Need advice on Thailand please!

Dec 6th, 2005, 04:34 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Need advice on Thailand please!

The beautiful thing about internet -- lots of information. The bad thing about internet -- lots of information! My hubby and I are planning 20 days in Thailand. We arrive 23:45 on Jan. 12 and leave 19:00 on Feb. 1. We've booked our first three nights in BKK, and I was thinking of heading up North for a few days and then doing some beach bunny relaxation down South, with 2-3 more nights in BKK on our way out in a luxury hotel. Should I dedicate our itinerary to Thailand only, or plan a 3-day side trip somewhere? I'm contemplating Siem Reap, what do you think?

How much time should I spend up North? Any spots that must not be missed? Are any popular spots 'repetitive'? We definitely want to see what life is like for the hill tribes, but I'd be lying if I said we're the hardcore trekking type.

FYI, we're looking at a moderate budget, so we'll be mixing budget/mid-range accommodation with a couple of splurges here and there (I'm particularly keen on Anantara Golden Triangle).

We'd like to do our last 2-3 days in BKK in a great hotel -- I"m torn b/w Sukhothai, Peninsula and/or Oriental (If it's the latter, we can only afford two nights).

This is our first trip to Asia. As you can see, I'm overwhelmed by choice. There are so many great posts here, but specific guidance to flesh out my tentative itinerary would be fantastic.

Many thanks in advance
AsiaNewbie is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 04:48 PM
  #2  
 
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OK...as for the hotel choice. I've stayed at both the Pen and the Oriental and have had an extensive tour of the Sukothai...saw rooms/suites at all price levels. I would select the Oriental first. Then the Sukothai second and I'm not one who likes the Pen. Why not take the first night at the Sukothai and then transfer over to the Oriental? You won't have to wait for your room to be ready at the Oriental even if you show up early. You could just get up, and have breakfast, at the Sukothai, and then call the reception desk to send someone up to put your luggage into a taxi and off you go to the Oriental. In Thailand you don't have to hassle with luggage at these types of hotels. It's very easy to transfer from one hotel to the next. At the Oriental you don't even register at the front desk...so no lines. You go to the front desk and then someone escorts you to your room and then they ask for your passport information etc in the privacy of your room. It's very easy and smooth. So, no time will be wasted. The Sukothai happens to be next door to the Metropolitan Hotel which is wonderful.I've stayed there,too. If you stayed a night at the Sukothai, you could walk next door and take advantage of the incredible spa at the Metropolitan, plus they have great food there and a club for the night. Or better yet, break open the piggy bank and count out the change and do all three nights at the Oriental. Smiles. I've stayed in a LOT of hotels in Bangkok and although my all time favorite is the Four Seasons...where I feel I live...Smiles... I still have other hotels that I like,too. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 07:05 PM
  #3  
 
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I would spend 6 days in Bangkok , 6 days in northern thailand,4 days at a beach and 4 days in siem reap.

Of your hotels in Bangkok, the Oriental wins hands down. I'm with Guen in not being a fan of the Pen. The sukothai is lovely but not in a very convenient location. If you can swing it spend the extra $100 and stay at the Oriental for the full 3 days -- you won't be sorry.
glorialf is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 07:19 PM
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gloria has it almost right...lets just cut up north back by 2 days to 4 which is sufficient and the anantara is perfect....add those days to bangkok....the rest is perfect...

SR hotels are expensive for what they are so shop carefully there....make sure you have a car and driver to save yourselves from the heat ($20 per day---same price for a guide which i also prefer---so $40 per day)...4 days there is perfect...imo leave on the late plane your last day and stay someplace nice in bkk....

to cut bkk costs, may i suggest the marriott resort and spa for at least part of your trip and the peninsula for your lux portion....(don't let the ladies above know but between you and me it is far nicer than the oriental---lets just keep it a secret---)

we all prefer the hotels on the river, especially for first timers...

eating can be quite cheap in aisa but you need to watch what and where you eat....

bangkok air has a good "discovery pass" which can save you money if you do include SR in your plans....
rhkkmk is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 06:56 AM
  #5  
 
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Bob...now you know that we don't "ALL" prefer hotels on the river. Smiles. Hobbes and I both stay at the Four Seasons. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 08:03 AM
  #6  
 
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thank god you do so there will be more rooms for us on the river when we want them....

my point is that you get a unique bangkok experience when you stay on the river, espcially for newbies....

we are all different...
rhkkmk is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 08:20 AM
  #7  
 
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I also much prefer the river which to me is what makes bangkok magical. But if you decide not to stay at the Oriental and don;t care about the river I would suggest the Four Seasons over the Sukothai or Old Bangkok Inn if you want a more "thai" non hotel experience. The Sukothai is lovely but has a very "empty" "cool" feel to it. And the location isn't great.
glorialf is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 09:55 AM
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rhkkmk
you were saying earlier that a car and driver would cost approx. $40 per day for the both.
could you by any chance recomend a company that offers this service in bangkok?
thankyou
outbackjack is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 10:31 AM
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First step, plan how many days in each location, BKK, Northern Thailand, Siem Riep, Beach, BKK. I suggest that order. You're time in Northern Thailand should be dependent upon whether you want to do a trek or not. If so, 6 days, if not 4 is plenty. Once you've plotted out days, you can pick your hotels by budget. Cheaper here, for more expensive there. After doing that, post your plan and we will no doubt suggest several "tweaks". Also, take a look at Althom's Pre-trip report for her process. You don't have enough time to repeat it, but her experience may suggest items for your consideration. I would do this promptly, you're going in the high season.
Gpanda is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 05:55 PM
  #10  
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Thanks, everyone, for your advice. I'll create a draft itinerary and post it for feedback.
AsiaNewbie is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 06:39 PM
  #11  
 
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outback.....nothing that cheap in bkk....but i have used rat often spoken of here with great success....she has a new pricing scale and generally is interested in 8 hour rentals....she used to charge about 225 B per hour in bkk....i think the new rate might work out to about 300 B per hour....

julie's taxi does the same

they are not lic. guides really but are drivers with significant knowledge of bkk but not all the historical and minute info...

do a search here for them
rhkkmk is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 06:48 PM
  #12  
 
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Thanks, Gpanda, for recommending my PRE-trip report! I was about to do so myself when I saw you beat me to the punch. Newbie, do check out my report if you get a chance (click on my screen name and it will pop up). Some of your destinations are different from where we're going, but I think the principles of deciding what you want to do and then planning are applicable regardless of destination. You've got a lot to do and so little time! But if I may speak from (my limited) experience, you've also got a lot of fun ahead of you in planning your trip. And this board is a wonderful place to start!
Karen
althom1122 is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 06:56 PM
  #13  
 
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Bob...what a hoot you are. Smiles. Yes, we...foue seasons folks... will remain at the Four Seasons in town...along with Simpson 510 who also stays in town and then we'll free up those rooms on the river. Back when I was a newbie, I stayed in town. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 06:58 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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Oops...that should have read "Four Seasons" above. That's what happens when I try to type without looking at my fingers. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  

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