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First Time Visitor - advice needed

  • Sweetdee

    Joined Travelfish
    31st August, 2011
    Posts: 2

    Hey all...

    My hubby and I have decided to make a trip to Thailand with 2 restrictions - budget and time! So we are there for a max of 10 nights and on a seriously tight budget. We are looking at making the trip in April 2012/May 2012 and would be flying into Bangkok.

    We would like to spend a small amount of time in the major city, but are more interested in snorkelling / diving and a half moon party!

    So our idea is Bangkok , Koh Tao and Koh Pangan? Here are my questions:

    1. Is this the best choice? If so, what are the best beaches / areas on these islands?

    2.Could you please advise on cheapest accommodation here?

    3. Also, what should we budget in Baht per day for food and spending? (again - want to do 1 dive, enjoy our drinks and dont mind eating "street food")

    4. Should we do Bangkok in the beginning or end of the trip?

    Thanks so much!

    #1 Posted: 31/8/2011 - 18:52

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  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2583
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    hi dee,

    have a look at the listings on the website for the places you wish to visit as well as some of the other posts on budget and expenses to get a good idea for questions one through three above.

    as for #4, i always think bangkok at the end of the trip is the better option. you can do the bulk of your shopping then, and it gives you a bit more flexibility if you want to stay on the island an extra day or two as well as a margin of error in case you are delayed getting back to bangers for your onward flight. regards.

    #2 Posted: 1/9/2011 - 09:46

  • Thomas922

    Joined Travelfish
    1st July, 2007
    Location Global Village
    Posts: 346

    If you really want to party then arrange your trip around the FMP. there are many FMP websites that advertise for other parties.

    As for food it depends on your budget for your room and how much is left over.
    Let's say you want to eat some real meals also. street food is really not a full meal sometimes. Noodles in a broth/pad Thai banana pancakes/..different meats on a stick. If you really want to have and easier time of it..go to sites and get an idea of what you are looking at. Then it is easier to pick the street food that will be more filling. I say 300baht at least. 100 baht for a cheap regular meal and 200 baht for the rest. Another 100 baht for snacks at the 711. 400 baht. I personally would go 600 baht but I am bigger so. You can find rooms for 20bucks and less. 30 dollars to eat between you.
    But that is just being in one spot. How does that sound? If that is doable then you can relax. If you want to be more relaxed then count $60 a day room and food for 2 people.

    #3 Posted: 6/9/2011 - 17:08

  • frasmc

    Joined Travelfish
    28th November, 2005
    Posts: 29
    Total reviews: 3

    Given your short time frame and what you want to do it seems like a decent plan. I learned to dive on Koh Tao in '05 and visited again in '08, but the best dive experience I've had in Thailand was on Koh Lanta. If you are avid divers then it might be a better option (saw more in one dive at Hin Daen/Hin Muang than in 10 days worth on Koh Tao). You can get from there to Ko Pha Ngan in a day or night.
    Staying on Ko Pha Ngan, I recommend Thong Nai Pan Noi. It's a nice beach, there's cheap rooms available, the food is great (Again and Again is aptly named), and it's not too hard to get to and from the rest of the island for whatever party you base your trip around. I found the huts at the north end of the beach much nicer than the Travelfish review makes them out to be, and the views from the nicer hut at the very end are incredible. I think we paid ~350 baht a night.
    You might also find that you'd rather just go straight to Ko Pha Ngan. There are snorkelling and diving opportunities there as well, so might prefer the convenience of a longer stay (and be able to wrangle a bit of a discount on your room. Alternately, it's pretty easy to do an overnight trip from Koh Tao for just the Full Moon Party, if you go with that over the Half Moon.
    Exacto is totally spot on that Bangkok at the end rather than beginning is preferable, for all the reasons he mentioned.

    #4 Posted: 7/9/2011 - 01:10

  • Sweetdee

    Joined Travelfish
    31st August, 2011
    Posts: 2

    Thank you all for the responses... It has been very helpful indeed.
    Our thoughts have changed, though, and was wondering if I could run it by you to see if you have any advice on where to stay etc.
    We arrive in Bangkok in the morning and spend one night there. The following evening take overnight train to Surrathani and then on to Krabi where we will spend 3 nights and then on to Phi Phi for another 3 nights (this apparently is also a good party and good opportunities for snorkelling / diving). then we take an overnight train back to Bangkok for another night's stay before heading home the next evening???
    Would you say Krabi is a good choice? is there anything special about this other than Railay Beach??? Is there a different recommendation?

    Thank you for the useful information

    #5 Posted: 7/9/2011 - 12:09

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