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Going to Thailand
Old 09-14-2007, 10:37 AM   #1
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Going to Thailand

The DW and I will be going to Thailand and Cambodia the end of November. This will be our second trip with OAT ( went to China last year - great trip). Has anyone been there? Any tips/advice?
Thanks
Larry
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Old 09-14-2007, 01:45 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by bigla View Post
The DW and I will be going to Thailand and Cambodia the end of November. This will be our second trip with OAT ( went to China last year - great trip). Has anyone been there? Any tips/advice?
Thanks
Larry
I have not been to Thailand or Cambodia, but Thailand is on my list.
Question: what is an OAT? Thanks.
Have a great time.
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Old 09-14-2007, 04:38 PM   #3
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DH and I have been to Thailand 2 times. Absolutely loved it there! My favorite thing we did was "Hongs by Starlight"...Phuket Daytrips - Hong By Starlight

It was spectacular, an incredible experience. You do have to be a little adventurous, because they time the return out of the last hong closely with the tides...the water has come up in the hong and thus you have to lie down flat in your kayak while your guide pushes you through about a 10 foot length of cave (the ceiling is just a foot or so from your face as you are laying flat)! Ha! We like adventure. If you you do too, you'll love this experience.

We can't wait to go back someday. The thai people are so friendly and welcoming.
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:52 PM   #4
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Check out our Travel Page for Thailand THAILAND TRAVEL

We have listed some good information that you will find useful for your trip: Transport, things to do, medical care, restaurants, places to stay and useful Thai phrases.

For photos and stories check THAILAND This might help you decide on where you would like to visit.

Billy and I have spent years here in Thailand, (currently here now)... take advantage of our experience!

Be well,

Akaisha
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Old 09-15-2007, 01:13 AM   #5
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I live here part-time and have for the past 10 years. PM me and happy to share whatever you like to know.
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Thanks
Old 09-15-2007, 10:51 AM   #6
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Thanks

Thanks for you input, will be in touch soon, we are wrapping up a trip to NYC visiting with our kids and grandbaby so things are hectic. A quick look at the Thailand link looked great.
Larry
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Oat
Old 09-15-2007, 10:57 AM   #7
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Oat

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Originally Posted by megacorp-firee View Post
I have not been to Thailand or Cambodia, but Thailand is on my list.
Question: what is an OAT? Thanks.
Have a great time.
OAT stands for Overseas Advneture Travel. They have tours to all sorts of places around the world incl. Antartica. Groups are small (16-18) tops with knowledgeable guides. Takes you to more out of the way things plus what the usual tours cover. In China, we stayed overnight in a local's home and visited the Great Wall where none of the tourist groups go. They are not cheap but not out of this world either. here is link to their site:
Overseas Adventure Travel Company for Adventure Vacations and Tours

Larry
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Old 09-15-2007, 10:58 AM   #8
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Tries to get rid of smiley 2xs but couldn't so I gave up. Should be 16 to 18 people tops in a group.
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Old 09-15-2007, 11:05 AM   #9
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i had trouble w/ that smiley popping up too...!
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Old 09-15-2007, 11:24 AM   #10
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I've been to Cambodia and Thailand many times. Not sure what advice or tips you are looking for but here are a few on Cambodia:

1. The so-called 5 star Cambodiana Hotel in Phnom Penh is terriby run down, dirty, loud, and a bad experience overall. You can get online rates as low as $59 a night and it's still not worth it.

2. The 5 hour bus trip from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap on Mekong Express "luxury" bus (about $10) is a nice trip, much nicer than the boat. Don't take the boat -- fly or take the bus if traveling between these two cities.

3. The Phnom Bakeng temple on the hill that everyone seems to want to go to at sunset is overrated. Skip it completely.

4. Try to take a half day trip to Beng Melea temple about 1.5 hours out from Siem Reap; it's extaordinary.
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Old 09-16-2007, 11:49 PM   #11
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OAT stands for Overseas Advneture Travel. They have tours to all sorts of places around the world incl. Antartica. Groups are small (16-18) tops with knowledgeable guides. Takes you to more out of the way things plus what the usual tours cover. In China, we stayed overnight in a local's home and visited the Great Wall where none of the tourist groups go. They are not cheap but not out of this world either. here is link to their site:
Overseas Adventure Travel Company for Adventure Vacations and Tours

Larry
Thanks Bigla. The tours look great! Will have to consider these.
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Old 09-18-2007, 09:01 AM   #12
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Tries to get rid of smiley 2xs but couldn't so I gave up. Should be 16 to 18 people tops in a group.
space between the 8 and the )

: )
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Old 09-18-2007, 09:16 AM   #13
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Since you are on an organized trip, this may not be particularly useful for you, but just in case:

The Two Dragons Guesthouse in Siem Reap is really good, clean, and inexpensive. And the food was unbelievably tasty -- the fish curry there was one of the best meals I've ever had. Of course, I had to pay $3, plus $0.75 for a beer. You can get the same curry at other places for $1.50 (but it's not as good).

In general, you'll find food in Cambodia and Thailand to be quite different. Experiment.

Get to the famousest attractions in the Angkor area early. The tourist buses will arrive in droves by 10 a.m. Also, go to some of the less famous ones (Ta Prohm, for example), which are not so crowded but equally fun to poke around in. I agree with the previous remark about Phnom Bakeng -- and it is infinitely crowded around sunset.

In Cambodia, you'll see a lot of beggars with missing limbs. You should decide if and how much to give before you go. I settled on a policy of only giving to people with 2+ limbs off. Your policy may be anything you can live with, but you should think about it before you go.

When in Cambodia, my wife bought a couple small bracelets made of wooden beads from a girl outside one of the ruins. Later, we wished we'd bought more, since they would make great gifts for little girls. Keep that kind of thing in mind.

Tip generously in Cambodia, if the person deserves it. They are really poor there.

In Thailand, riding a bike around the ruins in Ayutthaya and Sukotthai was a lot of fun. Sweaty (it's pretty warm and humid even in 'winter'), but much better than going in a car or bus would have been.

Take some 'wash and dry' plasticized clothes. We got ours at REI, and the clothes dry overnight (in our A/C dehumidified rooms, at least). Since you'll sweat a lot, this is very handy.

You can buy bottled water almost anywhere in Thailand and Cambodia. Don't even rinse your toothbrush in the tap water (a habit I found hard to break).
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Old 09-18-2007, 12:48 PM   #14
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In Cambodia, you'll see a lot of beggars with missing limbs. You should decide if and how much to give before you go. I settled on a policy of only giving to people with 2+ limbs off. Your policy may be anything you can live with, but you should think about it before you go.

Tip generously in Cambodia, if the person deserves it. They are really poor there.
I would only disagree with these two suggestions. It is recommended that if you want to give; give to an established charity not directly to beggars. This is difficult but proper. When I went treking in Nepal I was advised to bring pencils to be given to the school principal - not the children. The principal would distribute them as needed. By doing this I was enhancing the position of the teacher; not having the children see tourists as wealthy gift givers or worst not turning children into beggars.

When I went to India I was also advised to give to established charities.

Tip what is appropriate for the country you are visiting. Books form Lonely Planet or your tour guide should be able to give you advise.

When I travel I try to do it with the similar idea for when I go hiking - take only pictures; leave only footprints. I am visitor and guest in a country.
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:53 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Robert the Red In Cambodia, you'll see a lot of beggars with missing limbs. You should decide if and how much to give before you go. I settled on a policy of only giving to people with 2+ limbs off. Your policy may be anything you can live with, but you should think about it before you go.

Tip generously in Cambodia, if the person deserves it. They are really poor there.


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Quote:
I would only disagree with these two suggestions. It is recommended that if you want to give; give to an established charity not directly to beggars. This is difficult but proper. When I went treking in Nepal I was advised to bring pencils to be given to the school principal - not the children. The principal would distribute them as needed. By doing this I was enhancing the position of the teacher; not having the children see tourists as wealthy gift givers or worst not turning children into beggars.
This is certainly a topic worthy of discussion. I (mostly) agree with you Dex, about giving to established charities instead of encouraging beggars. -- However, I have a bit of a reservation, even about the established lines of monetary control.


On a recent trip to Bangkok, we watched a program on a PBS channel regarding an Asian woman teaching other Asian women how to make beads, jewelry and other sellable trinkets to tourists. These women who had been widowed or left by their men, were under the jurisdiction of their hill tribe chiefs. They were not able to feed, clothe or educate their children until the Asian business woman taught them a trade to market for cash.

This trade brought them self esteem, money and with it, power. The Tribal chiefs were outraged because their own status had been threatened (understandably). However, they were not able to provide anything for these women, and they were left to beg or starve with no end in sight. If your man dies or leaves you, basically your life is 'over.'

My point is that many times these things are more complicated than we as outsiders can understand.

Because the men have died or left their families, Heifer International http://www.heifer.org/# often teach the children and women that are left, how to raise and care for animals providing food and income to them.

What we generally do when we travel, is to get personally involved with a family or give to the local Wat.

Be well,
Akaisha
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:19 PM   #16
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i read a quote somewhere by thomas jefferson which has stayed with me and reading this thread comes to mind: "travel makes you wiser but less happy."
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