I'm leaving for Thailand on my own! next month, could anyone please give me any tips?
I'm leaving for Thailand on my own! next month, could anyone please give me any tips?
First, relax. Thailand is a great country. I have spent a year there teaching even though at home, I am a businessman.
Of course, arriving at Dom Muang can be daunting but it is easy to get a metered taxi or car into the city. After a long flight and the anxiety of arrival you need to get away and rest and get over the jet lag. I would advise a decent - not expensive hotel - for the first few days. You will then be able to get your bearings.
If you are pestered by touts,learn & say....may ow krap....means you do not want but they think that you have been living in BBK and are not after sensual massages and services. It helps.
Have a good time and if you get into the provinces, you will find prices drop rapidly. For lunch etc. I pay 25 baht for a nice noodle lunch in Nakhon Nayok.
Have a good trip but relax.
It should be sanook, (fun).
next month..you should be arrived at new bangkok airport and i have heard that the taxi stand is bit far to get to...
one word to make people smile at you is ' khob khun krab ' it's thank you in thai.
Most flights get into BKK late at night. The taxi stand is right outside but before you can get there nice young ladies in uniforms will try to sell you private charters into the city at outrageous prices. Ignore them and go to the taxi stand. You pay at the stand before you leave and then pay the tolls on the road. Taxi ahould be about 300 baht and another 20-40 baht tolls.
I would definately check out Kanchanaburi and the River Kwai area. There is tons to do there and you can walk freely around town without anyone bothering you. I would suggest to take the 3rd Class train to the River Kwai station. It is less crowded than the Kanchanaburi train and bus stations. The 3rd Class train was a highlight of our trip. It was a genuine experience, clean and safe. South of the River Kwai station there are raft houses along the River Kwai at dirt cheap prices. We stayed at Sam's Place and it was great. They all look good. Spend a day or a half at Erawan Falls.
I would definately not miss out on going up to Northern Thailand. No matter where you go up there, you won't be disappointed. I would suggest to fly or take a 1st Class berth on the train from BKK. Watch out for the lady who sell food on the train. She is infamous for ripping people off by double folding your bills or arriving with food you didn't order and trying to force you to buy it. I suggest to bring your own food and not even deal with her at all.
BKK was okay but not the highlight in my opinion. I also went to Pattaya to have some time on the beach. It was okay but I was bit dissapointed. I didn't have time to get all the way down to the south but wish I went to Hua Hin (south of Kanchanaburi) instead.
Other than tips on cities and places to see, I'd just suggest to walk around a lot. Sample the street food, walk down narrow streets and lanes, meet people, smile, get lost. It's all a great way to experience this fascinating country!
Paul. Need to be in a quieter places less touristed? Then you may head northeast (or Isaan, as the Thais call this region) to Nakorn Ratchasima province (Korat). There, start with discovering the 1st national park of the country -Kao Yai National Park. There are also many Khmer temple ruins in the province, and the one at Pimai district of Korat is recommended - it is the largest Khmer temple found in Thailand. More Khmer temples can be found also in more lower notheastern provinces in Burirum, and Surin, with a must-see Phnom Rung temple in Burirum. Heading east from Korat to Ubon Ratchathani - you will see more attractions such as the pre-historic paintings on the cliff by the Mekong River and many amazing stone formations - all of these in the Pha Taem National Park in Ubon.
From Korat, if you head north to the upper northeast provinces - Khon Kaen, Udorn, Nong Khai, and many others. Here, like in other northeastern provinces, lives here move at slower paces than those in BKK or any other touristed areas in Thailand. Many local attractions await your visit, and you may find yourself being stared by locals as they are not so used to Farang (foreigners). See genuine way of life of Thai people here.
Transport? Flights available to most major cities in the Isaan - Khon Kaen, Roi Et, Ubon, Udorn, Nakorn Phanom, Sakon Nakorn, etc. Train available for Korat, all the way to Ubon, and all the way to Nongkai bordering Lao. The road network in Isaan is the best in the country allowing you to do the loop journey so easy and so cheap with local buses.
However, please keep in mind that if you go to Thailand for a bustling place, over crowded with (conventional) tourists, then the northeast may not be your destination!
Last, as Chorpet already mentioned, on and after 28 Sept, if you fly to Thailand's BKK, you may land at the new Suvarnabhumi Airport. Take a shuttle to the taxi stand if you dont want to get those pricey limousine at the terminal.
Say "hello" in Thai way to politely greet whom you meet. It's "sawasdee krab". If you can raise & join your palms at your chest simultaneously- it would be perfect!!
Enjoy your trip!!!
If you arrive in October you should arrive at the new airport - Suvarnabhumi - there is a web site and below is a forum dedicated to the very subject....
You might consider going straight off to Pattaya as an alternative to getting embroiled in Bangkok. A taxi to Pattaya should be between 1500 and 1800 baht plus or icluding motorway tolls of about 150. the journey should be slightly less than an hour and a half......if you need any assitance on Pattaya feel free to contact me.....
Here are 40 things to think about when visiting Thailand…
1. Bring a cell phone “unblocked” and buy a Thai SIM card for it on arrival, they’re cheap (apprx. 250 baht) and include some credit already on them
2. e.g. - International calls to UK are about 8baht per min…
3. Don’t bother with Travellers checks in any currency…they are too much hassle - I have witnessed a friend being refused.
4. Bring ATM and/or credit cards. - check fees and tell your bank your are going abroad.
5. Very little cash – you tend to get a better rate of exchange here than any home country. Just enough to get you out of the airport to somewhere nice for the first night - avoid carrying large amounts of cash...you’ll lose it when drunk or get it nicked.
6. Beware! - The 1000 baht note looks very similar to a 20baht note. You might give an overlarge tip!
7. Very few clothes – they are so cheap here and you’ll only bring stuff that is too warm.
8. Very little luggage – this makes you more mobile if you need to be and less vulnerable to taxi touts and undesirable men….
9. Before you go home you can buy any extra luggage (cheap) to take souvenirs etc.
10. There are baggage storage facilities at Bkk airport…and elsewhere - hotels etc.
11. Mozzie spray – especially if you have the stuff from Oz. Anything with DEET. You can get “OFF” here.
12. Good quality sun-cream – especially if you have the stuff from Oz. Something that stays on in water, you’ll burn your shoulders in the pool.
13. Get some travel insurance – hospitals/medicine is cheap but why pay? Trailfinders is good.
14. Check out a few “jabs” – don’t bother with the malaria ones – too heavy! You can get tetanus or rabies here if you’re bitten by a dog - it’s cheap.
15. Internet access is everywhere – even on the beach… you can get all your photos copied to CD
16. If you have a lap-top you can connect it (broadband) at most cafes.
17. Thai food is very unlikely to give you food poisoning but can contain more chillies than you ever thought possible…
18. Western (“farang”) food is extremely likely to give you food poisoning – fridges are not part of Thai cooking lore yet…beware of Western Fast Food outlets and hotel buffets - food that has been out for over an hour or so. Thailand is not used to fridges/chill-serve etc.
19. Use common safety sense – it is easy to relax too much here…when it comes to petty crime the rate is certainly lower than in places like the UK…but every country has its share of con-men and psychopaths…..
20. Get a phrase book – lonely planet is good as is their guide to Thailand (better than the rough guide)….
21. Make a friend on the plane and safe money on a taxi to your hotel when you arrive in Bkk. Check out the ways of getting out of Bkk airport. This requires caution and common sense; it is most useful if you’re going further e.g. Pattaya.
22. If you can, avoid spending your first night or few days in Bkk – go there at the end of your stay –its better once you’ve acclimatized, and the airport is about 45 min from the centre. You can fly straight on to Samui and several other destinations or get a bus or taxi to Pattaya, Koh Samet. Etc.
23. Remember the new airport will open at the end of September...this is about 30 min nearer Pattaya and the Eastern Seaboard.
24. Don’t be afraid to go to Pattaya – it is the sex capital of Thailand but they don’t jump out at single women and has good, cheap hotels, shopping and food. Not a bad place to start off for Koh Chang, Koh Samet or Cambodia.
25. Remember Thailand is more than beaches – there are beautiful cities, national parks, forests and lakes up North – your guide book will help you there…
26. Bring an international driving licence – although most national ones are accepted by motorbike and car hire companies and anyone else who wants to hire you something….
27. In Thailand they drive on the left - cars are Right-hand-drive. However driving is really only for the experienced. Be especially careful on a motorbike - Samui has the highest accident rate in Thailand.
28. Public transport is cheap. Planes, Trains, Buses, Minibuses, Taxis, from town to town.
29. If you’re in a minibus or taxi tell the driver you’ll tip him if he keeps the speed below 90/100 kmph!
30. Around Bkk try to use meter taxi with the meter on...it’ll be cheaper than the tuk-tuks.
31. Take a tuk-tuk once for the experience then use meter taxis.
32. Don’t let the drivers take you out of your way...they’ll try to take you to some store where they get commission
33. Check up on Thai manners and customs – this will earn you more respect from the locals.
34. Keep up some dress sense – how you dress in Thailand is quite important.
35. Don’t go topless without checking out if it’s acceptable where you are – usually it’s frowned upon.
36. You’ll notice that Thai women (even sex workers) are very modest in public –they usually swim fully clothed.
37. Check out table manners – Thais tend to eat from communal dishes in the centre of the table – don’t pour everything onto your own plate!
38. Don’t knock the royal family – even in jest.
39. Don’t point your feet at people – the body is seen as hierarchical and the feet are the lowest part and should not be waved about (this is like a “fingers up” sign.
40. It’s not necessary to “Wai” people - the Thai greeting - as you’ll probably get it wrong. If they Wai you, you might wai back.
[ Edit: Edited at Sep 3, 2006 11:56 PM by wildfk ]
alright paul.. ive just done thailand and SE Asia on my own.. it is far easier than u think to get around.. i was feelin the same as u i'd imagine!
Any Q's feel free to message me
[ Edit: Edited at Sep 4, 2006 6:00 AM by Andyroo ]
Thailand is a lovely peaceful place. But a bit more peaceful,for women travellers, than for men travellers.
Would u have any specific questions?
I can look up information in my SE Asia on a Shoestring book,for u if u want.