Neale Goldingay @ Monkey training school in Surat Thani

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During the 31 days:

I will be adding daily examples of costs in Chiang Rai Thailand, pictures and facts, I will also cover the more general aspect's of setting up in Thailand for an extended amount of time from A-Z.
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Using Phuket to ease the transition in to Asia

Cape Panwa slightly SE of Phuket town

Day 12: Living in Thailand

After a few days of not getting out much, this afternoon I took off and treated myself to an hour's Thai massage, prices in the tourist zones vary, a decent one shouldn�t cost you more than $12 including a tip which is considered normal. Local places off the beaten track are well under $10.00

  • 1 hour Thai massage 250 Baht - $8.40cts
  • Groceries 65 Baht - $2.20cts
Total for the day: 315 Baht $10.60 - Total Remaining: 3,465 Baht

Rental motorbike in Phuket Nin apartments in Phuket Kata beach Phuket

Arriving in Phuket what you can do in a few hours
Getting from Bangkok to Phuket is very easy, go to Bangkok�s main airport BKK buy a ticket at the Air Asia counter, no real need to book and you will be in Phuket a couple of hours later. Phuket touts and in particular phuket taxi drivers are renowned for been some of the worst in Thailand.

The easiest place to get started in Phuket is an area called Karon Beach about an hour south of the airport. It is considerably smaller than Patong and will enable you to get a feel for the Island. I had a hotel in Karon Beach found on the Web easily. Not having a predefined place, you will be fighting off everyone wanting to promote a friends hotel particularly the taxi driver. In Phuket most of the signs are in English and very quickly you will start to see signs indicating monthly rentals. The first place I saw a sign for and looked at, was the place I ended up renting for a month, even though I spent another 4 hours walking around looking at others. After waking up in Bangkok and then deciding to wing it and go to Phuket I had secured a decent place by 4pm that is how easy it is. If you want to skip the hotel and the 4-hour walk just go to Nin Apartments Phuket It is central 2 minutes from the beach and unlikely you will find better walking around, the price is acceptable by western standards at around $600 a month.

When you arrive in Thailand you will spend considerably more than $400 a month until you get to a point where less than $500 is even conceivable. On arriving in Thailand with no contacts, you are going to pay a premium, either financially or with time. Even though Phuket is the most expensive place in Thailand. It is the easiest place to figure out and get things done, what takes 4 hrs in Phuket could take weeks elsewhere. The other option is upon arriving, to go out and rent a scooter immediately "walking is just not an option" make a note of the number on the plate "they all look alike in a parking garage" and spend a few days looking at other places.

Neale Goldingay   Continue Reading Day 13: a minor detour to Chiang Mai

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