Friday, August 8

Oh, and happy, happy Friday.

Yesterday I booked a trip to Thailand! We leave in a couple of
months, and would love to hear from any of you travelers with any
tips you may have about Bangkok and the island of Koh Samui.
In the meantime, have a great weekend, and happy summer travels!

UPDATE: Based on some of the weather issues, we are now staying in
Krabi and Phuket, so if you have any tips for me, I'd love to hear them - thanks!


Jeannine said...

we will definitely need to chat. i'm so jealous! good for you!!

Courtney said...

Oh goodness - you are going to have the time of your life. We honeymooned in Koh Samui and Bangkok, so both hold a dear place in my heart.

Do you already have hotels booked?

sfgirlbybay said...

okay jeannine! :)

courtney - yes we got an amazing online deal at the anantara resort!! it looks so lovely!

Allison said...

You should ask my friend Julie about Thailand. She liked it so much that she's moved there!

You can find her blog here:

sfgirlbybay said...

this is such a great resource, allison! thank you - i love her blog and is just what i am looking for - a local's viewpoint.

Anonymous said...

Hello! In Bangkok don't miss the Jim Thompson House is amazing!! See also
To buy eletronics there's a whole shopping malls dedicated to computers called Pantip Plaza...and of course, spend a lot of your time at the Grand Palace.
About the Islands there are better islands to visit than Koh Samui, Koh Phi Phi for example...from there you take boats and enjoy day trips to other islands, like Maya Bay (The Beach Movie, Leo DiCaprio)...
Enjoy your trip!!!
Mariana Mamprim

Neuf Francs said...

Make sure you take comfy sandals so you can take them on and off at the temples. For a different experience {if it gets too hot} see a movie at the mall - BMK. Each movie starts with the King's song! Everyone is nice in Thailand and very modest. You will not have trouble with speaking a little Thai, and English is spoken everywhere. Spirit houses make great gifts and you can get those at the large outdoor market, Chatuchak. You can find ANYTHING there!!! If you want something nicer, you can buy a gold necklace with Buddha inside a glass case at Siam Centre, a very posh mall. Paputasiyasn Paputabatjamlong Pajaootong is a great cave temple with monkeys everywhere. Street food is a must, and only eat fried bugs if you are feeling a little adventurous! When swimming watch out for jellyfish! Thailand is a very comfortable, colourful spot with amazing people. Enjoy yourself and take loads of pictures!

adriana said...

how amazing! Never been there... but definitely done my share of traveling and i sure miss it! I hear that is a wonderful place. Congrats!

sfgirlbybay said...

it's appearing that koh samui is rainy in october, so if anyone has tips on whether it might be better to stay in koh phi phi, or phuket, i would greatly appreciate it. we liked koh samui because it looked like it was easy to get into town for dinners, shopping, rather than eating at a hotel every night.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I'm a Thai and living in Bangkok.

October is still a low-season for the South region. So, there are chances for rain in Samui, Phi Phi or Phuket. But, that doesn't mean you won't get any sunshine. :)
I think all these 3 places are very easy to get around, they are very touristy places. Phuket is a nicer choice if you want some cultural heritage apart from the beach getaway.

In Bangkok, do not miss the Jatuchak (or JJ) market. It opens only on weekend though.

Ange said...


You'll love Thailand! At least I think you will :). I'm an aussie/american girl who lives here. I have a blog ( you can check out which is really mostly photos, but I'm happy to answer any questions you might have. In Bangkok, JJ Market is a must and the Siam area, too. Pick up a Nancy Chandler map when you arrive (see her website at Also check out this blog for some great Bangkok info...

Happy traveling,


sfgirlbybay said...

Thank you for these wonderful tips and resources.

Ange - what do you think about the weather issue in October. We arrive on the 15th and are there until the 30th. So, we are wondering if we should stay in Samui, Phi Phi, or maybe Krabi? The weather reports for Krabi look a bit more stable and consistent with less rain. But if the rain in the other places is pretty mild, I think we'd like to stick with our original plan of the Anantara in Koh Samui. It's all a bit overwhelming to us because the weather reports seem to vary drastically!

Help! :)

Anonymous said...

I am thinking you will welcome some rain. It's so bloody hot & steamy there! You are going to LOVE it there. Don't hold back on shopping. Go crazy and if you see something you like, just buy it! The weekend market everyone talks about is spectacular. There is an entire section where vendors sell home furnishings. You'll be like, "Holy crap, this is where Pottery Barn gets all their stuff!". I can't wait to go back in January.

Anonymous said...

Let me clarify, the weekend market I am speaking of is in Bangkok.

Caitlin said...

Have fun! My husband and I were BKK for two days over New Year's eve/day, and we are already planning our next trip back to Thailand. Here are the links to the two posts I wrote about our short but extremely fun visit:

Alex said...

You really ought to read The Beach before you go. It's a quick, light read, but I found it thoroughly enjoyable.

Amy C said...

I LOVE Thailand, I am jelous of your trip.
Go to Siam Sq there is a big shopping mall in there is the best stationery store in the world - near the top floor its called 'Loft' there is also a great plush cinema in the same mall if you feel like escaping the heat its one of the most comfortable chairs I have ever sat in and it reclines to almost horizontal!
For major bargains and some CRAZY stuff go to Chatuchak Market.
Also in Bangkok The Grand Palace - (go early when its peaceful)Jim Thompsons House as mentioned above is worth a trip.
Dont take much with you because you will want to buy lots of things.
You are right Krabbi is lovely Rali Beach is lovely because you can swim in the shade in some spots.
Phuket, Phi Phi, oh gosh I will stop now its all soooo good.

Ange said...

I'm not entirely sure about the weather in the south mainly because I haven't been there at that time of year. I do know that the rainy season starts later in the year and finishes later on Koh Samui making it more likely to be rainy there than Phuket or Phi Phi. But I think you'll find that the rain won't be constant whether you stay at Samui, Phi Phi or Phuket. There will definitely be some sunshine! Good friends of mine went to Samui in September last year and they raved about it.

Good luck with the decision making and if you have anymore questions let me know.


Ange said...

Just reread your plans and saw you said Krabi not Phuket. Sorry!

I've heard great things about Krabi, too although I still haven't been there myself (must get on that!). I think you'd find it a little more chilled than Samui which can be pretty touristy. Mind you, it's hard to imagine anything more relaxing than the Anantara Resort. The more I read what I write, the more I think I'm not helping at all!


Delena said...

I studied in Bangkok in the summer of 2005 and my one piece of advice for that city is to make sure you do not miss the Weekend Market! It's a favorite for locals and travelers, alike. And the one rule for traveling that I live by: See it, like it, BUY IT! otherwise you'll have big regrets later on. :) I also visited Koh Samui for a weekend but it was in June so I don't know how different the weather will be. If the weather is nice, though, I'd recommend getting one of those beachfront massages. Totally worth it. If you're up for it, there's also the city of Pai in northern Thailand. We flew there for a weekend and it was one of the most peaceful and serene places I've ever been; totally non-touristy and humble. Have a great trip; you'll have the time of your life. :) -Delena

Delena said...

oh! and don't forget to grab a copy of Lonely Planet. that was helpful. :)

Anonymous said...

The only regret I have from my visit to Thailand was I did not get a massage EVERY day. In other have something rubbed (back, neck, foot) whatever ; ) EVERYDAY. It's worth it! Also, have something made, like a cool duvet or have your favorite robe or skirt remade. My friend had a duvet with buttons made out of gorgeous satin, very tastefully done, and it cost half what it would here, and it fit her down comforter perfectly as she gave exact measurements. You can usually have things made in a day.

Anonymous said...

LUXX is a great small boutique hotel in Bangkok

kristy said...

I went to Bangkok and Koh Samui for my honeymoon. I found Koh Samui to be rather touristy, and was glad that we booked a lovely hotel at Koh Phangan (which is starting to get touristy with the "full moon" parties). It was called the Panviman Resort (, and was on a more secluded part of the island.

I also highly recommend that while you are in Bangkok, take a Thai cooking class. This was one of the highlights of my trip - we took ours at the Blue Elephant Cooking School. If you take the classes, be sure to sign up for the ones that include a morning market trip - so awesome. Website:

Anonymous said...

How exciting - you will have such a great time. I love Thailand!
I think you would really enjoy the Chatuchak weekend market - I bought some gorgeous ceramic leaf shaped dishes there 4 years ago, and still see them in homewares shops now at more than 5 times the price.
As far as weather goes, don't stress too much. We went to Ko Tao in Sep/Oct and it was pouring the day we arrived (we were literally ankle deep in water) but then we had sunshine every day after that and I got burnt to a crisp!
Another fond memory is a restaurant called Lemongrass in Bangkok. It was in my Lonely Planet from back then, right near the sky train. It's in an old converted Thai mansion, beautiful setting and fantastic food. I liked that both times we were there (we made a special trip there before we left it was so good) there were as many Thai people as tourists. They do a great G&T too!
Have fun!!

Kate said...

My Dad's living in Krabi at the mo...... say hello and tap him for some cash for me!

Anonymous said...

I was just in Thailand in March! I'm very jealous. In Krabi, Railay Beach was amazing. In Phi Phi make sure you do the hike to the top to see the view.. and in Bangkok the Mandarin Oriental has a wonderful dinner cruise at night that non-guests can take- it was gorgeous!
And.. you have to get a massage a day!! Have fun!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if you're still going to Bangkok or not, but if so, I agree with the Chatuchak Week-End Market recos. It's INSANE, huge and awesome, absolutely the best market I have ever seen. I was backpacking and so couldn't buy much, but if I could go back there, I would in a heartbeat.

In Phuket, I would say make sure you visit Phuket Town as well as the beaches. Phuket Town has a real faded charm and is a little more true "Thai" than the international beach scene. The night market in Phuket Town is also worth a visit. Lots of knock off Mac make-up and the like, but full of locals (not tourists) and it has some great Thai street food - I ate my first (and only) fried bugs there. :)

Prêt à Voyager said...

hi victoria! i was just in bangkok back in may, and here's a link to all my thailand themed posts (there are still lots more to come):

i must admit that the pollution, heat and traffic did take a toll on me! i'd suggest exploring outside of the city a bit as well. but the big weekend market is a MUST. i think you'd also have fun in chinatown (so easy to get lost in those streets). street food is A-MAZING and oh so cheap.

Xander has lots of inspirational posts:

And Annamatic's travel recaps are always stellar:

And you may enjoy these maps:

these links and others can be found in my posts as well :)

happy travels! can't wait to see when you report back :)


sfgirlbybay said...

Thank you all so much for the invaluable advice, and links! This is so great, and our plans are coming along really well! :)

Lynn Segal said...

I didn't really enjoy Bangkok (a few days is enough, and the Jatujuk/Chatuchuk market is a must do!). I preferred the shopping in Chiang Mai up north -- a flight there is short and pretty cheap. We stayed at a cool boutique hotel there called Rachamankha (

But my biggest piece of advice is to buy the Luxe Travel Guides before your trip. You can buy them online or at Flight 001 on Hayes St. They are pocket sized, updated twice yearly, written by sassy locals, and will really *make* your trip. They have a set of 3 Thai cities (online only), which you would love. Trust me!

Anonymous said...

One other interesting place is Chinatown in Bangkok. It's like visiting another foreign land. Very colorful with items not seen in SF Chinatown or other markets in Bangkok. Also agree that Chaing Mai was superb--visit one of the Elephant Preserves. We watched our elephants paint, and even bought their paintings.