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Old 3rd May 2013, 07:53   #136
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Default Re: Thailand | Third Time

I know this is an old thread but I just got to reading it today and thought I'll add some points from my experience.

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Some common queries (FAQs) about visiting Thailand, answered:

1. How can I get a mobile phone connection in Thailand?
The last time I was in Thailand, I didn't take a SIM from the Airport, but instead took one from the 4th floor of the MBK mall in the city. It was a data only SIM that came with 500MB data for about 100 baht, if I remember correctly. Lasted me for a week with the usual whatsapp and emailing. This is all that I needed.

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3. I would like to know what is the cheapest way to convert INR to THB. I have a Visa and Master debit/ATM card and a Master credit card.

If you are going for visa-on-arrival, you need to carry 10,000 THB per person or 20,000THB per family, in THB or USD/GBP/EUR equivalent, in cash, apart from the usual return tickets, hotel booking receipts, passport photos etc. INR is NOT accepted as a THB equivalent, like it or not.
Yes, officially this is a requirement but in none of my 3 trips to Thailand have I ever been asked to show funds at the VOA counter. I don't think they enforce it religiously. Since, Thailand is a major backpackers destination, my guess is they ask only people who *look* like they can't afford Thailand. Most Indians don't fall in that category. And I've been told INR works fine. There are money changers at the Airport just next to the VOA area but as you've mentioned, their rates are usually not so great. I've found the best rates in the Nana area where most low cost hotels/guesthouses are.

As for using your ATM card in Thailand, most banks, except Citibank and Standard Charteres, levy a charge of 150 baht for using their ATMs. This charge is above the convenience fee and service tax that your bank will charge so it turns out to be a little expensive. There maybe other MNC banks which don't levy this charge but I only know of these two. There is a big Citibank branch near the Terminal mall in the Nana area. I've heard Aeon ATMs also don't have this fee but I've not used them.
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Old 3rd May 2013, 09:42   #137
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Default Re: Thailand | Third Time

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...I've been told INR works fine. There are money changers at the Airport just next to the VOA area...
None of the moneychangers in the airport, and very very few of them anywhere in the city, convert INR > THB. Those that do, offer a much poorer rate than if you are converting INR > USD > THB.
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Old 3rd May 2013, 15:57   #138
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Default Re: Thailand | Third Time

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Those that do, offer a much poorer rate than if you are converting INR > USD > THB.
On the contrary, found quiet a few of them in Bangkok city, series of them in Phuket and Pattaya.
I converter INR directly to THB, first time it was 1.4, next time it was 1.8
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Old 3rd May 2013, 17:24   #139
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Default Re: Thailand | Third Time

Thank you.
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Originally Posted by himadrimondal View Post
...found quiet a few of them in Bangkok city, series of them in Phuket and Pattaya.
Which area of Bangkok?
Quote:
I converter INR directly to THB, first time it was 1.4, next time it was 1.8
Which year? What was the net rate working out to when converting INR > USD > THB at that time?
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Old 3rd May 2013, 23:19   #140
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Thank you.

Which area of Bangkok?

Which year? What was the net rate working out to when converting INR > USD > THB at that time?
Pratunam area, bang opposit Amari Atrium in Bangkok city.
Walking St in both Phuket and Pattaya.
My last visit was on Jan 2013.
Conversion was directly from Bhat to Inr. 1:1.8 was the ratio.
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Old 11th May 2013, 12:01   #141
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Default Re: Thailand | Third Time

dada,

We are also driving down to kwai river at xanadu first thing upon reaching thailand. Since we reach in the wee hours and hit the road immediately, we may not have time to convert usd to baht on arrival (dont want to do that at the airport) can you advise if money changers can be found anywhere near xanadu and whether they offer competitive rates?
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Old 11th May 2013, 13:12   #142
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dada,

We are also driving down to kwai river at xanadu first thing upon reaching thailand. Since we reach in the wee hours and hit the road immediately, we may not have time to convert usd to baht on arrival (dont want to do that at the airport) can you advise if money changers can be found anywhere near xanadu and whether they offer competitive rates?
Easiest thing to do is to go to any Bank ATM, use your India International Debit card and withdraw some local currency.
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Old 11th May 2013, 20:51   #143
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Default Re: Thailand | Third Time

Just returned from a 8 day trip to Phuket and Bangkok. Had a great time, especially Phuket as the weather was cloudy the days we decided to go out. Please note that it gets extremely hot and hence carry a lot of liquids.

We stayed at Kantary Bay and to my knowledge this is one of the best resorts to relax. The service was excellent and we enjoyed the beach and swimming pools. This place is a bit far from Phuket town and that is what we wanted, stay away from all the noise and crowds.

Enjoyed the trip to Jamesbond Island and Coral Island. As for Bangkok, most of the time was spent in shopping. Did visit the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun and Ayuthayya. Skipped the Floating market and tiger zoo as family was not very keen.

If u are in Bangkok, do visit Platinum Fashion Mall and the lady folks will thank you for ever. Also if you are Veg, try the Thai Veg food stall in the food court.

MBK is also good and do visit Big Papa another Thai Veg food stall in the International Food Court.

For bargain shopping Chinatown and Indra market are good.
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Old 11th May 2013, 21:20   #144
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...can you advise if money changers can be found anywhere near xanadu and whether they offer competitive rates?
There's a money changer next to the entrance of the River Kwai hotel in the main market of Kanchanaburi, where we got one of the best rates of our trip. This is about 10 km before you reach Xanadu.
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Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
Easiest thing to do is to go to any Bank ATM, use your India International Debit card and withdraw some local currency.
True, but transaction charges apply, and the exchange rates are not among the best.
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Old 25th May 2013, 13:16   #145
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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Personal accident insurance: Carry accident insurance from an Indian insurer anyway. PAI from Avis will only cover injuries when driving the car - what about at other times, like crossing the road?
Dada,

A follow up question, I checked with Centum about an overseas insurance cover and they offer one from Bajaj Allianz. I asked them whether the accident coverage will apply if one is driving in a rental car overseas (as opposed to say availing public transport/driven around in a cab by a local driver) and the agent said yes but didnt revert upon being asked to provide that in writing. Would you know if personal accident coverage is valid in policies issued by Baja, HDFC etc for me and my family while driving around in a rental car. I of course hold a valid photo driving licence issued in Calcutta.

regards
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Old 30th May 2013, 20:35   #146
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Would you know if personal accident coverage is valid in policies issued by Baja, HDFC etc for me and my family while driving around in a rental car.
I am not wholly confident about the private insurance companies, but prefer the general insurance people like United India, New India, etc. for a transparent deal. Why don't you ask one of their offices for a travel insurance cover?
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Old 18th September 2013, 00:13   #147
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Default Re: Thailand | Third Time

Hi SS,

We are planning a Thailand trip in Oct. ETA 3:00am on 12th and ETD evening 17th. We will be staying at a friend's place in Ayyuttaya and using his car. Since your first trip was in Oct, wanted your guidance on planning the trip without burning my pocket too much.

Current shortlisted places apart from Ayyuttaya and Bangkok:
1) Nakon nayok and Khao Yai national park - heard about rain and leeches in Oct, but since we are ardent nature lovers thought of giving it a try. There is also an option for rafting here.
2) Suphan buri - less than 2 hour drive from Ayyuttaya, ruins, national park etc
3) Angthong - less than 2 hour drive from Ayyuttaya, farms, river etc
4) Kanchanaburi - thinking about staying here for a night after reading your TL.
5) Ko Samet Beach - the only beach other than Hua Hin doable as a day trip.

The first 3 were suggested by our friend in Ayyuttaya as day trip locations. The last 2 were added by me. I am sure you will have some more to add/replace.

The preference would be a mix of nature, peaceful beach, beach activities and shopping. My friend has also suggested Safari World.

Cheers

Vindy

Last edited by VindyWheels : 18th September 2013 at 00:19.
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Old 18th September 2013, 10:38   #148
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Default Re: Thailand | Third Time

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...wanted your guidance...
#1-3: I've not been there, so I don't have any idea - would look forward to details once you visit there.

#4: Love the place. Xanadu is one resort that's absolutely value for money. One night + 2 days is enough to cover the sights at Kanchanaburi.

#5: Why just Koh Samet? Pattaya, Cha Am and Hua Hin are all equally fun. For an 'over-the-sea' experience, Koh Samui can be considered.

Safari World: To enjoy fully, make provisions for a full day there.

No, we haven't faced any leeches ever, and rains in October are sporadic, not persistent.
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Old 23rd September 2013, 05:59   #149
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Default Re: Thailand | Third Time

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
None of the moneychangers in the airport, and very very few of them anywhere in the city, convert INR > THB. Those that do, offer a much poorer rate than if you are converting INR > USD > THB.
There are lot of shopkeepers in Pahurat area who would accept INR and would also change them into thai bahts. Try those shop which sell LCD's. There are many small lanes in front of India Emporium ( famous landmark ).
You get cheap Indian food too. Try Kewal famous for his Cholle Bhature.
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Old 14th April 2014, 18:06   #150
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Default Re: Thailand | Third Time

Dear SS,

Read your wonderful travelogues. Need your inputs on following .
I am now planning a family trip in the last week of June . I want to Drive down to Phuket and would like to stop for a night at only one location.

Could you please guide me on following :-

1. Which would be that one stop I should plan midway. I was thinking of Hua Hin. But since its a beach destination and would be as good as Phuket, I am thinking of some other location.(Pulsar has already answered this point. Says Hua Hin is too close to BKK for stop over)

2.Cheow Lan Lake / Ratchaprabha Dam (Khao Sok National Park) - Will it be on the way to Phuket or I need to take a diversion? Does this increase the distance between BKK and Phuket?
3. We are three families with a kid each ie 6 adults and three kids (Under 10). Which Vehicle should I go for in case we all want to travel together.
4. Any other important thing that I need to keep in mind for road travel basis your experience.

Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
#1-3: I've not been there, so I don't have any idea - would look forward to details once you visit there.

#4: Love the place. Xanadu is one resort that's absolutely value for money. One night + 2 days is enough to cover the sights at Kanchanaburi.

#5: Why just Koh Samet? Pattaya, Cha Am and Hua Hin are all equally fun. For an 'over-the-sea' experience, Koh Samui can be considered.

Safari World: To enjoy fully, make provisions for a full day there.

No, we haven't faced any leeches ever, and rains in October are sporadic, not persistent.
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