North by NorthEast Tours in Thailand

Apr 22nd, 2008, 05:38 AM
  #1  
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Posts: 49
North by NorthEast Tours in Thailand

Has anyone ever used them? I'm planning a trip in November and considering using their services for guides, air arrangements, etc. I'd appreciate your feedback.

Thanks,
Sanshe
sanshe is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2008, 09:55 AM
  #2  
 
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its so easy to do thailand on your own....no need for a tour company...

let us help you....use one of the guides we have used....book airfare on line...

it will be cheaper for you and you will stay in much nicer places...
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2008, 12:53 PM
  #3  
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I would LOVE some input and suggestions! Right now I have the following itinerary in mind. Please tell me your thoughts:

Bangkok - 3 nights at Peninsula(midnight arrival)

Chiang Mai- 2 nights at Mandarin Oriental
*Question #1: How to get from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai (and see any sights along way) without pre-arranged tour guide?

Chiang Rai - 1 or 2(?)nights at Golden Triangle Anantara
*Question #2: This is where things get complicated. I'm thinking about going from Chiang Rai to Luang Prabang in Laos but don't know how to arrange that. I know there's a boat down the river but don't know anything about it (or how to make those arrangements). My husband and I are in our early 60's and love to travel, however we do like to be comfortable. Is the boat ride to Laos something we would enjoy?

Luang Prabang - (2?)nights - Hotel ???
*Question #3: Is Luang Prabang worth going to and does anyone have suggestions for a guide there?

Siem Reap - 2 nights - Hotel de la Paix
*Question #4- Do flights from Laos to Siem Reap only depart on certain days? I'm concerned about trying to coordinate all of these flights if I book this myself.

Saigon - 1 night- Park Hyatt

Hong Kong-2 nights - Sheraton

What do you think? If itinerary is good, then my concern is just getting from place to place and arranging for guides (when necessary) that will take us to places other than the standard tourist sites.

THANK YOU!

sanshe is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2008, 02:58 PM
  #4  
 
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My first reaction is that you don't have enough time in any of the places! I wouldn't spend less than three full days in any of your locations unless you are simply transitting.

It will be easy to set up all the flights and hotels, and rarely in these places do you need a guide (except you may want a guide for the temples in Siem Reap).

You can arrange for guides as you go (if you want/need one). If you have a particular guide in mind for Siem Reap, you need to arrange in advance, otherwise there are many guides available for you to hire.

Go back and figure out how many days you'll have on the ground in Asia. Next, prioritize where you want to go/what you want to do, see, experience. Then you can draw up an itineray that takes those things into account. This part of the world lends itself best to slow travel. If you follow your itinerary, most of your time will be spent in transit.

If it were me, I'd do something like 3-4 days Bangkok, skip CM, 3 days Golden Triangle, 3 full days (4 nights) Siem Reap. From there, fly to Hong Kong for 3 nights.
Kathie is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2008, 07:06 PM
  #5  
 
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kathie is correct....drop VN and HK from your plans....expand SR and LP to 4 days each....you do not need a guide in LP, but they are essential in SR, or at least a driver is essential there...

the rest of the trip looks perfect to me..

you can hire a driver to take you from CM to anantara....its about a 4 hour drive without any significant stops...there are probably buses as well...drivers are easy to come by in CM, but ratt's sister poon is one who many like to use...
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2008, 05:58 AM
  #6  
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ratt's sister poon??? (I'm new to this forum!)

Anyways, I agree with both of you that something needs to be cut out of my itinerary. The problem is that my flight back to the US leaves out of Saigon at 7am (so can't cut out that one night in VN)and I was just taking advantage of a free stopover in HKG. Cutting out HKG would only give me one more night somewhere.

Both Chiang Mai and CHIANG RAI sound fantastic to me (am I wrong?)
and I would hate to have to cut out
Chiang Rai. What do you think?

My other big question is about the Luang Say Mekong Cruises (I assume that's what I'd take) to Luang Prang. What do you know about that experience?

Thank you both for your help. This is my first time on a forum and I really appreciate it!
sanshe is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2008, 06:35 AM
  #7  
 
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i think i would choose either LP or SR, but not both and i would eliminate both CM/CR...

so my trip would be 4-5 days bkk, 2-4 days SR or LP, saigon and finally HK, with maybe 3-4 days in HK and only a couple in saigon....

not sure how many days you have total...
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2008, 06:48 AM
  #8  
 
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You have to make cuts. All of these are places you would enjoy, but you need to have enough time to enjoy them. So I would say choose one of Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai and choose one of Siem Reap or Luang Prabang.

It sounds like you need one night in HCMC (Saigon) and you can only have 2 nights in Hong Kong as a free layover. (Have your tickets been booked? If not, can you add a day or two to your trip?)

So, If I understand correctly, you have 11 nights on the ground before you have to be in HCMC (Have I counted correctly?)

So: 4 nights Bangkok
3 nights CM or CR
4 nights SR or LP
then fly to HCMC for your flight out.

The Luang Say has gotten good reviews (type it into the search box at the top of the page and you'll find reviews) but it does take an extra day as there is an overnight at a village. (so you'd have 3 nights in LP and an overnight on the river trip)

Personally, I'm not fond of Chaing Mai, so for me, I'd cut it without hesitation. But there are others who love CM. The Anantara at the Golden Triangle is really lovely and there are elephants on the grounds.

LP and SR are very different from each other, both are great experiences.

Take a look at our photos of all of these places (and more) at www.marlandc.com This may help you decide.

By the way, if you are like the rest of us, you'll fall in love with SE Asia and will be back many times!
Kathie is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2008, 07:03 AM
  #9  
 
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Everyone on this forum has their favorites and will tell you where to go based on that. But those favorites are very personl so first you need to figure out what your major interests are; what kind of experiences you want. I do agree that you are going to way too many places and definitely too many countries but that's because I like to immerse myself in a country and a culture and people and learn about it rather than just going to sites.

Now my preferences and why -- I am most interested in learning about a culture and meeting local people. I enjoy seeing "sights" but they are rarely the high point of my trip. Usually the high point is something that is not in any guide book. I also don't like resorts because I feel they isolate you from the culture and from local people too much. I like to be able to walk around and go to markets (local oness) etc.

Therefore if I had your time and based on my preferences I would spend:

3 days in Bangkok at the beginning and end of the trip
fly to chiang rai and spend one or two nights there
drive to Chiang Mai for 3 or 4 days
fly to Luang Prabang for 3-4 days
Return to Bangkok for 3 days.

If you prefer to see the temple of Angkor go to Siem Reap instead of Luang Prabang.
ui
glorialf is offline  
Apr 24th, 2008, 07:17 AM
  #10  
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Posts: 49
Thank all of you so much for the terrific advice! I actually have only 13 days between BKK and SGN before spending 2 nights in HKG (air already booked). So now I'm leaning towards Gloria's suggested itinerary:
BKK
Chiang Mai
Chiang Rai
Luang Prang
Overnight Saigon for 7am flight

Now my question is do I take the Luang Say Mekong Cruise to Laos from Chiang Rai or fly? And then it seems that the only flight from Luang Prang to Saigon (where I have to end up) changes planes in Hanoi. Is that right or is there something I'm missing?

I see that a few of you are leaving soon for your own SE Asia adventure....Have a FANTASTIC TIME!
sanshe is offline  
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