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Thailand for a week

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1. Posted by nijoyh (Budding Member 4 posts) 4y

I'm solo female traveler starting from Chiang Mai and working myself down to Ao Nang. Is Ao Nang a good place for a solo backpacker? And any good recommendations on cooking schools in Chiang Mai?

2. Posted by draker (Budding Member 24 posts) 4y

Nijoyh...its really good place.. its a paradise for backpackers but now the costs are going higher but still a good place. How you planned to comedown here from Chian Mai ? You can find cheap accommodation for sure and Its a safe place for a woman. I know a place - Blue Bayou, but never stayed there.. I was told that the owner was friendly and place was safe. You can check still.

3. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1596 posts) 4y

"Thailand for a week....."

Is your total time in Thailand only 1 week? Or, is a visit to Thailand just part of a longer trip to this part of Asia where you are stopping in other countries too? If you are coming from a long distance just for Thailand another week in Thailand is not that much more of an expense compared to an the price of your plane ticket.

Bangkok is still available to visit. Most of the areas of Bangkok that tourists frequently visit are still available and free of flooding. If you go with a visit to Bangkok choose a hotel in the Sukhumvit, Siam and Pratunam area. In these areas you can use the Skytrain or the Rail Link and there are many hotels available in all price ranges. Plus shopping, restaurants, travel agencies for tours and modern malls.

If you need any hotel recommendations also mention a price range too.

There is quite a bit of Thailand between Chiang Mai and Ao Nang! A week is not long enough for the Chiang Mai/Chiang Rai area alone. How do you plan on getting to Phuket - Ao Nang? Chiang Mai at the top of Thailand and where you want to end up at is at the far bottom.
http://www.andamanadventures.com/ao_nang.shtml

It has been a few years since I was in Chiang Mai but there were some cooking schools at that time in the Thapae Gate area. I never used a cooking school; Google check gives you many suggestions.

4. Posted by anordinaryjo (Budding Member 12 posts) 4y

Amazing that people are advised to go to Bangkok now, in spite of the potential dangers there from the months of heavy flooding. A city of 10 million people that has been under more than a meter of water for months, sewage backing up into the street, garbage in that city which normally produces 8,000 tons of waste daily uncollected, all cooking in the 95degree plus heat, can produce some of the scariest diseases know to man. Already there are reports of people infected with leptospirosis, a bacterial infection spread in water contaminated with rat urine. Google Bangkok disease flooding to get even a small idea of how bad it is, and it will only get worse. Add to all that the crocodiles, king cobras, green mambas, and various poisonous vipers that all floated out of the many tourist attraction animal farms now swimming around in the water filled streets, and you have a recipe for a true nightmare holiday. As to Chiang Mai, where the flooding began, I don't know the status of the cleanup, as the gov't here's not exactly forthcoming with any bad news that affects tourism, as their history with SARS, bird flu showed clearly. The last thing Thailand needs is people coming here unawares, catching some horrible disease, and bringing that contagion to other countries.

5. Posted by nijoyh (Budding Member 4 posts) 4y

Oops, I should have stated that I'm going from Jan 14-23. Unfortunately due to my work schedule, I am only going to Thailand for a week so I'm trying to hit the major sites. I'm planning to take a combination of train/bus overnights except for the flight from Krabi to Bangkok enroute to back home. How are the buses generally? I've read that there are thefts that occurred and I dont' want to be a victim. Thanks for all the sound advice but I am still weary about the flooding. On one hand, I don't want to catch any water bourne diseases but at the same time, I know they would like to still have and earn the tourists' money.

6. Posted by anordinaryjo (Budding Member 12 posts) 4y

Nijoyh, If you're determined to support the hard hit tourist business here, even at the serious risk to your own health, you're a rare kind hearted person. Best bet would be to stay out of any area that was flooded/is still flooding, mostly along the path of the Chao Phraya river. Especially Bangkok and surrounding areas, including Ayutthaya.

7. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1596 posts) 4y

Quoting nijoyh

Oops, I should have stated that I'm going from Jan 14-23. Unfortunately due to my work schedule, I am only going to Thailand for a week so I'm trying to hit the major sites. I'm planning to take a combination of train/bus overnights except for the flight from Krabi to Bangkok enroute to back home. How are the buses generally? I've read that there are thefts that occurred and I dont' want to be a victim. Thanks for all the sound advice but I am still weary about the flooding. On one hand, I don't want to catch any water bourne diseases but at the same time, I know they would like to still have and earn the tourists' money.

It looks like you will be doing a lot of traveling and less looking, relaxing and enjoying where you are at! I think you may be packing a lot of travel into a few days.

Most of the problems I have read about concerning bus rides have been with buses booked in the Khao San Road area. When you are on a bus, in a taxi, on a plane keep your valuables with you at your seat! Have bags that you can lock. There are some stories about luggage being rifled when stored in the baggage compartment. I have never had a problem on a bus in Thailand using them over 12 years! But I always get my buses from real bus stations in person. There are times when I do look out the bus window when the bus makes intermediate stops to see if anyone is running off with my bag but that has never happened! Don't travel with expensive jewelry, don't bring family heirlooms or any thing you would really fret over if they become stolen. If something comes up missing from your hotel room it will more often be stolen by a guest you bring in. Use safety boxes at your hotel for valuables.

On one hand, I don't want to catch any water bourne diseases.....

Areas that have flooded in Bangkok are not areas that tourists normally prowl around in. Sukhumvit, Siam and Pratunam areas of Bangkok are okay. Try not to bathe in floodwater or to drink it and you should be okay! All parts of Thailand have flooding problems every now and then. This is part of the normal weather pattern for this area. Some years are more serious and some years less serious.

Have fun.

8. Posted by anordinaryjo (Budding Member 12 posts) 4y

Try not to bathe in floodwater or to drink it and you should be okay!
Because of the Leptospirosis disease that is in the water now, you don't want any flood waters touching any broken skin, or mucous membranes in/on your body, or you could contract that disease.
Some years are more serious and some years less serious.
Since, according to The Nation newspaper yesterday, the World Bank said that the cleanup, (once the flooding stops next year), will cost $25 billion, there's been almost 700 reported deaths, cases of Leptospirosis already reported, and the looming mosquito problem with it's accompanying Dengue Fever issue, (Wall Street Journal yesterday) I'd say this was a wee bit past "more serious". If you're determined to risk coming here, please do so with your eyes wide open, know the facts!!!!!

9. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1596 posts) 4y

No tourists are standing in any floodwater unless they are complete idiots and went out of their way to look for flooded areas! The areas where the majority of tourists have hotels and shop are okay and did not have flooding at all. Over 80% of the city did not encounter any flooding. Probably a million tourists have come and gone since the flooding fears began 2 months ago. The rest of Thailand is ALSO available for tourists too!

This reminds me of the Red Shirt demonstrations a couple years ago. Thousands of tourists cancelled flights and lost money. But those demonstrations were in part of Bangkok and the rest of the city was full of tourists who ignored the alarmists and chose areas in Bangkok not close to demonstrations. The rest of Thailand was okay for tourism too but you would not know that either from reading newspapers and watching CNN and BBC.

Up to you!

10. Posted by anordinaryjo (Budding Member 12 posts) 4y

Since streets in northern, central, and western Bangkok were/are flooded, I don't know about this 80%, nor the million tourist figures, they both sound like gov't figures. This horrible flooding, which will cost Thailand an estimated $25 billion dollars just to clean up, many hundreds of people have lost their lives, and well over a million are homeless is quite a bit more than a "flooding fear".
As to the Red Shirt demonstrations, let us not forget that 90 people were killed, and 1,900 wounded, and the demonstrations and violence happened in many different parts of the city, including the arson destruction of a multi-storied modern shopping mall that tourists do go to, or at least used to. With that kind of danger happening, I think the tourists that canceled were wise.