Skip Navigation

Thailand Virgin

Travel Forums Asia Thailand Virgin

1. Posted by dilbert76 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

So I am planning a 2 week trip Mid Dec 2010 to thialand. I have never been off north american soil. I am looking for reccomendations of places to visit activities. Basically good places to meet people to share in adventures with.

2. Posted by Curt1591 (Respected Member 230 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Khaosan Road is the spot for the backpackers. There are plenty of others in the same situation around there. Lots of people use it as a launch pad.

Post 3 was removed by a moderator
4. Posted by Araluen (Respected Member 346 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Quoting dilbert76

So I am planning a 2 week trip Mid Dec 2010 to thialand. I have never been off north american soil. I am looking for reccomendations of places to visit activities. Basically good places to meet people to share in adventures with.

Hi Delbert, I'm also going to Thailand albeit at a different time. Places to visit and activities depend on what your interests (and budget) are. Are you after the beach/backpacker trip or do you prefer more cultural? A good place to start is Tourism Thailand. There are several temples in BKK, a 50 minute drive north will bring you to Ayutthaya - you can get there by bus or train, alternatively you could see it by cruise. Floating Market at Damnoen Sadauk, night markets.
Kanchanaburi - River Kwai, Hellfire Pass, Burma Railway aka the Death Railway,
Chiang Mai in the north - temples, jungle treks, elephants camps, visit the Golden Triangle. You could visit a Long-neck Karen Village although this isn't cheap.
Many of the beaches are very touristy and quite expensive.
You could try a Kantoke dinner (sit on floor mats, food on platters) and see a traditional Thai cultural performance.
Fogot to add, Man In Seat Sixty-One is an excellent train travel website. Train routes in Asia.

Edited to correct typos.

[ Edit: Edited on 31-May-2010, at 10:06 by Araluen ]

5. Posted by Walkaways (Full Member 106 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Araluen has given some good advice.

I'm going back to Thailand soon (with my girlfriend who has never been) and I plan on elephanting it up with the hill tribes and treks - some beach time to kayak and dive - and bangkok for only a handful of days to experience the joy of mad tuk tuks and the floating markets.

The historical sights are really worth stopping at too - and if you can afford it try homestays - you'll enjoy hanging out with real Thai people for a bit. But as others have suggested - you can start and meet people in the backpackers hot spot Khao San road

6. Posted by wildfk (Respected Member 460 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Here's a list I made up some time ago........

Here are 20 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. 50 baht) and include some credit already on them - e.g. - International calls to Oz/UK are about 5 - 8baht per min…Phones are cheap too – and unblocked

2.Money - Bring ATM and/or credit cards. - check fees and tell your bank your are going abroad. - Take Travellers cheques best for back-up. Bring very little cash (Baht) – you tend to get a better rate of exchange here than any home country. You can change money on arriving at the airport...(keep some cash in reserve in case of flight delays/diversions etc) – there is now a 150 baht surcharge for all foreign cards used in ATMs!

3.Booking – there is usually no need to book rooms before you come as there is plenty of cheap accommodation. Exceptions would be in high season if you want a particular place and maybe for your first one or two nights just to get orientated.

4.Bring very few clothes – they are cheap here and you’ll only bring stuff that is too warm anyway.

5.Very little luggage – this makes you more mobile if you need to be and less vulnerable to taxi touts and undesirable men….Before you go home you can buy any extra luggage (cheap) to take souvenirs etc.

6.Internet access is everywhere – even on the beach… you can get all your photos copied to CD - If you have a lap-top you can connect it (broadband even wi-fi) at most cafes....and most hotels (not always free)

7.Food - Thai food is very unlikely to give you food poisoning but can contain more chillies than you ever thought possible….Street food is usually safe (and delicious!), check for numbers of customers and general looks of the stall. Western (“farang”) food is much more 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.

8.Always carry a pack of tissues - they don’t supply free tissues (if there is a vending machine at all!) – learn to use a “bum-gun” !!

9.Drink bottled water - not tap water. Even consider not brushing your teeth with tap water. Ice is usually safe in drinks and for anything else.

10.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 US/Europe etc…but every country has its share of con-men and psychopaths…..beware of fellow travellers!

11.Don’t be afraid to go to Pattaya – it is the tourist-sex capital of Thailand but they don’t jump out at single women and couples and it has good, cheap hotels, shopping and food. Not a bad place to start off for “All points East” - Koh Chang, Koh Samet, Khao Yai or Cambodia.

12.Bring an international driving permit – although most national ones are accepted by motorbike and car hire companies and anyone else who wants to hire you something….you may not be insured without an IDP! 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.

13.Public transport is cheap. Planes, Trains, Buses, Minibuses, Taxis, from town to town. If you’re in a minibus or taxi, tell the driver you’ll tip him if he keeps the speed below 90/100 kph! National speed limit is 90kph (120 on motorways)

14.Around Bkk try to use meter taxis with the meter’ll be cheaper than the tuk-tuks. Take a tuk-tuk once for the experience then use meter taxis. Don’t let the drivers take you out of your way...they’ll try to take you to some (relative’s) store where they get commission.

15.Medical - Firstly it is best when you can, to consult with a doctor at home who specialises in tropical medicine. - Check out a few “jabs & medications” - Hep “A” & “B” require a long course before leaving and are a pretty good idea –unless going to remote areas, most travellers 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. Many medicines (including antibiotics) can be bought over the counter without prescription and are cheap. A pharmacist will give you what he considers right for your symptoms but you can just as easily see a doctor at a local clinic for a couple of hundred baht. They usually speak a little English.

16.Check up on Thai manners and customs – this will earn you more respect from the locals. - Keep up some dress sense – how you dress in Thailand is quite important. Don’t go topless without checking out if it’s acceptable where you are – usually it’s frowned upon. You’ll notice that Thai women (even sex workers) are very modest in public –they usually swim fully clothed. Table manners – Thais tend to eat from communal dishes in the centre of the table – don’t pour everything onto your own plate!

17.Don’t knock the royal family – even in jest.

18.Body language - 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). Before entering someone’s home you must take off your shoes; this also applies to some shops and businesses. - Never take a shoe off and wave it at someone – this could lead to violence.
It is also impolite to touch people on the head.

19.It’s not really necessary to “Wai” people - the Thai greeting - as you’ll probably get it wrong. If they Wai you, you might try a wai back.

20.Remember, this is the Land of Smiles and you will find everything goes much better when you have a smile on your face - whatever the situation….

7. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1831 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Quoting dilbert76

So I am planning a 2 week trip Mid Dec 2010 to thialand. I have never been off north american soil. I am looking for reccomendations of places to visit activities. Basically good places to meet people to share in adventures with.

Keep in mind that in December you will have some of the most expensive flights to Asia, especially close to Christmas. Also the hotels will be at high season pricing and possibly full capacity. You might want to add a few more days to your trip, maybe make it at least 16 or 18 days because once you buy the flight a few more nights in a cheap hotel is not that much more money.

If you can get the time off you could also visit earlier when hotels are cheaper and have more vacancies and maybe the airfare is cheaper. If you were afraid of the "rainy season" keep in mind that in most places the rain ends in a short time and the sun comes out for most of the day. When it rains in Thailand it does not rain all over the country at the same time or for the same length of time. It could rain in Pattaya and be dry in Bangkok or vice-versa. So, rainy season is no big problem if you were considering an earlier visit.

Plan your budget out, know how much per night you can afford for a hotel and then ask for hotel recommendations in that price range. Don't use cheap, or economy, use a baht figure. Khao San Road is okay if you are a kid, if you are slightly older or want to take advantage of the Skytrain in Bangkok you will also get some good hotel/hostel prices in the Sukhumvit Road area.

You don't give any hints on what you like, or even if you are a male or female or if you are an old fart or a kid. Different things appeal to different people. If you like beaches just don't waste all of your time only at beaches. Try to fit some time to visit northern Thailand. You will find nightlife in Bangkok and Pattaya. Start in Bangkok and end in Bangkok. It might be better to spend the last night in Bangkok so you will only be a short taxi ride to the airport instead of flying in at the last minute. You can do some last minute shopping on your last night in the city instead of buying something early and then having to carry it all over the country with you.

A Google check will also give you some ideas on what to see and do in Thailand.

Plan on how to handle your money. Wait until you get to Thailand to change your cash over to Thai baht for the best rate. You can use debit cards in Thailand too but you have to tell your bank where you are going first so they don't suspect fraud the first time you use an ATM in Thailand. There is a fee of 150 baht to use a Thai ATM so take out the most at one time to cut down on lots of fees for small amounts. It is easy to cash travelers checks in Thailand, the fee is only 33 baht, if you can get them without any charge from your bank or credit union they are a good deal. When you bring cash bring newer currency in good condition. If you are bringing US currency you get more for hundred or fifty dollar bills than smaller notes.

Sign up for the frequent flyer program of the airline you fly on. This is a good chance to accrue lots of miles at one time. It only takes around 25,000 miles to get to the silver level. With a a silver level card on most airlines you can get on the plane with the elite customers, choose better seats, etc. If you already have an affiliation with an airline you might benefit from choosing an airline you can use the card on and get more miles!

Good luck.