|Subject: Re: Thailand|
How many people in the group? Are you pre-booking hotels etc. ahead of time? I found out after our first visit to Thailand that you can get the best prices on hotels by booking with a Thai travel agent (and I've tested this a few times against both internet and HK agents'prices). You can book through him via email. If you need the name - can find it for you (it's not at hand at the moment).
If you check the Travelzine archives - I've posted a fair amount on Bangkok etc. over the past few years. Also - here's a link to my old website pages on Thailand: http://www.accomasia.com/thailand.htm It's been 'dormant' for a few years now so not all the links work but ....there's still some good info in the general pages and those travellers tales that are still online are helpful. Although the tuk-tuks look like great fun (and I highly recommend riding on one at least once) the new subway line is excellent (for the limited range that it has) and, for other places, the metered taxis are the best bet for price and efficiency. When you do decide to pile into tuk-tuks - DO barter about the price UP FRONT ....don't wait until they give you the price at the end of the trip....tuk-tuk drivers are notorious for ripping off tourists. They will also suggest dropping you off (and waiting for you) at stores to see special things - well.....tell them flatly NO because they are just tourist traps that give them a commission on whatever you buy.
I expect that the bird flu issue may be more concern than SARS at the moment. SARS hasn't reared it's ugly head anywhere other than mainland China (so far) and Thailand was relatively free of it last year. However, from the information that we have - it seems that bird flu is a problem for those who handle live birds and they do not believe it is transmitted from human to human. Just to be sure - you might want to stay away from chicken in Thailand but.... from what I understand, the virus is killed by proper cooking so the reputable restaurants should be ok. We've found some great street food in Thailand over the years but.....I think I might be a little wary of that, given recent concerns.
Judy in HK