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Early AM Arrival Question

  • ContraKindle

    Joined Travelfish
    1st January, 2011
    Posts: 21

    Hello all,
    This is my first post, so bear with me please. I am arriving in Bangkok at 1AM on Jan 11th for the first time in Thailand. The existing posts are really great for all my needs except this one. I am wondering if anyone has any advice for hotel accommodation and airport transport for this time period. In my past travels, I book a hotel and ask for someone from the hotel to pick me up. This avoids the tout problems for the most part. As you can guess, it is a hit or miss thing. Sometimes, I get a hotel far from where I need to be. I'm budgeting $30 USD a day for accommodation, and would like to book a sleeper to Chiang Mai within 2 days, so hopefully within a quick tuk tuk drive near the train station. Thanks in advance for any help:)

    #1 Posted: 2/1/2011 - 00:30

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  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6267
    Total reviews: 10

    What do you want to do in those two days? That's probably the most critical question.

    #2 Posted: 2/1/2011 - 02:50

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2394
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    That time of night, your best bet will be to take a meter taxi from the airport to your hotel. The meter taxis are easy to find by just following the signs. There will be a surcharge of about 50 baht or so in addition to the fare. You'll also be expected to pay all tolls, if any.

    I don't have a specific hotel recommendation for you, but you'll find lots of good choices on the website. Obviously you'll want to book a room in a place with 24-hour reception, since by the time you get through customs and immigration and get to your hotel, it will likely be 2 or even 3 am. There may be hotels near the new airport that will pick you up as well, but I have not used these so I can't recommend a specific one. Plus, the airport is pretty far from the city and the main train station...

    One other thing. I don't think you'll be able to arrive in Bangkok and book an overnight sleeper berth on the train to Chiang Mai within such a short time frame. Those berths tend to sell out well in advance now. Hopefully you'll get lucky and find a stray berth available, but if not, you may want to go with plan B of a bus or flight or such. Good luck.

    #3 Posted: 2/1/2011 - 03:18

  • ContraKindle

    Joined Travelfish
    1st January, 2011
    Posts: 21

    Hey MadMac, I am not sure. I will bought a R/T ticket from Bangkok from Jan 11 to Feb 28th. I thought the two days may give me some leeway getting a ticket to Chaing Mai, and give me some time to buy a couple pairs of light pants and an electrical converter for my kindle. I wanted to let everything happen without any plans, so I figure getting out of Bangkok will be best for me in the beginning until I get a feel for the country. Laos, Cambodia, Nepal, and VietNam are definitely options. Exacto, thanks for the suggestion. I didn't realize about the 24hour reception so I will definitely inquire with that in mind. I will also consider the flight option. Cheers!

    #4 Posted: 2/1/2011 - 03:46

  • sirhalberd

    Joined Travelfish
    30th December, 2007
    Posts: 295

    There is no problem getting a taxi to take you to a hotel in the city even at 1 a.m. When you book a hotel you are really booking for the night before up to usually noon the next day. You have to notify the hotel that you will be arriving late after 1 a.m.

    A meter taxi from the airport to most hotels in Bangkok comes to around 350 baht. This is including the mandatory 50 baht surcharge, the toll charges plus meter fare to the hotel. This is much cheaper than having a hotel book your ride. For the public taxi you go to the first floor. There are two areas of sign up desks. Look for the podium/desks that are mostly blue with a taxi on them plus the words Public Taxi on it. Have a good address for the hotel. The desk clerk will give you a receipt, keep it. The desk person will tell the driver where to go. Paying the toll charges during the ride is normal. Meter starts at 35 baht. You look at the meter and add in the 50 baht and that is it. Round off the fare to get rid of some small coins.
    http://www.bangkokairportonline.com/node/52

    When taking a meter taxi in Bangkok have small bills and even change. Meter taxis are cheaper than tuk-tuks. But you have to insist on using the meter and not bargaining the cost of the ride.

    Since you are not asking for a hotel room for $5 per night I am assuming you might not be a teenager. If so maybe get a hotel near the Skytrain. The Skytrain can take you to the subway connection at Asoke. The subway goes right to the train station. If you are very young then perhaps a hotel in the Khao San Road area will do - but no Skytrain stops there!

    http://www.urbanrail.net/as/bang/bangkok.htm

    Here are few places in your price range. You ought to mention if you are male or female. Some of these hotels are not far from bars. Perfectly safe for women but some do object. Most guys rarely object though.

    Here is a Guest House/Hostel that doesn't have many bars around. They have a dorm for women only. Soi 1 Guest House.
    http://www.soi1guesthouse.com/

    Suk 11 Hostel is popular with women and men. While you are in this area look around. There are cheaper hotels nearby (close to the Swiss Park Hotel) that you ought to look at first and then decide to stay or not.
    http://www.suk11.com/2008/OurPlace.html

    Here is a link to some hotels that you can look over and decide to stay or not. Maybe pay more the first night and check out other places for later nights.

    Orchid Hotel Group:
    http://www.staywithorchid.com/

    Bangkok Inn:
    http://www.bangkok-inn.com/

    All of the above places are not far from the Skytrain station. Close to restaurants, malls, street vendors and travel agencies for tours and plane rides.

    This place is also on Sukhumvit and has some restrictions on guests you can bring in. Old style hotel.
    http://www.theatlantahotelbangkok.com/tarrifs.php

    Here is a hotel chain that is in several areas of Bangkok and even in Pattaya.
    http://www.sawasdee-hotels.com/index.html

    Good luck.

    #5 Posted: 2/1/2011 - 03:46

  • ContraKindle

    Joined Travelfish
    1st January, 2011
    Posts: 21

    Sirhalberd,
    Wow! Good stuff, and I am a 40YO Male. I appreciate the distinction of a teenage/20's trip, and a more mature approach. The job market is really bad where I am and since I save when I do work, I figure I might as well enjoy unemployment while I have time. Hence a 1 1/2 month leisurely stroll. Sorry about the excessive information:)

    #6 Posted: 2/1/2011 - 04:01

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2394
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    okay, since sirhalberd was kind enough to offer those excellent hotel suggestions, i'll include what has become my favorite place to stay in BKK too. it is called KT Guesthouse, located in a very thai neighborhood in the Din Daeng/Huay Kwang area of the city. it isn't near the tourists centers, but it isn't too far from them via taxi either. it is perhaps a 10-minute walk from the subway too, which you can take all the way to the main Hualamphong train station, but i don't think they let you take luggage or large backpacks on the subway anymore.

    anyway, KT Guesthouse does have 24-hour reception, and offers great value for money. on my last visit there was an excellent cafe in the lobby area, a legitimate thai massage place right next door, a good coffeehouse a few doors down, and even a 7-11 on the corner. there is a good-sized shopping mall with a great food court only a 40 baht taxi ride away. the only down side is that not much english is spoken in the neighborhood, although the hotel staff does speak english and will be able to assist you.

    if you are interested, you can learn more here: http://www.ktguesthouse.com/

    #7 Posted: 2/1/2011 - 04:46

  • ContraKindle

    Joined Travelfish
    1st January, 2011
    Posts: 21

    Exacto,
    That hotel looks like what I am looking for as a first stop location. I think I will go there for at least until I get a ticket to Chaing Mai. It looks like there are alot of places I can walk to from there as well. I do have two side questions that are newbie. I would prefer to be respectful to the locals and read somewhere that you should bring business cards to give away?? Sounds weird, but should I get some with my traveling email? Also, I also read that long pants are best as the local custom doesn't appreciate shorts wearing tourists. Should I pick some cotton trousers up in Bangkok? Cheers!

    #8 Posted: 2/1/2011 - 05:04

  • wanderingcat

    Joined Travelfish
    21st October, 2006
    Posts: 726
    Total reviews: 4
    Places visited:
    At least 67

    #7:
    but i don't think they let you take luggage or large backpacks on the subway anymore.

    was in BKK ~2 weeks ago. on the MRT, saw a couple of tourists with 60-75L size backpacks. friend & i also carried our luggage (3 duffel bags + 1 small suitcase) on board, though we kept to a corner of the very last carriage to minimise irritation of fellow passengers.

    so it's still possible to bring luggage & large backpacks onto the MRT. but you'll have to pass through security screening at all entrances to MRT stations. & if you are asked to open your bags for inspection, please move to one side instead of obstructing the single passage (as one guy did at Lumphini MRT). also, best to place backpacks on the floor of the MRT, so that it won't swing & whack the daylights out of passengers beside you whenever you turn around!

    #9 Posted: 2/1/2011 - 09:28

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