OP, if you are a US citizen, you without a doubt want a Charles Schwab checking account with free worldwide ATM's. They also use whatever the current Visa exchange rate is. I just traveled for 6 months in Asia and never gave a second thought to using an ATM or the exchange rate.
Based upon your username, you may not be from USA. If not, look into something similar in your country.
Here is your hut on the beach! It is the opposite of fancy, but I adored every moment I spent there. Woke up and walked out of my door to the ocean at my feet every morning. Quiet area, chill people. I'ts in Au Nam Mao which is a very quick taxi to Au Nang (I actually walked it once but it took like a half hour). Au Nang is the hub for island hopping, but it is better to stay elsewhere as Au Nang is loud and smells like diesel from the boats.
I was there about one week ago. You'll be fine! GO! You need to realize this can happen anywhere so just be smart and safe. We never felt endangered at all. It's beautiful.
Stayed at this BNB with 4 friends -- https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/17643080?location=Ko%20Tao%20Surat%20Thani%20Thailand&s=vQmTjEBs -- which was not a far walk from the busy areas. It was actually nice to be able to get away and have a quiet place to ourselves. Amazing curry place on the way to the BNB - Paloy?? -.
Go to Sairee Cottage every night for their happy hour and watch the sunset. Beach view, open concept restaurant so you can feel the breeze and hear the waves crash onto the beach. Get a motorbike if you have the experience and check out Tanote bay! Great snorkeling, cliff to dive if you'd like, and most importantly FREE to get on. Also, Jon Suwan viewpoint is worth the hike. You pay for the view, but it's worth it.
I usually check reviews on sites like booking.com, Agoda or hotels.com. Since only customers can leave reviews, it would get quite expensive to leave fake reviews.
I stayed at Oasis. Very nice, it's up on a hill and surrounded by jungle with a great view. There are monkeys in the jungle too. It's a bit of a hike though at 2am when you're drunk. There are tons of places down in the town if you want to be closer to the bars or to the beach. There are cheap bungalows right on the beach.
Stayed at By Beach Resort on Koh Samui for a weekend last year, had a pretty good time.
Picked it mainly because of it's proximity to the beach and because of a number of reviews that made note of how quiet that side of the island was. Wasn't interested in partying, so really enjoyed the peace and quiet.
> For the trip, I suggest getting a enduro style bike (road certified dirt bike), like a KLX 250 or CRF 250 over a scooter...you'll want the extra power for the hills and all 1200 turns on the route. They should run for roughly 1000B a day and usually the price is negotiable for trips longer than 3 days. Additionally, here's the wikitravel site the outlines a few of the stages on the loop http://wikitravel.org/en/Mae_Hong_Son_Loop
> Good luck, and maybe I'll see ya on the road
I have left my passport, most of the time, and if you are only doing the MHS Loop, it is the easiest way. I won't do it if I intend crossing into Laos or Myanmar but that is about it.
Damage scams are rampant on the Islands - especially Samui and Phuket - not really a problem in CNX. No reason not to photograph the bike, but it isn't the problem it is in the Islands.
If you do drop the bike, especially a 'big bike' (i.e. not a scooter) they usually have none or minimal insurance. The aren't cheap bikes ($US10K-15K) so if you damage it, you are up for serious out of pocket expenses - so don't drop it :D .
Hi there, I'm planning on doing the loop at the exact same time. I've done a fair a bit of research on trip forums such as www.gt-rider.com, which covers riding in all of the golden triangle. From what I read, take photos of the bikes before you leave (sometimes there are damages scams). Try to avoid leaving your passport with the vendor as well. For the trip, I suggest getting a enduro style bike (road certified dirt bike), like a KLX 250 or CRF 250 over a scooter...you'll want the extra power for the hills and all 1200 turns on the route. They should run for roughly 1000B a day and usually the price is negotiable for trips longer than 3 days. Additionally, here's the wikitravel site the outlines a few of the stages on the loop http://wikitravel.org/en/Mae_Hong_Son_Loop
Good luck, and maybe I'll see ya on the road
Wikitravel has some really good basic info on Bangkok and surrounding areas - really worth a read to get some to-do list ideas (http://wikitravel.org/en/Bangkok). There's such a ton of stuff you can do, it just depends on what type of things you're into. If you want an adventure go see the famed red-light districts, but only if you've got an open mind and a good hold on your wallet.
I think Koh Chang might be perfect for the things you list.
Tip: You'll need to time everything right - fly into Trat then take the bus to the pier, and jump on your already reserved ferry.
I didn't know to even ask for this, and hotels.com didn't show me anything about it when I booked my ASQ+ hotel in Bangkok. Fortunately the info desk and the transport people in the exit area of BKK were helpful and called my hotel. My hotel then arranged it, and I paid 3200 THB (for pickup and then test). But since it was not arranged in advance, I waited 2 hours longer at BKK. Not the end of the world, but I certainly would have paid in advance had I understood the need.
Overkill but I ran into a ton of problems with my Hotel sending me the SHA+ docs since I booked through third party (Hotels.com).
Once I booked directly with them... I got all the docs needed
You can use Google Flights to configure your itinerary. You can also look at prices for the month to pick which days work best for you. I used it myself to fly from London to Phuket.
I usually use flights.google.com and skyscanner.com
Example for starting at $72 flight for this weekend:
Bangkok Youth Center (Thai-Japan)
Airport link http://www.srtet.co.th/en/index.html
Don't know. lol
The traffic in Bangkok is hectic and dangerous. I think it's not safe to ride a motorbike here.
Good luck and enjoy!
Australian's get 30 days at land borders as well, the consulate website must be out of date (or deliberately misleading). In reality you can do 30 day stamp + 30 day extension + 30 day stamp from border run = 90 days. You can even extend the second 30 day stamp and get to 120 days.
Your big problem will be check in in Australia.
You can usually get away with booking accommodation in a nearby country, as proof of onward travel. Use Hotels.com. book one of the refundable rooms, print the booking confirmation then cancel. You should also print instructions on how to get across the land border to that destination.
Even then I have had the check-in agent say "unless you are swimming, you should still have a return ticket to Australia", but the requirement is only 'proof of onward travel within 30 days', and an accommodation booking and detailed knowledge of how you will travel should be sufficient to satisfy that, even if it takes escalation to the check-in agent's manager.
Make sure you print it, or have a copy available to show them.
What are you using to search? I punched a search into Kayak and literally the first result is a Singapore Airlines route with just a 50 minute layover.
Im going in January and was going to buy this
Anyone have any experience with these?
Get one of these. Unlocked internet box that you can use all over the world. and plug in a local sim. https://www.amazon.com/Huawei-E5785Lh-22c-globally-E5786s-32-Successor/dp/B07147RC7F/?\_encoding=UTF8&pd\_rd\_w=OQAGN&content-id=amzn1.sym.8cf3b8ef-6a74-45dc-9f0d-6409eb523603&pf\_rd\_p=8cf3b8ef-6a74-45dc-9f0d-6409eb523603&pf\_rd\_...
You can do a bicycle/boat tour? They have tours starting as early as 7am. This company is highly recommended. I plan on doing a tour myself when I visit in January.
You'll be fine.
When they drop you off, if Mr. Winoi and his Tuk-Tuk are available, I do recommend hiring him. Good guy, good guide.
Rent a jetski
There is a cool site with all the things to do in a city called Trip Advisor.
No hidden gems in Pattaya unfortunately. All the gems are out in the open.
Yes, that is very useful info. thanks! Never knew you could do that. Had a problem while in Bali with ExpressVPN wanting to call me to verify my billing info. I told them I was not in the US and wasn’t going to turn my phone on due to international roaming. I wish I had know you could get a GV number.
Bangkok and other areas in Thailand have been flooded recently, expect delays getting around if the rain continues.
Mobile app for food, grocery, taxi - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.linecorp.linemanth&hl=en&gl=US
My wife and I used these in Railay and Koh Phi Phi and just took them with us out in the water. Phone, wallet, towel, whatever. Wear it like a backpack while snorkeling, float on it while swimming. Use it as a carry on bag, roll it up and store it in another bag. Its size will surprise you with its ability to accommodate to your needs – or lack there of – on any occasion!
MARCHWAY Floating Waterproof Dry... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071KWM3V8?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share
Not to be used as a life preserver.
Results may vary.
You might consider a DEET alternative, which is picaridin (sometimes called icaridin). It is suposed to be as effective as DEET but is odorless and not greasy or toxic like DEET. There are picaridin sprays available on Lazada, but I found they're even more expensive than buying picaridin sprays in the US. If you're from the US, you could buy some before leaving and take it with you. Here's one source of it (Amazon) in the size of bottle you need to bring it on a plane: https://www.amazon.com/Ranger-Ready-Picaridin-Insect-Repellent/dp/B08MMX3G8Z/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=picaridin+insect+repellent&qid=1657141032&sprefix=picaridin%2Caps%2C158&sr=8-4
I'm going to be trying this stuff when I go back to Thailand.
You can never go back.
Good news: it takes just 5 minutes to install a bum gun on your own toilet.
I’m no visa expert so i won’t touch that question just to not muddy the waters. But it’s difficult to stay longer term legally and without serious hassle.
tends to have units to rent as well. Airbnb fees do get high but shop around.
TunnelBear is honestly the least difficult vpn I’ve used. Good for simple stuff on a phone or laptop.
$2000 might be ok? I really can’t say because the length of time. Can bring more and change it as you go. There’s a good number of money changers but check their rates. And bring your passport to do so.
Visa: tough stuff. How long you want to stay for?
Weather: Wikipedia search the city and view historical climate data. Generally speaking, it’s hot and rainy in July.
Airbnb in Chiang Mai: Ok. What do you want to know?
VPN: will make life a little easier for accessing broker and bank accounts. Something brainless like TunnelBear should be enough unless you plan on day trading all night.
SIM cards are dirt cheap. But your US# may be needed for 2FA so check your plan and see if you have overseas service of some kind.
Money to bring: how will do you want to live? Can spend anywhere from $100(or less) to $1000/day. You tell me.
There’s ATMs everywhere so you can just pull money as needed but bear fees in mind.
At a decent hotel, the in-room safe should be enough to keep your valuables safe. If you want to be extra paranoid, get yourself one of these https://www.amazon.com/PacSafe-Travelsafe-Liter-Portable-Black/dp/B079Y7BZW6?th=1 and clip it to something inside the safe.
That's awesome. I'm sorry I can't help you but I'm also planning something similar. I'm thinking of landing in Bangkok, doing my fifth day test there and then driving down to Phuket.
This looks like a useful article that I came across. Link
Usually not too-hard. The tuktuk drivers don't always have the best of English but they know the tourist spots, and most of them often have "destination" style cards with them of the various places you can go on a day tour. Just make you you agree on a price before starting the tour.
Also if you're given the option to go to the Chiang Mai Monkey Centre don't: I made that mistake once a tour based on the card in a tuktuk and it's still the most appalling cruel place I've ever visited.
I was curios since you posted this, so here's a link to the trip advisor for more info. I'm going in December as well, seems a little too busy for me. I'm looking for more seclusion, even if it means I'll have to move off the beach.
>But scam, by definition, means you will get nothing out of it.
Actually no. Scam. There is no requirement to get nothing for it to be classed as a scam.
In its most basic form scam is just tricking people for gain. False advertising (which is examples i gave) is a scam.
That is a really, really broad question. I'd recommend doing some basic online research, and then asking more specific questions about your particular situation. Wikitravel has some decent info on the different areas of Bangkok (http://wikitravel.org/en/Bangkok), that would probably be as good a place as any to start.
Yes, if the hotel was doing Test & Go packages before, then they should still be able to add it to your booking. This is what they would have had to do if you booked on many of the online travel agencies like Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com etc that don't include the Test & Go price in any room bookings.
You cannot self-book a test at the airport or elsewhere for Bangkok. Government rules for Bangkok require that you book the Test & Go package including RT-PCR test and SHA+ approved transfer directly with the hotel. Booking a SHA+ hotel is not enough. You have to be sure you didn't just book a normal room rate without also booking the Test & Go package with it. SHA+ hotels still accept normal guests that are just booking a normal stay. If you booked on Booking.com or Expedia or Hotels.com, those sites have a policy to never offer Test & Go rate plans so it is always only the room that you booked, and you must contact the hotel directly to add the Test & Go package. If you booked on Agoda, Agoda does include Test & Go rate plans along with normal rates for the hotels, and you have to be sure the rate plan you booked specifically shows it includes the RT-PCR test and transfer. Note that it is done differently in Phuket where you book the hotel by itself and book the test and transfer separately yourself.
I looked for flights on google flights https://www.google.com/flights?hl=en and https://matrix.itasoftware.com/. Then booked Eva air website directly, leaving from Toronto. Lay over in Taiwan. You can probably book thru kayak or Expedia, I did not try. I used Eva before, for me they have shortest total flight time and best connections
I stayed at the Marriott Phuket Resort and Spa a couple of years ago, and it was a bit out of the way, had pretty much everything at the resort, and was pretty awesome. The only crappy thing was that it cost 600+ baht to get from it to pretty much anywhere else on the island (to be expected, as it's sort of Phuket's thing). It's also a bit more expensive than $200...
haven't used them myself , but they seem to get reasonable reviews
(btw, audio CDs are digital (i.e. not analogue, like a vinyl record), so it's a bit of a tautology to say " I am a bit of a CD person as opposed to digital-music".
Did you know that it is possible to download mp3 files and then burn them onto blank CDs, formatted as audio-CDs that you can play in a old-school CD player? That might be an option for you.
Depends on what you would consider cold. Chiang Mai is down to as low as 10c this week although the forecast is for minimums of 16/17 next week. It's important to note that a lot of accommodation in Chiang Mai doesn't have heating either (more expensive places will) so you will fully feel the cold at night.
Koh Lanta, obviously no :)
Thailand is an excellent destination for a first time traveler. You really don't need to prep at all beyond the basics. If you get your money straight and your travel documents in order, you can literally hop on a flight with minimal luggage, no itinerary or plans, and have an amazing time just winging it. Even though it is a completely foreign culture, and a place where English is not that well spoken, it is a really easy place to travel and enjoy yourself.
The vast majority of flight will be into BKK, that is by far the country's largest airport in by far the largest city. Bangkok is a destination in itself, and well worth spending some time in.
Wikitravel has a lot of good info on tourist destinations - http://wikitravel.org/en/Thailand. My advice is to do some research on destinations you'd like to go to, but don't plan it all out too much. Keep your options open, so if you like a place you can stay longer, or if you're bored you can pick up and go somewhere different.
Did you not eat anything particularly risky in Pai?
Pai's wikitravel entry has a warning in bold font saying people get sick there. http://wikitravel.org/en/Pai#Eat Googling around for different cities in Thailand, I find the most results for "pai food poisoning" than for other cities. Plus, it's the only place my friend got sick in Thailand.
And yeah, I'm familiar with the dangers of eating certain foods in these kinds of countries. I've learned how to be careful from being to India enough times. Doesn't mean I'll avoid getting sick, of course...
Where to stay is a broad question, there's too many options for me to recommend one area, it depends on what kind of stuff you are interested in and what your price range is. I recommend reading the wikitravel on Bangkok (http://wikitravel.org/en/Bangkok), they have a good breakdown of different areas (though some of the specific information is out of date). For hotels and prices, I'd recommend searching around using agoda.com, I use them to book hotels all the time. They are often quite a bit cheaper than the walk-in rate (but not always).
My wife and I usually stay near the areas of Siam Square, Ratchaprasong, or Pratunam (which are all pretty close to each other), because we're usually there to visit the big malls, or else the clothing market in Pratunam.
I think the most important thing about where you stay in Bangkok, is to make sure you're relatively close to a sky-train station. If your hotel is within a reasonable stroll of the sky-train, that pretty much opens up a huge amount of areas in the city that you can access quickly and cheaply. If you want to access a great deal of shopping, restaurants, and activities, its hard to go wrong staying somewhere near a Sukhumvit line sky-train station - just avoid staying near the raunchy nightlife areas, as there are a couple of those along Sukhumvit.
This is good info. I'll add from my experience of arriving yesterday.
In the baggage claim are also some mobile phone vendor booths. I chose AIS as they reportedly have good coverage and many stores everywhere. 899 THB for 30 days unlimited 5G, 10mbit speeds (supposedly). Downside is, sadly, the nice woman who setup my sim also erased my home e-sim :( :( :(. So when I get home, I'll be without service.
Customs was virtually empty, with nobody apparently paying attention. So that part was a breeze.
After you leave the secure area, you see (section E in the post diagram) lots of hotel reps. In my case, hotels.com didn't warn me or help me arrange transportation+covid test. Apparently if I had booked directly with my BKK hotel, this would have been arranged and prepaid, and there would be someone at the airport waiting for me.
I found the one of the transportation people who handles my hotel, and my name wasn't on the list. They kindly made some calls and informed me that I had no pickup+covid test arrangement, and they arranged it. 1200 THB for transport + 2000 THB for the test. Not sure if that's too expensive (seemed so?), but you do what you must to get on down the road!
Because it wasn't pre-arranged, a driver had to be found and sent. In total, after leaving the baggage area, I waited 2.5 hours in the lobby until my driver arrived. In my case, the COVID test was at the hotel itself, so we didn't go to a hospital.
The good news of it all is that 7 hours later, same day of arrival, I had my negative result and was free to roam.
It sort of depends on what's more important to you: time or money.
First of all, if the full bookings you speak of were online, you might want to try swinging by the train station to book in person. Sometimes there are discrepancies with online booking and you might get lucky.
The cheapest option is to take an overnight bus from Mo Chit (I'm assuming you're leaving from Bangkok). It's been a while for me, but I believe they cost somewhere between 500 and 800 baht for a nice VIP bus. They're fairly comfortable and the trip takes about 9-10 hours.
The less time-consuming but more expensive option is to fly. Check out Google Flights. You should be able to find something for under 1500 baht per person, plus transportation to/from the airports.
You could also take the slow route and take a bus/train to somewhere like Phitsanulok and spend the night there, then continue on to Chiang Mai the next day. Hope that helps!
OK that does it. I'm not going to read your half-truths (or half-LIES) anymore. Here are the FACTS
B Y E
I'd stay well clear of World Nomads, recently they've got an awful reputation for not paying out on claims - shame, as they used to be one of the best.
The CVS (PCR, not rapid) test should be fine. As would the Amazon test, which I continue being surprised at how few people use or perhaps know about.
When we started carrying too much stuff. I bought one https://www.amazon.com/H02-A04-Sling-Bag/dp/B08HSZ7HSF?th=1 to carry my iPhone 13 Pro Max, masks, wallet, AirPods, and keys.
Literally order one from Amazon. Free overnight shipping to their own lab; results in less than 24 hours upon receipt.
The 1000 baht was just for getting into town and getting something to eat and a couple of beers or cocktails until I have walked around long enough to decide where I'm going to exchange my cash. The airport exchange rate may well give you 3-4 baht less for your buck or euro than what you find in town. Just check https://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/ at the airport exchange, then decide. The difference of rate in town can be as low as 1 baht in my experience.
I exchange/withdraw approximately/exactly 10,000 at a time which is usually enough for a week. Then again I use card to pay for my hotel, dinners and shopping. 1500-2000 average is usually enough for daily cash payments like street food, markets and taxi or occasional admittance ticket. Tours and stuff take extra.
Use Wise to get the best transfer rate and then get their free debit master card. you can use that at the ATM and for purchases.
I also like to take a little cash and change it at super rich at the airport but I don't know if that is open now.
check out the ITA Matrix for getting there. norwegian air does very cheap flights from the states via Oslo, but they are a little more restrictive on baggage limits and whatnot.
once in thailand, i would strongly recommend bangkok airways over nok or airasia.
might be a little more expensive, but the quality and service is so much better.
I was flying into Thailand with Jetstar, without a return leg.
I had my family with me, who all had return tickets in 10 days, I was staying on another 20 days to travel, but was unsure the exact date.
I was eligible for a 30 day visa exempt stamp (APEC Card).I was intending to leave Thailand at a land border.I paid the same price to purchase a return leg, 3 months, 1 month, 1 day, 1 hour before departure (staff travel).
Check in wouldn't let me board until I had a return ticket. I had to fire up the laptop, buy one, then show them the screen shot.
I have read you can buy refundable accommodation outside of Thailand (hotels.com), print the booking, then cancel it, and use that as proof, but don't know if it always, sometimes, or never works.
ITA Matrix has been down for probably over a year. After Google bought ITA they kept it running for a while, but eventually it went dark. It's a shame, because it was always my favourite, with Skyscanner coming in second.
ITA's engine is what powers Google Flights now. Though I don't know how good that is for coverage - I'm guessing it's much more limited, considering it took them at least a year to even start showing flights outside the US.
These days I check a mix of Skyscanner and Kayak. Though my goal isn't to get the absolute cheapest. I'm more interested in knowing which airlines are flying the route for cheap, then picking the best from those rather than the cheapest. Skyscanner isn't as pretty as Kayak, but it knows more airlines (or at least it used to - I presume that's still the case).
I agree on booking through the airline's site instead of a middle man. You get the best price and get to pick seats. Use the search engines to find who's flying where and for how much, then head to the airline to do the booking.
The Minibus to/from Lanta is long - but only 3ish hours (as is seemingly every other bus! haha). On the way there, the bus does drop you basically right off the pier unless you pay them more. I opted to rent a motorbike right when I got to Lanta and it was definitely cheaper than the bus drivers additional rate to get to my hotel.
So Yes, Motorbikes are the way to go for sure as you are on your own time schedule, they are quite cheap, and honestly a fun experience in itself. THIS map was built to help people motorbike the island and it is quite worth checking out!
Be careful as you'll see many people injured as they seemingly loose their common sense when hopping on a moped in Thailand.
Just drive slow at your own pace. Before you go; download Maps.me for free GPS and routing. (When renting a bike don't be concerned if they ask for your passport, but do thoroughly inspect the bike and take photo/video before you ride it. I have never experienced it - but some have had scams trying to make them pay for damages they didn't cause)
Just bought tickets for BKK from SAN. $1400 from December 15 to January 04. LAX cheaper but then I’d be paying for parking or a ride up and down, not worth it. I paid a little more for the morning departure as well. Could have done for $1000, opted for $1400.
Also bought ASQ COVID package on AGODA. Just in case. If policy changes 1 November great. If not this is the plan. Buffered in 7 extra days for emergency to this trip on the front end. Hope I am only held for 1 day….
(iOs coming soon in April)
Hi everyone, I have just developed an app for learning Thai language by traveling in Thailand through VR. It was really fun to develop and now I need some help from you guys.
If you are traveling or planning to visit Thailand, would you be interested in learning basic Thai to make your stay enjoyable? Or would you normally rather wing it on location?
If you are interested in learning some vocabs before traveling, could you try out my app to see if it helps you in learning more Thai. The app basically let you watch VR travel videos in Thailand with subtitles and the virtual guide (Nong May - น้องเมย์) will teach you Thai words and phrases that you can practice speaking to your phone by speech recognition system.
I want the app to be a fun and interesting way to learn Thai, while promoting Thailand tourism to the world. If you can help give feedback on whether or not this is useful to you in preparing your trip and how I can improve the app I'd be really grateful. Cheers :)
If you're worried about losing signal or such, you can prepare ahead. Open Google Maps, search for "bangkok" (or another city). Then in the menu, scroll down to find the "Offline maps" menu option. Click it, then zoom/pan the map to your liking, and click Download. The map will then be available even with no data.
I also found this app which has an offline map of Thailand, better than nothing:
If you know what hotel you will be using, text them and ask if they will provide a converter at no extra charge. Otherwise, here is just one of many options available on amazon.com. Make sure any converter you get is powerful enough for your device.
Not sure what their voltage is, but I had no issues using standard US plugs that are good for 100-240V while in Thailand. Just plug straight into the wall like you do in the US. Can't recall what the outlets looked like in Bali and haven't been to the Philippines so can't comment on that.
I bought this one based on recommendations here on Reddit and like it a lot. You might bring one just in case. Better to blow a fuse in that than ruin your electronics.
I'm heading to Thailand again next week. u/LungTotalAssWarlord is correct that you shouldn't need a voltage converter (the item you linked to does not convert voltage, by the way). Most modern chargers/power supplies can handle 110v-220v and 50-60Hz - check your units to be sure.
While a lot of outlets in newer buildings may accept American style plugs you may need a few of these to convert to the rounded-style outlets that are typical in SE Asia.
Most outlets are 2-prong so have a work-around for that.
I carry a multi-outlet USB charger that works on all voltages, and I charge every with that. Have a great trip.