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Holiday in Thailand (August)
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GeminiTiger



Joined: 15 Oct 2004
Posts: 999
Location: China, 2005--Present

PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:13 pm    Post subject: Holiday in Thailand (August) Reply with quote

I'm coming to Thailand with my (Chinese) fiancee in August. I could use some advice on what we should do.

I would be happy for a couple days on the beach and seeing some of the old temples that Thailand is famous for.

But specific places I have no idea so again, advice please.
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tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Holiday in Thailand (August) Reply with quote

GeminiTiger wrote:
I'm coming to Thailand with my (Chinese) fiancee in August. I could use some advice on what we should do.

I would be happy for a couple days on the beach and seeing some of the old temples that Thailand is famous for.

But specific places I have no idea so again, advice please.


Beach, easy access to BKK = Jomtien (south of Pattaya).

Other mainstay options would be the islands (Phuket, et al, in the Andaman sea or the Gulf islands.

Temples are EVERYWHERE. You will be hard pressed to not see them.

A good place to look for resorts and information is http://www.sawadee.com/

Beyond that, google is your friend. There is more information out there about Thailand than just about any other tourist destination on the planet.

.
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plumpy nut



Joined: 12 Mar 2011
Posts: 856

PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get a Lonely Planet Thailand Guide and decide on the specific things you want to see. Both Chiang Mai and Bangkok have really nice temples. Bangkok has a whole slew of interesting things, Erawon Shrine, a small shrine right next to a hotel with mobs of people lighting up incense and performing Thai dancers, Wat Phra Kaew inside the Grand palace compound.
Chiang Mai has Wat Mon, a temple built in the 1300's and is still immaculate and many other old temples. Chiang Mai also is a place where you can rent motorbikes and actually drive them. There is a city center where driving motorbikes is relatively safe.
Lamphun, 20 kilos south of Chiang Mai has a temple with a stupa that was built by the Mons before the arrival of the Thais. Also there are artifacts in really good shape from the 800's. The whole area south of Chiang Mai has ancient temple ruins that are very old built by the Mons.
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GeminiTiger



Joined: 15 Oct 2004
Posts: 999
Location: China, 2005--Present

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'm still busy trying to plan my trip. I've been on google for 3 days and 3 nights now and for everyone who says "go here" another person says "overpriced dump!".

I would just be happy to find a calm beach with the blue blue seas you see in all the pictures to relax on for a couple days and a decent place to sleep nearby.

In bangkok it seems I can find enough things to do during the day, just want to find a hotel that has a good pool for relaxing in.

Hoping to get plenty wet while I'm there.
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Eagle Eyes



Joined: 26 Apr 2012
Posts: 121
Location: Istanbul

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reality check regarding cam beaches you will have to travel as far away south of Bangkok as possible! There are literally millions and millions of tourists at beaches here in the LOS...combined with Tuks Tuks and traffic everywhere from Bangkok...especially on the weekends. If your looking for peace of mind at a quiet beach then head for Narathiwat province bordering Malaysia. This province has the most beautiful beaches in Thailand. Also stay away from Pattaya and Hua Hin Resorts as they are both extremely touristy and pricey! Good luck in the LOS Smile
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7969



Joined: 26 Mar 2003
Posts: 5681
Location: South China, by the sea.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GeminiTiger wrote:
Well, I'm still busy trying to plan my trip. I've been on google for 3 days and 3 nights now and for everyone who says "go here" another person says "overpriced dump!".

I would just be happy to find a calm beach with the blue blue seas you see in all the pictures to relax on for a couple days and a decent place to sleep nearby.

I managed a small hotel in Patong Beach back in 2005 so have some knowledge of the Phuket area. I suggest you try Karon Beach. The beach is long and wide and the water is far better (with waves) than the more well-known and busier Patong Beach which is where most people hang out. Karon Beach is a few km south of Patong and the town itself is much quieter (caters more to families/couples) but that's what some people look for. You can also make your way from Karon to Kata Beach which is just a short taxi or bike ride away. Going in the other direction from Patong Beach you can make your way over the hill to Kamala and then Surin Beaches which are also decent. Avoid any place that advertises themselves as the HQ for a full moon party unless you want to be surrounded by hundreds of loud drunken knobs.

I took this photo on Karon Beach a few years back, but I was there two years ago and little had changed. This was an early morning shot but the beach is pretty long and you can almost always find a decent sized patch of real estate for yourself.

Karon Beach

Stuff to do in Bangkok: Floating market (good for a half day), trip out to Ayuthaya (ancient capital), Grand Palace, Wat Po (Reclining Buddha), excellent food just about anywhere but I like hanging out around Sukhumvit Sois 3, 5, and 7 at some of the ethnic places in there. Your wife might want a gander at the ladyboys and gogo bars at Nana Plaza or Soi Cowboy at Asok. Chinese people seem to like having their photos taken in these various places. Far cry from most of what you see on the mainland.
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Eagle Eyes



Joined: 26 Apr 2012
Posts: 121
Location: Istanbul

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you venture into Phuket you will be surrounded by millions of farang on vacation there (including those who have made it their retirement home!) and that goes for every strip of white sand beach there is on this island. Also note you will be paying up to triple (300% or more) in Thai restaurant food and beverage costs at any establishment. Hotels and resorts are strctly for upmarket tourids. It id extremely expensive to visit Phuket but then again if you are rich it would be no problem. Enjoy your holiday in the LOS! Smile
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7969



Joined: 26 Mar 2003
Posts: 5681
Location: South China, by the sea.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eagle Eyes wrote:
If you venture into Phuket you will be surrounded by millions of farang on vacation there (including those who have made it their retirement home!) and that goes for every strip of white sand beach there is on this island. Also note you will be paying up to triple (300% or more) in Thai restaurant food and beverage costs at any establishment. Hotels and resorts are strctly for upmarket tourids. It id extremely expensive to visit Phuket but then again if you are rich it would be no problem.

Unfortunately this is out to lunch. May till October/November is low/ultra low season in Thailand and is the cheapest time to visit Phuket. A guest house near Karon Beach can be had for as little as Bt450 (~ $15/night) right now.

Kangaroo Guest House

Beshert Guest House

Karon Beach Guesthouses

In high season the prices go up by perhaps 50-100% depending on where you decide to stay. As for the retirees, lots of them are Europeans who go back to Europe for the summer and return to Thailand for the winter.
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tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eagle Eyes wrote:
Reality check regarding cam beaches you will have to travel as far away south of Bangkok as possible! There are literally millions and millions of tourists at beaches here in the LOS...combined with Tuks Tuks and traffic everywhere from Bangkok...especially on the weekends. If your looking for peace of mind at a quiet beach then head for Narathiwat province bordering Malaysia. This province has the most beautiful beaches in Thailand. Also stay away from Pattaya and Hua Hin Resorts as they are both extremely touristy and pricey! Good luck in the LOS Smile


Nonsense ...


If the OP is looking for a few days on the beach and is not stuck on a backpacker's budget there are LOTS of decent options.

AND the far southern provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Songkhla (including the city of Hat Yai) have been experiencing criminally and politically motivated violent incidents. Attacks against military and civilian targets occur almost daily, and include terror activity such as shootings, bombings, beheadings and arson.

.
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GeminiTiger



Joined: 15 Oct 2004
Posts: 999
Location: China, 2005--Present

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems I won't be going to Thailand this summer, a few reasons.

I'm not keen on going into the wrong area where violence against foreigners is likely, also it seems like there is a problem with over crowding of foreigners, or having to go far, far off the track.

It's one more step to get a visa to go to Thailand that can be avoid going somewhere in China. (for my gf who works full-time getting to shanghai is a bit of trouble).

It seems to cost about 4500 round trip to get to Thailand right now.

What really pisses me off is that the local travel agency has (two of them) have deals to Thailand that include air tickets and hotels for about 3000 rmb, but that your not allowed to leave the Tour and just do something like accept the air tickets and first and last nights hotel accommodation. I'm not sure what the angle is for the tour company but it just is annoying to me. They also had several fees listed for guides and stuff so I'm not sure what the real price would be.

I think my gf just dosn't want me to pay for our own tickets and hotels when a tour price is so cheap, she's a bit of a pincher.

Anyways, seems we will head to Hong Kong instead.

Crying or Very sad
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plumpy nut



Joined: 12 Mar 2011
Posts: 856

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just as well for you. Thailand seems to be getting more and more unpleasant to be in, dirtier, more congestion, more annoying sidewalk stalls, more rip-offs that you can't seem to avoid (even if you're not inherently dishonest), and higher prices.
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GeminiTiger



Joined: 15 Oct 2004
Posts: 999
Location: China, 2005--Present

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, so, I found tickets for 2650 round trip to BKK, on two tickets that saved me 4000 rmb that I can use for travel, so my trip is on again..


The tickets are August 14th arrive at 2335 BKK

Leaving BKK on August 21st at 1110.

Based on this it would seem I need first and last nights hotel near the airport.

I'm interested in Karon beach, but I still need to figure out how to get there from BKK.

I also found that Chinese nationals can get a 15 day visa (VoA) when arriving in BKK. (another major headache derailed)

If anyone has some specific hotels, attractions or advice please do tell.

What's the best way to deal with money? Should I get some American dollars before going? Can I get Thai money in China? Anyway to avoid carrying around all that cash for a whole trip?
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tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GeminiTiger wrote:
Ok, so, I found tickets for 2650 round trip to BKK, on two tickets that saved me 4000 rmb that I can use for travel, so my trip is on again..


The tickets are August 14th arrive at 2335 BKK

Leaving BKK on August 21st at 1110.

Based on this it would seem I need first and last nights hotel near the airport.

I'm interested in Karon beach, but I still need to figure out how to get there from BKK.

I also found that Chinese nationals can get a 15 day visa (VoA) when arriving in BKK. (another major headache derailed)

If anyone has some specific hotels, attractions or advice please do tell.

What's the best way to deal with money? Should I get some American dollars before going? Can I get Thai money in China? Anyway to avoid carrying around all that cash for a whole trip?


I can help with a couple of your questions.

A cheap hotel right at the airport train stop is the "Florida" hotel.
It is old but clean, cheap and right at the foot of the steps up to the BTS or airport train.

Might not work well for your arrival (I think the last train run is midnight) but might work well for your trip home (depending on how you plan toget to the beach in Phuket). You will probably want to look at a domestic flight to Phuket since it will take a minimum of 12 hours to get there by bus and may eliminate your need for a hotel in BKK the day before you fly home.

Bring dollars and buy baht here. The exchange rate locally on RMB is much worse than the internet rate and I expect the same when you try to buy baht in China.

With your short time and if you don't want to do domestic flights you might want to consider Jomtien beach (south of Pattaya), Hua Hin or Cha Am. All are easy bus rides from BKK and it is off season so rooms are abundant, cheap and easy to find. The beaches will be pretty empty as well.

.
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GeminiTiger



Joined: 15 Oct 2004
Posts: 999
Location: China, 2005--Present

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tttompatz wrote:

With your short time and if you don't want to do domestic flights you might want to consider Jomtien beach (south of Pattaya), Hua Hin or Cha Am. All are easy bus rides from BKK and it is off season so rooms are abundant, cheap and easy to find. The beaches will be pretty empty as well.


Some of the pictures make all of these beaches including karon either mythical or dismal, but I'm dreaming of that blue-green sea I sometimes see on Google. Which of these places are going to have the best view/swim?
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7969



Joined: 26 Mar 2003
Posts: 5681
Location: South China, by the sea.

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GeminiTiger wrote:
The tickets are August 14th arrive at 2335 BKK. Leaving BKK on August 21st at 1110. Based on this it would seem I need first and last nights hotel near the airport.

Try this place:

Kriss Residence

I stayed here two nights ago, Bt900, nice, clean rooms with air con and a 5-10 minute drive from the airport. Pickup is at Exit 4 Level 2 of Arrivals (Look for the person holding the Kriss Residence sign). If you ask for Room 406 you can see the planes approaching the runway from your window. I stayed at this place mainly so I could get closer to the runway the following morning to take photos of planes landing (which I did with a lot of success). Now at Sawasdee Sukhumvit Inn on Sukhumvit Soi 57 near Thong Lo BTS station. Also a decent place.

GeminiTiger wrote:
I'm interested in Karon beach, but I still need to figure out how to get there from BKK.

You can get an overnight bus from Bangkok (about 12 hours) or book a flight once you get to Bangkok (one hour flight). Bus takes you to Phuket town and from there you'd need a taxi to the beach areas or perhaps pickup by your hotel, if they offer that service. If you fly, from the Phuket airport there are buses/taxis to places like Patong and Karon Beaches. Some hotels will pick you up at the airport.

GeminiTiger wrote:
What's the best way to deal with money? Should I get some American dollars before going? Can I get Thai money in China? Anyway to avoid carrying around all that cash for a whole trip?

Your Unionpay bank card from China will work in ATMs here. Make a withdrawal at the airport once you arrive. I use mine and have a Mastercard as backup.

GeminiTiger wrote:
tttompatz wrote:
With your short time and if you don't want to do domestic flights you might want to consider Jomtien beach (south of Pattaya), Hua Hin or Cha Am. All are easy bus rides from BKK and it is off season so rooms are abundant, cheap and easy to find. The beaches will be pretty empty as well.

Some of the pictures make all of these beaches including karon either mythical or dismal, but I'm dreaming of that blue-green sea I sometimes see on Google. Which of these places are going to have the best view/swim?

You're probably not going to see a lot of those blue green seas right now. It's low season, so more cloud and rain than in high season. But it's still warm and pleasant. I'm off to Railay Beach in Krabi on Sunday, which is not far from Phuket so I can tell you what it's really like after I arrive there. Good rock climbing at Railay if you and your wife want to give that a shot. Instructors are competent and they have good equipment.
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