1st Time Travelers to Thailand in Nov

Old May 5th, 2008, 07:56 PM
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1st Time Travelers to Thailand in Nov

My best friend and I are going to Thailand for the first time and could use some helpful tips regarding our trip. We would like tips on what to pack, weather, places to eat, things to see, and etc. All recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks!

3 days in Bangkok
1 day in Auttaya/Phitsanulok
2 days in Chiang Rai
2 days in chiang Mai
1 day in Bangkok at the end
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Old May 5th, 2008, 08:02 PM
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You have not provided enough info...weather...in what MONTH? What are your ages, budget, likes, dislikes, etc....There is a LOT on Thailand in this forum as we answer questions regularly. I suggest doing a search first and reading up and then posting specific questions. Happy Travels!
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Old May 5th, 2008, 08:33 PM
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November weather is good. Look at www.weatherbase.com for specific info for each location.

Also, do you have a guidebook? Do buy one, they are invaluable. Also invest in the Nancy Chandler Map of Bangkok.

In a mere 9 days, I think you are trying to go too many places. I'd see Ayutthya via a day trip from Bangkok. Also consider choosing one northern Thailand spot. Really, two locations in 9 days is plenty. And consider the impact of jet lag and the heat.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 08:55 PM
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Guenmai- I guess I should have provided a little more information but we are going in Nov. November 12th-24th to be exact. We are actually going with a tour group but we have leisure days in each of our stop. Our spending money is about $2000. I been reading different postings that others have posted and I did picked up some stuff. I have a notebook where I jot down notes from other people's forums.

Thanks for the posting Kathie! My half brother lives in Laos and he said that November is a good month to travel to Thailand. So that's why we decided on November. Yes I actually have two guidebooks. I have Fodor's Bangkok 25 Best and then I got one as a gift which is Fodor's see it THAILAND. It has been really handy and I've been picking things out of it as well as reading different forums for tips. I will definitely have to check into Nancy Chandler's Map of Bangkok. As for the 9 days, I think it's a little more than 9 days. As I mention'd above we are going with a tour group since it is our first time. We couldn't decide on going alone.

I'll post the detailed itinerey because I think there might be some stuff we didn't want to do.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 09:03 PM
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This is what our itinerey looks like. We are actually leaving a day early (which is Wednesday) but our flight is kind of weird with Cathay because we aren't due to land in Thailand until late Thursday night/early Friday morning. But we still get Friday as a leisure day in Bangkok and Sunday a leisure day in Bangkok and leisure time in the Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, but there is some stuff we might skip out on because it didn't really interest us. But we'll see!


DAY 1, Thursday - Depart USA
Depart the USA to Thailand. Your flight includes meals, drinks, and in-flight entertainment for your journey

DAY 2, Friday - Arrive in Bangkok
Arrive and transfer to your hotel in Bangkok.
Overnight: Bangkok

DAY 3, Saturday - Bangkok
Morning at leisure in Bangkok. This afternoon, enjoy a half day city and temples tour, including visits to three of Bangkok's most unusual Buddhist temples: Wat Traimit, Wat Po and Wat Benchamabophit. Visit Wat Traimit (Temple of the Golden Buddha) boasting the world's largest solid-gold Buddha, believed to be cast over nine centuries ago. The seated statue is nearly 10 feet high, weighing 5.5 tons, and carved in the ancient Sukhothai style. Pass through Chinatown to visit Wat Po (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), the largest and oldest temple in Bangkok, before continuing to Wat Benchamabophit (The Marble Temple) to view the "Phra Buddhajinaraja," or Bronze Buddha
Overnight: Bangkok
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4, Sunday - Bangkok
Full day at leisure to explore Bangkok independently
Overnight: Bangkok
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5, Monday - Phitsanulok
Depart Bangkok for Ayutthaya, the historic capital of Siam. Here you will view the giant bronze statues at Wat Mongkol Borpitr, and continue to view Wat Yai Chai Mongkol, known as the "Great Temple of Auspicious Victory," built by King U-Thong in the late 14th century. Stop briefly at Wat Chai Watthanaram, before continuing to Lopburi and the massive stone sanctuary of Prang Sam Yod. Originally a Hindu temple in the early 14th century, the pagoda is famous for its three sandstone spires (prangs) signifying the sacred trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Proceed to Phitsanulok
Overnight: Phitsanulok
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 6, Tuesday - Phitsanulok, Chiang Rai
This morning, visit Wat Maha Dhat Phitsanulok with its grand Buddha statue, Phra Buddha Jinaraj. Following your visit, depart for Sukhothai, one of Thailand's earliest and most significant historical settlements, where you will visit Wat Maha Dhat Sukhothai. Continue to the historic city of Sri Satchanalai where you will find Wat Phra Si Ratana Maha Dhat. Standing on the site of the ancient Khmer fort "Chalieng," the temple features a massive Principal Buddha Image, ornately constructed in the Sukhothai style
Overnight: Chiang Rai
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 7, Wednesday - Chiang Rai
This morning visit the ancient fortified city of Chiang Saen, the former capital of the first Thai Lanna Kingdom, situated on the banks of the Mekong River. By long-tailed boat, visit the famed Golden Triangle where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar (Burma) converge. Enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure
Overnight: Chiang Rai
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 8, Thursday - Chiang Rai
Morning at leisure. This afternoon, travel to the town of Mae Sai, the northern-most point of Thailand on the border of Myanmar, and visit a jade cutting factory and local market. Return to your hotel and enjoy the remainder of the evening at leisure
Overnight: Chiang Rai
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 9, Friday - Chiang Mai
This morning depart for Chiang Mai, the largest and foremost cultural city in Northern Thailand. En route, visit handicraft villages to view the spinning and weaving techniques of Thai Silk merchants, Bo-Sang paper umbrella makers, the high-fired stoneware, lacquerware, teakwood carvings, jewelry and silverware of the Celadon Kilns, and a local Jade and Gem Factory. Afternoon at leisure in Chiang Mai
Overnight: Chiang Mai
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 10, Saturday - Chiang Mai
Early today travel northwest along the Mae Sa Valley, with its scenic botanical gardens and tiered waterfalls, to visit the Maesa Elephant Training Camp. See the elephants bathing in the running streams or demonstrating their daily feats of skill and strength in a show with music and dance, a soccer match, or an abstract painting demonstration. Even more impressive is the camp's goal to protect the endangered Thai Elephant by controlled breeding, a program which has flourished since 1995. At an additional charge, you may choose to ride on the back of a Thai Elephant, making for a truly memorable experience. Afterwards, visit Sai Nam Phung Orchid Nursery and Butterfly Farm, home to more than 50 species of mountain orchid. Afternoon at leisure. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner at your hotel
Overnight: Chiang Mai
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 11, Sunday - Chiang Mai, Bangkok
Morning at leisure. This afternoon, transfer to the airport for your flight to Bangkok. Arrive and transfer to your hotel
Overnight: Bangkok
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 12, Monday - Depart for USA
Transfer to the airport in Bangkok for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

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Old May 5th, 2008, 09:20 PM
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senethip: Which tour are you taking? A friend and I are "thinking" about going next Feb. to Thailand and extend to Angkor Wat. However, she would like to go to Singapore and we can't figure out how to work that in to the scheme of things. Neither of our spouses is interested in the trip, so we can do what we want regarding plans. Ciao. mhm
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Old May 6th, 2008, 02:30 AM
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This is certainly a full tour. They are packing a lot of sights into your time there. Make sure you get to see the Grand Palace in BKK, it does not seem to be on your itinerary. If you go on your free day, go in the morning before it gets too hot. In the afternoon, you might want to take a klong tour, easily arranged at Taskin pier.

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Old May 6th, 2008, 03:21 AM
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Looks like you'll be rushing from place to place on this tour. When in Chiang Mai, don't miss the temple on Suthep Hill, called Wat Prathat Doi Suthep. Beautiful architecture and usually full of activity = lots of photo opportunities.

Also, you'll likely be brought to the huge tourist complex in the umbrella village during your tour. Nice to see, but the products are over-priced.

As for what to eat, some photos and info on Northern Thai food and restaurants here: http://guidechiangmai.com/food/
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Old May 6th, 2008, 07:37 AM
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Yes, this tour is very packed. It doesn't appear to include several "must-see" places, the Grand Palace/Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the Jim Thompson House in Bangkok, for instance and Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai.

Have you alread booked and paid for this trip? If so, then go with it. If you haven't I'd encourage you to consider independent travel to Thailand. It's easy to do, you get to see and do what you want to see and do, you stay in hotels of your choosing, and it will very likely be less expensive.
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Old May 18th, 2008, 03:40 PM
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Thanks for everyone's input. And to ask some responses.

mercy: we are traveling with gate 1 tours. it's our first tour with them. so hopefully it will all work out for us. you can check our there website, it's www.gate1travel.com. they have extensions that go to Angkor Wat. so take a look and see if works for you.

losjax: yes indeed it seems like we are rushing from place to place. We are getting into Bangkok a day before the rest of the group so we are going to do some of our own site seeing before hand. since we weren't plan for much in bangkok. ill take note of your recommended place in chiang mai. thanks!

Kathie: yes indeed it seems pack. hopefully it will all flow together. i think for our first time overseas we werent comfortable independently roaming on our own. even though it would probably be easy and i do speak the language and have a friend that lives over there. i have already booked this trip and our cost is about $1500 a person for this entire trip. I have emailed tong to book a day with her because we aren't doing much in bangkok. our next trip will probably be the beaches of thailand. thanks for the great tips!



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Old May 18th, 2008, 05:27 PM
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TAKE OUT TIME FOR A FAMOUS THAI MASSAGE; WITH THE PACE OF OUR TOUR YOU WILL PROBABLY NEED ONE DAILY! A WAT IS A TEMPLE AND IT SEEMS THAT YOU ARE BEING DRAGGED FROM ONE TO THE NEXT, WITH NEVER A CHANCE TO MEET THE THAI PEOPLE WHO ARE SO WONDERFUL. THE WATS ARE MAGNIFICENT, BUT IF YOU SEE SEVERAL EACH DAY, THEY WILL ALL BEGIN TO LOOK THE SAME! YOU ARE ALSO MISSING OUT ON SO MANY OTHER WONDERFUL PLACES TO VISIT.
I THINK IT WAS IN CHIANG RAI THAT YOU HAD A 'TOUR' OF A GEM FACTORY. BE AWARE THAT IT IS JUST AN OPPORTUNITY TO SELL YOU GEMS. IF YOU DO NOT PLAN TO PURCHASE EXPENSIVE ITEMS (AND YOUR BUDGET DOESN'T INDICATE THAT), SKIP THIS 'TOUR' AND USE THE DAY FOR YOURSELVES TO GET OUT ON YOUR OWN.
YOU ARE GETTING YOUR DAYS MIXED UP BECAUSE OF THE INTERNATIONAL DATE LINE; YOU WILL 'LOSE' A DAY GOING OVER AND 'GAIN' A DAY GOING HOME. WHEN I FLY HOME TO NYC FROM BKK, I ARRIVE BEFORE I LEFT BKK!
DO NOT LET THE TOUR FORCE YOU INTO THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT BE INTERESTED IN. WHEN YOU ARE STAYING IN A CITY, YOU CAN ALWAYS SAY THAT YOU ARE NOT GOING WITH THE GROUP AND TAKE THE TIME TO VISIT SOMEPLACE THAT YOU MIGHT WANT TO GO, BUT THE GROUP IS NOT PLANNING TO.
LEARN TO USE THE SKY TRAIN AND THE METRO (2 SEPARATE SYSTEMS) AND YOU WILL BE ABLE TO GET AROUND ON YOUR OWN. ALSO, TAXIS ARE VERY CHEAP.
JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE ON A TOUR, READ UP ON THE PLACES BEFORE YOU GO. IT WILL HELP YOU IMMENSELY. THAILAND IS A VERY VARIED COUNTRY. TRY TO GET A SENSE OF THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BANGKOK AND THE OTHER CITIES.
HAVE A GREAT TRIP!

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Old May 18th, 2008, 06:41 PM
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No need to shout, opinionated.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 08:42 AM
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Caution about Day 8--we hired a guide while in Chiang Rai and were taken to a jade factory in a city on the Myanmar border. Don't waste your time, it is not very interesting and basically you are put into a jewelry store where the sole purpose is to sell you jade. We got back in the car in 2 minutes and told the driver we wanted to move on to something else. He had to oblige but I am pretty sure it wasn't what he preferred doing.

He took us to an open-air market instead which I liked better. The hawking of goods was still going on but at least we were free to move on without feeling the pressure.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 01:25 PM
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While in Chaing Rai, my husband and I visited The Bridge over the River Kwai. Historically, it was very interesting to us, This famous bridge is about 4km (3mi) north from downtown Kanchanaburi.Bombed several times in 1945. The curved spans of the bridge are the original sections. An estimated 16,000 war prisoners and 49,000 forcibly recruited laborers died during the construction of the bridge and the Death Railway that leads to Burma. We also enjoyed our time with the hill tribe "Yao",the Golden Triangle Maekhong River, crossing into Burma and visiting the very small museum that was set up for the most infamous opium drug lord Khun Sa. Read the following article. http://www.asiapacificms.com/articles/golden_getaway/
We loved Thailand and you will too. I am excited and envious of your trip. Get some good RX sleeping pills. The jet lag is horrendous and lasts most of the trip. Good luck.



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Old May 22nd, 2008, 01:29 PM
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Haha--while in Chiang Rai, you and your husband visited The Bridge over the River Kwai? Wow, that one hell of a drive you must have had, jean! I hope you paid your tour guide well.

BTW, if you're going to try to mask your spamming/advertising, at least get your geography right!
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 02:01 PM
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Jean, you must be confused. You may have visited the Bridge over the River Kwai as a day trip from Bangkok, but as filmwill points out, it would be a several day trip from Chiang Rai.
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Old May 25th, 2008, 03:54 PM
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Hi Senethip: Hubby and I are going on exact same trip, we actually begin tour on Sat. PM on 15th with Gate 1 Travel. We plan to arrive 3 days ahead to get our heads straightened out. Where are you flying out from, we are going from Atlanta. I'm still working on a hotel -have you picked one yet. Its difficult to figure out the areas. This is our first trip to Thailand, last year we were in Vietnam. Alana
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Old May 25th, 2008, 04:05 PM
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alana, if you need suggestions for hotels, just ask. IF you can tell us what you want to do in your first days in Bangkok, we can suggest areas.
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Old May 26th, 2008, 11:02 AM
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Hi Kathie: In my 1st 3 days before tour, I want to visit a good tailor (get dress pants, sports jacket and cotton dress shirts for hubby), Jim thompsons house, Grand Palace and the area around that. Definitely need to be within walking distance to skytrain and that will take us to the river for water taxis. Hubby is really great at figuring out the systems. Our hotel with the tour is in the Pratunum area, so I don't want anything up there. Are most restaurants in Sukhumvit area. I read someplace about the seedy area of Suk-can you please tell me this aea so I can avoid it. I would like a hotel or apt. under $90.00 US dollars. Sawadee looks like a good site (gives total). Asiarooms-its difficult to figure out the full cost. Which do you like better. I always try to get in touch with the hotel as well, sometimes I can't find the website. I really appreciate any help with hotels. Thanks. alana
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Old May 26th, 2008, 11:22 AM
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For hotels in Thailand, I use sawadee.

You might want to consider Centerpoint Silom. It's a serviced apartment located near the Skytrain and the river. That gives you easy acccess to the water taxis (to take you to the Grand Palace/Emerald Buddha/Wat Po, etc) and the Skytrain. There are tailors everywhere (do a search on the forum for tailors in Bangkok to get some recommendations. Really, any hotel near a skytrain station will do. The Adelphi Suites on Soi 8 has gotten good reviews also. It's near the Skytrain as well. Bothe the Centerpoint Silom and Adelphi Suites are listed on sawadee for under US$100 including tax and service. Someone else here mentioned the Siam Heritage which is also in your price range. It's a 10 minute walk to the skytrain.

There are restaurants all over. Certainly there are plenty of restaurants in the Sukhumvit area, but there are restaurants elsewhere as well. If you are close to the Skytrain, you can get to any of them easily. Note that Sukhumvit is a very long street, so it's not one "area." The area of Suk you don't want to be in is Nana (soi 4).
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