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Old 12th June 2015, 13:01   #151
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Default Re: 10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)

Mostly inspired by this travelogue, we planned our family trip to Kanachanaburi-Pattaya-Bangkok and came back yesterday. This post is regarding car booking experience from Avis in Thailand. We booked our car online with Avis as suggested in this thread without paying anything. Reached Suvarnabhumi airport at 1 AM in the morning and after the visa-on-arrival formalities reached the Avis counter at around 2AM. However given the time of the night, no one was present in the counter and so decided to have a cup of coffee. In about 20 minutes, one guy showed up and checked his manifest for reservations. On finding our name, he called the Avis shuttle service to take us to the Avis Airport office in the Transportation Centre.

When we reached there, they initially offered us to add theft protection etc which we denied and told them to stick with original plan of GPS and SCDW. Surprisingly, the bill that they made for the same set of quoted add-on was 200THB more than quoted price. When this discrepancy was pointed out, they said it could be due to additional VAT. It was duly mentioned out to them that VAT was also included in the quoted price. Then after a few phone calls they printed the invoice for the initial quoted amount. We were handed over a Toyota Vios 1.5L manual with 122,000km with scratches and dents all over its body. I was really taken for a shock for nowhere else I have seen rental cars with so much scratches all over. Given it was already 330AM in the morning and we had to drive down to Kanchanaburi, 160km away, we started right away. They also handed me a Garmin Nuvi GPS that the girls in the counter had no idea how to operate.

Finally they gave us one to play with and I keyed in the coordinates and started. I also asked them if the drop-off location is already saved in the 'favorites', to which they showed me Avis Suvarnabhumi is the location of this office. One point to remember for all who plan to rent GPS in Thailand is to set your preferred language before starting off as the default language set is Thai. Another important aspect is that the GPS maps are not updated regularly and often near Bangkok especially, the GPS tries to steer you to non-existent turns. However within Kanchanaburi and Pattaya cities, it was spot on. Also as Chon Buri motorway runs parrallel to 7 something.... road and allowing only a few exits, if you plan to explore attractions near Pattaya, you end up driving a whole lot more.

The GPS cannot distinguish between motorway and the other road mentioned as they run side by side. My suggestion will be to stay clear of Chon Buri motorway unless you intend to reach Bangkok. Finally, the Avis Suvarnabhumi saved in the GPS is the Avis counter in the Airport itself and not the actual drop-off office location. I learnt it by taking several rounds of the airport and finally getting on the motorway toward Pattaya and then taking an exit 10km off. You better stick to printed direction stapled with the Avis rental agreement rather than trusting your GPS. The car behavior was typical Toyota and no problem whatsoever.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 12th June 2015 at 13:21. Reason: Splitting the post into paragraphs - helps in readability. Thanks!
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Old 9th November 2015, 13:19   #152
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Default Re: 10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)

Hi all,

Awesome thread, beats TripAdvisor for info on travelling to Thailand. I will be travelling to Bangkok, and Phuket next week with my wife, and had a few doubts.

1. Going to have to opt for Visa on arrival. Our accommodation is booked only for the first three days, as we thought we can decide on further arrangements depending on what we feel like doing once there. Is this an issue ? Do the authorities insist on booked accommodation for the entire duration of the stay before issuing visa?

2. Currency exchange. Visa on arrival rules state that each person requires to carry ten thousand baht on person. I am not sure if at the DMK airport the exchange terminals are accessible before the visa is granted, and so would like to carry cash with me, around twenty two thousand baht. What percentage of monies taken should be in baht, and in USD so that it work out economical for me.Also would appreciate tips on where I can get the foreign currency exchanged for best rates before travelling.

And my last query, is using credit cards abroad advisable - concern being the economics of it.

Thanks
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Old 9th November 2015, 14:56   #153
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Default Re: 10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)

When I went, the Visa on arrival guys didn't ask about the accommodaiton or cash in hand. I had mentioned the bangkok hotel's details on the form and that was it. Just carry enough THB for VOA fee and first day's requirements. Carry the remaining in USD ($100 Bills).

Some banks like Citybank do not charge anything extra for ATM withdrawal. I used my StanChart Card in a City ATM without any fee while StanChart ATM was charging a fee of Rs.250. I have used credit card at many places and find it to be the most convinent and even economical sometimes. Never faced any issue.

And all the best for your travel.
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Old 9th November 2015, 17:53   #154
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Default Re: 10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
When I went, the Visa on arrival guys didn't ask about the accommodaiton or cash in hand. I had mentioned the bangkok hotel's details on the form and that was it. Just carry enough THB for VOA fee and first day's requirements. Carry the remaining in USD ($100 Bills).
Thanks, want to double check if it was DMK airport you had landed in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
Some banks like Citybank do not charge anything extra for ATM withdrawal. I used my StanChart Card in a City ATM without any fee while StanChart ATM was charging a fee of Rs.250. I have used credit card at many places and find it to be the most convinent and even economical sometimes. Never faced any issue.
Cool, I bank with Citi Any tips on where I can get INR exchanged to USD ?

Last edited by TheDoctor : 9th November 2015 at 17:55. Reason: Information required
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Old 9th November 2015, 18:28   #155
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Default Re: 10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)

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Thanks, want to double check if it was DMK airport you had landed in.

Cool, I bank with Citi Any tips on where I can get INR exchanged to USD ?
I landed at Suvarnabhumi. Got currency converted at Thomas cook/Pound wise at Koramangala. Shop around and get from the guys who give you best rate. I prefer the shops which will give receipt for the transaction.
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Old 4th December 2015, 11:31   #156
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Default Re: 10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)

Is it mandatory or recommended to but a family floater medical insurance? We are travelling mid December and HDFC is covering the three of us for 1400 rupees. Is it worth it or even necessary? How is the local taxi is Bangkok? I see it is reasonably priced, but so are taxis in India: do they go where you ask them to on the meter? There are mixed reports on the net and some real info from the forum members would be useful.
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Old 4th December 2015, 12:02   #157
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Default Re: 10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)

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Is it mandatory or recommended to but a family floater medical insurance? We are travelling mid December and HDFC is covering the three of us for 1400 rupees. Is it worth it or even necessary?
I would say Insurance is essential. Why don't you opt for travel insurance. They remain valid for a month and covers most of the emergency needs (if any). The one from Royal Sundaram is good. When we went to Thailand in 2014, we opted for Travel Insurance from Royal Sundaram at INR 600 for two of us.

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How is the local taxi is Bangkok? I see it is reasonably priced, but so are taxis in India: do they go where you ask them to on the meter? There are mixed reports on the net and some real info from the forum members would be useful.
From Bangkok airport (Don Muoeng) there are separate counters for Meter and Prepaid taxi. There the rates are fixed but reasonable. Apart from that, anywhere else I have traveled its always prepaid ones. Prime reason being Bangkok is a very congested city. So, opt for prepaid but don't forget to bargain a bit.
Suggestion would be to take the cab from airport (prepaid or meter) and calculate the distance and fare in that journey. Use that as a benchmark everywhere.

Last edited by gearhead_mait : 4th December 2015 at 12:04.
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Old 4th December 2015, 14:09   #158
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Default Re: 10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)

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Originally Posted by lapis_lazuli View Post
How is the local taxi is Bangkok? I see it is reasonably priced, but so are taxis in India: do they go where you ask them to on the meter? .
Hi,

Regarding local travel in Thailand and feedback on taxi service, please see my travelogue (link below)

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...hbourhood.html (Charismatic Thailand: Holiday in a Friendly Neighbourhood)

For taxi details, please refer to post towards the end.
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