Travelling to Thailand & Malaysia

Old Dec 27th, 1999, 11:11 AM
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Travelling to Thailand & Malaysia

We are planning a trip to Thailand & Malaysia end of January. Looking to spend 2 weeks in Thailand and 2 in Malaysia. We have read a number of travel guides and articles and surfed the net. Would appreciate hearing from travellers who have visited the area recently with "must see", "things you should know", etc. Thank you for reading this message and have a nice day!
Old Dec 27th, 1999, 09:55 PM
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Hi Alex,

My family and I have just spent 3 weeks in Bangkok and Phuket, and went to Malaysia 2 years ago. What sort of things would you like advice on? I would be happy to try and answer any questions you may have.

Old Dec 30th, 1999, 06:01 PM
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One thing you should definitely know is that the tuk tuk drivers (particularly the younger ones)in Bangkok will try to get you to agree to stop at a shop they know that is having a "big promotion - last day". Do not agree. It's a scam. My husband and I were kicked out of two tuk tuks for not agreeing to get suckered. We walked about a block away from Wat Po and found a legit taxi driver who just took us where we asked to go. Wat Po houses the massage school - you can get a half hour massage for about US$3.

On Phuket, the tuk tuk drivers are connected with the mafia (so I was told). We were warned to stay away from them. We had our hotel arrange for a private car and driver which was worth it on the small, winding roads. Phuket was rather touristy and quite expensive once you got off the beach. The best bargain I found there were daily massages at sunset on the beach - US$6 for one hour - heaven on earth!

Learn a few Thai phrases. In Bangkok, we only had trouble with the cab drivers - many don't speak or read any English. We had our hotel concierge write the name of our hotel, the major attractions we wanted to see, restaurants, malls, etc. in THAI on pieces of paper that we just showed to the cab drivers. I learned to say hello, thank you, Where is the bathroom? (came in VERY handy once you are outside the tourist areas), how much?, do you take credit cards?, and - a little spicy (pronounced "pet nitnoy" - this also came in handy).

Enjoy Thailand. It's a beautiful place with wonderful, friendly people.
Old Jan 2nd, 2000, 04:25 PM
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Hi Alex,

Went to Malaysia last Fall and Bangkok the year before. What information are you looking for in specific? Both countries are great experiences.
Old Jan 3rd, 2000, 12:24 PM
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Special thanks to Teresa, Meg and Adam for taking the time to reply to our e-mail. All the information has been great!
I think we have pretty well decided on what we will be doing in Thailand but Malaysia is still "up in the air". We had planned on going down the East coast to Tioman Island, but understand the water will be rough.
We will be spending 5 days in Koh Samui and then would like to spend another 5 days on a beach before resuming the rest of our trip.
We are torn between Phuket, Phi Phi islands and Langkawi. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.
Old Feb 2nd, 2000, 12:08 PM
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Koh Samui is King.

You are going to have the best time you have ever had. Enjoy the beaches. I was in Koh Samui a few years ago with a friend that had been there the year before. He could not believe how the place had developed in a short period of time.

Any of the small hotels are inexpensive (if that is important to you) and very safe.

The massages are heaven. They remain some of my best travel memories!!!!

The Tuk Tuk rides are a blast.

The food and sunsets are incredible.

I would suggest taking the overnight train from BKK to Phuket. It goes through the jungle and is very beautiful and the train station is a great experience in its own. Get a first class ticket. It's only a few dollars more. Then if you want to fly back to BKK, you can (1 hour).

Old Feb 5th, 2000, 01:36 PM
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Re Langkawi, we went there a couple of years ago. We stayed at the Datai in the north of the island. It was one of the best hotels we had been to! There is not much to do or see on the island. You only need to hire a car for one day to see all that there is. Around the south of the island they were doing a lot of building trying to make it a duty free shopping port. In the center of the island it was a bit depressing in places as they were carrying out what looked like strip mining.

Having said that, the north was still very pretty. You can do nature walks etc.

To get to Langkawi, we took the Eastern & Oriental Express from Bangkok to Butterworth (overnight). That was a wonderful trip. The train is beautiful and the scenery was great.

Have a good time wherever you decide to go!
Old Feb 8th, 2000, 12:20 AM
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Alex, Just got back from 1 1/2 weeks in and around Koh Samui and the same in Phuket. I have to say Koh Samui , Koh Phanang & Koh Tao were terrific in the Gulf! It depends how commerical or primitive you like to go. The most commercial and major nightlife is KS. KP & KT are more rugged (which I love) and the bungalows are dirt cheap!

We stayed in Patong in Phuket - major culture shock from the Gulf area! Patong is VERY busy, like a huge Chinatown (in NYC) - not my cup of tea. However, I checked out Karon & Kata and they are much prettier and mellower areas.

If you dive, you may also think about taking a 3-night live-aboard to the Similian Islands. We had a phenomenal time on the Phuket Divers hosted trip. They are based out of KawLak (sp?) in Southern Thailand, right over the bridge from Phuket.

We loved the whole Thai area so much, we're heading to Malaysia for 2 weeks in March - probably the Redang/Perenhtian area that my divemaster recommended. Although a stopover in the Cameron Highlands looks like a must too.


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