I have booked my ticket, 13th of oct im leaving from Amsterdam to Bangkok for 17 days!
Got to surfing on the net en omg!So much information!!!!
Read some topics about the same questions i have so i thought what the heck...im gonig to post a topic myself, and ask all the questions/dillemma's im dealing with because it's my first time travelling alone, and want to see as much as possible and so on and so on..
But first things first..i really have doubts about a suitcase or a backpack...because i don't consider myself a backpacking-type..if you know what i mean?Im not a glamful type, but i'd really like to have a suitcase with al my clothing and stuff, and a backpack/bag for during the day..is that possible/practical?
Further on, 1st day in Bangkok planning to stay in the Baiyoke Sky Hotel for the amazing view and a luxurious first day..(i will be landing sunday 14th around noon) and want to take an domestic flight to Chiang Mai, stay there for like 4-5 days, want to see nice things and the golden triangle, wide open for recommendations for stays etc! After that i want to take a flight to Phuket for the weekend, then to Koh Samui, from there a couple of islands onmy way to Bangkok, where i want to stay for like 2 days for Grand Palace and some shopping because i will be leaving oct 30th..So can you experts help me out with a detailed plan, or better tips and prices to keep in mind for the trips i want?
Many thanks in advance!
#1 M1412 has been a member since 9/7/2012. Posts: 3
I prefer backpacks as they are easier to move when you have stairs or getting onto boats. Suitcases hold more stuff though but really you only need 15kgs. One tip is to pack a mix of old and good clothes. When the old clothes are worn throw them out and then you have space to buy new stuff.
Baiyoke is tall but old rooms.
Golden triangle is a long way from CM and it's a myth really with nothing there. Don't bother. Do a trek that includes things like river raft, elephant ride, tham lot (cave).
Phuket and Samui are a long way apart and 2 days isnt enough to do anything much. The more moving you do the less you will enjoy it and be able to do daytrips.
Pick 1 or 2 islands or a mainland place like Krabi . There's a dozen different day tours you can do from Krabi/Phuket with prices starting at 600 baht ($19) for a full day tour including lunch. Prices are cheaper from Krabi but Phuket has some good tours as well.
In Bangkok the Grand Palace, Wat Arun and the National museum are good. For shopping MBK centre and JJ weekend market.
#2 longbeach has been a member since 28/3/2012. Posts: 307
Providing you fly between Phuket and Samui, you will waste minimal time. Google Bangkok Air.
Logical islands between Samui and Bangkok are Phangan and then Tao - then catching ferry to Chumpon for train/bus to Bangkok. Lomprayah gets good reports for its fast catamaran/bus combo.
I've used a suitcase with wheels in the past. From airport/train station/bus station/ferry terminal you will take transport to your accommodation. Then rely on your day pack during the day. My suitcase is heavier coming home. Most of the clothing I wear at home these days comes from Thailand. Saved me a lot of $$$ over time.
"...i really have doubts about a suitcase or a backpack...because i don't consider myself a backpacking-type.."
Don't worry about it. When you watch the carousel at BKK you will see many suitcases coming around on the carousel. Yes, you can pack a suitcase better than a backpack, unless you don't care if your clothes are all wrinkled and rolled up. I have used both and prefer a suitcase now with wheels. Sometimes you have to carry that suitcase over cracks, curbs and garbage but it is no big problem. Most of the time you leave the airport and hop in a taxi or on a bus, then head for the hotel where you leave most of your stuff. Then you use a smaller bag walking around town. Not too often will you be going on long Africa type safaris with everything you own on your back. Kids like backpacks because it sounds better to say "backpacking" in Thailand than "suit-casing" in Thailand. Most kids don't care if their clothes look crappy anyway. If I am on a short weekend trip I will take my pack because there won't be much in it. Long holidays take your suitcase. But have a smaller walk-around bag available for when you leave your hotel.
I personally don't waste money on hotel rooms. I have never found a need for a room over 1000 baht unless someone else is paying for it! All I need is a room to store my stuff, a hot shower, A/C, TV and maybe now WiFi. I only stay in places with security boxes. So, a room in the Baiyoke Sky Hotel would be a step up for me. In this Baiyoke Hotel area you have lots of vendor and even wholesale shopping. Walk to Platinum Mall, walk to Panthip Plaza too. Baiyoke Boutique Hotel (cheaper option) is also in this area. If you want you can walk to this hotel from the Ratchaprorop Airport Rail Link station. Or, just pay 35-45 baht for a ride in a meter taxi from the station.
Chiang Mai is a nice place to visit. In Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and even Pattaya you can sign on to tours through local travel agencies on short notice. I have been on the Golden Triangle tour with friends from back home a couple times. It's okay. If you have never been in Thailand everything will be new to you. Usually there is a stop or two at tourist type places along the way. One time it was an orchid farm and another time a small village. In Chiang Rai have the obligatory photo taken at the sign that says "Golden Triangle" and maybe take a boat ride to sample the Snake Wine. At Chiang Rai some tourists use this tour to get stamped out of Thailand and back into Thailand to extend their time in Thailand.
When you are on tours or treks have some sunblock with you, maybe a cap to keep sun or rain off your face. Also when away from your hotel for several hours always have some hand wipes in your bag along with some toilet paper. Some toilets may not have paper or running water. Some do - some don't. Be prepared.
Phuket will be more expensive than even Bangkok. In particular local transportation in Phuket can be expensive compared to other cities in Thailand. In Bangkok you have the Airport Rail Link, the Skytrain and the subway. Meter taxis in Bangkok are cheap if you use the meter only.
Keep in mind that all of Thailand has summer like weather not just at beaches. Even in Chiang Mai you can get enough sun for a suntan.
Besides flying, popular way up to Chiang Mai is the overnight sleeper train. For that get the request in as soon as possible when you are in Bangkok.
Up to you!
@everybody: MANY thanks for all the replies and tips!
Really appreciate it!
And really looking forward to it!
Suitcase vs backpack is resolved, thanks to sirhalberd! Thanks for you reply, and taking the time to write it, really nice and helpful!
@longbeach: can you recommend me a hotel that has an amazing view of Bangkok?Next to Baiyoke Sky?
#6 M1412 has been a member since 9/7/2012. Posts: 3
Bangkok is a big city with a nice smog view during the day. Not sure why you want a view. It looks better at night with the lights on. You can go to any bar on an upper level in any big hotel and see it. I usually go for a hotel with a pool because it's hot and a swim is good. Just go to Agoda/wotif and look for hotels.
#7 longbeach has been a member since 28/3/2012. Posts: 307
" Kids like backpacks because it sounds better to say "backpacking" in Thailand than "suit-casing" in Thailand."
So 10yo kids are backpacking Thailand now?
Backpacks are far more practical for 1-6 mth trips and you see 50yos with backpacks.
#8 longbeach has been a member since 28/3/2012. Posts: 307
You are only talking 17 days - it's not worth buying a backpack for that period. Just bring whatever you've got or can borrow. A pack is better, but if you're not comfortable with thing bring a roller or hybrid style. If you bring a roller, keep it small in case you need to carry it. Honestly, I've seen people lugging the over-sized roller ones around, and they really struggle with it - especially over the sidewalks with broken concrete, and getting on/off longtail boats when they land on an island. It can put on a good show of entertainment for others to watch, but I'm sure it's not amusing to the person struggling to drag the case behind them.
Just take whatever bag you have now. I wouldnt buy a special bag unless there's a special and you plan to make many trips in future.
#10 longbeach has been a member since 28/3/2012. Posts: 307
Got a question again!
Imlooking for a ticket for a domestic flight and i would like to know 2 things.
First, is it necessary to book a domestic flight in advance?
Im looking for a flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai en found a ticket with airasia for EUR 43. But got a notice that from october 1st on air asia wil transfer their services from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Don Muaeng Airport....is that way further away from Bangkok?
And i didn't realise that its a wet season when im going (oct 13-oct 30) and is it really not worth traveling south?
And how about in which part of Chiang Mai to stay?
#11 M1412 has been a member since 9/7/2012. Posts: 3
Don Muang is about the same distance but it's north of the city while the other one is east. If you are going into the city not a problem.
Yes the south is great. Love the south. October isn't too bad for rain on the western andaman side around phuket/krabi/trang.
Samui/Pha Ngan can get a bit of rain around then having a different monsoon.
For CM I don't think it really matters where you say as long as you like the room. City is easy to walk around. You can stay near the night market if you want but it's very touristy. It's basically the biggest touristy type market in Thailand (not incl Jatujak which has more of a local feel in BKK)
CM is known for cheap massages, treks and cooking classes.