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thailand.......help!

  • sophia

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd March, 2006
    Posts: 6

    i'm going to thailand for about 7 weeks at the end of june and i have no idea what to do! i'm not sure where to avoid because of the change in weather, not sure what places i HAVE to go to etc etc. i am going with my boyfriend and a budget of around 170,000 bht - the idea is to have a really relaxing time and to stay at some gorgeous places that aren't too wrecked by tourism.i bought a lonely planet but its not really as helpful as i would like...any advice form you guys would be greatly appreciated.
    thanks so much!
    sophia

    #1 Posted: 23/3/2006 - 12:34

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  • somtam2000

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    Hi Sophia,

    Welcome to Travelfish!

    DON'T PANIC! ;-)

    How about some more information on your interests -- it would make it easier to make a recommendation... Seven weeks is a good amount of time to spend in Thailand, so you'll be able to do loads.

    Think - for example: ancient ruins, beaches, big cities, jungle, trekking, boat trips, elephants rides, diving, watersports, sitting around campfires getting drunk, hanging out with Thais...add some more. Then rank them in order of what you're most interested in and post them back here -- that should help people make you some useful suggestions!

    #2 Posted: 23/3/2006 - 13:07

  • sophia

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd March, 2006
    Posts: 6

    Ummmmmmmmm....well i think we really just want to relax seeing as the past few months have been really stressful and when we arrive at the end of june it will definatly be a case of kicking back and soaking up the sun.
    so in order of importance...!
    1 - beaches. We want to go to places that aren't too touristy - I know we're going in low season so should be fairly quiet. Just some really beautiful places that are friendly and relaxing.
    2 - boat trips and elephant rides I've heard are a must in Thailand.
    3 - can't beat those ancient ruins.
    I guess at the moment my main priority is going to places that will still be sunny and as dull as it may sound we just want to take it easy.i'm thinking bungalows/cottages on the beach and lots of great food.i'm in the travel industry, do you think i should book ahead or wait until i'm in thailand?
    Thanks again,
    Sophia

    #3 Posted: 24/3/2006 - 08:17

  • somtam2000

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    ok, that makes it a bit easier!

    If you're goign in June, you want to stick to the east coast islands (Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Samui and Ko Tao as the weather will be rather wet on the west coast. Perhaps take a look at the new story we've just added to the site What is the best island in Thailand. Assuming you want to chill out and relax -- either Ko Pha Ngan or Ko Tao (esp. if you dive) would be fine choices.

    For elephants and trekking I'd suggest Pai, and as for ruins, well the ancient capital of Ayutthaya is just an hour north of Bangkok.

    So an easy trip could be sumthin like:
    Bangkok -Ayuttahya-Chiang Mai -Pai-Chaing Mai-Bangkok-Island of your choice... with seven weeks you could fit loads more in though -- just be sure to check the weather!

    As for reservations -- unless you really have youre heart set on somewhere specific, I'd probably not bother -- particularly if you're looking at budget accommodation -- many of the best places don't take reservations.

    Have fun!

    #4 Posted: 24/3/2006 - 08:56

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
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    I'm not so sure that June is really the low season anymore, since it seems like most everyone posting here lately, including me, plans to be on a beach in Thailand about that time. Just remember three things:

    Less is more. Don't Panic. Don't forget to bring a towel.

    I agree with Somtam that the Gulf of Thailand side is the best place to be that time of year, with Ko Tao, Phangan and Samui. I'm a big fan of Ko Samet too, and midweek there is typically pretty laid back and empty.

    Ayutthaya is an awesome getaway for ruins, and if you have the time, which it seems like you do, then Sukhothai is worth a look too. I also like Kanchanaburi as a great getaway.

    With 7 weeks in hand, I probably wouldn't make many reservations at all, except for the first night or so in a new location. It is nice to have the flexibility, and that way you'll be free to change your plans based on the weather or perhaps some cool place you hear about from a fellow traveller.

    The only thing I'd really recommend is that with 7 weeks you try to work in a trip to Luang Prabang or Angkor/Siem Reap. Depending on the type of visa you get, you might need to make a visa renewal run anyway, since most nationalities only qualify for a 30-day visa on arrival. Perhaps you've already worked that out. In any case, those two locations are really worth the effort to get there.

    On the itinerary Somtam suggested, I might suggest visiting Ko Samet before you head up to Ayutthaya, and then adding a visit to Luang Prabang sometime while you are up north in/near Chiang Mai. Have a great trip.

    #5 Posted: 25/3/2006 - 04:19

  • sophia

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd March, 2006
    Posts: 6

    thanks so much guys!!
    one final question - is a budget of approx 155,000 baht enough for 7 weeks, bearing in ming we want to stay in pretty nice places....having a financial crisis!
    thankyou!

    #6 Posted: 31/3/2006 - 08:20

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
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    Location United States
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    Hey Sophia,

    That is a budget of about 3,000 baht a day. Even if you were staying in 1,500 baht/night lodging, you should have plenty of cash for meals and snacks and massages and even a bit of shopping. You can always save a bit of cash by taking the train or bus instead of flying, by selecting a fan room instead of aircon, etc. Check the guesthouse listings on this site, and I think you'll be able to find some pretty nice places with lots of character for not too much money. Cheers.

    #7 Posted: 1/4/2006 - 07:26

  • quant

    Joined Travelfish
    5th April, 2006
    Posts: 1

    Haad Yao East (Koh Pha Ngan) is a beautiful beach. The first night me and my boyfriend stayed there we were all alone. You can only go there by boat. My English is terrible, sorry!

    #8 Posted: 5/4/2006 - 04:34

  • sophia

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd March, 2006
    Posts: 6

    Thanks for your help guys. I'm getting a teeny bit over excited about everything considering I'm not going to be there until the end of June.Expect more queries from me nearer the time!!!

    #9 Posted: 5/4/2006 - 10:25

  • jon_mak

    Joined Travelfish
    8th April, 2006
    Posts: 10

    I agree with quant, Haad yao (north west BTW) Koh Pangan is amazing for relaxing. If you can get infomation on Haad yao bungalows right on the beach there you'd do well to check 'em out. At night they have BBQ fish like baracuda and red/white snapper etc.... sat on the beach with a bonfire and sometimes fire works and the like. If you dont want tourist beaches don't go to sumui, phuket, pattaya etc... For a true get-away and very quiet beaches try Ban krut/ban sapan. As for your budget - YOUR RICH! :)

    Bye and good luck in thailand.

    Oh, I also think that a trip to cambodia's Angkor wat is well worth it. Just DON'T get the bus from KOH SAN ROAD (AVOID!)

    #10 Posted: 8/4/2006 - 17:05

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  • sophia

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd March, 2006
    Posts: 6

    I need your advice again guys -

    Travelling by train from Bangkok to the nearest station for the Koh Samui boat port - anyone done it? How easy is it? Is it a good option? Sorry if there is a massive section on train travel that I have missed!

    Cheers Guys!

    Sophia

    #11 Posted: 24/4/2006 - 10:55

  • somtam2000

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    Hi Sophia,
    The closest train station to Samui is near the mainland town of Surat Thani at a blip of a town called Phun Phin (14km from Surat Thani). It's easy to get public transport from there into Surat Thani. Catching the train is probably the most popular way of getting down to the south from Bangkok - it is easy, affordable and pretty comfortable, and there are both day and night train options.

    No big train section on the site -- something else to write I guess! (sigh)

    #12 Posted: 24/4/2006 - 10:59

  • sophia

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd March, 2006
    Posts: 6

    ooooooops didn't mean to make more work for you!

    Thanks Somtam!

    #13 Posted: 24/4/2006 - 13:40

  • dmattiello

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd April, 2006
    Posts: 3

    Hy sophia. I've been last year, well in 7 weeks you can do so much things. I think that on first you have to arrive to Bangkok, relax 4 days and visit all historics sites, Chinatown, have some massage, going to the night market and if you can you mas to go to the week-end market (with the sky train is so easy). If you want you can go in any travel agency or tourist info or directly in your hotel to have a map of the city and with a guide (like Holeyplanet) you can move without any pb. From Bangkok you can go wwith 1 day travel to visit Ayuthaya (gone by bus and coming back by boat) is not so expensive.
    From Bangkok you can go to the north (by train or bus) to Chiang Mai where you can visit many temples, have some monk chat, you must try some SPA treatements (the best are not really cheap, but they're amazing) and in the night going to the night market, try some fresch fish restaurant, and close to the wall of the city, near the old door thare's a very good pub on the top of a building is very...chill out. From here you can planning trekking, 4x4 adventure, rafting, going to Mae Hong Song, Chiang Rai and other places in the north. From the north you can decide if going directly to the island or going down through the west border, where there are many National Parks. You could stop in Sukhotai (The first capital of Siam), is very relaxing site, you can rent a bicle and spend a day in the old city visiting and have a siesta in there. If you go to the island you can chose:

    Phi Phi, Similian, Phuket, Krabi.
    Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao
    Koh Chang.

    Last year I've been in Koh Tao, because of the weather and because I love to dive. during summer in Koh Tao is the best site to dive and to snorkel. I prefer Koh Tao than Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, si not so full, no seamoto and is the best site to swim with fish all over you. In August I will go to Laos and than coming back to Koh Tao.

    If you want other info or photo e-mail me dmattiello72@lycos.es

    By

    Diego

    #14 Posted: 26/4/2006 - 17:45

  • dmattiello

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd April, 2006
    Posts: 3

    To go to Koh Samui you have to go to Chumpon and take a boat from there, better if you reserve once in Bangkok.
    But for me is better to go to Koh Tao, you have alwasy to go from Chumpon by boat

    #15 Posted: 26/4/2006 - 17:50

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