Don't really have much information except that I've looked a lot into Erawan National Park (it's a waterfall park) that looks so amazing! It's a few hours from Bangkok. If you're into the outdoorsy thing I'd highly recommend you check it out!
I am more frequest in Bangkok but Phuket area is really popular for beaches.
Best time to go: Nov to Feb
Airfare: Flying from SF, the fare range from $800 to $2500. Don't be fool be really cheap fares because that normally means 12+ hours layover. My best recommendation is Cathay Pacific or Eva air. They are not cheap but it is a long ass flight and you want to be comfortable. If you fly with Cathay, you can stop in Hong Kong for a few days so two trips in one
Bangkok to Phuket airfare is $100- $150 round trip.
Hotel: I normally stayed with friends so I can't help you too much there. If you are staying in Bangkok, stay walking distance to BTS (sky train). It is a great mode of transportation and budget friendly. You can stay at really nice hotel in $100 range in Bangkok.
Food: Bangkok have amazing street food that are safe to eat. The food is generally very cheap too.
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