Hi, New to the board so any help much appreciated. Myself and my girlfriend would like to visit Thailand possibly Koh Samui or Phi Phi Island with a couple of days in Bangkok on recommendation from friends but having never 'travelled' and only having been on package holidays I am a bit unsure how to go about this. Ideally, I would prefer to get a flight over and then find some accomodation once we arrive as I believe you will get a better deal this way. My main questions are:
Is it guaranteed that you will get accomodation (hotels not hostels)?What sort of quality are they?
Would I book the internal flight from Bangkok to the other destinations before I went or after I arrive in Bangkok?
What sort of prices would i be looking to pay? (in UK pounds please)
Where would be the best place to book the flight over to Thailand?
Thanks in advance for any help/advice I get.
ps... looking to go late august/early september for about 2 weeks.
Thailand is certainly an easy place to travel independently for the first time. Arranging most travel, accommodation and tours is easy, safe, efficient and inexpensive.
From what you have said I would suggest doing as follows ...
Book a flight only via the internet from a UK based agency ( I have used http://www.cheapflights.co.uk before and they were fine, and cheap!)
I would then consider using a Thailand based travel agent to arrange some or all of your internal flights, hotel rooms, transport, tours etc. according to your requirements.
The main reason I suggest this is ...
- As you are not looking to low budget rooms, the walk-in rate for many hotels is much more than an agency can get for you
- You only have a short time, so you having the rooms, and transfers arranged removes some of the unnecessary hassle.
- Rates for most things via the agencies are no different from what you would pay if you just show up ( I realise that this is not always true, but, from reputable agencies, many things can even be cheaper as they are privy to agency rates)
The reason I feel qualified to suggest the above is that I have just recently arranged my Mother and Sister's tour of Thailand. After a while of shopping around for the best deals, with the intention of doing it myself, I got in contact with a Bangkok agency DJ International Travel who got all internal flights, hotel rooms, transport arranged and the cost was virtually the same. http://www.dj-travel.com
For hotels I think between 20 - 30 UK Pounds per room per night, including breakfast for two, gets you a very good quality hotel, you would easily pay four times that rate for similar in the UK. See the following page for ideas http://www.r24.org/chiangdao.com/bangkok/hotels/ (prices in US dollars)
The Royal River Hotel in Bangkok is great value.
Flights to the islands are around 100 UK pounds return. Check out ,yourself, or ask your agent to check out, the new budget airlines Air Asia and One Two Go.
Hope some of that helps!!
Thanks for that Stuart. Will look into it. Any other suggestions eagerly awaited.