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HELP aug-sept 1 week trip. beaches!!=)

  • hunnie82

    Joined Travelfish
    25th August, 2011
    Posts: 2

    hello everyone!
    me and my husband are trying to take a one week and maybe a day or two trip to Thailand. we will be flying into BKK our first time to Thailand. everyone here seems so knowledgeable. so im asking for help!! i know its going to be the rainy seasons and were mainly going there to preferably relax on a beach. but were also on a tight budget.. can anyone recommend places to go and stay and what we should check out. cheapest ways to get around. for shopping there was mention of Chatuchak but only on the weekends in bangkok. does that mean only saturday and sunday. please help and thank you so much in advance~*

    #1 Posted: 25/8/2011 - 00:18

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  • Tilapia

    Click here to learn more about Tilapia
    Joined Travelfish
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    Hi Hunnie,

    Where are you flying in from and what time will you be arriving? For such a short time, this is important. Will you be jet-lagged? Will you be arriving at a time of the day that will allow you to get out of Bangkok straight away?

    Cheapest way to get around is by bus and 3rd. class train.

    The better weather during the rainy season is going to be found on the Gulf side around Koh Samui, Koh Pha-ngan and Koh Tao. Unfortunately, unless you fly, you're looking at an overnight trip to get to the area from Bangkok, or one day on the road followed by an overnight somewhere waiting for a ferry the next morning. That's a roundtrip totaling about 24 hours, at least, and doesn't count ferry time. That's a lot considering how little time you have. You may want to bite the budget bullet and fly straight to and from Koh Samui if that's the area you're considering. You may not even have to leave the airport in Bangkok.

    Or consider going somewhere around Chumphon or Ban Saphan, and staying on the mainland instead of going to an island. These places aren't as far and get, more or less, the same weather. They are also quite nice and less busy.

    Koh Chang is reachable from Bangkok in about 7 or 8 hours. During the rainy season it's not all that great, but it can be okay. Weather these days is very unpredictable. The other islands near it may or may not be open.

    I'm sure someone will chime-in with some other suggestions.

    The "Weekend" Market has everything! It can get insanely busy, hot, and fun. There are little bars and eating areas scattered all over the place. Go with plenty of time to spare because it's not the sort of place one goes to for an hour, or so.

    #2 Posted: 25/8/2011 - 02:03

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Posts: 2303
    Total reviews: 47

    for a relatively short trip to thailand and on a tight budget, koh samet along thailand's eastern seaboard may be your best choice. it is a 3 to 4 hour bus ride from bangkok followed by a short ferry ride to the island. there are several different beaches to choose from, each with their own style and price range. if you do visit koh samet, it is best to arrive mid week to get the best choice of accommodation and lower prices, etc. check the listings here on Travelfish to get an idea of what is available.

    if you miss out on the Weekend Market at Chatuchuk in Bangkok, the MBK shopping center is a good alternative with a wide range of shopping and food choices. cheers.

    #3 Posted: 25/8/2011 - 02:25

  • SBE

    Click here to learn more about SBE
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    Quite a lot of the stalls at Chatuchak are open on Friday afternoons too and it's a lot less crowded then.

    Like Tilapia says you could be pretty jetlagged and tired when you arrive. Even though you only have 8 days I'd be quite tempted to have a shower and get a good night's sleep before heading off to the beach!

    After a long flight the first thing I do in Bangkok (after the shower) is to get a two hour traditional Thai massage. It's great for getting over jetlag but might feel a little painful if you've never had one before! Gets the circulation going and stretches out muscles you never even knew you had but at the end you feel totally relaxed and refreshed and a two hour massage usually costs less than $20. Oil massages cost a little more but are gentler ( less muscle stretching) but also very relaxing.

    Another thing I find useful for minimizing jetlag is to set my watch for the time zone of the place where the plane is landing next as soon as I get on board. Somehow simply doing that helps convince my brain that it's five hours later or whatever.

    The Lomprayah ferry seems to have a new connecting flight service from Bangkok that might interest you if you want to go to Ko Tao or Ko Phangan where the weather should be OK. I've no idea how good/reliable this airline is but it would be a very quick and easy way of getting there.

    http://www.lomprayah.com/E/route_solar.htm

    The other way would be to get an overnight bus or sleeper train to either Ko Tao or Ko Phangnan. You could book the bus on the above site but I find the train more comfortable (even though Thai trains are pretty old) because you can stretch out properly. For some reason I haven't been able to access Thai train sites for months from my laptop so I don't know if the train online booking service is up and running but you could check. This site seems to work for everyone else and has loads of information about Thai trains including pictures of what the trains look like inside.

    http://www.seat61.com/

    #4 Posted: 25/8/2011 - 04:15

  • hunnie82

    Joined Travelfish
    25th August, 2011
    Posts: 2

    Hi Tilapia =)
    im flying from iad to nrt to bkk and should arrive 8/28 at 11:05pm. i will be jetlagged but not too bad. i do 2 flights to korea a year and im usually ok. long as im not running around or drinking too much >=P
    how much do flights usually run to hop to an island probably $100 or more us right?? =(
    is Chumphon or Ban Saphan some what beachy areas?
    do you know how i can get from bkk airport to that shopping area Chatuchak hopefully if they dont close early i can find a room near by and do a lil shopping before turning in for bed.
    Thanks for the loads of info i def. need it =) i figured even if its only a week thailand is somewhere i def wanted to check out!! i hope i made a good choice =P

    Exacto for koh samet is it still a pretty good price if i go there and get a room? guesthouse hostel.. anything? do you also know if its the same way in bangkok. i havent booked anything planning on going there looking for good deals and winging it.. i know.. so unorganized.

    SBE the massages sound HEAVENLY how do i find one?? just ask anyone? and the prices wow u cant beat 20 bucks for 2 hours anywhere! eekk so excited even thinking about the shopping and massage. hehehe

    thanks thanks all of u

    #5 Posted: 25/8/2011 - 04:19

  • SBE

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    If you're getting into Bangkok at 11.05 pm then it'll be well after midnight by the time you get into town and the shops and markets will be closed so unfortunately you won't be able to do a lil shopping before hitting the sack! I doubt if you'll be able to get at massage at that time of night either. There are massage places everywhere, no need to book, but they usually close around 11pm or midnight in Bangkok. You can get one hour massages for about $10 too by the way...I just prefer getting the longer one after a flight. Thai massage involves applying pressure more or less along acupuncture lines and they often press quite hard... hence the pain if you're not used to that kind of massage (that and the stretches!) but it is really effective and can become quite addictive. Some people prefer Thai massage and some prefer oil which is more of a western style massage. You'll be able to get massages on the islands too if you don't have time to get one in Bangkok.

    The only airline that flies to Samui is Bangkok Air (they have a monopoly) and it's more expensive than that flight+ferry option I posted a link to. In addition you'd still need to get a ferry from Samui if you wanted to go to Ko Tao or Ko Phangan.

    Here's the Bangkok Airways site anyway....they do have more flights a day.

    http://www.bangkokair.com/en/index.php

    It's really preferable to book transport ASAP if you want to go to Samui/Tao/Phangan to make sure you get a place on the bus/plane/train/ferry.

    Ko Samet doesn't need prior booking and buses leave at frequent intervals from the Eastern Bus Terminal which is easy to get to on the BTS skytrain (Ekkamai stop). The accommodation on Ko Samet is a bit more expensive (and there's an National Park entrance fee too) but it would allow you more flexibility and getting there would be cheaper. Don't go too late in the day or you'll miss the last ferry. There are speedboats too but they're much more expensive of course.

    #6 Posted: 25/8/2011 - 05:52

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