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plan trip on beforehand or locally ?

Vilvoorde, Belgium
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plan trip on beforehand or locally ?

Many people tell me that it's perfectly possible to go to Thailand without planning anything on beforehand. Therefore, we've now only booked our flights to/from Bangkok and the 1st night of hotel in Bangkok.

Now, how do you find a good travel agency locally? How to differentiate scam & over priced from the real good ones? Any recommendation (name & address) ?

Travelling Nov 25 to Dec 7th.

Navi Mumbai, India
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for Genting Highlands
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1. Re: plan trip on beforehand or locally ?

If you have the time, it is always recommended to read up a bit before you hit the place. Unless you have been to Bangkok before, I would suggest you go through the forums here and get a brief understanding of what to do, where to stay and where to go, and how to use the BTS skytrain system to reach everywhere.

Being unprepared is the biggest invitation for being scammed!

Basics - keep passport safely in hotel and carry a copy, avoid tuk tuks, don;t go into dark alley's etc. The basic you would do in any big city.

perth
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2. Re: plan trip on beforehand or locally ?

Hi

Yes many do that but seeing you don't have much time so I agree with above poster read and do research about Thailand before hand don't just turn up and know nothing.

FAQs on the right hand side of forum page are loads of useful informations. If you really want to wing it make sure you book first night or two before you're arrive. But keep in mind December is PEAK season in Thailand the most expensive and busiest.

Harbin, China
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for Kanchanaburi
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3. Re: plan trip on beforehand or locally ?

Hi,

Decide which towns/cities or islands which you are interested in visiting, travel there by public transport and once there you will be able to organize day trips to wherever.

Worldwide
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4. Re: plan trip on beforehand or locally ?

Regarding advance planning or local planning, I recommend both. Have a rough strategy in advance (which helps you to select best locations for lodging). Some details (like custom tours if you go that way for any part of your visit) are best arranged in advance. Air tickets are cheaper when purchased in advance as non-refundable fares.

But some details will only appear to you after you arrive. E.g. that cinemas often have cheaper deals on Wednesdays or that many museums are closed on Mondays - or the discovery that a concert by Eric Clapton or Carabao is on while you're here. (Check ThaiTicketMajor.com for events - I book in person at an outlet rather than using their Website, but YMMV and Eric Clapton seats, when he tours, are often sold out in advance..) Or that Cheepchanok's early performance at Saxophone Pub was g-o-o-d on Friday, so you might want to catch him again on Saturday, and maybe eat at Saxophone on Saturday so as to do double duty with that time - then segue outside to catch the Victory Monument area street market (selling the real stuff for locals, not Patpong or Sukhumvit rip-off stuff for tourists). Or that list of seat-in-coach day tours has some interesting-looking places that you'd overlooked - and maybe you should book one of those for Tuesday.

If you do some good prep work before you set off, but leave some flexibility for discoveries en-route, you can get the best of both options.

Brooklyn, NY
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5. Re: plan trip on beforehand or locally ?

Research...research..research.

Read as much as you can on TA and other sources such as:

www.bangkoktourist.com/theme_6/index.asp…

You will at least want to know the must do's and must not do's. Many people go to Bk and "complain" that they got scammed or felt that they paid too much for X or could not take the heat, etc. If they did some research(as I did prior to my first visit), they would have known what to expect.

When I first went in 2009(and the 4 times that I have been back), I had a great time. I visited again this past March/April and will be back at the end of the month....

It's a great city with great people/weather/food/nightlife/tourist activities/etc.

You will have a great time.

(PS...make sure you pack your common sense. Many people leave it at home when they travel to Bk!)

Paphos, Cyprus
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6. Re: plan trip on beforehand or locally ?

Off topic slightly,but after the comment in post #4 about the Saxophone Pub, I read the reviews and would love to get there on my next visit.

Can you tell me if I would be ok there alone, and is it ok to just have a drink rather than dinner?

Thanks,

Trisha

UK
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7. Re: plan trip on beforehand or locally ?

Sound advice Bangkok can be confusing especially after arrival, jet lagged, temperature change . We always pre book our tours so all is arrnged have for when arrive and costs are known as above you will be travelling in prime time so maybe good to get some quotes in and bookings made if that is your intention.The faqs list tour guides Tong and Nook well thought of here on TA Tong has a good website which may produce some ideas

We can reccomend Wandee as a reliable and professional guide never let us down over the years you can e mail to wandee@wandeetours.com for some prices there is information on her website as well.

Happy planning there are some very interesting out of town tours, River Kwai area is beautiful if you have time

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8. Re: plan trip on beforehand or locally ?

Missindy (reply #6) - Saxophone Pub (its actual name in English) is good for drinks (and optionally snacks). I would guess that most folks don't use it as a restaurant. (But a Thai friend who much prefers Thai to any western music - and especially doesn't groove to folksy, bluesy, jazzy music as one finds at Saxophone Pub, is willing to put up with the music because of liking the food so much.)

Saxophone has a bar which a solo visitor can sit at. But, if I recall, I would personally prefer the chairs at the tables to the bar stools (though those may have changed in the year since I was last there). (So the plus of the bar for the solo visitor might be if folks nearby were sociable.) And there are quite a few cozy tables for 1 or 2. So no problem (other than getting any seat if one comes too late on a busy evening).

They have a regular set schedule - with several, quite different, groups over any given evening. They publish their schedule on their Website. All groups are local.

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g293916-d6…

http://www.saxophonepub.com/

Bangkok is full of live music venues. I have a menu when I give informal tours (to visiting friends or family) - which we pick from according to schedule and interest. A very few include: The Living Room (Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit) is a jazz lounge - where excellent international combos set up in residence for 2-4 months at a time (and return year after year), usually with local musicians joining them. It's a more traditional hotel lounge (but for the high quality and reputation of the musicians - which beats the usual hotel lounge by far).

tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g293916-d2…

Raintree Pub and Restaurant, on Soi Rangnam (a stones throw from Saxophone) is a nice, completely Thai (No English menu or songs) acoustic folk place.

timeout.com/bangkok/…raintree

The Tawandangs (there are at least 4 of them, but the best for the first time visitor might be Tawandang German Brewery on Rama III (not Ram Intra) - is a beer-hall atmosphere, with (in the case of TGB on Rama III) in-house brews, German- and Thai-style foods, and a huge variety show on stage between about 9PM and closing (12:15-1:15 depending on night). TGB on Rama III holds ~1500 people, and is regularly packed out on weekends.

tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g293916-i3687-k5655…

CheckInn 99 between Sois 5 and 7 on Sukhumvit Road (NW exit from the Nana BTS Station) is also cozy - with a filipina group doing covers after about 8:30 evenings, and live jazz on sunday afternoons:

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g293916-d2…

There are many more - far more that I have never visited than have actually been inside.

Paphos, Cyprus
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9. Re: plan trip on beforehand or locally ?

Thank you for your comprehensive reply EO, and I'm looking forward to getting along to one of your recommendations in December. I'll check the listings nearer the time for up to date info.

Thanks again,

Trisha

10. Re: plan trip on beforehand or locally ?

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