(Closed) Thailand… travel tips please!!

posted 10 years ago in Travel
Post # 3
Member
8 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2007

OMG! We went to Thailand for our honeymoon and LOVED every minute of it! We flew into Bangkok, stayed a night at the Peninsula (Amazing hotel!) and then flew out to Koh Samui and stayed ten nights while there. We stayed in 2 different resorts while there, so I can’t speak for the hostels, but all of the employees at the resorts were so helpful and most of them spoke some English. I can get the names of the resorts if you want, I can’t remember off the top of my head.

We went in October, which is typically monsoon season, but it was still awesome. They have rains and thunder/lightening storms like I have never seen before, but it would last for an hour or so and then the sun would come out and it is HOT! I mean, hot like I have never been before. I can’t imagine going during the summer, but thank goodness for pools and sunscreen!

We flew Business Class on Cathay Pacific, which was an awesome experience all by itself. I have never been treated so well. And then we took Bangkok Airways from Bangkok to Koh Samui and back. We didn’t book that flight until we got to the hotel, which made me nervous, but it worked out and we didn’t pay more than if booked in advance. We just weren’t sure what we wanted to do once we got there.

Is this long? Anyway, we had a great time and I highly recommend the trip. Ride the scooters at your own risk! We weren’t brave enough to tackle them ourselves and took cabs most of the time. Let me know if you have more questions.

Post # 4
Member
50 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2008

Hi I just saw this post. I’ve been to Thailand several times and have many off-beat places I can recommend. If you’re going in the hot season try to make sure you stay somewhere that has at least a fan (and electricity all day). It gets unbearably humid in the afternoons!

If you like adventure try the islands that are off the main touristy places like Phuket and Samui. We stayed at an amaxing island called Koh Raya which was a half hour boat ride from Phuket (which is gross and touristy think spring break in Mexico. I would not recommend the hostels. The island was totally isolated in the mornings and evenings as most of the visitors are there on day trips from Phuket. There’s this place that has rustic bungalows which are very basic but still nice. PM me if you’d like more info and pictures etc…

Post # 5
Member
71 posts
Worker bee

if you go to thailand, never pay what they say. always haggle!

Post # 6
Member
17 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2008

I was in SE Asia two summers ago (May and June), and spent some time in both Bangkok and Phuket.

 It is HOT. My deodorant had never had such a workout. I took a lot of flowy skirts for extra air, and bought some Hanes tshirts/tank tops (bag of 3 for like $7 at Target, they come in all sorts of colors and sizes). That way, if I sweat to death, I wasn’t worried about ruining a great shirt. I still looked nice enough to go anywhere, I was comfortable, and if a shirt got too gross, I had no qualms simply throwing it away–more room for all the stuff I bought! 

We stayed at the Suk 11 hostel (www.suk11.com), which was fabulous. Cool and funky, about a two block walk from the Bangkok metro, and you could write on the walls about your visit. Also, there’s a street fair about two blocks away, and they bring elephants out at night to get some air. Lots to do, lots to see, very friendly people. It is in the "girlfriend" district, which means you tend to see lots of older white men with younger Asian girls, but not a big deal in terms of affecting your visit. 

As for Phuket, we didn’t find it exceptionally touristy, but we were there not long after the tsunami, so businesses were still rebuilding and getting back on their feet. We had a really hard time buying cold medicine there, but other than that the trip was fantastic. I’ve never seen such a pristine beach, or such clear water. Absolutely gorgeous, and I’d imagine it could be quite romantic. 

 Don’t miss: the food!, the motocycle cabs (exhilirating), elephants, clear blue water

I got wordy, but only because it was such a fabulous trip. Let me know if you want more info!  

Post # 7
Member
4 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: April 2007

I went to Phuket for one leg of my honeymoon — we stayed at the Phuket Pavilions and LOVED it… we had our own private apartment (which was probably triple the size of my NYC studio at the time) and had its own private infinity pool — for half the cost of the private over-the-water bungalow in other popular honeymoon destinations (like Bora Bora).  Service was incredible … it was the ideal private escape!  We also stayed at the JW Marriott for a few days for a change of scenery — it was a typical resort — nice rooms, good service, a baby elephant which came to visit hotel guests by the pool… but it was very much a "resort" experience since the hotel had 200+ rooms.  My husband and I did a scuba day trip which was awesome if you’re a diver!  We made four stops all around the little island near Phuket (Ko Phi Phi, etc.).. beautiful scenery, great diving.  Ahh I can’t wait to go back!

Post # 8
Member
98 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2008

I worked in Thailand for about 4 months.  If you want a resort feel, you can certainly do it in Thailand, but think about staying in local places and inns–you get a much better feel for the country that way!

I lived in Chiang Rai for a while working with Hill Tribe peoples.  I didn’t go "trekking", but a lot of people do.  The group that I worked with there sponsors 5-day volunteer projects where you can travel and see a lot, but still feel like you’ve given back to the community in some way: http://www.mirrorartgroup.org/shortprogram.html.  Trekking can be cool, but a lot of companies exploit the communities that they visit, so do some research maybe if you go this route in Chiang Rai or Chiang Mai?

In the North, I also recommend the hippy town of Pai.  It’s enough off the beaten path that it’s not mobbed, but they have good coffee (hard to find outside of Bangkok!), jazz bars, a little reggae club where a dude spins old vinyl, and an awesome river setting.  There are gorgeous mini-resorts on the outer edges of town where you can have your own hut and float down the river in intertubes.

Bangkok is great, in my opinion, even though lots of people hate it.  Hit up the Flower Market, Floating Market, and Chinese market and avoid Khao San Rd.  The food there is incredible and the temples are great too!  Get a Thai massage at one of the temples where there is a sanctioned school.  We stayed in an inn in Tha Thewet, which has a plethora of cool, laid back very cheap places.

We stayed in Krabi, which was nice, but packed with tourists (this is all pre-tsunami).  But if you like rock climbing, it’s the place to be.  Khao Lak was gorgeous at the time, with lots of deserted beautiful resorts, but it was hard-hit too, I think.  And if you like diving or snorkeling, really consider a trip out to the Similan Islands.  I don’t know how hard hit this reef was by the Tsunami, but I’ve snorkeled all over the Caribbean and this is hands down the healthiest and most vibrant reef I’ve ever seen!  Lots of weird fish I’d never seen, sharks, and gorgeous coral.

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