Visiting Thailand in June has its pros and cons. Thailand has three seasons; hot, cool and rainy. June is the beginning of the rainy season whereas November through February is the sublimely ideal cool season. Because June is not the high season, you can enjoy cheaper prices and less crowds. Do expect it to rain at least half the time. However, when you are on a romantic adventure, spending time inside when it rains may be fun. Also, when it rains, it is the perfect opportunity to enjoy my favorite indoor activity; the spa treatment. Thailand is filled with a large diversity of cheap and enjoyable spa treatments.
We spent our Honeymoon in Thailand in June. Since it was our honeymoon, we took our time to linger at each location rather than embark on a whirl wind tour. We divided our time between Bangkok, Phuket and Koh Samui. We spent three days in Bangkok, eight days in Phuket and eight days in Koh Samui. We took small planes to each destination.
Here is our trip via Route Perfect. I will provide a quick overview of the highlights. If you want to make our vacation your vacation, just click on the bright orange “View trip details” button and enter your departure date, number of people in your party to price your trip. If you like what you see, book it. It’s that easy.
We arrive in the Bangkok airport via Cathay Pacific airline and take a prearranged shuttle to the Amari Watergate Hotel. My friend Darcy who works at United recommended the Amari Hotels for all my stops in Thailand. Darcy is a frequent traveler to Thailand. Her Amari recommendation is well taken. At each stop, the Amari turns out to be the best Hotel in town.
We spend three nights in Bangkok which is more than enough time to take in the sights of this intensely populated, vibrant city. Traffic in Bangkok makes New York City seem like a sleepy, small town. I have never seen such a chaotic mass of motorbikes, taxis and tuk-tuks that swarms together yet never seems to collide.
The highlights of our time in Bangkok include exploring the Royal Palace, lighting incense at the Emerald Buddha, buying spices at the floating markets of Damneon Saduok, watching traditional Thai dancing at the Rose Garden Park and having a silk dress custom made by a local tailor. Because it is low season, our guided tour of the Palace, the Emerald Buddha and the tailor turns out to be a private tour because no one else has signed up.
It is important to note that the Thai are rather modest and expect you to show respect in their temples. Although it is very hot in Bangkok, we wear long pants and shirts that cover our shoulders when we visit the Emerald Buddha. I learn that even the Emerald Buddha has three different outfits made of pure gold for each of the three seasons in Thailand. Our guide helps me buy intense and shows me how to properly pray to Buddha. She advised my to ask for a prayer be granted. I pray for a son. Fourteen months later, Max is born.
From Bangkok to Phuket, the flight takes about an hour and twenty minutes. Phuket is Thailand’s largest island located on the west side of the country in the Adaman Sea. We stay at the Amari Coral Reef Resort located on Patong Beach. The resort stay includes breakfast in the price of the room. I love the way the bathrooms smell of lemongrass. The resort also has a Spa on the grounds.
Patong Beach is a short walk from the resort. The town of Patong Beach has a nightlife scene, restaurants and more spas. One night, we walk into town to enjoy the bar scene. We stumble on a street festooned with Christmas light. We start noticing young women in very sexy school girl outfits being dropped off by men riding scooters at the entrance of this pedestrian only street. Turns out, this area is the red light district. We are not looking for that time of treatment. We head a few streets over to find the bar scene without the extra perks.
We stay on this island for eight days. It rains about half the time so we split our time between spa treatments, sun bathing and expeditions. My favorite expedition is the canoe tour of the upside islands of Phang-Nga Bay. These unusual limestone islands are filled with monkeys, mangroves and caves. One stop includes a tour of Khao Phing Kan, a small island with a strange rock formation rising from an interior lake that was featured in the film The Man with a Golden Gun. The Thai call this island James bond Island.
Another cultural tip that is worth mentioning – keep your bikini top on at all times. Most Thai women do not sunbath. If they do swim, they do it in t-shirt and shorts. Although bikinis are tolerated in tourists, topless is not. I watch with amusement as a group of Thai men and women from out tour drag a protesting, topless Brazilian woman with Bo Derek corn rows out of the water after she decides to take her top off. Most hotels include a list of cultural do’s and don’ts which I recommend reading and following.
3. Koh Samui
To get to Koh Samui, we take another small plane. We stay at the Paradise Beach Resort. Koh Samui is the third largest island located on the Gulf of Thailand on the east side of the country. On Koh Samui, June is drier, so we have more sunny days. We take advantage of the weather to enjoy snorkeling on the near-by private island of Koh Nang Yuan, cooking lessons on how to prepare red curry and a jungle safari on an elephant.
Lamai Beach is the place to get a cocktail at a nightclub with its lounge located right on the sand. Both during the day and at night, we enjoy walking on the beach past all of the various clubs with patrons draped on beds or extra large lounge chairs, sipping drinks and listening to music. It is a very vibrant scene.
I hope this information inspires you to visit this beautiful country too. Please do take the time to learn a little Thai before you go. You will find a little goes a long way in connecting with the locals and establishing good will. Sadly Rosetta Stone is no longer offering its program in Thai. However, Pimsleur has a Thai program. Pimsleur is primarily an audio program, so you will be able to memorize key phrases to help you communicate.
The most important greeting to learn is “swatdee ka” if you are female or “swatdee khap” if you are a male. To execute this greeting properly, put both of your hands together in a prayer position at you chest and bow slightly as you say this phrase. This greeting is used universally by the Thai to greet guest as they enter or exit various establishments. If your politely return the gesture, your good manners will be appreciated by the Thai people.
Life is an adventure, not a destination.
“Thailand was built on compassion.” Bhumibol Adulyadej (former King of Thailand who dies on October 13, 2016)