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1 week in Thailand

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I am a 24 year old female and will be traveling solo to Thailand the first week of September. This will be my first trip to Asia and I am open to other places and ideas. With all the flights I have found, I would be leaving on the morning of the 1st and arriving in Bangkok around 10pm on the 2nd and I would fly out of Thailand around 11:30pm on Saturday the 8th so that I could be back at work on Monday. This leaves me 6 days (including the day I leave Thailand since it is a very late flight).

I have done some research and my wish list for this trip includes seeing the temples and things like the giant reclining Buddha and night markets. Possibly visit a clear beach with white sand and bright blue waters. I would love to ride an elephant bareback in the jungle. I have come across Patara Elephant Farms where they have an elephant owner for a day program that lasts about 5-6 hours. I have also found the Tiger Kingdom where you can pet and interact with tigers; this would only be a few hours. Both of these are in Chiang Mai. I would also like to get a Thai massage and maybe attend a cooking class, but that is towards the bottom of my list.

So, right now my plans are to do a multi-city ticket, either flying into Bangkok and out of Chaing Mai or some other cities. I figured I could spend 3 days in Bangkok take a 1day trip to the beach then two days in Chiang Mai. Or I could do 2 days for each stop. With the elephants on my second to last day and tigers on the morning of my last day then lunch maybe a day at the markets picking up some gifts.

I know this sounds very fast paced, but that’s how I usually do things. I recently went to London, Paris, Rome, Athens, and Cairo in 13 days which included my main travel days and flying between each place. I never felt rushed or like I was missing out on things and I had a fantastic time. I don’t think I really had any jet lag, but that might be different with the longer flights.

So with all this what are your thoughts? Any input on how I should arrange things? Should I change my stops? As for the beach, I really wanted to attend the full moon party but will not arrive in time, so what/where would you recommend? What do you think of saving the animals for the end? Would you suggest doing that portion at the beginning of my trip then flying out of bangkok? My concern is that something will happen towards the end and cause me to miss this since I wouldn't have any days left to work things around. Also I know this is the rainy season, do you think that will cause major issues with my vacation plans?

I have received some great advice in the past from this website, so thank you in advance for your help!

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