A friend and myself are first time travellers, and we are going to Thailand for the month of June!
We arrive in Bangkok May 29th. Anyone else travelling during these times? Any ideal places to go? Would love to know as much as possible!
#1 kriswoz24 has been a member since 11/3/2010. Posts: 3
June is a good time just about anywhere in Thailand, with the first decent rains having washed away the hot haze typical of the north in March-April. SW monsoon rains, mostly in the form of short intense thundershowers, will be mixed with hot spells on the southwest coasts. Typically the southeast (lower Gulf) has the driest, sunniest weather at this time. In one month you can easily take in several places - Bangkok, Chiang Mai, a few islands and beaches. Be more specific about your budget, tastes, interests. Travel is cheapest by public bus but a couple of train rides are fun. Cheap domestic airlines AirAsia, NokAir cut down the distances effectively too.
Thank you very much!
Is there any specific locations we should avoid?
Thank you for all your help!
#4 kriswoz24 has been a member since 11/3/2010. Posts: 3
I'm heading to Thailand this June, going to both the Andaman and the southern Gulf. I'm a weather nerd - not worried I won't get enough sun in the Andaman. This is my usual spiel for that time of year:
In June/July normally all Thailand except the southern Gulf is in monsoon. The southern Gulf (Samui and neighbours plus adjacent mainland coast) usual wet season is Oct into Jan. I have had some great holidays there mid year - lots of sunshine, a few good storms.
June/July is normally not the worst of the wet season most other places - Sept and OCt tend to be wetter. I know one Phuket expat says the real wet season does not start until sometime in late July or even later. I have had good holidays both midyear and in August in the Andaman. Usually plenty of sunshine, one or more showers/storms per day, quite a few days with no rain or rain only at night, prolonged rainy periods not real common.
"Anywhere I should avoid?".
Well the eastern Gulf around Trat/big Ko Chang is often REAL wet in June - the AVERAGE is over 900mm for the month - I'd hate to be there in a wetter than normal June. For comparison, I think London averages something in the 400s for a YEAR. Nevertheless I've seen plenty of posts from Chang in mid-year talking of good holidays - looks like they still get a fair bit of sunshine, but when it rains it REALLY rains.
I've also seen a number of posts talking of PEOPLE DROWNING in big surf on Chang. All the main beaches face west into the prevailing winds - when these blow hard for a few days you can get big surf with dangerous rip currents, so take care. Maybe you could read my TIPS ON NOT DROWNING PAGE here http://tezzasthaiinfo.blogspot.com/2007/04/some-tips-on-not-drowning.html
The Ranong area is also extra wet at around 700mm. I think the tourist attractions there,Ko Phayam and little Ko Chang Andaman side largely close down in the wet season.
BTW, the central Gulf, Ko Samet, Pattaya and Bangkok often get less rain than most areas besides the southern Gulf in JuneJuly.
Wow Thank you!!
We are really looking forward to our trip and maybe we will run into a few of you over there!
#7 kriswoz24 has been a member since 11/3/2010. Posts: 3
I am flying int BKK (with 3 friends) on May 29th, although we are thinking about canceling due to all the protests and unrest. How is everyone else feeling? Are you still going, but just avoiding Bangkok? We are so undecided on what to do. Please let me know your feelings/ thoughts.
#8 monte has been a member since 14/5/2010. Posts: 2
Hi Monte, I have been following the situation closely for the last few months as I have plans to travel through Thailand, Cambodia and Laos during the month of June and July. I land in BKK on the 31st of May and, for the moment, still intend to travel. Because it is hard to predict in 2 weeks whether it will be as volatile as it is today in Bangkok, I have decided to hold off on changing my plans until the last minute. However, barring major military action throughout the country, I am pretty set on going and will just avoid the areas of Bangkok that are dangerous. Unfortunately for me, when I purchased insurance and plane tickets several months ago, I opted out of trip cancellation. I will not lie that this has driven my decision considerably! Good luck!
Thanks swankyelf! I have been monitoring everyday, I think I'm still going to go and just avoid Bangkok, although I hope the airports aren't closed or delayed too badly. Are you planning on staying at all in Bangkok once you arrive or are you heading right out?
#10 monte has been a member since 14/5/2010. Posts: 2
Monte, my biggest worry is also that the airports will close or be delayed. A lot of the transportation methods downtown have also been stopped b/c of the escalating violence, probably making it more difficult to get around (or OUT for that matter). I arrive late on the 31st after two days of travel from Canada. I thought I'd spend 2 nights in BKK recovering before heading North by train on the 2nd of June. I'm staying at SamSen Sam boutique Hotel (nearish to KSR). Crossing my fingers that area remains protester/army/violence free.
Same worries here. We're flying to BKK on 30th May and were planning to stay in Bangkok for 2 nights, then fly to Chiang Mai . After a week in Chiang Mai we fly directly to Koh Samui to stay there for another week, then back to BKK. We're still set on going, just avoid Bangkok, unless of course the situation gets even worse in the rest of Thailand. We're just not sure now where to stay for 2 nights when we arrive... Maybe we'll go straight to Chiang Mai after we arrive. Since we're not using a travel agency but booked all our flights directly with the airlines, it will cost us a lot if we have to cancel. We can change the domestic flights, but they are non-refundable... Same as Swankyelf, that has also driven our decision considerably...
It also just makes me very sad to hear how many Thai are already suffering since so many tourists have cancelled their holidays. As if the economy isn't bad enough as it is over there. Fingers crossed the situation will improve very soon!
Thailand has lots of beautiful beach. There is always a variety on each island if you go looking for it, but below is a quickie summary:
Koh Samui - Large and very touristy (Lamai Beach, Lamai Beach, Chaweng Beach)
Koh Phangan - Haad Rin is beach party central! (Haad Rin)
Koh Tao - Cheapest scuba around and nice small island
Krabi/Railay - beautiful, rock climbing heaven, expensive (Railay Beach, Phi Phi Island, Ao Nang, Koh Lanta)
Koh Phi Phi - gorgeous, small, expensive, great diving
Koh Lanta - large, fairly quiet, Long beach is the best beach
Phuket - busy, loads of package tourists and vacationers (Patong Beach, Karon Beach, Kata Beach)
Koh Pu - very small and quiet, tree house bungalows
Koh Chang - Nice beaches, lots of tourists from Bangkok (White Sand Beach )
To add to what has been posted, I think people should still come to Thailand. Although I am sure the media makes the situation seem quite bad I think if you stay out of Bangkok you will be fine. Especially in the South where everyone is anti red shirt. From what the locals tell me the situation will never move south. The protestors would never dare head that way.
In the South it is business as usual, well except for the lack of tourism.
#14 yogakhaolak has been a member since 1/4/2010. Posts: 45
kriswoz...I am also going to Thailand for the first time with my girlfriend and 2 other friends arriving June 1st and leaving the 21st. We are going straight to the beaches starting in Phuket to get some wet weather and a little party scene. We will be here for a week or so then heading to ko phi phi and krabi then over to ko samui and its neighboring islands. If you are planning on going to any of these islands around these times let me know. I hear these places are for sure sights to see when trying to find nice beaches and wet on phuket and dry on samui weather.
#15 rbsurfer has been a member since 25/5/2010. Posts: 7
I'm leaving on the 6th of June and going for 2 weeks. I have spent the past 2 months thinking "will I go? Won't I go?" because of the protests. I've never been before so can't give first hand experience, but can tell you where we're planning on going and why.
My friend is already out there with another friend who works as a scuba diving instructor on Ko Tao. She's spending a lot of time there and on Ko Pha Ngan until I get there. We're meeting on Ko Samui and doing a kind of loop - Ko Samui, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Krung Ching national park, Chumpon, Ko Tao, Ko Pha Ngan and back to Ko Samui.
We're both female, early 20s and not very experienced travellers. (Not first time, but neither of us has been to Asia before). We're starting and finishing in Ko Samui as you can fly from BKK and avoid the city altogether. The islands are touristy enough to be very unlikely to see any violence, but we're mostly avoiding the over-touristy parts as we want to see a bit of "real" Thailand - this is also why we're spending some time in Nakhon Si Thammarat. The places are all easy to get to from each other, and we'll never be too far from the friend who works on Ko Samui if we get into any bother. We wanted to do Bangkok and Chiang Mai too, but we won't risk going against FCO advice as we don't want to invalidate our insurance. And we've both decided to avoid the North even if the advice changes, just because we both know that the issues behind the protest have not been resolved and that things may well kick off again coming up to the election.
I hope this helps you a bit, we've both spent a lot of time researching it and I'm sooooo excited!!
#16 bluebelle has been a member since 13/4/2010. Posts: 15
Myself and a friend (both girls 25yrs) are arriving in Bangkok on the 2nd June and are really confused as what to do with the current situation. We have been playing with the idea of still flying into Bangkok then getting to the nearest train station (which I think is Victory Monument?) and heading straight to somewhere in Malaysia. Our airline is also prepared to take us onto our next port of call which is Singapore, although we have 5 weeks until our next flight onto Australia. Saying that, we could maybe do Indonesia? Anyone any ideas or suggestions? Its days away now and im getting a lil anxious lol. Any advice or help would be very much appreciated!!
#17 - Bangkok seems much calmer for just now. I wouldn't put my life savings on it, but I'd imagine the next couple of months will be the safest time in a long while to visit Thailand, as there is still high security but the protestors will probably be calm until the election date.
Having said that, if you're too worried and feel the worry would ruin your trip, by all means go to Malaysia or Singapore. If you do this, I'd take your airline up on the offer to fly you to Singapore, or at least get a cheap flight from BKK to KL, Jakarta or Singapore or something. Going by train will take much longer, may cost you just as much, and the Thailand-Malaysia border is somewhere you definately don't want to go - many more travel warnings for those provinces than in Bangkok. You say you have 5 weeks before your onward flight - In your circumstances I'd probably fly to Singapore, and spend some time travelling rough the main West bit of Malaysia(don't know the name, but the one connected to Singapore by bridge, visiting KL and some islands and rainforest areas, head to Indonesia for a while and spend a couple of days in Singapore.
Hope this helps!
#18 bluebelle has been a member since 13/4/2010. Posts: 15
I am planning on going to Thailand with my girlfriend and 2 other friend leaving tomorrow and getting there June 1. We are getting a flight the same day out of BKK into Phuket and will stay in the islands the whole time . I hear that if newspapers and tv did not exist, you would never now something was wrong. That being said, everything seems fine in Thailand right now and peace is among the nation. However, if you plan on going to Indonesia you will not regret it. I went to Bali, Indonesia last year and had the time of my life. The beaches are beautiful, the weather is perfect this time of year and the people are amazing. Great for surfing and great for people who are looking for nice beaches to get some sun. We stayed at Masa Inn hotel in a city called Kuta (which is where everyone stays and all the nightlife is next to) and had the best time ever. Hope you have fun!
#19 rbsurfer has been a member since 25/5/2010. Posts: 7