2-Week Itinerary

Old Aug 16th, 2001, 09:11 AM
  #1  
John
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2-Week Itinerary

My wife and I (30yrs old) will be traveling to Thailand in early March 2002 and are considering the following itinerary:1st night in Bangkok (arrive late); 2nd & 3rd nights in Chaing Mai at the Regent Chaing Mai; 4th, 5th & 6th nights in Phuket at the Marriott (free); 7th & 8th nights in Krabi at Rayavadee Resort; 9th, 10th, 11th & 12th nights in Ko Samui at Dusit Santiburi and 13th night in Bangkok at Oriental. I would appreciate any input on whether we are doing too much moving around; whether you would skip, shorten or lengthen some of the spots; and whether there are other spots you would recommend over the ones we are considering. Feel free to e-mail me directly. Thanks!
 
Old Aug 16th, 2001, 12:39 PM
  #2  
lynn
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John -

I don't know if I'm qualified to answer this because I'm not a big beach person. However, even if you love beaches, why go to three? There is so much to see in Thailand in places other than the beach.

And what happened to Bangkok? You're flying thousands of miles and will not spend more than two days in the nations capital?

The smart way to do it is this;

Because of the late arrival, spent your first few days in BKK. AT LEAST 3 nights to do it justice. Or, spend 4 nights and do one day as a day trip outside the city if you need a "break" from the action.

Next, fly to Chiang Mai for 3-4 nights to enjoy the cooler temps, do some shopping, visit the elephant camp, caves, waterfalls or whatever interests you the most.

Finally, end up at the beach you want to see most and possibly split the time between 2 beaches but don't try 3. I really think that's too much and I'm the type who always does lots of jumping around on vacation.

Spend the last night in Bangkok before your flight home but don't bother with an aiport hotel. The trip to the airport is no big deal. Spend your last night in town (like you said, Oriental is a good pick) and enjoy a nice dinner before going home.

Speaking of food...

BANGKOK

Splurge = Le Normandie @ Oriental; in a word - superb.

Great Italian = Biscotti at Regent in Bangkok. Great deal for what you get. Would be at least twice to three times the price in New York or L.A.

Good value for French = Le Bordeaux

Good and cheap Thai = Cabbages & Condoms - great egg rolls and everything is made fresh as you order it. Excellent value.

CHIANG MAI

Splurge = Le Coq D'Or - when we asked if they could arrange transport back to our hotel, they said yes and we expected them to call for a taxi. Ends up they drove us "home" (at no extra charge) in the restaurant's Austin Princess (think Rolls Royce) escorted by two men in white tux coats who jumped out simultaneouly to open each of our doors when we arrived. It was awesome!

Great Italian = Piccola Roma - the owner is from Italy and has been a chef for 40 years. He's the Italian Chef for the Thai Royal Family. We had fresh porcini mushrooms flown in from Italy that were to die for. They melted in your mouth. Bruschetta and beef carpaccio were yummy and his tiramisu was the best I've had in a long time.

Hope this helps!

Lynn
T-90
 
Old Aug 16th, 2001, 03:53 PM
  #3  
Meg
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I agree with Lynn about spending more time in Bangkok. Spend your first few days there and your last night there. I am a big beach person, but I don't know if I'd try to cram in three beaches, either. I'm not a huge fan of Phuket, but I can't comment on the other beaches as I have not been there. Just from where you are staying, though - I can tell that you like big incredible resorts, which might make Phuket a great place. I just thought the entire island was over-priced (especially after spending time in Bangkok) and did not think the people were very friendly. My only problem with the Regent in Chiang Mai is that it's so far out of town - and being in town is really neat. Definitely spend your last night in Bangkok at a nice hotel. We haven't stayed at the Oriental but just returned from a great trip (I think I sent you my journal) and stayed at the Peninsula across from the Oriental and found it was fabulous!
 
Old Aug 16th, 2001, 03:54 PM
  #4  
Meg
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Oh - another thing.... if you do want to do three beaches, maybe pick three closer together - like Phuket, Phi Phi and Lanta. You could take the ferry from Phuket to the other three and not lose so much time going from Krabi to Samui to Phuket. Just a thought.
 
Old Aug 17th, 2001, 01:40 AM
  #5  
Colin Owen
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John,

the moment you reach Krabi, and the exclusive Rayavadee resort you will not want to go anywhere else!!!

Take everyone's advice and cut down on your beaches! Last year I did Bangkok (3 nights) Chiang Rai (3 nights) Phuket (1 night stopover) Krabi (4 nights) Phi Phi (4 nights) and by the end of the trip I was ready to come home. It is quite tiring moving from one place to another.

If I could plan my trip again I would have ended up with a week at one beach resort. The problem is deciding which one! Krabi and Phi Phi are both paradise on earth !!

***************************
My Thailand Travelogue
http://www.bangor.ac.uk/~fos007/fb2b.htm
****************************
 
Old Aug 17th, 2001, 04:32 AM
  #6  
xxx
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I agree with the others, three beaches is too much, and too much travelling. We did a similar itinerary to you last year, and were exhausted at the end. I would suggest.

1. BK as you arrive late.
2. BK (take a tour of some of the temples, etc)
3. BK, but with day trip to Ayutha
4. Fly to CM, afternoon city
5. CM Doi Inathon and city
6. CM day trip to C. Rai. Visit the elephant camp first and then take the boat to C. Rai, and drive back.
7. Fly CM to BKK, and then fly to Krabi
8. Krabi
9. Krabi
10. Krabi
11. Krabi (maybe day trip to Phi Phi)
12. Drive to Phang Na Bay (or take tour), about 2-3 hrs from Krabi. Take the boat tour. Then after that drive to Phuket (about 1 hr), takea tour around the island (after Krabi, you will be happy you chose Krabi over Phuket). Stay overnight in Phuket.
13. Fly Phuket to BKK and connect for your international flight.

Given the travel time from BKK airport to BKK, it is best to visit BKK city just once.

As for the beach. If you want great nightlife etc then to to Ko Samui. If you want the relaxing peaceful beach, then Krabi is a MUST. Even from the resort, you can drive a short way to find a perfect empty golden beach. Phuket is like Samui but a bit tackier, and far too commercialised (although Samui is going that way).

BKK is worth a few days. Even if the nightlife is not your sort of thing, the temples are breathtaking.

The north of Thailand is my favourite, much cooler and more laid back. Try and go out to the hill tribe villages.

Given the hotels you mention, seriously consider taking a private guide and driver, it is very cheap, but very worthwhile for the day trips etc.

For the hotels, Oriental is nice in BKK, for C MAi the Regent is the best, but outside of Chiang Mai. The Westin is probably a better choice (although again not in the very centre, but with a free shuttle bus).

For Krabi, Rayavadee is an excellent choice.

 
Old Aug 17th, 2001, 05:08 AM
  #7  
John
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Wow! I am really impressed with (and grateful for) the quality of the responses I am getting. Thanks to all and keep 'em coming!
 
Old Aug 17th, 2001, 06:51 AM
  #8  
lynn
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John -

Disagree with above regarding travel time for bkk airport.

The ideal schedule is to fly in from Krabi and then fly back out a couple of hours later to head home. However, it seems from what I've read that most people have a one night layover in bkk before a flight the next day. Don't worry about it. With the toll way it is very fast and easy to get to the airport. Takes less than an hour and on a good day takes closer to 30-40 minutes. No big deal at all.

If you stay over in bkk one more night on your way home, absolutely stay somewhere in town and enjoy one last evening.

Also, you should schedule your days in bkk over a weekend so you can go to the big weekend market. The sheer size is amazing and it contains some of the best shopping anywhere in Thailand. Lots of variety.

Another great thing to do on the weekend is the Jazz Brunch at Sukhothai Hotel. First class all the way with live entertainment. We've done it twice now.

Personally, I'd skip a tour. Grab a guide book and read up on everything and go to the palace, etc. on your own. It's so much more of an adventure when it's not orchestrated along with 20 other people.

Meg, who often posts on this board, just got back so I'm sure she would have some fresh ideas and info for you. We go back in November so I'll have current thoughts and ideas then.

You've got plenty of time to plan the perfect trip as you are not leaving until March.

Have a great weekend.

Lynn
T-89!!
 
Old Aug 17th, 2001, 06:51 AM
  #9  
lynn
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John -

Disagree with above regarding travel time for bkk airport.

The ideal schedule is to fly in from Krabi and then fly back out a couple of hours later to head home. However, it seems from what I've read that most people have a one night layover in bkk before a flight the next day. Don't worry about it. With the toll way it is very fast and easy to get to the airport. Takes less than an hour and on a good day takes closer to 30-40 minutes. No big deal at all.

If you stay over in bkk one more night on your way home, absolutely stay somewhere in town and enjoy one last evening.

Also, you should schedule your days in bkk over a weekend so you can go to the big weekend market. The sheer size is amazing and it contains some of the best shopping anywhere in Thailand. Lots of variety.

Another great thing to do on the weekend is the Jazz Brunch at Sukhothai Hotel. First class all the way with live entertainment. We've done it twice now.

Personally, I'd skip a tour. Grab a guide book and read up on everything and go to the palace, etc. on your own. It's so much more of an adventure when it's not orchestrated along with 20 other people.

Meg, who often posts on this board, just got back so I'm sure she would have some fresh ideas and info for you. We go back in November so I'll have current thoughts and ideas then.

You've got plenty of time to plan the perfect trip as you are not leaving until March.

Have a great weekend.

Lynn
T-89!!
 
Old Aug 17th, 2001, 07:30 AM
  #10  
Craig
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John,

If you have an early morning flight, you may want to stay at the airport. The Amari at $200 a night is expensive, but it is right there within walking distance and has everything you need in a hotel--we stayed on the executive floor for the extra services. Check-in procedures at the airport are very slow and you will need the full two hours before your flight to get checked in, pay your airport tax, have your luggage inspected etc.

If you arrive at the Airport Hotel early enough, you should definitely take a taxi to spend time in the city. Just go the arrivals area and hail a cab as it is unloading passengers. As Lynn says, the trip into Bangkok is not long.
 

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