Recommendations re Bangkok & ????

Old Oct 20th, 2022, 12:25 PM
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Recommendations re Bangkok & ????

Hello all - my friend and I are currently in the planning stages of a trip to Southeast Asia. We are considering carving out 2-weeks travel time somewhere between the middle of March to the middle of April 2023. I know that it will hot and humid during either month we travel. There are two intended goals on this trip: 1) visit Bangkok and 2) visit Angkor Wat in Cambodia. I've checked air travel from Bangkok to Siem Reap in Cambodia and find it quite reasonable. Our travel would originate in Los Angeles with a flight to Bangkok and return to Los Angeles from Bangkok. I figure 3 days in Siem Reap, and 4 days in Bangkok. As such, any suggestions for where to visit and spend time with perhaps 4 to 5 days? I'm also taking into consideration travel/flying time to and from Bangkok - so we lose those days that are part of our two weeks. Between Siem Reap and Bangkok, I was thinking of a nice beach somewhere that has other activities besides hanging out on the beach -- side day trips. I would appreciate your recommendation and/or feedback as to our current plans. Very much appreciated.
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Old Oct 20th, 2022, 02:23 PM
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I’d be inclined to spend the days not spent in SR, or traveling to & from, in Bangkok. For me it’s a hanging out kind of place rather than a ticking off sights kind of place. Flights are easy to buy last minute so you might find you’d like to spend more time on your excursion after you’re there a day or 2, rather than have a set itinerary somewhere else. When I’m in that part of the world I like to play it by ear.

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Old Oct 20th, 2022, 11:39 PM
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It is your trip but personally, I wouldn’t waste my time sitting on a beach in Thailand when there are so many other places to see, things to do etc.

Bangkok is a love it or hate it sort of place but where you choose to stay will have a huge influence on your experience. I usually like to stay near the river and use the river boats to get to places like Wat Po, The Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Chinatown etc. Other places in the city can be visited using the Skytrain. If thinking of splashing out on accomodation, Bangkok is the place to do it. There are some excellent 5* places at much lower rates that you could possibly get back home.

Three full days in Siem Reap would enable you to see a LOT of temples and ruins, perhaps too many for some! You will need to source either a guide with car and driver or a tuk tuk guide. Personally I favour the latter. More informal as I don’t deal well with the usually incessant soundtrack provided by formal guides. Your accomodation in SR should be able to source something to suit.

Rather than spending time on a beach, I would prefer spending a few days in Phnom Penh, one of my favourite cities in Asia. Full of often tragic history and a fascinating place to explore. Maybe consider a couple of days in the riverside town of Kampot or Battambang which is on the way to SR.

Some photos and details of our time in those places over the years are in our blog @ https://accidentalnomads.com/category/cambodia/ . Unfortunately I never got around to posting about Angkor Wat but I have visited several times over the last 25 years. The last time was awful as it was way too crowded with massive numbers of Chinese tour groups which made it a frankly, unpleasant experience. Those tourists are now confined to their own country so now would be a great time to visit. Whether that will still be the case next March next year.

There is a huge amount to see in SE Asia so I would suggest that any research you do now on places to go, things to see, where to stay will reap huge dividends.
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Old Oct 21st, 2022, 05:14 AM
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I mostly agree with crellston, except I needed plenty of time for the temples in SR. My first visit was three nights, and I went back later for more. Also, I don't think you need a guide if you have a good guidebook - I recommend Dawn Rooney's. Definitely need transport.

I am not a fan of Bangkok, but there is plenty to see, and staying near (better on) the river helps. You should eat well, at least.
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Old Oct 24th, 2022, 09:53 AM
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It costs you two days, not one, to get there due to the combination of travel time and time zone change.

I am not a slow traveler but still found that Bangkok was good for a week. You could add a day oe two there.There are a couple of day trips that you can make from there. A beach town could be a sidetrip from Bangkok.

Hua Hin and Pattaya beaches are near Bangkok. This map shows all three cities: Bangkok to Hua Hin (rome2rio.com)

You should be able to find a one-stop flight between LAX and SR (REP) or Phuket (HKT). Maybe LAX to BKK (stop) to REP (stop) to HKT via BKK, fly home from HKT maybe with an overnight stopover enroute. When I went to Phuket I flew to Tokyo and spent about 20 hours there (in Narita town) before continuing on the next day to HKT via BKK.
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Old Oct 24th, 2022, 10:59 AM
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You might also consider a few days in Penang, an island just off the west coast of Northern Malaysia. It’s known primarily for it’s heritage town, George Town, and can be reached by direct flights from Bangkok. It’s a personal favorite & I plan a return trip in January for a week just prior to a stay in Bangkok.

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