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Suggestions on where to go for a first time longhaul traveller....

  • samanthas2g-
    oode

    Joined Travelfish
    12th May, 2006
    Posts: 18

    Hello

    Firstly, this website is excellent, I'm already getting more ideas from this site than from travel books I've purchased.

    My boyfriend and I are travelling from the UK to Thailand, 2nd week in June for 2 weeks in Thailand.

    As we arrive in Bangkok around 8pm, we've booked into a hotel in Bangkok for the first 2 nights and also on our last night, as we have an early morning flight back to England.

    We both want a somewhat relaxing holiday, we would ideally like to avoid touristy places, we'd like to visit some islands,some waterfalls, we'd both like to go kayaking if possible and see elephants (not all at the same time!!)

    We've no idea about where to go in Bangkok, we're staying in a hotel on New Petchburi Road, can anyone suggest any ideas for what we can do in Bangkok? Also we'd both like thai massages, what kind of price should we expect to pay? is it best to go through a registered practice? I've no idea.

    Our budget for the whole trip is 35,800,00 each. We'd like to stay in nice comfortable places, Can anyone recommend any accom?

    I've one final question. I'm vegetarian, I don't eat any fish or meat, is this going to be a big problem?!

    Sorry for so many questions, just I could really do with help, and any advice will be greatly appreciated.

    Kind regards

    Samantha

    #1 Posted: 12/5/2006 - 19:41

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  • somtam2000

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    Hi Samantha,

    Welcome to Travelfish -- glad you like the site

    Hotel on New Petchaburi -- not the Amari Atrium by chance?

    In Bangkok there's so much to see it's difficult to know where to start, but whenever I have a frend going there for the first time, I suggest they see the following:
    Jim Thompson's House
    The Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew
    Do a trip along the river
    Visit Pak Khlong Talaat (the fresh flower market -- best visited after 11pm)

    If you're a bit more adventurous, of want to try something a bit different, see the recent story we did on cycling trips in Bangkok

    For water sports etc, look into Ko Tao -- perhaps fit some diving in when you're there. If it is kayaking then the west coast is better -- around Ko Phi Phi, but it will be a little rainy.

    Foe massage - a standard massage in a no frills massage joint should cost around 400B for an hour.

    One of our personal favourites is Best Massage -- it is underneath Times Square on Sukhumvit Road (closest skytrain stop Asok) -- they do amazing foot massages there...

    No problem for vegeies!

    #2 Posted: 12/5/2006 - 22:08

  • samanthas2g-
    oode

    Joined Travelfish
    12th May, 2006
    Posts: 18

    :-) Thanks for your very quick response, and yes, we're staying at the Amari Atrium - hopefully that's a good thing? - Is the sky train the best way to get around? and the area that we're staying in, in Bangkok, is it ok?

    I've just been reading about Ko Tao on the site, it sounds really good.

    #3 Posted: 12/5/2006 - 22:17

  • samanthas2g-
    oode

    Joined Travelfish
    12th May, 2006
    Posts: 18

    One other thing! - sorry!! - If we decided to go to Ko Tao, if we went from Bangkok, what would be the best way to get there? - if flying, how much approx would the flight cost, and do you need to book in advance or can you jsut turn up at the airport?

    #4 Posted: 12/5/2006 - 22:18

  • somtam2000

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    Hi Samantha,

    The Atrium is popular because it does amazing deals, but the downside is the location -- everything, and I mean just about everything, is a cab-ride away as the hotel isn't well placed for public transport. The hotel is still quite central and for themoney is a great deal! The area isn't a "tourist area" but you're just a short cab ride away from Sukhumvit and its dozens of restaurants, bars and the skytrain.

    Yes skytrain is the best way to get around.

    For Ko Tao, if you want to fly down you need to fly to Ko Samui and then take a ferry from there. We just booked tickets ourselves for Bangkok to Samui -- the only carrier that flies there in Bangkok Airways. The first and last flight of the day is 2,000B one way, otherwise it is around 3,400B each way. I'd strongly advise booking in advance if you want to fly.

    #5 Posted: 13/5/2006 - 06:18

  • wayne

    Joined Travelfish
    1st February, 2004
    Posts: 23

    Bangkok Airways currently have a special, on all flights if you book in advance you should be able to get the same price (plus 300B). I think there are about 20 seats per flight for this price.
    Sorry not sure how long this lasts, but it may be on their website

    #6 Posted: 13/5/2006 - 22:50

  • samanthas2g-
    oode

    Joined Travelfish
    12th May, 2006
    Posts: 18

    Hello

    Thanks for all the very useful information. After spending the most of day looking at options, we've decided to spend 6 nights in Koh Chang and 4 nights in Koh Tao.

    I've found a really cheap flight from Bangkok to Surat Thani, return, with Air Asia (www.airasia.com) including tax, total price for the 2 of us is; 4489.72 THB This sounds too good to be true???? Is it??? Are they reliable?

    As for the accom, we were going to book when we got there, but since looking on this website, we've decided to book before we go, and we've decided on Sea View resort in Koh Chang and Thipwimarn Resort in Koh Tao.

    They seem pretty good, hopefully!!!!!!

    As for getting to Koh Chang, we're not sure what to do, whether to fly or go by bus? It's time that is against us, as we're unfortunately not going to be in Thailand for very long.

    I have one final question, are there any boats that go from Koh Chang to anywhere near Koh Tao?

    Big smiles

    Samantha.

    #7 Posted: 14/5/2006 - 00:46

  • samanthas2g-
    oode

    Joined Travelfish
    12th May, 2006
    Posts: 18

    Oh, one more thing!! - I forgot to mention, that, If we do decide to fly to Surat Thani, to get to Koh Tao, It looks like we'd be able to get a boat from Surat Thani to Koh Samui, and then get another one from there to Koh Tao, do you think this will be ok? From what I've read, there seems to be a higher frequency of boats from Surat Thani to Koh Samui, unlike Surat Thani to Koh Tao, where there only seems to be a few choices. Is this right?

    Again, sorry for so many questions and thank you in advance.

    Samantha.

    #8 Posted: 14/5/2006 - 00:53

  • somtam2000

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    Hi samantha,

    AirAsia are fine...

    Go from Bangkok to Ko Chang by bus (takes around 5 hours).

    No boat from Ko Chang to Ko Tao -- you have to go back to Bangkok.

    Yes boat from Surat to Samui then Tao (I think via Ko Pha Ngan for a short-layover)

    The places you name on Ko Tao and Chang are both lovely -- good choices!

    #9 Posted: 14/5/2006 - 06:25

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
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    Samantha,

    On getting from Ko Chang to Ko Tao, there is one flight option that lets you avoid having to go all the way back to Bangkok. Bangkok airways has a daily flight from Pattaya-U Tapao Airport (which is really closer to Rayong than Pattaya) to Ko Samui for about 2,500 baht one-way fare.
    (Bangkok Airways also has plans for a Trat to Ko Samui flight too, but it isn't clear when that route will begin service) You'd wind up paying more than the round-trip fare you got on AirAsia for BKK to Surat, but you'd avoid having to go all the way back to Bangkok, and you'd also be flying directly to Ko Samui instead of into Surat Thani, which puts you that much closer to your final destination of Ko Tao. It is your call of course, but worth considering, if you have the extra money to trade for the convenience. Regards.

    #10 Posted: 14/5/2006 - 23:30

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  • samanthas2g-
    oode

    Joined Travelfish
    12th May, 2006
    Posts: 18

    Hello

    Thanks for information. We've decided against going to Ko Tao, and instead will base our time in Ko Chang, we can always explore the islands local to it. We have actually booked the Sea View Resort, we got confirmation today, but we've only booked it for 6 nights, so we'll keep our options open for our remaining days in Thailand. We may decide to stay the whole time in Ko Chang, who knows! I'm really looking forward to going to Thailand, I've wanted to go there for a long time, can't quite believe it's finally happening, though for a shorter time than I had hoped, better than nothing, and hopefully, will be first of many more trips there.

    On Ko Chang, is it very "touristy"? Would it be worth our while chartering a boat when we're there, to visit other islands close by?


    Big smiles

    Samantha.

    #11 Posted: 15/5/2006 - 01:39

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
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    Samantha,

    Ko Chang can be a bit touristy in some areas, but it is a big island, and you should be able to find that mix of the secluded and the resort fun that most of us are looking for.

    You should be able to book a snorkeling or other tour that will take you around to some of the smaller islands, or just hop a ferry to an outer island and stay a night or two as well. Ask around after you arrive to see what options appeal to you.

    If the rainy season comes early, and you feel like you are getting rained out on Ko Chang, you can always make a strategic retreat to Ko Samet, a few hours closer to Bangkok. For whatever reason, they tend to get less rain on Samet.

    My favorite place on Ko Chang was all the way to the right (north) on White Sand Beach. Wherever you wind up, I hope you have a great time.

    #12 Posted: 15/5/2006 - 07:39

  • samanthas2g-
    oode

    Joined Travelfish
    12th May, 2006
    Posts: 18

    Thanks very much for all your help and suggestions. I'll take a look at Ko Samet now, just in case! Is it likely that it will rain very much on Ko Chang, mid June?

    #13 Posted: 15/5/2006 - 14:51

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
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    Samantha,

    Take a look at the Thailand Weather FAQ section (in the FAQ links section just to the right ----->). The average rainfall charts show that the rainy season usually begins in June on Ko Chang. Even so, you'll just get a bit wet and should still have lots of fun.

    #14 Posted: 15/5/2006 - 20:55

  • samanthas2g-
    oode

    Joined Travelfish
    12th May, 2006
    Posts: 18

    Hi everyone

    2 weeks to go, 'til I'm off to Thailand - not that I'm counting the days or anything!! :)

    I was wondering if anyone could help with any suggestions for my boyfriends birthday. He'll be 29 whilst we are in Ko Chang. I'd like to do something special. Not bothered about the cost. I'd like to do something that he won't forget. I know there are waterfalls, and elephants, but can anyone think of anything? He's a gentle kind soul who's very caring. I've been in hospital recently, and he's really been there for me, so I really do want to do something special. I'd be grateful if you can think of anything?

    Big smiles

    Samantha

    #15 Posted: 25/5/2006 - 22:07

  • somtam2000

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    Hi Samantha,

    Well it's funny you ask about Ko Chang as I've been busying myself over the last couple of days on Lamai Beach Ko Samui editing some 77 pages of notes on that very island turned in last week by one of our researchers.

    Assuming all goes to plan it will be on the site in the next couple of days, but something that caught my eye was "Robinson Crusoe" experiences that the new TreeHouse (on Long Beach) are offering. They're 1,000B and for your money, they take you off to a totaly deserted island and leave you there for the night to fend for yourself, and give you only water, a bit of food, some fishing gear and a tent... perhaps not something for a gentle soul fresh out of hospital, but it certainly caught my eye!

    #16 Posted: 26/5/2006 - 07:31

  • BUCKSBLOKE35

    Joined Travelfish
    28th February, 2006
    Posts: 26

    AIR ASIA-FLEW TWICE THIS YEAR WITH THEM,TOOK OFF ON TIME AND ARRIVED SLIGHTLY EARLY BOTH TIMES,COULDNT FAULT THEM FOR THE PRICE,FLEW UDON THANI TO BANGKOK AND BANGKOK TO PHNOM PHEN,BOTH COST AROUND 20 UK POUNDS.
    ALSO FLEW BANGKOK AIRWAYS TO LUANG PRABANG (LAOS),FIRST RATE BUT NOWHERE NEAR AS CHEAP AS AIR ASIA.
    HAPPY HOLIDAYS.....

    #17 Posted: 1/6/2006 - 02:17

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