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Thailand firs timers need some pointers please

Thailand firs timers need some pointers please

Nov 13th, 2019, 10:28 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 8
Thailand firs timers need some pointers please

Good evening, we have booked flights to Bangkok return for August 2020.
my husband and my three young adult children are coming with us.
i do realise that august isnít ideal weather wise but that is when we can have time off and also weíve always wanted to visit Thailand.
Iím hoping to get some ideas on here about the best things to do.
we were thinking of having 3-4 nights in Bangkok it looks amazing from what I have read in the lonely planet guide but they werenít particularly positive about which area would be best to stay in.
wed want to do all the sights the youth might like some nightlife .
then I was thinking of going to Koh Samoi as the weather looks our best bet there, however , the flights are really expensive- to fly at reasonable times is knocking on £280.00
are they always so much?
shouod we hold out for lower prices or just go ahead?
is there other alternatives to Koh Samoi weather Wise?
we like scenery nice food some history if possible to see some of the national parks, and an ethical elephant park.
we will only really have 12 days in total - as two days will be flying days
hope some wise person will come and give a view.
thanks in advance
londonbug is offline  
Nov 13th, 2019, 03:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,027
I could spend much more time in Bangkok - so much to see and do. I prefer to stay along the river - it gives you access to the water taxis. Also, it's a bit less hot, and the air is cleaner. Flights to/from Koh Samui are always relatively expensive. If you are simply looking for a beach, consider Hua Hin. You can take ground transport from Bangkok - no flight required.

Even though the weather is not good along the Andaman Sea in August, I'd prefer that to Koh Samui.
Kathie is offline  
Nov 13th, 2019, 09:55 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,707
For a first time visit to Bangkok, I would probably want to spend 5 of your 12 days in the city. Don’t forget that 5 days means 6 nights etc. Like Kathie, we like to stay around the riverside area and use the river boats to get up and down the major sights like Wat Po, The Grand Palace, Chinatown Etc which are strung out along the river. Which hotel, depends on your budget but at that time of year, you will get som bargains. The Anantara Riverside is worth a look. It is a 15 min boat ride from Saphin Taksin pier and the BTS station. The hotel provides regular free boats with is a very pleasant start and end to your day. Te hotel itself is like a resort so you have the best of both worlds,

However, bearing in mind the 3 young adults you will have with you, you could also consider the area around Siam Square which is the junction of the two main BTS (skytrain) lines which makes it very easy to get around the city and would be easier for nightlife areas.

Whichever area you choose, booking.com is a good starting point for sourcing your hotel. If you are happy providing details of your nightly budget etc, I am sure your will get lots of suggestions. As you are a group, an apartment may be a better option than a hotel.

Koh Samui flights are always going to be expensive as Bangkok Airways have a monopoly on direct flights there. A quick look on kayak and I could see random dates at reasonable times for £200. The gulf coast would be the best bet for the weather in August. As Kathie has suggested, Hua Hin is easily accessed from Bangkok either by rental car or train. However, it is now very much a centre for retirees from Western Europe so may not have the vibe your children would appreciate.

Ethical elephant parks tend to be around Chiang Mai in the north but again, August sees the worst of the weather.

For other, non beach options, you could look at renting a car and heading up to Kanchanaburi ( of Bridge over te River Kwai fame) . Weekends are party time for youngsters from Bangok, weekdays, very quiet. Erawan NP has some great scenery, waterfalls etc and the ancient city of Ayuthaya is on the way from Bangkok.

One random thought is that rather than stay in Thailand, hit Bangkok and then head off to Borneo for the rest of your time. Maybe kota kinabalu or kuching. The weather will be much better, there are decent beaches, wildlife, culture, scenery. Some photos and detail of our travels there on our blog @ https://accidentalnomads.com/category/malaysia/ both Kuching and Kota Kinabalu

You can fly there with Air Asia or other budget airlines. Check on kayak for times and routings as the cheaper flights will likely route via KL or Singapore
crellston is offline  
Nov 14th, 2019, 04:27 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 8
Thankyou so much for your replies.
Kathie why would you avoid Koh Samoi? The guide book makes it sound nice but then again they are always pretty positive about everywhere.
we spent quite a bit of time inMalaysia last year so wanted a change. Although I do appreciate that Borneo is a completely different kettle of fish
also looking at the accommodation there it looks not quite us. We prefer a villa with a pool for various reasons and Koh Samoi seems to have a pretty good choice.
i did see about hula hin but the youth I’m sure would like a bit more action, I can look into that again.
im going to check Bangkok accommodations near the river thankyou for helping me narrow that down.
although it’s not for ages I’m the very uptight planning ahead type probably very annoying for other people
londonbug is offline  
Nov 14th, 2019, 07:39 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,777
Hua Hin is quite nice but the beach isn't all that. Nice for walks but not for swimming, it is an easy journey from Bangkok. Staying in one of the hotels on or close to the river in BKK is the best location IMO. Preferred Phuket beaches for swimming, Phi Phi Island or Krabi but not sure during August if that is a good idea since I have only been in November although my OH has been in September and said it rained heavily daily but then the sun came out and it was fine.
Odin is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2019, 05:40 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 536
If you fly home from Bangkok my advice is to schedule a final night there before your flight home. This way you have a final night for shopping and an easy ride to the airport. If you try to arrive for a flight home at the last minute you will be out a lot of money if your connecting flight is late or cancelled.

Bangkok is definitely worth a visit. Bangkok is also can be cheaper than good beach locations because of reasonably priced transportation. From any hotel in Bangkok you can reach tourist sites and shopping by taxi or for some things by using the Skytrain. I kind of like the Asoke area where you have restaurants, nightlife, malls, shops, travel agencies you can walk to. Also this is where the subway and Skytrain meet. Riverside is nice but might be a little dull at night for young adults. (But nice hotels!)


Choose the beach location good for the month you visit.


Maybe the "older folks" can mellow out at Hua Hin and the adult kids can check out something livelier? Unless the kids are just big but underage. The younger adults can hit their computer and check out other locations good for August but keep an eye on weather. Many young tourists on school breaks or just out of school visit Thailand on their own, often staying in cheap digs. What goes on in Thailand (without mommy and daddy knowing) stays in Thailand!

When you check your flights vary the departure day and even check different airlines to see if the price changes a little bit. For a first time visit to Bangkok my advice is to choose a flight arriving during day or early evening hours. But not if this means a huge increase in price. From my country buying round trip is cheaper than buying two one way flights. Always do the math and compare. In Thailand there are discount airlines, long distance buses and trains that can be used too. But when time is short a flight is a few hours and a bus ride can be around 12 hours just one way.

Cautions. Too many tourists who visit Thailand end up hurt after being involved in motor vehicle accidents. Especially with motor scooters, motorcycles and motorbikes. An IDP plus a motorcycle license from back home is required to be legal.

In Thailand you use their currency for day to day spending. Very easy to change most Western currencies to Thai baht. Rates are not fixed so always check for latest update. Use link below for comparing exchange rates. (Rates update almost daily.) No real fee or cost to change money in Thailand and there are many ATMs available. (Fees apply for ATM withdrawal. Same fee for a small amount coming or the maximum your bank and Thai bank allows.)


Lots of time to make some decisions.

Good luck.
SirHalberd is offline  
Dec 9th, 2019, 10:41 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 70
The best thing I did when in Bangkok was a cooking class. They took us in a van to a lovely house where the owners raised their own vegetables, ginger, etc. We each had a cooking station, and they took us through the steps for one dish at a time. Then we sat at tables and ate what we had cooked. The other people taking the class with me were from Australia, India, and the US, so we had some great conversations. I think this would be a terrific thing to do with your adult children. I was there in the summer, and the class was held fairly early in the morning when it was not too hot- we were outside the whole time, but it was not uncomfortable. I think the house was up on a hill, so it was a little cooler than the city.
ethrush is offline  
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