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BKK/SR/CM/Phuket - specific questions after lots of research

BKK/SR/CM/Phuket - specific questions after lots of research

Old Dec 18th, 2006, 02:08 PM
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BKK/SR/CM/Phuket - specific questions after lots of research


Hello,

My husband and I are leaving for Bangkok on Thursday, and I have been doing a lot of research throughout the past two months and last couple of days. I have a few questions.

Below is our itinerary:
Dec 23 - Bangkok - Plaza Athenee
Dec 24,25,26 - Angkor Wat - Angkor Holiday
Dec 27,28 - Kuala Lumpur - Le Meredien KL
Dec 29,30,31, Jan 1,2 - Phuket - Sheraton Grande Laguna
Jan 3,4 - Bangkok - Royal Orchid
Jan 5,6,7,8,9 - Chiang Mai - Sheraton Chiang Mai
Jan 10,11,12,13 - Bangkok - Plaza Athenee
Jan 14- Fly back to US

Bangkok - What are some memorable things to do in Bangkok when I have 7 days? I have a guide book with me and will obviously visit the Grand Palace, the main wats, the weekend market, etc. Is there anything else that you can recommend? We like to sightsee a lot and really want to get in as much as possible. I don't think I want to make the trip to see the floating market but I was considering Ayutthaya.

Same question for Chiang Mai. We plan on going to Doi Suthep and Lampang, etc. We also want to go see a few hill tribes. How do we get to these places? Do we hire a driver? Do we need a guide?

Siem Reap - Do the guides generally take you to a standard set of temples? We were not able to book any of the guides recommended in these forums as they were long booked so we just asked our hotel to book us one. Are there any recommendations? Can I do the major temples in 2 days and spend the third day going to Banteay Srei and Tonle Sap?

Phuket - Is there anything to see/do in Phuket besides just lounging at the beach. We are staying at Sheraton Laguna, so we are a bit far from Patong.

Phuket - How can we do a day trip to Krabi/Phi Phi?

Thank you.
lilladki is offline  
Old Dec 18th, 2006, 03:03 PM
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Very easy in Chiang Mai to arrange tours and/or car and driver to take you anywhere you like. One of the many travel agencies around town or your hotel will be able to set you up.

In Phuket, definitely do the John Gray Sea Canoe Hongs by Starlight trip. DON'T do a day trip with any old operator...there were 17 companies operating day trips in the same hongs last year, this year could be more. We passed about 30 boats coming in from the hongs when we were going out. We were the only boat out there, and it was magical.

KimJapan is offline  
Old Dec 18th, 2006, 03:11 PM
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Haven't seen many that have stayed at the Plaza Athenee but we stayed there last February and thought it was well-situated with good service but not in the class of the top hotels in Bangkok - for its price range its a great value though.

Ayuttya and the Bang Pa-in summer palace are worth a day - do a tour that goes out by bus and returns on the Chao Phraya by boat.

The Prasart Museum is worth a morning - you must reserve in advance.

You can do the major temples in Siem Reap in 2 days - Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm and a couple of smaller ones. Banteay Srei and Tonle Sap would make a good third day. There's a short tethered balloon ride at about $10 which is worth it for an amazing view of Angkor Wat at some point in your time there.
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Old Dec 18th, 2006, 05:39 PM
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the jim thompson house is a must visit...also the M.R. Kukrit house off of sathorn rd is an interesting experience...its on the nancy chandler map..

a klong tour of thornburi would be relaxing some afternoon...have the sheraton call a boat for you...make sure you go in the PM...more activity then...allow about 2-3 hours...pay about 400-600 per hour...
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Old Dec 18th, 2006, 07:13 PM
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You might want to add in the Suan Pakkard Palace to your sightseeing in Bangkok. Also, there are many wats that are really lovely and off the tourist track. If you just go beyong the few most tourists see, you find places that are lovely and quiet. I recommend going to visit Wat Ben (the Marble Wat) early in the morning to see (and perhaps participate in) making merit. Also, visit the Erawan Shrine.

At Angkor, there are many dozens of acccessible wats, many more than you can see in a few days (more than I could see in a week). Do some research ahead of time (I like Dawn Rooney's book, Angkor, as a good prep.) Of course you'll want to see the most spectacular and famous wats, but alo consider that many of the so-called minor wats are lovely and you may be the only visitor.

Your time in Bangkok is pretty broken up, you'l have to do some good planning to get in all the things you want to do.
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