English Travel

Planning a Trip to Thailand – starting on Twitter

Thailand is set as next holiday destination. As usual I bought some guidebooks and started reading some blogs to get an idea of where to go there and were not. Additionally I asked the Twitter crowd for some hints and tips. The response was overwhelming!

I started with this tweet

Planning a trip to #Thailand in Jan/Feb 2012. Will be backpacking and learn diving. Any advice from fellow #travelers or #lp ? 😉

Within minutes I got responses with hints and tips from all over the world. Those tweets keep coming as I write this article. I loved this quick and helpful response and wanted to share it with you.

This is what I got within the first 30 minutes (!):

@GerhardTravels Gerhards
@MerlinDE hi, how are you? I found some great hotels in Bangkok, check ’em out. Wish u a beautiful trip!

@DaninAustralia Dan Collins
@MerlinDE Koh Tao to learn diving – it’s AWESOME there

@BehrokhBebe Behrokh Bakhshi
@MerlinDE backpacking in Thailand can be fun

@LeisureLogic Elia Pfaff
@MerlinDE Absolutely! Jan/Feb won’t be long enough. This place is incredible. Check out our blog for ideas:

@Aquarius_Lee Winnie.Lee
@MerlinDE Koh Tao is really a good place for diving learning!

@MerlinDE come to Malaysia as well!

@kat719 Kathleen Espiritu
@MerlinDE To save some time, do your PADI classes here then do your dives abroad! That’s what I did before I left to backpack.

@contrabland Andy Watson-Smith
@MerlinDE Check out Big Blue Diving in Koh Tao, did our SSI basic and advanced courses there last Feb, loved it!

@findingjemo เเจ่ม Baldisimo
@MerlinDE Of course BKK is a must, but you should go to Chiang Mai too & if you can, the North Eastern part of TH! #lp I love that country!

@maximefouquette maximefouquette
@MerlinDE full moon party!!!!!

@beverlycornell Beverly Cornell
@MerlinDE have you checked out @MangoLanguages? Great way to learn some Thai

@JakeCripe Jake Cripe
@MerlinDE Check out Koh Samet. Beautiful water, sandy beaches. Seems like a great place for some diving.

@phcabecudis Philippe
@MerlinDE mate, go to similan islands to dive, koh tao and maybe phi phi – bida nok n some wrecks as well! Enjoy it!!!

@4cantos_mundo QuatroCantosdoMundo
@MerlinDE Para ajudar mais ainda no seu planejamento, vá ao próximo Encontro dos Viajantes.

@veldwijk Robert Veldwijk
@MerlinDE For the #diving: go to Koh Tao and have fun! #lp #thailand

@AllesInAllem Alice Allum
@MerlinDE charter a plane to Samui island! Sounds expensive, but it will be cheap. And so much fun!

@codefrenzy Annie Luxton
@MerlinDE Don’t bother pre-booking any tours unless you REALLY need to – much better prices and deals bought from the streets in Thailand!

@wheelertweets James Wheeler
@MerlinDE @lonelyplanet Learn diving (take a good class, get your C card, & make some dives) beFORE u go # Thailand #travelers #lp

@Faye_Lu Faye Lu
RT @MerlinDE Planning a trip to #Thailand in Jan/Feb 2012. Will be backpacking and learn diving. Any advice // charcoal tablets 🙂 lots!!!

@JeroendeBruin JeroendeBruin
@MerlinDE doing the same thing next week check #kotao for cheap padi and

@calgaryfitness Terri Champagne
@MerlinDE Did diving cert at Sunshine Divers in Koh Tao in ’04. Just got back from Koh Libong where we dove with Jolly Roger. Both great!

@Connectinghelen Superhelen
@MerlinDE Go canopywalking in Chiang mai! Love this city anyway. DONT go to Ko Samui (it’s like Benidorm on an island). Have a great trip!

@ikarinayu Ika Rinayu Ramadhani
@lonelyplanet @MerlinDE u should go to phuket and pattaya, go to Grand Palace in Bangkok, seeing around at Siam 🙂

@Faye_Lu Faye Lu
@MerlinDE @lonelyplanet I know it’s very touristy but the grand palace is a must see .. Just breath taking #Thailand

@Silje_i_Nam Silje
@MerlinDE Go to Khao Lak and dive with Wicked Diving in Similan! #wicked #similan

@MalibaLodge Maliba Lodge
@MerlinDE #Thailand is amazing for diving. try Krabi, Phi Phi island or @crystaldive on Koh Toa. Really special place, loved it there!

Thank you all so much! I’l keep adding the coming tweets to this post. I’ll also keep you posted on my trip details as my planning advances. Looking forward to start of 2012!


Update: I got many more replies during the night. Here they are:

@bebek_dekil devi angelina
@MerlinDE hi…thailand is best place that u must go…i go dec until jan 2010-2011…phuket is very beautifull place and so the beach…^^

@filipinadiver Paula Peralejo
@MerlinDE stay in Khao San (backpacker district). Dont miss Ayyuthaya. But learn diving in the Philippines 🙂 check for

@filipinadiver Paula Peralejo
@MerlinDE cheap airfares from Thailand to Manila, Philippines 🙂 thailand: eat their streetfood, watch sunset from wat arun 🙂

@tmasreynolds Thomas Reynolds
@MerlinDE for #Bangkok… Khao San Road is cliche. Do Chinatown, enjoy fresh street food, try outdoor markets, take the train out of #BKK

@Connectinghelen Superhelen
@MerlinDE ( for booking and impression)

@h4yls Hayley Wilson
@MerlinDE ko phi phi is magical but very touristy now!still worth a visit. I never got to go but sukohtai looks incredible with rich history

@eugene78kim Eugene Kim
@MerlinDE I did the same trip in 2002 and 2004. I highly recommend Koh Tao for diving lessons – plan for a long stay!

@scb13 sean brooks
@MerlinDE stay away from pattaya….

@Sir1Ric Richard Aspden
@MerlinDE i dived of krabbi, really amazing place and my gf at the time did a practice dive there with really friendly instructors.

@HighRiskImages epic
@MerlinDE: Cooked food from street vendors is fine. Raw food and fruit, not so much. Also, avoid ‘deals’ with resident farang. Have fun.

@ThisBlueBird Lauren Wayman
@MerlinDE Early AM is best for most sights in BK, escape PM heat & enjoy the view from Wat Saket. Wear sunscreen. #lp #traveler #Thailand

@KostaSasha KosetaTino Tuala
@MerlinDE make sure you visit Koh Samet!! A must if you wanna get away from all the Craze!! Great for diving too

@rebeccawalls01 Rebecca Walls
@MerlinDE yes I am very jealous! u have to go 2the full moon party on Koh Phangan

@rebrab43 Chris Barber
@MerlinDE Take the train during the DAY from Bangkok heading south. Amazing scenes/views of countryside. Bans resort & Koh Tao for diving!!!

@AnjaniLadki Saadia S. Shamsie
@MerlinDE if u have time visit elephant nature park in chiang mai

@felixker Felix Ker
@MerlinDE Get over to Chiangmai for a peaceful city holiday. Nice food and people. #lp

@iSantit Santi Trisuwan
RT: @MerlinDE: Planning a trip to #Thailand. backpacking and learn diving. || Welcome in advance. Any question, i may try to reply you.

@mclaughlins Sarah McLaughlin
@MerlinDE cheap diving in koh tao but the divers will tell you phi phi is the place to learn

@mclaughlins Sarah McLaughlin
@MerlinDE never buy anything anyone tries to sell you on impulse & you’ll be fine!

@Fluffy_Li Sara
@MerlinDE Just go with the flow.. Gar nichts buchen in Thailand, Ko Phangan sind absoluter hammer!

@Sihillier Simon Hillier
@MerlinDE both Ko Tao and Pho Phi offer great diving, marginally cheaper on Ko Tao, loved thailand, great food and cheap accommodation.

@MaryBMarks Mary Marks
@MerlinDE check out a great little book called Thailand Chic featuring some amazing (& some affordable) boutique hotels and spas.

[amtap book:isbn=9814155039]

@emiellucifuge emiel de lange
@MerlinDE Diving is fun! dont take unnecessary risks

@dina_angels Dina Maretta
Backpacker paradise! Don’t forget visit PhuketRT @lonelyplanet: RT @MerlinDE: Planning a trip to #Thailand in Jan/Feb 2012. Will be backpacking and learn diving. Any advice from fellow #travelers or #lp ? 😉

@Ayam27 Maja Mlynarcikova
@MerlinDE If you plan to go up north (Chiang Mai and further north) take warm clothes, the nights are quite cold. Enjoy the street food!

@veen_NT veena T.
RT @MerlinDE: Planning a trip to #Thailand in Jan/Feb 2012. Will be backpacking &learn diving. Any advice ? 😉 #lp

@hatedandslated BJG
@MerlinDE Obviously, Koh Tao is the place to go. The Crystal Resort is very friendly and a good price.

@StalingradX ตะวันชาย ชุมสาย ฯ
@veen_NT @MerlinDE yES, Go to Krabi, use as base. Closer to nature than Phuket. Beautiful islands/ pristine seas.

@InfoWithMe Relocation Thailand
@MerlinDE Similan is one of the best location for diving.

@InfoWithMe Relocation Thailand
@MerlinDE I went to Chiang Khan last month. It’s a nice place for backpacking. Nice people and unique culture.

@Canadianmtstick Glen
@MerlinDE pak lots of condoms

@philster82 Phil Barton
@MerlinDE don’t bother going to pattaya it’s a complete hole..

@RobertLozano_ Robert Lozano
@MerlinDE ko Tao is probably the best place for learnig and Similan Islands are the best spot for diving in Thailand. No doubt. #lp

@Danny_Whitnall Danny Whitnall
@MerlinDE what would you like to know ???

@naioto2010 Nai Oto
@MerlinDE Welcome to Thailand!!

@phoebepowell Phoebe Powell
@MerlinDE dive Koh Tao! I got my Open Water with Siam Scuba Dive Centre in December 09, and it was amazing. #lp

@Smartiefartie Dren
@MerlinDE Koh Tao is the best place to learn diving. Proper mix of dive schools, methods, sites and ethos. Enjoy!

@BeerCanChicken Keith Wilkins
@MerlinDE make sure you go to Ko Phi Phi

@frosty_sugar Sugar Del Rosario
@MerlinDE drop by the Philippines 🙂

@intomundo Bert Kootstra
@MerlinDE go diving on a little island Koh NangYuan. It’s the best! Very laid back and not very expensive. Http://

@ByDLeft Matt D
@MerlinDE check out Sukhothai for sure. Great ruins. Bring a good camera!

@wendy2703 wendy wijmenga
@MerlinDE Hi, Thailand is great! You ask for advice but can you be specific? How long do you want to stay? What do you want to see?

@thaifoodtours Thailand Food Tours
@MerlinDE If u happen to like thai food & interested in our 3-hr food tour, check us out Have fun in Thailand! 🙂

@fsarawat Fariha Sarawat
@rowenanews @MerlinDE what do u want to know about #thailand?

@fsarawat Fariha Sarawat
RT @MerlinDE: @rowenanews Need insight on best places to learn scuba diving// koh tao. Google companies in Samui. Came highly recommended

@fsarawat Fariha Sarawat
RT @MerlinDE:@rowenanews how to best get to know country and people.// don’t believe the guide books, step out of tourist central, avoid sexpats

@ireneyeoh1983 Irene Yeoh
@MerlinDE Recommend Phi Phi island and Krabi

@FrazerGoodwin Frazer Goodwin
@MerlinDE 1 Avoid Pataya, 2 if you go to Phuket, go to the south – plenty of dive opps in Kata & less “girly bars” – Calypso divers R good

@miss_darko K Hebden
@MerlinDE #Thailand Yes, stay away from Koh San Road. 15yrs ago it was a really nice place to chill. Now its just a sh*thole

@Claritood Clara Kollm
@MerlinDE Diving off of Koh Tao at a little island called Koh Nang Yuan is great, and if you get certified there your lodging is free ENJOY

@Claritood Clara Kollm
@MerlinDE Also, go hike the 7-tiered waterfall at Kanchanaburi – it is a great day trip from Bangkok and there are wild monkeys

@lagatavoladora Rosario Carril
@MerlinDE You MUST go to Phi Phi Island. And try to visit Maya Bay at the sunset 🙂

@pan_masuska elena barkova
@MerlinDE koh tao is the best for diving! and koh pangan is just next to it to party

@DavidBurdeny David Burdeny
@MerlinDE pack light. ATM’s are everywhere so don’t bring lots of cash. Bangkok is a great city – a week can’t do it justice.

@AllieMacLeay Allison MacLeay
@MerlinDE Koh Tao! Cheapest/Best diving (so I hear) and it’s an amazing place to be! I think we stayed at Big Blue…

@tgesink Tobias Gesink
@MerlinDE check the beaches of Ko Tao for diving! Recomment Easy divers, professional staff and good equipment!

@god4sake Nika Deu
@MerlinDE Similan Islands are great for diving – but not if you have to learn diving first. Go to a resort.

@Jonny3012 jb@traveladnetwork
@MerlinDE koh pee pee has awesome diving including a cave dive taking you under the island into an cavern where you can walk about

@wendy2703 wendy wijmenga
@MerlinDE I think first BKK for a few nights, then take the nighttrain to Chiang Mai and do a trekking, then fly to an island with #airasia

@wendy2703 wendy wijmenga
@MerlinDE Koh Samui or Phuket, you can dive there. From BKK you can arrange trips to Kanchanaburi, also nice.Koh Chang is also a nice island

@wendy2703 wendy wijmenga
@MerlinDE On #khaosanroad you can find a lot of travel agency’s.Nice hostel there is #d&dinn or #greenhouse. Thailand is very easy to travel

@h4yls Hayley Wilson
@MerlinDE thanks for the follow;)

@madnurselauren Lauren Brunton
@MerlinDE koh Tao sairee cottage diving very good I’m on my way back to Thailand now u will love it

@EmmaBusuNilsson Emma Nilsson
@MerlinDE @lonelyplanet Go to Phi Phi Island!

@sawilz Sawilz
Can me and a friend join u? RT @lonelyplanet: RT @MerlinDE: Planning a trip to #Thailand in Jan/Feb 2012. Will be backpacking and learn diving. Any advice from fellow #travelers or #lp ? 😉

@namtanpimpat Namtan Jangrew
@MerlinDE @lonelyplanet Samui! ‘n dive in Koh Tao. On Andaman side, Krabi ‘n Phi Phi island then dive at Bida or Hindang is the best #diving

@nudinoi E Lin
@MerlinDE which part of Thailand do you plan on going and where do you intend to learn diving?