Novice Traveler

Old Oct 27th, 2003, 12:24 AM
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Novice Traveler

Novice Traveler needs help

Hi, I am planning a trip to Thailand, Bangkok to be more specific. From reading some of the post, I can assume that a few of you seem like seasoned travelers, so I was wondering if you can help me out? I had a few question before I book my ticket.

1. I was wondering the level of danger that a young adult American would have in Bangkok at the present state of the world.
2. What time of year is best to go to Bangkok? I hate to heat!
3. How much money am I looking at spending? I?m kind of a wine and dine guy but can get dirty if need be.
4. Where should I go? I am 28 y/o male that recently finished graduate school wanting fun, but not jail.

Thanks again for all your time Email me if you have any detail information.
Logos is offline  
Old Oct 27th, 2003, 12:37 AM
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I'll tackle #2. If you don't like heat, don't go to Bangkok. That may be the best advice you get! It's always hot there, and fairly polluted.

How about a few days in Bangkok at the beginning and/or end of your trip? There are some unmissable sights like the Grand Palace and Wat Pho, and great shopping for all sorts of things from clothes to books to software.

Other parts of Thailand have a lot to offer as well. There are many beautiful islands with great beaches, snorkeling, diving, night life, etc. It's still hot, but at least you can cool off in the water.

You may get more helpful answers if you define your idea of "fun" in a bit more detail.
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Old Oct 27th, 2003, 12:41 AM
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Thailand is very safe, unless you go, looking for trouble you will almost certainly be safer than in many US cities.

Whenever you go it will be hot, December and January are the coolest months, but in Bangkok they can still be very hot. If you really can?t stand the heat, you might want to consider Chiangmai and the north instead.

How much money you spend depends on you, do you want to stay at the Oriental or a Guest House? The difference can easily be a factor of fifteen or more. Similarly good Thai food in a local restaurant is cheap, western food in an upmarket restaurant is expensive, though still relatively cheap by world standards.
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Old Oct 27th, 2003, 04:58 AM
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If you don't like hot & humid, than Thailand certainly isn't for you. However, going further north you will find some relief from the heat and maybe even cool nights. There actually is a time when it is almost cold up north.

That said, you don't have to be out in the heat at all times. Hotels are air conditioned even many at lower price range, and many with pools. You can rent a car and driver w/guide (relatively inexpensive) in be in a/c getting from site to site. Everyone walks around with bottled water and if with a car, they always have fresh ice cold water for you.

While the heat is still with you at the southern beaches, there is the water and plenty of shade trees to plop under with a good book for a few hours.

Proper dress - shorts and lightweight tops help, though this would not be permitted at the Grand Palace and some other Wats (temples).

The areas up north (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Chiang Sean, the Golden Triangle, Mae Hong Son, etc.) actually get quite chilly.

Work with a good guidebook and you'll get a better idea of the times the weather is more to your temperment. Generally, though most of SEAsia is hot; but you should not miss this very interesting part of the world because of the heat. I'm sure you can find a time that will work for you.

Old Oct 27th, 2003, 08:25 AM
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Thanks for all the help, I wanted to see what individuals had to say. My next step is getting some book for farther research...thanks again for the help....Heat or not, I going to Bangkok
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Old Oct 27th, 2003, 08:34 AM
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One more thing. Look into a travel clinic. Shots and/or oral meds may be recommended, e.g. for malaria.
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Old Oct 27th, 2003, 11:14 AM
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bangkok hs two seasons: hot and hoter and always need to be warned of that...

costs are as you make can pay $30 for a room in a half way decent simple hotel or guest house in bkk or you can pay $150 for a 4 or 5 star place in bkk, similar to a $500 room in the usa....your need to do research... cannot eat on the street unless you want is relatively cheap even in nice restaurants....a deluxe meal for 2 with loads of delicious food can cost as little as $12 (us comparitive value $40) or as much as $75 (comparable us value $200)...these would include some beer as generally is iffy in thailand....

spend a few days in bkk (you will need at least one full day to recover from the trans-pacific flight), fly off south to phuket or ko samui island or krabi for a few days; or go up north to chiang mai or chiang rai areas where it is slightly cooler...internal flights round trip are $100-150 usually...

you can get into lots of trouble in thailand with drugs and women (or men) so be forwarned, especially if you are young, attractive and rich (compartively)....

safety is not generally an need to adjust your attidtude according to what level you are living at, i.e. in a cheap hotel you need to be very careful and in a higher level you can let your guard down a bit...always use the safes provided for valuables, ie cash, checks, cameras, watches, etc...

street safety is not usually a problem...there are "touts" who approache foreigners offering to take you shopping, give advice, offer sex related items, etc....they are harmless generally and to be ignored....i just keep walking and often don't acknowledge them...they approach when you are looking at a map or just come up and start a conversation with, "how do you like thailand?" and they may have you hooked...they will follow you as well, just keep walking...

having said all of this you will love is simply fabulous as are its people and sights...its very cheap in comparison to say europe and everybit as interesting....

they love americans and our money....

i find it best to dress appropriately...i wear long pants and a polo shirt most of the time with sandles or many like sneakers...everything is informal....t shirts are ok but not for is very cheap so you can pick up most anything you need there very cheaply: fake Polo (R.L.) shirts are about $3...
thais are much smaller than americans and europeans so you need to try everything on....

best times of the year to go are nov-feb...worst time aug-oct (rains) and typhoons...
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Old Oct 27th, 2003, 11:16 AM
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i left out that after you go north or south then return to bkk for several more days....
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Old Oct 27th, 2003, 10:05 PM
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You all are getting me very excited about Bangkok. Someone mentioned guest houses, that sounds ideal. Where do I find information on that? To be more specific on what I consider fun, I would like see Thai culture and people, but would also like to find fellow travels and spots where I can meet other Americans and travelors alike.
PS...I am pleasantly surprised by the wealth of information you all have given me...thanks again...
Logos is offline  
Old Oct 28th, 2003, 12:53 AM
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I'm going too muck the water up a litle as usuall and say do you want too be a traveler or tourist..

im a 29 year old american who's been living in "bangers" for 7 months now.. so may'be I can help you out a tinny bit

1.. you have no probes in bkk. actually the people love americans especially the ladies. About palotics they basicaly say "George Bush bad" and thats the end of it.

2 right about now too feb is a good time too come.

3 I guess you can eat stall food like "pad thai" 75 cents. for lunch whcih is bangin. then dine out for less then 4 bucks per person.

4 "the city of angels" is a young mans pleasure pit. well make that any males. you basicly can do what the hell you want minus getting cought with drugs and a young lady whoos a bit too young.. there are plenty of clubs in town and sports events.

OK since you mentioned you would like too go too a guest house you may find that you will not stay in bangkok for to long and you will hook up with true travelers and head off too the north south or God knows where plus you may find that you will not be dinning much it's just part of the kah san backpackers sceen.

oh yah learn some British and Australian befor you come down.
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