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Thread: Thailand holiday (advice needed)

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    Elite Member CRAZY 'N' NUTS's Avatar
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    Default Thailand holiday (advice needed)

    My two girlfriends made an impulse decision to go to Thailand for a cheap holiday. We already made a deposit and we are set to fly out at the end of the year. I am actually excited but concerned at the same time. We are going to Phuket, Phi Phi Island and Bangkok. Ive heard its extremely beautiful but at the same time people told me Thailand can be very rough and the locals can be very mean, especially when you're a tourist. I heard Bangkok smells and is very dirty, apparently the water is contaminated because bottled water is used for brushing your teeth.

    If anyone has been to Thailand and has any advice or suggestions for us, it would be greatly appreciated. We've already asked travel agents but somehow I dont fully trust people who are trying to sell you things based on their commission

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    Elite Member Born In A Brothel's Avatar
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    I haven't been, but a friend went and had a great time. From the pictures, the thing that freaked me out was the size of spiders.

    Sometimes I check out Fodor's before traveling, to see what the latest is or recommendations.

    Fodor's Travel Guides | Plan Your Trip Online

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    A*O
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    Thailand is a third world country. Welcome to the reality of 'smells' and the fact that tap water isn't safe for 'western' stomachs. It's also utterly beautiful, the people are lovely so long as you don't act like an asshole tourist and respect their local customs and behaviours, the food is sensational if you are prepared to try it and not whine about the lack of McDonalds and the culture/history is fascinating.

    Bangkok is a big Asian city. Open your heart and mind and enjoy the new experiences. Phuket is much more tourist'y with lots of big resorts and a lot more westernised if that's your comfort zone. That whole area was devastated by the tsunami a couple of years ago and is only just getting back on its feet financially from the returning tourists now that everything has been rebuilt and brand new so your visit is important to the local economy.

    The whole atmosphere is relaxed, chilled and serene. It's not a high octane party holiday (although there are clubs you can dance till dawn in) but you will still have a ball I promise.
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    Elite Member CRAZY 'N' NUTS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Born In A Brothel View Post
    I haven't been, but a friend went and had a great time. From the pictures, the thing that freaked me out was the size of spiders.

    Sometimes I check out Fodor's before traveling, to see what the latest is or recommendations.

    Fodor's Travel Guides | Plan Your Trip Online
    Thanks gorgeous, why do i luv you so?

    PS. Oh Did I mention I hated spiders?

    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    Thailand is a third world country. Welcome to the reality of 'smells' and the fact that tap water isn't safe for 'western' stomachs. It's also utterly beautiful, the people are lovely so long as you don't act like an asshole tourist and respect their local customs and behaviours, the food is sensational if you are prepared to try it and not whine about the lack of McDonalds and the culture/history is fascinating.

    Bangkok is a big Asian city. Open your heart and mind and enjoy the new experiences. Phuket is much more tourist'y with lots of big resorts and a lot more westernised if that's your comfort zone. That whole area was devastated by the tsunami a couple of years ago and is only just getting back on its feet financially from the returning tourists now that everything has been rebuilt and brand new so your visit is important to the local economy.

    The whole atmosphere is relaxed, chilled and serene. It's not a high octane party holiday (although there are clubs you can dance till dawn in) but you will still have a ball I promise.
    Thanks for replying A*O. Just to make it clear I was not insulting the Thai culture at all. One of my bestfriend is Thai and she herself has insisted that we should be cautious when travelling to Thailand, same advice was given by other people who have been there. I just wanted to see how people's experinces were and perhaps get some good advice. Like they say it's better being safe then sorry. Especially when we are 3 young hot gals (okay i joking with the last part )

    We are learning how to speak Thai, so we dont look like ignorant freaks.

    Im sure we'll have a blast

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    A*O
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    I wasn't implying you were being rude or disrespectful at all - merely warning you that some things we take for granted like safe tap water and personal security can't be taken for granted everywhere. I know too many people who travel to these exotic places and get gastro or mugged on day one because they don't take sensible precautions. Not saying you should be paranoid either but Asian culture is very different to 'western' culture so be prepared. You will love Thailand!!
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    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
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    Oooh, husband always wanted to visit but we haven't yet. I am the stick in the mud who is hesitant and scared to be outside my own comfort zone. It's just the unexpected things that bother me, if I know what to look out for, like the water thing and mugging, I can just be prepared.

    I'm ashamed to admit I'm such a sissy but things like smells and general public street cleanliness would really bother me, so I would probably insist on resort type accomodations. And the toilets. Don't they use those hole-in-the-ground squat toilets in Thailand? That I don't think I would want to deal with. God that makes me sound so uppity, I hate that...but it's true.

    I think I would want to go for the food, not only to eat but to learn how to cook some meals, as every Thai dish I've tried has been fabulous. I think a cooking class would be fun. And everything is supposed to be really cheap by western standards.

    Hope you go, have lots of fun and love it, C'NN. You can tell us all about it when you come back!

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    Elite Member effie2's Avatar
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    If you travel with a group of people,organized tourism,you see a completely different side of a country than visiting on your own.
    So,i suggest you talk about it with people who have visited like you re planning to do.Have fun ,girl
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    Elite Member CRAZY 'N' NUTS's Avatar
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    Thanks Beeyotch (your more of a princess than I am LOL) and Effie. I will be taking heaps of pics, so if I get over my 'retardness' after the holidays, I will post some pics and give you the juicy goss.

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    A*O
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    If you go out clubbing etc look for the trannys aka ladyboys. Those Thai guys/chicks are AMAZING and they've fooled a lot of men who thought they were getting the real deal. Serves them right.
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    Elite Member CRAZY 'N' NUTS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    If you go out clubbing etc look for the trannys aka ladyboys. Those Thai guys/chicks are AMAZING and they've fooled a lot of men who thought they were getting the real deal. Serves them right.
    LOL. Actually when I was at the Gold Coast we dined in a Thai resturaunt with the Ladyboys performing. They were gorgeous, I was blown away. They look like models, I would never guessed they were trannys if I walked passed them on a street.

    A*O what did you pack when you went? I want to pack lightly because I know im gonna splurge like crazy when I get there, we're only allowed 20 kilos. So I just want to bring the important things I need that I cant get over there.

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    Elite Member Gen X EJC's Avatar
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    My friend was in Thailand for a couple months I think, she had a great time. She did say there were lots of cockroaches, even in the low end priced hotels (not just cheapies and hostels). She didn't say anything about spiders, though.

    I would say go to your local library to see if they have a Lonely Planet guide for Thailand and read up a bit, or just buy a travel guide. They generally do have all of the questions you might want answered and give warnings about things you need to know about to be careful. There's another guide besides LP that's good for young people but I can't remember the name. I bought one for a three day trip to Prague and it made a quick trip into a memorable, wonderful experience!
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    Lonely Planet guidebooks are good. Also the Rough Guide series.

    As for clothing - it's going to hot and HUMID so all you need is cotton everything: teeshirts, shorts (not TOO short), comfortable shoes and maybe a couple of cotton skirts and blouses. I'd also take a pair of long, lightweight trousers (pants) and maybe a large scarf or pashmina to cover up if necessary when you visit temples, shopping, etc. When visiting these countries it's alway better (and more respectful) to err on the side of caution when going out and about. If you walk around with too much bare skin the locals won't appreciate it. It's fine in the hotel precincts or on the beach, but everywhere else just tone it down a bit.

    The other thing to remember is that, unfortunately, Thailand is a centre for sex tourism so you will see a lot of western men out on the prowl. They probably aren't interested in western girls (they can't get one, that's why they go to Thailand) but be careful in the really busy downtown areas, especially around the bars and clubs at night. Practically ANYTHING goes in these places and although the authorities are trying to clean up, it's not working so you will see a lot of hookers, junkies and other lowlife plus a wide selection of sleazoids looking for a cheap lay. I'm not trying to scare you off, just find out which are the 'red light' districts and stay away, especially at night.

    And one more thing, if you are caught with ANY kind of illegal drugs on you going in or coming out you will be thrown in jail and shot. When the signs at the airport warn you about this they aren't kidding and your US/UK/Aussie/Whatever passport won't save your ass. Also be alert to anyone who asks you to deliver a package for them, perhaps even for a generous fee - don't even think about it.

    Ha Ha - I've probably scared you off for life!! It's really not that bad, honest, but it's not like visiting Florida. You are probably stepping outside your comfort zone - the whole point of travel IMO - but with a little forward planning and knowledge about the culture and customs of Thailand you will have an amazing holiday, I promise.
    Last edited by A*O; August 4th, 2007 at 12:55 AM.
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    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    Frankly, I felt a lot safer in Thailand and most Third World countries than I do in the average American big city where mugging is a lot more common. I found the food to be very high quality, and some of the best food is in the markets and from street vendors. It's cooked right in front of you so no surprises. I don't drink the water at home, much less in a Third World country so that never bothered me. Phuket will be crawling with "fat and uglies" (tourists who you want to avoid, and all that they attract). I think the best part of Thailand is in the north around Chiang Mai. It's somewhat touristy but nothing compared to the south and it's a lot more cultural and interesting. Bangkok is a huge, noisy, busy city but it also has lots to recommend it. Shopping is great and there are lots of cool things to do and visit. Plus, you will meet people from all over there. It's the kind of place you don't want to spend more than 48 hours in, but it can be a blast.

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    A*O
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    Good points PB. Another place to consider is Hua Hin on the coast. It's not quite as brash and touristy as Phuket. The Thais are the most kind, gentle, polite, serene people and the whole atmos reflects that. And yes, the food is probably the BEST Asian cuisine of them all. Lots of lemongrass and other subtle flavours that won't knock your socks off.

    Claim to Fame: MrAO met the King of Thailand last year who presented him with a trophy at a sailing regatta. The ceremony took about 5 minutes. Prepping the recipients with all the protocols and court rules in order to meet His Majesty took all day! Oh oh, that's another thing. The Thais regard their King with the utmost respect and deference. Anyone who makes any kind of derogatory remark, real or imagined with be arrested. By some miracle MrAO didn't stuff up and stayed out of jail LOL.
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    Elite Member CRAZY 'N' NUTS's Avatar
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    Thanks or the warning A*O, ive seen what happened to the Bali 9, that guy in Singapore and Corby. Im amazed at how stupid our fellow Australians can be. Ive never touched drugs in my life and im super paranoid when travelling.

    Thanks PB (lol at the fat and ugly tourists) and Gen X for your insight (did I mention I hated cockroaches? you and BIAB are scheming to scare me out of this holiday you evil gals!). I was actually planning to buy the lonely planet book. Ive heard lots of great things about it, so it'll be the next item to buy on my shopping list.

    I cannot wait to go to the tiger temple, elephant riding and snorkling. Im going to visit the gold temple as well, thanks for the fashion tips A*O. I will try not to dress like Britney Spears LOL

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