Notices

Thailand Newbie

Reply

Mar 8th, 2016, 09:55 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 97
Thailand Newbie

An update to my last thread - I am now traveling to Thailand alone and I'm a little nervous.

I will have 9 days. Would like to spend some time in Phuket for the limestone cliffs and the weekend night market. I would also like to visit Chiang Mai to volunteer at the Elephant Nature Reserve. I've heard mixed reviews about CM in general though - Would it be better to skip this area altogether? Is there another area in Thailand that I could volunteer for a similar place? Or should I just stick to Phuket and Bangkok?

Trying to figure out how best to lay out my days. I know it's not much time at all to see such a big country, but I'm always moving, I like to see/experience as much as I can. I'm VERY active (big into fitness), I'll be just shy of my 30th birthday, and am traveling in late May (monsoon season, I know).

Also, being that I'm staying alone would a hostel be a better choice for me? If anyone has recommendations, that would be great. I'm shy, but I'm figuring I might be able to meet some people this way and maybe have some companions throughout the trip. I know AirBnB has some options to stay with locals, but wasn't sure if that would be a better option over a hostel type environment.
nightxsky is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 8th, 2016, 07:26 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,816
I would only consider hotels quite honestly. the cliffs at Phuket?? never really heard of them... hills yes but not cliffs like Europe.

I might stick to Bangkok and hua hin, so no internal flying---taxi, bus or train to HH.

it is easy to meet people in restaurants and at breakfast... just say hello and smile.

I would skip CM.
rhkkmk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 9th, 2016, 05:38 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,336
Instead of cliffs the OP probably means the karsts, and yes, they are amazing. The northern shore of Phuket, near the bridge to the mainland, is a good place to see them, or maybe Krabi. On our recent drive from Bangkok to Phuket for the new year, we were absolutely blown away by the amazing karsts that dot the landscape.

I would agree with staying in hotels rather than in hostels. A good place to meet locals and expats woud be along Sukhumvit from the Nana skytrain to Asok skytrain, a very walkable area with lots of small friendly pubs with live entertainment.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 9th, 2016, 06:47 AM
  #4
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 97
Thanks for the tips!

And yes, I meant the giant limestone structures in the middle of the ocean - Ie: James Bond Island.
nightxsky is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 9th, 2016, 07:49 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,816
imo, it is not worth the trip just to see those rock formations.
rhkkmk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 9th, 2016, 08:26 AM
  #6
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 97
You're entitled to your own opinion. I love those things. And I'd like to be able to relax by the beach, so I'm hitting that area regardless.
nightxsky is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 9th, 2016, 01:11 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 9,346
CM has those that enjoy it and those that don't. Count me among the ones that really liked it.
I agree that the karst formations are wonderful to see. We viewed them on a boat trip from AoNang.
Enjoy your trip!
yestravel is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 9th, 2016, 06:33 PM
  #8
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 97
Thanks, yestravel! I'm so fascinated by the karsts! It seems most are anti-Phuket area though. I would like to see Phang Nga Bay - Is that easily accessible from Ao Nang? I've heard great things about that area!
nightxsky is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 10th, 2016, 04:16 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,541
There are plenty of tour operators who will take you to Phang Nga bay inc. from Ao Nang some places are clearly more convenient than others. It took us around 90 mins from Khao Lak. We used John Grey Sea Canoes who provided a pretty good service ( although not the cheapest).

Given your age, I would say staying in a hostel would be a far more social environment than a hotel and would provide many more opportunities to meet up with fellow travellers. Common areas, such as lounges, kitchens provide many pops to get chatting to fellow travellers that just don't happen in hotels.

www.hostelworld.com is a decent resource. In Bangkok the Khao San road has a plethora of backpacker lodgings. http://www.buddylodge.com Is one of the more famous but seems to have moved upmarket these days.

Chiang Mai attracts widely diverging opinions here. I quite like it, but with just nine days, you would spend a high proportion of your time travelling to and from. Especially as the ENP is some distance away.

Finally, getting the train down to Phuket is an interesting option. You would save on overnight accomodation and it is a great way to meet some local people. Learn a few words of Thai and/or take a phrase book. http://www.seat61.com/Thailand.htm#Phuket
crellston is online now  
Reply With Quote
Mar 10th, 2016, 05:43 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 9,346
We went to Phang Nga bay from Aonang. We chartered a boat for the day which was not inexpensive. You can pick up groups going to various places so Imagine you could find one going there.

I agree with crellston re staying in hostals would be a great way to meet up with other travellers. Although some small B&B's offer opportunities to meet others.
yestravel is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 10th, 2016, 10:03 AM
  #11
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 97
Crellston - That's exactly the information I wanted, thank you! I figured hostels might be the best bet for me being as shy as I am, it's a better environment to encourage me to say hello. I think I will limit my trip to two areas of Thailand, I just can't figure out if I should choose CM over Bangkok. I really want to spend time with the elephants, but I'm not sure if there are any locations nearer to Bangkok. I know Elephant Nature Reserve in CM is one of the more well-known ones, but I'm not sure there's much else for me to enjoy up there.
nightxsky is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 17th, 2016, 01:02 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,751
There are plenty of trips around Phang Nga area as day trips from Phuket or from Ao Nang
There are No trains to Phuket , nearest would be train to Surat Thani and then 4-5 hours by bus or van , there are plenty of budget airlines bwteen Bangkok and Phuket , also Krabi.
There are non stop flights between Phuket and Chiang Mai but they can be perhaps more than you might expect
Phuket has plenty of low costs hotels BB places , but always check location with care, if they are away from main areas you can end up paying so much for transport that it can be better to pay more but be in a central / convenient area
JamesA is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 19th, 2016, 06:31 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 5
Phuket + Bangkok sounds great! Phuket gives you an amazing beach experience with Patong Beach, a very long stretch of white sand beach. My observation is that it's visited more by European tourists more than East Asians. Bangla Road, which runs parallel to the beach is an awesome hangout place every night. Value for money is excellent, food is excellent. You will be greeted by so many tour sellers (island hopping) from the moment you arrive and I advise that you don't purchase one right away. Chances are you will be duped to buy a very expensive ones only to find out that prices of the same tours are a lot cheaper if you purchase at the beachside sellers. There are also lots of watersport activities. To get around, you can opt for tuktuks or taxis, but it could get expensive even for tourists (be careful of drivers who rip off tourists with prices). You can also rent a car but they practice right hand driving. Aside from the beach, you can also visit the Old Town for a cultural experience. Prices are even cheaper here! Visit the giant Buddha (on the mountains), the many temples, and the dry market for an even better experience. I have not been to Bangkok but it seems to be teeming with authentic Thai culture despite the busy streets so you may not want to miss that. Food in Thailand is excellent!
ElisPonce is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 20th, 2016, 04:30 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 21
It pretty much just depends on what you want. If you want to meet people, definitely get a hostel (www.hostelz.com is the best resource for finding hostels). But in Thailand it's not like a hostel is saving you a lot of money, so if you're just looking for a nice place to stay but don't want to meet travelers, then I'd probably do Airbnb or a hotel.
emilya4 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 20th, 2016, 05:41 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 744
You might find some tips on my website, altecockertravels.weebly.com

I have been to Thailand twice--both centered in Chiang Mai.

To get started on this year's blog, try here:

http://altecockertravels.weebly.com/...mber-2015.html

There are lots of different subblogs--both for this year and last.

No plans to go again next winter.
lauren_s_kahn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 21st, 2016, 09:42 PM
  #16
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 203
Going on a cruise around Hokkaido in September, and looking for a reliable tour company to see the port (Otaru) and Sapporo for the day. Any suggestions as to highlight we should see?
burta is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 21st, 2016, 09:51 PM
  #17
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 59,819
burta: This thread is about Thailand and you are asking about Japan. You probably should start a new thread . . .
janisj is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 29th, 2016, 07:26 PM
  #18
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 842
Hi nightxsky

I'm intrigued by your post, mostly because I seem to be mirroring your thoughts. I will be in Thailand for 8 nights just at the end of May as well. Upon arrival at BKK, I am catching a connecting flight to Phuket, staying five nights, then returning to Bangkok for three nights before heading out on May 29.

I have booked a hotel in Karon for the first night (to get sleep caught up etc.) then a hostel in Patong for the next four nights. Not sure yet where I will stay in Bangkok or what sights I will visit. I'm sure it will be an adventure.

I've never been to Asia before and travelling alone is a bit outside my comfort zone - but I'm willing to give it a try.

Maybe we can share our research results?

tC
teacherCanada is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:16 AM.