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Headed to Thailand this June/July--Help!!

Headed to Thailand this June/July--Help!!

Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 07:20 PM
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Headed to Thailand this June/July--Help!!

HI there!

So my friend and I are headed to Thailand June 17th-July 8th. We are wanting to spend our first week in the southern, beachy areas... I realize it is Monsoon along the Andaman, so I have been looking at place along the Gulf, such as Koh Samui. I would LOVE your suggestions as to which island we should stay on. We may also be willing (dep on travel time) island hopping a bit--any advice on this?

ALSO, I have no clue as to how much spending money (e.g. hotels, food, activities) to budget for. I realize it will be low season while we are there and that prices vary considerable, so I'd love some advice from experience Thailand travelers as to how much I should plan for. We aren't looking for top of the line accommodations, more mid-range, we'd love to take some thai cooking classes, get massages, maybe partake in some boating/kayaking/other activities.

ps. We plan to spend a few days in Bangkok, a week in the South, and another week in Chiang Mai.

Please! Any help/advice would be so so great! The internet has a wealth of information, but it is so much to filter through.

Much thanks,

Katie
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Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 09:27 PM
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I can't help with the islands, sorry.

As far as budget goes, we stayed at what I consider mid range places in Thailand, did cooking schools, massages and some boat trips. We probably spent between $300 -$400 per day, I never tally up the cost of a trip, too scary, might never leave home again. I'm sure you could do it a lot cheaper.

Have a look on booking.com or similar to see what hotels appeal in your price range. You can research the area using maps, and look at reviews. I'm assuming you have a guidebook. I use Lonely Planet amongst others for ideas about what we might want to see and do.

If you have a week in Chiang Mai, I would suggest at least a couple of days further north in Chiang Rai. We had a fabulous day cooking with Tik, who runs Cook Thai Yourself. Look at her reviews on Tripadvisor. TA is a good source of info on "things to do" and hotel reviews (to be taken with the appropriate grain of salt)

Whatever effort you can put into researching/planning will be worth the effort once you're there. You'll probably get a bit more info from this forum with more specific questions.

Happy travels !
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Old Apr 23rd, 2014, 03:22 PM
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$300-400 a day?!?! That seems insane for a country so inexpensive! Were you referring to USD or Baht?
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Old Apr 23rd, 2014, 03:32 PM
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300 baht is only about $10, so yes, I was referring to dollars. The point is "mid range" can mean different things to different people.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2014, 03:48 PM
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For Chiang Mai, I recommend Baan Orapin, a lovely property with very moderate prices. We spent under $100/night for my husband and myself in high season for a double superior room. I highly recommend this place.

Chiang Mai has many many cooking classes - we did one and enjoyed it a lot, though I wouldn't call it a serious cooking class., more entertainment with the added benefit of a delicious dinner at the end. For an evening class that lasted 6 1/ 2 hours from the time we were picked up till we were dropped off was roughly $25. There are others that are mentioned on this board that are probably geared toward a more serious student. But we were satisfied.

I would also second sartoric's suggestion to spend a few days in Chiang Rai. We hired a wonderful guide, Jermsak ( if you go to tripadvisor, you'll see he gets rave reviews) and spent several days with him; a few of the highlights included a positively decadent experience of taking a ride on a private raft, with his wife cooking a delicious multi- course meal. There were other activities that day, too. That was the "expensive" day because of the raft ride--with the car& driver, and including the guide fee, it cost us just over $150 for that day. The other 2 days were in the neighborhood of $100/day, although entry fees to sights were extra. I'd recommend hiring him for a day or 2 to explore the region-- he will adapt the itinerary according to your interests, too.

And, if you do go to Chiang Rai, follow her recommendation for the cooking class-- it looks wonderful, a much more intimate and personalized experience.

Accommodations range in price-- we stayed in the town of Chiang Rai in a very modest but fine guest house-- more like a comfortable motel-- for about $25, though a more upscale hotel along the river can be booked for around $100.

There are certainly more choices if you want to pay more, but it's pretty easy to keep the costs moderate and still stay in decent places.

In Bangkok, we stayed in Centre Point Silom, a good hotel near the riverside, and rates are also very reasonable. We had got the room with points, but I noticed that there were some good sales for rooms that were well under $80/night for a double room.

These are just a few thoughts-- you can read my trip report for the region-- we are budget/mid-range travelers, so it might give you more ideas. Costs will vary a lot, but I'm going to guess that we averaged less than $200/night for hotel, meals, activities in Thailand, which included some really elegant meals and some hole-in-the-wall local places. Including guides, airfares and so on, I would be surprised if we came close to $300/day. Like sartoric, I really don't add up my trip too closely!

Hope this helps!
Paule
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Old Apr 23rd, 2014, 03:52 PM
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In fact, I'd probably say that with everything included, I'll stick to the lower figure and say we probably averaged less than $200/day.
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Old Apr 24th, 2014, 06:39 PM
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Thank you so much Paule! Just to reiterate and so I don't go with ignorant thoughts, you are referring your $ of money spend in THB, correct?

I love your advice about Chiang Rai!
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Old Apr 24th, 2014, 06:43 PM
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Also, is this average for both you ($200/day) combined or separate?

Did you book your hotels in advance? Would you recommend this or not for a better deal?
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