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help with Thailand and Cambodia itinerary

help with Thailand and Cambodia itinerary

Mar 13th, 2008, 06:08 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
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help with Thailand and Cambodia itinerary

My husband and I are planning a trip to Thailand and Cambodia towards the end of this year. We will be flying in and out of Bangkok. This will be our first time in these two countries and actually my first time in Asia--we are both so excited!! We're thinking of spending 5 days in Bangkok, 5 days in Chiang Mai, 4 days in Phuket and 5 days in Siem Reap. What would be the most logical sequence for us to visit these four places with respect to flight availabilities from one city to another? Thanks in advance for your advice.
bducla is offline  
Mar 13th, 2008, 06:59 PM
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I would slightly change your itinerary and spend 7 days in Bangkok, 4 days in Chiang Mai, 3-4 days in Phuket and 4 days in Siem reap. I would divide the time in bangkok to the beginning and end of the trip.
glorialf is offline  
Mar 13th, 2008, 07:26 PM
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i agree with gloria....but i would reduce CM to 3 days and add the one to phuket (she does not like phuket and i don't like chiang mai)....

very important to split you bkk time to beginning and end...more on the end when you are not so tired and more accustomed to the weather
rhkkmk is offline  
Mar 13th, 2008, 07:27 PM
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order: bkk, phuket, CM, SR, bkk
rhkkmk is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 03:01 AM
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Bob's right -- we disagree on this. Phuket to me is the least interesting place in Thailand as there isn't much "thai" about it and if you're a beach lover there are equally good or better beaches a lot closer to home. On the other hand, Chiang Mai (and northern thailand in general) is my favorite part of thailand.
glorialf is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 09:51 AM
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What about Hua Hin? How does that compare with Chiang Mai?
rodash17 is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 09:59 AM
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5 days in bangkok is about right maybe split 3 and 2. Chiang mai 4 days with trips outside the city. Siem Reap 3 days unless you are realy into tenples and 3 days visiting the Cambodia capital Phnom Penh (includes 3/4 day getting there by bus or taxi}. 4 days Phuket is fine.
Scotters is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 11:50 AM
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rodash 17
you cant compare Chiang Mai with Hua Hin. HH is a beach town about 120 miles South of Bangkok without the quality of Phuket, Koh Samui or Koh Chang. But its easy to reach by coach or car from Bangkok.
Chiang Mai is up in the North and has no beach, but many sights and nice surroundings. Hua Hin has almost no sights and quite nice surroundings(Kaeng Krachan and Sam Roi Yot national parks for instance).
wolfmisc is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 12:18 PM
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Four locations is just about right for your amount of time. Phuket and Krabi are the best beaches for that time of year. Hua Hin does not provide the same reliable weather in November or December.

How you split your time should be dependent upon your interests. Siem Riep is unique, but it's lots of temples. Five days will be too much unless you are really interested. If you're mildly interested, four days will be sufficient.

Four days in Phuket is just about perfect. It will provide a nice relaxing time without wasting your opportunity to see some really wonderful sights in other places.

I would not spend five days in Chiang Mai. I suggest that you visit either Chiang Rai or Mae Hong Sae in Northern Thailand while you're up there. Actually, if you're budget permits, I would skip CM and NT and go to Luang Prabang in Laos instead. I think LP is really special, while CM is OK.

It's likely that you will be flying into and out of BKK. Many of us have split our BKK time in the front and back of our holiday. This avoids wasting time and money staying at the airport hotel.

I would do the follwing rotation:

BKK-3 days
LP-4 days
SR-4 days
Phuket-4 days
BKK 4 days

Bangkok Air flies from LP-SR. They are the only carrier from eithert BKK or LP to SR. You can buy a Discovery Pass from Bqangkokj Aira and save a good deal of money.

Have a great trip.
Gpanda is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 05:38 PM
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Thanks to all of you who responded! I will keep your advice in mind as we plan our trip.

Another question, while in Chiang Mai, we would like to make a day trip to Chiang Rai, is that possible to do? If it is, is it best that we join an organized day tour?
bducla is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 06:00 PM
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Yes it is possible although it is a long day. I would absolutely NOT go on an organized tour since you will 1) spend time shopping whether you want to or not and not necessarily where you want to shop; 2) You will not be able to stop where you want to stop. It is much better to do it privately eitehr with a guide or with a driver. Or both. If you want a driver, Poon is excellent. Chaiya is also highly recommended as a guide.
glorialf is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 06:37 PM
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its 3 hours up and 3 hours back so why do it??
rhkkmk is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 07:03 PM
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A couple of thoughts to consider: I would not opt for seeing three countries on your first trips to Asia, no matter how tempting. Luang Prabang is magical, but save it for the next trip. It will dilute your sense of the different cultures.

I'd start in Bangkok, then fly to Siem Reap. There is a flight from Siem Reap to Phuket (it does stop in BKK, but it takes only one Discovery Pass coupon), so I'd go there next. That will also allow you to "rest up" after Siem Reap. It takes a full three days just to see the major temples at Angkor, so I wouldn't spend less than three full days there (which would be 4 nights) and do spend more time if you are really interested in the temples. We spent a week and could have used even more time.

I'm also one who is not fond of Chiang Mai. Personally, I'd substitute a more rural location such as the Golden Triangle. Chaing Mai is easily seen in three days, only add more if you have lots of activities you want to do, like cooking classes, etc. I would not go to Chiang Rai or the Golden Triangle as a day trip. Choose either the Chiang Mai area or the Golden Triangle area.

As you can see, we all have slightly different preferences in terms of our travel to this area. Read posts and guidebooks, look at photos and see what you think would best meet your travel preferences.

You are welcome to view our travel photos at www.marlandc.com
Kathie is offline  
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