I'm planning to spend 3 weeks in Thailand between January and February.
Just before booking my flight I'd like a few advises ... just in case! The trip planned should be the follow
day 1-2: Roma-Bangkok arriving late morning/lunchtime maximum, ceck-in in hotel and - if I'm not destroyed! - a first walk around. 1 night @ Bangkok
day 3: visit of Bangkok and in the afternoon transfer to Ayutthaya (by boat?) --> 2 nights @ Ayutthaya
day 4: visit of Ayutthaya
day 5: visit of Ayutthaya and by lunch time/early afternoon train to Bangkok - Ratchamburi - Damnoek Saduak, where I'd like to spend 1 night
day 6: early morning visit of Damnoek Saduak Market and back by lunchtime to Bangkok by train; 1 night @ Bangkok
day 7 -16 sea side, Andaman Coast due to the period of travelling choosen, doing 4 days (3 nights @ Krabi ) + 2-3 days (1-2 nights @ PhiPhi) + 3 days (2 nights @ Ko Lanta); order and time spent in each island might change in relation to boat service (i.e Krabi can be used the 1st day as base to reach PhiPhi or Lanta and then last 4 days to get back by plain to Bangkok)
day 16: Krabi-Bangkok and stay untill end of vacation (4-5 days) coming back after weekend in the way to visit weekend markets in Bangkok!
This is more or less my plan, but I have a few questions about it, since I'd like to travel with my own timing without agencies and/or organized trips - when/where possible!
1) I know that I can catch a public train Bangkok-Ayutthaya only 1 way or A/R, but what about boat? I havent' found any public boat service from Bangkok to Ayutthaya or viceversa! does anyone knows any website to link to see prices/timetable to eventually book 1 way? or the only way to reach Ayutthaya from Bangkok is a boat from agency? in this latest case, have you any suggestions? do you know if they sell only 1 way?
2) Which hotel/guesthouses is better to choose? reading through the website I know that in many places there is not hot water! ...well ... I'd like to have at least the possibility to choose if have or not a cold/hot shawer [img]smileys/smile.gif[/img]
in none of the descriptions is said that shower is hot or cold, so how should I screen up all the guesthouse suggested?! any advice to avoid surprises?
3) Guesthouse in Phuket /Krabi /PhiPhi /Lanta are bit more expensive than Bangkok or Ayutthaya, ok! but the night rates between Krabi/Phuket town center is quite different than the seaside!!! Off corse the sea in front of my window is a scenary to pay off! but is very soo boring/impossible to get from the town centre to the pier or whatever beach?
I've done all my European trips using always public transports (so I'm quite used to respect timetable!) and I was planning the same for my 1st trip in Thailand, but nobody has adviced me to stay in the Town Center of Phuket or Krabi! actually sometime someone reply to me
"Do you really want to stay in Kraby town? are you joking?" or "Hope you are not planning to stay in Phuket town, there is nothing!"
To me, they look so perfect! It's really so unconfortable to take songathews? may be they don't run regularly? or resorts and turistic areas are safer than town center?
4) Last point: which Island(s) choose in Thailand?
Let's say that as wrote before I'd like as much as possible to use public transport in a very independent manner, if necessary I can take taxi, tuk-tuk and boat, but just if is the last/only choise! I'm not looking for disco, bar, occasional romantic adventures or neither for deep water immersions, jungle trekking, etc etc! I'm looking only for sea side life, in a quite pretty and clean beach, easy to reach, not too crouded but not totally deserted, clean water where I can do a bit of snorkelling, but in a very relaxed way, like with my own mask while I'm tired to sunbed!
Off course I'm planning to do some boat trip, but just to reach some bays as Railay or some islands, like Phi Phi Lee (and there off course I'll stay in a crowded beach with lot of people, but I'm prepared already to it!)
I have more or less took my decision for Krabi/PhiPhi/Lanta but, first of all I don't know if is possible to see 3 islands in 10 days or if that will mean only stress! and second I don't know if is the best choise for what I'm looking for!
So, what do you advice me? Most forum advice Phuket (by exclusion of Patong off course) but I don't like too much turistic places! and I've also read about an increase in Dengue fever in Phuket area; have you got any news about it? Would mosquito repellent be a solution to it?
Sorry for my lot of questions!
Thank you in advance for any possible advice, but mainly for the wonderful and interesting website! You did a great job!
#1 dore536 has been a member since 26/9/2013. Posts: 3
Traveling around under your own steam is very easy in Thailand. Hopefully someone will respond with info about the boat but if I was you I would ask this as a simple question.
I would suggest you buy a guide book which will provide most of the answers and you can also check out the State Railways of Thailand web pages or the man at seat 61 for rail info
No need to return to Bangkok from Damnoek Saduak you can catch the south bound train from Ratchaburi (book your ticket in advance)
Dont travel from Bangkok to Ayuthaya by boat as it is more expensive. and they normally would offer a high price for that and you are travelling alone so it will cost a lot. from bangkok travel by train at Hualumpong train station. It cost less than 100 baht. riding a tuktok will cost 10 baht on the way there maximum 20 baht, do not pay higher than that. Here's the direction http://dimetravel.org/ayutthaya-trip/ and everything about ayutthaya. Phuket is nice. Thai people are nice , very kind and they are always helpful . just be polite and respectful.
Hotel we stayed in at Sathorn Inn had hot shower. double room cost 950 w/ american breakfast. Check the maps before travelling to be prepared. public transport there is fine as long as you have the map , its the most important because most of them cannot speak english so if youre lost just show them the map of what you meant so they will understand you. and prepare your days before doing the tour. Some thai words will definitely help. like thank you. and greetings. http://dimetravel.org/pattaya-prep-learn-basic-thai-words/
#5 travelfun13 has been a member since 27/9/2013. Posts: 1
to enlighten your mind-which could also have been easily read in any decent guidebook:
re no hot water: thats just what it says, no hot, only cold (lukewarm-same as the grounds in tropics). Pretty common for normal Thai. Applies ONLY to the very dirt-cheap guesthss that most of you wont enter or even be able to locate, as they are also tipically NOT online bookable. Ouch-they also have the tipical not-sit down squat toilets! Much more hygienic! ANY Thai hse will have showers in what they call the ''waterroom''.
NO ''public'' boats all the way BKk-Ayut, plus that with the current high waters most boats are cancelled anyway-noone will know how long that lasts. In normal times, Koh Kred/Pak Kred is the furthest you can go out of BKK. Again a thing that is in any decent guidebook.
#6 captainbkk has been a member since 16/2/2012. Posts: 472
I've stayed in both Krabi town and Phuket town and liked both. Krabi town, several times, though each time for only one night on the way to or from Ko Lanta . There are guesthouses in town where you can see the sea, by the way. Phuket town, only the once, on the way to the airport to fly to Hong Kong - surprisingly pleasant small city with lots to see and do - again only there 1 night though. Getting from one place to another in Thailand is incredibly easy - very differnt from Italy - don't worry. Songthaews are frequent and cheap and easy. Tickets to the islands from Krabi include a transfer to the pier. Krabi is very safe, lots of other travellers and a busy night market.
You have time to see both PhiPhi and Lanta if that is your choice. I've not been to PhiPhi, but have been to Ko Lanta several times. The island gets ever more busy, but remains a good place to stay as it has good variety of places to stay and different types of scene on each beach.
Bangkok to Ayutthaya - travel by train. Or even think about Sukhothai which presonally I preferred.
thank you to all of you for the precious advices and the small dictionary! ;)
Hope to read some more! :)
#8 dore536 has been a member since 26/9/2013. Posts: 3