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January 12, 2009

Honeymoon in Thailand

Last week, Daily Traveler reader JG  asked: My fiancée and I are beginning to make plans for our honeymoon, which will be in August of this year.  We're looking at several places, including Hawaii and Bali, but we really have our hearts set on Phuket, Thailand. All we want to do is kick back on the beach, eat great local food, and relax, because we know that after the wedding we're going to need it. My question is twofold: What are the best airline and flight deals to Phuket from New York (where we live), and what are some four-star hotel options that won't break us?

Thanks for being specific, JG! This makes our jobs easier. If you're going to fly all that way, our Asia-based editors suggest a few things:

* Do think about Bali. It's a cliché but it's beautiful, it's easy, and you can have a mix of sybaritic lying-on-the-beach days and adventures to Ubud and other places. You certainly won't feel claustrophobic.
* Here are three great places to stay in Phuket that made our 2009 Gold List: the affordable JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa on Mai Khao beach, the less price-conscious but peaceful Amanpuri on Pansea Beach, and Bang Tao Bay's Banyan Tree Phuket, where we just sent one of our "Live the Cover" contest winners.
* Another way to mix it up: You could stay at one of these resorts for a week or so, and then, once you start to get a little stir-crazy, maybe take two or three days for a once-in-a-lifetime experience like the Four Seasons tented camps in Chiang Mai.

As for flights, we haven't heard of any great deals to Phuket, but we'll keep you posted if we do. The best plan of action is to keep checking on sites like Kayak and ITA Software to see how prices fluctuate, and when you see something cheap, pounce! And seeing that you're from New York, pay a visit to those travel agents who specialize in finding tickets for the local Asian community.  As the Perrin Post explains, such small businesses often have the best prices.

Hope this answers your questions. Have more? Comment away.

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