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Oldies on holiday in Thailand

Oldies on holiday in Thailand

Old Jan 31st 2019, 4:34 pm
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Default Oldies on holiday in Thailand

I know we're not a tourist site, but if anyone living in/familiar with Bangkok and Pattaya has any suggestions or comments on our proposed itinerary for a two week holiday in May I would love to hear them.

Bangkok - got a great deal at the Marriott Marquis Queens Park hotel, address 199 Sukhumvit Soi 22 Klong Ton, Klong Toey Klong Toey.
Pattaya - thinking of renting an Airbnb apartment at Jomtien Beach.

Currency conversion - best to buy baht in Australia, or do this in Bangkok? If the latter, is it better to go to banks, shop front exchanges or the hotel?

Any security concerns with using my Mastercard if necessary?

Will be booking a few half day tours in both locations - any thoughts on whether it's best to do this from Australia, or wait until we're there? We like to get out and amongst it and be independent, and will do that a bit, but given the heat, crowds and our short amount of time in each place (and our age, 60 and 69), we thought some tours would allow us to explore more.

Transport from our Bangkok hotel to Pattaya, then from Pattaya to the Bangkok international airport - there's a company called Joe's Taxi that's recommended on TripAdviser, prices for private transfers 1,500 and 1,300 baht respectively. Does this sound ok? I don't mean the price, which I think is really good, I just mean is this the way most tourists get there and back?

We've travelled a fair bit around Vietnam, India and Indonesia and I love eating street food, never had a problem, but poor old scouse's stomach is a bit more delicate (what a wimp!). Any positive comments on eating street food in both locations that I can show him? Any negative ones I'll hide

Thanks to anyone who is able to give any thoughts on any of the above.

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Old Feb 2nd 2019, 8:34 am
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Default Re: Oldies on holiday in Thailand

I have not been to Pattaya, but have been a few times to Bangkok. The traffic is horrendous with traffic jams everywhere during daytime. Careful planning of your day, minimizing travelling distance, is advisable to avoid wasting a lot of your precious time in traffic jams. This also means that it doesn't pay to spend a lot of travelling time to go to a specific restaurant. I see that you use Tripadvisor as information source. Once you're in a certain part of the city, use it to find a suitable restaurant. There are too many restaurants in Bangkok and in each part of town will you be able to find a suitable one. Do not only look to the number of stars, but also read a few recent reviews to get an impression of the place.
I used ATM machines to get cash Baht. However, there are costs involved. The Thai ATMs charge you a fixed fee, and the bank in your home country (probably) also. So you want to withdraw the maximum amount in order to minimize the % of fees that you are paying. I recall that the yellow ATMs (I forgot the name of that bank) allowed for larger withdrawals than the other banks.
Don't bother to use Grab/Uber in Thailand as they charge the same as a regular meter taxi. Do make sure that the meter taxi switches on the meter when the trip starts! Many taxi drivers are not fluent in English, so it is helpful if you have the address of your destination available in written format.
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Old Feb 2nd 2019, 8:57 am
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Default Re: Oldies on holiday in Thailand

For currency exchange look at Red Rate in Northbridge. Travel Money Oz will match them if you tell them there's a better rate, but Red Rate have by far the best exchange rate in Perth.
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Old Feb 2nd 2019, 10:21 am
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Default Re: Oldies on holiday in Thailand

Originally Posted by spouse of scouse
I know we're not a tourist site, but if anyone living in/familiar with Bangkok and Pattaya has any suggestions or comments on our proposed itinerary for a two week holiday in May I would love to hear them.

Bangkok - got a great deal at the Marriott Marquis Queens Park hotel, address 199 Sukhumvit Soi 22 Klong Ton, Klong Toey Klong Toey.
Pattaya - thinking of renting an Airbnb apartment at Jomtien Beach.

Currency conversion - best to buy baht in Australia, or do this in Bangkok? If the latter, is it better to go to banks, shop front exchanges or the hotel?

Any security concerns with using my Mastercard if necessary?

Will be booking a few half day tours in both locations - any thoughts on whether it's best to do this from Australia, or wait until we're there? We like to get out and amongst it and be independent, and will do that a bit, but given the heat, crowds and our short amount of time in each place (and our age, 60 and 69), we thought some tours would allow us to explore more.

Transport from our Bangkok hotel to Pattaya, then from Pattaya to the Bangkok international airport - there's a company called Joe's Taxi that's recommended on TripAdviser, prices for private transfers 1,500 and 1,300 baht respectively. Does this sound ok? I don't mean the price, which I think is really good, I just mean is this the way most tourists get there and back?

We've travelled a fair bit around Vietnam, India and Indonesia and I love eating street food, never had a problem, but poor old scouse's stomach is a bit more delicate (what a wimp!). Any positive comments on eating street food in both locations that I can show him? Any negative ones I'll hide

Thanks to anyone who is able to give any thoughts on any of the above.
Any currency exchange is better done in Bangkok. I'd suggest Superrich over any bank. They have branches all over town, and there's even one on the basement floor of Suvanabhumi airport to the right hand side of the entrance to the airport rail link. They have an app so you can compare rates with other providers.

You should be fine using your credit card, but obviously keep an eye on it when it's being used and bear in mind that the bank exchange rates will not be as good as the Superrich rate. As an example, Superrich gives a rate of around 8.4 baht to Saudi riyal, whereas on the card it's more like 8. It all adds up.

Any tours, book while you're there. Any tour agency in Bangkok, and there's hundreds of them, will be able to do this. Don't know how long you're there for but a few ideas might be a river cruise, daytrip to Ayuthaya etc

wouldn't bother booking a taxi. Just flag one down. Gives you more flexibility. Either agree a price, or go with the meter, it will probably work out the same for getting to Pattaya, but generally for travelling in Bangkok make sure the meter is on. Taxis hanging around outside hotels will normally not put the meter on, but if you flag one down in the street they generally will.

street food is generally fine, a lot of it is cooked fresh in front of you, think fried noodles etc, however I'd be wary of curries that have been sitting warm for hours, that's a perfect recipe for bacteria. It's just common sense really. Also, a lot of these stalls are next to very busy roads so think about the pollution.

one last point, you're going in May. The weather will be absolutely unbearable in May, very hot, very high humidity, hopefully you'll get some rain in the afternoons as the rainy season does start in May. Bangkok especially will be very sweaty.

regarding Jomtien, it's okay I suppose. You can get the baht bus over the hill to Pattaya. Beach isn't all that though. Have you considered going further down the coast to Koh Samet, it's not far.

hth
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Old Feb 2nd 2019, 11:46 am
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Default Re: Oldies on holiday in Thailand

SushiFan, Dorothy and Nonthaburi, thanks heaps for your suggestions and advice. It makes such a difference when going somewhere new to have the benefit of the experience of others, I'm very grateful! All your advice has been taken on board.

I have a feeling I'll be spending more time in the Bangkok hotel than scouse, he's fine walking around in the heat but my tolerance is limited. Off to Google Koh Samet now
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Old Feb 3rd 2019, 3:39 am
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Default Re: Oldies on holiday in Thailand

spouse of scouse Sounds good as for oldies, Thailand is a great place for much older people than you guys! No need to plan much before you get here, very easy to sort things out. Good advice given above, superrich excellent, and street food is universally safe to eat. You will see how busy the places are. The Marriott is a great location there by Benjasiri Park - pop to emporium on the 5th floor you will find street food in air con comfort - and only a tiny bit more expensive.
Within a short walk of that hotel there are some excellent options - noodle at the top of Soi 33 are awesome, and around Phrom Phong BTS they are plenty of stalls selling delicious Moo Ping (pork on sticks), you'll love it!
Enjoy!
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Old Feb 3rd 2019, 4:21 am
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Default Re: Oldies on holiday in Thailand

Originally Posted by ZachJBrodsky
spouse of scouse Sounds good as for oldies, Thailand is a great place for much older people than you guys! No need to plan much before you get here, very easy to sort things out. Good advice given above, superrich excellent, and street food is universally safe to eat. You will see how busy the places are. The Marriott is a great location there by Benjasiri Park - pop to emporium on the 5th floor you will find street food in air con comfort - and only a tiny bit more expensive.
Within a short walk of that hotel there are some excellent options - noodle at the top of Soi 33 are awesome, and around Phrom Phong BTS they are plenty of stalls selling delicious Moo Ping (pork on sticks), you'll love it!
Enjoy!
Thanks Zach, very useful!
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Old Feb 3rd 2019, 8:47 am
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Default Re: Oldies on holiday in Thailand

Originally Posted by Dorothy
For currency exchange look at Red Rate in Northbridge. Travel Money Oz will match them if you tell them there's a better rate, but Red Rate have by far the best exchange rate in Perth.
Change your money in Bangkok. For large amounts use Superrich or any money changer or xchange booth if it is just a small amount. It doesn't pay to travel far to get 100 THB more. You will need Baht for taxi from airport to Marriott. Just get some in the airport. Taxi Cost should be no more than 350 Bht + 75 Thb toll fee + 50 airport surcharge.
Meter fare depends on traffic situation.
1500 Thb Pattaya to Bkk is acceptable.
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Old Feb 3rd 2019, 12:37 pm
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Default Re: Oldies on holiday in Thailand

Originally Posted by Thairetired2016
Change your money in Bangkok. For large amounts use Superrich or any money changer or xchange booth if it is just a small amount. It doesn't pay to travel far to get 100 THB more. You will need Baht for taxi from airport to Marriott. Just get some in the airport. Taxi Cost should be no more than 350 Bht + 75 Thb toll fee + 50 airport surcharge.
Meter fare depends on traffic situation.
1500 Thb Pattaya to Bkk is acceptable.
Thanks TR, appreciate the info There's a Superrich across from the Marriott so that'll be handy, I wouldn't have had a clue about them if not for all you super BE members.
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Old Apr 30th 2019, 4:06 pm
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Default Re: Oldies on holiday in Thailand

Thanks again to you all for your information and ideas. After spending way too much time thinking about it and searching for the best deals, I've finalized our bookings.

I was really pleased with the airfares I found, Perth - Singapore with Qantas, Singapore to Bangkok with Air Asia.
Bangkok - Singapore with Cathay Pacific, Singapore to Perth with Qantas.

7 nights at the Marriott Queens Park in Bangkok, booked through travel deals website. Suite, club access and a few other perks.
I had a rethink about Pattaya and decided on Hua Hin instead, so we're staying at the Hyatt Regency there for 8 nights. We're Hyatt members so got a King club access room with terrace and daily massages at an excellent rate.

For those interested in these things, the entire trip including airfares came in at just over $4,000 which I think is pretty good for what we're getting. I love planning for holidays, I think I was a travel agent in a former life See you soon, (part of) Thailand!




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Old Apr 30th 2019, 7:38 pm
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Default Re: Oldies on holiday in Thailand

Firstly, good choice re Pattaya, it can be a bit one dimensional, and doesn't attract the best, foreigner and Thai.

Hua Hin is a lovely area. Don't know how you're getting around there but a few places to consider:
1) Market Village for aircon shopping, mid range and excellent food court in the basement, quite busy.
2) Blueport for aircon shopping, more high range and foodcourt in the basement, not so busy.

They both have their good points.

3) Soi Bintabaht behind the Hilton has the walking street with the usual selection of bars, nightlife etc. The party zone. Not too in your face and fairly reasonably priced. A wide range of restaurants around there too.
4) North of the Hilton there are some restaurants built out on stilts over the beach,open air, they're perfect for sundowners and food. Obviously they get a good breeze too which is very nice at this time of year.
5) Just inland behind the Hyatt are two nice nightmarkets. Cicada market and Tamarind market. They both have live bands. Cicada has a lot of stalls selling trinkets etc. Prices are fairly reasonable for a tourist place. Personally I prefer Tamarind for a drink because it always struck me as less stressful somehow, I'm not big on shopping, that's my wife's area of expertise, and I didn't like the coupon system at the bar at Cicada. YMMV....

All of the above are walking distance from your hotel.

Honourable mention to Seenspace for a different kind of bar area right by the sea. Good breeze.

If you're renting a car or hiring a driver for the day other areas to check out might be:

6) Pranburi National Forest Park, nice beach area and there's an interesting walk through the mangrove you can do.
7) Pak Nam Pran promenade, a few places along here to get a drink and also good for a sundowner. It's quiet.
8) Phraya Nakhon Cave. Don't know your physical health but if you make it to one place then do this. If you do go, don't bother with the boat, it's a ripoff because it only saves you a small part of the climb. The main climb still awaits you.

There's nice beaches dotted all along the coast, but the main one in Hua Hin is very nice anyway.

I'm sure a quick browse on tripadvisor would give you loads of other ideas too. On the whole I really like the area. It's got a lot going for it, which is part of the reason I bought a house about 20km south of Hua Hin last year! You should have a great time!

Good luck with the weather though. It might only be 32 degrees but the humidity is brutal right now. Hopefully you'll get some rain to take the edge off it.

The cave. Photo doesn't really do it justice.
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Old May 4th 2019, 5:20 pm
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Default Re: Oldies on holiday in Thailand

Originally Posted by nonthaburi
Firstly, good choice re Pattaya, it can be a bit one dimensional, and doesn't attract the best, foreigner and Thai.

Hua Hin is a lovely area. Don't know how you're getting around there but a few places to consider:
1) Market Village for aircon shopping, mid range and excellent food court in the basement, quite busy.
2) Blueport for aircon shopping, more high range and foodcourt in the basement, not so busy.

They both have their good points.

3) Soi Bintabaht behind the Hilton has the walking street with the usual selection of bars, nightlife etc. The party zone. Not too in your face and fairly reasonably priced. A wide range of restaurants around there too.
4) North of the Hilton there are some restaurants built out on stilts over the beach,open air, they're perfect for sundowners and food. Obviously they get a good breeze too which is very nice at this time of year.
5) Just inland behind the Hyatt are two nice nightmarkets. Cicada market and Tamarind market. They both have live bands. Cicada has a lot of stalls selling trinkets etc. Prices are fairly reasonable for a tourist place. Personally I prefer Tamarind for a drink because it always struck me as less stressful somehow, I'm not big on shopping, that's my wife's area of expertise, and I didn't like the coupon system at the bar at Cicada. YMMV....

All of the above are walking distance from your hotel.

Honourable mention to Seenspace for a different kind of bar area right by the sea. Good breeze.

If you're renting a car or hiring a driver for the day other areas to check out might be:

6) Pranburi National Forest Park, nice beach area and there's an interesting walk through the mangrove you can do.
7) Pak Nam Pran promenade, a few places along here to get a drink and also good for a sundowner. It's quiet.
8) Phraya Nakhon Cave. Don't know your physical health but if you make it to one place then do this. If you do go, don't bother with the boat, it's a ripoff because it only saves you a small part of the climb. The main climb still awaits you.

There's nice beaches dotted all along the coast, but the main one in Hua Hin is very nice anyway.

I'm sure a quick browse on tripadvisor would give you loads of other ideas too. On the whole I really like the area. It's got a lot going for it, which is part of the reason I bought a house about 20km south of Hua Hin last year! You should have a great time!

Good luck with the weather though. It might only be 32 degrees but the humidity is brutal right now. Hopefully you'll get some rain to take the edge off it.

The cave. Photo doesn't really do it justice.
Thanks heaps Nonthaburi, your local knowledge and tips are priceless to us.

After reading what you said about the markets, and having a look on Tripadvisor as well, Tamarind sounds like a much better fit for us too. I'm not a keen shopper, and my husband would rather stick rusty nails in his eyes than shop The places you've mentioned are worth a visit all look great, not sure I could manage the cave but the other half has said he's keen - I'll wave him goodbye from the pool.

Congratulations on your house purchase! I hope you and your family have many happy times there. Thanks again for taking the time to give us such helpful info
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Old May 5th 2019, 12:16 am
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Default Re: Oldies on holiday in Thailand

I will be very interested to read how this hol pans out. I have been thinking we should make a visit .
Like you , we are not shoppers at all. We prefer quiet , restful and interesting .
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Old May 5th 2019, 2:28 am
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Hope you have a great vacation!
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Old May 5th 2019, 4:03 pm
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Default Re: Oldies on holiday in Thailand

Originally Posted by caretaker
Hope you have a great vacation!
Thanks Caretaker
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