Travel advice & practical information for travelogue:
'Bicycle vacation Thailand'
Royal Thai Consulate General
351 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10022
Tel.: 212-754 1770
Tel.: 212-754 1896
Fax: 212-754 1907
Web site: Consulate General of Thailand in New York
Embassy of Thailand
29-30 Queen's Gate
London SW7 5JB
Tel.: 020-7589 2944
Consular section: 020-7589 2944 / ext. 117
Fax: 020-7823 9695
Web site: Embassy of Thailand in London
Ambassade de Thailande
8, Rue Greuze
Tel.: 01-4704 3222
Fax: 01-4524 3948
Bureau de Tourisme
90, Avenue Champs Elysées
Tel.: 01-4562 8656
Hardly anyone speaks English, so bring a phrase book.
It's a good idea to read up on Buddhism; it seems to have a great influence on daily life. People are friendly and will always greet you with "hello".
Always negotiate about prices, even if you think they're reasonable for your own standards. It is considered normal to negotiate until the lowest price possible is reached. This goes for goods as well as for tours.
Thailand has ATMs, but only in the big cities, at airports and in tourist resorts. Traveller checks can be cashed everywhere, but it's relatively expensive. Changing cash is cheaper.
"Paying by credit card in inadvisable in Thailand. Fraud is in some places rather rule than exception. 40 per cent of payments for fraud-related claims by the largest credit card companies is for tourism-related fraud in Thailand." (Source: Lonely Planet)
Every village has a bicycle repair shop. The standard wheel size is small: 29". So bring spare parts for 28" wheels (spokes, inner and outer tires). The same goes for brake pads: the choice is limited.
One gets used to bicycling on the left quickly. Cars are very much aware of bikes. In general the roads are good; soemtimes one has to bicycle along a crowded thruway. Where available, trains are a good and cheap alternative.
There are no detailed roadmaps and the Thai script also makes reading maps difficult.
In big cities and towns it's not a problem, but in small villages it's hard to find a place to stay. Bringing a list of accomodation along your route is probably a good idea.
For up-to-date information about health risks go to the site of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Thailand. Always consult your family doctor as well.
Plan your trip to Thailand online
Through online reservation systems like À la Carte Vacations you can book airline tickets, hotels, rental cars and holiday houses. You can build a fly-drive itinerary with maximum flexibility, book a flight plus a hotel hotel for a night or weekend. Without the limitations of package deals from travel organisations and most times for a much better price.
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