Anyone been to Thailand?

Migwire

Registered User
Just returned from two weeks in Cuba on Saturday and now we're turning our thoughts towards our next holiday and I was wondering if anyone has any experience of Thailand as the wife and I are thinking of spending 3 weeks or so there maybe later this year or early next year.

She has this notion that it's all like Pattaya, but I've assured her it's not. Thinking maybe a couple of days in Bangkok, then maybe Chiang Mai for a couple of days before heading to Koh Samui for a week then maybe on to Krabi for another week before heading back to Bangkok.

Any advice on the best way to plan and book it is greatly appreciated. Also tips on where to go.

Thanks
 

Stevo985

Registered User
I'm heading to Thailand in July.

Doing 4 days in Bangkok, 3 days in Koh Samui, 3 days in Koh Phangan, 3 days in Koh Tao and then a final night back in Bangkok before flying home.

Assuming you're flying from the UK, we found Emirates to be the cheapest airline, even though it's supposedly one of the nicest. Although I do think they were having a 20% sale so that helped.
Qatar was also reasonable.

We paid about £530 for return flights to Bangkok.

Flights from bangkok to Koh Samui are about £180 return if you fly direct to Samui (with Thai Airways I think)
But we went for the much cheaper option of a flight to the nearest airport to Samui (with NOK airlines) on the Mainland and then we'll be getting a ferry to Samui. £38 return. And that includes the flight, the coach from the airport to the ferry, and the ferry to the island. Not bad. Although worth bearing in mind you only get 15kg baggage allowance on NOK, whereas your main flight will probably be 30kg. So you may have to pay extra for extra baggage which will push the price up.

For hotels, I'd advise just going on trip advisor and looking down the highest rated hotels until you find one that fits your budget.
Unless you go for super luxury, the hotels are dirt cheap, for pretty decent rooms. The MOST we're paying for a room is £40 a night, and that's on Koh Phangan and only because it's Full Moon when it's really busy.
Over our whole trip, hotels are working out as an average of £16 per night per person. So it's very very reasonable.

Can't advise you on the other 2 places, but on Samui we're staying at Chaweng Bay Resort and Lipa Bay. Both about £30 a night for the room (not each). Lipa is on the west near the pier. Chaweng bay is on the East in Chaweng Bay (hence the name!). Chaweng is supposed to be the best beach. The Town is supposedly a bit of a **** hole, but amazing beaches and scenery.


Like I said, I haven't actually been yet, so it might be all terrible advice :D
But hope it helps
 

SteveMcB

Registered User
Another thumbs up for Cuba, we visited Havanna and Cayo Largo, it was amazing waking up that first morning to all those old 50s American monsters smoking by outside.
 

Migwire

Registered User
I'm heading to Thailand in July.

Doing 4 days in Bangkok, 3 days in Koh Samui, 3 days in Koh Phangan, 3 days in Koh Tao and then a final night back in Bangkok before flying home.

Assuming you're flying from the UK, we found Emirates to be the cheapest airline, even though it's supposedly one of the nicest. Although I do think they were having a 20% sale so that helped.
Qatar was also reasonable.

We paid about £530 for return flights to Bangkok.

Flights from bangkok to Koh Samui are about £180 return if you fly direct to Samui (with Thai Airways I think)
But we went for the much cheaper option of a flight to the nearest airport to Samui (with NOK airlines) on the Mainland and then we'll be getting a ferry to Samui. £38 return. And that includes the flight, the coach from the airport to the ferry, and the ferry to the island. Not bad. Although worth bearing in mind you only get 15kg baggage allowance on NOK, whereas your main flight will probably be 30kg. So you may have to pay extra for extra baggage which will push the price up.

For hotels, I'd advise just going on trip advisor and looking down the highest rated hotels until you find one that fits your budget.
Unless you go for super luxury, the hotels are dirt cheap, for pretty decent rooms. The MOST we're paying for a room is £40 a night, and that's on Koh Phangan and only because it's Full Moon when it's really busy.
Over our whole trip, hotels are working out as an average of £16 per night per person. So it's very very reasonable.

Can't advise you on the other 2 places, but on Samui we're staying at Chaweng Bay Resort and Lipa Bay. Both about £30 a night for the room (not each). Lipa is on the west near the pier. Chaweng bay is on the East in Chaweng Bay (hence the name!). Chaweng is supposed to be the best beach. The Town is supposedly a bit of a **** hole, but amazing beaches and scenery.


Like I said, I haven't actually been yet, so it might be all terrible advice :D
But hope it helps
Cheers mate.

Yeah, Emirates does seem the cheapest, especially from Newcastle. Looked last night at the flight from Bangkok to Koh Samui and it was £123 each, one way. So might take in a scenic train journey then ferry across. Koh Samui to Krabi flight was reasonable though, at only £48 each.

I'll keep researching though.

I'm assuming as most places are room only out b&b then food outside hotels is plentiful, of good quality and reasonable? Only concern is the wife is quite a fussy eater and only eats chicken breast. I'm sure she'll manage though.
 

Migwire

Registered User
Another thumbs up for Cuba, we visited Havanna and Cayo Largo, it was amazing waking up that first morning to all those old 50s American monsters smoking by outside.

Yeah I love Cuba. Been twice now. We took a 1948 Buick convertible to Holguin City last week. What an experience.
 

Stevo985

Registered User
Cheers mate.

Yeah, Emirates does seem the cheapest, especially from Newcastle. Looked last night at the flight from Bangkok to Koh Samui and it was £123 each, one way. So might take in a scenic train journey then ferry across. Koh Samui to Krabi flight was reasonable though, at only £48 each.

I'll keep researching though.

I'm assuming as most places are room only out b&b then food outside hotels is plentiful, of good quality and reasonable? Only concern is the wife is quite a fussy eater and only eats chicken breast. I'm sure she'll manage though.
Not sure to be honest. Like I said I haven't been yet, but I can't imagine there would be a problem.

Most areas are pretty touristy, so i can't imagine food, even english food, is hard to come by.

I ****** love Thai food so shouldn't be a problem for me :D
 

kelk11

Registered User
I went to Thailand for 3 weeks in jan 2013, spent the 1st night in Bangkok got the overnight sleeper train to Chiangmai about £16each. Spent 6 days there including a 3 day jungle trek. Flew from there to Phuket spent the night, got the ferry to phi phi for 3 nights ferry to koh lanta (my fav island I visited) for another 3 nights, ferry to Krabi 1 night before flying to koh Samui for 3 nights in chaweng after spending time on the other islands this was by far the busiest and most commercialised. Then flew back to bangkok for the last night before coming home with etihad, also flown with emirates but they were more expensive, I would say they are on par service wise. Could write a lot more as it was one of my favorite holidays but sending this from a phone so cba.
 

Migwire

Registered User
Hotel brisas? That's where we stayed, brother got married on the beach there so was a nice holiday, not for him. They have split now

Yes mate, Brisas. We got married there last year so returned this year. Great place, and the people are so friendly.
 

Migwire

Registered User
I went to Thailand for 3 weeks in jan 2013, spent the 1st night in Bangkok got the overnight sleeper train to Chiangmai about £16each. Spent 6 days there including a 3 day jungle trek. Flew from there to Phuket spent the night, got the ferry to phi phi for 3 nights ferry to koh lanta (my fav island I visited) for another 3 nights, ferry to Krabi 1 night before flying to koh Samui for 3 nights in chaweng after spending time on the other islands this was by far the busiest and most commercialised. Then flew back to bangkok for the last night before coming home with etihad, also flown with emirates but they were more expensive, I would say they are on par service wise. Could write a lot more as it was one of my favorite holidays but sending this from a phone so cba.


Brilliant!

Did you book your internal flights ab and accommodation before hand or just wing it whilst there?
 

kelk11

Registered User
Booked 1st nights accommodation and internal flights before arrival then sorted hotels when we arrived in each place. Lots of wifi available so just booked online. If I do it again I'd book accomodation before hand as I found no benefit to doing it the day before other than more freedom. Prices seemed to range from 15-25 per night for a 3star equivalent. Koh Samui stayed in a 5star with hot tub on balcony, infinity pool etc for £80pn. On the islands if you prebook your hotel they usually pick you up at the port to save on taxis as well and your not wasting your holiday looking for places to stay.
 

Migwire

Registered User
Booked 1st nights accommodation and internal flights before arrival then sorted hotels when we arrived in each place. Lots of wifi available so just booked online. If I do it again I'd book accomodation before hand as I found no benefit to doing it the day before other than more freedom. Prices seemed to range from 15-25 per night for a 3star equivalent. Koh Samui stayed in a 5star with hot tub on balcony, infinity pool etc for £80pn. On the islands if you prebook your hotel they usually pick you up at the port to save on taxis as well and your not wasting your holiday looking for places to stay.
Thanks!!

What kind of daily budget did you have please?

Was going to book a package holiday for total peace of mind and stay in one or two places, but then thought we'd see more of the country just doing it ourselves and save some money.

Now thinking maybe fly to Kuala Lumpur first, spend maybe three days there, then head to Krabi/Koh Phi Phi/Koh Lanta for a few days, then head to Koh Saami, then maybe head to Hua Hin before heading to Chiang Mai before finishing in Bangkok in style and heading home.
 

Stevo985

Registered User
Booked 1st nights accommodation and internal flights before arrival then sorted hotels when we arrived in each place. Lots of wifi available so just booked online. If I do it again I'd book accomodation before hand as I found no benefit to doing it the day before other than more freedom. Prices seemed to range from 15-25 per night for a 3star equivalent. Koh Samui stayed in a 5star with hot tub on balcony, infinity pool etc for £80pn. On the islands if you prebook your hotel they usually pick you up at the port to save on taxis as well and your not wasting your holiday looking for places to stay.
Yep i've found this too, Most hotels have offered us a transfer which is great.

Our original plan was to wing it. but by the time we'd booked first and last night's accommodation (didn't want to be faffing around as soon as we got there trying to find somewhere), and booked our Ko Phangan stay (you have to pre book around full moon because it's so busy) we thought we may as well book the whole thing.

I think the only advantage winging it gives you is flexibility. If you're fairly certain of your itinerary I'd book beforehand, for peace of mind.


I have friends who have been and reckon £25 a day was their budget, including accommodation (but they were staying in hostels for like, £4 a night)

I'm planning on taking £350 to spend (so excluding accommodation and flights) and I'm expecting that to be enough for 2 weeks.
 

Migwire

Registered User
£350?? you confident that's enough? Here's me thinking we'd need a few grand to take to spend and that's having prebooked all rooms and flights. I'm always sceptical as to how cheap places are reported to be as opposed to how cheap they are in reality. Obviously, I know you can spend as much or as little as you like, but would love to think you could go three weeks on under a grand.
 

ScottishA4B9

Registered User
The only reason people go to Thailand is for the ladyboys or for a Thai bride isn't it?!!!!!
 

B_FUR

Registered User
My brother and his wife are out on Koh Samui at the moment and have been for last 12 months, amazing place from all accounts, I'm hoping to get out there next March. He's a diving instructor out there so if diving's your thing, I can always pass u on his details for when you're out there.
I know that they manage to eat for about £1 a night at night markets etc, so budget needed should be minimal.

Have awesome trip
 

Stevo985

Registered User
£350?? you confident that's enough? Here's me thinking we'd need a few grand to take to spend and that's having prebooked all rooms and flights. I'm always sceptical as to how cheap places are reported to be as opposed to how cheap they are in reality. Obviously, I know you can spend as much or as little as you like, but would love to think you could go three weeks on under a grand.

Nope, not confident. I'll happily spend more. But going on what other people have said I think that will be enough.
It IS very cheap out there.

Like I said, I have friends who have gone and said they spent about £25 a day including accommodation. They were backpackign it so would probably have done everything very cheaply, but still.

You probably COULD spend thousands when you're out there. But I certainly won't be :D
 

Migwire

Registered User
I couldn't agree more. Was a nice wedding on the beach. The Canadians are very friendly people too. Did some awesome trips out from the hotel as well. Had 2 interesting beach parties a short walk from the hotel and at the night club too.
There are three types of Canadians in Cuba.
1. Genuinely nice, decent people who we made great friends with and are still in contact with.
2. White trash types who are a bit of a let down. They're loud, proud and oh Americanised! Best avoided.
3. French speakers - "The Quebecers".... Hated by Brits, Canadians and Cubans alike. Mostly refuse to speak English, refuse to queue, arrogant and to quote a very respectable recently retired Nova Scotian, "they effing a-holes!" they also have you believe Quebec is already independent. Mostly detestable people IMO.

Are you referring to the Cuban beach party down at the market? Haha, oh my, it's cheaper to buy an litre of white rum down there than beer. Got so drunk down there the other week the wife had to drag me home...oopppppssss..... Lost two days of the holiday to alcohol poisoning I think! Good atmosphere though, especially watching them dance Latino style to dance music. As for the nightclub...La Dolce Vita, Haha, how tragic? Went a couple of times but left that to the 17yo son mostly.
 

Migwire

Registered User
My brother and his wife are out on Koh Samui at the moment and have been for last 12 months, amazing place from all accounts, I'm hoping to get out there next March. He's a diving instructor out there so if diving's your thing, I can always pass u on his details for when you're out there.
I know that they manage to eat for about £1 a night at night markets etc, so budget needed should be minimal.

Have awesome trip

Never tried diving, only learnt to swim two years ago for my wedding in Cuba last year. Hammered the snorkeling this year though, loved it. If they're still there I'll check him out though
 
Top