Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

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Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by pezworld » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:15 am

We're talking a week or so, part of the Christmas trip to Melbourne too. I've been there a few times in the early 00s. ehs did some lost months there with no money in the early 80s when he was a broke low-class backpacking l00ser. Top Kid (16yo boy) has never been to SEA.

Sister is turning 70 in early January. Her idea is big house on/near beach for her beloved family. Her son (early 30s) lives in BKK and may come up with an idea but if not...

1. I figure a day or two in BKK total, not much more. It's a big city.
2. What beach would be cool for big extended family to get a house or at least decent hotel rooms in for a few days? Not a massive PITA to get to...
3. Maybe one more location not too far from BKK, for a day or so, to do Thai stuff? I would like to see elephants again, but I've done it once. I figure Top Kid would like it.

Incidentally, I am itching to see Vietnam again, but ehs almost has me convinced that it's too much to fit in this trip. He's never been there but I have. I'm just not sure when I can drag him back again.

Gosh, my first SEA trip was the reason I ended up on TT in 2001-2. And here we go again!
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by polardude1 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:26 am

One of the ancient capitals, Ayutthaya, is close to BKK
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by BeatRaven » Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:41 pm

The where's the best beach close to Bangkok? question has been debated to death on ThaiVisa and is worth a search there. Herein is a summary:

Ko Chang, Ko Mak and some very richie rich Ko's in that part of Thailand are nicer than down south and you can fly to near the ferry. Still takes the better part of the day before you put your feet in sand.

Ko Samet would probably have lots of house rentals, but it's not that nice. True Thai-ophiles prefer the Issan coast towns that don't see many white faces like Sri Racha.

Hua Hin (3 hours on the train) is a no-brainer, partic with a mixed age group. It's less sex tourist focused (the royal family vacations there) and has some solid nature-type day outings, including a fake but probably benign "Elephant Village". There's a less touristic town just north of it that's good too.

If I were doing a week with your tight time frame, I might do 2 nights in Chinatown (or Khao San Road to make the kid happier) since BKK really does deserve at least one full day after travel/jet lag etc., 3 days in Hua Hin with lots of seafood, Ferry from there (nice ride) to Pattaya for a couple of days of touristic fun and whore-staring at.

Pattaya has a seedy Tiger park and plenty of other kid friendly attractions. I recco the incredibly carved temple on a hill and the world class drag shows (fine for all ages). It's #2 for dining in Thailand.

Or more likely to skip the pinging and ponging around, I'd just overcome the usual Pattaya predjudice, stay in mellower nearby Jomtien for 5 relaxing days with plenty to see and do. High floor ocean front condo's are going begging due to oversupply. It's only 2 hours back to the airport.

I've stayed at the Cabbages and Condoms resort in Pattaya twice. Truly 5 * Thai food in a comfortably Lonely Planet-istic setting. And it's a great non-profit to support.

So basically: Hua Hin, Jomtien, or mix n' match.

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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by twodogs » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:06 pm

http://www.baanaroka.com/

Phraya Nakhon Cave and Hua Hin are easy day trips. I would go straight there from the airport to recover from the flights and save Bangkok for the day before you leave.
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by BeatRaven » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:07 pm


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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by cuchulainn » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:10 pm

I liked Koh Samui.

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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by BeatRaven » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:31 pm

Koh Samui means a plane, tho. If you're bothering to fly, Ko Chang is better. Still, it's a reasonable one size fits all beach destination.

Elephant-lite, tho.

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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by pezworld » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:43 pm

Thanks, guys! I’ll dive in when I get home.

Never do serious travel research before going to bed. I couldn’t get to sleep for two hours. The part that’s currently stressing me out is reasonable airfare (including Melbourne, business, Christmas), and we don’t have dates nailed down yet.

I remember liking Railey Beach back in the day, but it was a PITA to get to. I think the nephew and his gf just got back from there, but it’s just a weekend getaway for them.
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by BeatRaven » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:46 pm

If it's mainly a beach trip with old Australians, Bali seems like a no-brainer. Not seeing how Thailand's worth the hassle.

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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by pezworld » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:51 pm

Also, do you think there’s likely a place where one could get a house on Air BnB for lots of people and not far from a decent beach? That’s a modern twist that TT-v-2002 wouldn’t have.

I’d do some research on that, then get a separate hotel for the pez family most likely. My sister can have her house. Love her, but I’m not sure I would inflict extended family on ehs even though he’s part of it now.
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by harry_flashman » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:53 pm

Prachuap Khiri Khan If you are looking for somewhere devoid of westerners. Its mostly for Thais. No full moon bullshitparties. It’s just south of hua hin.
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by pezworld » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:54 pm

BeatRaven wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:46 pm
If it's mainly a beach trip with old Australians, Bali seems like a no-brainer. Not seeing how Thailand's worth the hassle.
Mostly because my nephew lives there now though probably won’t for that much longer. Has a fancy job with Agoda but I guess he’s tired of it. Girlfriend balances that out with an NGO job she’d like to keep for a minimum amount of time. Good on her resume, I guess.

And this is my (non-Australian) side of the family. Melbourne is to do Christmas with the Aussies.
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by pezworld » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:56 pm

harry_flashman wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:53 pm
Prachuap Khiri Khan If you are looking for somewhere devoid of westerners. Its mostly for Thais. No full moon bullshitparties. It’s just south of hua hin.
Sounds interesting to me, and I’m sure ehs would love “devoid of westerners.” I’ll research - not sure how sis will take it. She’s an experienced traveler but more on the tourist side of the spectrum, and has never been to SEA. Thanks!
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by harry_flashman » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:59 pm

It’s on the train line but I don’t think the buses go into town or they didn’t use to. Anyway it’s about 6 hours from bk.
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by BeatRaven » Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:00 pm

.....And in the middle of the development spectrum between Flashman's recco and Hua Hin is nearby Cha Am. I preferred Hua Hin, but Cha Am is the proverbial Hua Hin 10 years ago.

https://www.stickmanbangkok.com/travel- ... nd/cha-am/

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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by veronica_inheels » Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:36 am

Don't feed that horrible elephant tourist business. Or tiger. Or swimming with dolphins.
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by pezworld » Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:38 pm

But I love elephants! Are they mistreated?
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by EMG » Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:43 pm

You'll find lots of articles online about it
Wild elephants won’t let humans ride on top of them. So in order to tame a wild elephant, it is tortured as a baby to completely break its spirit. The process is called Phajaan, or “the crush”.

It involves ripping baby elephants away from their mothers and confining them in a very small space, like a cage or hole in the ground where they’re unable to move.

The baby elephants are then beaten into submission with clubs, pierced with sharp bull-hooks, and simultaneously starved and deprived of sleep for many days.

You can watch a disturbing video of the process if you’re curious. Photographer Brent Lewin won an award for capturing this haunting image of the torture.

Elephant mistreatment doesn’t stop after they’ve been tamed. Many elephant camps continue to employ bull-hooks to control the animals. While they may not be stabbing them constantly like they did in training, it’s the fear of being stabbed that’s used to motivate them to work.
The image

Image

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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by pezworld » Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:48 pm

:cry: :cry: :cry:
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by Andrea1 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:21 am

pezworld wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:38 pm
But I love elephants! Are they mistreated?
There must be an elephant friendly company in Thailand, maybe one that is rehabilitating them. I don't know who they are but shouldn't be so hard to find one.

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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by pezworld » Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:25 pm

The image above was posted from one advertising such a place.

Odds are we're setting up someplace on/near Phuket. I don't have details, but my nephew said that might be the best place for reasonable weather and near a beach, where we could get a big house. ehs and I aren't committing to actually staying in the same house as my sister, her husband, his grown son's family, and my two nephews plus one of their partners. Seems a bit much but they are all reasonable people I guess. This is the sane sister at least. (If the other sister showed up, I'd accidentally end up in the wrong country.)

I don't know if "Phuket" includes places like Railey Beach - I know the nephew's been there and liked it.

I think ehs, Top Kid and I will break up our Thailand visit to include a few more places.
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by BeatRaven » Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:53 pm

The elephant farm outside of Chiang Mai got good reviews from 2 diff animal-rights type women I know. But it was just a hut with one elephant. That elephant gets bathed within in inch of its life, but it's life seems decent enough. Elephant care/fake conservation is a tedious process.

In Hongsa Laos, you can still see people farming and logging with elephants. They have a nicer elephant festival than Surin, Thailand. Those festivals are the best ways to enjoy elephant-dom in SEA.

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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by Moethebartender » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:36 pm

pezworld wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:25 pm
I don't know if "Phuket" includes places like Railey Beach - I know the nephew's been there and liked it.
It doesn't. If I remember correctly, the only way to get to Railay is by boat.
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by pezworld » Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:00 am

Moethebartender wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:36 pm
pezworld wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:25 pm
I don't know if "Phuket" includes places like Railey Beach - I know the nephew's been there and liked it.
It doesn't. If I remember correctly, the only way to get to Railay is by boat.
From Phuket City, for me, when I want there in 2002.
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by pezworld » Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:04 am

Sis has been searching for big Air BnB places on Phuket (the island), not specifically anywhere, or possibly Koh Samui. She sent me a link to a large place with an ocean view, but it had zero reviews and no indication it was anywhere near any restaurants without hiring a car or getting a taxi somehow. I hated to burst her bubble, but it feels like she's rushing a bit. It did indicate the kind of place she envisions for her birthday with family.

This place was in Tambon Wichit. Anyone ever heard of that place?
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by BeatRaven » Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:36 pm

If you gotta pick, Samui is about a million times less awful than Phuket or anywhere near Phuket.

Does it absolutely have to be a big apartment? I've been to Ko Kut a couple of times and it seems very family reunion-friendly.

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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by Moethebartender » Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:41 pm

pezworld wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:00 am
Moethebartender wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:36 pm
pezworld wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:25 pm
I don't know if "Phuket" includes places like Railey Beach - I know the nephew's been there and liked it.
It doesn't. If I remember correctly, the only way to get to Railay is by boat.
From Phuket City, for me, when I want there in 2002.
Railay is part of Phuket? I must be completely misremembering things.
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by Lincoln » Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:54 pm

Moethebartender wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:41 pm
pezworld wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:00 am
Moethebartender wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:36 pm


It doesn't. If I remember correctly, the only way to get to Railay is by boat.
From Phuket City, for me, when I want there in 2002.
Railay is part of Phuket? I must be completely misremembering things.

You think einstein?..."Only way to get to Railay is by boat"... :lol:

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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by pezworld » Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:55 pm

I don't think it's technically part of Phuket, but it's in that general area, and we got the boat from Phuket City to Railay. I guess that was the way to get there when I was there. Now they say fly to Krabi?
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by pezworld » Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:56 pm

Lincoln, where's my thank you?!
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by Moethebartender » Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:00 pm

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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by pezworld » Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:10 pm

BeatRaven wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:36 pm
If you gotta pick, Samui is about a million times less awful than Phuket or anywhere near Phuket.

Does it absolutely have to be a big apartment? I've been to Ko Kut a couple of times and it seems very family reunion-friendly.
For her, maybe (a house). She would want her 30-something sons around her. And I guess her stepson is along for the ride (along with teenage kids who are conveniently close to Top Kid's age).

I already told her we might stay in a separate place nearby. It's a little too much togetherness for me, maybe.

I'll look into Samui a bit more. Is it pretty? I think she wants a pretty sea view.

I looked a bit at Air BnB places there - they had some massive Chinese-owned "villas" for a shit ton of money available.
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by BeatRaven » Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:24 pm

Yeah, Samui will click all the boxes, partic if you want the spa/yoga/ Chi Rupian blind crystal worshipping aspect. 'Can't fault it, except that it's a pricey flight from BKK versus the others.

For similar money, you could stay on Ko Kut or Ko Mak in super nice hotels that still retain the old Gaughan painting feel on less impacted islands.

Downside: 5 hour bus and ferry ride after a 90 minute flight. But it's a much better experience.

The only advantage to Phuket is that you can fly into it direct and be at the beach immediately after. But that's def. a big advantage, partic with an unwieldy group.

Ko Lanta is worth a look too. Somewhat Ko Kut-like with a shorter ferry ride from near Phuket.

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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by strife » Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:45 pm

Moethebartender wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:41 pm
pezworld wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:00 am
Moethebartender wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:36 pm


It doesn't. If I remember correctly, the only way to get to Railay is by boat.
From Phuket City, for me, when I want there in 2002.
Railay is part of Phuket? I must be completely misremembering things.
It's well south of Phuket, nearer to Krabi. Boats run from Ao Nang to Ton Sai and Railey. Both are on the mainland, but without a road.
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by simon_in_exile » Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:05 pm

Just to be an arse and correct the typo, Krabi (and Railay beach) are not south of Phuket - they’re pretty-much due east of Phuket.

FWIW, Khao Lak is a pretty pleasant place on the west coast with some great resorts too, and very quiet beaches although no jaw-dropping karst scenery to the extent that you see near Krabi. I would return there.
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by strife » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:38 pm

simon_in_exile wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:05 pm
Just to be an arse and correct the typo, Krabi (and Railay beach) are not south of Phuket - they’re pretty-much due east of Phuket.

FWIW, Khao Lak is a pretty pleasant place on the west coast with some great resorts too, and very quiet beaches although no jaw-dropping karst scenery to the extent that you see near Krabi. I would return there.
Been there since the tsunami? My girlfriend spent a week and a half at Ton Sai, in 2003. I loved that place.
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by simon_in_exile » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:37 pm

I was in Khao Lak and Krabi 18 months ago - first time in southern Thailand despite living so close for five years, so I flew from Moscow instead. I’d love to spend a month or three trundling up the quieter west coast beaches, snorkel sites and jungles from Langkawi to the Mergui archipelago... me and 100 million other people of course, but I get why it’s so popular (unlike some popular places which really don’t appeal to me).
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by strife » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:42 pm

The two of went, I meant.
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by Wilster » Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:15 am

I think we took a bus from Bangkok to Railay/Krabi before jumping on a ferry to Ko Phi Phi; or we caught the bus to Krabi and then along the way, one of the ferry stops was Railay Beach on the way to Ko Phi Phi. Anyway, that was back in like '92, not sure what Ko Phi Phi is like now. This guy doesn't seem to like it:

https://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blog ... -thailand/
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by Moethebartender » Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:16 am

simon_in_exile wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:05 pm
Just to be an arse and correct the typo, Krabi (and Railay beach) are not south of Phuket - they’re pretty-much due east of Phuket.
Thanks, thought i'd lost it for a minute.
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by pezworld » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:47 am

So, sis booked a very nice place with 7 bedrooms in Phuket, Nai Harn Beach. The maid is apparently a great cook of Thai food, so we'll probably pay her often to cook for us. It's about 1.5 k from the beach and from the nearest 7-11. Restaurants of the fried-rice-pineapple variety are a little closer. We can easily hire a van and driver to take us places or be at our beck and call for a half or full day. Basically, all the creature comforts.

My only concern is that we may arrive later than the rest and be stuck in a kids' room with twin beds we'd have to push together, as my nephew has reserved the right to bring a date-to-be-named-later. In such a case I'd feel guilty insisting on a king or queen bed if we arrived later - giving him the twins - because he's the "kid." He'll be 37 in December!

We're close to booking two round-trip itineraries, one LAX - Phuket round trip and the other Phuket - Melbourne round trip. Saves $thousands. So, even more quality time in Phuket! We'll do side trips.

But we have 7 hours in Nanjing on the way back. My biggest concern is Chinese bureaucracy.
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by pezworld » Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:13 pm

horizon_unknown wrote:
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pezworld wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:47 am
So, sis booked a very nice place with 7 bedrooms in Phuket, Nai Harn Beach. The maid is apparently a great cook of Thai food, so we'll probably pay her often to cook for us. It's about 1.5 k from the beach and from the nearest 7-11. Restaurants of the fried-rice-pineapple variety are a little closer. We can easily hire a van and driver to take us places or be at our beck and call for a half or full day. Basically, all the creature comforts.

My only concern is that we may arrive later than the rest and be stuck in a kids' room with twin beds we'd have to push together, as my nephew has reserved the right to bring a date-to-be-named-later. In such a case I'd feel guilty insisting on a king or queen bed if we arrived later - giving him the twins - because he's the "kid." He'll be 37 in December!

We're close to booking two round-trip itineraries, one LAX - Phuket round trip and the other Phuket - Melbourne round trip. Saves $thousands. So, even more quality time in Phuket! We'll do side trips.

But we have 7 hours in Nanjing on the way back. My biggest concern is Chinese bureaucracy.
Hey there, my name is Ben and I run the blog you linked to on your last comment (horizonunknown.com). I've had a few layovers in Nanjing now, the latest one was about 3 months ago. If you've got any questions or concerns, just let me know, I can do my best to help you out :) Cheers!
Hey, Ben, welcome to the Stew!

So, my questions:

- Am I going to run into that kind of bureaucracy again when we transit there in January? Two of us will be relying on whatever transit visa they give us. I’m a USA citizen; husband and stepson are both US/Aussie dual citizens. Husband has a 10 year visa but kid and I don’t.

- Assuming the answer is no, should we attempt to leave the airport during our 7-hour layover?

- If so, what should we do in that time?

Thanks - enjoy the Stew if you’d like. We like to travel and argue about politics and just about everything else. We found each other through Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree, mostly.
Jesus, you turn your back for one second and the next thing you know, everyone's going all fucking kumbaya and shit around this dump - Moe

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pezworld
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by pezworld » Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:16 am

Thanks! Hmm...

What do you think about this? It lists the 144 hour visa and Nanjing. We'll be on China Eastern.
http://us.ceair.com/en/content/news/pre ... ansit.html
Jesus, you turn your back for one second and the next thing you know, everyone's going all fucking kumbaya and shit around this dump - Moe

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pezworld
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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by pezworld » Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:04 am

Did you inform the carrier upon boarding in the departure city? The China Eastern site says you need to do this while/before boarding in the origin city.
It is necessary to inform the carrier before you arrive, so that they can forward your request to the immigration office for processing.
Another site gives similar information
https://www.travelchinaguide.com/embass ... 44hour.htm
Jesus, you turn your back for one second and the next thing you know, everyone's going all fucking kumbaya and shit around this dump - Moe

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Re: Thailand short(ish) trip including beach

Post by pezworld » Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:27 am

Ah, well we'll test this in a few months.

I just read your profile on your blog. You're Australian, heh. Husband's Australian, and in the early 80s as a young pup he took off to Southeast Asia for four lost months, mostly in Thailand. Many misadventures followed on his nonexistent budget. This upcoming trip will be his first time back to Thailand since then. We'll bring his 16yo son. But we'll be staying in a very nice villa in Phuket this time, celebrating my sister's birthday. We'll pass through Nanjing on the way back from Phuket to LAX (nice routing,eh?)... and of course we'll be in Melbourne for Christmas.

It's crazy expensive to fly to Australia for Christmas as usual, but we managed to shave bucks by doing a round trip LAX - Phuket then another on Malaysian Phuket - Melbourne. If they cancel/postpone the LAX - Phuket (via Shanghai) leg, we might be a little screwed. But we've built a day and a half cushion so we should be OK.
Jesus, you turn your back for one second and the next thing you know, everyone's going all fucking kumbaya and shit around this dump - Moe

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