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  • FIRST POST
    • holidaysforme
    • By holidaysforme 13th May 18, 2:02 PM
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    holidaysforme
    0 WOW
    Thailand July 2019
    • #1
    • 13th May 18, 2:02 PM
    0 WOW
    Thailand July 2019 13th May 18 at 2:02 PM
    This will be our first trip. Me, oh and adult daughter. We're planning on going end of June beginning of July for two weeks.

    Was thinking, three days in Bangkok, three days in Chiang Mai, and then a beach resort to chill for a week.
    Is this a good combination of city and beach?

    Also when would be the best time to book flights and how much should we expect to pay.any advice on which are the best Airlines also?

    Thanks
Page 1
    • deejaybee
    • By deejaybee 13th May 18, 3:15 PM
    • 400 Posts
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    deejaybee
    • #2
    • 13th May 18, 3:15 PM
    • #2
    • 13th May 18, 3:15 PM
    Myself OH and teenage daughter went to Thailand for first time in August 2016.

    Flew into Bangkok, then internal flight to Khon Kaen (up north)
    Its not a tourist location, but my son and his gf were living and working there, had 4 nights there, and it was different being in a place not aimed at tourists.

    Then another internal flight back to Bangkok, and same day flew to Koh Samui for the beach part of our holiday, stayed at Centara Villas down south, luckily got upgraded to their best Villa, although the one we had for first night was plenty good enough.
    Had 8 nights there and really enjoyed it.

    Flew back to Bangkok and stayed 2 nights there at Centrepoint Hotel which was recommended to me on this site, and was handy for skytrain and river . Son came and met us there as well.

    Loved Thailand and would go back tomorrow.

    Our flights were pretty cheap, think it was around 360 each from Edinburgh with a short stop over ( 1 hr or so ) in Abu Dhabi.
    But we travelled up from Devon, which was ok going up, but we regretted that on way home, next time would use a nearer airport and sod the cost.

    Internal flights in Thailand were cheap to KK ( 25 each, 1 way ) but expensive to Koh Samui ( 150 each return ) asi think the airline has a monopoly. And those prices were based pre-brexit vote approx 50 THB to 1, as i booked them a while in advance.

    Think its best to stay at least one night in Bangkok prior to your homeward flight.
    • holidaysforme
    • By holidaysforme 13th May 18, 3:58 PM
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    holidaysforme
    • #3
    • 13th May 18, 3:58 PM
    • #3
    • 13th May 18, 3:58 PM
    Myself OH and teenage daughter went to Thailand for first time in August 2016.

    Flew into Bangkok, then internal flight to Khon Kaen (up north)
    Its not a tourist location, but my son and his gf were living and working there, had 4 nights there, and it was different being in a place not aimed at tourists.

    Then another internal flight back to Bangkok, and same day flew to Koh Samui for the beach part of our holiday, stayed at Centara Villas down south, luckily got upgraded to their best Villa, although the one we had for first night was plenty good enough.
    Had 8 nights there and really enjoyed it.

    Flew back to Bangkok and stayed 2 nights there at Centrepoint Hotel which was recommended to me on this site, and was handy for skytrain and river . Son came and met us there as well.

    Loved Thailand and would go back tomorrow.

    Our flights were pretty cheap, think it was around 360 each from Edinburgh with a short stop over ( 1 hr or so ) in Abu Dhabi.
    But we travelled up from Devon, which was ok going up, but we regretted that on way home, next time would use a nearer airport and sod the cost.

    Internal flights in Thailand were cheap to KK ( 25 each, 1 way ) but expensive to Koh Samui ( 150 each return ) asi think the airline has a monopoly. And those prices were based pre-brexit vote approx 50 THB to 1, as i booked them a while in advance.

    Think its best to stay at least one night in Bangkok prior to your homeward flight.
    Originally posted by deejaybee
    Thank you. That' s really useful. Who did you book flights with please? And when did you book. We would be going just after a level exams finish in late June/ July 2019.
    I was wondering should we book as soon as the airlines release their flights, or if there are sales later on in the year..

    We are looking at Koh saumi for the beach part of the holiday, but yes internal flights are expensive, unlike say Phuket which is much cheaper, but much more risky weather wise because it's rainy season.
    Did you find Thailand inexpensive in general for a holiday?
    • PompeyPete
    • By PompeyPete 13th May 18, 4:00 PM
    • 5,227 Posts
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    PompeyPete
    • #4
    • 13th May 18, 4:00 PM
    • #4
    • 13th May 18, 4:00 PM
    Myself OH and teenage daughter went to Thailand for first time in August 2016.

    Flew into Bangkok, then internal flight to Khon Kaen (up north)
    Its not a tourist location, but my son and his gf were living and working there, had 4 nights there, and it was different being in a place not aimed at tourists.

    Then another internal flight back to Bangkok, and same day flew to Koh Samui for the beach part of our holiday, stayed at Centara Villas down south, luckily got upgraded to their best Villa, although the one we had for first night was plenty good enough.
    Had 8 nights there and really enjoyed it.

    Flew back to Bangkok and stayed 2 nights there at Centrepoint Hotel which was recommended to me on this site, and was handy for skytrain and river . Son came and met us there as well.

    Loved Thailand and would go back tomorrow.

    Our flights were pretty cheap, think it was around 360 each from Edinburgh with a short stop over ( 1 hr or so ) in Abu Dhabi.
    But we travelled up from Devon, which was ok going up, but we regretted that on way home, next time would use a nearer airport and sod the cost.

    Internal flights in Thailand were cheap to KK ( 25 each, 1 way ) but expensive to Koh Samui ( 150 each return ) asi think the airline has a monopoly. And those prices were based pre-brexit vote approx 50 THB to 1, as i booked them a while in advance.

    Think its best to stay at least one night in Bangkok prior to your homeward flight.
    Originally posted by deejaybee
    It's absolute sound sense never to risk an internal domestic flight on the same day as your exit international flight.

    If you are considering the Andaman Sea coast [Phuket area or Khao Lak] for your beach time in July then it could be a bit rough and stormy.

    Chiang Mai is alright, but lots of traffic similar to Bangkok without the skytrain/underground/Chao Phraya River ferries. Much of what there is to see is out of town, so have a plan in place.

    Also have a look at Kanchanaburi/Bridge over the River Kwai/Hellfire Pass. easy to self-guide. Here's an excellent link...

    https://www.seat61.com/Bridge-on-the-River-Kwai.htm

    Choose an airline that has several flights per day from LGW, Manchester or Birmingham, eg. Qatar Air via Doha, Emirates via Dubai, or Etihad via Abu Dhabi. Personally I don't like Etihad much as there ground staff at Abu Dhabi aren't that helpful. For direct flights look at Eva or Thai Air. There are other carriers, but I think the ones I've mentioned will give you enough scope on times and prices. Use Skyscanner to compare, but book direct with the airline for a better customer service.

    Also with flights cost in whether you need to have a UK Airport overnight hotel at the end of the trip
    • holidaysforme
    • By holidaysforme 13th May 18, 4:35 PM
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    holidaysforme
    • #5
    • 13th May 18, 4:35 PM
    • #5
    • 13th May 18, 4:35 PM
    It's absolute sound sense never to risk an internal domestic flight on the same day as your exit international flight.

    If you are considering the Andaman Sea coast [Phuket area or Khao Lak] for your beach time in July then it could be a bit rough and stormy.

    Chiang Mai is alright, but lots of traffic similar to Bangkok without the skytrain/underground/Chao Phraya River ferries. Much of what there is to see is out of town, so have a plan in place.

    Also have a look at Kanchanaburi/Bridge over the River Kwai/Hellfire Pass. easy to self-guide. Here's an excellent link...

    https://www.seat61.com/Bridge-on-the-River-Kwai.htm

    Choose an airline that has several flights per day from LGW, Manchester or Birmingham, eg. Qatar Air via Doha, Emirates via Dubai, or Etihad via Abu Dhabi. Personally I don't like Etihad much as there ground staff at Abu Dhabi aren't that helpful. For direct flights look at Eva or Thai Air. There are other carriers, but I think the ones I've mentioned will give you enough scope on times and prices. Use Skyscanner to compare, but book direct with the airline for a better customer service.

    Also with flights cost in whether you need to have a UK Airport overnight hotel at the end of the trip
    Originally posted by PompeyPete
    Thanks for all the tips. Think Phuket is too risky for the beach in July, so I think we need to head somewhere like Koh Samui. I like the look of Thai airways and Quatar airways. Would be flying from London and staying overnight in hotel before our flight. We always do this. Same for coming back.

    Just been looking at prices for accomadation in Bangkok and Samui. Think it' s going to cost a lot less than we usually pay for Europe, and North America! Just glanced at Vietnam as well,- which looks fantastic, but I think for our first trip to the Far East Thailand might be easier.
    • Doshwaster
    • By Doshwaster 13th May 18, 9:26 PM
    • 4,828 Posts
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    Doshwaster
    • #6
    • 13th May 18, 9:26 PM
    • #6
    • 13th May 18, 9:26 PM
    Yes, if it's your first trip to SE Asia then Thailand is easier than Vietnam as there is more tourist infrastructure in place.

    The beauty of Thailand (and Vietnam) is that you can spend as much or as little as you want. Try to resist the urge to spend extra on luxury hotels resorts when some of the best places I've stopped have been simple guest houses.

    The secret to having a good trip to the region is not to try to do too much in a limited amount of time as nothing ever goes to plan. It's better to want to go back to do things you have missed than to knacker yourself out trying to do everything and not enjoy the experience. I have been to Bangkok about 8 times and there are still lots of things I haven't done.
    • holidaysforme
    • By holidaysforme 14th May 18, 10:23 AM
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    holidaysforme
    • #7
    • 14th May 18, 10:23 AM
    • #7
    • 14th May 18, 10:23 AM
    Yes, if it's your first trip to SE Asia then Thailand is easier than Vietnam as there is more tourist infrastructure in place.

    The beauty of Thailand (and Vietnam) is that you can spend as much or as little as you want. Try to resist the urge to spend extra on luxury hotels resorts when some of the best places I've stopped have been simple guest houses.

    The secret to having a good trip to the region is not to try to do too much in a limited amount of time as nothing ever goes to plan. It's better to want to go back to do things you have missed than to knacker yourself out trying to do everything and not enjoy the experience. I have been to Bangkok about 8 times and there are still lots of things I haven't done.
    Originally posted by Doshwaster
    Thanks. Any ideas for a beach resort in July? Also, would you think 1200 for hotels/villa is about right for two weeks, or would we need more. There's three adults, so would need two rooms in hotels, and a two bed apartment / villa for the beach week. Don't want anywhere fancy, as long as it has a pool and is central.
    • Doshwaster
    • By Doshwaster 14th May 18, 3:21 PM
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    Doshwaster
    • #8
    • 14th May 18, 3:21 PM
    • #8
    • 14th May 18, 3:21 PM
    Thanks. Any ideas for a beach resort in July? Also, would you think 1200 for hotels/villa is about right for two weeks, or would we need more. There's three adults, so would need two rooms in hotels, and a two bed apartment / villa for the beach week. Don't want anywhere fancy, as long as it has a pool and is central.
    Originally posted by holidaysforme
    Have a look at this for weather info: https://www.travelfish.org/weather/thailand/july

    No matter when and where you go in Thailand there will be some rain - that's what you get from having a tropical climate. If you want 2 weeks of almost guaranteed sunshine then look elsewhere. However, often the time the rain will just be limited to a very heavy downpour late in the afternoon. You just need to be prepared for it when it happens - my "coping strategy" involves running into the nearest bar for a cold beer until it stops.

    1200 should be more than enough for rooms/apartments. Bangkok is one of the best cities in the world for the range, quality and value of accommodation available.

    Take a look at http://www.thailand-guide.com/ for hotel and destination info.
    • koalakoala
    • By koalakoala 14th May 18, 9:59 PM
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    koalakoala
    • #9
    • 14th May 18, 9:59 PM
    • #9
    • 14th May 18, 9:59 PM
    I must be very lucky. I've been in Thailand many times, all over and never seen rain!
    • PompeyPete
    • By PompeyPete 15th May 18, 6:46 AM
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    PompeyPete
    So far as weather is concerned, all you can do is do your homework thoroughly. The rest is in the hands of nature.

    Like Dosh mentions, if it does rain when it really ought not to, then it'll probably be just a short downpour. Enjoy it, find a cheap bar or restaurant with a corrugated roof covered open terrace, and be impressed by the sounds and smells, and if you are in an area of greenery look how green the greens become and the number of different shades of green. If the rain is prolonged just watch how the locals cope with it.....no such thing as 'Rain stops play' in SE Asia.

    There's plenty of old threads about all manner of things relating to Thailand and much of SE Asia.

    Personally, for the way we travel we are becoming priced out of Thailand. Vietnam is much cheaper, and with a bit of homework [which is important anyway] just as easy to travel around using short inexpensive flights with Vietjet or Vietnam Airlines.
    Last edited by PompeyPete; 15-05-2018 at 6:55 AM.
    • St_95
    • By St_95 19th May 18, 12:38 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    St_95
    This will be our first trip. Me, oh and adult daughter. We're planning on going end of June beginning of July for two weeks.

    Was thinking, three days in Bangkok, three days in Chiang Mai, and then a beach resort to chill for a week.
    Is this a good combination of city and beach?

    Also when would be the best time to book flights and how much should we expect to pay.any advice on which are the best Airlines also?

    Thanks
    Originally posted by holidaysforme
    Me and the OH travelled to Thailand for the same duration last July/August. We flew from Manchester to Bangkok, return.

    We spent the first night in Bangkok, four nights in Chian Mai (beautiful place), two nights in Krabi and two nights in both Koh Samui & Koh Phangan. Finally, we spent another night in Bangkok on the way home.

    It was the perfect combination of city (Bangkok & Chiang Mai) and beach (the rest).

    We flew between Bangkok & Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai & Krabi and finally Surat Thani (close to Koh Phangan) & Bangkok. The flights were very cheap, we booked around December for the following July. In terms of airlines, we flew Thai Airways, Lion Air & Thai AirAsia; all were excellent and cost no more than 20 GBP each including baggage etc.

    Between the islands we used ferries and coach travel. Again, very cheap and convenient. You can either book this at resort or on a website such as "Ferry Samui . com" (i can't post links as a new user).

    Hope this helps, any questions just ask!

    And finally, you will leave Thailand with a new favourite holiday destination! To put it simply... It is a beautiful Country!
    • DUKE
    • By DUKE 19th May 18, 3:24 PM
    • 7,071 Posts
    • 304,212 Thanks
    DUKE
    We did 3 nights in Bangkok, 3 Chiang Mai, & 7 at a beach resort in Hua Hin. I booked with Travelbag, it included flights, transfers, & hotels with breakfast. It was my first multi-trip & it was brilliant. I'd go back there tomorrow too! The highlight was watching the elephants painting. We only spent about 500, & had everything that we wanted, no scrimping & scraping. That was in June 2014.
    Thanks everyone!
    • PompeyPete
    • By PompeyPete 19th May 18, 9:48 PM
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    PompeyPete
    Duke.....elephants can't paint.
    • dacouch
    • By dacouch 19th May 18, 11:01 PM
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    dacouch
    I fly Eva or Thai when I travel to Thailand, they are both very good but my preference is Eva. The upgrade to Premium Economy is worth the extra 200 (If you book at the right time).

    A direct flight with either of the above is circa 550, the premium economy drops to about 780 but increases to about 1000 nearer the date

    Personally I like the evening flight out of Heathrow (They both fly at basically the same time. It means I can get a days work in, get to the airport and then sleep on the flight, you arrive at about 3.30pm local time.

    Taxis are very cheap in Bangkok, a taxi from the airport is about 11 (Always use metered taxis). I have started getting the sky train from their airport, the the trains are modern and air conditioned and it cost about 90p. I like the train as it takes about the same time as a taxi (Traffic in BKK is very busy) but the train line runs above the skyline of the city so you get to take the views of the city as it turns from the surbubs into central BKK and it starts to give you a taste of the (Amazing) mayhem that is Bangkok.

    You get a much better exchange rate over in Bangkok than you do in the UK (You get about 3% to 6% more than you would in the UK). You will also get a slightly better rate if you use 50 notes. They do not like changing old or damaged (Notes with biro writing on them).

    One of the best exchange rates is at Super Rich which is situated in BKK airport on the same level as the Train station at the airport.

    If you look at skyscanner or momonda you will find a good deal for flights. There are often cheaper deals with wholesalers than booking direct. I always use the wholesalers but reviews and do some research before booking. The ones I use have a few bad reviews but I have had no problems.

    There are many airports in Thailand and they are all cheap to fly to apart from Samui, virtually all internal flights involve a BKK takeoff / landing.

    You can get to Samui via a flight to Surat Thani airport (About 30 each way) and then the ferry companies (Seatrain or Lomprayh) have a coach pick up from the airport that takes you to the port (About 1 hour) and then the ferry takes about 30 minutes 32 return.

    The flight / (Waiting for coach) and ferry would take about 4 or 5 hours all in.

    They offer a cheap taxi if you book the taxi from the ferry port to your hotel in Samui at about 5 each.

    I tend to go to Koh Phangan rather than Samui (It is an Island next Samui) the ferry goes there straight after stopping at Samui. Phangan is less touristy and is a more spiritual place.

    Thailand are quite protectionist about Thailand products and have big import duties on most things imported. Toiletries / Sun Tan Creams and imported brand foods etc tend to be expensive in Thailand. Everything else is very cheap.

    I recommend you try a Thai BBQ, they are not the same as what we regard as a BBQ. They have a sort of fondue in the middle of your table and it is eat as much as you like. You cook the food yourself, it is much better than it sounds and is very popular with the locals.

    Accomadation is very cheap in Thailand, I tend to stay in 4 or 5 star hotels in Bangkok, if you shop around you can get exceptionally good hotels for 70 a night. A comparable hotel in London would cost you 400, treat yourself to a nice hotel, you will enjoy it.

    Try a Tuk Tuk when you're in BKK, the drivers can be a tad scary and keep your belongings safe but they are well worth a try.

    I tend to eat street food when in Thailand and avoid tourist restaurants but some people will not like the idea of their street food stalls.

    Be aware the food the locals eat is very spicy, the touristy restaurants and also some of the street foods vendors will tone the spiceness down for you.

    The Thais are amazing people, very friendly but at the same time slightly reserved and they're always smiling.

    I recommend trying Coconut Shakes, Water Melon Shakes, iced tea and iced coffee.

    If you see Papaya Salad on a menu try it but ask for less spicy, it is a local favourite. I also like sticky rice and mango.

    When shopping in a market for touristy items, if the item is over about 25 they will often quote you a higher price to start with. If you want to buy the item tell them you think that is too expensive and start tom walk away, they will generally call you back and offer a lower price, they will often drop this further.

    The name Thais call Europeans is "Farangs" it is in no way derogatory, you will hear the word a lot.

    Booking hotels is easy, I use Booking.Com or Hotel.com or Agoda note Agoda tends to be cheaper but often do not include the local taxes until the end but I still tend to find them cheaper. You often find the deals are cheaper with all of them if you download their apps and book through these.

    Every restaurant and most shops have free wi fi, the internet is very good in Thailand, it is often worth buying a tourist sim card with data loaded on and using this in your phone
    • eDicky
    • By eDicky 20th May 18, 1:05 AM
    • 3,396 Posts
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    eDicky
    (Seatrain or Lomprayh)
    Originally posted by dacouch
    Lomprayah - https://www.lomprayah.com/

    I agree about Koh Phangan, go straight there and forget about highly overpriced Samui.
    • PompeyPete
    • By PompeyPete 20th May 18, 7:24 AM
    • 5,227 Posts
    • 7,153 Thanks
    PompeyPete
    Taxis are very cheap in Bangkok, a taxi from the airport is about 11 (Always use metered taxis). I have started getting the sky train from their airport, the the trains are modern and air conditioned and it cost about 90p. I like the train as it takes about the same time as a taxi (Traffic in BKK is very busy) but the train line runs above the skyline of the city so you get to take the views of the city as it turns from the surbubs into central BKK and it starts to give you a taste of the (Amazing) mayhem that is Bangkok.
    Originally posted by dacouch
    If you have bulky luggage [not recommended anyway], or are unfamiliar with the Air-Rail Link, or don't know exactly where your accommodation is, or travelling during peak times.....then use a metered taxi, which will get you to where you want to go in a sane frame of mind [unless you are afraid of kamikaze taxi drivers].

    You get a much better exchange rate over in Bangkok than you do in the UK (You get about 3% to 6% more than you would in the UK). You will also get a slightly better rate if you use 50 notes. They do not like changing old or damaged (Notes with biro writing on them).

    One of the best exchange rates is at Super Rich which is situated in BKK airport on the same level as the Train station at the airport.
    Originally posted by dacouch
    I agree about Super Rich on the Air-Rail Link basement concourse, and that notes must be in good clean condition. There are loads of exchange kiosks in the Arrivals Hall, just ignore them all.

    If you look at skyscanner or momonda you will find a good deal for flights. There are often cheaper deals with wholesalers than booking direct. I always use the wholesalers but reviews and do some research before booking. The ones I use have a few bad reviews but I have had no problems.
    Originally posted by dacouch
    I tend to only use Skyscanner for comparison purposes, and book direct with the Airline. It rarely costs more to book direct, and you have also made a direct link with the Airline in case you have any questions or problems. Many airlines these days allow you to select your seats during the online booking process, but you're unlikely to get that service with a 3rd Party. Ditto with any changes in flight times, the earlier you book the more likely that times will change, and if you've booked direct with the Airline it'll always send you an e-mail with the updated times.

    I tend to go to Koh Phangan rather than Samui (It is an Island next Samui) the ferry goes there straight after stopping at Samui. Phangan is less touristy and is a more spiritual place.
    Originally posted by dacouch
    I've never been to any of the outlying islands, but have read plenty of horror stories about Koh Phangan being completely over-run with tourists these days, which sort of dilutes the spiritual side of a visit.

    Thailand are quite protectionist about Thailand products and have big import duties on most things imported. Toiletries / Sun Tan Creams and imported brand foods etc tend to be expensive in Thailand. Everything else is very cheap.
    Originally posted by dacouch
    Booze is quite expensive these days.....cheaper to drink in 'Spoons.
    • PompeyPete
    • By PompeyPete 20th May 18, 7:42 AM
    • 5,227 Posts
    • 7,153 Thanks
    PompeyPete
    Accomadation is very cheap in Thailand, I tend to stay in 4 or 5 star hotels in Bangkok, if you shop around you can get exceptionally good hotels for 70 a night. A comparable hotel in London would cost you 400, treat yourself to a nice hotel, you will enjoy it.
    Originally posted by dacouch
    Try and find accommodation close to a skytrain station, and underground [MRT] station, or the river. My favourite location is in the Phra Athit area on Banglamphu. It's v.close to the river, public ferry stops, and several of the supposedly 'must-see' sights. I'd get to Phra Athit by metered taxi from the airport.

    Try a Tuk Tuk when you're in BKK, the drivers can be a tad scary and keep your belongings safe but they are well worth a try.
    Originally posted by dacouch
    Definitely try a tuk tuk at some point. They tend to be dearer than taxi, so bargain hard.....and might be best to have something to cover your mouth and nose.

    I tend to eat street food when in Thailand and avoid tourist restaurants but some people will not like the idea of their street food stalls.

    Be aware the food the locals eat is very spicy, the touristy restaurants and also some of the street foods vendors will tone the spiceness down for you.
    Originally posted by dacouch
    Definitely try street food. Look for places that are busy..... you can see the food being cooked right in front of you. Be careful with restaurants, have a look in the toilet before ordering.....a filthy toilet might give you a clue about the kitchen. Don't eat in empty restaurants.....there could be a reason why it's empty.

    Personally I wouldn't eat in a restaurant that didn't have a menu in english, including the drinks menu.

    Booking hotels is easy, I use Booking.Com or Hotel.com or Agoda note Agoda tends to be cheaper but often do not include the local taxes until the end but I still tend to find them cheaper. You often find the deals are cheaper with all of them if you download their apps and book through these.
    Originally posted by dacouch
    Agree. But just be careful booking with Booking.com and Agoda, and make sure you read all the Terms & Conditions properly before pressing the Book button. I'm currently in dispute with Booking.com over a double charge for one hotel we've just stayed at in Macedonia.....charged in advance when booking, and then charged again by the hotel after we'd arrived. So keep an eye on your bank statements.
    • koalakoala
    • By koalakoala 20th May 18, 9:41 AM
    • 46 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    koalakoala
    Great information there Dacouch.
    Oh the sticky rice and mango..........
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