I will be spending 6 weeks spread out between Thailand, Laos and Cambodia (arriving May 5)... my friend and I have decided it would be best to avoid Bangkok at this point but upon arrival before we enter relaxation phase, we would like to meet young tourists to go out and party with. Does anyone have any recommendations where we should go after arriving?
I realize this might seem like a semi-immature question but it will be my 23rd b-day may 5 and I'd like to surround myself with other people looking to have a blast.
#1 shaneforan1 has been a member since 27/4/2010. Posts: 8
Ko Phangan and Ko Tao are the main party islands but getting to them involves going via Bangkok unless you fly to Surat Thani or something.
Ko Samet isn't quite so party orientated but it's not far from the airport and you wouldn't have to go into Bangkok to get there. If you're entering Thailand overland from Cambodia then you could maybe use the Koh Kong border crossing and go to nearby Ko Chang.
OK, it's not an immature question. But it does beg a question. Why would you fly all the way to Thailand in order to hang out with other tourists? You could just as well do that at home, and save the costs associated with traveling to Thailand. Why not party with other 20 something Thais?
Hello, thanks for the replies!
To answer your question about going to thailand to party with tourists, that is by no means a reflection of my goals or intentions for this trip. The reason it is important for me to meet other tourists at first is because my travel partner may depart for india and I would like to find people who are doing a similar trip that I may be able to join along with. Furthermore, I don't meet a lot of travelers where I am from but tourist areas are appealing to me so that I can make friends around the globe.
My intent is to spend a good amount of time in more rural areas of thailand as well as time in cambodia and laos where I hope to spend my time with locals, appreciate new cultures and learn more about Buddhism
For the other response, I will be arriving via plane from tokyo. I habe no problem going through !''. I just don't want to stay. Would taxis be a bad way to get anywhere? I have heard they are incredibly cheap.
#4 shaneforan1 has been a member since 27/4/2010. Posts: 8
Well, I live here. And my son lives here with me. And he happens to be 23. My advice would be to go to some of the provincial cities in Thailand alone (Khon Kaen or Ubon Ratchathani or roi Et or wherever) and just go to some of the clubs and hang out. My son is treated like a rock star here, and he's stone broke. He has no money. Yet everyone hangs out with him, the girls all want to be with him. Outside of the tourist areas there are no young, white guys. You will be an instant attraction and culturally it should be a lot of fun. The only issue is language. You will have to work to learn some basic language, as most people out here don't speak hardly any English.
Suggestion: From the airport get a metered taxi to Hualamphong (main) train station downtown, will run you about 300 baht. Go to the lefthand ticket window (the so-called "English speaking counter") and book a 2nd class sleeper train for that evening to Surat Thani. You can even buy a joint train/bus/ferry ticket there. Get to the ferry pier at Don Sak (about 80km from the train station) and take the next ferry to Ko Phagnan. Take a songthaew /baht bus to Had Rin - voila, a couple thousand 20-something backpackers mostly looking to party. Places book up quite full around full mooon party time (May full moon isn't until the 27th) but there is a party vibe there every night and loads of people on buckets and beers. The flipside is that you should take care and not get too farked and wind up one of those people passed out that everyone has to step over (and/or take pictures of) next morning. Making friends is a good idea - you can watch out for each other.
In addition to the solid suggestions you've already got, I'd add:
For hanging out with other western tourists, try Chiang Mai. I think there is one bar/restaurant per capita there and you have to work hard not to have a great time. Other good spots to party with other tourists include Luang Prabang and Pakse in Laos.
To meet up with Thai 20-somethings, Phitsanulok is good, with a nicely developed night market and bar zone along the river walk. Lampang is even better, with a string of great bar/restaurants near the main tourist area, most with live music nightly at 9 pm.
In Bangkok there is a street called Thanon Phra Athit. It runs parallel to the Chao Phraya River, and is about a 5 minute walk from Khao San Road. Along this stretch of road you'll find a bunch of small, cool, night club places that often have live music (mostly acoustic guitar players, and DJs), and that are frequented almost entirely by Thai university students. These places have excellent food, and are great places to meet Thais who like having a good time (and who like to practice their English.)
In the daytime there are a handful of excellent eating spots along the road. There are also a bunch of guest houses, as well as the Tha Phra Athit (the Phra Athit Pier, for the Chao Phraya Express Boat.)
You guys are all amazing. Thank-you for the quick and informative responses. It really will make my trip far easier and enjoyable!
#9 shaneforan1 has been a member since 27/4/2010. Posts: 8
Agree with Tilapia - I usually stay in this area (Phra Atit / Phra Sumen - Bangamplu). Very friendly place with all necessarily amenities nearby (boat, buses, shops), non-far from major attractions (Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaeow, Wat Po, amulet market etc). Futuremore, it's a SAFE place, i.e. no protesters etc.
While my last visit I had changed my habits and stayed in Silom area, near BTS Sala Daeng station. It was quote nervous:
But when I visited Bangamplu, everything was as usual.
p.s. I left Bangkok Apr, 21 in the evening.
Top party beaches in May in rough order:
Had Rin - Phangan
Pattaya _ Pattaya (not too many young people)
Chaweng and Lamai - Samui (all ages)
Patong - Phuket (ditto)
White Sand - Samet (lots of locals)
Ton Sai - Phi Phi
Sairree - Tao
Some other normally lively ones like Pattaya - Lipe, Long Beach - Lanta, Ao Nang - Krabi, White Sand Beach and Lonely Beach - big Chang are a fair bit quieter because of low season.
Have a good time man. Take it one day at a time, and just enjoy yourself. This is a cool place and easy to get along. Don't lose your temper over chickshit, and relax and go with the flow and you'll love the place.
Chaing Mai hs already been suggested. If it was my borthday I'd rather spend it there, great nighlife, loads of backpackers and the locals seem to be good fund too. Very laid back and relaxed.
Thanks Captain_Bob, My 19 year old daughter and I are traveling to Thailand in June. We plan to fly into Bangkok and then travel to Ko Sumai and Ko Tao for a day or two of diving. If I miss the flights, a train would be the next thing and thanks for your great directions. What is the drinking age in Thailand? We then plan to go to Bangkok for a couple days and then to Chaing Mai and on to India. Any info for two American Farangs would be very appreciated. Thanks, Christine
#15 cpotter has been a member since 16/4/2010. Posts: 1
Don't let Madmac get to you; hanging out with other travelers is extremely fun and rewarding. If you want to chill out, I recommend Koh Tao for a tightly knit community of divers as well as a steady flow of tourists. Basically anywhere you go you will like, honestly, it's an amazing country. DON'T AVOID BANGKOK because of the protests; it's still safe and you probably won't even notice the tension unless there's a demonstration on a particular day you are there. If anything, it's interesting to see a country in transition from tyranny to democracy before your eyes!
#16 UpwardSpiral has been a member since 21/5/2009. Posts: 8
"Don't let Madmac get to you; hanging out with other travelers is extremely fun and rewarding."
If that's what floats your boat - it's a free country. But I honestly don't see why I would travel halfway around the world to hang out with other westerners (and let's face it, that's what makes up most of the tourist scene he's likely to hang out with). He could do that at home. Why not hang out with Thais and take advantage of this opportunity?
I leave in about 3 hours. Thanks for everyone's help!
As I said MADMAC, I don't intend to spend all of my time with tourists... I'd just like to meet a solid group in the beginning as they will probably be able to share similar travel strategies. I have 10 weeks to meet locals too... I don't intend to spend my time diving into the 'tourist scene'.
#18 shaneforan1 has been a member since 27/4/2010. Posts: 8
Have fun Shane and happy birthday in advance. I fly into Bangkok on May 24th and I am extremely excited. I will be living in Koh Phagan for a week then heading over the cambodia/singapore and then back to Thailand for the rest of the summer.
That sounds good and I will definitely do that! At this point, I have made a list of all recommended locations and plan to hop on a flight or train upon arrival in Bangkok... this one will be all about flying by the seat of my pants.
Out of curiosity, are you from Thailand or did you fall in love with it and decide to stay?
#21 shaneforan1 has been a member since 27/4/2010. Posts: 8
Thank you for the resources. Threads like this one makes decissions so much easier.
#24 JordanRHughes has been a member since 30/4/2010. Posts: 4
"As for places, I love Africa... but it didn't love me back. Specifically Somalia, since you seem interested.
What's so great about Somalia as a tourist destination madmac?
"What's so great about Somalia as a tourist destination madmac?"
It's not. I used to live there, not vacation there. I love the place, but anyone who goes there as a tourist is just stupid. It is a highly dangerous environment.
"from tyranny to democracy" I think you have Thailand confused with Burma.
#29 neosho has been a member since 13/8/2008. Posts: 386
"OK I'll rephrase. What's so great about Somalia when you're living there as an an expat."
Most people wouldn't find it great. Most of my friends there hated the place. But I loved the people, difficult though they are. I loved the food (my favorite cuisine on the planet). I loved the hot, desert type weather. And I made some very, very good friends there. The woman I lived with treated me like no other ever has. It's hard to explain how I became so attached to the place. But I did.
neosho, I am not confused. been working with several political activists in thailand surrounding the issue of tyrany in their country. for instance, one year ago, a thai student was sentenced to 10 years in prison for refusing to stand up and salute the king during his montage before a film (*not even the King in person, mind you, if you see a film in thailand you'll see what I mean*). Or the political cartoonist from sweden that got sentenced to 17 years, though he was released to his land's jurisdiction. if going to prison for not saluting a king isn't tyrany, i really don't want to know what is!
#33 UpwardSpiral has been a member since 21/5/2009. Posts: 8
This really isn't the forum to have this discussion, but what you are describing is not tyranny. The law concerning Le Majeste has very broad consensual support in the country. If you put it to a vote, it would be supported overwhelmingly. Remember, context is important.
Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is a metropolis where one can find both old and new, East and West, traditional and fashionable, blended together in a harmonious way. Samut Prakan has countless tourist attractions such as historical sites, old markets and indigenous lifestyles along the canals. The fine weather, the mountainous scenery, the exquisite handicrafts and the rich northern Thai culture are some of the charms of the North.
#35 darrenpete has been a member since 2/5/2013. Posts: 5