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Introductions and questions
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  1. #1
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    Introductions and questions

    Old story, I guess. Stayed for a week of work-related conference/vacation just outside Phuket Town and fell head over heels in love with the place.

    Swede, living and working in Norway, inherently sceptical of all things massively raved about like Thailand, but obviously proven wrong. Virtual robberies by taxi and tuk tuk drivers notwithstanding.

    I have some vacation time coming up between jobs in May so I figured why not spend a couple of weeks relaxing in what I hope will at least be a little sun.

    My plan is going to Bangkok for 4-6 days, taking a 1-2 days trip to Hong Kong to visit some friends and then moving on to Phuket to spend 2-3 weeks there.

    The tour guide on one of our day trips suggested that it's reasonably cheap to fly stand-by from Bangkok rather than reserving in advance, does anyone know the veracity of this? (Sorry, sorry, I've understood you guys don't like big words. I kid, I kid. )

    Also, any tips on good, preferably reasonably priced accommodations in Bangkok and on Phuket are welcome.

    Of course, if you have any insight on must-see excursions I would be thrilled.

    Tall order, I know, and I could probably dig this up myself but I figure nothing ventured nothing gained. You people seem like a pretty knowledgable bunch.

  2. #2
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    Re: Introductions and questions

    welcome

    > Virtual robberies by taxi and tuk tuk drivers notwithstanding.

    that was one thing I hated about Phuket. I felt robbed all the time, even when I tried to argue in Thai, it did not help at all. those people are so different from what you see anywhere else in Thailand. I only stayed 3 days - couldn't stand it. rent a motorcycle. or go to Krabi, Lanta, Phi Phi, Khao Lak (thought the last one is a virtual Scandinavian colony and the prices reflect that).

    anyway, that's my personal opinion. if I were you, I would venture somewhere else, just to see something different.


    > The tour guide on one of our day trips suggested that it's reasonably cheap to fly stand-by from Bangkok rather than reserving in advance, does anyone know the veracity of this?

    if you reserve now, I think you could easily get a ticket for something like 1600 baht. I don't think I would risk spending hours at the airport and getting annoyed etc just to save a little. reserve something in advance and it will be the cheapest possible.
    check out this article for info on airlines:
    http://thailandqa.com/forum/articles/showentry.php?e=15


    > If course, if you have any insight on must-see excursions I would be thrilled.

    if you stay in Phuket, believe me, those small tour agencies will be in your face constantly. you don't need to waste a flicker of thought or lift a finger. usually: scuba diving or snorkelling, boat trip to Phang Nga bay rock formations, kayaking in mangroves and caves, around the island waterfall and plantations daytrip, boat trip to Phi Phi.

    for Bangkok sights, see this website:
    http://www.bangkok-daytrips.com/
    http://www.bangkokguidebook.com/highlights/index.php

    accommodation here:
    http://www.thaihotelfinder.com/

    all these sites are members of the Paknam Web network.

    if you have more specific questions, do ask - personally, I can throw in links but also talk to people, if I have a clearer picture of what you need.

  3. #3
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    Re: Introductions and questions

    Thanks for the quick reply!

    Quote Originally Posted by Betti View Post

    that was one thing I hated about Phuket. I felt robbed all the time, even when I tried to argue in Thai, it did not help at all.
    No kidding! A few of my less wiley colleagues ended up paying 1000THB for a 30 minute trip from Patong Beach to Cape Panwa.

    anyway, that's my personal opinion. if I were you, I would venture somewhere else, just to see something different.
    I am no stranger to going off the beaten track, but given how poorly they spoke english even in the tourist mecca of Patong, I would be afraid I wouldn't be able to make myself understood.

    if you stay in Phuket, believe me, those small tour agencies will be in your face constantly. you don't need to waste a flicker of thought or lift a finger.
    I noticed. I was mainly thinking about Bangkok, and I see you handed me some links for that, much appreciated.

    if you have more specific questions, do ask - personally, I can throw in links but also talk to people, if I have a clearer picture of what you need.
    Mostly, I'm curious about personal experience when it comes to lodging.

    Given that it's off-season I would hope to get away with paying no more than 1500THB per night for lodging and hopefully much less. However, it's my experience that lodging varies a lot in quality not necessarily based on price all the time.

    So any tips on places to stay in Bangkok or Patong Beach would be swell. Or if anyone has better ideas, I'm all ears.

  4. #4
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    Re: Introductions and questions

    > I am no stranger to going off the beaten track, but given how poorly they spoke english even in the tourist mecca of Patong, I would be afraid I wouldn't be able to make myself understood.

    wherever there are tourists, you can make yourself understood. it won't be significantly worse than in Patong. of course you should not go off the map completely.
    Patong must be the most horrible place I have been to in Thailand. (but I haven't been to Pattaya.) (I wanted to see it for myself - didn't stay long.)

    > No kidding! A few of my less wiley colleagues ended up paying 1000THB for a 30 minute trip from Patong Beach to Cape Panwa.

    that is exactly what I mean.
    to save the day, you can rent a motorcycle for 250-300 in Phuket as well, just as elsewhere in Thailand.
    (in Chiang Mai, you can rent out a pickup with two benches at the back for a day and a half for 1000 baht and go anywhere - just for the comparison)

    sorry, no tips for places to say. maybe someone else can help you with that.

  5. #5
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    Re: Introductions and questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Betti View Post
    wherever there are tourists, you can make yourself understood. it won't be significantly worse than in Patong. of course you should not go off the map completely.
    Patong must be the most horrible place I have been to in Thailand. (but I haven't been to Pattaya.) (I wanted to see it for myself - didn't stay long.)
    I was only in Patong for one night. The pulse of the place spoke to me. Ended up strolling around and gawking at the people and shiny signs like I just fell off the banana-boat.

    Which I guess is roughly the truth of the situation.


    sorry, no tips for places to say. maybe someone else can help you with that.
    You've helped plenty. Thank you.

  6. #6
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    Re: Introductions and questions

    The accommodations in Patong beach are not cheap. However if your budget is 1500B, I am sure you will be spoilt for choice provided you are not looking at the 'luxury hotel' category. The same can be said for Bangkok. 1500B will get you very decent rooms.

  7. #7
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    Re: Introductions and questions

    Like Betti I'm not a big fan of Phuket. However, I have found some lovely places there away from the tourist areas. Of course, being able to speak Thai makes it much easier to get to those places.

    If you can spend some of your trip away from the tourist centres in Bangkok and Phuket you will be richly rewarded. Chiang Mai, where Betti lives, is just fantastic!

  8. #8
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    Re: Introductions and questions

    Virtual robberies by taxi and tuk tuk drivers notwithstanding.

    that was one thing I hated about Phuket. I felt robbed all the time, even when I tried to argue in Thai, it did not help at all. those people are so different from what you see anywhere else in Thailand. I only stayed 3 days - couldn't stand it. rent a motorcycle. or go to Krabi, Lanta, Phi Phi, Khao Lak (thought the last one is a virtual Scandinavian colony and the prices reflect that).


    Hey this all sounds a bit scary as far as transport is concerned.Me and 'Er indoors' were married there ninteen years ago and the private transport system was not tooo good for farangs back then so I can only imagine what its like now.

    As there is going to be five of us (two adults three children) do you think it may be cheaper renting a small car for the five of us than paying rip off tAXI X 5....???? (ON DAYS WE INTEND TO GET AROUND OF COURSE)

  9. #9
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    Re: Introductions and questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie View Post

    Hey this all sounds a bit scary as far as transport is concerned.Me and 'Er indoors' were married there ninteen years ago and the private transport system was not tooo good for farangs back then so I can only imagine what its like now.

    As there is going to be five of us (two adults three children) do you think it may be cheaper renting a small car for the five of us than paying rip off tAXI X 5....???? (ON DAYS WE INTEND TO GET AROUND OF COURSE)
    It is my appreciation that we allowed ourselves to get robbed.

    One day, I could pay a driver to take me from Cape Panwa to Phuket Town and back while having him wait for me for several hours while I went into stores for the sum of 500THB.

    The next, I could pay the very same driver 500THB for just taking me one way and then the same amount to a tuk tuk on the way back.

    For someone who's used to fixed prices it all got a bit confusing, but I expect that armed with a bit of experience it would be a bit easier to tackle.

  10. #10
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    Re: Introductions and questions

    but I expect that armed with a bit of experience it would be a bit easier to tackle.
    Yes fair point,negotiation skills and all that.

    Im sort of projecting in to the future with possible scenarios.I cant help but think of the taxi driver having a huge upperhand with five tired and farangs who just want to get to point b. Rent a car is looking good at the moment.It could possibly be cheaper in the long run.

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