| Part 1:
Continued from the Malaysia 2013 travelogue
This was a simple and not too ambitious one-week
trip to Thailand, consisting of four days in Khao
Lak followed by three days in Bangkok. The beach
in Khao Lak is endless - it extends for km and km.
What is missing a bit, is an infrastructure of
cafés and restaurant on the beach, where you can
stop for a drink or some food. The sea water
wasn't too inviting, but this might be due to the
late season (monsoon approaching).
Regarding Bangkok, having been there several
times, I wasn't expecting too much of my Bangkok
stay. I mostly avoided the standard tourist traps,
preferring to visit some place I hadn't seen
before and places not too frequented by tourists,
such as malls frequented by locals. Overall I was
positively impressed. The days in Bangkok was
quite pleasant and I got some very nice shots. The
food was also very good. My wife told me she wants
to visit again Bangkok on our next trip.
This wasn't exactly a low budget trip, as we chose
to stay in some nice resort in Khao Lak and chose
a nice hotel in Bangkok. Still I have to say that
the cost level in Khao Lak is pretty high.
Probably part of the problem is that if you are in
an isolated resort which is 10km away from the
village, the cost of the food will be higher,
because it costs time and money to get to the
village with the cheaper restaurants. In Bangkok
costs for everything are lower, probably because
of the competition.
We enjoyed a wide variety of dishes in local
restaurants. Overall the food was delicious. In
Bangkok we ate in the food courts of shopping
malls, and in open air food stalls in a number of
This time we stayed in quality hotels and resorts,
in the 3500-5500 Baht/night range. These offered
comfortable rooms with all amenities.
rate (August 2013)
1 Euro = 41.5 THB
1 Euro = 1.33 USD
For current exchange rates check the Universal
ATMs are everywhere, so that you can easily get
cash with a
Cirrus/Maestro ATM card. ATMs in Thailand charge a
fee of 150 Baht per withdrawal. The only ATMs
which do not do so apparently are ATMs belonging
to non-Thai banks.
and prepaid cards
I bought a SIM card from AIS in a petrol station
for 50 Baht, with 15 Baht of airtime on it and a
two recharge of 300 Baht. I realised later that
the instructions were written almost completely in
Thai and that AIS offers a confusing number of
I used the WLAN network in the hotel and the
smartphone to access the
We have been lucky with the weather, because
during our stay in Khao Lak the weather was mostly
good. A couple we met in the resort told us that
it had been raining for the past week. Not
surprising, since August is somehow monsoon season
in this area. In Bangkok the weather was good,
mostly sunny with blueish skies.
The usual set of tropical vaccinations. I didn't
immunisations for this trip.
VISA on arrival for all ASEAN nationals and
nationals of many western and developed countries.
No issues here. Thailand is a very safe place.
- The Wat Benchamabophit marble temple in
- The Siam square shopping malls in Bangkok
- The Khao Sok NP probably is interesting and
worth a number of days.
- Should you stay in Khao Lak, it's better
choosing a resort or hotel close to a village
and not a totally isolated one.
We relied on flights to cover the long distances
and taxis or tour operators for local transport or
daytrips. We flew via Surat Thani rather than
Phuket, because the flight was much cheaper.