Thailand!

posted 9 months ago in Honeymoons
Post # 3
Member
96 posts
Worker bee

My comment got eaten by the site so here it is again:

 

sunsetsnmargaritas :  I visited Koh Phi Phi which is touristy but is worth it if you can get away from the crowds (do early morning island tours/activites – the beaches are EMPTY). I stayed at Vikings Nature Resort, a hidden gem with a private beach and huge suites with gorgeous views. Definitely a little rustic but worth it to get away from the crowds. If you’re looking for luxury vacation with lots of amenities, I would probably recommend another hotel. We also vistied Railay Beach – a must see IMO. It’s not an island but a large pennisula that you can get to by boat only. We stayed at Railay Bay Resort & Spa in a suite. Rooms and customer service were awesome. There are a lot of other beachfront resorts on the west side of the beach to chose from as well (super luxurious, gorgeous beaches and fun activities like hiking/climbing/kayaking). I know Koh Tao is awesome too (less tourist-y but harder to get to). 

As a heads up, I didn’t really enjoy Bangkok too much. I was easily annoyed in Bangkok because I was constantly being heckled when walking on the street or browsing in an outdoor market because I was a tourist, (i.e. in nobody else on the street was getting stopped randomly and asked to take a tuk tuk ride, but I was). I’m also from NYC so I’m used to busy streets/heckling and I hit my limit within 24 hours.

I really enjoyed Chaing Mai, if you’re looking for a better cultural experience. You still get the markets and busy streets but signficantly less heckling. There are also super cool temples, elephant sanctuaries, etc., that you don’t get in BKK. 

Tips:

  • BKK is good if you have sites or temples you want to hit but I wouldn’t stay long in BKK if I were to go back again. 
  • Get a currency exchange app – super helpful when debating if you’re being overcharged for a taxi ride or trinkets/food at a street market. 
  • If you’re planning to go into temples, bring clothes that cover your legs and shoulders and wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off. 
  • The tuk tuks are a tourist trap and overcharge you every time and I seriously mean EVERY TIME. There are tuk tuks that are meant for tourists, they are color-coded (as in locals won’t get into certain tuk tuks because they charge exorbitant prices or will take you to sites because the drivers get free gas if tourists buy something).
  • Cabs are significantly cheaper. If/when you grab a cab, ask them if they’re going to use a meter, if they say no, make sure you haggle the fare (especially from the airport).
    • If you don’t like to haggle, another option is to use Thailand’s version of Uber, an app called Grab (which was pretty convenient for airport travel). 
  • Download maps.me (an app) to download the map of thailand. Super helpful and even shows hidden hiking trails that you wouldn’t otherwise know about. Once downloaded the map doesn’t use data which is awesome. 
  • https://12go.asia/en is a great site for booking intra-Asia flights. The flights in Thailand board quickly (if you’re a US bee this is something to be aware of). You will miss your flight if you’re not there when boarding starts (this happened to someone I know). Flights between cities are super cheap and convenient but make sure you look out for the pricey checked-bag fees. 
Post # 3
Member
198 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

I loved Thailand—HATED Bangkok. I’d fly into anywhere else to avoid ever going back there again. 

Recs I have for romantic places: 

the ritz Carlton ao nang 

the slate Phuket 

Railay beach was wonderful. But do your research 

chiang mai was incredible, but stayed in an Airbnb so no hotel recs

definitely hire a driver to take you to all the temples for a flat fee. It’s the easiest way to get around. 

if you DO stop in Bangkok, definitely check out the peninsula hotel.  They saved me after a miserable couple days in the city 

Post # 4
Member
1575 posts
Bumble bee

I didn’t enjoy Bangkok either sorry 🙁 Koh Samui is lovely for a honeymoon and has great restaurants etc. I also really liked Krabi where you can do kayaking tours of limestone cliff islands. Chiang mai is wonderful too.

Post # 5
Member
1575 posts
Bumble bee

Check out Sala Samui Choengmon beach 

Post # 6
Member
838 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I liked Bangkok, but we only spent 2 nights there (i.e., flew in, had dinner, slept, spent a full day sightseeing the main temples and palaces, slept, then flew out the next morning). We could have probably enjoyed 1 more day there, but that’d be plenty of big-city for us! The main things were saw in Bangkok were Wat Arun / Temple of Dawn, Wat Pho / Reclining Buddha, and the Royal Palace. This is Wat Arun:

We also spent time on Railay (near Krabi), and then Koh Phi Phi. Railay was awesome – no cars anywhere, and so peaceful.

Post # 7
Member
6107 posts
Bee Keeper

Yay! We did Thailand for our honeymoon and it was soo amazing. Add me to the love Thailand/hate Bangkok team lol. We spent 3 nights there and it was too much imo. The islands you’ll want to visit should depend on the time of year. We did feb/March so did the adaman side. We skipped the touristy areas (ie railay, phi phi, Phuket) with zero regrets. If I could redo it I’d probably remove one stop on our list, but this was our itinerary:

flew into chiang Mai, spent 3 nights here. We did a street food tour on our first night (best decision ever). Did an elephant sanctuary the next day. Make sure to research which place you goto, any places that allow riding of the elephants should be avoided. We attended the Saturday and Sunday night markets and had amazing and cheap massages. We did one day of temples and should have spread it out. We got ‘templed out’. Wear flip flops or easy remove shoes as you need to remove them for the temples. You also need your shoulders and knees covered, so wear something to accommodate that. I wore a T-shirt and athletic pants (like yoga ones). Sweat wicking is important because it gets HOT!

We then flew to krabi and took a ferry to Koh lanta. 4 or 5 nights here. It’s a large island, lots of Swedes here. Range of accommodations at every price. Our favourite meal was a bit expensive, but a place called ‘the table’. It’s one table, one seating per night. The chef goes to the market each day and cooks whatever she feels like. If you have any dietary restrictions or are picky maybe avoid, because she won’t change or cater to you lol. It was delicious. You can rent a scooter/motorbike for pretty cheap or hire tuktuks. They meet at the 711s, and you can bargain with them. We walked down the beach at night and there are a ton of fire shows, some are really good! 

We then took a ferry to Koh mook. 3 nights. It’s a very small island; like you can walk across the entire island on foot. Tuk Tuks were easy to find, 50 thb no matter where you want to go. Everyone was sooo friendly. Even on Koh lanta. One of my favourite things was just how laid back the islands were. We had the best meal of our entire trip on this island, at a place called the hilltop. We ordered way too much and probably made it too spicy but we couldn’t stop eating lol. This island also has the ‘famous’ emerald cave. You can kayak there on your own or go in a tour with a guide. I’d recommend a guide because you have to swim to the cave and it gets pitch black inside. Go early or late to avoid the crazy tourists. On this tour we also went to Koh kradan (pictures in your previous thread), and was one of the most stunning places I’ve ever seen. 

After that we took the ferry to trang and flew to Bangkok. 3 nights. We meant to goto the old capital (ayutthaya) but we were pretty tired at this point lol. We stayed near nana station and it was quite the interesting area. Prostitutes lined up along the side of the road, scooters ready to go. Lots of xxx clubs in the area. We went to two of the malls, one was terminal 21, where every floor is a different city theme (London, San Fran, Tokyo, etc). They have pretty mainstream stores, pretty Americanized. We also went to the platinum mall, which is almost like a giant flea market. Each vendor has a small store, like 10’x10’ and it’s mainly clothing and there are thousands!! If you’re a smaller size you’ll find TONS here, it’s cheap and you can bargain. If you’re larger per Asian standards (like American 8-10) they consider you plus size and women’s options are limited. I’m not fat by Canadian standards at a size 8, but I couldn’t really find much and eventually got tired of being called fat lol. Lots of street food in Bangkok and it’s quite delicious and cheap. I used the app ‘eatigo’ for one fancy meal at 50% off. We went to the muse hotel and they have a secret rooftop bar. We went early and watched sunset over some delicious cocktails and then had dinner there. Also in Bangkok a lot of the bars have dress codes, and we were used to the laid back islands so didn’t enjoy the ‘stuffy’ atmosphere as much lol. Taxis here a fucking rip off. If they use the meter it’s cheap cheap cheap, but most taxis turn off the meter and want a flat rate that is 10x inflated. Our taxi from the airport to the hotel was like 400thb, but the taxis wanted 500+thb to go a few blocks! 

Well this is probably long enough now haha. Let me know if you have other questions lol.

eta- you can bring cash but the best exchange is to use your debit card and atms! Super convenient and better rate. We learned a few thai words (greetings, thank you, etc), but most people spoke English or could still communicate. We were lost on one of the islands, opened the google map and someone who couldn’t speak English was able to see where we were trying to go and directed us. At least on the islands, everyone was so kind. Another thing I hated about Bangkok was that it felt like everyone was trying to scam us. The taxis, tuk tuks, people selling stuff. Especially having been in the country for 2 weeks at that time we knew how much things should cost lol. 

We spent 14 nights in total, and the flights added an extra 3. We left on a Wednesday night and landed 10am Friday. Flying back we gained the time, left at 5pm and landed around midnight the same day. Including layovers the flights were around 18h-20h. Flights within Thailand were super cheap, like $25 usd.  We used air Asia and had no issues. 

Post # 9
Member
96 posts
Worker bee

sunsetsnmargaritas :  If you have ample time, I would say sure, why not. If you’re pressed for time, the temples that I saw in Chiang Mai were comparable to those in BKK, and less crowded. ** Side note – IMO the best temples are near Siem Reap, if you have the time to travel to Cambodia. ** Otherwise, the only thing you see in BKK that wasn’t in Chiang Mai was the water market. BKK is better for large clubs and huge malls. Chiang Mai feels more chill but still has the busy markets and has access to do cool things outside the city. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions about specific cities/cool stuff to do. My sister lived there as a solo traveler for over three months and I went for a couple weeks this past summer. 

Another tip, if you’re going to rent a motorbike/scooter in a city, make sure: (1) you know how to ride one (Thailand has a super high rate of motorbike accidents) and (2) you rent from a place with insurance. I can recommend a good place in Chiang Mai if you’re interested in a self-guided trip to Pai! 

LittleByLittle :  Love that pic of Railay – I got engaged in a small cave behind that cove area! So beautiful 🙂 So many awesome hikes/cave systems there. 

 

Post # 10
Member
2005 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

Thailand is awesome. You can’t go wrong! I’d avoid some of the more touristy islands, personally… when a place is overrun by tourists, it may as well be Miami as Thailand, and what’s the fun in that?

My only real advice is PLEASE don’t do an elephant ride or pay to feed elephants in the streets. They may seem happy enough, but the way that they tie up and beat the baby elephants for days to break them is so incredibly heartbreaking. Please don’t contribute to the industry!

If you make it up to northern Thailand, there is an amazing elephant sanctuary outside of Chiang Mai that you can visit. They rescue orphaned or abused working elephants and give them this amazing social life in a huge open space sanctuary. You can feed them and hang with them, and it’s a great cause to support.  https://www.elephantnaturepark.org/

Ok sorry about my elephant soap box! Haha. But seriously, please don’t ride them 😥😥😥

Post # 12
Member
6107 posts
Bee Keeper

sunsetsnmargaritas :  We stayed in the north at Twin Lotus on Klong Dao beach. This hotel was supposed to be a 5* but we were a bit disappointed. Breakfast was included, which was a plus, but the rooms were just ok. the pools were nice. Their main pool is an infinity pool on the beach, so that is pretty sweet. We liked the “garden pool” which was more relaxed and had these giant bean bag loungers. We would usually just buy “big changs” from the 711 and keep them in our room and drink these instead of buying drinks. Their drinks were pretty expensive, I want to say like 600 thb (18 usd) each, but they had a happy hour where they were 2 for 1, but that’s still $9 for a cocktail.

Another thing I didn’t like about the hotel was that they ripped you off on tuktuks. Getting a tuktuk from the resort to anywhere was a few dollars higher than if you just walked 2 blocks to the 711. We felt safe walking around at all times (everywhere but bangkok really) so we would walk to the hubs instead of paying the premium. 

Our favourite bar along here was Indian bar, on the beach. We were walking down the beach at night and saw children playing with the fire things and were like What. The. Fuck. So we sat down and started watching. I think they teach some of the tourist kids during the day and then they kind of “perform” at night. Anyways, that didnt last long and eventually the main guy came out, and he was the best fire dancer we saw our whole trip. 

There’s also a facebook group you can join, I think its called koh lanta party events or something. It just tells you what bars are having their nightly party. Thailand is famous for their full moon parties, but the bars all generally do half moon parties and black moon parties as well. Just any excuse for a party lol. But the FB group is cool if youre looking for where’s hot on mondays or whatever. 

If I were to go again, I’d probably stay on long beach, more central, and explore the south a bit more. We “rented” a tuktuk for like 2 hours to drive us around the island, and I think he only charged us like 800 thb ($25). My husband didnt want us to rent scooters/motorbikes so that was the compromise haha. 

We had 0 issues in chiang mai with the burning. There was some pollution, but that was it. I believe it ramps up in late march – april. I’m sad your itinerary doesn’t include it, it was pretty awesome! 

eta – we also did all of our trip with a carry-on each. There are places everywhere that will do laundry, so we did laundry half way through the trip and I want to say it was like $4 for wash/press/fold. Since you’re also travelling around quite a bit a carry on might be easier to manage. 

Post # 14
Member
856 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2019

Loving all these posts.  We’re planning our trip to Thailand and love all the suggestions.  I’m curious for those who didn’t like Bankok, would you normally say you’re city people when traveling.  We’re trying to figure out how long to stay there because we nromally LOVE cities and don’t mind grit.  

sunsetsnmargaritas : curious to see what you end up booking.

Post # 15
Member
6107 posts
Bee Keeper

sunsetsnmargaritas :  Sorry I didn’t see this! I liked both for different reasons. Koh mook was very quiet. Like the entire population of the island is 1,500. There was not much to do on island itself. While I enjoyed it, I probably wouldn’t return because of the lack of activities (and already seeing the emerald cave). 

Koh lanta had tons to explore and do. I would definitely return! You can be as active or chill as you want to. 

kelbrimale :  I didn’t like bangkok but DID like chiang mai. I guess I’d probably not consider myself much of a city traveller (even though I live in a large city), and prefer more laid back travels. The big thing about CM vs BKK is the peoples attitude. CM was so chill, lots of expats and backpackers. BKK was definitely more business folk. There’s also still quite a bit to do around bangkok (floating markets, old capital, river cruise) so you can have some city time and some less-city time lol. Another big thing is because we didn’t speak much of the language, we were more at risk of getting ripped off or possibly end up in a dangerous situation. It’s different when you know the language and lingo and can understand things a bit better. 

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