Japan, Thailand Itinerary

Old Mar 29th, 2017, 01:19 PM
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Japan, Thailand Itinerary

We'll be doing 17 days and nights in Japan and Thailand coming from Cebu, Philippines on the morning of July 27

Trying to not spend too much money on flying around.
What do you think of this itinerary. Is Kyoto nice in July? What about Osaka? Deciding if I should just skip that part and go straight from Tokyo to Chiang Mai, or straight from Tokyo to Bangkok.

July 27 - 31 (5 nights) Tokyo, see Tokyo
Aug 1 - Early train to Osaka, see Osaka, stay Osaka (2 nights)
Aug 2 - Day trip to Kyoto, stay Osaka
Aug 3 - Checkout, See Osaka, overnight flight to Chiang Mai (no hotel needed for this night)
Aug 4-6 - (3 nights) See Chiang Mai, stay Chiang Mai
Aug 7 - Check out, see Chiang Mai, overnight train to Bangkok (no hotel needed for this night)
Aug 8 - 12 (5 nights) see Bangkok, stay Bangkok
Aug 13 - Fly to States.
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Old Mar 29th, 2017, 06:27 PM
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Both Kyoto and Osaka can, I believe, be a bit oppressively humid at that time of year.

And if you do try to visit them, I wonder what draws you to Osaka? Most people skip it on a first visit to Japan -- which doesn't mean you should.

What are your priorities for Japan? For those of us who have an interest in traditional Japan, a split that puts more time in Kyoto than Tokyo is more common. For example, a stay of 5 or 6 days for a first visit to Kyoto / Nara is not uncommon, nor is a stay of just 2 or 3 days for a first visit to Tokyo.

No right or wrong answers -- it really depends on what you want.
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Old Mar 29th, 2017, 07:56 PM
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KJA,

Thanks for responding. At this point, all I have is booked flights into Tokyo and out of Bangkok. I have a lot of research to do to fill in the details.

I have no interest in Osaka, I only chose it because it has an airport to fly to Thailand without returning to Tokyo.

I've read now, that Osaka is not particularly interesting so I guess we will stay in Kyoto and just go to Osaka to fly out.

We like vibrant big cities so want to spend as much time as possible in Tokyo, but we also like tradition and history so 2 or 3 days in Kyoto should be good for us.

The main purpose of this post for me was to confirm that I've chosen a logical route for my 17 days: Tokyo-Kyoto-Chiang Mai-Bangkok, and then to get ideas on what else, if anything I should try to squeeze in.
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Old Mar 30th, 2017, 09:40 AM
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With just 17 days, that is plenty of destinations. You really don't want to add any more as the more destinations you have, the less time you have to see/do/experience. Basically you lose at least half a day and perhaps much as a whole day each time you change locations.
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Old Mar 30th, 2017, 05:07 PM
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I agree with Kathie, and would even encourage you to think about skipping one or more of these destinations. Just something to consider....
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Old Mar 30th, 2017, 08:15 PM
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This is my new itinerary, trading Chiang Mai for Hanoi, dropping Osaka.

Gives me 4 1/2 days Tokyo, 1 1/2 days Kyoto, 3 1/2 days Hanoi,
5 1/2 days Bangkok.

A bit hectic, I agree, but enough time to see a lot.

Would you trade the Kyoto days for more Hanoi, or vice versa, or leave as is?

July 27 - 31 see Tokyo, stay Tokyo (4 1/2 days)
Aug 1 - Train to Kyoto, see Kyoto, stay Kyoto (1/2 day)
Aug 2 - See Kyoto, head to KIX around 8PM (1 day)
Aug 3 - 12:10AM flight KIX-Hanoi arriving 8:30AM, see Hanoi,stay Hanoi (1/2 day)
Aug 4-6 See Hanoi, stay Hanoi (3 days)
Aug 7 - Flight to Bangkok, see Bangkok, stay Bangkok (1/2 day)
Aug 8 - 12 See Bangkok, stay Bangkok (5 days)
Aug 13 - Fly to States.
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Old Mar 30th, 2017, 08:30 PM
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I think Kyoto deserves 5 to 6 full days for a first visit, and I wouldn't go there at this time of year if I planned to go again when the climate would likely be more hospitable. Your call whether to skim it on this trip or leave it for another.

4.5 days in Tokyo would have been 2 too many for me -- but that's just me, and you certainly have lots of day-trip options from Tokyo.

I haven't been to Hanoi or Bangkok yet....
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Old Mar 30th, 2017, 08:54 PM
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I've been to all of the cities you mention. If it was me - and I know it isn't - I'd spend 17 days in Japan.

Your 3 countries idea is worse than the previous one. You will never have any real sense of Thailand or VN. the two cultures are quite different. Since you have two visit two countries, I'd suggest Tokyo, Kyoto and Bangkok.
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Old Mar 30th, 2017, 09:06 PM
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Kathie,

Just curious. How would you divide up the days among those 3 places?

The wife and I discussed it earlier today, just Tokyo and Bangkok vs. Tokyo, Kyoto, Hanoi, Bangkok.

We don't like packing up and moving so much, but my wife really wants to see Hanoi. As for Kyoto, as you say KJA, it might not be so great in July. If I leave off Kyoto, and keep Hanoi, I have to go to Hanoi from Tokyo, which doesn't offer such good flights, price wise and layover wise.
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Old Mar 31st, 2017, 06:56 AM
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I'm with the others. My personal preference is not to try and cram in too many countries in one short trip as it just shortchanges all of them, and also means I end up wanting to go back again to each of those countries to see more of what I missed, an expensive way of travelling, frankly.

With 17 days, personally I'd stick to just one country, if Japan, or two at a push though I can't see me doing that unelss I'd found out I would no longer be able to travel ever again and was trying to cram in my last chance to see...

But that's personal preference.
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Old Mar 31st, 2017, 07:32 AM
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This site is great for bouncing around ideas (though it seems a little Japan centric, LOL.) I'm glad I stopped in.

Kyoto is probably best in spring or fall so decided to drop it.

New itinerary:

Tokyo - 5 1/2 days, 5 nights
Hanoi - 5 days, 5 nights
Bangkok - 5 1/2 days, 6 nights

(flight to Hanoi is an over night)
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Old Mar 31st, 2017, 08:14 AM
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The problem is, you still have three countries, which, IMO, is a bad idea. Save Hanoi for when you take a trip to SE Asia. July isn't a great time to visit any of these places, though you can make it work. I can't imagine going to Japan and skipping Kyoto.

It's funny that you say this site "seems a little Japan centric" as the usual complaint is that it is "Thai-centric."

The three countries you have chosen are VERY different from each other, so you would never get a sense of the culture in any of these, just glimpse of how they are different.

Have you already purchased plane tickets?
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Old Mar 31st, 2017, 08:17 AM
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Oops! I just noticed that you have purchased plane tickets.

I'd leave Bangkok in (My favorite city in the world) but I'd spend the rest of the time in Japan. Consider, for instance, Kanazawa, as a stop - or any of a dozen other places.
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Old Mar 31st, 2017, 08:49 AM
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In the future I hope to do a more extensive Japan trip. Looking at the guidebooks, it's a fascinating and beautiful country.

I've just booked my final plane tickets to Hanoi and Bangkok, however, so the broad itinerary is locked. Tokyo, Hanoi, Bangkok.

Now I need to figure out the details.

I've booked my Tokyo hotel, Hotel Monterey Hanzomon.
(It's the hidden, 3 1/2 star Chiyoda hotel, in PriceLine Express in case anyone is interested.)

Does anyone have good Hanoi, Bangkok hotel recommendations (under $50/nt, preferably)?
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Old Mar 31st, 2017, 10:02 AM
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In Hanoi I like the Sunline Hotel in a quiet road (unusual in Hanoi!) in the Old Quarter, close to Hoan Kiem Lake, St Josephs Cathedral. Great staff, nice rooms.

In Bangkok, the Ibis Riverside is good value - unsurprisingly on the river. We will be there about the same time as you and this time I am probably going to give the New Siam Riverside as recommended here by LancasterLad, a try. Basically, make sure any hotel is either close to the river or the BTS skytrain.
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Old Apr 1st, 2017, 04:50 PM
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Crellston,

Thanks for the recommendations. Aside from being on the river is the Ibis in a good location? Some reviews say it is, some say it isn't. Between the 2 Bangkok hotels you mentioned which, would you say, is in a better location for sightseeing and finding good cheap eats.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2017, 01:14 AM
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I would say the New Siam Riverside wins on that score. The Ibis is on the "wrong side of the river which you have to cross to get to the main sites. They have a tuk tuk which will take you to the BTS station nearby ( but is only a 10 min walk). Alternatively, there is a public ferry which is not especially frequent or you can walk across the bridge ( I suppose you could always walk into the Peninsula
Hotel just down the road and use their ferry . A few local type eating places nearby.

NSR is near Khao San Rd the main backpacker area where there are lots of cheap eating places. If you are really into food it is not the best area for Thai cuisine but it is also close to Chinatown which has a huge array. If you like music, the Adhere Blues Bar is in that vicinity and worth a look.

It may also be worth searching on www.travelfish.org for places to eat and stay.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2017, 10:28 AM
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crellston, thanks again. i already booked the Sunline. still trying to decide on the thai hotel. the ibis looks fancier, which appeals to my wife. the new siam is better located, as you say. tough decision.

do you have recommendations for 'good' thai food, a step up from khao san road?

as a side note, i actually stayed on khao san road in 2003 at the khao san palace for about $9/ nt. That was my first ever trip to se asia. i also went to the philippines on that trip. never been to japan or viet nam, before.

--typed on my iphone
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Old Apr 4th, 2017, 04:27 AM
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Some hotel and food recs in herebr />
http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...m-171305-2.cfm
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Old Apr 4th, 2017, 06:07 AM
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You are welcome governator. Ibis are opening a new Bangkok hotel, an Ibis Styles in Khaosan see https://secure.ibis.com/store/index....d=www.ibis.com

I think it may be more expensive than the Riverside Ibis but the styles are nice properties foand the money. Join the Accor loyalty programme for discount deals. I may well give this on a try myself.

I will try and sort out a few of my fav places in Bangkok but things do change rapidly there. Apparently there has been a clampdown on street food stalls since we were last there which is a bit of a shame. One of my go to places is Polo Fried Chicken near wireless road . Unsurprisingly serving great chicken accompanies by mountains of frie garlic and About 20 different varieties of som tum (green papaya salad)

My wife did great a google map of our favourite places in Hanoi so I will see if I can locate that and post a linke or at least some names.
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