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Thread: Guide to Thailand - DRAFT!

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snakebite911 View Post
    Koh Chang is off the coast of Trat, down by the Cambodian border. Nearest major tourist spot would be Pattaya. Taxi from Bangkok would be about 4000-4500 fixed price. Never been, but it is not to far from Chanthaburi where I stay most of the time.
    That is the best known of them. There is also a Koh Chang next to Koh Phayam in the province Ranong (near Myanmar).

  2. #22
    Senior Member MrDK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dontpanic View Post
    Thanks, updated, the lunar changes is noted in the guide we can probably do a yearly post with these as they change.
    Google public holidays and bar closures in thailand and you may have 2015 As well ... soon 2016

  3. #23
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dontpanic View Post
    Thanks I'll include as a day trip from Pattaya around 3k taxi to the pier and a short ferry ride.
    I would have thought with the journey and ferry Chang is at least an overnight from Patts..

    Samet or Koh Larn could be day tripped.. Tho I would personally think Samet needs an overnight also..

  4. #24
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greatdane View Post
    That is the best known of them. There is also a Koh Chang next to Koh Phayam in the province Ranong (near Myanmar).
    There sure is.. Also Phayam has to be given a mention and should be on anyones radar who wants to see an island before it jumps the shark and goes too tourist.. Plus Giers bar and guesthouse has to figure into the info.

    Sadly the half life for places from discovery to losing their charm has gone from decades, to a few years, to even less.. I remember doing a TR finding Koh Lippe, and it being only on the radar a couple of years, within 3 more it had really changed and not in a good way.

  5. #25
    Senior Member briofoz's Avatar
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    The Airport section should include info on Don Muang and associated transfer warnings.
    LivinLOS likes this.

  6. #26
    Senior Member dontpanic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by briofoz View Post
    The Airport section should include info on Don Muang and associated transfer warnings.
    There's a piece on the DMK option in the Getting there section with transfer warnings.

  7. #27
    Senior Member dontpanic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    There sure is.. Also Phayam has to be given a mention and should be on anyones radar who wants to see an island before it jumps the shark and goes too tourist.. Plus Giers bar and guesthouse has to figure into the info.

    Sadly the half life for places from discovery to losing their charm has gone from decades, to a few years, to even less.. I remember doing a TR finding Koh Lippe, and it being only on the radar a couple of years, within 3 more it had really changed and not in a good way.
    We could throw in an off the beaten track section for the likes of Phayam and the other Chang and any other not so popular destinations, maybe throw in Isann too.

  8. #28
    Senior Member dontpanic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrDK View Post
    Google public holidays and bar closures in thailand and you may have 2015 As well ... soon 2016
    I think the important thing here is to make people aware that there is bar closures from time to time, dates are easily found out as you mention above or the bars might be open anyway.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by dontpanic View Post
    Ok so how far to Koh Tao from Samui? Day trip or is it a ferry and night over?

    Same with Koh Samet?

    Koh Chang is where? Nearest major tourist spot and how to get to.
    You can do day trip snorkeling and dive tours to Koh Tao from Koh Samui, but you would be better off taking the ferry(2 hours) and staying on the island.
    Koh Samet is about an hours drive from Pattaya then a 45 min ferry or 15 min speed boat, also would stay the night at least.

  10. #30
    Senior Member MrDK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dontpanic View Post
    I think the important thing here is to make people aware that there is bar closures from time to time, dates are easily found out as you mention above or the bars might be open anyway.
    Of course bars may be open, in Thailand buying tea equals buying as indulgence with the church, but that does not negate and official ruling and certainly not that it it is not business as usual.
    Any reasonable posting will mention that it is not black and white.

  11. #31
    Senior Member dontpanic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrDK View Post
    Any reasonable posting will mention that it is not black and white.
    "This is Thailand so the bar closures are not exactly black and white and may vary, the official line is that they close."

    I make that a reasonable posting so.

  12. #32
    Senior Member dontpanic's Avatar
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    Ok been updating away, decided to do away with the daytime section and replace it with an "Other things to note" of just random stuff that will probably just get bigger. Up to 14 pages now and 7000 characters.

  13. #33
    Senior Member MrDK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dontpanic View Post
    Ok been updating away, decided to do away with the daytime section and replace it with an "Other things to note" of just random stuff that will probably just get bigger. Up to 14 pages now and 7000 characters.
    Any and all links I click on gets me to the same page (Index)

  14. #34
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrDK View Post
    Any and all links I click on gets me to the same page (Index)
    Due to it being a work in progress I assume.

  15. #35
    Senior Member dontpanic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrDK View Post
    Any and all links I click on gets me to the same page (Index)
    They work in word to help me with editing, but good idea to have a hotlink for the real thing.

  16. #36
    Senior Member dontpanic's Avatar
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    Dangers and annoyances


    Thailand is a very safe society but like all countries it comes with its fair share of scammers, opportunists and criminals looking to take advantage of a naÔve or drunk tourist. But apart from of the usual precautions you should take anywhere it’s easy to be safe in Thailand, a lot of the stuff below never happens to most visitors but it’s no harm to be aware of things.

    Road safety : Thai’s do drive a bit crazy, it's consistently in the most dangerous countries to drive, traffic lights and the usual rules of the road are very much at the discretion of the driver, also right of way is usually determined by the size of your vehicle, one way streets and footpaths are all fair game for motorbikes and helmets are generally optional although not legally. Even crossing the road as a pedestrian can be very daunting at first. In short wear a helmet on a bike, take it easy, get a local to do the driving, don’t drink and drive and cross the road in well-lit areas at night and if in doubt follow a Thai across the road, they know what to do.

    Taxis & Tuk-tuks : Licensed metered taxis are plentiful and cheap in the main tourist areas, some may agree a price up front, they are supposed to use the meter especially if you say so, if they don’t want to then just get out. Tuk-tuks vary from city to city and they can range from 3 wheeled open air vehicles in Bangkok to small converted pickups in Phuket, the drivers can be in your face and do try tricks to bring you places to buy things where they’ll get a commission. They may tell you your hotel is full or closed or bring you to a gem shop on the way to where you really want to go but they are mostly fine, simply agree the price up front, tell them no stops and know where you’re going(even if you don’t act confident).

    Bill padding : This typically happens in bars and gogo’s. See the nightlife section for running up tabs, if you’re buying drinks for a few ladies and getting a bit drunk yourself you may get a slip or two put into your tab bin without you noticing. It’s worth checking every so often and being firm with the ladies about buying drinks.

    Agree prices up front : This goes for a lot of things but for taxis, tours, tuk-tuks, ladies, massage, haggling etc, a deals a deal.

    Drugs : Don’t go near them, the penalties are severe in Thailand and being foreign won’t make it any easier.

    Jet-skis : A common beach scam, you rent a jet-ski, have some fun, bring it back and they guy you rented it from says you’ve damaged it and have to pay. You disagree and before you know it a few of his friends are there to back him up. So easiest way around this is to inspect and take photos of the jet-ski before, get some ex-pats to recommend some reputable dealers or just avoid. Also a common scam for renting motorbikes. Any reputable dealer won’t mind you taking photos and fully inspecting the equipment

    Water : Tap water is generally unsafe to drink so stick to the bottled stuff, it’s cheap and the cheapest place to buy them is convenience shops like 7/11 or family mart which are located everywhere in the tourist spots. Some hotels will give complimentary bottled water every day. Ice cubes tend to be safer than chipped ice blocks too.

    Food : Western food is easily available in the major tourist destinations, Thai food comes in a lot of varieties and isn’t all just spicy, some of the seafood is spectacular and it’s very reasonably priced, be careful with the hot stuff though as it can be very hot. A lot of places will make something more foreigner friendly as in less spicy if you as. In the major tourist destinations a lot of the familiar fast food chains are open 24 hours. Thailand has some of the best food in the world with some especially great fruit so try it out.

    STD: Sexually transmitted diseases.In short bag up if you’re going to engage with prostitutes. STD’s can be transmitted even when protection is used so get to a pharmacy or clinic if you suspect, it’ll be cheaper and less embarrassing then waiting till you get home. If you don’t like the look of your new friends bits or get an odd smell don’t risk it, make an excuse, pay up and leave. They won’t care so long as they get paid.

    Pharmacies : Not an annoyance but a good convenience, in case you run into difficulty with a lot of the above there are loads of pharmacies in the tourist spots which will be happy to supply you with something to cure you, drugs that need a prescription in the west are usually available over the counter in Thailand at a reduced cost although prices can vary in the tourist areas so shop around. There will also be street sellers usually of Viagra and the likes but these are very much at your own risk.

    Police : The boys in brown don’t have a great reputation and there have been reports of them picking on foreigners for made up fines, the general advice is to pay especially if it’s a relatively small amount, remember they hold most if not all of the cards. Follow the rules especially where driving in concerned, mostly the police will leave you alone. If you do run into trouble you can ask to see the tourist police, if you are required to pay a large fine hold your ground and get a receipt. Most people will never have any trouble with the Royal Thai police but the monkey house(jail) is not a place you want to be in Thailand.

    Tailors : A lot of tourists come to Thailand to get a nice hand-made suit or two, most tailor shops won’t make anything but are there just for you to pick out the fabric, colours, style etc and to get measured, it then goes off to a factory where it’s made and you come back a few days later to try it on and maybe get some more adjustments. Tailors(usually Indian) will stand outside their shop and grab your hand to shake it and won’t let go until you are in their shop, they don’t like taking no for an answer either. Recommendations are don’t shake their hand(yes at first it’s a bit weird), if you are going to make a purchase do some research before you go, the Thai tailors in general are more the real thing.

    Beggars : They aren’t a massive problem although you will see them around, they tend to be more aggressive around the outdoor beer bars, a simple nod of the head will get rid of most of them. You will see children and landmine victims doing this so be prepared. Even though it's hard nobody should give money to children, they are often trafficked and your money won't help them.

    Sellers : Again at the outdoor bars and cafes you will be offered all sorts of stuff for knockdown special prices like jewellery, dvd’s, watches and clothes usually of questionable quality, again a nod of the head and get back to your beer will suffice.

    Gems & precious metals : You’ll see a lot of these shops about the place, sometimes jewellery can be cheaper in Thailand as the labour costs aren’t as expensive but the price of gems and precious metals tend to be the same the world over. Common sense applies, if something seems too good to be true it usually is. By the way just to confuse you even more Thai’s use the baht as a unit for selling gold(15.244 grams). As mentioned earlier some drivers may take you to a gold shop as part of a “tour” to gain some commission – Buyer beware.
    Last edited by dontpanic; 12th March 2014 at 21:22.

  17. #37
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    Road safety: Add a sentence about Thailand being one of the most dangerous countries in the world, regarding deaths on the road. The second most dangerous, as far as I remember.

    STI: Shouldn't that be STD? Maybe write it out, as many may not understand it (especially if English is not their natural language)

    Pharmacies: I don't know how pricing in pharmacies works in other countries, but in Denmark they operate with fixed prices. They certainly do not do that in Thailand. A pharmacy in a tourist area can easily charge three times of what pharmacies elsewhere charge. Maybe add something about pharmacies not using fixed prices?

    Beggars/Sellers: Add something about most kids in the beggar business, as well as kids as flower sellers, are traded children. You should never ever buy from or give money to children selling flowers or beggars with children.
    Last edited by Greatdane; 12th March 2014 at 20:57.

  18. #38
    Senior Member dontpanic's Avatar
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    ^^ Thanks GD, sti means sexually transmitted infection which seems to be the modern term for std. I've added the other changes too.

  19. #39
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    Agree prices up front : This goes for a lot of things but for taxis, tours, tuk-tuks, ladies, massage, haggling etc, a deals a dea
    I try never to talk money up front with a lady if LT. Always give them what I think they deserve in the morning/afternoon next day. Never seems an issue. Then again I generally go for BGs, so maybe easier.

  20. #40
    Senior Member MrDK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waharoa View Post
    I try never to talk money up front with a lady if LT. Always give them what I think they deserve in the morning/afternoon next day. Never seems an issue. Then again I generally go for BGs, so maybe easier.
    For the most part I agree and I do the same, however, that would not be the advise I would give a newbie.

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