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Need to decide how to spend 9 days in Thailand in January 2010

Need to decide how to spend 9 days in Thailand in January 2010

Old Aug 22nd, 2009, 06:04 PM
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Need to decide how to spend 9 days in Thailand in January 2010

My husband and I have 9 days in Thailand in January 2010. We are in our early 30s and are people-watching culture vultures - we aren't into the "sights" per se but like to watch people and gorgeous scenery. We arrive at 10 PM Jan 1 and depart at 11 PM Jan 10.

We've read the Lonely Planet 2009 and Time Ou Bangkok & Beaches. Now we are confused! We want to go everywhere!!! The more we read, the more confused we get. We realize this is "peak' seaon so we need to plan.

We think we might like to spend our trip in 2 or 3 places. We were thinking- arrive in Bangkok, take the train to Hua Hin and sit on the beach for 2 days, then either head south to either Koh Samui or Ko Phi Phi then return to Bangkok for three days.

Or, arrive into Bangkok, head to Ko Phi Phi, Ko Samui, or Ko Phi Phi for 4 days, and then spend the next four days in Bangkok.

Or, are we completely missing the point? Should we start in Hua Hin, head to Chiang Mai for three days and then finish in Bangkok for three days?

Or should we pick a beach, spend four days there, and then spend four days in Bangkok?

We like beaches and relaxation (as well as culture) but don't want anything too resort-y. We like quality but are on a budget.

Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated.


We are open to suggestions about where we should go and what we should do.
puttakka is offline  
Old Aug 22nd, 2009, 06:54 PM
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In just 9 days, choose two places. If you want a beach location, choose Bangkok and a beach. Hua Hin is convenient as you can take land transport from Bangkok, but the beaches are not as beautiful as Ko PhiPhi or Koh Samui. Note that at this time of the year beach locations will be most expensive.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2009, 07:36 PM
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well the best news is that you missed the really high prices by one day....so that was good planning...

i think 2 spots would be best...the reason for this is that jan 2 and even jan 3 are slow days---reason being you will be jet lagued....so i think the idea of heading right for the beach is a good one....

stay at the airport on jan 1, hire a car or taxi to take you right to hua hin from there....spend a couple of days there...forget the train....bus would be the alternative...

we love the hyatt in hua hin....the sheraton is nice too...skip the marriott and hilton....there are many cheaper places as well...

from there you can visit a number of places, but mostly i like to vedge there...

then make your way back to bkk where the people watching is at its best... 5-7 days in bkk will allow you leisure time and a good chance to know the city moderately well...lots to do there..

i have a restaurant listing for bkk if you want it ask at [email protected] sunday as i leave for 2 weeks monday AM...

i love the marriott resort and spa on the river....
you might also check out some of the centre point properties....this give you a nice apartment for less than hotel prices....centre point silom is a good one because its next to the skytrain... $75-90.

majestic grande is another good choice....marriott mayfair also...

here are some hotel sites:

www.asiarooms.com
www.agoda.com
www.huahin.20m.com

these are all pre pays so don't book until you are 100% sure of everything....also they usually include breakfast and tax/service (17%)

when you have your details a bit more ironed out come back and we will be glad to help fine tune things.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2009, 04:05 AM
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I would agree that two stops are just right. If it were me, I'd first go to Bangkok and spend a couple of days, maybe on the river. Then I'd do my beach location for 4-5 days, and then return to Bangkok for the balance of the trip, staying in a different location ... Sukhumvit is my favorite area.

I agree with others that Bangkok is a fantastic city. Don't cut your time there too short! People watching is amazing. Shopping the markets is fascinating.

I have just returned from 12 days on the ground in Thailand. I did Bangkok and Krabi. 5 BKK/2 Krabi/5 BKK (with a day trip to Chiang Mai for the markets thrown in). My time in Bangkok is spent shopping in the markets, so I make sure I have plenty of time in the city to visit the many places where I enjoy browsing and buying items.

(my recent trip is under the thread "the life and times of CS in BKK)

Carol
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Old Aug 23rd, 2009, 04:07 AM
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Should have mentioned that Krabi is much less resort-y than Phuket, Samui, Phi Phi. The locals do not rely on tourism to make their living. You can't beat the scenery in Krabi! The limestone rocks in the water (some have some great beaches) are amazing.

I'd recomment the AoNang Princeville Resort. Great location for beach (across the street) and longtail boats to hire, plus shopping and dining is right there as well.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2009, 04:27 AM
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In January, the best beach weather will be at Phuket, Krabi, Phi Phi Islands or Khao Lak. These all require a flight from BKK. This suggests that you spend a few days in BKK, fly to a beach and then back for a few more days in BKK. Visiting only two loacations will allow you to enjoy your time and not waste too much time in transit.

You will not be able to do everything. If you're like us, you'll be back soon.

There are hotels for every budget in BKK and at whichever beach you choose. Take a look at Sawadee.com to give you an idea of prices. We will be glad to help, if you pick out a few possibilities.
Gpanda is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2009, 05:28 PM
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My husband and I went to Thailand for 10 days in April. We went to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket. It was a great mix of city, mountains, and beach. I would probably do one of the islands over Phuket, because Phuket is very commercial. It was an amazing trip and I highly recommend it.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2009, 07:00 PM
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Thanks everyone for all your recommendations.
puttakka is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2009, 07:35 PM
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With only 9 days I'd be very choosy how I prioritised locations. I would not include Hua Hin. It it OK for some hotels and a mediocre beach but little else without travelling out of town. You would probably find Samui more rewarding.
What sort of people do you want to watch? On Samui it will be mostly tourists and those who work in the tourist trade.
I would never recommend staying at the airport. Get into Bkk at least - it's only about 30 minutes and you can a nice hotel to recover from the flight with the bonus of something interesting to look at right outside your door. (there's nothing much round the airport).
If you don't want to do Bkk first then get a flight straight on to Samui or Phuket - takes about 1 hour - there are several flights a day to both destinations.
# to 4 days Bkk should suffice - a third destination is rushing it a bit - but one would usually consider a flight to Chiang Mai.
being high season you'll need to book at least to some extent, unless you are not too fussy about where you stay. - you might want to give yourself some leeway on your eventual itinerary by leaving one or two days without a booking. It will also allow you to change hotels if you don't like!
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Old Aug 23rd, 2009, 09:02 PM
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Correction - I see you arrive at 10pm - this might mean you might want to stay at Suvarnabhumi if you want to fly out in the morning
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Old Aug 24th, 2009, 07:02 AM
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Thanks Khunwilko for your recommendations. As for people watching, we plan to do that in Bangkok. The first four days, we are hoping for some R&R in a relaxing beach area but we don't want to be around heavy partiers. Are we really missing out, however, by skipping Chiang Mai?

Here's what we are thinking:

Jan 1: Arrive at BKK airport at 11 PM> Crash at a cheap hotel airport.

Jan 2-6: Mid morning flight to Jan 2 to Krabi/Koh Samui/another pretty beach area. Stay four days in a Stay at one resort, maybe do some day trips (we like hiking, watersports, etc)

Jan 6: Fly to Bangkok. Stay there four days. We are leaning towards the Park Plaza Sukhumvit (have made a reservation for a room at around $100 US per night).

Jan 10: Leave at 10: 50 PM. Fly home
puttakka is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2009, 07:30 AM
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Your plan is good. However, I would definitely go to Krabi rather than Ko Samui. The weather will be much better. In January, the Krabi weather will be near perfect beach weather.
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Old Aug 24th, 2009, 08:33 AM
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I wouldn't worry about missing Chiang Mai. It's not my favorite place in Thailand - there are other places in the north that are much nicer, IMO. Besides, once you've had your first trip to Thailand, you'll be back.
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Old Aug 25th, 2009, 07:23 PM
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I love Chiang Mai I consider it to be one of the cultural centres of Thailand - but - with 9 days it's yet another day of travel rather than holiday and with only 9 days that seems a bit drastic - you need a few days to absorb the Town and it's environs too.......

This is a weather map that I find really useful.....

http://www.travelfish.org/weather_fish.php

You'll see how the chances of rain in krabi are much less than in s
Samui - however you might find a good shower a welcome break from the heat!
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Old Aug 27th, 2009, 08:42 PM
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Here is my 2 cents-don't miss Chiang|Mai. |My husband ||& |I were fortunate to have a whole month so we went to Bangkok-Bali-Pattaya|(YUK) and a 5 day tour of Chaing Mai-Chaing Rai & the Goldend triangle. That was the highlight of our trip. It wasn't as crowded. We had a wonderful guide-Sgt. Kai. He planned our whole itenary including hotels & meals. I especially liked the RiverView Lodge in Chaing Mai. The grounds were lovely and very reasonable.
I am not on this site often but pop in everyonce in awhile. So if you are interested I'm sure one of our Fodorites can give you his info.We saw elephants-rode on a long boat to Chaing Rai-saw the |Karen tribe and little villages where we gave the children candy. |It was 2 years ago but I have many fond memories of that quiet pace of the North.Good luck & have fun-Chris
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