Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page >

Bangkok Poll: How Many Days for First Timer?

Bangkok Poll: How Many Days for First Timer?

Nov 21st, 2005, 06:24 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,900
Bangkok Poll: How Many Days for First Timer?

I posted this same poll on Lonelyplanet.com so it will be interesting to see how this topic thread varies from that one.

Consider the pot stirred!

Just for curiosity sake, how many days would you recommend for first time visitors?

Please keep these things in mind:

* Not everyone has 4 weeks to spend so let's base this on a 2 week trip.

* Many people love the beach so be open to that fact.

* Many people will return to SE Asia after the first visit and Bangkok will very likely be a stop off point so a couple more days in Bangkok for each additional trip is also very likely.

Bob, Gloria, Guenmai, etc, we all know you would happily spend a month in Bangkok in the Pen, Oriental or Marriott. Please bear in mind that most people want to visit several destinations on their first visit and many don't just want to shop for days on end.

Can't wait to see the replies!


eurotraveller is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 06:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,892
On our first trip to Thailand, our itinerary looked like this:
Day 1 Depart USA
Day 2 Arrive Bangkok late
Day 3 Bangkok
Day 4 Bangkok - all day excursion to Ayuthaya
Day 5 Bangkok
Day 6 Bangkok to Chiang Mai
Day 7 Chiang Mai
Day 8 Chiang Mai
Day 9 Chaing Mai to Chiang Rai
Day 10 Chiang Rai
Day 11 Chiang Rai to Koh Samui
Day 12 Koh Samui
Day 13 Koh Samui
Day 14 Koh Samui to Bangkok
Day 15 Depart Bangkok, Arrive USA

It was just about right except that we would have liked additional time in Bangkok for shopping, dining and more sightseeing. If we were going today for the first time, we would stay at the Anantara in northern Thailand rather than Chiang Rai and would probably stay an additional day there. We were glad to have the beach time but have no need to do it again on our next trip.
Craig is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 06:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,242
On a two week vacation if you factor in the travel days, I would say 5 days in BKK should suffice. This would allow time to work in a beach location.
BillT is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 06:49 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 12,918
Actually I will spend three weeks in Bangkok starting next month. I'm the Four Seasons person...not the Pen/Oriental/or Marriot person. As for those who are first timers to Bangkok, I would say 5 full days. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 07:05 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,282
I would say 6 would be ideal but 4 or 5 is doable if you arrive without jet lag. I should add I spend almost no time shopping ad 20 years ago when I made my first trip to asia I decided that, knowing that it would be the first of many trips, I would much rather see a few places in depth per trip than a lot of places. But then I hate wasting time going to and from airports, packing and unpacking.
glorialf is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 07:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 642
We stayed 3 nights in Chiang Mai and only 2 nights in Bangkok on our first trip to Thailand. Definitely not enough time in Bangkok!!! Next time we go, I will schedule at least 5 days in Bangkok.
Martinan is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 07:59 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,343
The first time we went we spent 7 days in Bangkok (4 nites at the Shangri La and 3 at The Peninsula).
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 08:17 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 759
For a first visit

4 nights in Bangkok
3 Nights in Northern Thailand (chiang Mai or Chiang Rai)
7 nights Beach (phuket) - but depends on time of year

For me a nice balance of culture / active sightseeing annd relaxation (with sightseeing if you want it)
Walter_Walltotti is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 08:29 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,282
Eurotraveller-- I think what you can see is that everyone is different so ultimately you are the only one who can decide how many days you want in any one place. The 4 days I spent in Phuket in 1985 were among the longest of my life -- couldn't wait to leave and I felt the same way about Singapore and Delhi. But I love Chiang Mai, love Bangkok and felt the most interesting parts of Vietnam were the places no one even thinks of going -- the area around Buon Ma Thuo in the Central highlands.
glorialf is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 09:20 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,900
Gloria, I didn't post this to get advise, only as a poll. I have already decided on how many days I will stay in Bangkok.

I wanted to see how the opinions on this forum compared to the opinions on the lonely planet forum.

On LP it seems most people say 2-3 days and most on here say 4-7. There is such a big difference in traveling styles between LP posters and Fodors Posters. I tend to enjoy both forums.

Keep 'em coming!
eurotraveller is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 09:32 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,242
I suspect the difference you are seeing between the forums is that one tends to cater to the backpacker/budget traveler and the other is more towards the other end of the spectrum. Those on this forum will spend more time in 5 star properties and look forward to eating at a variety of nice restaurants. I suspect these are not the focus of those on the LP forum.
BillT is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 09:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,943
ok the experts have spoken so now i will give my opinion...

i think the best use of your time in bkk is to split it between the beginning and the end of your trip...if you arrive from overseas you have to realize that day one and two are alsmost wasted days...

so i would spend them at a place with a nice pool venturing out only a little bit each day...

then day 3 and 4 i would hit it hard...

then i would go to CM or the beach....then i would return for a couple of days and then go off to the other place i did not go to above...then i would return for 3 final days...

this allows lots of time for shopping, fitting for custom made clothing and production of custom jewelry if you so desire and full enjoyment of bkk..
rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 09:47 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,282
eurotravweller-- oh-- as a poll that makes sense.
glorialf is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 10:13 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 25
this is a great thread! So far I'm on the 4 days in BKK, 4 in Phuket and then 4 back in BKK plan. But sometimes I wonder if I'm missing out by not venturing North, or taking a side trip to somewhere truly unique like Vietnam. We are beach people so the R&R of a nice resort in Phuket will be welcome, but wondering what I'm missing by skipping the north.
travelgirl72 is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 11:25 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,900
Ya, Bill, I have to agree.

I realize that the LP posters travel on a much tighter budget but they also often have some great adventures and I really appreciate their input into my questions. I am always up for an adventure!

Just to let you all know, we have decided to trim our bangkok stay to 5 nights, realizing we will spend time in Bangkok during our next trip to SE Asia. However, we might not get down to the beaches or up north our next time through.

As I have said before, we love to kayak, snorkel and I love to dive. I think those are some activities that our Bangkok fanatics wouldn't be interested in doing.

eurotraveller is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 01:04 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 6,664
4 or 5 days in BKK is plenty to see the primary tourist sights, including the floating market and/or Ayutthaya. Additional days allow a more relaxed pace and visiting some of the more esoteric spots, e.g. Wat Prayoon. It should be noted that there are some people who do not like BKK. They think it's too frenetic, polluted and congested. One cannot know until one experiences BKK. Few are neutral. I suspect the BKK detractors hesitate to chime in on this board because the vast majority love it, as do I.
Gpanda is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 01:20 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,359
I agree that 4 or 5 days on a two week trip would be about right. I would only split the time in BKK up if I had at least 7 days there, otherwise, I would do BKK all at once to keep from moving around too much.
laurieco is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 01:26 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,282
Actually the person I went to thailand with last year (her first trip to asia) couldn't wait to get out of bangkok. She felt that four days was more than enough and has no desire to return. On the other hand she felt that 3 days in chaing mai was way to short and wants to go back there and spend more time in chiang rai/mae hong son area.
glorialf is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 02:57 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 369
My daughter and I spent 10 1/2 days in Bangkok and took a few day trips to break things up a bit. We loved it and could have stayed even longer! However, if my husband had been along, I know he would have hated it! It really depends how much you enjoy the non-stop activity of big cities. I can't wait to get back there for an extended stay.
OJudy is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 04:47 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 12,918
I would not split the time up in Bangkok. It depends on your tired/jetlagged situation. I'm one to usually arrive late at night and then hit the streets the next day. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:19 AM.