First time travel, Bangkok

Old Aug 22nd, 2004, 10:02 AM
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First time travel, Bangkok

I am traveling around the world starting in October for my 21st birthday. This is my first trip overseas and it would be great if you all could give me some ideas. Info on weather and transport would also be great. My itinery is as follows -

Oct 3 - 5 Sydney, Australia
Oct 5 - 7 Bangkok, Thailand
Oct 7 - 10 Frankfurt, Germany
Oct 10 - 14 Paris, France
Oct 14 - 17 Chambery, France
Oct 17 - 20 Washington DC, USA
Oct 20 - Nov 7 New York City, USA
Nov 7 - 14 Vancouver, Canada
Nov 14 - 21 Oahu, Hawaii, USA
Nov 21 - 22 Sydney, Australia
Nov 22 - 24 Melbourne, Australia
Nov 25 - Home to Brisbane, Australia

I have all my Accomodation worked out and paid for, I will be staying at HI hostels in most Cities or at other hostels close to the cite center.
ryan_w is offline  
Old Aug 22nd, 2004, 11:10 AM
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Re: Oahu, Hawaii
Bus fare: $2.00 Bus #19 or 20 to Waikiki.
3 day bus pass: $20?
Monthly bus pass: $40
Airporter bus to Waikiki $13 round trip.
Some things to do:
Website: Top ten things to do
What a wonderful birthday trip! Have fun!
IsisMnroe is offline  
Old Aug 22nd, 2004, 11:17 AM
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Oh, you meant Bangkok.
Hope you can use the above info anyway.
IsisMnroe is offline  
Old Aug 22nd, 2004, 05:39 PM
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Why would you prepay all of your hotel rooms? This leaves for no flexibility. I'm female and have been traveling around the world alone since I was 17...for 32 years and I'll tell you...I still VERY seldom prepay. I just have them reserve the room using a credit card and then I check out the place when I arrive and if I don't like it, then I can move on. If I had pre-paid on my 3-week trip to Southeast Asia back in 1998, I would have been in a bind...since the place I had reserved had REALLY slipped and was a dump when I arrived..the owner had died earlier that year. On that trip my schedule TOTALLY changed during the whole three weeks. So, by NOT prepaying, in Bali, I was able to pick up and move to a fantastic place across the street and not have to argue about wanting my money back. Once they've got your money...they've basically got it. Anyhow, presently I'm on vacation in Singapore and will be going back up to Bangkok in a few days and stay there for almost a week before flying back to L.A. Three days in Bangkok is not enough.I've been going there for years. But since your schedule looks pretty much written in stone, then I guess you can't change it. You need 5 full days in Bangkok. I was just in Ghana in December and January and my plans changed quite a bit since I unfortunately took sick...very unlike me...and couldn't get out of bed for 2-3 days...not a problem. I just called the next hotel I was to go to and changed the reservation and made arrangements to stay where I was until I had the strength to move.You have to consider these kinds of things.It would have been better for you to have contacted folks in this forum BEFORE having finalized everything. Anyhow, Happy Travels and I'm sure you will have a great time!
Guenmai is offline  
Old Aug 22nd, 2004, 06:02 PM
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ryan...take the above suggestion as just have not made a mistake for what you are doing....a whirl-wind tour for a young man just wanted to see what it is all have choosen great places and will have a long list of places to return to...
may i speak to DC and NYC...both are fairly expensive places...although DC is far better because almost all the main sites are free....government is fantastic and you can save lots of money by eating locally in small places....

bkk deserves more time but you can concentrate on the grand palace, a couple of wats and just walking may be rainy there very careful about you eating there and don't eat on the street...drink only bottled water including when you are brushing your ice!!!! don't eat anything that is uncooked and preferably only things that are freshly cooked for you...stay away from the ladies in bkk!!!!

have a blast...i remember first solo trip to europe...i haven't stopped in 40 years on those trips....
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Old Aug 22nd, 2004, 07:26 PM
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Use the train network, the BTS to the extent possible in Bkk. Has increased fares a bit so not very cheap any more but still the most economical and time efficient way to travel. Def get a Thai massage in Bkk - maybe the day u go to Wat Pho (also the day u go to the Grand Palace and Wat Arun presumably) so leave Wat Pho to see last and get a massage thereafter. Ask to be taken to the a/c room (they maybe a bit reluctant but insist) - charges are the same, techniques are the same and is much more private. Expect Bkk to be a bit humid tho temps will be bearable.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2004, 08:09 PM
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Bangkok- drink lots of bottled water, Everywhere-eat lunch where office workers eat and make it the biggest meal of the day (unless breakfast is included in your room rate). Weather will be cool in Europe, USA & Canada so take layers of clothing! We always prepay places. I'm an super-organised control freak and I don't want to spend valuable sightseeing, eating & drinking time deciding where to stay. The subways in Paris, New York & Washington are quite easy to navigate & are cheap. Vancouver is a city for walking everywhere. So special! Oahu can be driven around in 5-6 hours. See if you can find someone to drive you around or share a car with another over 25 for cheaper rates. In all these cities you can buy cheap food at delis and eat in your room then party hard late! Have a blast! Stay safe!
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Old Aug 22nd, 2004, 08:16 PM
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Sorry I misread your post too! Bangkok is best negotiated by riverboat, subway, where possible, and taxi (cheap). Weather is always hot 30-35 degrees C. Drink lots of bottled water!
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Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 04:57 AM
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Well, you've picked your stops!! And if you want to stay in hostels in big cities booking in advance is not a bad idea. Strange though - I figure I've done a lot of travelling but the only place I've been on your list is BKK (excluding Oz of course).

BKK is always humid. You won't have much time there - and I don't know where the IH is there - but above advise re getting around is spot on. Take a tuk-tuk. It's cheaper on the bus and easy enough, but if you have so little time it would not be a first choice. But if you can at least take the ferry on the Chao Praya river - from anywhere to anywhere - just for the trip. Royal Palace can take half a day at least. Wat Po is special.

Have a fantastic time.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 06:33 AM
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I see you have posted on a few boards. For historical average temps and rainfall in the places on your itinerary, go to and You will need two sets of clothes for the trip, as Bangkok, Hawaii and Australia will be warm to hot to very hot in those months, but it will be cool to cold everywhere else.

In addition to being very hot and humid, Bangkok will be quite rainy in October, but that should not interfere too much with your plans.

IMO, three days in Bangkok is not enough and 4 days in Frankfurt is WAY too much.

With only 3 days on Bangkok and no other part of SE Asia on your itinerary, I would almost say skip Bangkok and use the 3 days elsewhere, like Hawaii or Germany. You can do another trip just to SE Asia at some point, esp with the FF miles I assume you are accumulating on this round the world trip.

Of all the places in Germany, Frankfurt is the most boring and the least scenic. Consider hoping on a train to points elsewhere, esp Switzerland or the German mountain areas or even Berlin which has a lot to see and do. You can get to Berlin from Frankfurt in about 4 hours by train, or there may be cheap flights, take a look at

You might consider adding Maui or another island to your Hawaii itinerary, as I understand Oahu is quite developed. Haven't been so can't give a personal comment, but that is my impression.

You will be in the US for the Presidential election (November 2) so that will be quite interesting.

For public transport in all the places on your list, a basic guidebook to each city would probably be of greater help than advice on this site, and would have maps, etc. In general, for public transport:

Bangkok - has waterbuses, an elevated subway called the Skytrain, an underground subway, taxis and tuk-tuks which are motorized golf carts. For general information go to the website or click on "Destinations" above, scroll down to Bangkok, click on "Smart Travel Tips" and read the information. A map and info on the Skytrain can be found at You may need to click in the upper right for English.

Frankfurt - for information on trains within Germany and to other points in Europe, go to, the website for the German railways. A train between Frankfurt and Paris would probably be the cheapest option, but also consider cheap flights, take a look at, and A train between Paris and Chambery is probably your best option, the site should be able to provide info on French trains, if not (the Swiss Rail website) should have the timetables.

Paris - has an underground subway that is convenient and inexpensive. For general information go to the website or click on "Destinations" above, scroll down to Paris and read the information.

Washington DC. - has a good subway system and good pubic bus system. Take a look at the and sites. A train between NYC and Washington would be a good way to travel, take a look at There are also cheap flights, but the best airport to land into is Ronald Reagan Airport in DC as you can take the subway into DC from here. Getting out to NYC airports is a pain, esp with luggage, that is why the train is better. You could also take a bus between the two, which is probably the cheapest option, take a look at for timetables and fares.

New York - has an extensive and cheap subway system. Take a look at the and sites.

I don't know much about Australia public transport, assume you know more than me.

A good website for budget travel is They also have a chat room where you can read and post messages. . The area of the site you need is called "Thorn Tree Posts ". The site is somewhat similar to this Talk section of the Fodors site.

Cicerone is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 06:53 AM
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for someone that seems too be traveling on a budget you seem too have chosen some of the worlds most expensive cities.. but thats all good as long as your staying in the Hi your stright.

Im not one too push Bangkok as a destination.. but ya seriously did give it no chance. and this is just about the only place in your iten where you have a really good bang for the buck..

what are ya planning for a daily budget?. it's good too have one. I know way too many people that are stranded half way threw thier RTW's working ileagaly so they can get back home.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 07:20 AM
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In New York, you want to buy a weekly pass from any subway station. That's unlimited between subway and buses. Use your credit card and that will protect you from lost and theft. Weatherwise, i am in layers by early Nov.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 07:29 AM
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Wow , what a trip !!!

you are in NYC for an awfully long time Oct 20 - Nov 7 ? I would only stay 4-5 days in NYC. there is so much else to see in america.
Chicago, New orleans, San francisco are some other great cities you may want to visit.

As far as hawaii goes, I would skip Oahu and go to maui. you are in too many big cities
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Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 09:10 AM
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18 days in NYC? Unless you are compelled to be there for business, I agree that you might want to try visiting other parts of the USA. Even if you have definite days when you have to be in NYC, there are cheap fares to places like Boston, Florida, Chicago, Philadelphia or even California. While NYC is fascinating and alive like no other US city, there's lots more.
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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 05:24 PM
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I am also going to comment on your trip - although not the BKK part as I have not been there, but am going later this year.

Sydney - would suggest taking the ferry across to Manly Beach - we loved it there.

Melbourne - might want to go to Fairy Island and see the tiny penguins that come in at night. If you have time, rent a car and drive the Great Ocean Road - loved that.

Oahu - one of our favourite spots on Oahu is Hanuma Bay - great snorkelling - you can get there by bus from Oahu. Recommend eating at Shorebird - cook your own spot on the beach with great sunset views

Vancouver - partial to Canada as I am from here, although from Toronto - anyway, you might want to go to Whistler and ski and do try and get across to Victoria as it is quite beautiful.

Paris - be prepared to do ALOT of walking - great city though.

Above all, have a great time and happy birthday.
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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 06:07 PM
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Ausies sure do know how to do travel!

Bangkok -- skytrain is citywide (get a 10 trip ticket for about 4 AU dollars), water taxi is about 10 baht (you should be able to download a map of the H2O taxi stops from the web.)
Check out some Mui Thai Boxing (quick search in Fodors for days and stadia).
Frankfurt -- Kind of industrial to me, but good rail transport anywhere. Octoberfest -- you know what to do, so bend an elbow and get after it.
Paris -- Great metro. Plan to go to the catecombs (out of the way and only certain times of the day & days). Have some sorbet on Rue St Louis when visiting the Notre Dame. Hike up Sacre Coeur/Montmartre at the base of the hill, just below the stairs and in front of the funicular (that must be incorrect spelling) there is a little cafe which has a great view and some good eats.
Chambery -- Chateau De Candie, use a boat to cross the lake (not sure if you need a day tour for this)
Washington DC -- Superb metro (check out the little lights in the floor that flash when the train is coming! I know, I'm a gnerd.), See the wall (Vietnam memorial), Lincoln, Capitol/White House tour, protest something (you are covered by the 1st amendment). Eat lunch at the North Servery & chat up the Senate aides (6$ for full meal with drink).
NYC -- Never heard of the place... Too much to say. Obviously you planned well to spend a lot of time. Could be a bit chilly -- football weather. Bring a pullover. On a budget? Sometimes they let you in for free to Broadway shows after the interval. Also, if you are a student you could get groundling type tickets on the cheap. Reserve now for seats at Saturday Night Live/Conan O'Brian/David Letterman. They will send you the tickets in the mail.
Oahu -- Waikiki is pretty expensive as is HI in general. If possible, rent a car and go see the North side, definitely take in the Pearl Harbor National Park & chat up the rangers there -- they usually have at least one Pearl survivor there acting as a volunteer. I learned more in 15 minutes while I was waiting for the ferry to the monument than I could from any 3 books on the subject.

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