Bangkok, Luang Prabang and...?

Jun 20th, 2006, 11:11 AM
  #1  
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Bangkok, Luang Prabang and...?

I was just in Thailand for 3 weeks in February of this hear and I just booked my second 3+ week trip leaving on Nov. 2nd.

Over the last year I have read oodles of info on Thailand but I would like suggestions from those of you that frequent Thailand.

On the last trip we spent time in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Ko Phi Phi (quiet east coast of island) and Krabi with a quick trip into Seam Reap.

I will be traveling solo so I am not terribly interested in spending time at the southern beaches although I would be opposed to a quick trip to Hua Hin or something like that.

I will spend approximately 1 week in Bangkok, 4 nights in Luang Prabang and I don't have anything else planned at this early stage.

I have considered going back to Chiang Mai since it would be an easy stop over on the way to Luang Prabang via air. I also hesitate to go back to a place I just visited because there is soooo much more to see.

For some reason Chiang Rai does not call to me.

Pai seems interesting on paper but I wonder if it is just a young backpacker hangout? I don't mean to seem ageist but I do like hanging out with people with somewhat of a maturity level.

I thought Kanchanaburi might be a good place to spend a couple of nights and it would be an easy trip via bus. Any thoughts on that?

Would it be worthwhile to just base out of Bangkok with day trips to Ayutthuya, the floating market, etc.?

Would heading east be a good option for a solo traveler?

I am so excited to have my flight reserved but a bit nervous about how my boyfriend is going to react when he gets back from his vacation. I told him I was considering booking my solo trip and he was very concerned about me traveling alone. I think he is just envious that I will be eating a nice spicy pomelo salad at Jim Thompson house in Nov!!

Cheers!

Tamara






eurotraveller is offline  
Jun 20th, 2006, 11:15 AM
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I would highly recommend Hanoi. It would be a great place to spend time as a solo female traveller: lots of neat boutiques and a very easy/safe historic district to explore. There are also cooking classes, walking tours etc.
I connected from LP to Hanoi last month...it was an easy connection through Vientiane....many flights available back to BKK, include discount airlines.
cruisinred is offline  
Jun 20th, 2006, 11:24 AM
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After weighing the pros and cons of visiting a country ruled by a repressive military junta, you might consider Myanmar. We are going there in February.
Craig is offline  
Jun 20th, 2006, 11:59 AM
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Hanoi would be a nice addtion to this trip. It's a lovely and fascinating city (with unbelievable traffic patterns). It would give you an introduction to a different SE Asia country.

There are lots of things you can do with Bangkok as a base. Kanchanaburi doesn't call to me, but it might to you. If you didn't visit Angkor Wat on your earlier trip, then I would recommend Ayutthuya. I am not a fan of the floating market, but some people like it.
Kathie is online now  
Jun 20th, 2006, 05:58 PM
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how about something simple like koh chang...an easy flight from bkk and then a van and ferry ride to the island (takes about 2+ hours total from bkk)...great chill out place...the amari emerald cove hotel is about 2 years old and very nice...right on the beach...a huge pool and very good food....no need to leave there for anything....3 days would be perfect....a step down price wise would be barali where we stayed or next door at the tropicana which has better food...
rhkkmk is offline  
Jun 20th, 2006, 05:58 PM
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do bkk at both beginning and end of trip for several days...
rhkkmk is offline  
Jun 20th, 2006, 06:13 PM
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CruisinRed provided good info on how to connect travel from LP, Vientiane to Hanoi. Hanoi is one of my favorite cities. The old quarter is so vibrant with the different type of streets, silk street, coffee street, candy street, lantern street, boutique stores, etc. etc. Check out the Lonely Planet book for a walking tour of the old quarter. I prefer to stay in the Old Quarter area. I cast my vote for Hanoi. We liked Vietnam so much we went back the following year.

Re: River Kwai area, Jungleraft Hotel.
I'll do a separate post for our one day stay there, as it's kind of long.
IsisMnroe is offline  
Jun 20th, 2006, 06:16 PM
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why not go to penang for a couple of days, or even singapore, kl?
kuranosuke is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2006, 08:14 AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions!

I am definitely intrigued with Hanoi, however, Peter really wants to go there so I might have to save it for a trip next year with him.

Now that I am so interested in SE Asia I may have to sign on with a different screen name!!

Tamara
eurotraveller is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2006, 08:21 AM
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Hi Tamara - did you read isismnroe's report on the River Kwai Jungle Rafts - we really enjoyed it there and I seem to recall that you were okay before without air con etc on your beach stay. V beautiful place to stay and the set up is conducive to conversation between those staying there we found as you have a buffet style dinner with shared tables and all the rooms have verandahs onto the river next to each other.
Bella_Bluebell is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2006, 08:29 AM
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and on Pai - I really liked Pai and Mae Hong Son but I did go there as a backpacker, I guess it is that kind of place for the most part in terms of budget but we did see a mix of ages amongst the people there and the people on our trek.

When we visited Chiang Rai, I really didn't like it much at all. I know people do like it when they are staying at the Anantara and I wonder if staying somewhere nice in the area makes the difference.

I did exactly the same as you back in 2002 - booked a flight to Thailand when my boyfriend was working away for a few weeks. This way he didn't have the chance to try to persuade me not to go - I presented it as a fait accompli!. I think I mentioned before that I did meet up with friends for part of my trip, but I had a whale of a time on my own too. Prior to getting together with BF in 97, I had travelled a lot on my own in Africa and S America but had spent 5 years travelling with him. It was great to feel independent again and I had a wonderful time. I based myself when I was on my own mainly in Bangkok - loved it!
Bella_Bluebell is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2006, 10:00 AM
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we honestly did not find the golden triangle to be all that great for tourism...we did love our time at the anantara and also our visit to doi tung, but other than that we found the area to be sort of boring...our 4 days there were perfect...the opium museum is excellent...

we do not like going to border crossing communities so did not go to laos or cambodia....they are put there for only two reasons: smuggling and tourist trash, imo...

i would suggest everyone go to anantara for a R&R period but not necessarily for a tourist vacation...
rhkkmk is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2006, 10:19 AM
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Pai was actually the most interesting place I visited in Thailand. I am generally a 5* hotel traveler (stay at the Oriental in BKK & Chiang Mai, am a 48 yr old professional woman so not a backpacker by any degree. What drew and retained me there for 10 days was the utter peace that the town and various tribes living there have managed to establish together.

The only hotel there I would consider is Pai River Cottage - in town, one the river - very upscale with A/C, restaurant & bar. From there, you can walk in the am to the Muslim Bakery for breakfast (great croissants and coffee) and watch the hill tribes come into town and set up their wares. Massages are about $3USD per hours and the entire atmosphere is so laid back and friendly. I would almost classify it has a social experiment gone good

From there, one can take many day trips, but my favorite were the days in town. There is much to do. Massages are about $3 per hour. So many colorful characters to talk to (Thai, Hilltribe, ex-Pats form around the world. Go before it gets discovered.
stashe is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2006, 10:23 AM
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Bella, that is so funny that you also booked while your bf was away! I think Peter is going to have a heart attack when he finds out I booked it!

I am really excited about the thought of traveling alone. When Peter and I travel I am always chatting with other travellers as Peter sits quietly.

We met a couple in Feb. at the Bed Supper Club. They are Australian and were living in Indonesia. They are moving to Bangkok in July so I will be getting together with them at least once when I am in Bangkok. I will also attend the fodorite get-together at "Bob's Marriott" in November. Sounds like a good party!

I did read the River Kwai report. It sounds like a nice place to chill for a few days.

Bella, would you mind emailing me at [email protected]? I would love to chat with you about your travels. Sounds like you and I have some things in common!

Cheers!

Tamara
eurotraveller is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2006, 10:29 AM
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stashe, you must have been typing as I was. Yeah, Pai intrigues me. I don't mind backpackers at all as I am one on occasion. I just didn't want to be the only 40+ person in town.

I am leaning towards spending time in Bangkok, Luang Prabang, River Kwai and Pai. We will see how it all pans out in a couple of months!

Cheers!

Tamara
eurotraveller is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2006, 03:27 PM
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Tamara

If you do decide to go to Pai, the hotel is Pai River Corner (not Cottage as I previously wrote) Their website is the name.

If you are the type of person who can relax when necessary - then go there and watch the show. It's pretty much the essence of Thailand and fun too.

Stashe
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