I am landing in Bangkok on July 20th and staying at a hostel for 7 days then moving onto Chiang Mai, then possibly onto Chiang Rai before heading back to Bangkok to depart back home. Are there any must-see towns/cities or attractions between these two locations (there and back)? I bought a one-way ticket so I'm not pressed for time and plan on leisurely exploring Thailand. Also, what's the best/cheapest way to travel between these distances?
Check out Kanchanaburi, Sukhothai and Ayutthaya between Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Have you thought about heading south to check out the islands and coastal towns? Places like Phuket, Ao Nang, Ko Tao, Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan, etc are all fabulous places to visit.
Overnight buses are probably your best mid-range option for long-haul travel in Thailand. They're cheaper than the train and a relatively comfortable way to travel, but they are definitely slower. The trains are good if you're willing to spend the bit of extra money though.
[ Edit: Edited on 06-Jul-2012, at 09:58 by talesbackpack ]
I want to focus on North Thailand.. If I ever come back to Thailand, I`d probably explore Southern Thailand and possibly go into Malaysia. I am going to try and spend a week or two in Cambodia and check out Siem Reap and surrounding areas. There`s no way I`m going to be so close to Angkor Wat and not see it.
In Bangkok and Chiang Mai you can sign up for tours through local travel agencies. From Bangkok, they can take you to Ayudthaya, River Kwai, Ancient Cities and lots of stuff. From Chiang Mai there are treks, tours and other things you can sign up for through local travel agencies.
Nearest cheap beach area to Bangkok is Pattaya. Hotels are cheaper than Bangkok. Only 2 hours by bus from Ekamai bus terminal. Beach sucks but many hotels have pools. Good place to relax for a few days cheap.
If you have a hostel or hotel near the Skytrain you can get around Bangkok easy and cheap.
Read up on having a one way ticket to Thailand and some of the possible problems you may encounter. Such as not being able to even leave on your holiday. Your airline could refuse to board you with only a one way ticket and no visa. Have you got onward travel from Bangkok to another country? Do you have a visa or were you going to enter Thailand and get the free Visa Exemption stamp in your passport? No return ticket could mean more problems, not including paying more for 2 one way flights than a round trip.
You can not stay in Thailand as long as you want. Sorry, there are rules to follow. Thai Visa Forum is a good source for visa and "no return ticket" information.
If you are interested in the overnight sleeper train to Chiang Mai get the tickets early on. The sleeper cars book pretty fast. The subway can take you to Hualamphong train station. The Skytrain connects with the subway and with the Airport Rail Link.
If you need hotel help also include what price you want to pay.
ty for the help. I actually called and got my ticket changed from a oneway to a round trip last night, and saved me a considerable amount of cash (almost 1,000). I plan on getting the visa exemption. If I have a roundtrip ticket, should I be okay or are there any other precautions I should take?
as well, I will be landing at around 10:30 pm and have to withdraw money from an ATM. I assume there are lots at the airport (I have to have 6,000 baht for my hostel for a week).. I was thinking I'd just take out my limit. Does the limit have anything to do with my bank in Canada? Right now, my daily limit is 500 CAD for my debit card.
[ Edit: Edited on 07-Jul-2012, at 11:32 by hoozah ]
If you are from Canada and using a Canadian passport to enter Thailand you will get the free 30 day Visa Exemption at the airport. They may not ask for your return ticket but your airline is your first obstacle to overcome. You got the return ticket should be no problem.
At the airport you can also change cash and most of the time cash a travelers check. You can have any balance you want in your bank account in Canada. If you intend to use a debit card for cash you FIRST must tell your bank that you will be in Thailand or when ATM withdrawals suddenly start coming in from overseas they first think fraud and freeze the account.
Don't rely only on one debit card if you intend to use an ATM all the time for cash. You can bring Canadian currency too. If you have $100 CN bills bring them. No problem cashing travelers checks too. But remember there is a 150 baht surcharge for every ATM withdrawal. When I come into Thailand I usually have several thousand dollars of travelers checks with me, my debit cards and even some cash. (US $100 bills for me.) But I stay a long time.
If your hostel has a security box - use it! Your fellow tourists staying in dorms could also steal from you. There are some smaller guest houses that are around the same price as hostels and you do not have to share toilets and showers.
With arrival at 1030 you can still use the Airport Rail Link unless your hotel is in the Khao San Road area. No rail service in that area just lots of kid tourists. Only 45 baht to take the City Line to the Pratunam area. Have small bills for paying taxi rides. In the city also have coins. Use the meter only and the ride is cheaper. Tuk-tuks cost more than meter taxis in the city for tourists. Read old posts on meter taxis. But Skytrain is better when you can use it.
Meter taxi Suvarnabhumi
Sign up for the frequent flier program. You get a lot of miles for flying from N. America to Asia and back. If the airline you are flying with is one you have a silver card or above you may have more seat choices and be able to enter with the First Class passengers, etc.