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A bit of guidance for a bit of down time during 3 week Thailand trip

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This space has always been my go-to for information, advice, and quiet frankly, entertainment related to travel . We have nailed down flights and a tentative itinerary for three (3) weeks in Thailand this December (2015).We leave Halifax, NS, Canada on Dec 5, arrive in Bangkok, 10am Monday Dec 7, and depart Bangkok Tuesday Dec 29 at 1:30am. Our rough itinerary, which includes some " must do" spots for us is:
Arrive in Bangkok and immediately fly to Chiang Mai
2 nights Chiang Mai
1 night overnight Elephant Nature Park - must do
1 night Chiang Mai
4 nights on Mae Hong Son loop - must do
1 night Chiang Mai
7 nights ??? Some down time needed( part of this we need to spend in Phuket** see disclosure)
4 nights Bangkok and then depart

Part of the 7 nights in question can be visiting another area, but we would really like to minimize travel during this time..we are planning to fly from Chiang Mai to Phuket and then Phuket to Bangkok, but are looking for, during this time the following:
Max $125 night accommodation - for two people , main focus is clean, smallish, with a more local feel, (but willing to compromise )
A bit of time in Phuket (** need to pick up Hard Rock Cafe Phuket shot glass)... We do this for all our trips, and while I am sure it is silly or ridiculous for many, it has become part of what we do on vacations...
Some beach would be nice,but we are not sun worshippers, and don't scuba dive...pools are certainly nice but not requirement
We would be up for a hike or two.
It would be great to have a couple restaurants within walking or "scootering" distance.

We originally planned to spend a couple days in Chiang Rai before flying to Phuket, but we really wanted to have at least a few days of relaxing, plus the flights from Chiang Rai included travelling via Bangkok, which we were not keen on.
Suggestions, advice, any comments are welcome!

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