Travel

Ask Me Anything About Thailand

[OP]
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Gibsons wrote:
Oct 10th, 2019 12:50 pm
From what I'm reading, the Thai Baht has skyrocketed against pretty well every currency. I'm hearing that tourism is down by a large margin. This effects more of the expats living there and not as much the 2 week vacationer, but it's something to consider if you are counting your pennies. There may be other Asian countries that are a better deal with your CDN $.

I'm not telling people not to go, just be aware that CDN $ has been on a steady decline vs the Thai Baht for a couple years now. Your $ buys less than it did.
Thailand was always more developed and prices were going up little by little every year.
For those who are on a budget, Laos, Cambodia, Burma and Vietnam are a good alternatives.

However, most tourists go south of Bangkok. Prices up north( Chang Rai, Chang Mai) are still pretty cheap. $6 massages are not that hard to find :)
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demi2004 wrote:
Oct 13th, 2019 11:14 am
Thailand was always more developed and prices were going up little by little every year.
For those who are on a budget, Laos, Cambodia, Burma and Vietnam are a good alternatives.

However, most tourists go south of Bangkok. Prices up north( Chang Rai, Chang Mai) are still pretty cheap. $6 massages are not that hard to find :)
What about Philippines and Vietnam comparing to the Thailand.
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Oct 12, 2019
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Hello, can you explain more in details about the cash advance procedure please, thanks
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uber_shnitz wrote:
Oct 10th, 2019 11:03 am
Just came back from Thailand and here's a few things I learned/figured out/recommend:

- I really recommend going during low season. I was scared since I went in Sept which is supposedly the wettest month of the year, but I got lucky and it only rained 2 days out of the 3 weeks I was there. The best part though is really that it's empty. Like many of the hotels/tours I went on I was the only group. Transport options are also fairly plentiful for cheap. The only time the monsoons really affected my plans wasn't even directly: one of the hostels I rented was across a river in Pai and the small foot bridge leading to it had been swept away by the heavy rain in August so I booked another place.

- Northern Thailand coffee culture is amazing. If you're into coffee, I highly recommend. I'm Vietnamese and I'd argue that the iced coffee I had in Thailand rivals if not beats Ca Phe Sua Da. It's really interesting from a cultural point of view too since it's all ex-opium farmers that converted their land to growing coffee. I met a traveler who said he spent a whole day coffeeshop exploring in Chiang Mai so it is a thing.

- The island are beautiful, but I'm more of a culture guy so the North was a far more of a pleasant surprise to me. I would've liked to see more places up there, but the travel is also fairly limited (have to take buses to get to many places), but it's worth it IMO. Bring Gravol or something if you're not used to very curvy/bumpy driving. I've been to Vietnam before so I was used to it but it still made my stomach churn a bit.

- I didn't know about Grab before then, but it's a good alternative in the larger cities to compare prices to taxis/tuk-tuks or songtsaews.

- If you want to venture South, I would avoid Phuket and go to Krabi/Ao Nang instead. It's touristy, but less so than Phuket so you still have some semblance of local culture. Krabi town specifically has a legit night market so it's worth going to IMO.

- If you're into markets, plan your stays in each city based on their night market schedules (ex: if there's a Saturday or Sunday specific one). Night markets in Bangkok I found were sub-par compared to the ones in the North or even the one in Krabi town, but the ones in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are really good and each have a different flare even if on the surface they feel very similar. For example, the further North you go, the more the cuisine starts to be closer to Chinese/Laos/Vietnamese so you get things like hot pot (which was delish btw) rather than coconut based curries.

- Oh and this is a bit specific, but if you're in Bangkok and want to eat at Jay Fai's cause you saw Street Food on Netflix, here's a tip I got from a girl I met in Pai: go in the morning to give your name for walk-in. There's usually someone there doing inventory and they'll grab the book for you. Being early, you usually have the choice of where in the 50 walk-ins you want to be so I suggest either being first or last. If you're first you show up right when they open at 2pm or if you're last you show up a bit before they close at 2am. If you're stuck in the middle you need to wait as they don't take phone numbers and if you're not present when they call your number out they pass you.

I really loved this trip and the food alone is worth it. I would argue I ate better during my time in Thailand than my time in Japan :gasp:
Thanks.

Did you only stay in hostels?
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hello99 wrote:
Oct 14th, 2019 11:16 pm
Thanks.

Did you only stay in hostels?
Mix of hostels & hotels. Honestly, since it was low season there wasn't a huge price difference between both sometimes. I based it more on location to various markets and things I wanted to do.

RE: convo about currency. I had been to Vietnam 3 years ago and I can attest Thailand is more expensive than Vietnam overall, but still very cheap by Canadian standards. If you're OK eating in the streets, there's comparable $1-5CAD meals available in both places. I think what got to me more is the amount of bargaining I had to do in Thailand seemed less (and therefore less exhausting) than Vietnam.

For reference, I was there 3 weeks, 5 cities (mix of airplanes/buses) and I spent around $1500CAD on the ground (not counting the international flight) and I wasn't traveling on a shoestring (did lots of tours, ate a mix of street food + restaurants)
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uber_shnitz wrote:
Oct 15th, 2019 9:03 am
Mix of hostels & hotels. Honestly, since it was low season there wasn't a huge price difference between both sometimes. I based it more on location to various markets and things I wanted to do.

RE: convo about currency. I had been to Vietnam 3 years ago and I can attest Thailand is more expensive than Vietnam overall, but still very cheap by Canadian standards. If you're OK eating in the streets, there's comparable $1-5CAD meals available in both places. I think what got to me more is the amount of bargaining I had to do in Thailand seemed less (and therefore less exhausting) than Vietnam.

For reference, I was there 3 weeks, 5 cities (mix of airplanes/buses) and I spent around $1500CAD on the ground (not counting the international flight) and I wasn't traveling on a shoestring (did lots of tours, ate a mix of street food + restaurants)
Did you pre book the places? Are there hotels and such you would recommend in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Krabi?
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How is Kanchanbari and Erwan Falls? Wondering if we should go there from Bangkok? What is the best way to go to Chiang Mai from there?

Thinking if spending 4 days in Bangkok and then going to Chiang Mai but thinking if we should go to Kanchanbari on the way or do a day trip and come back to Bangkok? In Chiang Mai we could spend 4 days and then go to a beach. Not sure with one still? :)
[OP]
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sam_b_d wrote:
Oct 13th, 2019 6:04 pm
What about Philippines and Vietnam comparing to the Thailand.
I found beaches in Philippines and Vietnam to be better than Thailand( in general). All countries are large and have various places that may be good or not so much. It's like Maldives... Unless you are splurging for a private island away from the main island, the beaches are meh.
If I had to pick the best out of 3, I'd say Philippines if you fly to Palawan.
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Oct 12, 2019
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This is just a friendly comment. All travelers experience different things.
I use CAD$ so everything quoted in US$ is a bit expensive for Canadians.
My comment was more geared towards the capital city rather than rural areas.
To all travelers do not expect a fancy good meal at 2$, and yes it is true hotels are quite inexpensive.
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Any suggested phone providers? Will be there over two weeks.
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haliwood wrote:
Oct 17th, 2019 5:38 pm
Any suggested phone providers? Will be there over two weeks.
AIS or DTAC. They both have cheap tourist sims\packages. Check out their prices on the websites to find the best option for you.
I usually stick with DTAC myself, never had any issues with either though.
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How do I take the tour Train Market and Floating Market?
[OP]
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haliwood wrote:
Oct 17th, 2019 5:38 pm
Any suggested phone providers? Will be there over two weeks.
Overall they are the same. See what options they have during sign up as there are various promos. I doubt you will be in areas where one will be better than the other.
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