Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai

Apr 26th, 2005, 08:23 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 443
Hi sharon815. Could you kindly email me a copy of the report as well:

[email protected]

kywood1955 is offline  
Jun 7th, 2005, 04:18 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 151
I haven't been on the board for awhile and apologize for not getting info to the last few requests. Hopefully, it's not too late to offer some help. We're actually planning a new trip to southeast asia next xmas - vietnam, laos and southern thailand. Any feedback from those who've visited there would be much appreciated.
sharon815 is offline  
Jun 8th, 2005, 11:20 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 101
Hi Sharon,

can you send me a coopy please at [email protected].

DavRan is offline  
Jun 9th, 2005, 01:54 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 166
Kindly requesting a copy of your Chiangmai, Chiangrai and Cambodia itinerary.

Thanks a lot
[email protected]
gilawi01 is offline  
Jun 10th, 2005, 12:17 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 947
Hi, Sharon:

Will you please send a copy of your itinerary to [email protected]?

marya_ is offline  
Jun 10th, 2005, 01:54 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,237
Sharon, I too would love a copy of your itinerary, but even better - how about just posting it here to save yourself a lot of time! I'm sure many others would also appreciate it. If for some reason you don't wish to do so, my email is [email protected]. Thanks.
althom1122 is offline  
Jun 11th, 2005, 08:02 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 151
Hi. I'm posting the itinerary as requested. Just to explain, I didn't post it at first because I was new to these boards and didn't know if people would be annoyed by very long posts. Then as I started emailing back and forth between people who were making the requests, it gave me an opportunity to get to share personal and travel info, to respond to specific questions that might not have been of general interest and to make some new friends. In fact, we've actually met up with a couple who booked an itinerary close to ours - the strange part is that we're from the states, they're australians who traveled to thailand and we met up in sydney on the way back from our holiday in new zealand!! so fodors definitely makes for strange bedfellows!

So here's the itinerary - you can also reach me at [email protected]. The descriptions are from the travel agent. [We're right now in the process of planning a december/jan trip to vietnam, laos, southern thailand with a stopover in hong kong on the way back. It's not finalized yet, but I can post that if anyone's interested - and we'd love feedback.]

We did the Siem reap portion first, figured we'd have more energy at the beginning and finished up with a free day in Bangkok. Everything except River Kwai was just us with a guide and driver.

Day 1: Bangkok / December 21,2003
Arrival at Bangkok International Airport. Meet & Greet. Hotel Rama Gardens for an overnight.

Day 2 : Bangkok – Siem Reap / December 22,2003 ( B )
Transfer to Bangkok Airport by hotel shuttle bus for flight to Siem Reap.
Sightseeing in Siem Reap
Overnight in Siem Reap

Day 3 : Siem Reap / December 23,2003 ( B )
Breakfast at the hotel. Sightseeing in Siem Reap.
Overnight in Siem Reap

Here are some of the places we saw during the days in Siem Reap.

ANGKOR THOM: a fortified Royal City (10 square kilometres) built by King Jayavarman VII who ruled from 1181 to 1201. The city has five monumental gates and is encircled by a moat 100 metres wide. In the centre of the walled city are the city’s most important monuments including Baphuon, Bayon and the Terrace of Elephants, THE Terrace of the Leper King and Phimeanakas with Royal Enclosure.
BAYON: Jayavarman VII’s temple mountain that stands at the centre of Angkor Thom. It is one of the most popular of Angkor’s monuments and is a place of narrow corridors, steep flights of stairs and an amazing collection of towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces.
BAPHUON : the pyramid shape represents the mythical Mount Meru and marks the center of the city that was here before Angkor Thom.
PHIMEANAKAS : near the center of what was once the royal palace within Angkor Thom. Phimeanakas means”Celestrial Palace”, though today there is not much left to indicate its former splendour.
FORMER ROYAL PALACE : nothing remains today except two pools that were used by royalty for washing.
TERRACE OF ELEPHANTS : this terrace was used for viewing public ceremonies and was a base for the King’s grand audience hall. The famous lines of elephants are either end of the retaining walls.
TERRACE OF THE LEPER KING : North of the Terrace of Elephants is a platform named “Terrace of the Leper King”. On the platform is a nude statue – one of Angkor’s mysteries.
Visit Phnom Bakheng for sunset over Angkor
PHANOM BAKHENG : hilltop temple ruins which provide one of the best views of Angkor Wat, especially at sunset.
Overnight in Siem Reap / Hotel Angkor

Day 2 : ANGKOR WAT: a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu by King Suryavarman II, who reigned between 1131 and 1150. It was constructed over a period of 30 years and illustrates some of the most beautiful examples of Khmer and Hindu art. Angkor Wat features the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which runs along the outer gallery walls and narrates stories from Hindu mythology. In 1992 the UNESCO World Heritage Committee declared the monument, and the whole city of Angkor, a World Heritage Site.
Visit Banteay Srei Temple
Visit TA Prohm: one of the most popular attractions of Angkor as much of the jungle has not been cleared and it looks very much as most of the Angkor monuments would have appeared when European explorers first stumbled across them.
Day 3: Siem Reap - Bangkok ( B )

On both days, we went back to the hotel for an hour or so during the afternoon - it was brutally hot - and then went out again. We saw a dinner show with traditional dance one night and visiting a crafts training school with shops.

Now the northern Thailand portion:
Bangkok – Chiangmai – Mae Hong Son -Golden Triangle

Day 4 : Siem Reap – Bangkok / December 24,2003 ( B )
Breakfast at the hotel Transfer to Siem Reap Airport for flight back to Bangkok
Arrive Bangkok transfer to Hotel Montien Bangkok.
At around 0100 PM : Halfday City, Temple and Grand Palace Tour.
Overnight in Bangkok / Hotel Montien Bangkok

Day 5: Bangkok – Chiangmai / December 25,2003 ( B, L )
Early morning transfer to the Domestic Airport and flight to Chiang Mai. A local Guide will pick you up. Transfer to the hotel. Lunch. In the afternoon visit the landmark of Chiang Mai, the Wat Doi Suthep temple, located 1050m above sea-level. The temple is built around a 32m high golden Chedi. On clear days you can enjoy an excellent view on Chiang Mai, the second largest city in Thailand with approx. 1.5 millions inhabitants.
Overnight in Chiang Mai. / Hotel Pornping Tower

Day 6: Chiangmai / December 26,2003 ( B, L )
Morning excursion to an Elephant Camp. You will see a show, where the elephants will demonstrate what kinds of work they are doing in the forests. Lunch at an Orchid-farm. In the afternoon visit the world-famous handicraft villages. We will show you an Umbrella making center, a silk factory, a wood carving center and a silversmith. Return to Chiang Mai.
Overnight in Chiang Mai. / Hotel Pornping Tower

Day 7: Chiangmai – Mae Hong Son / December 27,2003 ( B, L, D )
After breakfast, drive to Lamphun. Visit the most beautiful temple of the MON Kingdom. The temple, Wat Haripoonchai is located on the river banks and is among the most worshipped shrines in Thailand. Parts of its buildings date back to the 9th century. At noon return to the hotel for check-out. Afternoon transfer to the airport and 25 minutes flight from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son. 20 minutes transfer to the Fern Resort, a small Bungalow Resort outside the town of Mae Hong Son. Its located on a hill in a very secluded area, surrounded by tense forests. Dinner in Mae Hong Son. After dinner visit the Night market. Overnight at Fern Resort

Day 8: Mae Hong Son / December 28,2003 ( B, L, D )
In the morning City Tour through Mae Hong Son. Visit 2 temples of Burmese origin. Proceed to a carpe cave, where hundreds of carps are waiting for food provided by visitors. Return to Fern Resort. Afternoon free fro leisure. Our proposal: Guided bird-watching tour in the National Park behind the hotel. Dinner at Fern Resort .Overnight at the Fern Resort.
[Instead of birdwatching, we went hiking in the park with trail dogs guiding us]

Day 9 : Mae Hong Son – Chiangmai / December 29,2003 ( B, L )
Early breakfast and check out from Fern Resort. Transfer to the Pai River to board a long tail-boat for a 1 hour cruise to a small Elephant Camp. There change the means of transportation and ride an Elephant for 1 hour through the jungle area. Continue by car to a Padong Village, ( women, who from early age on, have brass rings put around their necks and thereby stretching it ) 7 km from the Burmese border. There you will visit the famous "Long-necked women". Late lunch and transfer to the airport. Flight back to Chiang Mai and transfer to the hotel.
Overnight in Chiang Mai. / Hotel Pornping Tower

Day 10 : Chiangmai – Chiangrai / December 30,2003 ( B, L )
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning depart the hotel, drive via Doi Saket and Wiang Papao, a short stop will be made on the way at hot Spring. Then drive through the fascinating Mountain Landscape to Chiangrai, lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon take a long-tailed boat along the Mae Kok River to visit the Karen Hill Tribe village and return by boat to Chiangrai.
Overnight in Chiangrai / Hotel Wiang Inn

Day 11 : Chiangrai – Bangkok / December 31,2003 ( B, L )
Breakfast at the hotel. Today you are going deep into the “Golden Triangle”, first you drive further north from Chiangrai to visit the Villages of Akha and yao, two hill tribes of this area. Then continue to Mae Sai, the northern most point of Thailand, on the Thai-Burmese border. Lunch in a local restaurant. After lunch drive through the anchanting countryside to the Golden Triangle, the famed area where Laos, Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand meet. The drive to Chiang Saen, the ancient city to visit Wat Chedi Luang. Late afternoon transfer to Chiangrai Airport for flight back to Bangkok. Arrive Bangkok transfer to hotel. Overnight in Bangkok / Hotel Montien Bangkok
[We added a foot crossing into Burma and a short boat ride to Laos]

Day 12: Bangkok / January 01,2004 ( B, L )
Breakfast at the Hotel. Morning pick up from hotel to visit a famous Floating Market at Damnoen Saduak with a stop at Nakhorn Pathom where the largest Buddhist pagoda in Thailand is located. Proceed to lunch at the picturesque Rose Garden. Afterwards enjoy the colourful Thai Village Show – Buddhist ordination procession, sword-fighting, elephants at work, a folk dance an traditional wedding ceremony. Late afternoon return to Bangkok
Overnight in Bangkok / Hotel Montien Bangkok

Day 13 : Bangkok – Kanchanaburi ( River Kwai ) / January 02,2004 ( B,L,D )
Breakfast at the hotel. Leave your Bangkok hotel early in the morning for a leisurely drive to Kanchanaburi province, 130 km. west of Bangkok. Visit the allied soldier’s cemetery, the world renowned Bridge of the River Kwai and take a train ride along the unforgettable
“ Death Railway “ , lunch in a local restaurant after lunch take a long-tailed boat from pier to get to the Jungle Rafts, passing by unspoiled mountainous jungle scenery. Check-in on arrival.
Afternoon visit to the nearby ethnic Mon Tribal Village. At 0700 PM dinner and followed by a 45 minutes presentation of Mon Dance and overnight at the Jungle Raft.

Day 14 : Kanchanaburi – Bangkok / January 03,2004 ( B, L )
Breakfast at the hotel. Take an exciting boat ride downstream to Resotel Pier and continue to visit to the Hell Fire Pass Memorial. Then return for Thai lunch. After lunch return to Bangkok.
Overnight in Bangkok / Hotel Montien Bangkok

Day 15 : Bangkok / January 04,2003 ( B )
Breakfast at the hotel. Day at your own disposal.
Overnight in Bangkok / Hotel Montien Bangkok

We like this hotel very much. The location was great - in the evenings we'd explore the night markets (and a bit of the red light district). On our last free day, we took the train to the river, took the river ferry where you can get on and off wherever you want and explored on our own.

Day 16 : Bangkok – New York / January 05,2004
Very early morning transfer to Bangkok International Airport for your onwards flight.

sharon815 is offline  
Jun 11th, 2005, 08:49 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,237
Thank you SO much this! It will be really helpful to me as I plan a trip with my daughter for January/February!
althom1122 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2005, 09:25 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,546
Thanks for posting this interesting report.
Jed is offline  
Jul 15th, 2005, 10:23 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 185

What travel agent did you use in Thailand for the Chang Mai/Chang Rae excursion that you took? If anyone else has a good agent in Thailand please let me know. We are planning to go in Feb, 2006, and wish to do a Thailand/Laos trip. Thanks.
ldtc2 is offline  
Jul 15th, 2005, 05:37 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 151
Hi, kltc2.
We used a travel agent in Thailand (offices in Bangkok and Chiang Mai) [email protected]. I prefer to use agents in country and I originally found Sai thru an search on the internet, as well as a number of other agencies; she came back with the best suggestions and very good prices so we took a chance on it. She did a wonderful job for us, tailoring what we did to what our interests were and not trying to pigeon-hole us into a "standard" itinerary. She also arranged the Angkor portion. Guides were great, activities, accommodations, meals, etc. were all what we wanted - generally even better than we expected. The whole trip was with private guide and driver, so we could move things around, stay longer if we wanted and add little side trips (like our visits to Laos and Myanmar, for example). We've since recommended her to a number of other fodorites and have gotten really good reports back. In fact, we're currently working with her to plan a trip in december to vietnam, laos and southern thailand. Please let me know if I can help more.
sharon815 is offline  
Jul 16th, 2005, 04:19 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 185
Hi Sharon,

I sent the agent an Email this morning. Thank you for your help. If you need any help with Vietnam, in terms of suggestions, let me know as I went two years ago. Email me directly with any questions that you may have. It was a WONDERFUL trip. [email protected]
If you can, spend overnight in Halong Bay and sleep on the boat. We had our own boat, and it was wonderful. Bette
ldtc2 is offline  
Aug 4th, 2005, 10:04 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 101
Hi Sharon,

can I get a copy of your itinerary.

My e-mail is [email protected]

Thank You,
DavRan is offline  
Aug 10th, 2005, 03:52 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 38
Hi SHARON815 I HAVE READ YOUR POSTINGS on your recent trip and am very interested. My wife and i are in our early 70's both vegetarians in excellent health and your posting is more like what we would like to do. We have 3 weeks in Thailand from Oct. 20 to Nov. 10th. We have only made flight plans so far. We have gotten info from glorialf and bob but before we did any booking a family situation came up and we are just now planning our trip. We could expand your trip in a number of ways. Were the price range of your hotels etc. in the 40 to 70 range or more expensive? We are open to any and all suggestions. Will you please forward me a copy of yout trip and if possible any hotel costs? My email is [email protected] Thank you in advance for any and all advise you can offer. We love to hike, walk, and explore
jeremiah7 is offline  
Aug 11th, 2005, 07:15 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 155
Sharon, your itinerary sounds wonderful! If you don't mind my asking, around how much would a trip like yours cost? Thank you.
paigeTN is offline  
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