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Advice on Thailand in July-August

  • mayak

    Joined Travelfish
    30th April, 2008
    Posts: 1

    Hi! my bf and i are coming to thailand for all of july and 2-3 weeks in august. we need some far-ranging advice about a variety of things including:

    1) best option for budget accommodations that are still clean and SAFE enough to leave a laptop computer. we need to be near Bumrungrad hospital for a few days at least. other times we just want to see the most interesting parts of the city. not interested in partying or bar/club scene. want to go local and eat good cheap food and see local life, architecture, culture etc. not swanky foreigner stuff

    2) i keep seeing prices listed per "BED" -- sometimes per person. if we just want a room with 1 bed (even a single if need be) will we be charged for two people anyway? Is this standard in Thailand? How about on the islands, if we rent a little bungalow?

    3) island recommendations--we want to go somewhere beautiful and not overrun with sunburned, drunk foreigners, cheap but clean and safe (again, i'll be carrying a laptop). and because we'll be there for almost 2 months, and i'm a writer, we have to be able to have daytime electricity to power the laptop and internet to send off assignments, etc.

    4) is there a way to charge up laptops during the day on little islands where the hotels only have electricity at night?

    5)are the budget bungalows safe to leave computers and stuff or do hotels have reliable places for safekeeping?

    6) is it reasonable to plan a budget of 500 baht a day average for two people (what we can manage on in many parts of China)? if not, what IS reasonable? we live in China normally and are used to roughing it or going simple. but don't want dirty or unsafe conditions.

    7) can you bargain for a big discount on room prices during the july-august season? how much?

    8) how much will it rain during that time? if we want to be at beaches, where is the best part of the country to go for beaches, not too much downpour and relatively cooler weather?

    9) anyone fly air asia? their tix are super cheap and i'm wonder about the service. also the flight from shenzhen gets into bangkok after 1 am-- will it be difficult to get cheap transport to the hotel?

    10) any other great tips would be really appreciated!
    MANY THANKS
    m

    #1 Posted: 30/4/2008 - 17:37

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  • Jon_Mak_Mak

    Click here to learn more about Jon_Mak_Mak
    Joined Travelfish
    21st February, 2007
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 464
    Total reviews: 5

    Hi,


    1. Are you talking about Bangkok? If so, that’s a post in its self!

    2. The standard for most hotels across Thailand is to charge per room.

    3. Most of the main islands are full of drunken sun beds. But, there are places you can go to avoid them. Most places are beautiful but if you go to say Patong in Phuket there will be a lot of holiday makers. The north of Ko Pangang is nice and quiet.

    4. Most places have electricity 24 hours.

    5. No way in the world would I be leaving a laptop / camera / I pod / cash etc…in a bungalow or even most of the hotels I have stayed in. (unless in a safe)

    6. 250 Baht a day for 1 person wouldn’t be enough for me but if you only want to eat Thai and drink water and walk every where you might manage. But I doubt it. Just remember if it’s your first time in Thailand and you don’t speak Thai or know about it you are not going to be paying the local (lowest/best) price for stuff.

    7. You can barter with the hotels, I always have anyway. Tell them you don’t want the ‘American breakfast as well (usually crap!) and it might be cheaper.

    8. Take an umbrella. It might rain a bit. :)

    Air Asia is fine to fly with. It’s cheap and for short trips its ok. At the airport there will be plenty of taxi just waiting for you. :)

    10. I will leave some for someone else.

    #2 Posted: 1/5/2008 - 04:41

  • khunwilko

    Joined Travelfish
    27th January, 2007
    Posts: 560

    1) best option for budget accommodations that are still clean and SAFE enough to leave a laptop computer. we need to be near Bumrungrad hospital for a few days at least. other times we just want to see the most interesting parts of the city. not interested in partying or bar/club scene. want to go local and eat good cheap food and see local life, architecture, culture etc. not swanky foreigner stuff


    Ok – there are 2 or 3 issues here
    Laptop. You mention this a couple of times so I’ll deal with it all here.
    I find my valuables are safer here than in UK or even Oz...but you have to follow common sense. Don’t wave it about...don’t advertise the fact that you have one at all......even get a bag for it that doesn’t look like a laptop bag.
    Some hotels and resorts may have a room or customer safe that’s big enough for it...but they are the exception, so your best bet is to pretend you haven’t got one and hide it discreetly. Get a security cable for it and a padlock and just do everything you can think of to make it less likely that someone will be bothered firstly to find it and then untangle it and run off with it....burglars don’t like to spend a lot of time in your room.
    In general I trust hotel safes etc...even the staff..it’s the other holidaymakers you need to worry about.
    You have to trust your instincts to some extent....

    Back up all your files to another medium...disc, another PC or anything BEFORE you go on holiday...that way you can only lose your hardware.

    As for charging there won’t be a problem....except that you might want to get and extension cable....there’s no telling where the mains pug will be in your room.

    Then you mention Bumrungrad – presumably the hospital in Bkk. Bkk is “doable” in 3 or 4 days.....Reno Hotel near National Stadium has a pool and newly refurbished rooms at around the 2000 mark.

    Food is everywhere in Bkk ...just go and eat!

    2) i keep seeing prices listed per "BED" -- sometimes per person. if we just want a room with 1 bed (even a single if need be) will we be charged for two people anyway? Is this standard in Thailand? How about on the islands, if we rent a little bungalow?

    Usually hotels quote prices per double room.....you’re going in the wet season and prices should be lower, but negotiate anyway......especially if you’re staying for a few days..
    Bungalows are usually per bungalow ...but this is not always the case as some cater for Thai families who may put 12 people in one hut that a westerner would think is fine for only 2 people....so you might negotiate down here.


    3) island recommendations--we want to go somewhere beautiful and not overrun with sunburned, drunk foreigners, cheap but clean and safe (again, i'll be carrying a laptop). and because we'll be there for almost 2 months, and i'm a writer, we have to be able to have daytime electricity to power the laptop and internet to send off assignments, etc.

    Your main problem with the islands may be a lack of tourists on some...which means a lot of the usual facilities may also not be on offer...Koh Chang the wettest is virtually closed.....Samui will have far less rain....check the Travelfish weather map...Google it.


    4) is there a way to charge up laptops during the day on little islands where the hotels only have electricity at night?

    See above.....

    5)are the budget bungalows safe to leave computers and stuff or do hotels have reliable places for safekeeping?

    Sometimes...
    Up to you....see above....I have a car and lock the stuff in that.

    6) is it reasonable to plan a budget of 500 baht a day average for two people (what we can manage on in many parts of China)? if not, what IS reasonable? we live in China normally and are used to roughing it or going simple. but don't want dirty or unsafe conditions.

    Allow 1000 to 2000 bat for nice rooms (air, TV, pool) and 500 for basic....no air hot water) on the islands...they are all overpriced. – But negotiate......
    FOOD - is again up to you...you can eat street food for 20 baht a shot or go western eat a buffet and spend the rest of your holiday on the john!

    7) can you bargain for a big discount on room prices during the july-august season? how much?

    How much is NOT an answerable question if you are bargaining properly...this is a deal done in real time between you and the vendor.....

    8) how much will it rain during that time? if we want to be at beaches, where is the best part of the country to go for beaches, not too much downpour and relatively cooler weather?

    Most days get some sun....check the weather map at Travelfish...very good to use.

    9) anyone fly air asia? their tix are super cheap and i'm wonder about the service. also the flight from shenzhen gets into bangkok after 1 am-- will it be difficult to get cheap transport to the hotel?

    Nov - get a taxi and agree a fixed price before you set off or make sure the meter is running.

    SOME of their tickets are cheap...subject to availability – you’re not a travel writer are you?...you’d know the score with cheap tickets...

    10) any other great tips would be really appreciated!
    MANY THANKS
    m
    here's 20 tips......

    Here are 20 things to think about when visiting Thailand…

    1. Bring a cell phone “unblocked” and buy a Thai SIM card for it on arrival, they’re cheap (apprx. 250 baht) and include some credit already on them - e.g. - International calls to UK are about 5 - 8baht per min…

    2. Money - Bring ATM and/or credit cards. - check fees and tell your bank your are going abroad. - Take Travellers cheques only as back-up. Bring very little cash (Baht) – you tend to get a better rate of exchange here than any home country. You can change money on arriving at the airport..

    3. Bring very few clothes – they are so cheap here and you’ll only bring stuff that is too warm anyway.

    4. Very little luggage – this makes you more mobile if you need to be and less vulnerable to taxi touts and undesirable men….Before you go home you can buy any extra luggage (cheap) to take souvenirs etc.

    5. Internet access is everywhere – even on the beach… you can get all your photos copied to CD - If you have a lap-top you can connect it (broadband even wi-fi) at most cafes.

    6. Food - Thai food is very unlikely to give you food poisoning but can contain more chillies than you ever thought possible….Street food is usually safe (and delicious!), check for numbers of customers and general looks of the stall. Western (“farang”) food is much more likely to give you food poisoning – fridges are not part of Thai cooking lore yet…beware of Western Fast Food outlets and hotel buffets - food that has been out for over an hour or so. Thailand is not used to fridges/chill-serve etc.

    7. Always carry a pack of tissues - they don’t supply free tissues (if there is a vending machine at all!)

    8. Drink bottled water - not tap water. Even consider not brushing your teeth with tap water. Ice is usually safe in drinks and for anything else.

    9. Use common safety sense – it is easy to relax too much here…when it comes to petty crime the rate is certainly lower than in places like the US/Europe etc…but every country has its share of con-men and psychopaths…..

    10. Don’t be afraid to go to Pattaya – it is the sex capital of Thailand but they don’t jump out at single women and couples and it has good, cheap hotels, shopping and food. Not a bad place to start off for Koh Chang, Koh Samet or Cambodia.

    11. Bring an international driving licence – although most national ones are accepted by motorbike and car hire companies and anyone else who wants to hire you something….you may not be insured without an IDL! In Thailand they drive on the left - cars are Right-hand-drive. However driving is really only for the experienced. Be especially careful on a motorbike - Samui has the highest accident rate in Thailand.

    12. Public transport is cheap. Planes, Trains, Buses, Minibuses, Taxis, from town to town. If you’re in a minibus or taxi, tell the driver you’ll tip him if he keeps the speed below 90/100 kmph! National speed limit is 90kph (120 on motorways)

    13. Around Bkk try to use meter taxis with the meter on...it’ll be cheaper than the tuk-tuks. Take a tuk-tuk once for the experience then use meter taxis. Don’t let the drivers take you out of your way...they’ll try to take you to some (relative’s) store where they get commission.

    14. Medical - Check out a few “jabs & medications” - Hep “A” & “B” require a long course before leaving and are a pretty good idea – don’t bother with the malaria ones – too heavy! You can get tetanus or rabies here if you’re bitten by a dog - it’s cheap. Most medicines (including antibiotics) can be bought over the counter without prescription and are cheap. A pharmacist will give you what he considers right for your symptoms but you can just as easily see a doctor at a local clinic for a couple of hundred baht. They usually speak a little English.

    15. Check up on Thai manners and customs – this will earn you more respect from the locals. - Keep up some dress sense – how you dress in Thailand is quite important. Don’t go topless without checking out if it’s acceptable where you are – usually it’s frowned upon. You’ll notice that Thai women (even sex workers) are very modest in public –they usually swim fully clothed.

    16. Check out table manners – Thais tend to eat from communal dishes in the centre of the table – don’t pour everything onto your own plate!

    17. Don’t knock the royal family – even in jest.

    18. Body language - Don’t point your feet at people – the body is seen as hierarchical and the feet are the lowest part and should not be waved about (this is like a “fingers up” sign. Before entering someone’s home you must take off your shoes; this also applies to some shops and businesses. - Never take a shoe off and wave it at someone – this could lead to violence.
    On the other hand it is impolite to touch people on the head.

    19. It’s not necessary to “Wai” people - the Thai greeting - as you’ll probably get it wrong. If they Wai you, you might try a wai back.

    20. Remember, this is the Land of Smiles and you will find everything goes much better when you have a smile on your face - whatever the situation….

    #3 Posted: 12/5/2008 - 13:55

  • SBE

    Click here to learn more about SBE
    Joined Travelfish
    14th April, 2008
    Location Global Village
    Posts: 1951
    Total reviews: 5
    Places visited:
    At least 2

    1. You seem to be on a fairly tight budget. If the Reno sounds too expensive @2000B/night then try SUK 11 where you can get a basic but clean room within walking distance of Bumrungrad for the two of you from 650B/night including breakfast. It's very safe and you can use your own padlock on your room door in addition to the key the provide.
    SUK 11 is also very handy for transport for your sightseeing elsewhere in the city ... only 50m from the skytrain and a 5 min walk to the underground stop.

    BTW Bumrungrad hospital is the absolute epitome of swanky foreigner stuff.... getting treatment there would be WAY too expensive for any ordinary Thai. Naturally, it's located in a swanky and very touristy area of Bangkok so maybe you'd be better moving to another part of the city after your treatment there.

    You'd probably need to speak Thai in a *real* Thai neighborhood though ...sooo ...looks like the cheapies in the streets around Khao San road are what you actually need. Have you already checked out all the GH reviews this site? There's a pretty comprehensive selection on travelfish.

    3. The time of year you are going is the rainy season on the Andaman coast and around big Ko Chang. Humidity is not good for laptops so I'd suggest one of the Gulf islands...Ko Samui, Ko Tao or Ko Phangan. Like most Thai islands they are pretty overrun with tourists nowadays but Ko Tao and Ko Phangan still have a few nice spots. Most (maybe all?) the resorts on these two islands now have 24 hr electricity.

    I'd say 500B/day for two would be practically impossible. That's about the minimum you'd be paying for your bungalow. You still need to eat. Do you smoke or drink beer or need a few coffees every day? That will push up daily costs a lot. What about transport when you're on the island. Are you going to be renting a motorbike? I'd say a budget of 1500B/day for two would be a far more realistic.

    7. July/August is pretty high season on the Gulf islands. You sound like a university student...well, you aren't the only one who has a long vacation in July and August! This said, you'll probably be able to get a discount on long-term stay ....maybe a 1000B off for a month's stay or something, it varies according to the resort of course.

    #4 Posted: 12/5/2008 - 16:06

  • katljs

    Joined Travelfish
    25th May, 2008
    Posts: 1

    great informative posts here...thank you very much

    #5 Posted: 25/5/2008 - 11:35

  • Trizzo

    Joined Travelfish
    1st October, 2012
    Posts: 6

    This has been a great help for us as well! Fantastic advice :)

    #6 Posted: 7/1/2013 - 11:18

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