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Chiang Mai & the North
Hua Hin & Koh Samet
Phuket, Khao Lak, Krabi & Koh Lanta
Koh Samui & Koh Phangan
Chic Locations – Friends of Thailand Award
Amazing Thailand | Beach | Spa | Romance | Culture
Koh Samui and the newly introduced Khanom – Surat Thani region is the reverse with the most settled time March to October, and the winter months (particularly November to January) having the highest rainfall, beach erosion and sea swells.
Hua Hin/Koh Samet are more constant without the extremes found further south, with the summer months more humid and slightly more rainfall.
The resorts, irrespective of location, enjoy year round heat with day time temperatures usually in the high 20’s.
Note – In common witth most tropical areas, the beaches are to be used by tourist and local alike, private beaches are not permitted. The most attractive beaches tend to be the most popular, appealing to day visitors from other resorts where the beaches may be less enticing.
Bangkok can be hot and steamy year round, with heavy showers particularly Midsummer to October. In the North where the focus tends to be on touring, the winter months can see decidedly chilly misty mornings and evenings although by mid-morning the temperatures are well into the 20’s. The summer months can see increased rainfall, and more noticeably higher humidity.
Russia is also a significant source of clients with arrivals now overtaking both UK and Germany. 80% travel in the period November to March, so they will be noticeable.
NOTE – Following several months of internal political bickering, the military returned to power in a bloodless coup in May 2014. Most Thai’s welcomed the stability this brought, but look forward to elections later in the year. Most Europeans are apathetic about politics in their own countries, so we assume will be even more so on foreign soil. We strongly suggest you do not venture any comments on the military or the Thai Royal family, and concentrate on enjoyment, shopping, eating and football – all things close to the Thai heart ! Check out the UK FO travel advice on www.fco.gov.uk
Chiang Rai is even smaller and traditional, akin to a sprawling village and is located in the extreme north-east of the country, facing the borders of Laos and Burma.
Koh Samet is a small island retreat, 20 minutes by speedboat from the ferry point at Rayong. Just a handful of hotels mainly catering for regional tourists, and the delightful Paradee Resort which would not be out of place in the Indian Ocean.
Note – Koh Samet can also be spelt as Samed, both are correct.
Phuket has its tacky side at Patong but that is just a very small mile square on an otherwise attractive and generally upscale island. Equally Krabi has Ao Nang which is rather brash. Khao Lak and Koh Lanta offer simple pleasures but with reassuringly attractive hotels. Shopping is limited although Tesco- Lotus are prominent in Phuket.
The majority of our selected hotels in Koh Samui are located on the north coast, with the main concentration in the Bangkrak, Bophut and Choeng Mon resorts, 10 minutes either side of the airport. Maenam is 5 minutes further west along the coast. The Banyan Tree is located in Lamai, in the mid south east corner. We do not feature any hotels in the boisterous Chaweng resort area, although this is easily accessible.
The best beaches on Samui are Bo Phut and Maenam on the north coast and east coast Chaweng, all of which are good with soft sand and easy water access. The remainder tend to be small rocky coves where swimming is usually possible only at high tide. As it is a relatively small island you might have some aircraft noise, particularly in the north-west corner of the island which has the airport and the highest concentration of hotels.
Koh Phangan is rather like Samui 30 years ago, and I am probably one of the few people that can say that with first hand authority! Dirt tracks for roads, just a few sleepy villages, no shops, hardly any nightlife once you ignore the monthly full moon parties that occur on the beaches further south.
Friends of Thailand Award
David Kevan from Chic Locations was privileged to receive the prestigious Friends of Thailand award in June this year.
The award is given to individuals or companies who have shown constant innovation and originality in promoting Thailand. The award is presented every other year. This year there were over thirty winners from around the world, but only two from the UK, David and the publisher from Lonely Planet publications.
Although the award has been presented to a couple of UK operators in the past, David is the first individual from a British tour operator to be recognised.
The presentation was made by the Minister of Tourism to David during the annual Thailand Travel Mart held in Bangkok.
David said “It is always good to receive recognition, especially as it was presented in front of an audience of tour operators and press. Although the award was made to me personally, at Chic we are very much a team so we all share my pleasure. Thailand has consistently been our top selling destination in Asia. Plus it has the highest repeat business. The product range is vast and every changing, so it is easy to be creative and you can always offer something new.“