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Thread: Thailand travel advice

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Default Thailand travel advice

    I'm going to Thailand for work in a few weeks and I'm taking a few days after so I can actually do some sightseeing. I'll be in Bangkok for the conference after which I will have 4 full days to do a little sightseeing. I'll have about two days before the conference to see Bangkok so my idea is to get out of the city and go somewhere but it has to be somewhere i can fly to relatively easily.

    i was thinking chiang mai since i'm more of a culture and food traveler than a beach traveler, and because i'll be on my own given that my friend who was supposed to be at the conference had to bail and we'd originally planned to travel together.

    the other option was to head south to koh lanta but it seems more of a beach destination which is less my thing.

    but if you know of other places or have recommendations for bangkok and/or chiang mai, let me know!
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    Elite Member Novice's Avatar
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    Didn’t Mo go to Thailand with/to see family?

    Have fun I’ll look forward to the photos.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    I've been to Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Hua Hin (2018). I have tons of photos. I think I posted them on a thread about a year or so ago, but can repost photos with locations.
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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    yes, please! how long were you there again?
    and how many days would you recommend for chiang mai? i know the city itself is supposed to be nice but there's stuff around there too, no?
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    yes, please! how long were you there again?
    and how many days would you recommend for chiang mai? i know the city itself is supposed to be nice but there's stuff around there too, no?
    I think we were there around 12+ days. In Chang Mai for about 4 days, I think.

    Tons of stuff. I think the reason it's difficult to remember was because my BIL and SIL (Mrs Mo's brother and his wife) wife booked everything. Chiang Mai is where the elephant sanctuaries are. We got great photos there. Fed elephants gigantic bunches of bananas and corn -- they ate everything WHOLE. Walked elephants down a treacherous mountain path to the river, and then bathed them. Then, we went white-water rafting as part of that same tour a few hours later. Lots of great temples there, too.

    I am looking through Facebook folders right now. I will post locations, along with sample photos. From my experience - very beautiful, very safe country. No military on street corners. Barely saw any police. Never got mugged or pick pocketed. Did see wet markets that mixed live animals and food close together. The live animals were pets, though, and the food only got as exotic as fried squid.

    Great exchange rate - everything was very affordable. You will want to have a lot of Baht on hand for the small markets and shops. But we were able to use a travel Visa card (that avoids tax) at a lot of places, too.
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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Thanks, mo! I’m getting really excited, I’m just sad I won’t have more time. I’ve been wanting to take a trip to Thailand and Vietnam for ages but I want to take at least 2-3 weeks for that. At least with this trip I’ll get a taste.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    Thanks, mo! I’m getting really excited, I’m just sad I won’t have more time. I’ve been wanting to take a trip to Thailand and Vietnam for ages but I want to take at least 2-3 weeks for that. At least with this trip I’ll get a taste.
    Oh, yeah. I just noticed you will be there for 4 days. I will say off the top of my head that if you are pressed for time you should visit the Grand Palace in Bangkok, and also visit the floating market, which is also in Bangkok, I think. The Grand Palace alone will be an explosion of color and will set you up with some pretty amazing photos. The food is just going to blow you away -- they have things I have never seen anywhere else. Get some mango with sticky rice for dessert - one of the most awesome desserts I've ever had.

    Also, if you haven't already, you should probably look at the recommended shots you should get for the trip. Most you will already have, like hepatitis. But we had Typhoid shots, too. We also had some kind of pill we took to prevent malaria. Once again, this was probably only because we were literally in the backwoods in Chiang Mai for a day.

    I'm curious at to what airline you are taking. Qatar Airways had the most amazing food -- there wasn't a square inch of wasted space on our trays when they fed us. I think they handle routes that go from US across Europe, into Doha. And then from Doha to Bangkok. Not sure who does Pacific routes or what they are like.

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Sputnik - I sent my BIL an email asking him what he thought would be the best way to make the most of your 4 days time. I'll let you know when he responds. He is in the middle of overseeing the construction of a hospital for my OTHER BIL - who is the guy who does plastic surgery and sex-reassignment surgery. When we were there in 2018, they were just about to have their floor plans reviewed for zoning and approval. Even though he's busy, he will respond.

    Anyway, here are some pictures of the place you should absolutely visit first and foremost - the Grand Palace. (I noticed that it averages a 4.5 out of 5 rating with 34,000 Google reviews, LOL). It's really a royal "complex" because there are a bunch of buildings, not just a palace. These are all pictures taken by either me or my BIL. If they look good, they are by my BIL.

    ETA - Sputnik - he already responded. He wants to know a) if you have full days to tour, or partial days. And how many. Also, he was wondering what your hotel is so that he can pick places that are closer.



















    Last edited by MohandasKGanja; February 5th, 2020 at 12:34 AM.
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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Holy shit mo! Thanks for all the advice and thanks to your BIL too!

    In total i’ll be in Thailand for a little less than 9 days. I’m addition to the days I’m taking after the conference, I’m also leaving a couple of days earlier so I have time to see Bangkok before the conference. I leave on a Friday evening, arrive in Bangkok at 4 am Sunday, and have all of Sunday and Monday to explore Bangkok. tue, wed and thurs I’ll be in meetings all day and at most will be able to go out for dinners. They haven’t told us the hotel yet but it should be close to the venue of the conference which is - from what google maps tells me - just south of dusit in an area that appears to have lots of government ministries and offices.
    After the conference I will have all of fri, sat, sun and Mon, which is when I was thinking of going somewhere outside Bangkok, like Chiang mai. My flight back leaves Tuesday at around 1:30am. I’m flying Qatar airways through Doha.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Sputnik,

    I just forwarded him the additional info. He should reply soon. His wife is Thai and is a logistics expert. I'm not sure if she will be able to weigh in, too. Some other stuff:

    1. The heat supposedly can be pretty brutal, but we got an enormous break while we were there and it was actually very bearable. Should have head protection from the sun and sun screen.
    2. There are very few trashcans. So, it would be good to have some kind of discard bag you could put stuff in while you are walking around. Or when you buy market food, ask the vendor to take your discard items from you.
    3. Even though this is a great, modern city, there is no such thing as a drinking fountain. You will need to drink bottled water. We ate literally everything and did have some mild stomach issues on occasion. Nothing debilitating, but should take some medicine with you just in case. By the way, they have plenty of medicine there, too.
    4. Lots of signs in English there, especially for prices for food. It should not be too difficult communicating with regard to that, or with people in general.
    5. Table napkins are the worst I have ever seen anywhere. I've seen skin graft tissue that was thicker. Might want to bring your own small package of wet wipes.
    6. It's probably not a bad idea to have a secure backpack that snaps once you zip it closed. If you are in a busy market, where it in the front. You won't be the only one.
    7. Every restaurant table has white pepper instead of black pepper.
    8. There are almost no beef based dishes in restaurants. But you won't care, anyway.
    9. Bangkok traffic is ridiculous. Make sure you leave early and leave plenty of time for wherever you want to go. If you are on any tours, make sure that you get their advice about arrival times.

    I'll post more photos soon.
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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    thanks, mo!
    yeah my pasty ass will definitely be taking a hat and sunscreen, and thanks for all the other tips. could you ask your BIL and SIL about chiang mai during this time of the year? i was reading somewhere that february to april is when they burn a lot of fields so the air quality can be shitty, but don't know if it's bad enough that it's not worth going, or if i should still go?
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Okay, here are some photos from one of the floating markets - which is also in the Bangkok area. I forget the exact name of this one. People say its really just a tourist phenomenon now, but it's a chance to try a lot of food and look at some stuff to buy without doing a lot of walking:





    People on boats sell stuff to you:


    It was a pet, not a meal:




    One of my nephews. I think he was getting ready to feed the fish, but spotted a spider with a leg span the size of a dinner plate:


    The boat thing is a pretty cool way to see older Bangkok architecture and how people are still living:




    Coconut ice cream - tasted amazing, needless to say:


    The people selling the coconut ice cream:


    Fried quail eggs. I think I ate about 9 of these things:

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    yum. i mean, not gonna lie, food is a big reason i'm excited about this trip.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    The food is amazing - better (and more diverse) than we had in Rome, or Paris, or London. I have tons of pictures of that. But first, allow me to horrify you with photos of edible insects. These three shots are from a stand just outside the entrance to the King's winter palace in Chiang Mai. The closeup shot is our daughter holding a bug right before she ate it in front of everyone on video. If you had asked me who was the LAST person of the 8 people I was with to do this, I would have said, "Our daughter." That kid is such a surprise sometimes.

    I finally found out what "pimp fried" means - it's basically fried giant water bug.




    My beloved progeny with a quick snack:

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    lol i remember the pimp fried photos from either facebook or the thread here, and it's amazing. i've eaten grasshoppers, ant larvae and caterpillars in mexico, and 'big ass ants' as they're called in colombia, so i would try the smaller ones. not sure i can handle the big ones like the one your daughter is holding in that photo, that would freak me out.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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