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First time in Thailand

  • evcia

    Joined Travelfish
    6th January, 2012
    Posts: 4

    Dear Travelfish Friends,

    We are planning to travel to Thailand with my friend for the first time. We want to do some touring around incl. Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Kanchanaburi, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai using public transport. Could you please advise how safe it is to travel around for two females or is it better to organise tours prior with travel agancies? Are there any travel agencies available in BKK?

    Thank you in advance.

    #1 Posted: 6/1/2012 - 13:47

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  • Tilapia

    Click here to learn more about Tilapia
    Joined Travelfish
    21st April, 2006
    Location Canada
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    Perfectly safe and easy to get around on your own using public transport.

    #2 Posted: 6/1/2012 - 14:17

  • evcia

    Joined Travelfish
    6th January, 2012
    Posts: 4

    Thank you for your prompt response ;) Much appreciated.

    #3 Posted: 6/1/2012 - 14:20

  • evcia

    Joined Travelfish
    6th January, 2012
    Posts: 4

    Just one more question: Is there any need to book your train, bus tickets prior to travel? And if so are there any websites where tickets can be purchased?

    Thank you.

    #4 Posted: 6/1/2012 - 14:23

  • busylizzy

    Joined Travelfish
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    Location New Zealand
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    Thailand is very safe and very easy to get around using public transport, so no worries there.
    Generally, you would be best to wait until you get to Thailand and book trains, etc the day before (or even on the day). That gives you the maximum flexibility to alter your plans as you find you want to spend longer in one place, less time elsewhere, or to check out a new place you hadn't intended.

    Check out http://www.seat61.com/Thailand.htm for trains. To book buses, you will find local travel agents, etc to organise this for you - they're scattered everywhere in the main tourist areas. Or your guesthouse can usually organise tickets as well.
    Enjoy!

    #5 Posted: 6/1/2012 - 14:53

  • Tilapia

    Click here to learn more about Tilapia
    Joined Travelfish
    21st April, 2006
    Location Canada
    Posts: 1425
    Total reviews: 15
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    At least 113

    Just to add to busylizzy's comments ...

    Getting around by bus in Thailand is very simple. Say, for example, you want to go to Chiangmai. You have a couple of choices. You could book through a travel agency, pay a premium, and get on a bus that's full of other westerners and get dropped off who-knows-where. Or, you can take a taxi or bus or the skytrain to the Northern Bus Terminal (Morchit) and buy a ticket for Chiangmai knowing that your final destination will be the main terminal in Chiangmai. No surprises, like being dropped off on the edge of town at some travel agency office.

    Most of the main bus terminals are very user-friendly and have have helpers who will walk you straight to the ticket counter, help you get your ticket, and then walk you to your bus or the platform from where it will leave from ... if you want. There are also many departures for each place each day, so if you want to catch a bus that leaves at 9:00 am and miss it, chances are good that another one or more will be leaving within the hour.

    When in Bangkok, if you're not sure which bus terminal you need to go to, just ask your guest house owner and he or she will know, and will tell you how to get there. It really is very easy.

    Also, with regards to the trains, getting your ticket a day or two in advance is always a good idea, but if you are going to be traveling during holidays you should book earlier than that. You can book at any travel agency (and pay a relatively small service fee), or you can go and buy your ticket at any train station in the country. This is very convenient because it means that you can walk into the train station in Kanchanaburi and buy a ticket for the Chiangmai to Bangkok night train for 3 or 4 weeks later. No need to wait until you're in Chiangmai.

    The main station in Bangkok (Hualamphong) also has helpers and an information desk with very helpful and eager young English speakers who will be more than happy to point you in the right direction, provide you with schedules, prices, and probably the locations of the best eating spots around the station.

    #6 Posted: 6/1/2012 - 15:29

  • evcia

    Joined Travelfish
    6th January, 2012
    Posts: 4

    Great, that all makes sens now. Thank you very much for your advice. Regards.

    #7 Posted: 6/1/2012 - 17:37

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