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First time travelling to Thailand tomorrow....anything else I should have done?

Posted by jeffkenna on 20/6/2012 at 17:14

Staying for 3 weeks. Landing in bangkok. Few days there, then up to the North for a week to check out various places. Then down South to hop a few islands, Tao, Phangnan (maybe catch the full-moon party), PhiPhi then head to the Khao Sok National Park for a few days, before heading back to Bangkok for return flight.

All we've pre-booked is our hotel for first few nights in Bangkok, and the night train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai on a 3rd night. Other than that we just have a rough plan of the areas we want to visit, a list of recommended accommodation, and details on how to get from A to B to C ect.

I imagine with it being the low season most accommodation can be sorted a few days before arriving, or even just pay on entry. That way it keeps us flexible date-wise, and we get the fun of looking around at various beach huts ect and picking the best. This seems to be confirmed with the little research I've done on line. But I've never been anywhere like Thailand before, so please correct me if I'm being stupid leaving it until we get there.

Also, I'm wary of trusting a long journey train for our final trip back from the islands to Bangkok. I don't want us missing our return flight. So would anyone suggest getting a flight back from the islands? It seems to be about £25 per person one way. How much more expensive and reliable is this compared to the train?


#1 jeffkenna has been a member since 20/6/2012. Posts: 1

Posted by MADMAC on 20/6/2012 at 20:48

I always recommend people get back to Bangkok at least a day before your flight in case you run into transportation problems. Keeps the stress down, which is the name of the game.

#2 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
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Posted by guava_girl on 20/6/2012 at 21:12

You may want to rethink Phi Phi due to the weather and just stick with Koh Tao and Koh Phangan where the monsoon will not start until October.

#3 guava_girl has been a member since 21/10/2010. Posts: 252

Posted by 9preciousGems on 21/6/2012 at 07:02

I would do Khao Sok NP before you visit the islands. That way you can chill out loads before you fly back to BKK from Samui/Surat.

#4 9preciousGems has been a member since 13/1/2011. Posts: 82

Posted by Morlandsto on 21/6/2012 at 07:29

I think it's good advice to stay away from Phi Phi nowadays, especially concidering the last day's news -

The weather is far better on the east coast this time of year, so I would go for Koh Phangan/Samui/Tao if I were you. There's usually no reason for booking accommodation in advance; plans tend to change, and it's nice to have the freedom to stay as long as you want, or to move on to other places when you like to.

What me and my friends usually do, is to book the first night on a new place in advance, and then take it day by day when we've arrived. The images online also tend to lie a bit. can usually send you in the direction of the best hotels :)

The train from Surat Thani or Chumpon is a long stretch - I would rather recommend you to take a flight. The first class seats on the train isn't all that much cheaper than a plane ticket from Surat Thani. Chek to get the best deals.

One of my friends are heading to a national park in Kanchanaburi , which is highly recommended. I've never been myself, but it's supposed to be amazing. It's an option to Khao Sok, since Kanchanaburi is just a 3 hours busride from Bangkok.

Hope you'll have a lovely first time in Thailand!

#5 Morlandsto has been a member since 8/1/2011. Location: Norway. Posts: 1
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Posted by pittz on 21/6/2012 at 13:40

as i read the beginning it seemed that it`s a copy of ours. w`re land in Thailand on the 26.06. 2 days there, then Katchamburi / ayuthaiya and the up up Chiang Mai, then fly down South. (26 days total)

We didnt book anything, we`ll book as we travel so we can see the place we want to stay.Pack light, u`ll buy all u need on Bangkok in the 1st day (and cheaper)

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Posted by Mike89 on 21/6/2012 at 22:33

The train is alright, and kind of enjoyable (in my opinion).

But if you're on a deadline, better to fly. Our train from Surat Thani to Bangkok was delayed by 4 hours... delayed DEPARTING... then further delays during the trip.

#7 Mike89 has been a member since 18/9/2011. Posts: 6

Posted by altmtl on 21/6/2012 at 23:02

"First time travelling to Thailand tomorrow....anything else I should have done?" - Posted on this forum at least 2 months ago looking for info and suggestions.

#8 altmtl has been a member since 18/5/2009. Location: Canada. Posts: 992
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Posted by pedroander on 23/6/2012 at 10:08

Posted from within Vietnam.

Hi. We are in the area at the moment. The trains in Thailand are usually late slow and bumpy. First class was booked out so second class sleepers it was. Sure it was better than sitting up. We were 2 hours late getting to Surin from Bangkok. Pity for the couple who had a bus trip to Laos booked from Ubon close to when they were supposed to arrive. We often wonder if they made it on time. Other posters have said also be flexible so dont book too much and travel light. Peter

#9 pedroander has been a member since 28/5/2012. Posts: 3

Posted by MADMAC on 26/6/2012 at 04:57

"Other posters have said also be flexible so dont book too much and travel light."

This is the ticket. Expecting things to be on time and spending money around that expectation is a bad idea and a good way to add stress to your vacation.

#10 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
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