I'm planing to do a Solo trip to Thailand this end of Oct till mid Nov... I do have some questions. After hours of searching and studying opinions I would like to ask u guys the same questions which is bothering me a bit!
1. Is it better to Book a room (Doesnt matter it it is Hostel or Hotel) before living or just take a walk in Bangkok to find better deals?
2. Whats the best way to get from BKK to the hotel? (I've heard alot about scam taxi)
3. Can any of you recomend a good/Affordable Hotel/Hostel?
4. Is it safe to get a Hostel instead of a Hotel?
5. Any Tricks or Tips not be fooled by scams?
I know I have a lot of question but I never had a trip by my own before and I think its better to know what I'm about to go thru instead of having neg surprises!
#1 Justastic has been a member since 18/5/2012. Posts: 2
There are very few actual "hostels" in Thailand. Budget accommodation is typically in a "guesthouse" and there are tons of them in the Banglamphu area near the river (Khao San Road, Soi Rambutri). Most of the cheapies can't even be booked in advance, but you might check out a site like http://www.hostelworld.com or http://www.hostelbookers.com (which will list guesthouses too). If you're coming in on a long flight and are unfamiliar with Bangkok then it's not a bad idea to at least book the first couple nights then look around for something cheaper. Also look at the listings right here on Travelfish.
From the airport go to the metered taxi rank outside and tell them you want to go to Khao San Road, make sure the driver turns on the meter, and then it should cost about 400 baht. Depending on time of day there can be some gridlock traffic around 5-7pm and it can take an hour or more - it's pretty far. You could alternatively take the Airport Rail Link but it doesn't go to that area and could get more complicated. It's good to have notes smaller than 1000 baht too, as taxi drivers are notorious for not having change (yeah right).
If you're curious about scams check this out
Captain Bob is right on the money.
It's a good idea to prebook your first 1-2 nights on a trip, so you don't have to worry about it when you arrive tired, jet-lagged and disoriented. But after that you'll find it very easy to find accommodation on arrival in each new town/area, giving you lots of flexibility to move on when you want, and ensure you're happy with each place before committing to stay.
As to finding a good place: check recommendations from other travellers to give you a general idea of neighbourhoods, etc., then just check it out yourself - you'll be able to scope out pretty darn quick if a place is clean, reasonably well-maintained, reasonably secure with a decent lock on the door, etc. It's all pretty much common sense.
Have a wonderful time!
Just as the others have recommended, I typically only book accommodation ahead of time if I'm arriving in a large city that is new to me or expect to arrive late at night. Otherwise, it is fun to just turn up and see what looks good at the moment. I'll typically have two or three places in mind from my research, like reading the reviews on TF, to use as a price and quality guide. It is easier to check out more places if you are travelling light and don't have a huge pack to lug around. The only other time I book ahead is if there is a particular place I want to stay.
As for getting into town, the metered taxi is your best option, particularly since they give you a receipt at the taxi line with the license plate number on it. They'll use the meter plus an airport surcharge of 50 baht or so plus tolls. But even then, as Bob-0 says, it is only about 400 baht, which is an absolute steal compared to most other places.
Finally, I've done my fair share of hostels, but in Thailand rooms tend to be pretty affordable, and you can get your own room with air con and private bath and even cable TV with english channels for less than you'd pay for just a bunk in Oz or the states. Rooms will get even cheaper as you get away from Bangkok. And although Captain Bob is too polite to mention it, he runs a guest house in Chiang Mai with rooms with shared and private bath options at very backpacker-friendly prices. Cheers.
Some recommended places are here.
I stayed at Lubd Silom. I found the vibe a bit impersonal but all I needed was a clean bed. The common bathroom was clean. My friend prefers Lubd to HQ Hostel that is also mentioned in the same review. It is near mass transit when you decide to move to another place.
If you decide to get a cab,
Please note that late at night, the taxi stand (the one that charges 50 baht) might be closed and you might find yourself having to negotiate with a taxi driver for the fare. So it is a good idea to ask the hostel/hotel for the approximate fare.