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Old 08-25-2012, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Earth
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OP, it's hot as hell in Thailand in the spring.
Consider November - February.

Stay away from Phuket and Pattaya if you want anything resembling a Thai experience.
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:59 AM
 
5,096 posts, read 8,074,685 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chielgirl View Post
OP, it's hot as hell in Thailand in the spring.
Consider November - February.
You're right about April-ish. The three seasons of Thailand can be thought of as Hot, Hotter, and Hottest . I agree, Nov to Feb tend to be milder for many visitors.
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:33 AM
 
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Thanks for the feedback and tips folks! I don't mind heat or humidity so much, being from Minnesota born and raised, I prefer the heat over the cold any day.
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by gtrguyMN View Post
Thanks for the feedback and tips folks! I don't mind heat or humidity so much, being from Minnesota born and raised, I prefer the heat over the cold any day.
In that case, you should get along with the tropical heat of Thailand. It gets pretty cold in Minnesota during the winter - a perfect time for a trip to the tropics. No disrespect for Mexico, but I'd say if you're looking for an off-the-beaten-path type of adventure, Thailand definitely has plenty of that to offer. There are some people who don't like Thailand or aren't impressed with it. But I'd say most people do enjoy it and find it to be a memorable experience. I'd say go for it. You might find it unforgettable.

On the one hand, cities like Bangkok are pretty modern, and not unlike most other large cities around the world, although there are things in Bangkok that'll dazzle the eyes and imagination. It can still be an adventure from discovering and experiencing places and things that are new to YOU, without being too overwhelmingly unfamiliar. English isn't a major problem in BKK and popular tourist areas, even though pronunciation and sentence structure can sometimes be awkward or even humrous. Not everyone in BKK speak English, but there are plenty of Thais who do well enough with it to be understood. It's not hard to find them. Tourism is a major industry in Thailand.

On the other hand, an excursion to some of the rural communities, which cover the vast majority of the country, can seem like you stepped out of a time machine and into the past. It's a laid back, friendly and easy-going pace. And to add to the adventure, few of the locals in the villages and boondocks speak English. Now THAT'S an adventure! LOL! You can always take along an interpreter with you. These days, there are even a few electronic gadgets that can help communicate. Regardless, it doesn't take much effort to learn a few basic, simple phrases.
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Old 08-28-2012, 07:38 AM
 
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Right on, sounds about exactly what I'm looking for. The Mexico thing is more about friends, I have friends there and elsewhere and we've been talking about taking advantage of a timeshare that one of them has in PV. So if that comes together I'll do that first but Thailand is definitely on the docket. I've toyed around with some of the language on-line, that is to say nothing serious but I've learned enough in some aspects I think I may get along fine. Especially if I did some studying beforehand and plan accordingly.

Ideally, I think a back packing sort of trip...either on my own or with a friend, would be the best for experiences, etc. Would going alone be too crazy? I've heard a few horror stories of people who have gone, not back packing but just visited in general. In one instance someone was murdered, BUT, knowing the circumstances to a degree I'm not really surprised and it's unfair for it to reflect poorly on the Thai people as a whole; it could have happened anywhere. Either of the instances could really.

I guess my main concern, as stupid as it sounds, is food. I have a fairly strong stomach but there's certain things I just can not eat. I would hate to be off the beaten path, and I'm sure it's likely to occur as part of the experience, but trying the local delicacies while keeping my food down might be a chore. I've read up on a lot of the culture and diet, so it would most likely be a rarity of sorts outside of the main staples. I would just hate to offend anyone that's all. Other than that I can get along well IRL and would probably be all smiles.

How about scammers and things like that? I've heard to not take the buses, always make sure the meter is running on the Tuk Tuk's beforehand, and stuff around various temples or attractions where there's a hustle, etc. If I just keep to myself, that is, don't get caught up with random stangers, be polite but firm if needed, and carry myself with humility, peace and a smile, (sounds funny )...I should generally be ok right?
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Fayetteville
1,205 posts, read 2,323,159 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtrguyMN View Post
How about scammers and things like that? I've heard to not take the buses, always make sure the meter is running on the Tuk Tuk's beforehand, and stuff around various temples or attractions where there's a hustle, etc. If I just keep to myself, that is, don't get caught up with random stangers, be polite but firm if needed, and carry myself with humility, peace and a smile, (sounds funny )...I should generally be ok right?
I don't think tuk tuks usually have meters, just negotiate a price before you get in.
I never had any trouble on the buses. I am kind of wary of the bus station in Bangkok though, Its very confusing especially when you are tired from being on a bus all night. That being said I'm also kind of weary of the bus station in Memphis. Public transit buses in Bangkok are fine too, well there could be some language confusion, but they seemed pretty safe.
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Fayetteville
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Mae Sot was pretty interesting, I guess its off the beaten path in that its very rural. I'd like to make a trip there just to go buy wooden statues and stuff one day.
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:52 AM
 
Location: Delhi
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Thialand is the best destination from the traveling point of view and people travel from all around the World to explore its beautiful nature.
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:45 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,430,478 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtrguyMN View Post
Right on, sounds about exactly what I'm looking for. The Mexico thing is more about friends, I have friends there and elsewhere and we've been talking about taking advantage of a timeshare that one of them has in PV. So if that comes together I'll do that first but Thailand is definitely on the docket. I've toyed around with some of the language on-line, that is to say nothing serious but I've learned enough in some aspects I think I may get along fine. Especially if I did some studying beforehand and plan accordingly.

Ideally, I think a back packing sort of trip...either on my own or with a friend, would be the best for experiences, etc. Would going alone be too crazy? I've heard a few horror stories of people who have gone, not back packing but just visited in general. In one instance someone was murdered, BUT, knowing the circumstances to a degree I'm not really surprised and it's unfair for it to reflect poorly on the Thai people as a whole; it could have happened anywhere. Either of the instances could really.

I guess my main concern, as stupid as it sounds, is food. I have a fairly strong stomach but there's certain things I just can not eat. I would hate to be off the beaten path, and I'm sure it's likely to occur as part of the experience, but trying the local delicacies while keeping my food down might be a chore. I've read up on a lot of the culture and diet, so it would most likely be a rarity of sorts outside of the main staples. I would just hate to offend anyone that's all. Other than that I can get along well IRL and would probably be all smiles.

How about scammers and things like that? I've heard to not take the buses, always make sure the meter is running on the Tuk Tuk's beforehand, and stuff around various temples or attractions where there's a hustle, etc. If I just keep to myself, that is, don't get caught up with random stangers, be polite but firm if needed, and carry myself with humility, peace and a smile, (sounds funny )...I should generally be ok right?
Thailand gets a lot of tourists so you can get by knowing no English, although they will appreciate it if you at least know how to say 'hello', 'goodbye', thankyou' that sort of thing.

I went alone - many people of all ages too - it's generally a safe country, with the exception of the southern provinces where there is some violence because of the Muslim minority.

I didn't get sick eating any of the food, but then again I'm used to Asian food. How are you with spicy food? Western food isn't hard to find in touristy areas, but if you like Thai food you won't be disappointed.

Yes, that's the thing you have to watch out for in Asia. If you're on a tuk tuk and the driver offers (or more like pressures) to take you to a 'government travel agency' politely decline. They are all rip-off merchants. Some tuk tuk drivers are honest, but some are not, it's a matter of luck sometimes. If you feel being dishonest don't be shy just to call it off.

Good luck with your trip.
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Earth
24,639 posts, read 24,843,755 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FriendlyFeller View Post
I don't think tuk tuks usually have meters, just negotiate a price before you get in.
I never had any trouble on the buses. I am kind of wary of the bus station in Bangkok though, Its very confusing especially when you are tired from being on a bus all night. That being said I'm also kind of weary of the bus station in Memphis. Public transit buses in Bangkok are fine too, well there could be some language confusion, but they seemed pretty safe.
In BKK, take the sky train, take the busses (I'm not usually out at night in BKK except with my brother in law), take a meter taxi at night. Take a water taxi during the day. They now have a new service that's a little more expensive and touristy but not bad. Trains are great; long distance busses are fine if you don't mind the frigid aircon and loud videos.

Go to Wat Phra Keo, Wat Po, Chatuchak Market on the weekend.
Walk down the street of Khao San Road, but don't get stuck there. Many do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FriendlyFeller View Post
Mae Sot was pretty interesting, I guess its off the beaten path in that its very rural. I'd like to make a trip there just to go buy wooden statues and stuff one day.
I spent a few days in Mae Sot with relatives of someone from my meditation group.
There's a waterfall near Tak and a hot springs where people come to boil eggs.
Did you go to Khampeng Phet? Great world heritage site, out of the way. I was alone in my exploration; better yet, I didn't encounter any farang until I was leaving (good timing). Certainly made me hone up on my Thai and tourist charades.
I made my way from Phisanolok to Sukhotai to Khampeng Phet to Mae Sot & Tak (even though Tak is a bit northwest of KP and Mae Sot is a little south by the Burmese Border.

I once took the cheapest and most frightening flight of my life: Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son. It was $10 or thereabouts in 1996.
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