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Sergeant Kai is charging 7800 per person???

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Sergeant Kai is charging 7800 per person???

Old Aug 21st, 2006, 09:43 AM
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Sergeant Kai is charging 7800 per person???

Hello :

This is what sergeant Kai is charging per person for our three day trip in Chang Mai and Chang Rai. 4rth day is on our own in Chang Rai. Can you folks who have been with Kai pls critique and help us make the best decision here? is 200$ per person a good price? We have booked hotels ourselves - Anantara at Chang Rai and Baan Orapin in Chang Mai.

Day 1 November 21st
Welcome to Chiang Mai
We will start scanning the city of Chiang Mai. Visit Wat Jedi Luang, Local market and some beautiful temples in the old city area. Afterwards we will head to visit the handicraft villages of Bor Sang for some shopping at the umbrella making center, silk, lacquer wares, silverware and celadon factories.

After lunch we will head north for 17 km. journey up Suthep Mountain to the west of the city. Near the summit is the magnificent Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. This temple, one of the most important of the province, and an enduring symbol of Chiang Mai, is a place of fascinating history and legends. The temple grounds afford excellent views over Chiang Mai city and valley.
Back to hotel in the afternoon.

Day 2 November 22nd
ONE DAY HIKING (*****)
Leave hotel at 8.30 am for the journey south to an elephant camp to ride the elephant along a trail in the forest for app 1 hour before heading to the river to take a bamboo raft along a particularly beautiful stretch of river passing through dense forest. From here on, we will make another 1 hour drive to the Doi Inthanon, Thailand's highest mountain. Travel through the luscious forest on the way up the mountain to visit a waterfall where we will have a picnic lunch. Afterwards, we will head upwards to visit a Hmong Tribal market where we will buy some snacks before start hiking along a trail that normally there is no tourist (not difficult) you will enjoy beautiful scenery and spectacular waterfalls for approximately 2 hours. At the end of the trail there is another Karen village that you will experience the authentic tribal lifestyle before heading back to the city in the late afternoon (around 7.30 pm)

Day 3 November 23rd: go to Chang Rai
After breakfast, leave hotel for 30 minutes drive to visit the Mae Sa Elephant Camp. Here, you will see how the elephants work and show their skills to paint flowers on canvas (This is in the Believe it or Not record), playing games with humans etc. After that we will head to Pha Tai village (near Tha Ton) to take a long tail boat to Chiang Rai. Arrive to Chiang Rai around 5:00 pm
From Chiang Rai is 1 hour drive to Anantara Resort.

Day 4 November 24rth: Chang Rai
Self service.
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Old Aug 21st, 2006, 09:50 AM
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7800 is for 3 days or per day?
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Old Aug 21st, 2006, 10:10 AM
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And it looks like the price includes the longtail boat to Chaing Rai. If the price is per person for three full days and includes the boat ride, I'd say it was about right.
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Old Aug 21st, 2006, 01:15 PM
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yeah it includes boat ride, 3 lunches, and 1 hour car transportation to anantara plus bamboo rafting + the elephant camp and all admissions. It's PER person though for the entire 3 days.
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Old Aug 21st, 2006, 01:51 PM
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And it includes the drive to the Anantara... How many of you are there?
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Old Aug 21st, 2006, 02:06 PM
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just me and my fiancee.
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Old Aug 21st, 2006, 02:41 PM
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For two of you, I think that's an ok price. If there were four of you, no.
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Old Aug 21st, 2006, 02:53 PM
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Thank you so much for posting this. I had set up a post awhile back asking about Sergeant Kai's prices as well. We're going in November and he's quoting us 6000 Baht/each for only a 2 day private tour (no overnights, no Anantara and no boats) and after reading your post, I'm even more convinced that he is WAY overpriced. Consider yourself lucky, at least you're getting 4 days out of it.
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Old Aug 21st, 2006, 03:12 PM
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In January of this year, my husband and I spent two days with a private guide and driver sent by Sergeant Kai (we didn't actually get him like we had expected). While the guide and driver were very nice and we did get to do most of the things on your itinerary (we opted out of a couple of activities), we didn't think it was really worth the $200/pp. I think you can join group tours for a lot less.

Baan Orapin is a lovely place, we really enjoyed our stay there. Make sure you visit the night market and the weekend market.
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Old Aug 21st, 2006, 06:04 PM
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Sergeant Kai is a great person to spend time with - we stayed fairly close to CM and paid around 5,400B (maybe 5,800) for 2 days. This price was the same no matter how many of us came on the trip but didn't include meals or accommodation.

If you want Sergeant Kai for the trip make sure you stipulate that at the outset. I think you are paying a premium to group tours but the flexibility you get with a private tour guide and the avoidance of the 'traipsing around with a group' thing was worth avoiding for us and Kai was great.
BB
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Old Aug 21st, 2006, 06:25 PM
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Certainly you can join group tours for less, but then you are stuck with a group and a fixed itinerary.

You are covering a lot of ground, which is part of why it's expensive. Are you spending all of your CM time with a guide? If so, I'd recommend you cut your guided days to 2 and wander around by yourself in town. Thee is really no need for a guide in town. You could do everthing you want to do on the first day with a driver, no guide and it would be much cheaper.
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Old Aug 21st, 2006, 08:02 PM
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so it is costing about $400 for the two of you for 3 days....that's $130 per day....that is not bad really....the drive alone to and from anantara costs about $50 if i remember correctly from CR airport....

a driver around CM for the day of about 8 hours would be about $50-60 i believe....you are going much further and there are some admissions, etc to consider...
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Old Aug 21st, 2006, 09:29 PM
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yeah. we're only spending 2 days in CM and 2 days in CRai. I thought it would be nice to take the boat ride into CR rather than car.

So do you think on the first day in chang mai - we can just see the temples and everything by ourselves of course - and take a car + driver upto Doi Suthep on our own and back?

That shld save us some $$$. Day 2 & Day 3 we can spend with him.
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Old Aug 21st, 2006, 09:33 PM
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ok im asking him to give us a price for only day 2 and day 3. Day 1 we'll sightsee the temples and Doi Suthep on our own. How do we go about getting a car + driver for this? Can we ask Baan Orapin to arrange this for us? ahead of time or on the day?
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Old Aug 22nd, 2006, 01:47 AM
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I am getting really confused by this pricing system. My wife and I spent a great day in January with Sargeant Kai. The base price was fairly cheap, then we had to fill up his car with gas at the end of the day, and we gave him a $20 tip. I think the whole thing, from 8 am to 7 pm set us back $75.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2006, 05:48 AM
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vacation, Baan Orrapin can certainly set you up with a car and driver. There is absolutely no need for a guide the first day.

alibi, the price has a lot to do with exactly what you are doin and how far you are going. Gas prices are up significantly since January. Vacation has an itinerary that has lots of mileage to it.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2006, 06:19 AM
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I think you would do just as well doing some of this on your own or with a driver. He's taking you to the typical tourist spots -- and, in my opnion, to an inferior elephant camp. You'll also be at the most touristy craft factories.

I loved the boat ride to chiang rai.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2006, 06:38 AM
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Yes the boat trip is great and so easy to do on your own. Taxi from CM to Thaton and then 5hr boat ride to CR. The regular long tail boats that hold up to 12 people cost 250 baht ($7). You can hire your own boat for around 1800 baht ($47)
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Old Aug 22nd, 2006, 08:29 AM
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I know that a lot of people won't agree with me here but on our last trip to Thailand we did what everyone tells you not to do & that was to hire a car in chiang Mai & do the Golden Triangle ourselves. With help from other Foderites & other forums we were well prepared as to where we wanted to go & what we wanted to see & we had a blast. Everybody said that Thai's are crazy on the roads & drive on the wrong sides well we certainly didn't see any of this in fact it was one of the best experiences we have ever had. And was so much easier than driving on our Autostradas here in Italy. When we left chiang Mai we arranged for a taxi so that we could follow it out of the city & get us on the right road bcoz we didn't want to lose time but when we returned to Chiang Mai we used the town map & had no trouble at all finding our hotel. It was something I'd do again in a minute.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2006, 09:58 AM
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personally i can't imagine spending 5 hours on that boat on the river....not only would it be broing, FOR ME, it would shake me to death and also i probably would not be able to hear again for weeks....long tail boats are quite noisy...

the first days could be done on your own but you need a driver to get to most places outside the center city...your hotel would hitch you up with a driver or with a taxi...just have a list of where you want to go and have the hotel explain it to the taxi buy in advance...
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