Ian C

Ian C

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  • 0 rating

    Where are the best dive spots?

    I did my dive course on Koh Tao a few weeks ago! There are heaps of dive resorts which offer accommodation and PADI certification. If you haven't scuba dived before then can do an open water scuba course (4 days), which will include 4 dives. Typical costs are 9,000 baht (~ $250 USD) including fan-room accommodation. I did my dive course at a place called Ban's - they had good rooms and the instructors were really great (they have English, Swedish, Dutch and German speaking instructors). I liked it so much I stayed longer and did my advanced scuba course (night diving was amazing!!) Koh Tao is small, beautiful, and very laid back - nearly everyone I met was either a dive instructor or doing a course, so you have a lot of common with the other travelers and can meet some great new people. If you are just snokelling on Koh Tao I recommend going to Shark Bay.. it's a 5 minute scooter ride to the south and the bay features shallow, 2-3 metre deep water, and schools of brown tipped reef sharks which swim only metres away from you! almost 10 years ago

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    Got 5 days to show some friends around Tasmania, what should be the priorities?

    I would start out in Hobart and go up the East Coast, via Frecenet, through to Launceston and back through the midlands. Day 1 - Drive up Mt Wellington (about a 20 minute drive from Hobart) for some amazing views of Hobart and the Derwent Estuary. Then take a drive down south to Peppermint Bay and check out Tahune Airwalk. Drive back to Hobart and go out for dinner and drinks in Salamanca. Day 2 - Drive up to Bicheno and stay in a camping grounds or guest house. The beach is really nice for swimming and surfing, and there's lots of young people there in summer. There's a famous pancake parlour nearby at Elephant Pass (they are cash only!) Day 3 - Go to Freceynet and do the walk to Wine Glass Bay (this is what Tasmania is famous for!). Leave enough time to hang out on the beach and go for a swim in the crystal clear, blue water. Stay the night in the lodge or back in Bicheno. Day 4. Drive up to St Mary's and take the road inland to Scottsdale and then through to Launceston. The drive is amazing (I've done it in a Skyline GTR, but any car will do! ;-) If you stay in Launceston the night make sure it's a Friday or Saturday night and go out - there's heaps of University students to make it a fun night! Day 5. Check out the sights near Launceston (Cataract Gorge) then drive back to Hobart (2 hrs). Don't forget to stop at Evendale and see if you can find a deep-fried Mars Bar to make you extra sick for the rest of the way home. If you have time, detour on the way to Hobart via Richmond and check out the wineries! almost 10 years ago

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    How much does it cost to travel in Thailand?

    It's very cheap, (although slightly more expensive than neighboring countries of Laos, and Cambodia.) Food. This typically ranges from 60 to 200 baht depending on your dish in a restaurant (1.5 - 6 USD). You can get very cheap Pad Thai from street vendors for 30 baht (80 cents). Beer from a shop is about 30 baht for a small bottle. Accommodation. Expect to pay between 1200 and 2000 baht per night for a decent hotel room in Bangkok. Hostels and bungalows on the islands range from 500 to 800 baht. At the moment many hotels are offering the low-season rate since bookings are apparently down as much as 70% in some places. The best thing to do is walk around to find a cheap / nice place. I've also used wotif.com to get cheap bookings. Transport. Taxis in the cities are the best way, although be sure to confirm the price beforehand and always ask to go 'by meter' as it's always the cheapest way. Many people use tuk-tuks (small three wheeled bikes) but these can be very dangerous as they drive like crazy! You travel around the country by bus or overnight trains, and nearly all hotels and travel agents can help you book. almost 10 years ago

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    What is cell phone and internet access like in Thailand?

    1. Mobile - There's many pre-paid SIM cards you can choose from. The best place to buy these are from the 7-11 stores, which seem to be everywhere in built up shopping / tourist areas. You can get top-up cards of 100, 200, and 300 baht (about 8 USD). If you text message international numbers you will run out of credit quickly - but it's still probably cheaper than global roaming with your provider from home. 2. Wifi. From my experiences few hotels offer free-wifi.. it's very hard to come across. Instead you will need to pay at reception for a password at the cost of 100-150 baht (2-3 USD) per hour. In Bangkok I've used a WiFi network called 'truewifi' and you can buy pre-paid cards from some 7-11's for 150 baht (3 USD) for 20 hours. Depending on where you are may or may not get good reception. 3. Internet Cafes. These are literally everywhere, and usually average about 60 - 100 baht (1.5 - 2 USD) per hour, charged by the minute. They may also offer international calls - but many of the cafes have headphones / microphones set up so you can use Skype. almost 10 years ago

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    Can I get advice about renting cars or motorbikes?

    You can rent cars and bikes very easily in Thailand, however you should be careful. In nearly most places with hotels / hostels you can find scooters to rent by the hour or day. On the islands they also have little suziki 4wd's for hire as well. You need to be careful because they will almost certainly want to take your passport as a security deposit. There is no insurance so if you damage the vehicle in any way (even scratches!) they will expect you to pay for a brand new part - and this can be very expensive! Also even if rent by the day and return it one hour late they will charge you a (usually hefty) hourly rate on top of the daily rate. So return it on time! You will also need to get fuel for the car / scooter, and from my experiences they always hand it over on empty. Some places will "recommend" a nearby fuel station which will certainly charge you twice or four times as much. Find a larger service station to get your fuel than the roadside ones which will try to charge more. Expect to pay around 700 baht to 1000 baht per day (~26 USD) for a small 4wd for a day, or around 250 baht (~7 USD) per day for a new-ish scooter. My advice is to be careful who you rent from - try to get some recommendations from fellow travelers with transport. Make sure you check the vehicle for any dents or scratches, inspect the engine/steering/brakes, and drive carefully! almost 10 years ago

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    What are some good windsurfing spots around southern Tasmania?

    I used to windsurf at a place called Cremorne, which is about a 20 minute drive from Hobart (on the way to Clifton Beach). There's a shallow bay on the western side, often only one metre deep, and is perfect for windsurfing. On weekends if there's a sea-breeze there's often lots of windsurfers. Another spot (although less popular) is midway point (just north of the airport) which has two shallow bays with not much swell. Remember to wear a wetsuit if you go though as Tasmanian water is cold! almost 10 years ago

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    What are some good youth hostels?

    I've stayed at the Green Tortoise (cnr of Columbus and Broadway - http://www.greentortoise.com/) a few times over the years. I stayed there the first time I went to SF based on the recommendation of my friend. I've stayed there heaps of times since, it's my fave place to stay when I go to SF! It's really laid back, good price, well run, they have heaps of events every night, a pub crawl, trips to Yosemite, and really fun, interesting people. It's also situated near lots of bars and a few clubs which are in that area, so it's only a short walk home after a night out! And best of all (unlike other hostels) they are 24hr and there's no curfew! In terms of other hostels, there are a few on Broadway that I've seen but haven't stayed at, so you could always go check out Green Tortoise then wander around to find a hostel you like. almost 10 years ago