NYC-Chiangmai

Old Jul 9th, 2007, 07:24 PM
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NYC-Chiangmai

Hi All, I'm looking into a November flight from NYC to Chaing-Mai (I'm almost positive I'd have to connect in BKK) and was wondering what you have to say about the individual airlines (Koran Air, Cathay Air, etc)... is Thai Air the preferred way to fly for such a long distance? I was going to explore points/miles so I'm not as concerned about price at the moment as I am comfort for such a long flight. Thanks!
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Old Jul 9th, 2007, 07:31 PM
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Fly Thai direct from New York to Bangkok. No other airline have direct flight and you'll save a lot of time and stress.
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Old Jul 9th, 2007, 07:37 PM
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Forgot to add that Thai offer several flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and if you want to save some money you can also fly with the low cost airlines while in Thailand.
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Old Jul 9th, 2007, 08:01 PM
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I totally agree that a non-stop to Bangkok is the way to go if you can, and Thai is a good airline. However, Cathay is good as well, so if you have miles you can use on that and have to transit through Hong Kong, that is OK too. I have flown Korean Air on a few occasions, they are fine as well; you probably will end up having to transfer in Seoul and then again in Bangkok, which makes for a longer flight (as does via Hong Kong, although look at journey and layover times, sometimes this is faster via Hong Kong).

You can also go non-stop to Singapore from JFK on Singapore Airlines (a truly excellent airline) and then non-stop to Chiang Mai from there, so that might be an option for you to consider.

You also might consider adding Bangkok to your itinerary if you have never been to Thailand before. It might be a good first stop before or after Chiang Mai. It is a really wonderful city with lots to see and do, and IMO is one of the not-to-be-missed places in SE Asia. A stopover in Singapore would certainly be nice too, albeit not quite as interesting as Bangkok (and no insult to Singapore intended, I used to live there and like it a lot, but it is no Bangkok to be sure...). A stop over in Hong Kong is certainly a possibility too (great weather here in November).

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Old Jul 10th, 2007, 06:53 AM
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Thanks so much for the quick responses, greatly appreciated. Thai Air from NYC-CNX with a stopover in BKK is about $1300. I can't tell from a quick scour of their web site whether they are partner airlines with anyone... so I'm uncertain as to whether I'll be able to utlize airline miles. I do however have about 20,000 AMEX points which isn't a whole lot but may be enough to make a small dent in the price.

The layover info for Singapore is quite interesting, as I will most likely be making my way to BKK at some point during the trip. I am allotting about 2 weeks for this trip so that I can see Thailand properly so I plan to make my way down there at some point.

Thanks so much!! Feel free to add any tips you'd like to I might be posting back a few more times!
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Old Jul 10th, 2007, 07:13 AM
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Thai is part of Star Alliance (United et al).

With two weeks, I'd chose three places in Thailand to visit. This area of the world lends itself best to slow travel.
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Old Jul 10th, 2007, 07:17 AM
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Thanks Kathie!

I'm trying to get over there in early November and will be based out of Chaing-Mai as that is where my uncle is now living. Other than Bangkok, where else would you make your third location for a 2-week stay? I'm not sure that heading all the way south to the beaches would be wise as it may still be bad weather-wise..although I would absolutely love to see that area.
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Old Jul 10th, 2007, 08:01 AM
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There are other places in Northern Thailand to consider: the Golden Triangle area, some smaller places like Chiang Dao (do a search, Eurotraveller has stayed there and loved it) or Pai. Bangkok is a fabulous city - my favorite city in the world.

The beaches are nice, but they won't give you the feel of the culture that other places in Thailand will.
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Old Jul 10th, 2007, 08:29 AM
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Ant,

Just as an FYI, the beaches in November are fantastic. If you're interested in that, then stay on the Andaman side (Phuket/Krabi) and not the Gulf side (Ko Samui)
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Old Jul 10th, 2007, 09:01 AM
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You are more likely to have good weather later in November than early in November at the beaches on the Andaman side. November is the weather change there, so you can get lucky early in November or not so lucky. By late November the weather should be good even without luck!
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Old Jul 10th, 2007, 09:32 AM
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OK, that's great to know. Kathie, I'm definitely going to look into the places you mentioned. If I can squeeze in a few days on the beach, then that would be great, but if not, I'm ok with that. Thanks filmwill!

I've been reading so many posts and I feel like people either love Chiang-mai or hate it..what's the story with that? Nothing I've read thus far is telling me why.

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Old Jul 10th, 2007, 11:30 AM
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Well, I've answered this question many times. Chiang Mai is a huge city - and it has big city problems (like air pollution and traffic) without the big city amenities (like public transportation, great hotels and great restaurants). It's so spread out that you really have to hire a car and driver if you want to do any shopping or sightseeing. There are now some nicer places to stay in Chaing Mai, but for years, there wasn't much. Your dollar still won't buy you as nice a place in CM as it does in Bangkok. Shopping was once one of the reasons to go to CM, but now everything you can find in CM you can find in Bangkok and the prices are the same. There are some things worth seeing, especially Doi Suthep. But after a day or two, I'm ready to go.

You can read my trip report from November I think it's called Kathie's Penang, Chiang Mai and Bangkok Trip report.
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Old Jul 10th, 2007, 12:05 PM
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I'm on the other side from Kathy. I love Chiang Mai. I love walking around, taking tut tuts, hiring a car when needed. I love the laid back vibe of the feel. It's the heart of the NGO community and I feel it is a much more relaxed atmosphere to Bangkok and much more user friendly. Don't get me wrong I love Bangkok but my heart is in Chiang Mai. I also think the shopping is much more fun than in Bangkok where so much is done in huge modern shopping malls which could be anywhere in the world.
li
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Old Jul 10th, 2007, 12:12 PM
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That's great, thank you both. I will continue to search out trip reports... much appreciated!
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