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1. Posted by GeorginaSeddon (Budding Member 8 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Hi Guys!
I've finally taken the plunge and booked my flight, I fly to Bangkok on the 13/05/19. I'm in two minds right now weather to book a hostel or a hotel for my first night stay. I think maybe a hotel? Get a good nights kip and then go on an organised night out or something? In my head I don't really have a plan as of yet so any recommendations or places to stay, where to go etc would be fantastic. I was excited for the first couple of days but now I'm quite nervous, I'm leaving my job, my friends and my family! The biggest scare of it all is I don't wanna go all the way over Asia and not meet any friends and feel alone :( I'm looking forward to starting this adventure as I know I'm going to see some amazing places! I'm only 24 and my mum and dad are a bit scared but I'm sure they'll be ok if I update them regular and face time (lessons will have to be given before I leave)! With that being said if anyone has any advise, recommendations, or things you might think I should know feel free to message me! More the merrier!

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2. Posted by Andrew Mack (Respected Member 592 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

I have to say that I haven't used a Hostel for many years (over 20!) but some hostels do have private rooms, so you could find one and take a private room for the 1st night (to get some jet-lag reducing sleep) and then move into a dorm (better on the pocket). Although generally outside high season (Dec & Jan) it's rarely difficult to find accommodation.
The most important thing is to get one in a lively area which is also close to transport (BTS).
It's easy to get around on the tube whereas using the roads can be a nightmare due to London rush hour traffic levels for most of the day.
Most backpacker choose Khao San Road area as its set up for them, however it is a bit 'costa del Bangkok' where it's a big party area which is overly tourist orientated and a bit more expensive for it. (food elsewhere could be 50 Baht but it'll be 100 baht there, but it's still cheap for what you get).

You don't mention how long you will be there but I'd suggest you don't stay beyond a week in Bangkok as the 'must see' places (Grand Palace etc) there are balanced by the heat/noise/smog/expense that big cities have. Whereas places like HuaHin are great beach towns (and much smaller than BKK), Chiang Mai is the techy and coffee shop centre of TH, Chiang Rai is much quieter and 'provincial', Phuket is a great beach town but is a flight from BKK and is as (if not more) expensive than BKK.

If you can use the same common sense you'd use at home, then Thailand is probably safer than staying in the UK. Don't dress like a hooker, don't get blind drunk (especially on your own), don't get involved with drugs, and don't walk down dark alleys. Also spending 5 days in the same hostel as someone doesn't make them your BFF or 100% trustworthy.

Talking about clothing, it'll be really hot. Do not take 'fashion/trendy' clothing. When it's dripping with sweat D&G t-shirts look just as rough as Primark T-Shirts. Pack as light as you can, as you will definately want to buy stuff whilst travelling and most stuff is available out there.

You'll have a great time!

have a look at ; https://www.travellerspoint.com/guide/Asia/

Also some good advice here; https://www.travellerspoint.com/forum.cfm?thread=112797

[ Edit: Edited on 11-Jan-2019, at 09:56 by Andrew Mack ]

3. Posted by GeorginaSeddon (Budding Member 8 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Aww thanks for that information it’s amazing! If I’m honest I only want to stay in Bangkok for a couple of nights and then move on to beaches and tourist places! I wanna go to Phuket for the full moon parties, I wanna go and see krabi, there’s different places I do have in mind! I’m so glad you mentioned about clothing! I’ve been racking my brains all week tryna decide what to take but I have a while to think about it! Your post has been really helpful! Thanks so much 😌

4. Posted by Andrew Mack (Respected Member 592 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Pack light. They have tescos in Thailand (Tesco lotus) and a number of other western supermarkets, so lots of brand names available.
Every market has loads of clothes stalls which usually have some really good T-Shirts (Not necessarily great quality but cheap and either aesthetically good or very funny), plus shorts, skirts etc.
Also a thick T-Shirt is fine for the UK summer but is too thick for TH hot weather, so easier to buy one there when you can appreciate how hot it is.
I don't know enough about female underwear availability...
Flip-flops are cheap there and become the normal footwear except on travel days.

You don't want to drag stuff out there and never use it, especially when you have to make the decision of 'do I chuck away stuff I came with or stuff I bought here... or pay for extra luggage,' when it comes to the flight home...

I believe I mentioned Youtuber psychotraveller in the original thread, she's a similar age to you and has done quite a few packing vlogs (and even lived in Thailand for a while). There are lots more travel vloggers vlogging about Thailand, but many of them are more interested in showing how cool they are as 'lifestyle leaders' whereas Aly is very down to earth about her stuff usually.. You will have to go back a couple of years to find her time in Thailand.

[ Edit: Edited on 11-Jan-2019, at 12:08 by Andrew Mack ]

5. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 2157 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Hello.

"I'm leaving my job, my friends and my family!"

How long will you be on this holiday?

Are you arriving with a one way flight or round trip flight?

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Leaving your job sounds a little permanent. You can not just visit Thailand and stay as long as you want. So you need to see what visa plan works for you. In a nutshell - will you be in Thailand over 30 days or 30 days or less?
https://thailand971.wordpress.com/

Do you plan on working in Thailand to augment your spending money? If so this would require a work permit to be legal. These are not easy to get!

I usually recommend that tourists going solo for first time to work up a budget to see how much money they have available per day AFTER paying for the plane ride over and plane ride back home. Knowing your daily allowance makes it easier to plan on how much for accommodation and other spending.

I think you should have something planned for accommodation before you arrive. This way you have a definite place to tell the taxi driver where to go. If your flight arrives Bangkok during the day or early evening hours you have more transportation choices. After midnight you have mostly meter taxis and private transportation you arrange ahead of time. (You know, a guy with a sign saying something like "ride for Ms. Smith" or something like that.) My favorite way to get to the city area is using a cheap train but the Airport Rail Link and Skytrain and subway stop at midnight. Meter taxis are cheaper for me in Bangkok than back in my big cities.
http://www.urbanrail.net/as/bang/bangkok.htm

For any forum you write on and need hotel advice always include a price range per night for your room. For Bangkok (and Phuket) Lub D Hostels is available. In Bangkok not too far from a Skytrain stop. (Google up Skytrain.)
https://www.lubd.com/

There is bus service to Khao San Road area from Suvarnabhumi Airport. (Bangkok has 2 airports, Don Muang is also in Bangkok.) This bus to KSR does not run 24 hours.

You have time to get more ideas and ask questions about things. You have some good advice in previous post. When I hear or read about women tourists getting in trouble usually too much alcohol and taking chances with guys you meet is part of the problem. Sometimes (like men) they fall in love with someone and send money back to them - but they may not be the only person doing this!

Agree with previous post be careful who you trust! Never leave money, passport or other valuables out in plain sight if someone is visiting your room.

Basics. Have more than one debit card. Have credit cards for emergencies that may come up. There are tourists on "Go Fund Me" pages begging for money because of motorcycle/scooter accidents or other accidents because they did not have insurance good for hospitals overseas. Accidents do happen and they can cost a lot of money.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6253478/british-woman-injured-thailand-taxi-crash-abbie-sontag-travel-insurance/

Thailand is a cash type society. Most cheap things you pay cash for. When you change your money to Thai baht do it in Thailand for best return. There is a charge for using an ATM for cash withdrawals. Same big fee for a small amount or the maximum you can take out.

For quick info - like about what to wear - a simple Google search can be helpful. Also good for question on how to get from one city to another. Thailand does have good long distance transportation with buses, train and discount airlines.

My advice don't only use a phone for your research. With a laptop you have more room for having several windows open for comparisons.

What to visit? Bangkok of course. A beach area good for the month you visit. A visit to Chiang Mai and final night or two back in Bangkok will give you a little taste of Thailand. Google up a map of Thailand and find the cities you may be interested in. If on a tight budget Phuket is more expensive than Bangkok and even Chiang Mai.

Some problems with Koh Phangan and ladies drinking too much alcohol or sampling the magic mushroom shakes too often and passing out. When they wake up they find a line of guy waiting to have their way with her body.

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Do a search on this forum for solo women travelers. Even a Google search can be helpful too. Always research scams to avoid. There are some bus scams, especially buses booked in KSR area. Theft from bags in storage. Always keep passport and valuables with you and not out of sight. Never let your passport get wet or damaged.

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So how long in Thailand and are you arriving on a one way flight? This is important for your visa requirements.

6. Posted by GeorginaSeddon (Budding Member 8 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Aww wow! Thanks for all that information! It’s so much to take in isn’t it? I have a map on the way, just ordered one from eBay! I’m guna get a little plan together (we’ll try)! I do have a one way ticket?! When I booked my flight the lady hasn’t mentioned anything about a visa but a guy I work with has! x

7. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 2157 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

HOW LONG in Thailand? With one way ticket you will need to apply for and buy a Tourist Visa from the Thai Embassy or consulate. Free 30 day entry requires a flight out of Thailand before 30 days is up. Could be enforced at your departure airport at home. Below post explains POOT.
https://thailand971.wordpress.com/

Pull up a map on your computer. Sample map search with Google.
https://travelhappy.info/thailand-map/

Take the time to read some of the previous posts for Thailand.

For me, for my flights from the US, round trip is cheaper than buying 2 one way flights. (Providing you are returning home.)

Have fun.

8. Posted by Andrew Mack (Respected Member 592 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Some more useful info like;
How to use a Baht Bus ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhTTRmEdTbk
Eating cheap in BKK; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkRWl94Hpu0 although there are lots more options.
How to use a bum gun ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MOKsUt8ovw or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRaGfEzzIkc
There are loads of vlogs about using BTS (with cash or 'Rabbit Card ;https://rabbit.co.th/ ).
If you do get to Phuket the taxi mafia keep taxi prices high (by Thai standards) so this is useful to/from the airport ; https://phuketsmartbus.com/

9. Posted by GeorginaSeddon (Budding Member 8 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Thankyou so much! I'm going to have a nosey at these straight away! One thing I must asked, what did you do regarding your bank? My friend who is currently travelling she mentioned a travel card instead of your own bank account? What would you advise?

10. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 2157 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Not sure about the UK, I always have a couple debit cards through my US credit unions. (Credit unions in the US are like banks, but more friendly, better rates and good service.) I also have a couple credit cards, Master Card and Visa. (No annual charge for my debit cards and credit cards.)

From some posts from UK tourists Halifax comes up. DO NOT rely on a single card for spending money. You could lose or damage a single card. Or, someone you foolishly trust too much could run off with money, credit cards, electronics and even passport. Passports have value to terrorists.

Bringing cash works too. For cash stick to the largest denominations you can get. Newer issues, no dirt or writing on the bills. Easier to store larger denomination currency than a whole bag load of small bills.
https://www.thai.lt/thailand-travel/thai-currency

Exchange rates are not fixed and can change a bit from day to day. Usually not a drastic change.
http://bankexchangerates.daytodaydata.net/
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How long in Thailand? Your visa depends on time in country besides the passport you travel with. Read the links above on a computer so you are forewarned.

Good luck.

[ Edit: Edited on 12-Jan-2019, at 05:37 by karazyal ]