traveling to Thailand in December

Oct 10th, 2008, 04:32 PM
  #1  
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traveling to Thailand in December

My son, his wife, one year old child and I will be traveling to Thailand in December. Will be there from Dec 4 till Dec 31st. Will spend about 4 days in Bangkok and from there to Udon Thani. Since we will be there for so long, will have to watch expenses. What is the best way to travel to Udon Thani, by plane or train? Been told eating from the street vendors is the cheapest way to eat and the food is good. Since Dec is the high season, what about hotels or guest houses? Need all the info I can get.
pdees is offline  
Oct 10th, 2008, 05:23 PM
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IF you want to eat really good cheap Thai food go to the MBK shopping center food court. Its a little cleaner than street food, but by all means try the street food.

Go to asiarooms.com for hotel. There are a good # of reviews on each hotel too.
Mango7 is offline  
Oct 10th, 2008, 06:27 PM
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Ah Mr. MBK is back!

pdees,

The most expensive part of your son's trip will be Bangkok and Udon is quite affordable. Best way to travel to Udon and cheapest will be by bus or train. Buses are a/c and quite comfortable and for the train a second class a/c is clean and the most economical.

Food is inexpensive in Thailand and although street food is cheap you son should choose the vendor carefully. Food poisoning is quite a frequent occurrence and to be sick while vacationing in Bangkok, let alone Udon, is not fun. Always stick to bottled water with reputable brand like Singha, Minere etc.

Try this web site for a general guideline for travel and accommodation to Udon - http://www.tourismthailand.org/desti...ni-41-1-1.html

Don't forget that your son and his wife will have a 1 year old with them so they should eat carefully.
Hanuman is offline  
Oct 10th, 2008, 08:34 PM
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True indeed about the food poisoning.
Last trip to Bkk the TW got Som Tum with raw crab despite my warnings. I looked at her and said "You're eating raw Pu?" "Just once won't hurt. I too had som tum, but it must have been the batch after making the raw crab somtum. Sure enough, the watery stools came with a fury. We tried to see if it would resolve, but it got worse and we felt very ill eventually. Fortunately we were right down the street from BNH and they hooked her up to the IV and gave us a bunch of pills that did the work, but we killed an entire day (2 total)getting our equilibrium back, so make sure when you get any indication of food poisoning, hit it hard with antibiotics or you'll piss (or poop)away part of your trip.
Mango7 is offline  
Oct 11th, 2008, 01:08 AM
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You can train, bus or fly to Udon easily. Flying is quite cheap as there are a number of carriers - takes an hour.

Do you need somewhere to stay in Udon. I can recommend the Irish Clock - its a small bar with about 6 rooms upstairs - around 850bt per night. I've stayed there and its good. Rooms are very large with good furnishings, large bathroom (shower only) and the beds are great. Its quite upstairs too - not that the bar gets to loud but sometimes the street can be a bit noisy. Its quite central. Only problem is its often booked out but worth a look. Foods good in the bar too. Website is www.irishclock.com
MaryW is offline  
Oct 11th, 2008, 07:46 AM
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Thanks to all of you for answering my post. I was hesitant on making this trip with my son and family. I am 74 and was worried about the riots, food and lodging prices plus about traveling all over Thailand. All the what ifs but after reading your posts and others on this site, I do feel more confident. Anymore tips will be appreciated.
pdees is offline  
Oct 11th, 2008, 06:55 PM
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Hi Phyllis,

Regarding trains - have a look at this site

http://www.seat61.com/Thailand.htm

It will give you a look at the sort of trains and seating that you would get if you use the train to Udon Thani for the fares etc look up the link Bangkok to Nong Khai that the town one stop up on the border to Lao. You'll get a better idea of if you would want to use the 1st or 2nd class sleepers - its quite a long trip and overnight. Saves one nights hotel but you don't see a lot on the way up.

Airfares are around the same as the 1st class train fares - takes an hour but you do have to get out to the airport. That can be Don Muang (the old one) or the new international depending on the carrier.

May I ask if you intend staying all the time (apart from Bangkok) in Udon. Is your daughter in law a Thai girl? The thais are very caring all round and as an older person you will find they will give you respect and help you where they can. If you can give a bit of guidance on the places you'd like to go and what you enjoy doing then its a lot easier for everyone to chime in.

I'd still suggest the Irish Clock in Udon as a good place to stay - there are stairs though - the rooms are on the upper floors - ground is the bar, 1st is a pool table area and then the rooms on the next two up. Its managed by an englishman and his thai wife - both very nice helpful people.

As for food vendors - I don't choose to eat from the street vendors but there are lots of food courts like the one at MBK which Mango describes which by the way is very good. Nearly all the shopping centres (ie each building) have a food court. You usually buy tokens first and then hand over the ticket to the vendor for your food. Any you don't use you just take back to the booth to cash in - it must be the same day. Usually the food is very good. They are usually busy and so food turns over quickly. In Udon the night market (which is outside) has good food too.

Much of the food court food is around 35 - 40 bt at the cheaper venues and at say Paragon which is one of the most expensive it is around 70 to 80 bt per dish - so cheap. Some dishes of course will be more but these prices are for the one dish types. Although more expensive some of the best Pad Thai (simple noodle dish with prawns) I've found is at Paragon and I go there just for that. Also around Bangkok are the Loft food courts - much more upmarket with pleasant areas to sit. Food is on the upper price level but generally good. You find one at Central Chiltom and a few others around town. There are now also really good supermarkets all over the place so you'll be able to get things for the baby easily and you may find it just as easy at times to "picnic".
MaryW is offline  
Oct 12th, 2008, 07:39 AM
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Mary W
Thank you so much for all the good information. Yes, my daughter-in-law is from Thailand. She is from Udon Thani. She hasn't been home for awhile and wants to take thier son to show her Mom and Dad who are farmers living outside of Udon Thani. We will stay in Udon for maybe 4 days or so, then my son says we will go to Chiang Mai and Phuket. Not really sure about all the plans. He said we will just try to play it by ear. I am sure she will be a lot of help but there is still a lot of places and things that she is not familiar with and that is why I like to find out all I can about where to go, things to do, places to stay, and best way to travel. Certainly don't have a unlimited pocket book. Just want to beable to enjoy our trip without breaking the bank. All these things I have learned from this post are so very helpful. Just hope the problems the Thais are having won't interfer with our trip. We will be leaving from Atlanta, GA. straight through to Incheon, Korea and from there to Bangkok. LIttle apprehensive but getting a little more excited.
pdees is offline  
Oct 12th, 2008, 09:12 AM
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I'm sure you will all have a wonderful time in Thailand.

You will be traveling at the busiest time of the year and the most expensive time of the year. You'll especially notice that at the beach prices are much more than they are at other times, and many places will be sold out. In December, it's worth getting reservations in advance at the beach and in Chiang Mai. And you'll likely want at least a first night's reservation in Bangkok.

I like to use a Thai hotel booking service. www.sawadee.com is the one I use. You can browse hotels and prices easily. The prices typically include tax and service, and often include breakfast. So your son may want to browse those options. Note that to hold a reservation you must make a one night non-refundable deposit, then the balance is charged to your credit card two weeks before your arrival date.
Kathie is offline  
Oct 12th, 2008, 11:52 AM
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Perhaps fly up and then train back, though if you are touring then you might not need to go back through Bangkok, depending where you head to next.
You did not say if you were staying with family, but a good cheap hotel in Udon on Siri Grand, about 700 a night
http://www.r24.org/beachsiam.com/isan/hotels/, if you can afford 1,000 a night the Ban Chiang is worth the extra or Charoensri about 1,200 ( about US$ 38 )
December is busy, the time you really need to plan is between about 22nd and 31st as many places would be full.
JamesA is offline  
Nov 26th, 2008, 06:28 AM
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Here we are down to the last few days and now all this trouble in Bangkok. We are to arrive on the 4th of December in Bangkok and will be there till the 31st. Do I need to be worried or hope that everything will settle down by then? So many pros and cons from friends and family but need to know from someone that is there now to get first hand information
pdees is offline  
Nov 26th, 2008, 06:36 AM
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Our family of three will also be going to Thailand in December/January for about one month. We intend to GO. I have been to Bangkok many times in the past few years, and I think when our fodors friend, hanuman, says that things will end very quickly, I think he is probably correct. He lives in Bangkok and knows the situation very well.

Enjoy your trip! We will stay in Bangkok at the Adelphi Suites, which is probably booked out by now.

If you want economy, but clean, good location (very near MBK) and NO POOL on site, then you might like Patumwan House. Their web site is not the greatest... but if you email them, you will hopefully hear back, and with good prices. Rooms are clean, staff very friendly, and the breakfast in the little restaurant in the lobby is quite tasty.

Enjoy your trip!

Carol
simpsonc510 is offline  
Nov 26th, 2008, 09:34 AM
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Thanks so much for the encouraging words. Am going ahead with plans and hope by the time we arrive that all is peaceful.
pdees is offline  
Nov 26th, 2008, 08:13 PM
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Phyllis if I were you I would check with my airline as things develope over the next few days -- I don't think anyone can say for sure what will be happening mid next week now; the situation is very fluid. I'm sure you're reading the other posts on this subject and can see that people with more immediate plans are considering rerouting, and airlines are offering this as well. It could be a good idea to have a plan b.
Everyone should bear in mind that once the airport opens up there will be a backlog of passengers who get to go in/out first as their flights were cancelled, so it will take time for things to normalize. No need to panic -- just explore your options, perhaps you can route in via Chiang Mai which has air service to Udon ??
jenskar2 is offline  
Nov 26th, 2008, 08:48 PM
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I'd say explore your options, but I wouldn't cancel or change anything yet. Airlines are allowing people with immediate reservations to re-route for no charge. So even if things are still unresolved, you can likely re-route.
Kathie is offline  
Nov 28th, 2008, 09:57 AM
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Just as I was feeling comfortable with our plans to arrive in Bangkok on the 4th of December,then all the trouble starts to escalate. Have to make a desision by Monday whether to postpone. Tickets are not refundable. Wish someone had a crystal ball and could tell me that things would be better or worse by then. Even if we can fly into Chiang Mai is there a posiblity that air port that will be taken over too? Also, we have reservations within Thailand on Air Asia. What are our options for postpondment or cancelation on these flights?
pdees is offline  
Dec 4th, 2008, 12:28 PM
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All this turmoil in Thailand has left me in a quandry. We had gone ahead a canceled our trip to Thailand when they closed the Airport as we were to arrive on the 4th of December. We also had to cancel so many other reservations but now they say the Air Port will be opened tomorrow, December 5th. and my daughter-in-law wants us to go ahead and make plans for the 27th of December till the 21st of January. Someone please give me some good advice as to if this is too soon or should we wait a little longer.
pdees is offline  
Dec 4th, 2008, 10:42 PM
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I don't think anyone can tell you what is going to happen. I can only say my mother sister and family are coming here to Bangkok on December 22nd, as planned. I'd stop them if I thought I should.
kimburu is offline  
Dec 6th, 2008, 02:26 PM
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Trying to get back on track with our trip to Thailand. We had to cancel the original trip because of the takeover at the Air Port. Now we are looking at the dates between Dec. 27 to Jan 21th by China Air. We still want to go but still apprehensive. Should we wait a little longer or do you feel that we will be safe, especially with a one year old? Thai Air lines would not let us cancel. We could change the dates with a penalty. Any suggestions at all will be appreciated
pdees is offline  
Dec 6th, 2008, 04:01 PM
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Personally, I would have no hesitation to go. The protesters who occupied the airport have said they will not do that again. The opposition party has formed a coalition with several other parties and they have nominated a PM. As long as this continues to proceed, I would expect that the protests are over for now. The fear was that the PPP would nominate another Taksin crony which likely would have set off a new round of protests. It appears that will not happen.

Continue to read the news on Thailand, as I expect you would for any place you were planning to visit.
Kathie is offline  

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