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#1 rach

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 06:18 PM

We were planning on going to go to Phuket for our honeymoon staying at the merlin beach resort, but with everything that has happened there we are unsure. I know we need to talk to our travel agent, but what does everyone else think. should we change? We really wanted to go, but if everything is destroyed, we dont know what to do. Has anyone heard any news of how bad it really is over there? It looked bad on the news.
Any opinons would be great and if anyone has any news please let me know.

Thanks
Rach
Married on February 12 2005


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#2 RachJack

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 06:48 PM

Hi Rach,

This is what an article on The Age had:

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has issued a general warning to Australians not to travel to Asian areas affected by a series of tsunamis.

In a formal warning issued on Monday, the department said Australians should avoid travel to Thailand's west coast and islands, and also to the southern region of the country.

Travel to the coastal areas of southern and eastern India, particularly Andaman and Nicobar islands, also should be avoided.

The strongest warning is for the Maldives.

The department said Australians should avoid all travel to the island nation until further notice.

Australians travelling to or from destinations hit by devastating tsunami waves across Asia will be offered refunds by many travel operators.

Qantas said travellers who had booked holiday packages to Thailand's resort island of Phuket and wished to cancel would be given a full refund.

Qantas spokeswoman Melissa Thomson said the airline's services would continue as normal.

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Advertisement"We don't fly to any of the affected areas," she said.

She said flights to and from the Thai capital Bangkok, Denpasar and Jakarta in Indonesia, and Mumbai in India would fly as scheduled.

Singapore Airlines said cancellation fees would be waived for passengers travelling to southern Thailand, the Maldives and Sri Lanka.

"We will waive cancellation fees as from yesterday and for the next two weeks," said Singapore Airlines public relations manager for the south-west Pacific Sam Stewart.

"We will review the situation in another two weeks and if we need to extend it, we will," Ms Stewart said.

She said, alternatively, passengers could defer their travel until the end of January.

The British government has agreed to help Australians in the Maldives affected by the tsunami.

A British consular team is headed to the Maldives via Colombo where an Australian official will join it.

Travel to the east coast of Sri Lanka, from Trincomalee in the north-east to Galle in the south, should be avoided.

Australians should also avoid travel to the west coast of northern Sumatra, including Ache and the offshore islands.

The department said Penang and Langkawi Island in Malaysia had been affected by the tsunami, but not to the same extent as other areas.



I personally think it personal preference but by the looks of it there is a lot of cleaning up to do.

Hope this helps

Rachel


#3 hearts_in_asia

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 06:55 PM

Personally I wouldn't go to a recent natural disaster area, there is a risk of disease amoungst other factors.
However it doesn't mean you can't go to Thailand, you just might have to rethink your plans a bit. There are PLENTY of other fabulous areas in Thailand apart from Phuket.
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#4 hollygolightly

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 07:13 PM

We are/were? going to the Maldives for our honeymoon on 31 January but it doesn't look too good.
We are going to talk to our travel agent this week. If we don't go there I don't know what we are going to do on such short notice. We booked and paid for it months ago and were soooo looking forward to our honeymoon of a lifetime.

I guess for everyone who is planning a honeymoon in the affected areas it is just wait and see how things go. However I don't think I would feel comfortable going there now, it would always be in the back of your mind.

#5 tennille

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 07:39 PM

The other thing to consider is that many of the affected areas are highly dependant on the tourist dollar.

I'd be waiting until they have a better idea as to the damage etc and then making a judgement call.

But I can say that this won't keep me away from any of these areas, in fact, it makes me more likely to visit them in the future.


#6 rach

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 07:42 PM

I feel sorry for other people which were planing to go in the next couple of weeks, I guess its time to pull out my big pile of travel brochures AGAIN!
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#7 sly

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 08:31 PM

We're headed to Thailand as part of our honeymoon in February. We haven't finalised any plans yet - although we're playing it by ear, we're fairly unlikely to go to Phuket now, which is a darn shame because we were really looking forward to it. We were planning to go to Pattaya as well, so now we'll probably just go to Pattaya & maybe spend a bit more time in Bangkok & Chiang Mai as well.

#8 *****030812

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 10:03 PM

QUOTE (hollygolightly @ Dec 27 2004, 07:13 PM)
We are/were? going to the Maldives for our honeymoon on 31 January but it doesn't look too good.
We are going to talk to our travel agent this week. If we don't go there I don't know what we are going to do on such short notice. We booked and paid for it months ago and were soooo looking forward to our honeymoon of a lifetime.

I guess for everyone who is planning a honeymoon in the affected areas it is just wait and see how things go. However I don't think I would feel comfortable going there now, it would always be in the back of your mind.

you should check out Fiji. We loved it.

#9 hollygolightly

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Posted 28 December 2004 - 08:12 AM

Thanks Amy, however the travel agent told us that it is monsoon or whatever at that time of year. Also H2B went there for his first honeymoon so not too keen on that destination!

#10 PrincessC

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Posted 28 December 2004 - 08:48 AM

Everything in the South Pacific, and parts of South East Asia are unfortunately in the middle of monsoon season. I know for a given that islands off the East Coast of Malaysia are strictly off limits due to the wind/rain.

Having said that, I went to Vanuatu in Feb this year - during monsoon season and it was fine. Sunshine every day, and it only rained one day, so we sat in the pool, read lots of books and drank lots of cocktails laugh.gif ..

Other spots to try - still best to try a travel agent to confirm suitability:
- Sabah
- east coast of Thailand
- other islands in the South Pacific (Vanuatu was fun for me, but there are others: Samoa, Fiji, Tahiti, Cook Islands, New Caledonia).
- Hawaii
- or if you can afford it, there are heaps of islands near central America.

#11 monkey

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Posted 28 December 2004 - 11:47 AM

We have already booked our honeymoon to Phuket, staying at Merlin Beach too, but we don't go until May 1st, so I am guessing by then things will be much clearer as to it being viable or not as a destination for travel.

We will give our travel agent a call tomorrow and see what she has to say. Unless she says it is highly unreccomended then we still plan on going.


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#12 hipster

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Posted 28 December 2004 - 11:54 AM

We were also planning on going to Phuket for our honeymoon in March.

H2B is devastated and has just about decided that we won't be able to go, I'm more optimistic and still want to go even if a lot of places won't be open or functioning. Who knows, maybe we could help some people out.

We're going to talk to the travel agent this week and see what they say.

I feel a bit selfish thinking that our honeymoon may not be going perfectly to plan...when all those people are experiencing utter devestation, death, disease and disaster.
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#13 sly

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Posted 28 December 2004 - 01:41 PM

I know what you mean hipster, I feel the same way.

#14 Vetty Girl

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Posted 28 December 2004 - 07:07 PM

We went to Thailand for our honeymoon (including Phuket) and were planning on going back next year sometime. Tthere are some wonderful places in Thailand!

We went to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Krabi when we were there for our honeymoon. Chiang Mai was fantastic - we absolutely loved it, and Krabi was great (very relaxing).

Speak to your travel agent, get some brochures and do some research. Thailand is an amazing country and there are plenty of fabulous places to go!

We're still planning on going back sometime next year! smile.gif

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#15 jennyc

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Posted 29 December 2004 - 08:51 PM

Hi Rach

What you wrote is exactly what we were thinking too. We had booked and paid a deposit to stay at The Merlin Beach Resort as well.

We have looked at many websites and it says that this resort is severly damaged but parts of it is still open. (Can this be a good thing??)

We are not really sure what to do either because we were really looking forward to going to Phuket. We are still thinking of going but staying at another resort maybe on Karon Beach cos quite a few of those hotels were unaffected.

Really unsure!

Anyone else with suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Jenny and Andrew
Wedding: 19th March 2005

Been together since: 7th May 1999




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