Thailand Suggestions?

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jbkc
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Thailand Suggestions?

Post by jbkc » Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:50 am

A group of us are heading to Thailand in the fall and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions of must see's/do's while there.  We have our schedule pretty much planned out, but any suggestions would be appreciated.

Bangkok (including Ayutthaya)  - 3 days
Overnight train to Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai (including Chiang Rai) - 3 days
Phuket - 2 days
Phi Phi - 2 days
Krabi - 3.5 days

IraGlacialis
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Re: Thailand Suggestions?

Post by IraGlacialis » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:13 pm

I am only really familiar with the central region, but I can give some pointer for Bangkok and Ayutthaya.
First off, what are you planning on focusing on, namely in Bangkok: urban, cultural, or historical?

And of course several pointers.
1. Remember your etiquette. Don't: touch somebody on the head, show anything overtly romantic (even to the point of holding hands; note platonic showings of affection are alright though (to the point that if you do such things here, you may be mistaken for gay)), show the bottom of your feet, or offer your left hand. Do: Show respect for your elders, greet in traditional manner, and remember to take your shoes off. Even though you will be foreigner, and they will be forgiving of faux pas, avoiding such things in the first place will earn good will.
2. Thais like Americans. May not always agree with foreign policy, but Americans themselves are one of their favorite foreigners for historical reasons as well as action. So in case there was any nagging thought in your mind, that should be cleared up. Least favorite: French, Chinese (the ones that roam in packs), and folks from neighboring countries.
3. That being said, be aware that, if you look foreign, there may be cases where people will try to take advantage of what I like to call "foreigner's ignorance". Situational awareness is essential, especially in crowded areas. Also be aware that many places will charge foreigners more that locals.
4. Learn the basics of the language. It is nice, and can avoid having you get ripped-off at the taxi or market (which by the way, you should learn to haggle at).
5. Eat from the street venders. Food is cheap and good (usually for about 30 baht for a nice big plate). Of course, don't drink the tap water or get ice except in the most of controlled settings (the mall for example).

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Re: Thailand Suggestions?

Post by jbkc » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:38 pm

we will be with a tour guide (private tour vs big bus pre-defined one so we can choose what we want).  below is our itinerary while in the bangkok area.  i think we have a lot of the cultural/historical covered.  so we're probably looking for things to do the 2 nights there and then the 3rd day on our own.  places to eat, shop, go out, etc.


Day 1 After breakfast, meet your English-speaking guide and drive to visit two of the most special Buddhist temples in the city.  The Buddha in Wat Trimitr weighs several tons, and is made of solid gold.  Visit the famous Reclining Buddha at Wat Po, where the blind may be trained to become masseuses. Then visit a site the Thai people consider the most sacred in the Kingdom: the Grand Palace.  This is one of the most beautiful examples of an ancient Thai court, with several Halls in same compound.  You will also visit the Temple of the sacred Emerald Buddha.  Note that guests should wear long pants, shoes which cover the heal, and shirts that cover the upper arm (no vests / singlets). This is to show respect to the Thai people. Also, the Grand Palace is closed on some National Days (dates TBA), when guests will visit alternative temples instead.
Lunch is at a local restaurant. After lunch, then drive to the Chao Phya River’s edge, to board a local style long-tail boat, and spend the next several hours exploring the old canals of the Thonburi side of Bangkok, where an older and more gracious lifestyle still prevails.  You will have opportunities to snack, purchase knick-knacks, or use a toilet, at stops en route. Visit the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun), which you will probably recognize, from its famous silhouette.  The local story goes that the shards of pottery decorating its 79 m tall spire came from a nearby shipwreck 100 years ago.


Day 2 Bangkok – Bang Pa-In Summer Palace – Ayutthaya – Bangkok (B, L)
After breakfast, , drive to visit Bang Pa-In, the former Royal Summer Residence of King Rama V consisting of buildings in a quaint mixture of European and Thai architecture. You will have a chance to visit the interior of Chinese Wehat Chamrun Palace. Then, continue drive to Ayutthaya visit an ancient capital of Thailand, flourished for several hundred years (1350 – 1770), was sacked by the Burmese, and then taken over again by the Thais!  This was the last location of the capital before the government based itself in Bangkok. At the magnificent city ruins you can see Wat Phra Sri Sanpetch with three spired pagoda as, the large Buddha image of Phra Mongkol Bophit and then visit to Wat Mahathat.

Day 3  Bangkok - on our own till we get leave for the train around 4pm

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Re: Thailand Suggestions?

Post by Northlander » Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:09 pm

I went to the Rose Garden and Thai Cultural Show when I was there 6 years ago. Great perspective on the Thai people.

If you try to pick up even a couple of Thai words/phrases (Hello & Thank You), they seem to be very appreciative of the effort.

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Re: Thailand Suggestions?

Post by cknab1 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:19 pm

I enjoyed going to a Thai kick boxing match.  They have two major stadiums in BKK and it really is entertaining.  You can get ring side tickets from most any hotel downtown, I don't remember the price but it wasn't bad.  They had 9 or 10 matches and then had a traditional boxing match at the end.  That is when everyone started leaving.  It did seem very boring after the kick boxing.

It sounds like you have the basics covered and I'll be interested in seeing pictures when you return.  My wife and I have been in BKK 3 times in the last 4 years and may return as a side trip if we go to China and Cambodia in September.
I'll have what the gentleman on the floor is having.

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Re: Thailand Suggestions?

Post by Hastiin » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:58 am

My girlfriend and I are traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Thailand on the overnight train to Hat Yai, which we'll use as a jumping off point for a 10 day vacation. But, we can't quite decide where to go. We want to stay at a mid range (our budget is $50 per night max) hotel at a spectacular beach. By spectacular, i mean surrounding scenery, white powdery sand, beautiful water that's safe to swim in and good for snorkeling, and ideally in an area that isn't so crowded. We were thinking Koh Lanta, Koh Ngai, Railay, or even Phuket, but from what I've been reading, the water isn't so safe or beautiful during August. I've heard that Koh Samui and Koh Phangan are nice and would have good weather during that time, but the beaches and scenery aren't are nice as the places on the other coast.

We've been to Boracay and El Nido, and we want something that's got the best of both. Am I being unrealistic? I've done lots of searching, and my head is now spinning. Please help!! lol.

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Re: Thailand Suggestions?

Post by IraGlacialis » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:38 am

It is still going to be monsoon season, so even on the "nice" side, the water will be opaque and such, and, to top it off, the runoff causes trash to flow into the sea. there have been times where it rains every single night, even when the days are clear.
The upside, that I found, of that season is that of course not as many tourists and that the temperature is cooling down (relatively speaking). Better to use that time to go cultural sight-seeing.

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