We are a married couple who are travelling to Thailand this spring. This is a completely new experience for us and thought it would be nice to meet and chat with others who are going and who have went.
We love the beach / party life. Lots of liquor and dancing till wee hours of the morning. We also look forward to being introduced to an entirely different culture.
Please feel free to offer any suggestions We look forward to hearing all your thoughts on making our trip special and maybe we'll even get to meet you there!!
My wife and I have been to Thailand numerous times including 3 weeks backpacking on our Honeymoon,
If you have not been to Asia before it might be nice to arrive into Thailand somewhere other than Bangkok first.
Bangkok is a great place but it can be a bit overwhelming after a long flight if you are not used to it. Flying into somewhere like Phuket or Chaing Mai first would allow you to acclimatise so when you do get to Bangkok you can enjoy the experience.
When I am in Thailand I prefer to stay in guest houses, small locally run hotels as I find it is a good way to meet more locals and experience the culture. The accommodation guide on this site is a good place to start.
My personal favorite places are Chaing Mai and north. Soukaithai, around Krabi and any none developed beach (Very Hard to find now days).
The tourist spots are fun too, the best thing to do in Thailand is to relax learn some Thai and enjoy.
hey thanx for your advice, we have never been to asia but are not prissy and not afraid of much we plan to land in bangkok and stay for 3 nights to see the temples and sights. after that we dont have much planed but want to catch the full moon party and lots of beach.
we would not like to hang out at lots of tourists traps we feel like they treet you as so much cattle and we both hate that.
we invite any other insight and advice on where to stay away from
Sam and Jen
Here's list that might help.....
Here are 20 things to think about when visiting Thailand…
1. Bring a mobile (cell) phone. It should be “unlocked” - this can be done either at home or in Thailand - then buy a Thai SIM card for it on arrival, they’re cheap (approx. 50 baht) or even free and depending on cost include some credit already on them. International calls to Oz/UK are about 5 - 8baht per min…Phones are cheap to buy too – and unblocked. Use the cheap rate international dialling numbers – 004, 5, 6, 7 8 9 etc.
2. Money - Bring ATM cards: - debit credit etc. - check fees and tell your bank your are going abroad. - Take Travellers cheques best for back-up. Bring very little cash (Baht) – you almost always get a better rate of exchange here than any home country. You can change money on arriving at the airport... Banks and ATMs -(keep some cash in reserve in case of flight delays/diversions etc) BEWARE - there is now a 150 baht surcharge for all foreign cards used in most 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 there's wi-fi in many public places cafes malls etc.)...and many hotels have wifi broadband - fees very immensely
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 …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. - fridges are not part of Thai cooking lore yet!
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. Crime - 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! Don't behave like a shop window for thieves. Many Thai people legally own hand-guns.
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 on...it’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 malarial medication – 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. You may at times be expected to take off your shoes – in certain parts of Temples, entering someone's home and even the occasional shop – just keep an eye out on what others are doing – there may even be a shoe rack.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.
Extended arm with waving hand palm down means “come here” - palm up is considered impolite.
19. The “Wai” - 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….
I arrive in Thailand on the 24th April 2011, on my own. I do have a tour booked but the remaining time I will be on my own. Wildfk your post was really interesting to read, lots of good advise so thanks
It might be worth noting that April 15th to 19th is the Song Khran holiday in Thailand. many Thais will take a week or so off and go on holiday or return to their home towns.
This means that all public transport can get very full. Many otherwise quiet seaside or holiday towns can get packed too.
As you are probably aware, Song Khran is the water throwing festival - in some towns this lasts for days and can get a bit tiresome.
You will get wet - drenched - all your valuables should be stashed in waterproof bags or polythene bags - cameras, money etc - you will not be exempt from a drenching. Another "tradition" is the smearing of talcum powder mixed with water over people's faces bodies (especially women) and any cars that pass by.
for many visitors this is an exhilarating experience, but for those seeking a qiet holiday and a bit of travel it can become very frustrating.
THe dates above are a general guide, festivities can start before the and continue after.
Thanks for those pointers!
@wildfk, Thanks alot for that post, thats exactly what i've been looking for!
Hi Sam and Jen,
Since you are coming in mid May, would suggest you to stretch ur trip by a few days. On 17th may u may want to go for full moon party at phagnan... i will be going there...
hope to see u there...