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Traveling to Thailand

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by scratch, 19 Dec 2016.

  1. scratch

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 4,143

    Location: Southampton

    Hi guys,

    The gf and I are looking to book our last holiday before we start trying for kids and these kind of holidays become a long and distant memory :eek:

    We both fancy Thailand, but wondered if any of you have traveled there recently and can say if the mourning of their king is creating any limitations on what tourists can get up to?

    The plan is to do a week exploring beaches and doing cultural stuff and then a week chilling in a hotel, sometime in February. We're not exactly party animals so don't plan on getting hammered in bars every night, but would be good to know what the current state of play is.

    I see that a lot of hotels out there are just B&B basis. We generally travel to AI hotels so are a bit out of touch; how do evening meals generally work out there? Do people eat in the hotel restaurants or head out into the local towns for meals?

    Lastly, where do people recommend heading for? I'd say we're looking more for gorgeous beaches than temples etc, but I'd like to go and see at least some of the culture, so easy access to both would be good. Normally we'd stay in one hotel and head out on day-trip excursions but want to get away from that so much this time.

    Thanks for any advice you can give us,
    Andy
     
  2. JBuk

    Capodecina

    Joined: 28 Nov 2002

    Posts: 11,068

    Location: Cumbria

    I've been a few times and on two occasions I've done this route

    Landed in Bangkok and stayed 2 nights in cheap but nice hotel
    Cheap flight to Phuket and stayed in a half decent hotel for 3 nights
    Got ferry from Phuket to Phiphi island, stayed 3 nights in budget accomodation
    Ferry from Phuket to Krabi then taxi to airport, cheap flight to Koh Samui for 3 nights , stayed in a villa with a great view and the pool right next to us
    Flight back to Bangkok , stayed at decent 5 star hotel for 3 nights for relaxing and pampering before heading home

    I paid around £30-40 per night for each hotel except the 5 star which was £130 and was club level


    if you're gonna be out exploring, on the beach all day and dining out or seeing the nightlife then there's little point going overboard with accommodation imho and on Phiphi island the hotels, etc aren't that great and the ones that are good are very pricey

    There's tons to do though and id recommend getting a rough guide book now and have a read through and see what takes your fancy
     
  3. scratch

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 4,143

    Location: Southampton

    Thanks for the advice buddy, very helpful.

    Anyone else have any experience of the current situation out there?
     
  4. snips86x

    Capodecina

    Joined: 14 Nov 2012

    Posts: 17,866

    Location: Close to Swindon, but not Swindon

  5. Kingdom34

    Gangster

    Joined: 6 Apr 2016

    Posts: 486

    This time last year me and the missus in exactly the same boat...we actually have a little one now and the holiday....well we did the business haha.

    Flight from London to Singapore and then out from Bangkok with a few days in Dubai and back to London was purchased for around £800 - try skyscanner...excellent

    So we went - Singapore - stayed at Grand Hotel Bugis for a few days
    Attractions - Night Safari (superb) on Sentosa Island, Raffles, Bus Tour, Laser Show, Gardens

    From Singapore we travelled to Malaysia - KL - Stayed at Hotel Maison Boutique
    Attractions - KL Bird park (superb), Batu Caves, Petronas Towers tour

    Internal flight through FireFlyz to Langkawi - Amazing place - Stayed at Ocean Residence Langkawi
    Attractions - Skybridge (google it, out of this world), Geo Park - Waterfalls.

    We took a ferry to Penang - stayed at Hotel Penaga
    Attractions - Street art, bus tours, temples

    Another internal flight to Krabi then onto Railey Beach - Really good place to chill, still low tourist levels but google it, if your sticking to Thailand its a must.
    Stayed at Railey Phutawan Resort
    Attractions - Phi Phi Island for the day (ferry), Plenty of boat trips and snorkelling, Elephant Trekking and Kayaking

    Then we got a flight to Burma - Yangoon - lovely people and place (relatively untouched)
    Stayed at Inya Lake Hotel (lovely, grand place)
    Attractions - Many Tours and Hired a taxi to all the temples.

    Then an internal flight to Bangkok -
    Stayed at Nouva City Hotel
    Attractions - Khao San Road, Floating Markets, Temple Tours

    Then onto Dubai as the flight was the same price, just stayed over a night
    Attractions - Shopping Mall, Burj, Beach, City Tour
    Stayed - Fairmount - Palm

    Hope that helps, but i dont know how long youre going for...but as the poster above says, use a website like booking.com and find a middle of the road hotel, with great views where you can. We paid a higher price in premium places like Dubai but there are a lot of bargains to be had..google is your friend...but highlights for me were Singapore in general, beautiful place, KL Bird Park, Langkawi amience and skybridge, Penang Street Art, Railey beach relaxing, Burma Streets, Dubai Burj

    If you want anymore advise, PM me

    Oh and really enjoy yourself as with a 12 week old now, it seems a distant memory, but a nice one...just wouldnt be able to do it now.
     
  6. Tuppy_Glossop

    Mobster

    Joined: 15 Feb 2012

    Posts: 2,937

    Location: 2

    I was there in 1995 so couldn't say. Great place, though.
     
  7. Scam

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Oct 2002

    Posts: 14,435

    Location: London

    Depends if you plan on breaking the law in a foreign country :confused:

    Thailand has welcomed tourists for many, many years now. I'd imagine it's one of the safest places in Asia to go on holiday, even in the more remote parts/resorts. Indonesia doesn't quite have the same history. I've always been wary of going to Bali for example, because of the dubious cases of drug smuggling by foreigners, dubious legal set-up and of course the death penalty.
     
  8. mid_gen

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Dec 2004

    Posts: 11,591

    Thailand is completely fine. I was in Bangkok during the 'Bangkok Shutdown' demonstrations a few years back (got the T-shirt :)).

    If you go to seedy areas and get wasted you will be a target for petty criminals, same as anywhere. If you go and break the law expect some very sever consequences, same as anywhere.
     
  9. Shoza

    Gangster

    Joined: 5 Jan 2011

    Posts: 449

    Literally got back from Thailand last week - fly to Chang Mai which is a far better place to visit than Bangkok then go down to Phuket (direct flight) for the beaches. You could get a short flight back to Bangkok and do all the major tourist spots in 2-3 days before flying back to the UK.

    I didn't like Bangkok at all but Chang Mai (northern capital) was beautful, relaxed and cheaper!
     
  10. Surfer

    Capodecina

    Joined: 31 Dec 2005

    Posts: 11,179

    Location: Glasgow

    i saw more violence and chavlike unsavoury characters in 1 day up here than in two weeks in Bangkok....
     
  11. Overslop

    Mobster

    Joined: 22 Oct 2005

    Posts: 4,014

    Location: Thailand

    Don't do it, you'll end up living there! ;)
     
  12. GeX

    Soldato

    Joined: 17 Dec 2002

    Posts: 6,490

    Location: Manchester

    You are being, yes. Not even the same country there - but do keep scared regardless.

    My favourite city was also Chiang Mai - but I did also enjoy Bangkok. Very different city, different vibe but still great.

    Wife and I spent just over 3 weeks in Thailand Feb/March 2016;

    Flew to Bangkok then flew to Chiang Mai then to Phuket then took a ferry to Ko Lanta, then a ferry up to Ao Nang before flying back to Bangkok.

    The best beaches were Ko Lanta. It's such a lovely area. If you want nice beaches, then I'd avoid Ao Nang / Krabi. The beaches are certainly nice, but very tidal, very rocky and packed with water taxi (why do none of them have silencers, argh!). I think Railay Beach is considered the nicest in that area - and it whilst nice (and awesome for rock climbing) it just wasn't anywhere near as tranquil as what we found in Ko Lanta. Whilst in Ko Lanta we took at boat trip round various islands and stopped for lunch at Ko Ngai which was spectacular.

    Whilst in Phuket we stayed in the old town, which was nice - but we felt there wasn't much do. There was a great street market on the day we arrived, and that was the highlight of that area I think. Though we did use it as a spring board for trips and went canoeing around Phang Nga and a trip to Surin Beach (on the slowest bus in the world!).

    In Bangkok we spent our first day on a private walking tour, organised via Thai Private Tour Guide and would recommend this. Our guide was excellent and it was a great way to get our bearings in the city and view some of the culture.

    In Chiang Mai we went to Thai Farm Cooking School (which I'd recommend) and also a day in the mountains around Doi Suthep (also great).

    If you want any more info, I'll do my best to help :)
     
  13. scratch

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 4,143

    Location: Southampton

    Sorry I totally forgot about this thread guys! Thanks for all the sterling advice.

    We popped into Trailfinders over the Xmas break and booked the following in early February:

    - 2 nights in Bangkok at the U Sukhumvit hotel including a tour around the Grand Palace and Wat Pho.
    - Fly up to Chiang Mai for 2 nights there at the Dusit D2 hotel including a day at the Elephant Care Centre.
    - Fly down to Phuket for 9 nights at the Vijitt resort which we'll use as a base for exploring Southern Thailand..trips to be decided.

    Absolutely can't wait and was very impressed with the service from Trailfinders; I've only ever been on package hols from Thomas Cook etc in the past and the flexibility Trailfinders gave us was a breath of fresh air.
     
  14. Scam

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Oct 2002

    Posts: 14,435

    Location: London

    Sounds like a great trip. Trailerfinders are brilliant too, always recommend them.

    Two things that annoyed me in Bangkok; old women offering you bags of seeds in the parks. They want you to think they're free but of course will hassle you for money if you take them. We encountered one mentalist that hooked a bag into my mates backpack as we were walking off ignoring her. She started wailing and shouting etc. Very annoying.

    Secondly, taxis seemed to always want to rip you off. Make sure they have it on the meter and they don't try to barter a set fare.

    I'm sure there's more, and I'm sure you won't have any hassle. Enjoy!
     
  15. Bonjour

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 30 Mar 2004

    Posts: 9,733

    Location: London

    I got back from Thailand at the weekend.

    No real limitations as a result of the king's passing. Still many people wearing black and lots of memorials scattered around Bangkok and the islands.

    Be wary of scams in Bangkok (of which there are many). Uber is your friend.
     
  16. A2Z

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 9 May 2005

    Posts: 8,439

    Location: London

    Thailand is much better if you go there single, with the guys.

    Would never take a girlfriend there!
     
  17. R.O.S.S.I

    Capodecina

    Joined: 16 Nov 2002

    Posts: 10,391

    Location: The Moon

    How much has that set you back if you don't mind me asking?
     
  18. scratch

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 4,143

    Location: Southampton

    £1900 each, so not exactly cheap but it's a tailormade holiday; all flights are direct and with Thai Airways, the hotels are all 4/5 star (the gf is a fussy sod!) and all breakfasts and private transfers are included.
     
  19. House

    Mobster

    Joined: 16 Jun 2005

    Posts: 2,880

    Location: Back in the UK

    Your loss, Indonesia is a fantastic country. I have been to quite a few different places there 4 times in total, Java, Sumatra and Bali and the islands and I've never had any trouble there. You have to remember its a developing country and one that has a HUGE difference between rich and poor but the people are so welcoming and friendly and some of the sights you can see there are amazing.

    Yes you might have to pay a local policemans "coffee money" (done that 3-4 times) but if you act in a respectful way there is no real issue, and getting ripped of for £5 is hardly the end of the world is it.

    As for the drugs thing, there is a sign as big as the side of a bus coming through the airport both in Jakarta and in Bali saying they execute drug smugglers, if you want to be involved with drugs you know what you are getting yourself into so my sympathy is low. I cant remember a recent case where the convictions were "dubious" they were all caught red handed, they just all had excuses.
     
  20. Scam

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Oct 2002

    Posts: 14,435

    Location: London

    It's the combination of these two things that you mentioned that put me off. Corrupt police force/government and the death penalty? Doesn't bode well. It's not that I'm ruling out ever going but there are plenty of places without those issues that I simply put at the top of the pile :)