Thai Phuket This Summer – Probably!

A Warm Thai Welcome to Dusit Thani Resort

Subject to some possible tweaking of plans by both the Thai and UK Governments in the next few weeks it is highly probable the resort island of Phuket will re-open to international travellers from the first week of July.

 

This coincides with a once-weekly direct flight introduction from Thai Airways. The return will be via Bangkok with connection transit.* The schedule of the flight is departing every Saturday at mid-day from London Heathrow. You arrive in Phuket at 0610 the following morning (Sunday). Our example prices below allow for 9 nights in Phuket as the applicable return flight is Wednesday just after midnight so you depart late after Tuesday to Bangkok and connect with the midnight flight. The price includes room for instant arrival and late departure. There are no flight rotations at present that allow the minimum 7-night requirement.

So let us look at the attraction and feasibility:

 

  • You will be required to stay in Phuket for a minimum of 7 nights*. You will need to stay at an approved hotel and we have listed below three that we particularly suggest for their outstanding value, quality and location. You can travel around Phuket during the first week and you can go to the neighbouring islands of Phi and Phang Nga Bay on the 6th& 7thday. After the first week, you can travel to several other provinces within Thailand.
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  • You will need to arrive with a valid passport (6 months minimum validity from the date of return to the UK), proof of double vaccination with approved Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca or Sinovac vaccine. A PCR test must be conducted within 72 hours of  UK departure with results showing as negative. A further test is likely on the 5th day of your stay in Phuket.
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  • It is probable you will need to obtain a certificate of entry (COE) from the Thai Embassy in London. This can be obtained online. This is still subject to discussion and this requirement may be relaxed.
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  • Comprehensive insurance with a minimum of £50,000 specifically for medical care. You may be expected to show proof of insurance upon arrival. 
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  • You must fly to Phuket directly (or there may be the option via Singapore on Singapore Airlines – ask for an update). At this time we are not suggesting travel via Dubai / Abu Dhabi / Doha as they are currently on the UK Red zone even for transits so you may have to have expensive hotel quarantine on your return to the UK. 
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  • As Thailand is currently on the UK Amber travel list you will need to anticipate 10 days home quarantine on return. Despite personal views expressed by some politicians, travel to Amber regions is legally permitted. It is a matter of personal choice.
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  • You will need to agree to download the Thailand Plus Mobile Phone app. (https://thailandplus.in.th/en) – this can be done ideally in advance or on arrival. If you do not agree you will be prohibited entry and you are responsible for any costs incurred. 
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  • You may be randomly tested whilst at the resort with results forwarded to the local medical authority.Some hotels do checks each time you arrive or depart from the property, look at this as being cautiously sensible rather than inconvenient.
  • Cocnuts-and-monkeys-Paradise-Koh-Yao-near-Phuket-Thailand

    The three hotels we particularly suggest are Banyan Tree, Dusit Laguna and the Saii Laguna. All are located within the upscale   Laguna resort estate at Bang Tao, on the central West coast. The airport is 30 minutes drive, Phuket Town 40 minutes and the lively Patong area 25 minutes. There are numerous restaurants within the resort area and just outside the gates, you have two villages with many more attractive dining options.

    The beach at Bang Tao is one of the longest on the island. The months of May to October tend to be known locally as “Green Season“. This means it tends to rain more than in the dryer months, although it is usually in short heavy bursts rather than constantly. We think “Red Flag Season“ is a more apt description as the main seasonal difference will be higher sea swells and waves. However, this is reflected in the price and we have truly exceptional value at our chosen hotel partners. Both Dusit and Saii are beachfront and have an attractive swimming pool. The Banyan Tree is set slightly back from the shore and all of the accommodation has its own pool. There is a main pool in the central area.

    For a detailed description of each property see Dusit Laguna, Saii Laguna and Banyan Tree.

    9 nights price examples are shown below. These include air travel with Thai International London / Phuket / Bangkok ( transit ) London. Breakfast daily and private transfers in Phuket.  As mentioned above they provide for early check-in and late departure. Per Person based on travel in August:

    Saii Laguna from £1,498  Lagoon Facing or £1,588 for sea facing.

    Dusit Laguna from £1,558 Lagoon facing or £1,628 Sea Facing or £1,718 Ocean Front.

    Banyan Tree from £2,358 for Banyan Pool Villa or £2,488 for Banyan Lagoon Pool Villa.

    After your first week (7 nights)  you can travel to other provinces with Thailand. There are so many options so the following is just an idea.

    Khao Lak is about 90 minutes drive north of Phuket, a much quieter option, especially in the summer months. We think The Sarojin Hotel combines well with Banyan Tree. A 5-night extension will start from £788 per person. Or for something nicely adventurous think about a 3 Day extension to Elephant Hills Safari Camp with your first night under canvas in the jungle and then another night on a lakeside floating pontoon and then end with 3 nights at the Sarojin, extension prices will start from £988.

    Alternatively, you can fly from Phuket to Koh Samui or up to Chiang Mai in the mountainous north and then return to Bangkok for a few days of enthusiastic shopping and sightseeing. Just ask us for suggestions.

    All of the above information is based on factual and assumed information as known at the end of May 2021. Changes may occur depending on circumstances both in the UK and in Thailand. Please call us should you wish to discuss any idea in additional detail. Chic Locations are known for their expertise and candid pragmatic advice. From October 2021 onwards we expect to travel to Thailand to be even more relaxed and with greater flexibility. It is such a great country, full of wonderful scenic and cultural contrasts.

    David Kevan

    Chic Locations – May 2021

    "There's no such thing as the best hotel, just the right one..."

     

    Click for Booking Terms, Price Guides & Flight Information

    All price guides are Per Person Sharing Double Room (Entry level), based on travel between May and/or June when prices are generally at their lowest and include promotional offers.

    Supplements will probably apply at other times, particularly mid-summer in the Med, and for rooms and/or transfers arranged for single travellers.

    For example, the Caribbean and Indian Ocean prices for winter can be approximately double the May - June level and about 50% more in Asia.

    For the Mediterranean & Canary IslandsCaribbeanArabia and the Indian Ocean (except Sri Lanka) price guides generally include airfare and transfers.

    *For Sri Lanka and Far East we show a per person per night hotel guide, excluding air fare, as arrangements tend to be individually tailored multi-centre itineraries.

    Please refer to Travel Advice on our home page or look at www.fco.gov.uk as the Foreign Office may have issued specific destination information on safety and terrorism.

     

    Click for our CHIC Locations Booking Terms & Conditions PDF

    All of the holidays arranged by Chic Locations are fully bonded for your financial protection, with our
    ABTA bond securing accommodation/land only holidays, and our ATOL licence (number 6389) protecting air inclusive holidays.

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