Some friends and I are going to Thailand and Laos in June. However two of us arrive in Bangkok approximately 5 days before the others arrive and we all take a night train north to Laos.
I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions regarding a small trip the two of us could make for 3 or 4 days before heading back to Bangkok to catch our night train. We are on a fairly tight budget and werent sure if there were any destinations reasonably close by Bangkok that would be cool to visit.
I am looking forward to visiting Bangkok for the first time but I think being there for 5 days straight may be a bit much.
Thanks for any help you may have.
#1 stroked11 has been a member since 22/1/2008. Posts: 4
Kanchanaburi and Ko Samet are two of the first three destinations that spring to my mind too. Ko Samet is particularly good if you'll be there mid-week, since the place really fills up on weekends and during local holidays. The third place I might suggest is the former Thai capital of Ayutthaya, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It has several fantastic sets of ruins and a fairly good backpacker vibe. Ayutthaya is just a short bus or train trip north of Bangkok and is usually good for a few days of fun outside the big city. Cheers.
Thats awesome thanks for all the ideas guys. They sound ideal so I will look into them some more.
#5 stroked11 has been a member since 22/1/2008. Posts: 4
Ayuthaya has some great temples, and you can get a boat tour around the city at night while the temples are illuminated. Very nice. Take the train there. Don't go by bus or minivan unless you enjoy sitting in gridlock for hours.
Sangkhlaburi is excellent! Not sure what it would be like in June, but the trip there, the scenery, the people, etc. are all super. Don't go on the weekend, though, and absolutely not during a Thai holiday.
For a day trip, check out Mahachai (Samut Sakhon).
So many options and so many choices!
Well if you want to have some fun and save money you could go to Pattaya!
Pattaya is a beach town around 2 hours by bus from Bangkok.
Hotels are cheaper than Bangkok or Phuket, transportation is cheaper too using baht buses (10 baht for foreigners.)
To get to Pattaya take the VIP bus from the Ekamai bus terminal off Sukhumvit Road. The price for the ride will be around 120 baht or less. Only buy the tickets from the Pattaya window, right side of terminal.
Pattaya has lots of malls, bars, restaurants, cheap hotels, travel agents for tours, movie theaters, etc. Long beach front suitable for sunbathing, walking, jogging, shopping, restaurants, souvenir vendors but for swimming go to nearby Jomtien Beach. Baht bus ride to Jomtien Beach is 20 baht.
Hotels with air, hot water, TV, private toilet/shower and maid service start around 400 baht during the low season. Hotels in the 800 baht range or higher may have a pool too!
Best thing about Pattaya if you don't care for it you can head out for somewhere else. Remember only around 120 baht for the bus ride!
Here's a suggestion for a 3-4 day side trip that we researched but didn't use this month (june 2008). Prachuap Kiri Khan, in the 'near South.' Right on the ocean, reputed to have great seafood, be slow paced, and friendly. Historial interst in that the beach was the site of one of the Japanese landings in 1941. Which is why the street name have patriot references.
The plan was to return from the NE by train to Hualampong Station in Bangkok, take showers at the Station, and get on one of the morning trains south 5 hours to Phrachuap. Several good guest houses and hotels to chose from. A village north of Prachuap makes wooden boats the old way. Motorbikes rentable in Phrachuap.
Train schedule coming back is bad... all the northbound trains according to the State Railways schedule, leave Phrachuap in the middle of the night. We planned to take a bus or minivan back to Bangkok or Thonburi, or take a bus to Thong Lor and take a minivan or taxi to Samut Songkran, the terminus of the Mekhlong/Mahachai railway. We would have stayed at the Mekhlong Hotel near the Samut Songkran rr station, then take next morning's train back to Wong Wian Yai station near Thaksin Circle in Thonburi. See Richard Barrow's blogsite for his description of the Samut Songkram day trip.
We ended up going to Samut Songkram by the suburban real and spent several hours in the town, which was pleasant enough. We checked out the Mekhlong Hotel (no sign in English) and it was clean with A/C, hot shower, etc. Perfectly delighful. We also found a delightful coffee shop across the street called, "The Clover," run by a young woman who had been an exchange student in Tennessee. She turned us on to a return possibility by minivan to any one of several drop off points in Bangkok (It took 50 minutes to get to Rattanakosin, in BKK). She also recommended a restaurant down the same street called "Kong." Kong has no English sign but it's easy to find. Fantastic noodle shop and spotlessless clean. There is a Tesco Lotus in Samut Songkran and there are ATM's around town.
#11 scomoore1 has been a member since 30/7/2006. Posts: 33