If you are a backpacker and want to see the main backpacker's area in Bangkok, then go to Khaosan Road. Just ask anyone and they will point you in the right direction.
I live in Bangkok and can tell you first hand this is the place to hang for backpackers.
In three weeks I am going to travel to thailand by my own for 15 days, but I haven't decided where to go yet. Which places do you recommend? And in these particular places, where do you recommend me to stay? I was wondering too if it is dangerous to travel alone in Thailand and if that's the case, what to do to avoid potencial dangers. Now in terms of communications, do I need to learn some thai words or is english enough?
Thanks in advance for your help
Thailand will probabably be safer than London. Just don't do stupid things like flash big wads of cash or go down dark alleys with strangers. It's not only the locals you have to be wary of, your fellow traveller could rip you off too!
There are lots of cheap internet shops around. I wouldn't bring a laptop with me unless you need it for business reasons. Contact your family and friends frequently to tell them where you are and where you are going. There are lots of travel agents all over Bangkok, they have a menu of available tours for you to look over. They provide pick up and delivery to and from your hotel. Tell the hotel clerk who you are going with and when you are expected back if you are alone.
You can store important information on the internet, such as E-tickets, flight itineraries, and othe "must remember" info. Simply write that info in an E-mail to your self and save it. Don't use an e-mail address that everyone knows your password to so you can keep your privacy.
When you arrive at the airport at Bangkok make sure you get some small bills for paying taxi cabs and street vendors. Don't expect everyone to be able to cash a 500 or 1000 baht note. If you arrive at the airport before midnight there is an Airport Bus that can take you safely and cheaply to many popular areas of the city, only 100 baht.
If you are really young you MAY want to head over to the Khao San Road (KSR) area of town where there are other really young travellers. However, if you are slightly more mature my advice is to stay in the Sukhumvit Road or Siam area of town so that you can use the Skytrain service. The Skytrain is a "rapid transit" system that connects to many parts of Bangkok and the Ekamai Bus Station and the new subway. The subway connects you to the main national train station for out of town trips. NO Skytrain stops in the KSR area!
A lot of recommendations depend on your particular budget, especially hotel choices. In Bangkok you can find an Air Conditioned room, with hot water, security box, private toilet, maid service from around 700 baht to 4000 baht per night. Smaller towns will have even cheaper AirCon hotels. I personally only stay in hotels where they have individual security boxes, either at the main desk or in my room. Don't leave the key to the safety box out in plain sight in your hotel room. It's not only the hotel staff you have to be cautious of - you could get your room broke into by another tourist.
The Sukhumvit and Siam area has lots of nightlife (and vendors, malls, restaurants, bus stations, subway stations, etc.) If being in an area where there are bars around is a problem keep in mind there are lots of bars in Bangkok no matter where you go. One hotel, the Asia Hotel is on a Skytrain stop, this area is a little more "bar free" than some other areas. The First Hotel on New Phetchaburi road, around 13 minute walk from the Asia Hotel Skytrain stop, is another decent hotel in a "bar free" area. Phetchaburi Road, Sukhumvit Road, the Patpong area are some of the places where you will find lots of street vendors.
Other info available if you want it.
koh chang neung bong ka - if you're a woman
koh chang neung bong krup - if you're a guy
is all the thai you need - means "could i have a can of chang beer please"
Thailand is not a dangerous destination so long as you use your common sense. Unlike many countries street vendors and hustlers are polite and easily waved away with a friendly smile. Politeness counts for everything here.
Try to pick up a couple of Thai expressions before or as soon as you get here.
Sawatdee Khrap/Kah means hello, in Thai men always say "Khrap" at the end of an expression or speaking and women say "Kah".
Mai aew khrap or better still, Mai Rhab Khrap means I don't want - great for unwanted sales people,
Khawp Khun Khrap means thank you.
The Lonely Planet phrase book is good as are their guide books on Thailand.
As for where to go...anywhere outside Bangkok. Bkk is OK for a few days but really damp and hot at this time of year.
From Bkk you can fly South to Samui Island or on to Phuket. There is also a flight South East to Trat which is where the ferries leave to Koh Chang (island).Or you can fly up North to Chiang Mai or any of the major cities or even to Ankhor Wat in Cambodia.
Buses are the cheapest way to travel; there are also some good train journeys e.g. the sleeper to Chiang Mai or South to Surrathani (Where the ferries leave for Koh Samui). Minibuses can be booked to any destination from any of the myriad travel shops and will usually pick you up from your hotel. They are usually equipped with video and drinks/snacks etc.
About 3 hours South-East of Bkk by minibus is Koh Samet. Next along is Koh Chang. An hour and a half from Bkk on the same coast is Pattaya, bars, bar-girls, good restaurants, and shopping. The hundreds of hotels represent remarkable value for money. Don’t be put off by the sex industry, although very big it’s not frightening or dangerous, the girls are all cheery and treat any female tourists with great friendliness. There’s a lot more to do in Pattaya than just the sex industry.
You might want to consider Kanchanaburi (Bridge over the River Kwai) the country around there is beautiful and the town is very pleasant with hotels along the banks of the river and floating restaurants etc. It’s about 4 to 5 hours out of Bkk. North of there is Lake Sri Nakarin great little bungalows around it and a beautiful waterfall you can swim in - Mae Kamin Falls.
Taxis - these are either a limo (family saloon size) or meter taxis but they will try not to use the meter, if so agree a price before you get in. From the airport to Bkk centre I’m not sure but I would guess about 200 baht? (someone will know). From Bkk to Pattaya its about 1500 to 1800 baht and 800 baht return!?!? At the airport you will be hustled to hire a taxi or a limo, if you decide to do so, make sure you actually see the vehicle outside before you pay. If it’s an old banger, refuse it.
There is internet access everywhere in Thailand, but if you’re like me I can’t travel without my lap-top. Some hotels will have a locker big enough for one but most don’t. Theft from rooms is fairly uncommon though…..it’s a risk though.
All in all just relax and take it easy and you’ll have the time of you life.