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Exploring Thailand

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I'm somewhat gun shy after the sudden and fairly comprehensive demise of my previous thread. It was supposed to be about an exploratory Thailand foray looking for possible retirement locales. It turned into a slanging match.
I acknowledge my complicity in giggling at times.

Despite this, I value the information that the many contributors to this forum offer, and have more questions, so, I bite the bullet and return.

Please keep this above the line people, I lost some information that was both helpful and useful when the previous thread was decimated.

Here's the previous plan :

Arrive BKK around 7 pm on a Saturday, private car transfer to Hua Hin. Stay 2/3 nights.

Car/driver to Kanchanaburi, stay 2/3 nights.

Train to Bangkok for flight to Khon Kaen, stay 2/3 nights.

Car/driver to Nong Khai, stay 2/3 nights.

Fly ex Udon Thani to Chiang Mai for balance of time, trying to fit in an overnight in Lampang.

CM - BKK for long trek home.

New plan - I still want to cover all places mentioned above, but need to avail of two free nights in Chiang Mai - which have to be used by 31 Oct.

We would land in BKK on the 25 Oct (it's a Saturday) at around 17.30.

Should we head for Hua Hin or Kanchanaburi for 3 nights ? Then fly to CM, and work our way south to Bangkok and whichever of HH or Kanchanaburi was missed before ? Or, perhaps stay a night in airport area, fly early to CM on the 26th.

Crellston, could you please remind me of the Thai language aid that you found useful ?

I see that we will be in Thailand during Loy Krathong. There is info on the web about celebrations in CM and Phuket, do all cities/ towns celebrate ? And, if so, which of our destinations would be best for this experience ?

Many thanks in advance.

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