Thailand Trip - Recommendations

Discussion in 'Holidays & Travel' started by samos, Apr 28, 2016.

  1. samos

    samos Member

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    Hey guys, mate of mine has been bustin' balls for a while to go away. As we're all getting on a little (in terms of window to do boys trips closing) he wants to get one in. It's only a short trip. 7 nights, max 8 nights.


    Now, typically you'd think we want to get rowdy and party like mofo's. Not so much. I wouldn't mind doing a few nutty nights in Phuket, but also want to see a few temples and cool shit in general. Then finish off with Phi Phi island to just really relax and recharge my batteries/plan my second half of year work wise.

    Where are some nice resort/spots in Phuket to stay? Things to look out for? Food? (I won't eat street food or dodgy looking take aways). I can't afford to get sick at all. It'll most likely be restaurants only. Any recommendations? Similarly for Phi Phi?

    I was considering one night in Bangkok (I want the world to be my oyster, I guess). Is it worth going to just for some shopping? It's a little out the way.

    Thinking 3-4 nights in Phuket and 3-4 in Phi Phi. One of my mates said do more in Phuket than in Phi Phi as you'll get super bored.

    Anyone who knows it well or has travelled there I'd be stoked for some advice!
     
  2. wwwww

    wwwww Member

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    If you're worried about food poisoning, imodium is readily available in pharmacies. For a short trip like yours, if you get food poisoning you can just take the imodium and deal with the problem when you're back in Aus.
     
  3. Zee

    Zee Member

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    When would you want to go? If you can, time it for Songkran (Thai new year). It's just been, so it'll be a year away - but well worth it. I've been to Thailand *many* times, and if I had to choose one trip, just once, it would be Songkran in Chiang Mai.

    Bangkok is gun for a night or two. I wouldn't really go there to shop, it's not really cheap or anything... If you want to go and shop, go to the US...

    Don't stress about food, food in Thailand is awesome, but spend a bit of time getting your chilli tolerance up...

    Z...
     
  4. OP
    OP
    samos

    samos Member

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    I love Thai food, so I cannot wait. I'm good with chili, we're Italian.. old man cooks with a lot of it.

    Nah I'd rather not I can't afford to be sick when I get back and dealing with gut issues. My mate was out for 10 days straight and ruined his trip. That's NOT what I want. It'll be bottled water only for me and restaurant food.

    If I had a month off and could deal with the problems then I wouldn't be so soft, but I just cannot be arsed. I take generally 1 week off a year if that (2 if i'm lucky), so when I do, they need to be good :)
     
  5. bl4ck32

    bl4ck32 Member

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  6. 4th

    4th Member

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    if more mellow fly north to chiang mai its more chilled out; if you want to drink lots of alcohol and beach just go south to krabi/phiphi and only drink alcohol at your 5star hotel because bali was too expensive this year

    internal flight airline: air asia

    chiang mai
    hotel: le meridien (starwood group)
    restaurant: the riverside
    activity: jungle flight chiang mai (don't wear boxers or your balls will hurt)
    activity: tiger kingdom (don't put paw on your head unless you dig scars)
    activity: doi suthep temple (hilltop temple, take a redtaxi & dragon stairs)

    bangkok
    activity: chatujak (weekend market) or MBK (7 levels of aircon shopping)
    activity: wat po and wat phra kaew (gold reclining and jade buddha temples)
    activity: redlight district nana plaza/soi cowboy but google scams first

    1: get travel insurance (covermore) you will need to pay cash and be reimbursed tho if hospitalised
    2: download XE currency converter so you have idea what you spend & never give your passport as bond for hiring equipment
    3: smile and be polite, thai law is very different, have police call the embassy
    4: only drink bottled water from 7/11, other places refill and have a resealing machines
    5: dont ride a scooter without a thai scooter licence or drink/ride with any chance of alcohol in your system (read insurance pds)
    6: don't ride a jetski, banana boat tugs or parasails are ok
    7: don't base jump there are no helicopters etc to rescue you
    8: avoid any hint of drugs as you can be put in jail for life
    9: imodium is your best friend expect to get the runs atleast once and to sh*t waterfalls for a good day of detox
    10: tell your 'surprise its a tinder ladyboy' to wear a condom too
     
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  7. OP
    OP
    samos

    samos Member

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    Wow super insightful. Thanks for the tips.

    Re: the bashings above I am not concerned. It'll be 3 fully grown men going. Those cowards attacked a mother and son. That shit happens anywhere, including here.

    Thanks a lot guys, anyone else welcome to chime in.
     
  8. stevenx

    stevenx Member

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    When I was hospitalised with dengue fever on Samui a few years ago, I told the hospital staff my name and the name of my insurance company. They handled everything with Cover More at no out of pocket expense to me and I only spoke with Cover More a week after I was discharged from hospital when they called to ask if I wanted to be medevaced back to Australia. Cover More were great. They even covered a 5 star hotel the night I was discharged because I'd missed the last ferry back to Koh Tao that day and had friends staying at the hotel - although I did have to put the cash up for the hotel, it was reimbursed.
     
  9. sanjay

    sanjay Member

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    ringing endorsement for covermore right there - worth it if youre worried about getting sick (I tend to rely on my platinum card travel insurance when overseas).

    Thailand is awesome, great choice - ive been many times. depending on what you like to do theres plenty to see and do. I love rock climbing so I did a bunch of that on phi phi island (if I go to Thailand again i'll make sure to go to krabi to do some more climbing).

    Phuket is OK, there are some really nice parts away from the west coast side (which is where all the perth bogans are) which are worth seeing/doing, especially the temples. every time ive been to Phuket ive hired a car - very cheap (about $20 a day) for a modern Honda jazz and driving in Phuket is actually really easy (they have for the most part quite modern roads and highways - Phuket island and its government is the clear beneficiary of a LOT of tourism income).

    Bangkok is worth going just for the sheer hustle-bustle of it. I know theyre dangerous but I love travelling around in the back of the tuk tuks. :) there isn't a heap of shopping to do in Bangkok but there are a few megamalls which have cheap clothes and amenities. beware though that Bangkok is notoriously hard to get around - traffic is atrocious and they don't have a sufficient public transport system (there's no subway and the overhead monorail thing only services a limited part of the sprawling city).
     
  10. chainbolt

    chainbolt Member

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    Mate is right. In addition to beach life, culture, entertainment, sporting, and amusement possibilities are far greater on Phuket, than on Phi Phi. It's not even remotely comparable.
     
  11. insular

    insular Member

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    firstly, for such a short trip i wouldn't bother trying to do too many locations, you'll waste a lot of time in transit to the next destinations.

    sounds like you want to party and thailand is fine for that, and phuket is good but it depends on what kind of party you want. i'm sure there's legit clubs in phuket but its a sex tourist scene in patong. the rest of phuket is a resort scene and to be honest, overpriced and not that great IMO. there's plenty of temples and stuff in phuket to see, i recall a buddha statue with monkeys. just rent a scooter and drive around as taxis are a ripoff compared to the rest of thailand.

    phi phi nightlife is more legit, with backpackers and normal clubs. you won't really get that bored, it'll just be the same places night after night.

    i've done the fly into krabi, (i stayed in ao nang though), express boat to phi phi and from phi phi to phuket and taxi to patong. i stayed in a very reasonably priced full villa in patong (it was on a hill). only a few thousand baht in lower season.

    regards to food poisoning, ive never been sick from the food in thailand. ever. however, vietnam, lao and myanmar totalled 4 times on my last trip. the thai's are a bit cleaner and educated about food practices, but if you don't want to take the risk, just don't eat the seafood (incl. sushi) as that can make you very ill as i discovered in vietnam. but i've had sushi in thailand many times and never been ill.

    immodium is a waste of time as it doesn't solve the problem and in my exp. didn't do a damn thing. you need to take antibiotics if diarroea lasts more than 24 hours. for that i recommend azithromycin, most other antibiotics are bacteria resistant and some people don't know this (nor do the local doctors). just buy it at the pharmacy and have it on hand if you need it. google is often a better doctor than most in se asian countries. anything serious get to bangkok or singapore if you can.

    street food again, is no problem in thailand. i always eat street food (99% of my meals) in thailand and never been sick. higher turnover of ingredients, local prices (not in phuket) and local food that they actually know how to make. they actually wash bowls and cutlery with dish liquid so it's a step above most other countries in the region.

    bangkok hard to get around? not really, the skytrain combined with MRT is fine. traffic is busy at peak times. you need to walk more than singapore but most tourist spots are near a metro or skytrain. get a hostel as close to a MRT or skytrain as possible.

    i'd recommend flying to chiang mai for temples (doi suthep and a million in the city centre) and stuff (also has a small nightlife), then hit phi phi for beaches (maya bay) and nightlife. phuket is expensive for no particular reason and is not that nice at all.

    stay at spicythai hostel for a better time than anywhere else in thailand.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    samos

    samos Member

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    Thanks buddy.

    I think we're set on Thailand

    Here's my issue, the time of year we're going.

    Leaving July 2nd and returning 10th.

    I've spoken to a few people who caught the boat from Phuket to Phi Phi and they said they never would again. The sea's are at their roughest/choppiest apparently - You're on a 14 seater speed boat, and the thai still leave for the islands even in a storm. That doesn't sound legit to me.. anyone got some feedback on getting from Phuket to Phi Phi in a peaceful way?
     
  13. stevenx

    stevenx Member

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    Try the Golf of Thailand side instead. Fly into Koh Samui and take the ferry to Koh Tao. The water can be choppy but the boats are big but take a seasickness tablet anyway because you don't want to be that guy puking all over everyone.

    Once you get there, the weather is gorgeous in July. Plus, Koh Tao doesn't suck. The night-life isn't as crowded or as big or as busy as Phuket but you can still have as many big nights as you want. It's a very relaxed place, and there's loads to do.

    Check out this website: http://www.kohtaocompleteguide.com/

    I'm biased, though. I lived on Koh Tao for a couple of years :)
     
  14. disco frank

    disco frank Member

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    1 of the coolest thigns I did with my parents, we found a 4 X4 adventure tour in one of those tourist things with all the leaflets
    was about $150 AUD i think and you get to drive!!!
    sure its a little LPG powerd suziki thing
    about 5ish hours or so
    no massive water crossings or mud pits

    they took us on some rough fireroad type stuff,
    up into the mountains, the view was spectactular!
    seeing all the rubber plantations and how the rubber
    was/is harvested etc
    was really cool, and would love to do it again!
    i know they supplied drinks, cant remeber if they supplied food

    pretty sure i have some facebook pics of it too!

    ps avoid the "james bond island and the beach" tours
    just shit was way too touristy
     
  15. gords

    gords Oh deer!

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    Another vote for Chiang Mai and all the awesome stuff you can do around there. Leave the bogan-infested areas for others to "enjoy" :)
     
  16. OP
    OP
    samos

    samos Member

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    Damn.. I was hoping to avoid bogan bali like holiday. Is that what Phuket is like? I don't mind mingling with Westerners, and having a bit of fun.. but yeah. I thought Phi Phi would be relaxing resort like get away. So 4 nights in the ruckus of Phuket and the other nights unwinding


    Ha ha. Yeah the guys want to go Phuket, and because we only have 8 nights, we're trying to avoid 'too much' travel so we can unwind, have a little fun etc. I thought phi phi would be nice, and while touristy, less so than Koh Samui?
     
  17. insular

    insular Member

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    basically yes re:phuket, but it might be better now that the military has cleaned up a bit.

    like i said, pick two destinations. would recommend chiang mai FIRST you'll be tired from walking around and sightseeing there. and then phi phi to unwind.

    rough seas just depends on your luck with the weather (personally never had an issue - they are big ferry boats after all). if you fly to krabi from chiang mai, if the seas are too rough you can just stay in krabi/ao nang. coastal beaches are there.

    no airports on phi phi so just boat rides.
     
  18. stevenx

    stevenx Member

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    Oh, duh. You're in Melbourne - you have non stop flights to Phuket. Coming from Adelaide, I have to stop in somewhere along the way to get to both Samui and Phuket so I think of the amount of travelling as the same. That said, I have done 8 nights on Tao before without much drama but the journey can be kind of annoying - should be less than 14 or 15 hours from Melbourne, though.

    Samui is very touristy but it's the better gateway to Koh Tao than the mainland but that's a moot point in this case, really :lol:

    In order of touristy-ness, I think it goes a bit like this: Phuket > Samui > Phi Phi > Phangan > Tao > Khao Lak. Inverse for the level of relaxation. That's not to say there's no night life on Koh Tao - there's plenty - but it's much more rustic and I very much prefer it. Think beach bars with loud music more than buildings with night clubs. A few years ago we got some shows from people from The Prodigy and Orbital on Koh Tao, and there's a great live music scene if you look in the right places.

    Anyway, the ferry from Samui is Tao can be kinda fun. They sell beers and it's a great place to meet people.

    I'm not a big Phuket fan, but I don't fit the target demographic so that's not surprising. I probably did once and hated the place anyway, and I might fit a target demographic again in the future and I can't see myself liking the place. That said, I never thought I'd plan to spend any time on Samui but I have a few good friends who live there now so I've visited them and have enjoyed the place, so who knows?

    Whatever you do: have fun :)
     
  19. OP
    OP
    samos

    samos Member

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    Thanks dude. Well, I guess I'll wing it. The rustic places sound pretty cool to me. I'll just put up with the rowdy Phuket and have some fun. Then hopefully can wind down in Phi phi!
     
  20. sanjay

    sanjay Member

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    Phuket is also choc-full of Russian tourists who are on the whole quite rude and obnoxious. I too echo the call to go to the eastern islands (I island hopped between samui, phangan and tao in 2013, was awesome fun - still not sure how I didn't die at the phangan full moon party though - only real memory was being ferried home, on the other side of the island, on the back of a scooter, in the middle of a deluge of rain).
     

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