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First time in Thailand

  • deanna1990

    Joined Travelfish
    17th May, 2013
    Posts: 1

    Im a 23 year old English female traveling Thailand for the first time in December this year, I will be going for 3 months and traveling solo. Can anyone tell me a first hostel to stay at when I arrive in Bangkok and other information or advice would be extremely appreciated because I am a little nervous on what to expect.

    Thanks

    #1 Posted: 17/5/2013 - 14:13

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  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2406
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    Hi deanna,

    For someone your age and a first trip to Thailand, the greater Khao San Road area is a good place to start. You don't need to stay right on Khao San Road either, but it developed as Backpacker Central for a reason, as it is right near most of the major spots visitors like to see. Have a look at the listing on the website and see if there are a few places that fit your style and budget. I personally liked Thai Cozy when I stayed there, although it was many years ago now. Once you pick a place, see if you can print out the Thai language directions to the hotel from their website for the taxi ride from the airport.

    When you arrive at the airport, follow the signs to the taxi queue and take a metered taxi to your destination. These are a good choice because they hand you a receipt with the taxi's license plate number on it. Fare will be what is on the meter plus a 50 baht surcharge (unless it has gone up) plus any tolls.

    Wait until you arrive to change money. ATMs are everywhere, including the airport.

    Apart from that, have a look around the site and particularly the Before You Leave section for Thailand travel tips. Good luck. Have fun.

    #2 Posted: 17/5/2013 - 22:06

  • Geer1

    Joined Travelfish
    14th September, 2012
    Posts: 540
    Places visited:
    At least 42

    Bangkok is quite similar to most other big cities, nothing really worth worrying about. Just do a little research on the places and things you would like to see in Bangkok and decide where to stay based on that.

    Alternative to a cab if you show up during a reasonable hour can take airport link/skytrain/mrt if your guesthouse is a reasonable location from one of these places. A bit more hassle but a fair bit cheaper if you are on a tight budget.

    #3 Posted: 17/5/2013 - 23:11

  • Xircal

    Joined Travelfish
    24th December, 2012
    Posts: 95

    Hi deanna,

    Just in case you haven't thought of it, if you propose to visit Thailand for three months, you'll need to get a 60 day tourist visa which you can then extend by a further 30 days a week or so before it expires. You can download the application form from here: http://www.thaiconsul-uk.com/downloads-and-visas.aspx

    In addition, consult your local physician for recommended jabs. Although there weren't any health warnings in force for Thailand at the time of writing, that can change. In any event, "Twinrix" which is a combination Hepatitis A & B vaccine is recommended for travellers to the region and provides lifelong protection. It's administered in three doses at 0, 1 and 6 month intervals. So if you plan on travelling in December, then you should make an appointment for your first jab a.s.a.p. You can be infected with hepatitis through contaminated food or water regardless of where you might be staying.

    DEET is also recommended to protect you against mosquito bites. You can buy it at most chemists or drug stores in the UK. It's available in Thailand as well, but as with most consumables in Thailand, foreigners are viewed as being stinking rich and tourist prices tend to reflect that fact unfortunately.

    I'd recommend you take a pocket calculator with you so that when you go shopping, you can use that to bargain with. Whatever you do though, don't accept the first price you're quoted because it'll be at least 100% more than the object is actually worth. Bargaining is expected in Thailand and as long as you smile when you offer an equally ridiculous sum of money, you'll both eventually arrive at the figure you're prepared to pay.

    Have fun.

    #4 Posted: 20/5/2013 - 07:08

  • chopin

    Joined Travelfish
    28th April, 2007
    Posts: 154
    Total reviews: 2

    Hi Deanna,

    Soi Rambutri is a good place to find low cost guest houses in Bangkok. This lane has gained a lot of good reviews from travel sites, mainly due to its close proximity to Khao San Rd., and the relatively lower key and serenity compared to Khao San. There are so many tourists and tour companies here that it serves as a very good start for you to know other foreign tourists and to orient yourself, you might easily bum into some like minded fellow travellers and form impromptu groups for onward travels.

    Do try to search for this lane on travelfish, tripadvisor, and agoda, and find one guest house then book for the first 1 or 2 nights. When you are there, you can always shop around and switch to other places if you find some better places.

    Other than the good advice given by members above, also be informed that a lot of backpackers lost their valuables NOT to local thieves but to other fellow backpackers. So be vigilant.

    #5 Posted: 21/5/2013 - 02:41

  • abi0811

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd May, 2013
    Posts: 2

    Hi Deanna

    I travelled Asia 2 years ago, I was 21. I travelled with my (at the time) boyfriend. I felt so nervous about it and didn't know were to start. When you get out there, you wont even know why you worried, Its so easy to travel from place to place and you will never be alone, you will constantly meet people. We booked 4 nights in Bangkok, this was the only accommodation we pre-booked for the 4 months of travelling (apart from a stay in Koh Lanta as it was my 21st birthday and wanted somewhere special to stay) Its good to have somewhere to head to after the flight. I would definitely stay on Koh San Road to start with. Theres so much going on and i bet you wont be there for more than an hour before meeting friends and chatting about were to head to next! We stayed in a place called the Sawasdee Smile Inn, very cheap and standard small guest rooms, some with shared bathrooms some with private. To be honest it wasnt great, the staff were rude and chicken noises kept me awake all night, so maybe avoid that one. Its so easy to get a bus to your next destination from Koh San road, a tourist office on every corner, just pop in when you decide where youre going to next and barter a price to get there. YOU MUST BARTER! otherwise they will take you for a ride and your cash will run out quick! Head to Gullivers Travels Pub on the end of Koh San road, you'll meet loads of people to chat with.

    I used travelfish the whole way through travelling Asia and to be honest, i found it more helpful and more clear than reading my lonely planet! Id go for a mix of both to make the most of your trip, but mainly talk to other travellers, they have expreienced this first hand and can tell you all the places to go and things to do, also they can tell you how much they paid for things, so you can an idea of what prices to aim for when you barter. Happy Travelling!

    #6 Posted: 22/5/2013 - 04:23

  • RichardKay

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd May, 2013
    Posts: 1

    Hi, I am too wanting to travel to Thailand around this time alone it is very daunting to me but I know I need to do this for myself Im hoping to travel Thailand for around 1 to 2 months then move on to Australia. Let me know if you would like to meet and have some company as im really nervous in my adventure it would be nice to meet some like minded traveller to share experiences. please pm me or email peterkay508@gmail.com look forward to hearing from you x

    #7 Posted: 22/5/2013 - 20:57

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