An Agent's view on Thailand

by Sophie Ozanne on 23 December 2013, 10:12AM

As a Travelbag travel agent, we regularly visit our key destinations to make sure we have first hand experience of the products. This enables us to use our expertise and knowledge in order to tailor-make holidays to Thailand for our customers.

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Bangkok
Bangkok is an energetic city that never stops. Heading straight for Sukhumvit Road, the longest road in Bangkok lined with hotels, bars, restaurants and shops, we stayed in the elegant Sofitel Sukhumvit Road. The Skytrain runs along Sukhumvit, which is a cheap and easy way to get around the city and I do advise people to use this, as the roads are very busy in Bangkok.

The Sofitel Sukhumvit is an excellent hotel with great views of the skyline and large, modern rooms. I highly recommended upgrading to a Club Room, as the staff is attentive and the complimentary cocktails and canapes a great way to start an exciting night out in Bangkok.

There is plenty to see and do in Bangkok, so I would suggest a three-night stay at least, so you have to time to shop, visit the floating markets, tour the Grand Palace and take a trip to stunning the temples.

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Pattaya
Easy to get to from Bangkok, Pattaya is a great option for those looking to skip an internal flight as it is only a two hour drive from the city centre. The hotels in Pattaya are excellent value for money; we stayed in The Dusit Thani. It is situated in a perfect location, at the end of the strip for people who want to get a taste of the nightlife without being in the centre of it. With two swimming pools and direct access to beach, the Dusit Thani is a great place to relax before a night out. Or to recharge following a night out.

In addition, we visited the Cape Dara hotel, one of the newest and most modern resorts in the area. The rooms are large with panoramic wall length windows giving you an impressive view of the coast. The hotel is just a little bit out of town, but runs golf carts to the main road. You can start the day in the open-air breakfast area, and then head down to one of the two pools, both as nice as each other.

Pattaya is all about the nightlife, with Walking Street being the main attraction. It is a great place for groups and people who enjoy a party. The markets are open well into the night as well for people looking to grab a bargain and there are many different restaurants along the beach road, overlooking the Hollywood style Pattaya sign.

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Phuket
Phuket is the largest island in Thailand, with something for everyone. The nightlife in Patong can be as wild as Pattaya, but you can also come here to relax in the quieter areas of Cape Panwa.

We stayed in Karon, which is perfect for those wanting to relax, yet still get out and about at night. Karon Beach is the second largest in Phuket and the town has many restaurants and bars, though it remains just a ten minute drive into Patong.

We visited The Old Phuket in Karon, which has two wings: the Sino wing and the Serene wing. The Sino Wing has a Portuguese feel, with colourful decor in the rooms. The Serene Wing is calm and modern with a large pool area. The swim-up pool rooms are great value for money, so I would highly recommend these. The grounds of the hotel are very peaceful and the hotel is only a five minute walk from the beach.

We also visited the Radisson Blu in Cape Panwa. This area is a lot quieter, but is perfect for couples looking to get away from it all and relax. The beach is picturesque and the views from the open-air lobby are amazing. There is still a lot to do here. You can wake up at 8am for the morning jog, or perhaps go scuba diving. You can also jump onto the free shuttle bus into Phuket Town, or spend the day lying by one of the two pools.

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Koh Samui
Certainly one of my favourite destinations in Thailand, Koh Samui is a great mixture of idyllic beaches, exciting nightlife and scenic mountain views. Getting around Koh Samui is easy as the island is quite small. So you can grab a taxi or, if you are brave, you can jump onto the back of a motorbike.

We stayed in the gorgeous Banyan Tree. With its own private beach and 88 Villas spread amongst the rainforest, it is a very special way to spend your time on the island. Each Villa has a private pool and large terrace, while the bedrooms are spacious and feature charming little touches such as a daily scent and patterned slippers with a matching dressing gown.

The Spa at The Banyan Tree is the only spa in south-east Asia with a rainforest treatment, so you can visit here for a unique way to relax. It is in the area of Lamai, ideal for those not wanting to be in the party central area of Chaweng, yet remain within close proximity of top restaurants.

We also visited The Mai Samui hotel, with its open-air reception and impressive grounds, which I loved the minute we arrived. The rooms are very stylish and modern and have terraces with daybeds, while the swimming pool also features submerged sunbeds and a swim-up pool bar.

Koh Samui is only short boat ride away from Koh Phangan, famous for its full moon parties, so a day trip here is easily done.

For more information on holiday to Thailand, visit www.travelbag.co.uk/holidays/asia/thailand

Author bio: Sophie Ozanne is a sales consultant at Travelbag's Brighton branch. For her help in organising your holiday to Thailand call her on 020 3139 7498.


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