I am planning a trip in October ... getting my TEFL in Ban Phe (Rayong province) and I am just beginning my Thai research.
A lot of the things I'm finding are very "packaged" and touristy ... I'm looking for some weekend trip ideas and inspiration for, perhaps, a longer trip after my certification. In other words, I'm looking for suggestions both in the region I'll be staying and in the rest of the country (not narrowing things down, I know).
I'm looking for waterfalls and jungles and even a "hip" town - somewhere very Thai and not so globalized - somewhere with nightlife that doesn't include prostitution and disco, but just a younger crowd hangin' out. This sort of thing. Or something very secluded (but safe too! young single woman travelling alone here).
And my last question is about buddhist monasteries in Thailand ... I know in the US, some of them accept visitors to stay and live (for free) and work and just be a part of the community for a little while. Does this sort of thing go on in Thailand?
#1 nutmeg47 has been a member since 25/5/2006. Posts: 2
I would recommend you take a trip up to a place called Pai in the north, you can get a bus there from Chiang Mai, takes a few hours.
Its a quiet little place among the mountains, nice little hippy place, with just a few nice bars.
There are also waterfalls etc nearby.
As for Buddhist monastries, the only one I know of, and I don't know the name I'm sorry, is a place where you can go for a meditation retreat, its 1 month long, and its silent meditation, usually with a load of other tourists.
As for the Jungle, there are lots of package tours to "hill tribes", 3 day jungle treks, that kind of thing where you stay with these families, but its all very staged.
I wouldn't recommend you go trekking in the Jungle around the golden triangle area by yourself
#2 Ellen has been a member since 25/5/2006. Posts: 12
Welcome to Travelfish!
Well not far from Ban Phe is Chanthaburi - very Thai town with a fun bunch of people and a good place to stay -- there's also a bunch of things to see in the area. Ban Phe has a bunch of beaches around it that are very Thai - ask around and you'll not need to go far.
Further afield -- you're not far from the northeast -- about as Thai as it gets - Phimai, with its histori ruins and good places to stay would be a good start.
For waterfalls and jungles you'll need to delve into the national parks - again Chanthaburi has a few...
As far as monasteries are concerned, they're mostly used by foreigners for meditation courses and so on.
#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,710
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very helpful! thanks!
#4 nutmeg47 has been a member since 25/5/2006. Posts: 2
"somewhere with nightlife that doesn't include prostitution and disco"
Nutmeg, I doubt you still check this - would like to know how your trip went, but for others, there is no place in Thailand where nightlife doesn't invlude prostitution. Prostitution in Thailand did not evolve because of external influences (other than Chiense). It has developed a segment to deal with the foreign markets, BUT it is deeply ingrained in Thai culture. You might go somewhere and not notice it, and in most rural bars it is genteler in its presentation - but it's everywhere here. I have been propositioned at gas stations, in restaraunts, in the super market... even by woman who are not normally prostitutes, on occassion they might exploit an opportunity if they can do it discreetly.
There are within easy travel of Ban Phe several National parks and waterfalls that are worth a visit - most have accomodation - hostel or camping etc.
some nice very Thai places down the coast.
NB - Thailand is a developing=ng country - if you are searching for some rural idyll - you will be disappointed. They like resorts and cars seafood and music.
#6 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560
"NB - Thailand is a developing=ng country - if you are searching for some rural idyll - you will be disappointed. They like resorts and cars seafood and music."
Truer words never spoken. I would describe the place as "recently developed" country - I don't know, it seems "developing countries" actually aren't developing most of the time. But it isn't some sort of imagined romantic place of simple farmer people living as they did 1,000 years ago... thank God.
Good choice. That is a nice area. We vacationed on the beaches near Rayong, Ban Phe this January. While not as nice as the islands past Ko Chang , it is a good for being so close to Bangkok.
I put some pics on my facebook if you want a glimpse.
As said above it is a vacation area for locals. I only saw one white person in a week!
Most of the foreigners go to Pattaya, KoSamet. and Ko Chang leaving the rest pretty much to the locals.
One of the nicest Nat Parks in the Bangkok area may be Khao Yai.