Itinerary Planning for Thailand

Old Dec 13th, 2005, 06:04 AM
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Itinerary Planning for Thailand

My wife and I (early 30's, active, adventurous, not into the beach) are leaving for Thailand next week for our first trip and wanted to get some advice from the experts. We currently booked:

- 3 days in Chiang Mai (Staying at Sheraton with Starwood points)
- 3 days near Chiang Rai (Anantara Resort, booked Mahout school for a day)
- 5 days in Bangkok (Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit again free with points)

Couple of specific questions:
Chiang Mai: Heard the Sheraton is not great, but since its free is it really worth trying to find something else that's more local. Also what should we do with our 3 days. Cooking school here or at Anantara?

Chiang Rai: Is a river trip or any other activity worth doing or should we stick to the hotel, mahout school, spa

Bangkok: Anything
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Old Dec 13th, 2005, 07:07 AM
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I think you'll love the Anantara. SInce you are doing the Mahout school one day, save your other days for the spa and such. If you want to go away from the resort for a day, go to Doi Tung. There is an Opium Museum across the road grom the entrance of the hotel that is excellent and well worth a couple of hours.

I'd say do the cooking school in Chaing Mai.

In Bangkok, there is so much. You'll want to visit the Temple of the Emerald Buddha/Grand Palace complex (get there when it poens at 8:30) and Wat Po. Do visit the Jim Thompson House as well.

I'm recently back from Bangkok, and wrote a brief report higlighting some excellent restaurants (look for Kathie's Bangkok Report).

Tell us what else you are interested in so we can make more Bangkok recommendations.
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Old Dec 13th, 2005, 07:43 AM
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If you haven't already booked other travel and are interested in a river trip, why not travel from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai via private boat? I know there are people on here who have done it (gloriaf?) and can give you the specifics. If you hire a private boat, you can stop along the way at hilltribe villages or anywhere else you see fit.
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Old Dec 13th, 2005, 08:27 AM
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Wow. A river trip sounds great to Chiang Rai. Any more info would be appreicated. I did a quick search on the site and could not find a thread.

Would it be easy to get to the Anantara from Chiang Rai?
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Old Dec 13th, 2005, 09:07 AM
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You rent the boat at thaton which is near Chiang Mai but not in it. I loved doing that. I'm sure you can arrange it when in chiang mai.

For my money I would spend the little bit it would cost to get out of the sheraton (a depressing poorly located dump) and stay someplace which is at least better located and has a bit more charm and cleanliness. Try Yaancome Village or Baan Orapin.
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Old Dec 13th, 2005, 10:33 AM
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The Anantara is another hour beyond Chaing Rai.
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Old Dec 13th, 2005, 10:45 AM
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i have stayed at the sheraton CM and i did not find it bad...it is located out of the main area but we did not mind that...

the rooms are large and comfortable....lots of transportation right outside the door...

i would do the cooking at anantara if you have time....the chef is fun and the facilities are excellent...it is slighly cheaper than bkk..

sheraton grande is very nice....you will love it....its location is good also and skytrain station is right outside the door...
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Old Dec 13th, 2005, 10:53 AM
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I stayed at the Sheraton once a few years ago and lasted one night -- moved. My room was dingy and not very clean-- and I hated the location. Maybe that was a unique experience but I would never recommend it to anyone.
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Old Dec 13th, 2005, 11:44 AM
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In BKK, we always use Starwood points to stay at the Royal Orchid Sheraton. It's not as nice a room as the Sheraton on Sukhumvit, but we think staying on the river is better. I suggest that you might stay at the ROS for two days. A deluxe room with Tower privileges is 4500-5500 points. A deluxe room is 3000-4000points. Both are fewer points than SGS.
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Old Dec 13th, 2005, 12:35 PM
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Gloria -- about how long does this boat trip take?
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Old Dec 13th, 2005, 04:49 PM
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Depend on how many times you stop and how long you spend on land. I think when we did it it took about 5-6 hours but you can do it in less.
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Old Jan 5th, 2006, 10:19 PM
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We are flying to Chiang Rai tomorrow for 2.5 days and then on to Chiang Rai. Can you take a boat from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai?
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