Peggy Peterka from the Tourist Authority of Thailand and joined Luxury Link travelers for a live Facebook Q&A on April 6, 2012.
Q: When is the best time to go to Koh Samui? And what are the best SCUBA diving sites/locations?
Peggy: The best time to visit Koh Samui is anytime besides April-June; that's the rainy season. Regarding SCUBA, the smaller island of Ko Tao, just north of Samui in the Gulf of Thailand is a diving mecca.
Q: We're heading back to Bangkok end of May--any chance for something new in the city? What about Kanchanaburi?
Peggy: There are several properties in BKK; I really like the Tower Club at Lebua
. Their rooftop bar and restaurant are amazing, and all the rooms are suites!
Q: I am planning to go to Chiang Mai in December -- any tips on where to stay and what to do any other places like Kamalaya that you would recommend?
Peggy: Many great properties in Chiang Mai...I would recommend the Four Seasons (a tented camp), the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Devi or the Chedi. Definitely visit the Doy Suthep temple (it's amazing - on top of a hill). Visit the gem factory next to the temple, and their night market is fabulous! If you're looking for something utside of Bangkok, the Soneva Kiri by Six Senses in Koh Kood is also very unique and one I would recommend if you're looking for a similar experience to Kamalaya.
Q: Lebua has been offered a lot; I was hoping for something new. Anything in the wings? Hoping for Banyan Tree's return, too.
Peggy: The Banyan Tree
is still part of the Luxury Link collection in Bangkok; be sure to visit their rooftop restaurant - it's called Vertigo.
Q: I am going to be in Thailand for four days and would like to spend time at a great resort on a beautiful beach, where do you recommend I go? I've heard people mention Phuket or Koh Samui but I am not sure where to go!
Peggy: I would recommend staying in Khao Lok, just north of Phuket on the mainland. The Sarojin Resort is beautiful, and all sightseeing tours can be arranged through the hotel (cooking classes, elephant tours, a yacht on the bay, etc.). They actually have an on-site "imagineer", who can help you arrange your fantasy stay (i.e., elephant ride to a private candle-lit dinner next to a waterfall, with your own private chef).
Q: What luxury resort in Phuket do you get the best value for your dollar (for honeymoon)?
Peggy: For your honeymoon, you may want to consider the Imperial Adamas Beach esort in Phuket. Their couples massage treatment will be just what you need after a hectic wedding!
Q: What is the most unique/exotic and non-commercialized island to visit?
Peggy: There are many unique and non-commercialized islands. It would be impossible to pick one, but among them is Koh Lanta in the Andaman Sea, or Koh Chang. Krabi is a great beach-front area on the mainland. We have a ton of vacation ideas on our Tourism Authority website: http://www.tourismthailand.org/
Q: What are your “must sees” in Thailand?
Peggy: Here are my "must sees" in Thailand: 1) Grand Palace, Bangkok - go in the morning 2) Take an elephant ride through the jungle 3) Take a cooking class 4) See Siam Niramit - a big extravaganza show covering early Thai history - in Bangkok 5) Chatuchak Weekend Market - where all the locals in Bangkok shop - acres of stalls offering everything from pets to furniture to handicrafts 6) The Aksara puppet show in Bangkok (King Power Center).
Q: I have been to Bangkok, Phuket, and Chang Mai what would you recommend for another fun itinerary to explore. I love Thailand!
Peggy: For your next visit, try some of the off-the-beaten-track destinations such as the Isaan area in the northeast. It's still very authentic and unspoiled. Or, go to some of the other islands I mentioned like Koh Lanta or Koh Chang.
One final suggestion from Peggy: While in Bangkok, be sure to visit the Arts of the Kingdom exhibit, which has artifacts made for the Royal Family. Also, the Rattanoksin Museum - it's an interactive museum about the early days of Bangkok.
*There are many areas of Thailand we were unable to cover today, as the country is so diverse. To give you some ideas for your next Thai holiday, please visit our featured partner’s page on LuxuryLink.com. There are currently great vacation experiences available at up to 65% off such as Aleenta Hua Hin, Putahracsa Hua Hin and Villa Yin and Yang in the Phuket region!