can anyone who has been to thailand before tell me where is the cheapest and also a legit place to book trips from? i know its different but when i have been to greece thomson have been selling trips to customers at over the odd prices but its cheaper to book from a tour operator on the street. does it work the same in thailand and is it safe, or book with a hotel chain/company like flight centre/round the world experts?
I used a small shop in Bangkok to book various trips. I booked trips to Chiang Mai, Kanchubari and also a overnight coach to koh phanagn. They weren't overpriced that I'm aware of yet I didn't shop around. Although this was a good experience I can't guarantee and am sure not all are legit. Could you talk to people when you arrive, see which travellers have had good experiences and with which shops then use the places they used?
hi thanks for the advice, might see about booking some trips before i go, i guess its a fine line between having cheap prices that could be a con or have propa tickets that will be overpriced.
Besides Bangkok, in major cities like Pattaya, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai and Phuket you can book tours on short notice through local travel agencies. They are used to tourists needing tours on short notice. There are many to choose from. Usually you choose a tour one day and leave the following morning. Sometimes you can book an evening tour the same evening. There are many travel agencies to choose from that have a menu list of popular tourist destinations. Most of these tours are in passenger vans with 8-9-10 other tourists. Some hotels also book tours for travelers.
Tour companies pick up at your hotel and return you there at the end of the trip. Travel agencies can book flights for you too. In Thailand it is easy to book train rides from train stations and buses from one the many bus stations. The only time I read about problems with travel agencies is buses booked through travel agencies in the Khao San Road (KSR) area of Bangkok. If you need a long distance bus ride get it from a real bus station. (Google up scams in Thailand and Bangkok and bus rides from KSR shows up along with gems, tuk-tuks, gold and "palace closed" scams.)
There are some private tour companies in Bangkok that will do a custom tour for you. Rat Tours and Tong Tours are 2 that come to mind.
Tour With Tong
Thailand has excellent transportation. Besides long distance buses and reliable train service Bangkok has cheap city bus service and also City Rail Service. If you arrive at Suvarnabhumi before midnight you can even use rail service from the airport to many areas in Bangkok.
City Rail Service
Long Distance Trains
When you are in doubt on how to get from "somewhere to somewhere" do a quick Google search. You usually get many hints that you can check out.
[ Edit: Edited on 01-Mar-2013, at 16:32 by karazyal ]
'karazyal' gave you good advice. I would just add a few thoughts. I suggest you get at least 3 written quotes on any tour you want to take. Do some online research on tour companies in BKK. See what ones get good reviews and those that are rip-offs. Book once you are there. Tours are just cheaper when you are standing in front of them. Online booking might be easy, but many are overpriced.
Do Not use the private overnight buses the travel shops book. Too many reports of theft on this system. Get yourself over to the bus station and ride the bus the Thai people use. Good luck with your planning.
thanks for all the brilliant feedback definately will do some of the things you have suggested