ROAM THAILAND Spending Money & activities advice

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ROAM THAILAND Spending Money & activities advice

Postby lucy86 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:34 am

Hi Guys

I am going on the Roam Thailand Tour this month but wondered how much spending money i should take? All accommodation and travel has been booked and paid for along with some meals. This is the link to the tour and details: http://www.gadventures.com/trips/roam-t ... 2/details/

I'd like to do a bit of shopping and maybe some trips/experiences (any recommendations welcome) but am not sure how much money i will need and whether i am better off getting cash out over there rather than exchanging it here in the UK. There is a list of optional activities not included in the trip which look good and gadventures recommend USD180 for those. Does that sound about right and has anyone done them?

Any tips will be much appreciated

Thanks!
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Re: ROAM THAILAND Spending Money & activities advice

Postby travellingandy » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:31 pm

hiya,
I did this tour last year and absolutely loved it. Every day was amazing.
Firstly, £20 = 1000 thai baht approx, so its nice and easy to remember the exchange rate.

The tour is split into 2 parts. Firstly in the North hill-tribe trekking where you wont spend much, and secondly in the south where you will party hard and spend shedloads on drink and food!

5,000 baht (£100) for the first part which will be plenty and allow you to shop loads. There are a zillion ATMs in bangkok and every town in thailand has one, so dont bother changing loads of money up in one go. Thai ATMS should accept all UK bank cards, no problem. Just do 2 or 3 withdrawals over the course of your trip. Yes, i know banks charge a few £ commision each time but trust me its a lot safer doing it this way (just let your bank know you will be using thai ATMs or anti-fraud department will block ya card!). If you want money as soon as your land, then simply use one of the many exchange counters in the Bangkok airport where you can change UK pounds - thai baht. DO NOT buy Thai Baht in the UK as the exchange rate will be diabolical!

-We started off in Bangkok for a night where you will meet your group and will probably go out for a meal and get on the vodka. Need 1000-2000 baht there.
-Next day should be train to Chang Mai in north, bit of light shopping, see some tigers and then group meal out with some heavy drinking! Need 1000-2000 baht there.
-Next few days you should be hilltribe trekking and staying with local people in their huts where you dont need much money really. This is where you get the meals included as you are out in the wilderness! this was my fav part of the trip, really awesome. Lots of monkeys, elephants to trek on and tigers to see! the locals have bars you can buy beers or drinks from and you can buy stuff in their shops to help them out. Think some activities like rafting or tubing might cost a little, but only 1000 baht or so.

-Then you come down to bangkok and you can get more money out. I'm sure the group will go out as one and get wasted, especially as some people will only be doing the hilltribe half and so will be saying goodbye. You might get a few more people joining to do the South Islands part at this stage.
-You get the train down to Koh Samui, Koh Toa islands i think where things are really lively, but another 10,000 baht (£200) will be more than enough. Even though accomodation is sorted, food and drink are pretty expensive, similar to UK prices really. it all depends on how much of a party animal you are really!

My top 5 tips would be :)
1. only take 1 jumper and 1 pair of trousers: Chang Mai in the north gets very cold at night, but you are only there for a couple of nights so no need for loads of warm clothes. Before you know it you'll be back down in 30 degree, 100% humidity heat so you dont want to lug a heavy backpack around.
2. when arriving or staying in Bangkok head straight to the Koh San Road for accomodation, food etc. This is where all the travellers start off, things are very cheap. You do not want to be burning £50 a night staying in the same nice hotel as you start the tour at!
3. On the last day don't bother getting the final train back to Bangkok. instead stay around the south islands and chill out - you'll find most of the tour will do this anyway. Railley beach & Koh lanta are really nice.
4. you will do 2 overnight train journeys, always grab the bottom bunk if possible as bigger and more comfy
5. on the overnight train journeys there are buffet cars on the ends and they turn into discos at night. the thai staff knock out all the party tunes and you can dance on the tables!

any Qs just ask, i really enjoy chatting about thailand and cant wait to go back!
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Re: ROAM THAILAND Spending Money & activities advice

Postby lucy86 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:29 pm

Hi Andy :-)

Thank you so much for your reply, so much helpful info! It's my first time travelling somewhere like this and I'm going alone so this is such a big help. I really can't wait to get out there now!

I have my flight booked back to London for when the tour ends but was thinking of changing it so I could stay down on the islands a bit longer so will see how it goes.

Thanks again
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Re: ROAM THAILAND Spending Money & activities advice

Postby gemmagemma11 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:46 am

Hi Guys

Im doing the same trip in February, so excited!

Andy your tips are very helpful infact the best ive seen so far, Just wanted to ask one question, is it worth taking a sleeping bag? I have a sleep sheet ... will this be enough?? Or can you hire them for the trekking part?

Thanks

Gemma
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Re: ROAM THAILAND Spending Money & activities advice

Postby travellingandy » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:32 pm

please do not take a sleeping bag.
you will be given sleeping bags, sheets, duvets etc. for sleeping at the hilltribe trekking. in fact when you are on the trek you will only be taking a small backpack on the trek. your big backpack will be at the previous hotel in safe storage. there will not be room for more than a few toiletries and clothes in your small backpack. even though you will be living with the locals, they of course, do have tours running through their villages every week so they are very western friendly and have all you need. they even have shops with oreo's in!

take a travel towel though for nice cold shower every morning!
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Re: ROAM THAILAND Spending Money & activities advice

Postby bambina » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:24 am

Thanks for the tips Andy! These are very helpful!

Lucy - I'm also going on the Roam Thailand tour at the end of November, and am getting really excited for it! My friend and I are doing some travelling around Asia before and after this tour as well. I had friends travel South East Asia earlier this year (not on a G tour), and said the one thing they really wish they did more of was stay in the Thai Islands. So I'm thinking Andy's advice about not taking the last train back to Bangkok definitely is worth thinking about!

See you soon!!

Robyn from Canada:)
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Re: ROAM THAILAND Spending Money & activities advice

Postby lucy86 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:44 pm

Hi Robyn :-) Oh i am so tempted to change my flight now...how amazing would it be to have Christmas on the beach!! Are you on the tour that starts 1st December? There is a thread in the departure lounge for people who are going on that date but not many people have replied. Really looking forward to it and meeting everyone too! see you there
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Re: ROAM THAILAND Spending Money & activities advice

Postby rcrast » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:05 am

Hey,

This is all really helpful. I have a question: are you/did you take the anti-malaria pills?

-Rebecca
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Re: ROAM THAILAND Spending Money & activities advice

Postby lucy86 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:13 am

i'm not planning to take any Malaria pills as my doctor advised against it as we wont be in high risk areas and it is a relatively short trip. I just got vaccines for Hep A & B, Polio, Typhoid, Tetanus and Diphtheria. As long as we are careful with water, salad, fresh fruits etc i think we should (I hope) be ok :-)
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Re: ROAM THAILAND Spending Money & activities advice

Postby sissy » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:10 pm

Hey Everyone,

I am also going on the "Roam Thailand" trip but not until January. All your messages have been really helpful, as I am unsure of what to pack for the trip. Is anybody bringing hiking boots and trekking pants along for the Hilltribe trek?

Sarah
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Re: ROAM THAILAND Spending Money & activities advice

Postby lucy86 » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:06 am

Hi Sarah

I haven't done anything like this before so i'm not best placed to give any advice but i was just going to take trainers or something because the hike only lasts 3 days and doubt it will be too physically challenging. I don't want to have to carry around heavy hiking boots for the whole trip when i could use that space for other stuff like gifts and shopping to bring home :-) i can let you know when i get back though as you don't leave until Jan.
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Re: ROAM THAILAND Spending Money & activities advice

Postby sissy » Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:09 pm

Lucy86,

That would be awesome! I really appreciate it. I hope you enjoy your trip to Thailand and let me know how it goes. :D
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Re: ROAM THAILAND Spending Money & activities advice

Postby travellingandy » Sat Nov 17, 2012 4:32 pm

most of the trek will be on level ground and gravel paths which would be fine for trainers, but some of it will be in jungle terrain which will be wet and muddy.
whatever you bring, make sure there is good grip on the bottoms!
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Re: ROAM THAILAND Spending Money & activities advice

Postby srest » Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:36 am

Hey, just wondering if anyone is going on this trip for Nov 26th?

Also very glad to hear that we don't need sleeping bags.

This advice has been really really helpful so thank you very much!

Sarah
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Re: ROAM THAILAND Spending Money & activities advice

Postby j92 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:28 am

Fairly pumped for this trip, especially after reading andy's post.

Sarah, my mate James and I are also doing the tour on the 26th, here's hoping it is as awesome as it sounds :D

Jarryd
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