8 days in bangkok - help??

Old Aug 1st, 2006, 02:22 PM
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8 days in bangkok - help??

Hello.

Our first half of our honeymoon will be 5 nights in Maldives and second half in Thailand for 8 days.

We defly have 3 days slotted for Bangkok.
Our flight out is from bangkok so on the last we're back in bangkok. So that's 4 days total. The remaining 3 can only be spent in Chang Mai or Phuket. Phuket is a world renowned beach and I'm not sure if we should miss it. On the other hand Chang Mai also sounds beautiful and we could use a few hikes here and there and just exploring that mountain region. Any suggestions on which we shld explore?

Or can we squeeze in Phuket for 1 day at least?

day 1: arrive in bkok at 6am
day 2: bkok
day 3: bkok
day 4: bkok - cmai by flight: 1 hr
day 5: cmai
day 6: Chang mai
day 7: chang mai to phuket
day 8: phuket to bkok
day 9: bkok to SF.

any thoughts? will 2 days in Cmai be good?
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Old Aug 1st, 2006, 02:29 PM
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So its 8 days in Thailand, not Bangkok - right? That's not a lot of time. What do you like better beaches or hiking? When are you going? You don't want to be in Phuket during the rainy season - of course there are other beach areas in Thailand. You could easily spend all 8 days in Bangkok and not be bored. What are your interests? The more info you share, the better job we can do to help you refine your itinerary.
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Old Aug 1st, 2006, 02:30 PM
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If you've just been to the Maldives, I would skip Phuket. I would split your time in T-land between BKK and the north. If you're a city person I would do 5 days BKK and 3 days CM, split BKK-3, CM-3, BKK-2. If not a city person, I would do BKk-2,CM-2, Chiang Rai-2, BKK-2.
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Old Aug 1st, 2006, 02:31 PM
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I was in Phuket for 3 nights, which was two too many for me, but I'm not too much of a beach person and I do not think it is worthwhile going to Phuket for one night.

I think it all depends on what you would rather do, spend time at a beach or spend time around the countryside. Chiang Mai is Thailand's second largest city so if you think you want a different experience but are not sure if the beach is right, you should consider Chiang Rai. You can fly there from Bangkok. Chiang Rai is a much smaller city and you can do day trips to hill tribes, to the Golden Triangle or a trip up the Mekong (or combine them). I loved Chang Rai, much more than either Phuket or Chiang Mai. But it all depends on you, it is after all your honeymoon.
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Old Aug 1st, 2006, 03:02 PM
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I'd skip Phuket. You will have just been to the Maldives.

Like Laurie, I'd recommend the Golden Triangle for your three days outside of Bangkok - stay at the Anantara. You fly in and out of Chaing Rai. The other option is to spend the whole 8 days in Bangkok. There is plenty to fo.
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Old Aug 1st, 2006, 03:12 PM
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hmm some how i didn't even consider Chang Rai. Ok let me read up on it first.

Yeah that's what I thought about Phuket too - will have just been to Maldives....

well we're both beach ppl - love the ocean yet we love the city too and we have fun hiking here in Cali...so...that isn't helping is it.

going in the month of November. Will be in Thailand from 18th-25th. Flight leaves on 26th for SFO from Bkok. So is that rainy season for Phuket?

ok let me go read up on Chang Rai and get a feel for it. But we don't want to spend all 8 days in Bkok for sure. Want to get a flavor (however small) for just 1 other place in Thailand.

Thx again for all yr advice so far. Will b back with more questions.
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Old Aug 1st, 2006, 08:10 PM
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lean up to the computer because i don't want to say this too loud----THE BEACHES SUCK IN PHUKET....well they really do not, but they are not fabulous in comparison to what i am used to in new england anyways...

dump phuket...

i could spend all of my days on my honeymoon in thailand in bkk proper....choose you hotel carefully and you will have a beach in the city: marriott resort and spa is the best pool, followed by the sheraton orchid, and the peninsula....the penn is the best hotel by far of the 3 and marriott next, imo...

there is plenty to do in and around bkk for your number of days: sightseeing, countryside, fabulous eating at reasonable prices, world-class shopping, spas, cooking classes, etc...

my vote is maldives for relaxation/beach and then bkk for the remainder....
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Old Aug 1st, 2006, 08:54 PM
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8 days in BKK is way too many. 3-4 days is more than enough time to see the local attractions, shopping (if you're from CA, you have shopping there. USA/European brands aren't cheaper in BKK) and enjoying a few days at the hotel spa. The pollution, traffic and noise of BKK will make you want to get out to someplace peaceful like Chiang Rai. Check out the Phu Chaisai resort outside of Chiang Rai. www.phu-chaisai.com
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Old Aug 1st, 2006, 09:27 PM
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bisbee....i totally disagree....on this my 10th trip to thailand, i will be spending 18 nites in bkk, out of 35....i do not partake of spas or the sex trade and never find enough time to see everything...
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Old Aug 1st, 2006, 10:44 PM
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Since I used to live there, I can't imagine why anyone would spend that much time in BKK when there are so many other wonderful places to visit in Thailand. To each their own....
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Old Aug 2nd, 2006, 07:28 AM
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maybe cause we like it and find tons to do there....we also visit many other parts of thailand..
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Old Aug 2nd, 2006, 07:31 AM
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Bisbee, I used Bangkok as my gateway to many other places in SE Asia, and I always enjoy my time in Bangkok, though I've been there 20+ times. There is excellent shopping, though I wouldn't go halfway around the world to buy American brands in giant shopping malls. Thailand has beautiful crafts for very reasonable prices. For me, saying that 3-4 days is enough in Bangkok is like saying 3-4 days is enough in NYC or Paris or London... Some people are city people and some aren't.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2006, 07:35 PM
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I guess you'd have to spend more time there to fully understand. Cities are much different if you're a tourist vs. a resident. You'd get this same reply from anyone that lives there.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2006, 08:08 PM
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bisbee, again the same is true of any large city: bkk, london, paris, nyc, miami, la, sfo.....but many of us feel that that plusses outweigh the negetives...

having said that, i am considering spending 3 months in bkk --jan-mar, 2008...i must admit that i am concerned that i will not think it is so nice if we have to deal with everyday hastles, of which there are many in bkk.....but having sufficient money often changes those hurdles....hire people to help you, which you can do very reasonably in bkk???
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Old Aug 2nd, 2006, 09:02 PM
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rhkkmk, I lived there as an Expat. I had all that (housing, car/driver, maid, paid vacations, very good salary, etc). Even with all that, it was a very difficult city to live in (but easier than a lot of other cities in SE Asia and getting more so everyday). If you do stay there for 3 months, you'll find this out. It can be very difficult to achieve what would be the simplest tasks back in the USA. I've been there 15+ times in the last 2.5 years, but never for more than 4-5 days. Would I live there again, sure (it's got more going for it than where I live now). But I would be traveling to other places whenever I had the opportunity (which is what I did when I lived there).
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Old Aug 2nd, 2006, 09:30 PM
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I think the hardships you describe are the same whenever you are working/living in a foreign country. I've lived and worked in Switzerland, Greece and Japan, and found difficulty doing even basic things at first in every country. But I've been a tourist in many more places, and have found the day to day tourist agenda to be easy to deal with everywhere.

When living abroad, there is also the general pattern of culture shock that is followed by just about everyone regardless of where. Initially, everything is new and exciting, so the person is stimulated, challenged and happy. After 3 -6 months, the newness wears off, but the challenge does not...this is the time when most people feel frustration. After the frustration passes, many feel resigned and depresses and maybe a still a bit frustrated...it can take years to reach this stage. Then there is the stage where you have truly adjusted and feel at home in the foreign country...after many years usually, sometimes never.

After 11 years in Japan, I've been through all of the stages, but my husband has not. He is still in the resigned/somewhat frustrated stage. For me, though, Japan is home. Although we came here together, our feelings and impressions of the place are different right now, and as such, we tend to tell other people different things about the place...my stories tend to be more positive, but a few years ago, I was bitter.

I'm guessing 3 months would be a breeze...everything would still be new. Bisbee, I'm guessing you were in Bangkok for 5 years or less. I've also heard that those on an expat package have a more difficult time integrating as they are quite insulated from the local lifestyle...I have no idea if that's true, but I've heard it. Seems to make sense though.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2006, 09:34 PM
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the heat and humidity in itself would overwhelm most westerners and others...

bisbee where is home now??
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Old Aug 3rd, 2006, 12:10 AM
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"I've been a tourist in many more places, and have found the day to day tourist agenda to be easy to deal with everywhere."

Exactly! When you're a tourist, it's like being on your honeymoon. Everything is new and fresh, you're staying in a nice hotel, eating at nice restaurants and not worrying about the day to day. It really is pretty easy in my opinion as well.

KimJapan, what is your idea of local lifestyle? In Bangkok, it's quite difficult to spend a lot time with locals unless you live amongst them. Most foreign companies won't allow that. I've spent evenings in villages in Issan province and near the Laotian border. That was quite wonderful, but nowhere near the same as being in BKK. I don't think I wasn't integrated, but the frustrations of day to day living are there whether you live there 1 year or 10. Like I said, I'd still live there, but now I would have less expectations than before. That has certainly helped me going forward with my living in SE Asia.

rhkkmk, I currently live in Ho Chi Minh City.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2006, 12:41 AM
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as said before, dont try to do everything in one go. Skip either Phuket or Chiang Mai.

As you are in the Maledives before you might want to skip the touristy Phuket and head fr Chiang Mai so you see something else. It is a very nice and tranquil setting up there in the North.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2006, 12:59 AM
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I mean living local style. We are not on a package. We have permanent residence here, live in a neighborhood with no other foreigners, do not work for international companies. I work for a university and my husband for the local newspaper. Our daughter attends public school. We are not tourists here, never were. You are not integrated if you are living in a foreigner housing district with a car/driver, maid...the expat package. The company doesn't want you integrated. They need you to stay foreign, short-term and dependent on the company.

There are frustrations in every day life whether you are in your home country or not. The frustrations you feel as an expat are different because they arise from you not being familiar with the system, from language difficulties, from cultural differences. I felt all of these for years in Japan. I no longer feel that sort of frustration...but I'm still upset when I can't find a parking space, when things just don't go my way, or when I'm late for something...same as I would be were I in the states.

At this stage, I've been out of the states for so long it's foreign to me. I have no idea about popular music and tv...really. I'm totally out of touch with American pop culture. That's integrated. I'm familiar with what's hot in Japan, the new restaurants that open in my city, the daily routine in Japan. We couldn't live a more Japanese life I don't think even if we were Japanese (which we can never be).

This is an interesting topic...
Far from what vacation03 asked about though...sorry vacation03.

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