Day trip to Chiang Mai

Old Nov 25th, 2003, 09:42 AM
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Day trip to Chiang Mai

We will be in Thailand Dec. 19 - Jan. 4, with 6 days in Hua Hin then 8 days in BKK. Is it feasible to take a day trip from BKK to Chiang Mai (fly out in morning return at night)? Is it worth it? What should we do in Chiang Mai for that one day (probably Monday Dec. 29)? Could we book the flight from our BKK hotel just a couple of days before? Or should we book now?

I appreciate any advice on this spur of the moment idea!
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Old Nov 25th, 2003, 11:08 AM
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In theory, you could do this. There are flights all day long and it takes just over an hour each way. It is not a long drive into town from the airport. I am sure you could hire a driver at the airport for the day. Just make sure it is an air-conditioned car, not a tuk-tuk. The time between Christmas and New Years is a popular time for travel so you should book your flights in advance. Thai Airways permits you to change without cost. If you take the first flight in the morning, you could get to the elephant camp north of the city in time for a show and a ride. Then you could visit Wat Doi Su Thep and its architure unique to northern Thailand, check out some of the smaller wats within the city limits and have a late lunch at one of the pleasant riverside restaurants in town. If you like handicrafts, have your driver take you out to San Kampaeng Road--great for silks, lacquerware, colorful umbrellas and fans and other unique things made right there. In my opinion it would be worth it if you never plan to return to Thailand. Otherwise, it would be a very long day.
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Old Nov 25th, 2003, 11:36 AM
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As Craig rightly says, it IS feasable, first flight is I think 7 am and last one back about 8 or 9 pm, just over 1 hour. But honestly it is a long trip just for a day, if you haven't been to Ayuthaya then that is a far easier day trip from Bangkok and you can take the river route.
Chiang Mai is after all a major city that is famous for temples, but it's Thailand and you can find a great number of other easier ( and dare I say cheaper trips ).
You mentioned that you will be in Hua hin for 8 days ( nice! ), have you though of stopping in the River Kwai area for a night on a roundabout way back to Bangkok?
It takes about 3 hours from Hua Hin to Kanchanaburi/River kwai, in addition to the famous bridge there are some great resorts in the area just to enjoy the region. It's North West of Hua Hin direction, then it's just a couple of hours into Bangkok. If you set off from Hua Hin real early ( 4.30 am ) you can do the Floating market also on your way to Kanchanaburi/River Kwai. You will easily find a car+driver in Hua Hin for the journey including the Floating Market, and then your River kwai hotel will arrange a car+driver back into Bangkok.
Also 50 minutes north of Hua Hin ( on same road towards River Kwai ) is Phethaburi with temples and the old hilltop Palace, now it's not Chiang Mai but still worth the trip. Anyway some 'food for thought'.
We go about once a month to Hua hin (from BKK ) for the weekend so any questions feel free to ask away

James
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Old Nov 26th, 2003, 02:34 PM
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I appreciate the advice! If what everyone says is true, then I will love Thailand and want to return, so we will save Chiang Mai for that next trip.

I was talking to a friend who was in BKK last year and she keeps telling me there's not enough there to keep us busy. And, I like to be active and doing things every day (especially since Hua Hin will be plenty of relaxation). I guess her talk got to me. But, I suppose that with nearer day trips and tours of the city, we will be fine in BKK for 8 days.

Thanks once again!
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Old Nov 26th, 2003, 04:08 PM
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Not enough to do! I live in Bangkok and can promise you there is plenty to see and do, Jim Thompson's House. The Grand Palace, River rides and cruises, fantastic restaurants plsu so many activities we get worn out! Weekends we are always off to some place or another!
Hua Hin is very relaxing but there is also plenty to do. The Sam Roi Yot National Park is very close. Do take the tour to the Pineapple Plantations, it is a lot more interesting than it sounds! There is a cruise on the Pranburi River, great restaurants, local markets, you can be as quiet or busy as you want. To get a touch of Thailand try the Nirvana Spa Retreat, in Hua Hin ,aromatic massage and foot massage in an old style Thai house with gardens ( near the Marriott and not far from town centre ).
You'll have a great time, and you can always from Bangkok take a day trip to Ayuthaya. Have fun!
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Old Nov 28th, 2003, 11:34 AM
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Don't miss getting a pedicure (and manicure) in BKK. I went to the beauty salon in the Oriental shopping center (the one across the driveway from the hotel main entrance). It was worth going to BKK just for the pedicure.
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