help with thailand plan b

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Nov 28th, 2008, 02:08 PM
  #1
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help with thailand plan b

I am one of those hoping to go to thailand for 2 weeks dec 19th and trying to make a plan b is not easy! I fly to bkk via hong kong, and if need to I hope to change my flight and get off in HK and fly somewhere else- but where! bali now has a "do not travel" advisory from the candadian government, and I do not think there is time to get a visa for vietnam, cambodia etc, or even bali! and that assumes that I can get a flight to one of these places...I have to cancel soonish to get refunds on my hotels in thailand, and feel stuck! there must be lots of you in the same position.... any great ideas? is there enough to do/see in malaysia for example for a family of 4...
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Nov 28th, 2008, 02:14 PM
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Don't worry about the visas for the other places you are considering.
Indonesia and Cambodia have visa on arrival...ie. just pay your money at the airport when you arrive...very easy.
As for Vietnam, just arrange for the visa in advance, to be picked up when you arrive. This can be done in little more than day or two through a service such as http://www.vietnamstay.com/service/.
I used their service, and it was all arranged very quickly and efficently.
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Nov 28th, 2008, 02:33 PM
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Welcome to the club! I hope it all works out for you and your family. Happy Travels!
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Nov 28th, 2008, 02:37 PM
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"is there enough to do/see in malaysia for example for a family of 4"
There is plenty to occupy you for several months in Malaysia!

You do have lots of options. As cruisin says, visas for Cambodia are easy to get on arrival at the airport (do have visa photos with you to make it faster), and you can get a pre-arrange visa for VN - make sure you bring your email confirmation of your visa or you won't be allowed on the plane to VN. Also, you'll pay a "stamping fee" upon arrival in VN.

If you opt for Bali, you can get a visa on arrival there as well.

"I have to cancel soonish to get refunds on my hotels in thailand" Are you sure? A number of other posters who were supposed to be in Thailand now have gotten refunds on hotels. I expect that hotels will be glad to give refunds if you can't get into the country.

I do think it makes sense to have a plan B at this point, but you don't necessarily ned to cancel your Thailand reservations. In fact, airlines and hotels are more likely to be flexible as the time gets closer to your trip if things are not resolved in Thailand.

You can make reservations directly with hotels. Hotels typically just ask for a credit card guarantee, but you can cancel without penalty often 24 hours in advance (or even less).

Another option is that airlines may fly you to a different airport in Thailand. Only the two airports in Bangkok are blocked, so the international airports in CM and Phuket are open. Reports on the ground indicate that there are not problems basically anywhere except the two airports in Bangkok and Government House in Bangkok. Still, you would need to feel comfortable with the situation. While if it were me, I'd go, I've been to Thailand many times. You may not have been there before, and since you are traveling with kids, that may make a difference in how you feel about it.
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Nov 28th, 2008, 02:48 PM
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our itinerary is set, and includes several flights in and out of both airports in bkk (!) (ie, bkk to phuket to bkk to chiang mai, return from chiang rai to bkk etc) so the bangkok airport is necessary. a few hotels are booked with agoda, and they need 2 week cancellation.
having said that, I was in malaysia many years ago, (tioman island and KL) but don't really know what else there is do do there- any suggestions? I have a trip for 10 days to vietnam on a tour that I have sourced- any thoughts of vietnam vs malaysia? we want a bit of adventure, nature, culture, maybe beach, not shopping etc

guenmai, where are are you looking at and when are you supposed to go?

thai air told me the airport is opening again at 6pm on sunday. hmmm. that sounds like pretty exact information!
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Nov 28th, 2008, 03:03 PM
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Yeah, under 48 hours ago, Thai Airways say DMK will reopen at 6pm Friday and BKK at 6pm Saturday. Like that happened or would happen...

Fact is, nobody knows how will this be resolved, and how long it will take. Unless you're the Army Chief and you decide to storm the airports.
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Nov 28th, 2008, 03:33 PM
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If you want adventure and nature, let me suggest Malaysian Borneo (Sabah and Sarawak). Here's a link to my trip report of several years ago
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...7&tid=34716301

Also, take a look at our photos at www.marlandc.com

If you want to go to VN, I'd recommend you go independently rather than on a tour. It's easy to arrange on your own, and you won't be herded from place to place. If you want nature, I'd opt for Malaysia rather than VN.
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Nov 28th, 2008, 04:18 PM
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We are in the same situation but we fly on Dec. 17 to Phnom Penh via Hong Kong. Our problem is we fly out of Bangkok via Hong Kong on Jan. 6 coming home. We also have Air Asia flights booked to go to Chiang Mai and Krabi which all go through Bangkok and a Bangkok Air flight from Siem Reap to Bangkok. We're not going to chance Thailand but we still have to get to Bangkok for our flight home. We're thinking we'll still go to Cambodia and find a couple of other destinations besides Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Then perhaps we can get that Bangkok Air flight switched to the end of our vacation when we have to fly back to Bangkok which hopefully will have settled down. We're also a family of 4.
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Nov 28th, 2008, 05:34 PM
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HANG TIGHT FOR A COUPLE OF MORE DAYS...i think you will find that the airlines, hotels etc and even the discount hotel sites will be reasonable about cancellations...just wait a few more days...
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Nov 28th, 2008, 08:23 PM
  #10
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we will certainly hang tight a few more days- I guess the question is will thailand be settled enough to go if the airport is open? it is tough to put together a new itinerary on such short notice especially in high season - the thailand trip took forever to get just right...
I will look at those malaysia ideas though, sound good
any other ideas of where to go?
thanks all!
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Nov 28th, 2008, 08:26 PM
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kathie, just read your trip report and you sescribe that logistics were hard can you get to malaysian borneo and the lodge via KL and bipass bkk altogether?
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Nov 28th, 2008, 09:22 PM
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It's easiest to get to Malaysian Borneo via KL. You fly from KL to Kota Kinabalu, then onward to Lahad Datu where the people from the Borneo Rainforest Lodge will meet you and drive you to the lodge. Using KL as the entry point to Asia (rather than Bangkok) will make your logistics easier!

Let me know if there is anything else I can help with. BTW, if you want a few days at a beach, you can stay at a nice beach near Kota Kinabalu or at Damai, near Kuching.
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Nov 28th, 2008, 11:15 PM
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4bams...to answer your question, I was to leave Dec 18th and stay until Jan 06th. I was to be in Bangkok the whole time as I spend 3 weeks there in Dec/Jan.

I just checked my e-mail and my serviced apartment building sent me a very nice note and has cancelled my apartment reservation.

I wrote them a cancellation letter basically saying that I very regrettably would have to cancel my reservation, due to the political unrest taking place in Bangkok and that I hoped that Thailand would be able to resolve its problems as many of us love the country and its people. I went on to say how I would miss the wonderful staff at my building and that I sincerely hoped that their families hadn't been affected by the unrest. I also included another couple of paragraphs of sympathetic words.

I received a very grateful reply for my words and was told that my reservation had been cancelled and that they hoped to see me again very soon.

So, now my plane ticket and apartment reservations have been cancelled. I might lose $100. for the flight cancellation, but Thai Air is checking to see if they can waive that $100. so that I can get the whole amount back. I had not prepaid my apartment, so there's no financial loss there.

If it weren't for the airport situation, then I'd definitely go. Nothing has stopped me in the past 10 years. I was even there during the bombings, 2006, and that didn't deter me from planning another trip. But, I need to be able to get in and out of Bangkok. Plus, my serviced apartment building is only 25-30 minutes from the airport. So, the thought of possibly having to go to an airport in Pattaya/Jomtien area is out of the question to me. So, that's why I cancelled. I preferred not to sit and wait any longer to see if this will be resolved and if it is resolved, to see if it will stay resolved. It is Thailand afterall.

As for where I'm going now, well possibly off to Paris. I contacted the apartment rental company that I use, which is located here in the states, and they can put me in an apartment in the 7th. So, I might end up there unless Singapore prices go down and then I'll go to Singapore. I like Singapore. I'll be flying from Los Angeles. Happy Travels!

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Nov 29th, 2008, 05:30 AM
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guenmai
how were you able to cancel your flight to thailand from home? we go on cathay pacific and they won't cancel or change for travel after dec 3rd (travel insurance is for health reasons only)

enjoy paris! we spent last Xmas in paris in the 7th in an apartment, and the trip was lovely
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Nov 29th, 2008, 08:27 AM
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4bams...I just called up Thai Air here in L.A. I was lucky to be able to get through in about 10 minutes, but I called right when they opened the phone line. Had I not been able to get through, I would have simply gotten in my car and driven the 45 minutes down to their office and done it in person. Many times I go to their office to buy my tickets as it's nice to see them and chat for a while. They're great folks.

As for Paris, I'm still checking airfares. I just wish United would drop its prices from their high , over $2,000, down to what American is charging...around $1200. total. I have Premier Status with United. Happy Travels!


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Nov 29th, 2008, 08:57 AM
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Oh, I forgot to add that Thai Air has always had, in my experience, quite a liberal cancellation policy which is why I fly them. I always check the cancellation policy with airlines before I book.

I remember when I cancelled a Thai Air flight, almost at the very last minute, due to the SARS situation. My mom was quite upset that I would consider flying to S.E. Asia during SARS. So, I cancelled for her. I got all of my money back minus the $100. and then went on Expedia and got a very cheap airfare to Denmark and Paris.
I buy health trip cancellation insurance when I fly to Thailand on Thai Air, but not flight cancellation insurance. I figure that if I cancel, I'll get my money back. Now, if I were to fly there and get stranded and happen to have flight cancellation insurance, the insurance is probably not going to pay, due to strikes in Bangkok, anyway.
A few years ago, I got stranded in L.A. due to fog in San Francisco where I had to fly to to catch my connecting flight on to Paris. By the time I got to S.F., some 7 or more hours later, the one flight a day to Paris had already left. So, I was stuck in a hotel and luckily was able to fly out the next day although my six day vacation had been reduced to five.
When I got home, I contacted my travel insurance company to file a claim to get money for the hotel room I had to pay for in Paris even though I wasn't there.
The Airline, United, wrote a letter saying that the plane didn't take off due to the control tower not allowing it to take off which was NOT a complete explanation.

Well, the insurance company denied my claim. I fought it, tooth and nail, and called United and told them how I wanted the letter to be worded. The agent wrote it all down as I was dictating it all to him and then mailed me out a new letter which I submitted to the insurance company.
I had the new letter state that the control tower wouldn't allow the plane to take off due to inclement weather. The insurance company covers inclement weather. My claim then went through and I got my money.
So, one has to read that fine print very carefully, be very clear as to what will and will not be covered, and use the correct wording if attempting to file a claim. Happy Travels!
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Nov 29th, 2008, 09:15 AM
  #17
 
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Plenty of flights from Singapore to Phuket and hotels on Phuket shouldn't be a problem, everything is fine on Phuket and surrounding areas so that culd be an option.
Penang or Langkawi are 'ok', penang busier, beach hotels at batu Ferringhi plus Goergetwon which is interesting. Langkawi is very quiet.
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