Southern Thailand

By: tanyamau on June 26, 2006 - 9:40pm
Southern Thailand (Phuket, Andaman Coast, Koh Samui, Koh Phang Nga, Koh Tao): pronounced "Gaw", 'Koh' means 'island'. * Skip Koh Samui – It’s like Bangkok with a beach. Very dirty and skanky. See if for a day, and then spend more time on the other islands. * Koh Tao : Go scubadiving at Buddha View Dive Resort (a PADI 5 star dive resort with really cool instructors and lots of fun, cool, laidback people, many Europeans, best buffet dinner, and fun bar with nearby free movies, nice restaurant out at the end of the walkway) - If you catch the speed boat back to Chumporn and then catch the overnight train back up towards Bangkok, that’s the best economical way to go. If you have to wait a bit, Chumporn has a cool little restaurant/internet café/guesthouse where you can rinse off in the bathroom, get some pizza, and check email before you get a ride back to the train station. There are also a lot of street stalls and 7-11s around the normal dinner hour. * Koh Phang Nga: Has the full moon parties (raves). * If you’re around Phuket/Surat Thani, head towards the jungle to KHAO SOK NATIONAL PARK. My Seattle friends went and loved the jungle, wildlife, and flora/fauna. You can stay in treehouse-like bungalows or cheap camping style bungalows. A nice place (but I know they didn’t stay there) is Art’s Riverview Jungle Lodge (phone 0 7739 5009; rooms & bungalows 350 – 550 baht). Also check out Treetop River Huts ( or Khao Sok Rainforest Resort ( * I never went to the Andaman Coast as the tsunami had just hit, so you’re on your own for that, although I’ve heard that before the tsunami Koh Phi Phi and the other surrounding islands with their limestone cliffs were picturesque.

Central Thailand

By: tanyamau on June 26, 2006 - 9:39pm
Central Thailand (Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom, Chonburi, Petchburi, Ratchaburi, Kanchanaburi, Cha-Am, Hua Hin): BANGKOK: • Visit the Chatuchak weekend market for your shopping needs (swap meet x 100!!) • Go to MBK shopping center (eat at the food court on top – good Thai food, see a movie – you must stand for the national anthem, check internet) • Ride the river taxi for 8 baht along the Chao Phraya river to get to and from the temples • Visit Wat Po (Reclining Buddha) and get a traditional Thai massage at the temple. • Ride the BTS skytrain everywhere! Skip the taxis and the tuktuks…they’ll try to rip you off unless you know where you are going! Always tell taxi drivers to run the meter so you don’t get ripped off! Or if you feel like bargaining, you can bargain with them! • Visit Nakhon Pathom (2 hours southeast of Bangkok). Not much here except for the Phra Pathom Chedi (largest chedi and where “Bridget Jones’ Diary 2
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Chiang Mai (Northern Thailand)

By: tanyamau on June 26, 2006 - 9:37pm
Northern Thailand (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Isan food, Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge): Galare Guesthouse (with Lanna Travel Service): (nice local family, Hawaii ties) • 7:30 – 5 pm All day tour: Visit Doi Suthep, Phu Ping Palace, and handicraft villages (home industries) – 1500 baht per person • 7:30 – 5 pm All day tour: Visit Chiang Dao Elephant Training Camp, Chiang Dao Cave, 4 different hill tribes – 1600 baht per person • Arrange to attend a Khan Toke Dinner (with a northern Thai performance) – 7 – 10 pm – Thai version of a lu’au, unique to Northern Thailand – 260 baht per person • I’ve heard that the hot springs in Chiang Rai aren’t that nice. Skip the Golden Triangle tour. • Visit the long neck Karen hilltribe • Do an overnight or couple days trek to visit the hilltribes • SHOP, SHOP, SHOP as the main street closes down at night for shopping at the night bazaar! Scarves, lights, DVD’s, handicrafts, décor, etc. See muay thai! • Take a cooking course – Learn how to cook Thai food with Noi – 700 baht per person includes all day cooking homestyle way, at her house. Noi is a fun gal, and you can cook 6 dishes that you choose…penang curry, som tum, mango with sticky rice, tom yum goong, fried fish with chili and basil, pad thai…..yum!! you get to eat it all after! * Eat Khao Soy (A Burmese style chicken curry with wheat noodles and a little spice….a northern Thai must!)
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Speaking Thai - Thai 101

By: tanyamau on June 26, 2006 - 9:28pm
If you haven't figured them out by now, here are some helpful Thai sayings/phrases: (* Remember that there are polite endings you must attach at the end of each sentence. Males say “khrap

A restaurant, a dessert, and a brew pub

By: Gregg on December 9, 2005 - 2:56pm

    A nice and fun place to eat has the unlikely name of Cabbages and Condoms.  Don't let the name turn you off - the food is great.  Sukhumvit, Soi 12


    If you haven't had mango with sticky rice at the Spice Market restaurant at the Four Seasons in Bangkok, you haven't had the best.  It isn't the place for backpackers, of course, but if you can clean up a little and don't mind going "high end" for dessert, you will not be disappointed.  Think you've had sticky rice and mango before?  Think again.  This is the sh*t. 


    Hey, a Seattle-ite will need a fresh brew at some point.  Try the Londoner Brew Pub - Basement of UBC II Building, Corner of Soi 33, Sukhumvit Road

Train, boat, temples at dawn

By: Gregg on December 9, 2005 - 2:33pm

    To get a feel for the size and lay of the land in Bangkok, get on the elevated train and ride from one end to the other and back.  It's a cheap, clean and safe way to get around, and the elevated view gives you a nice perspective.

     Hire a long-tail boat for a few hours to take you along the busy river and off into the klongs of the Thomburi side of the city.  Don't go with a group - just hire the boat and boatman for the two of you so you can call the shots.  It's a great way to see non-urban Thai life without leaving Bangkok.  The boatmen have spots where they stop and where they can get a commission if you buy something, but they aren't insistent - if you tell him no, he'll keep going.  The less time you waste at tourist stops or temples, the more time you'll have for getting way, way back in the narrow klongs.  Keep an eye out for a Washington license plate adorning the exterior of one rickety little wood-frame house on a backwater kong.


     Try to get out at dawn to see the sunrise reflecting off the mosaic-like exterior of temples - very cool as they glitter and glimmer.  The Thai temples are really nice - ornate - but for me, see a couple of them and you've seen enough. 


    Oh, if you're in Bangkok on Saturday, go on up to the Chatuchak Saturday market - it's a zoo, literally and figuratively. 


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Chang Mai

By: lamped on October 14, 2005 - 7:27am
Chang Mai is my favourite part of Thailand, it's what I imagine Bangkok was like 50 years ago.  It has a great night market, lots of day trips in the area, and great food.  A real must is to do a one day cookery course, most of the hostels will organise them for you.  The course generally involves a trip to the market to buy your food for the days cooking followed by lots of cooking and eating, a great day out and I guarantee that when you return home you will use what you have learned to impress your family and friends.

Hidden Dangers of Bangkok

By: bananafox on July 14, 2005 - 8:38pm

Do not get in the back of a "Tuk Tuk"; the carts that carry tourists around town.  You're likely to get overcharged.

Bangkok is not a violently unsafe place as some cities are; but at the same time, sexual harassment is a rampant and accepted part of the culture.  Pick-pockets are common, and "forcible payment" (mugging by intimidation) seem possible.  Avoid going out alone at night, particularly before you've had a chance to get a feel for the areas.

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Railey Beach

By: Steve Manning on July 12, 2005 - 3:52pm
I hope that this is the first of several entries for me. I highly recommend Railey Beach in Southern Thailand. Although not an island, you can only get there by long tail boat from Krabi (also worth seeing!).  It has some of the softest sand I have encountered and the days will just melt into each other while you are there. Rock climbing, snorkeling, kayaking, and fresh fish make every day both rich and relaxing. Dont miss.
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