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Itinerary suggestions for Thailand this Xmas and New Years!

Itinerary suggestions for Thailand this Xmas and New Years!

Sep 12th, 2007, 07:54 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 12
Itinerary suggestions for Thailand this Xmas and New Years!

My husband and I have just bought our tickets to Thailand and boy are we excited! We will be leaving JFK on December 15, and will leave BKK on January 3. Were in our forties, adventurous and in great shape. We would rather stay in interesting places even if they cost a little more. Were both interested in exploring the local culture and seeing the sights.

We could REALLY use some advice in planning our trip and would love any suggestions from this forum. Weve got 16 glorious days to explore! This includes New Years hopefully on a beautiful, quiet romantic beach. (I hope!)

We have a relative in Bangkok, so were planning on staying until the morning of Dec. 20th, and then flying North. Were thinking of staying in the North for around 5 or 6 days. Im interested in Chiang Mai, and or Chiang Rai and the Golden Triangle, but would love to hear some suggested itineraries of interesting places in the North. Interested in seeing the hill tribes and maybe a short trek into the hills.

Were very interested in finding a reasonably priced guide/driver or a tour company who can help make arrangements for us. We DONT want to be in a van with a bunch of strangers. Does anyone know any recommendations?

If we had to go anywhere in the country other than the Chiang Mai area and the Southern Beaches, where would it be? Is Sukothai worth a detour? (The pictures look fantastic.)

From the North, we would like to fly to the beaches of the South on the Andaman Sea side. Any ideas for 5 days there? We love to snorkel. And of course New Years Eve in Thailand is a dream come true for me. (Not into the party party scene at all.)

I visited this forum a couple of years ago when I traveled to Egypt. It was so far the best trip Ive ever taken. Lets see if we can top that one! Thanks so much for any help you can throw our way!

Denzola is offline  
Sep 13th, 2007, 05:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,681
Let me start by saying you are quite late to be planning a trip in Dec/Jan. That is the busiest time of the year in Thailand and many hotels have long been fully booked.

Three locations in your 16 days is just right. Bangkok, a beach and someplace more adventuresome. If you are interested in ruins, of course, the temples at Angkor are a short hop away. If you opt for this, plan a minimum of three fulldays of temple tourins just to see the major temples. We spent a week and didn't see all of the accessible temples.

If you opt not to go to Angkor, then either basing yourself in one place in the north with day trips, or making a loop though the north are good ways to see the area. Any tour company can set you up with a car and driver and take you around or can arrange a short trek for you. Most of these companies take people to the same places, so don't expect to be taken someplace where the tribal peoples haven't been visited before by many traverlers.

I'll let others recommend specific beaches and hotels for you, but you are right, you want to be somewhere on the Andaman sea,

photos are worth tousands of words. You are welcome to take a look at some of our SE Asia photos at www.marlandc.com The photos of Angkor should help you decide if you want to visit.
Kathie is offline  
Sep 13th, 2007, 06:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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choose your hotel carefully in bkk as that can make all the difference about how you like bkk...most of us prefer to stay along the river....most are expensive hotels, but comparitive to western hotel prices they can be moderate....i prefer the peninsula or the marriott resort and spa.....there are others too: shangri-la, sheraton orchid, hilton....
bkk is fantastic with great sites, shopping, restaurants...

i have a restaurant listing if you want it: [email protected]
just request it and i will send it...

hua hin is a nice place to relax at the beach....i prefer the hyatt there but there are many others....you do not need to fly to get there...

samui, phuket, krabi are other favorite places as well...

many of us find that day one and two in thailand are sort of down days as we adjust to the heat and humidity and recover from jet lague....filter this into you plans...

i often suggest to people that you spend time in bkk at the beginning and at the end of your trip....this works well for many of us...

the anantara is a really nice hotel in northern thailand in the golden triangel area.....book now....it may already be full as kathie suggests...

the four season has a new tented camp in the same area...

two days would be fine for me in chiang mai as i really do not like it there...its just another big city, albeit low rise....
rhkkmk is offline  
Sep 13th, 2007, 06:51 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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With 16 days on the ground I suggest the following split:

4 days BKK
4 days Chiang Mai-with a trek in the hill country for 3 of the days
4 days Phuket
4 days BKK

You can fly easily between these destinations. There is a direct Thai Air flight from CM-Phuket that will make this easier.

To do a trek in CM, I suggest that you contact Sergeant Kai at ChiangMaiTours.com. My son and wife did a three day trek into the hills. They were with a guide, but by themselves. They slept in the villages in very basic accomodations. They loved it

With 8 days in BKK, you'll have plenty of time to do some day trips. These can include Ayuttahya, the Floating market and the River Kwai. Assuming this is two days, there will be lots of time for sightseeing, shopping and wandering. BKK is a wonderful city. Splitting the time there, you might consider two different hotels. One on the river and one on or near Sukhumvit. This will give two very different perspectives on the city.

Gpanda is offline  
Sep 13th, 2007, 07:27 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,681
And if you give us a per night budget for hotels, we can help with suggestions.
Kathie is offline  
Sep 13th, 2007, 08:47 AM
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Splitting your Bangkok stay is a good idea. If you are going to have any tailoring done, then you can do final fittings in your end-of-trip Bangkok days.

I really enjoy Phuket at this time of year. We have spent two New Years Eves at Mom Tri's Villa Royale. It is gorgeous!! But probably fully booked out by now... I also really like the Kata Thani Resort on Kata Noi Beach. It is a large resort with several pools, nice beach, restaurants on the grounds, etc.

Pictures of Bangkok, Phuket, etc. on my web site (www.cjscollection.com) just select the photo gallery on the left side of the page, and then choose the ASIA album. You'll see lots of hotel rooms/apartments in Bangkok as well. It might help your selection...

simpsonc510 is offline  
Sep 13th, 2007, 10:10 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Oh, you should book hotels as soon as possible. It is the highest of high seasons. As Kathie said, if you provide a per night budget we will chime in.
Gpanda is offline  
Sep 14th, 2007, 06:53 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 12
Thanks so much for the advice so far. We realize that it's late to be organizing this trip, but hey, better late than never, wouldn't you agree?

As far as $$ for accommodations, we really would like to stay under $100 a night. I guess that leaves off the Four Seasons! (Oh well, maybe next time.) But aren't there some lovely places to stay in this price range?

By the way, we are totally covered in BKK as we will be staying at the same hotel as our family.

I've been looking at pix of Sukhathai and it looks so amazing. There is a morning flight from BKK on the 20th that we could take, but I still haven't been able to figure out how to get up North from there. Any suggestions?

OR should we skip Sukhothai all together and head to Angkor Wat instead? (Just thinking outside the box.)

The world is our oyster... even if we're booking it late!

Thanks again for any suggestions.
Denzola is offline  
Sep 14th, 2007, 07:55 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Angkor is far more impressive than Sukothai.
Kathie is offline  
Sep 15th, 2007, 01:39 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Angkor Wat is one of the truly special places in the world. If you have an opportunity, you should go there.
Gpanda is offline  
Sep 15th, 2007, 07:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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i think accomodations at SR over the year end holidays might be very tough this late in the game, but i still would try....
rhkkmk is offline  
Sep 15th, 2007, 11:42 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Thanks so much for all the info. I'm working out our itinerary. What we are finding out is that the flights to Angkor Wat are above our budget for the amount of time that we would have to spend there. So it looks like what we have so far is:

BKK Dec 17-19
Leave BKK early on Dec 20 to fly to Sukhothai. (There are still available flights.)
Stay in the North from 21-26 or 27th.
Fly to the Beach until Jan 1.
Go home late Jan 3.

OK! I know that's not much, but it's a start! Any suggestions on how to get up North from Sukothai? There aren't any flights, so it looks like a bus or train, but I can't seem to find the details for booking. Just wondering... If we have five days in the North, why couldn't we see Chiang Mai AND the Golden Triangle? What do you all suggest we do while in the North?

Thanks again for your help. Keep those suggestions coming. It's really helping our research!

Denzola is offline  

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