700 bt. for 80 bt.).
Even though this market is more toursity and expensive than Chatuchack, I think it is well worth the experience. It is quite fun to ride around in a boat and check out all the vendors, you can buy fresh fruit from local Thai people and experience a taste of life outside the big city.
Narry's is advertised in Thai Airlines magazine, and offers several fabulous package deals. You can get 2 custom made suits (you pick the style and from a range of fabrics), 3 shirts, a robe and 2 ties/scarves for $200. If you want better quality fabric (Italian wool, cashmere, etc.) you can buy a more expensive package to suit your needs, but if you are just looking for something basic, the $200 package offers lots of choices. The fabrics are quite nice and there is a wide variety to chose from (various silks, wools, blends, many colors), the suits are very well made, lined, and fit very well. (You get 2 fittings, so if there are any fitting issues they can be resolved).
Additionally, the staff at Narry's is very pleasant and patient, offering good advice on styles and cuts. They offer you heaps of magazines that you can look through to find a suit style you like (you can also modify it any way you want), or you can bring in a picture and they will make it for you.
I ordered two suits, which turned out beautifully. After the first fitting, I asked for a few adjustments which were readily made, and the final products fit perfectly. The quality of the suits appears to be very good and I enjoy wearing them (they are quite comfortable).
In short, if you are looking for some suits or custom clothes, but dont want to spend an arm and a leg I would encourage you to look at Narry's. There are very few hidden costs (pant lining is $10, but that is the only one I remember), and you will get very nice clothes that are custom made just for you.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 5, 2005
155/22 Sukhumvit Road Soi 11/1
Bangkok, Thailand 10110
+66 02 651 0181
San Luis Obispo, California