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Itinerary for trip to Thailand- suggestions?

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Hi All-

Now that our hotel reservations are booked, our flights are booked and our itinerary is pretty much completed- we can delve into the details (or, the MUST Dos as I like to say).

Help very much appreciated and I'll admit I haven't been motivated to research this trip. Don't know why.

We are flying in after 3 days in Istanbul so will use the first day for resting-

3 nights in Bangkok (the first night we arrive late so really doesn't count). My husband and I will be alone the next full day but the third day we pick up the kiddos (they are teens) from the airport.
4 nights in Ko Samui.
4 nights in Chiang Mai
4 nights back in Bangkok

Suggestions for what to do? Everyone keeps telling me to wait until we get to our hotel and they offer pretty much the same excursions. I would like to do a day trip (or two) from Bangkok though (I hate pollution, the seediness (aka prostitution) is going to urk me and so will the traffic). On the top of our list is: elephant encounters/rides, I'm undecided about the tiger thing (my teens seem nervous too, lol), massage (Chiang Mai has a beautiful palace that I'd love to spend the day at), we love hiking (but I hear it's scary so not sure), of course I know there are plenty of temples and we really love history. I also hear about something called Siam Sea World? That sounds like something nice to do while we are in Bangkok. I originally wanted to see Ayuthaya but now I'm reading it can be disappointing so I'm not sure.

Suggestions?

Thank you!

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