Post # 1
DH and I want to go to Thailand for 10 days (12 including travel) this summer. We decided to go with a travel agent, which I have never done before. She just sent us 2 possibke itineraries: one is in the northern region of Thailand and is Nearly 8k for the two of us. The other is for northern Thailand and the southern beach areas and is nearly 9k for the two of us. These prices do NOT include airfare, which would make them over 10k.
DH and I were excited about Thailand because we want to go there and we heard that it is a very inexpensive country to travel to. We both have friends who have lived there and have heard wonderful things about it, and also that nice hotels can be $20/ night.
On the quote it said we would stay in “tourist grade” hotels. There are also several excursions listed: personal guides, riverboat cruise, elephant sanctuarh, etc.
I’m used to planning my own trips so am having trouble not questioning the prices. It just seems high for an inexpensive country!
DH and I are all about the cultural experiences, exploring towns/ cities, and not really the resort/ pamper vacation types.
Can anyone offer any insight?
Post # 3
We went on honeymoon to Thailand last June/July and didn’t spend anything near that. We booked our resort in Koh Samui and Bangkok hotel through the travel agent as it gave us honeymoon upgrades and booking discounts but then we pieced together the rest of the travel by ourselves. I used Agoda.com to find cheaper hotels which saved a lot of money. Excursions can be pretty expensive but a lot of things you can also do by yourself. We went to Ayutthaya with an excursion through the hotel but to be honest we just did it the lazy way. We’d only just arrived in Thailand at that point so it was nice to be shuttled around and have a nice boat trip with lunch included. But for example Sukkothai you can easily arrange yourself. Internal flights tend to be a lot more expensive than the bus so you can always sort out some public transport yourself.
Let me know if you want any more details or if there’s anything I can help you with! Overall we had the most amazing honeymoon and I still smile every time I see the pictures – Thailand’s a great choice!
Post # 4
Look online as if you’re going to book it straight yourself. I would recommend using Tripadvisor and reading reviews of the various excursions. I would do 1 day in Bangkok, 3 days on the beach, 3 days in Chiang Mai, and then back to Bangkok to shop and fly out. from BKK to the beaches, you just go to the bus depot and buy a ticket. They drop you off at the coast and then you buy a boat ticket to get to the island. You can take a ferry for less money or a nice speedboat to get there faster.
If you want to buy sapphires or rubies, go to Kanchanaburi. You can spend the night in a houseboat resort on the River Kwai. It’s fantastic! FYI, 10 days isn’t a long time. You’ll be reeeeeeeally jet lagged the first two days.
Post # 5
I would actually keep an eye out on Australia Groupon travel websites. We get ridiculously good sales through them and I am pretty sure it wouldn’t matter if you were from here or not, you would still get the same deal!
They are just what happens to be in the current deals now, but of course they change all the time. As you can see, the prices are awesome! Sometimes there are trek ones, culture ones, whatever you want. You just have to watch the page or subscribe to it.
Hope this helps 🙂
Post # 6
Just checked and the most expensive 9 day tour I can find doing a quick search is $1700Au each, so the tours she is quoting sound very expensive.
Anyway, Thailand is fantastic. The tours make me want to go again, but SO is not entirely fond of Asia, even thugh the only place we have been together so far is Kuala Lumpur and we are heading off to Bali in 8 weeks.
Post # 7
Can confirm that is insane for Thailand. That is almost $1000 a day, and you can do very well for less than $100 (including hotel). We got a personal driver to Ayutthaya from Bangkok who drove us around all day, including to an elephant ride place, for I think less than $50. Elephant ride and photos for both of us may have been an extra $40-$50 on top. You can probably get river cruises for $10. This person is absolutely ripping you off unless you are swimming in unimaginable luxury the whole time.
Post # 8
That is very steep — we are going to Thailand for our honeymoon in May, and are working out our hotels now. We can stay in a luxury hotel with a private pool in our room overlooking the sea in Koh Samui for $550 a night; a cheaper room at the same hotel (that still overlooks the sea, and has a tub on the balcony) is $250 a night. This is at one of the top rated, 5* hotels. A 5* in Chaing Mai is under $300 a night. I’d suggest looking into doing some of the booking yourself, as it sounds like you’re getting seriously ripped off unless they’re putting you at the Bayan Tree or something. Which, with ‘tourist grade’, I wouldn’t expect. Did they give you the names of hotels?
Post # 9
I almost fell off my chair when I heard the price! She said that she just planned a honeymoon for a couple in Thailand that cost $15k so it would be difficult to lp none for under 10k. Here is the description for the northern Thailand one:
“Meet saffron-robed monks, visit hilltribe villages and delve into the different on an adventure that includes Thailand’s wild northwest corner. You’ll stretch your legs and your mind on a 3-day trek to hilltribe villages, each with their own language and religions. Whether you’re walking the ancient streets of Ayutthaya or planning some shopping in Chiang Mai, our CEOs will help you discover places you wouldn’t otherwise have known were there. And with plenty of free time to explore on your own, this trip will let you really absorb the spirit of this diverse country.
Explore magnificent temples and palaces, trek through remote hilltribe villages and meet local people, ride an elephant, sleep on a floating rafthouse, learn about the somber history of Kanchanaburi and the infamous Burma Railway
Klong boat tour (Bangkok). Wat Po entrance and guide. Erawan Falls and Bridge on the River Kwai visit (Kanchanaburi). Temple ruins tour (Ayutthaya). Thai Burma Railway Centre visit. Doi Suthep temple visit (Chiang Mai). Hilltribe village trek (3 nts). Elephant ride.”
Post # 10
@hollyberry4: That sounds like a LOT! I went a few years ago, a few days in Bangkok, southern beaches, and the north, for 31 days and the total was about 9-10k (for 2 people) including airfare and a side trip to Cambodia. If I remember correctly, once in Bangkok, we had the tours booked for us locally, and it was only a few hundred each for a 4 day tour.
Post # 11
Thanks ladies! What I’m thinking now is to abandon the travel agent idea and plan it myself. I’m thinking of doing 2 weeks…. Starting in Bangkok for a couple days , then head up north for 5 days or so (around Chiang Mai) and then end it on an island in the south. Does this sound do-able?
Is it easy enough to book transportation and excursions when we get there or does it have to be done ahead of time? What things need to be booked in advance? I’m intimidated because I have never planned an Asia trip before!
Post # 12
@hollyberry4: They are trying to charge you $1000 a day for hiking? Just going to point out that this full day, five star Klong boat tour is $79:
Entrance to Wat Po is maybe $10 for foreigners, and you don’t really need a guide, but if you did want one I am sure one could be had for under $20.
Three/four day tours around the villages of Chiang Mai start from $100 and go up to about $500 here:
Found all that with a quick five minute google. This woman is, pardon my language, full of shit.
Post # 13
I’d still go to the travel agent and see what you can get on the individual items in terms of honeymoon discounts – we got a really good deal on a hotel room in Koh Samui and we booked our long distance flights through the travel agent because they had more search options. The package tours quite often just end up being far too expensive!
Internal flights I would book online through Nok Air or Bangkok Air. If you’re interested in Sukhothai (highly recommended!) you can just take the bus from Chiang Mai and buy a bus ticket the day before departure. Also, if you want to go to Chiang Mai, try to stay in the Old Town. We stayed in the University area which was brilliant but I really didn’t enjoy the mad dash across the ring road twice a day…
Post # 14
I’d just get flights and hotel. With a few days in Bangkok, I think it should be pretty easy to get pointers from the hotel and book once you’re there, plus unless you’re going directly through a local Thai agency to book, I think you’ll be paying a bit more for the middle man here booking with them.
Post # 15
@hollyberry4: My fiance has relatives in Thailand, so we pretty much winged it for two weeks and had no trouble at all. You may wish to do a bit more pre-planning, but if you are staying in a nice-ish hotel they will absolutely have concierges who will be able to direct you to good tours of tourist areas. We never had a problem booking things on the day before we went (or even day of), but it might be good to have a little more structure on your honeymoon.
Worth mentioning that you need to take review sites like Trip Advisor with a BIG grain of salt in Asia. There is a lot of manipulation and fake reviews around, especially in Thailand.
Post # 16
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
That’s insanely high, but it’s what you’re setting yourself up for when you use a travel agent. (I spent ~$1000 traveling through Thailad and Laos for a MONTH!). An agent is not going to arrange you a $3 2-hour ride on the local bus, or a $10/night cabana at a gorgeous locally owned hotel that doesn’t have a website.
You just have to figure out if you want to do it cheaply, independently, and supporting local businesses – or expensively and at “tourist-level” places through the travel agent. No way would that be worth spending an extra 8 grand, to me!!