So I was thinking about taking a much needed break next year for quite a while, I have a lot of it planned and sorted but I was just curious about Thailand - Particularly Bangkok, and I was wondering if it is a good idea for me to go there?
- What sort of food outlets are there?
- What will the weather be like in April/May?
- Is public transport cheap? As I intend to see as much as possible.
Is anyone out there at the moment/will be when I am?
Thanks in advance
[ Edit: Edited on 10-Jul-2012, at 04:25 by katiew102 ]
You get 30 days visa free on arrival, or you can get a two month Thai visa from an embassy which can be extended for a third month in Thailand for 1900 baht.
Food - whatever you want, and from very cheap to very expensive. All the major fast food places and others. Even Tescos have branches there. The 7-Eleven and other convenience stores are handy for drinks, snacks, etc. Boots chemists are there too.
April is the hottest month of the year (temperature goes up month by month from December to April). May is a bit cooler but you are heading towards the monsoons which start in June. So maybe go a few months earlier? Book your flight fairly earlier as the later you book it, the more you will pay.
Yes, public transport is good and cheap. Buses, trains, metered taxis, rip-off tuk-tuks, bikes, etc. Also budget flights. On KSR you can pick up a Bangkok map which has bus routes. Apart from the air-con buses, the rest are flat fare, so get on and off when you want.
Getting on a hundred thousand British people will be out there then as hundreds of thousands from Australia and other countries. English is widely spoken amongst the people you will meet and in the shops you will use, as well as signs. There are even two English language newspapers, as well as some English TV in hotels, bars and such.
Bangkok is a great place but most just spend a few days there then head down south to the beaches or up north (cooler) to the hill country. Bangkok has some sights and sites as well as many shops including air conditioned malls which are a welcome change after the heat outside.
Numerous travel agents for day trips and further, if needed.
Many stay around Khao San Road or Sukhumvit. Accommodation try: hostelbookers, asiarooms, hostelworld, travellerspoint, etc. Air conditioning or at least a fan is good.
The only down side is watch out for pick pockets in Bangkok and maybe elsewhere.
Young travelers often choose Khao San Road (KSR) area for their hotels. But in that area you do not have access to city rail service. But meter taxis are cheap providing you use the meter only and do not bargain the fare. Tuk-tuks for tourists usually cost more. (No meter, when you bargain the cost you pay more.)
City Rail Service.
Stay at least 2 weeks to get the most from an expensive plane ticket. But not necessarily only in Bangkok. You can take a train up to Chiang Mai pretty cheap. Or, take in some beach areas too. I like a few days in Bangkok in the beginning of your trip and one or two nights just before you fly home. In the beginning you can purchase train, bus or plane tickets to other areas. At the end you can do some last minute shopping and be only a short taxi or even train ride to the airport.
It is possible that if you arrive before midnight you can take a train into the city for only 45 baht. There are some hotels you can walk to from the Rail Link stations. Or, connect with the Skytrain for hotels in other areas.
When you need hotel help also mention your price range. Knowing how much you want to spend per night makes it easier to suggest a place to stay.
Wait until you get to Thailand to change any money over to Thai baht for the best return. At the airport there are bank money changers available 24 hours a day for arrivals and departures.
Any reason you are waiting so long to make this trip? If beaches are of a big interest the December-February time frame is best. But also the most expensive time to travel too.
Wow, thanks a lot for all of the information guys, both of you have given me some really handy tips and I'm so grateful .
Cyberia I think I will take your advice and go a little earlier... Easter time was just an idea
One other tip, if you ever take a backpacker VIP bus is to definitely leave no valuables in your luggage. Keep anything of value on your person. Even the booking agencies will strongly advise you of this. I've met a couple of backpackers who have had money stolen from their luggage while on a backpacker bus and one dude even had money stolen from when his backpack was locked with a combination lock, so if someone is determined they can go through the combinations in a few hours.
When I use VIP backpacker buses I always keep my valuables on me and I've never had a problem, but I would never leave my valuables in my big backpack which goes in the underneath luggage hold. Government buses don't have this problem and I've also never had any problems on the overnight trains either.
Best Time to Visit Thailand
Looking for the best time to go to Thailand? Wherever you travel in the world, it is important to get the timing right. As far as Thailand is concerned, there are no absolute extremes. If you can avoid the rainy season (July to October), it would probably be best, but if you can't, the rain isn't permanent - it comes in bursts and cools things down after it has gone!
Southern Thailand's seasons are less distinct and really there are only two proper seasons - summer and the rainy season. The Gulf of Thailand lies to the east of the Thai peninsula while the Andaman Sea lies to the west. Visiting areas west of the peninsula (Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi) is best done between mid November and April
Edited on 16-Jul-2012, at 00:13 by Devesh
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]
Thank you Emmett70 that's great advice. I do anyway no matter where I am, even when I carry a handbag here in England, I very often either don't have much money on me or have it in my pockets.
I'm Thai. I would like to invite everyone to travel a candle festival at Ubon Ratchathani province. Should participate on 2-3 Aug 12 all day and night there are the show of parade and u will see the Thai dancers who wears the identity clothe of the northeastern of Thailand.
This festival will show about culture of Thailand which is very famous around the world.
Yeah, I'm the same. No matter where I am in the world I'm always cautious with my possessions!
Also, the weather in southern Thailand in April/May is pretty good, but if you could bring it forward a couple of months to February/March then on average it should be even better. February generally gets excellent beach weather and March is usually pretty good as well. Having said that, I was there in March a couple of years ago and there was flooding so you get no guarantees no matter when you go. The rainfall charts though, have February as one of the driest months for most southern destinations.