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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 5th May 2008, 03:25 AM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Starksboro, Vermont
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Default First Post. Never Been. Where to start!?

So. Let's see. Firstly - Hello from Vermont! (Tiny state in New England -USA - Nestled in between New York, New Hampshire, and just below Canada!)
Seems like a great forum here filled with TONS of useful information.

I am roughly plotting out a trip for myself. Having never traveled far from the continental US (besides Canada, and Puerto Rico), I've decided I've really got to explore what's out there.
A co-worker was telling me all about his trip to Thailand four+ years ago - he's full of information, but it's not all up to date - so that's why I'm looking to you all for some tips and advice.

I'm trying to put together a 90 day trip. So far, these are the places I KNOW I want to explore -

Bangkok - (obviously!)
Pattaya
Ko Samet
Ko Lanta
Ko Phi Phi
Phuket
Khao Sok National Park
Ayutthaya
Ratchathani
Kohn Kaen
Phitsanulok
Chiang Mai
Pai
Mae Hong Son

While looking through my "Lonely Planet Thailand" and "Let's go: Thailand on a Budget" books, I know there are literally a hundred more places that I would like to visit.
How long would you recommend when visiting some of the places I've listed?
Does it seem feasible to want to cover so much ground in 90 days? Would I be able to visit even more places?

I'm on a bit of a Budget. Besides the money spent on the airfare - I'm planning on having around $3,000 USD to spend for everything I encounter while in Thailand - Getting around, accommodations (BUDGET ACCOMMODATIONS!), entertainment (drinks, park fees, small treks), Meals, supplies, etc.

Does it seem like I'm on the right track here? or am I waaay off course?

I'm looking to leave somewhere in the beginning of Nov. '08 through the first week or so of Feb. '09.
Any advice of where to start (Bangkok first I suppose), but then in which direction I should head off to next...and thereafter?

So many questions - and this is such a long post - I'm just so Excited. Looking forward to exploring Thailand - learning about the culture and history - taking in the sights, food etc....

I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about - as you remember back to your first trip to Thailand...

Thanks for any advice you have to offer...or any links to suggested previous posts that could be of help.

It's off to bed now for me - but again, THANK YOU ALL!

-James
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I need all the advice and tips you can give me!
Planning a 90 day trip to Thailand.
Looking to leave November '08
Returning Feb 1-5th '09.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 5th May 2008, 07:56 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Perth Australia
Posts: 56
Default Tip for trip

My tip would be to go back to bed and get another dream.
There is no way i would consider try to SURVIVE on holiday on $250 per month for travel between places, accom, and food and drink let alone anything else, especially in high season.
$10 per night accom will set you back $300 per month alone and i sure wouldnt like to try and find somewhere around that price in bangkok among other places.
Ted
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Old 5th May 2008, 08:09 AM
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Location: Perth Western Australia
Posts: 52
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$US33.33 per day for 90 days is $3000, this is pretty tight, I don't think it can be done but others may differ.

The lower your daily standard of living anywhere in Asia the more likely to get sick from food contamination so you shouldn't aim at going too native, if you get sick from food contamination it can be pretty debilitating.

Chang Mai to Phuket is a long way, even Bankok to Phuket is a 12 hour trip by road, so it depends how you plan to travel inside Thailand?

BobMac, an Aussie, lives in Thailand and is regular on this forum should be along any time soon, I'd listen to his advice if I were you.

Last edited by bille1; 5th May 2008 at 08:16 AM.
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Old 5th May 2008, 09:27 AM
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Location: Perth Australia
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I have seen a few people with just enough money to buy a plate of rice and they didnt look happy!My good friend who lives in Pattaya lives on $1100AU a month but he has been living in Thailand for over 10 years and knows how to budget,I also have two other friends who live there on the same amount!

I know how much they live on because they are on a disability support pension of $550AU per fortnight.

They live in Thailand "partly" because they cant live in Australia well enough on the small amount they get but the last couple of times I have visited them they were not living as well as they used to and have to keep moving further out of town to get cheap enough accommodation in high season.

For travelling you will need a lot more money or you will be on the "ponce "with people you meet and most travellers are on a budget themselves. So I would say go for less time or save a bit more money.

Thailand is cheap but not that cheap!

Den
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Old 5th May 2008, 11:51 AM
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Posts: 242
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James

Fishy
You may have to explain the expression 'on the ponce' to our new American forumite... it's not everyone who knows what it means.
And don't say 'on the bot' either

Cheers Geri
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Old 5th May 2008, 12:15 PM
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Posts: 52
Default don't give up hope.

one step at a time.
look up the orchid hisbiscus, rooms about 800 a night with breakfast; we stayed here in 2004 (so long ago!) and loved it, recent reports on trip advisor are still very good. sukhothai is wonderful; we are too out of shape, and in our fifties, so didn't want to cycle, the usual mode of transport around sukhothai, but there are bikes at the orchid for you to use- you pay a rental to a nearby shop, about 20 a day or so. there is another, even cheaper guesthouse across the street from the historical park, a girl we met on the plane to suk. stayed there and had a great time. it had a long name starting with a V.

We had Paolo, the owner, arrange a tuk tuk to take us around the site which was much better for us, and cost very little (?300 or so).

general advice- get out of bangkok asap, it eats up money. also phuket is pricier than samui, and koa lak much cheaper again, and much more unspoilt, as is krabi. I'm not sure we would ever willingly return to phuket, but are tempted again by samui. we prefer the north, chiang mai in particular. also enjoyed mae hong son and pai. Look up elephant camp, lampang for a different experience. we stayed for a 3 day 'course' and it was fabulous. Prices have risen there, but are still cheap for an all inclusive 3 day adventure. Khao sok - we used elephant hills camp programme but it is expensive for what you get and somewhat tame- lampang more satisfying.

I am from rhode island but have settled in wales; thailand is a little closer to us than to you- only 12 hours and one flight.
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Old 5th May 2008, 12:27 PM
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Well, that's that then! - I have more money that I can contribute to the trip - I was just hoping that the budget that I had set would work out! From what I have read elsewhere, 30-40$ USD a day was do'able...
After the replies this post received, apparently it's not!
Would a total of 5-6kUSD be more of an accurate idea of how much I will need?
I could always cut the trip down to 60 days rather then the 90 I was hoping for. Besides - I don't need to try and fit EVERYTHING into this trip...I'm about 150% sure that I will want to visit more than once.

Maybe it would just be better if I chose three or four major areas that I wish to visit and not try and do Everything....

What areas would you suggest to a first timer NEEDS to visit?

Thanks!
__________________
I need all the advice and tips you can give me!
Planning a 90 day trip to Thailand.
Looking to leave November '08
Returning Feb 1-5th '09.
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Old 5th May 2008, 12:49 PM
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You can live very cheap in Thailand but you need to know the ropes, where to go, where to eat, where to shop, and some lingo. I can also get by on $AUD1K a month, in fact I can get by pretty good on that figure but no way in the world could a tourist do it. Staying in hotels would eat up that much alone, even cheapo joints. I've seen budget travelers order a plate of plain white rice only, then use the free condiments to spice it up. Not much of a holiday if you're eating like that and sleeping in a flea-pit.
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Old 5th May 2008, 01:07 PM
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Location: Esarn
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However, let's be constructive: 1000THB a day. It could be done, admittedly it would be rough living and not much fun but it could be done. In Pattaya for example I have seen fan rooms for as little as 250Bt a night, so I suspect you could find similar rooms all over Thailand. So say up to 350-400Bt for a room, (you could also spend the odd night sleeping for free in temples like rural Thais do when they're on the move) that leaves 600-650Bt. A bowl of noodles costs around 30Bt, a plate of rice + gaeng about the same, you can buy fruit from the vendors for 10-20Bt a bag, so I reckon you could eat OK for up to 200bt a day. That leaves around 400-450Bt, you can buy 3 bottles Chang Beer for 100-120Bt, so you can get wiped out every night. That leaves about 300Bt. You can treat yourself to a Thai massage for 150-200Bt, and still have 100Bt for the local bus fare to the next town.
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Old 5th May 2008, 01:51 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Starksboro, Vermont
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Default tried quick reply but it didn't work!

Thank you; everyone for your responses!
I was a little weary about the budget I had set - being new and all I wasn't sure if that low was actually a good idea! Judging by the replies, it's not!
I have more money that I can contribute to the trip, was just hoping that I could do the bare minimum.
If I was to have 5-6kUSD rather then the original 3K I had originally mentioned - would that sound like a more do'able situation?

I also don't have to try and cram a lot of sights into my trip. What places would you suggest a new traveller to Thailand should put on their agenda?

I'm certainly not a seasoned traveller, so I could always cut the trip back to just two months and plan to only spend time in a few places...rather then try to jump all over and see it all. I'm about 150% sure that I will want to return, so this will more than likely be the first trip of many.

Thanks again!
__________________
I need all the advice and tips you can give me!
Planning a 90 day trip to Thailand.
Looking to leave November '08
Returning Feb 1-5th '09.
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