Please help with Thailand itinirary

Sep 24th, 2003, 09:08 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 42
Please help with Thailand itinirary

My husband and I will have 17 days for sure (may be 19), [not including traveling to and from], to visit Thailand.
I am right now trying to decide our itinirary and I need help.
I am thinking:
-Bangkok (5 to 7 days including day trips)
-River Kwai (could be a day trip from Bangkok or 2 days)
-Ayutthya or Sukhothai (day trip or part of the itinirary)
-Chiang Mai (2 or 3 days)
-Chiang Rai (2 or 3 days)
-Phuket (4 days) including day trip to Phi Phi island
Please help me decide!
internetconnect is offline  
Sep 24th, 2003, 10:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I am sure we will all give our personal opinions, mine would be:

-Bangkok 4 days inc Ayuthaya day trip
-Fly Bangkok Airways to Sukhothai for 2 days(1 night), then continue with Bangkok Airways to Chiang Mai for 2-3 days ( I personally would cut Chiang Rai but would suggest in Chiang Mai staying a night or 2 at the Hilltribe Santuary ). From Chiang Mai there is 1 daily non-stop with Thai to Phuket ( otherwise plenty of connections over Bangkok with Thai and Bangkok Airways ).
Balance of time in Phuket.

You could get Bangkok Airways ticket Bangkok-Sukhothai-Chiang Mai-Bangkok-Phuket-Bangkok.

The 'other way' to do it isbr />
Bangkok-River Kwai-Ayuthaya-Sukhothai using a car+driver between each place. Then from Sukhothai take the flight to Chiang Mai.

If you go to River Kwai stay close to town if you want to see the Railway/Museums etc or stay further out on the River Rafts if you are into River Rafting/soft adventures.
JamesA is offline  
Sep 25th, 2003, 04:16 AM
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Agree mostly with JamesA recommendations, though would go up to the Triangle area staying in the Chiang Sean which is actually on the border. We enjoyed the area and the half-day trip into Mayanmar (Burma), if the border is open, was a bonus.

Likewise I would suggest you stay at a Hilltribe village near Chiang Mai even for 1-nt - we stayed at the Lisu Lodge about 30-miles north of Chiang Mai. Then transfer by road up to Chiang Sean.

Bangkok for 7-days is a long time, can be shortened to 4 with travel by car to Ayutthya, then onto River Kwai (you can overnight here) then continue to Sukhothai (overnight). Then fly to Chiang Mai for 2-3 days (of which at least 1-nt should be at Hilltribe lodge (as above).

Once you're finished at Triangle you can fly from Chiang Rai to Phuket, though this will be a connecting flight (via BKK). You can relax here for as long as doing whatever day trips you wish.

Returning from Phuket to BKK for your flight home, remember that unless your home flight is late that nite, most flights are very early the following morning, so you'll need a hotel room in BKK - preferrably close to the airport.
Sep 25th, 2003, 04:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,751
Just a tip on the 'homeward flight', most direct and connections heading east if you are going to North America depart Bangkok very early, like 6.30-8 am, whilst most westbound flights to Gulf/Europe or via Europe to East Coast North America depart very late at night.
if you are flying Chiang Mai to Phuket remember just the '1' non-stop per day, but it takes just 2 hours a lot quicker than changing in BKK.
JamesA is offline  
Sep 25th, 2003, 05:18 AM
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My wife and I have been to Phuket and Koh Samui (and Krabi too by the way) and I would recommend you to go to Samui instead of Phuket. I guess it depends on what you are looking for and what beach you stay at but we really enjoyed Samui. I have posted some pictures and trip reports from our trips to Thailand on my homepage Maybe you can find some useful information there

Stavanger, Norway
gard is offline  
Sep 25th, 2003, 05:29 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 715
Your itinerary is very similar to my first upcoming trip to Thailand. The biggest difference is that instead of going to Chiang Rai, I'll go to Angkor, Cambodia. If you might like visiting the incredible temples there, a 2- to 4-day side trip would be worth researching because it's only a 1-hour flight from Bangkok. If doing so appeals to you, go to the Cambodia boards and look for the one titled, "Books about Angkor."

Be sure to check out the special airline package that bundles flights within Thailand, available only before you arrive in the country. I learned about it on these boards only after I had purchased my flights using usual methods. Had I learned about it earlier I would have saved about 20%. I'm sure JamesA or others remember the details that escape me at the moment.

--Mike Buckley

MikeBuckley is offline  
Sep 25th, 2003, 09:03 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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You can buy multiple sector tickets outside of Thailand for about $50 on Thai Airways but it doesn't work out if you want to go to Sukhothai and then up north. Thai flies to a town called Phitsanilok which is about 40 minutes from Sukhothai ( at by the way a lot less than $50!), trouble is you have to then go all the way back to Bangkok for the Chiang Mai flight.
The $50 deals are good on sectrots such as BKK-Chiang Mai/Krabi/Phuket and certainly on the Chiang Mai-Phuket 2 hr flight, but many short routes are cheaper than $50, e.g Phuket-Hat Yai 50 minute flight about $25.
JamesA is offline  
Sep 25th, 2003, 12:18 PM
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Like MikeBuckley we went to Angkor Wat in Siem Reap Cambodia which is not to be missed.

We arrived in Thailand late, overnited at the airport, then next morning (11am) flight to REP. Spent two days, then returned to Thailand for the remainder of time.

As to either Phuket or Koh Samui it depends on time of year, as there are rainy seasons - when it's dry at Phuket it can be rainy at Samui and vice versa - so keep this in mind. There are various posts on these boards advising when it rains where, so do a search for this info.

We travelled mid-October and basically the heavy rains were done with, though we did have a 30-min. storm in BKK one afternoon (otherwise, hot & humid) up North for 1/2 hr. a lite shower, only on arrival in Phuket a storm (maybe 15-min) then sunny hot & humid rest of time.

Keep the weather in mind for your time of travel.
Sep 25th, 2003, 01:10 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 6,664
If you go to Phuket, you should see Phang Nga Bay. The limestone karsts are stunning. We went on a tour with Sea Canoe (they have a website. They pick you up and drop you off at your hotel.

In the north, if you go to Chiang Rai, I suggest you go to the Queen Mother's Chalet. The garden is astounding.
Gpanda is offline  
Sep 26th, 2003, 04:08 AM
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Yes the gardens at the Princes' Mother's Chalet are beauitiful. Not small gardens surroundin the house rather somewhat the size of botanic gardens you'll find in many large cities lower on the hill.

However, you drive high in the hills, cooler than other areas. New and different plant life, yet many that you will find familiar; wonderful walking paths.

For a tour of the Princes' Mothers Chalet you have to be properly dressed, no shorts, sleeveless shirts - or they provide "wrap around jeans-type' coverups.

They have the cleanest bathrooms here.

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