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Suggestions for Asian visit Feb. 2014, incl. Singapore

Suggestions for Asian visit Feb. 2014, incl. Singapore

Jun 4th, 2013, 12:41 PM
  #41  
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I see there's a train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok.

My husband, hearing about the train from BKK-SIN is interested in at least looking at doing this. I know there are two train changes, with of course opportunities for stopovers at Penang and KL.

I'm wondering how onerous this latter really would be. Minimum of 2 days, usually more, depending on connections.

Also thinking that perhaps the Chiang Mai to BKK train might be a decent substitute if he's intent on a train trip (we both like trains.) Would have to have transport from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai but I doubt that's too difficult.
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Jun 4th, 2013, 01:15 PM
  #42  
 
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I would suggest the train between Chiang Mai and Bangkok if you must have a train trip. It is a long trip - decide if you want to spend that many hours sitting on a train. You can get a taxi to drive you from CR to CM, not a problem.

The long multi-day trip between Bangkok and Singapore I would only consider if the train trip was to be my destination - the Orient Express train - or if I had lots of time so the train trip did not detract from the destinations I wanted to visit. Unless you add days to your trip, you really don't have that kind of time.
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Jun 4th, 2013, 04:16 PM
  #43  
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Thanks Kathie.
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Jun 10th, 2013, 04:53 PM
  #44  
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A quick question -- is 4 nights in Chiang Rai too much?

I've been pointed at the Elephant Village in Luang Prabang. Makes all the right noises about being ethical, but they do use howdahs. Anybody know of a humane camp either there or in Chiang Rai (I don't think we want to bathe them and spend the whole day, not even sure if we need to ride them, but sure would like to see them.)
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Jun 10th, 2013, 05:10 PM
  #45  
 
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In the Chiang Rai area, there are two outposts of the Thai Elephant Conservation Center, both at upscale resorts: One at the Anantara at the Golden Triangle, the other at the Four Seasons Tented Camp.

If I was staying at the Anantara at the Golden Triangle, 4 nights would be fine. In fact, I think we spent 5 night there.

It sounds like you may need to decide just how important an elephant experience is to you.
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Jun 13th, 2013, 04:19 PM
  #46  
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It's not that important, although I would love to see them. Looks like both places you suggest in Chiang Rai are way too rich for our blood!

Anyone else want to comment on the Elephant Village in Luang Prabang? If I can't find anything out, we just won't do it. I want to do the right thing, whatever that is in this case--complicated I think.
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Jun 18th, 2013, 08:36 AM
  #47  
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I'm thinking I've been making this far too complicated and expensive.

Now thinking of just doing 5 or 6 days in Hong Kong, a week in and around Bangkok, and perhaps even a few days in Phuket before continuing to Singapore. I can fly to Bangkok with a stopover in Hong Kong for no additional cost. Mulling all this for a few days, lots less schlepping.
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Jun 18th, 2013, 09:18 AM
  #48  
 
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While that certainly is simpler, the big things you miss are Angkor and Luang Prabang. You can make your journey easier by cutting northern Thailand. Think about what are the most important experiences for you to have on this trip.

I love Hong Kong - I love big cities - but if your trip consists of Hong Kong-Bangkok-Singapore plus maybe a few days in Phuket, you won't have gotten much variety. And Phuket, s pleasant as it is, will be the least "foreign" of your destinations, being an international beach resort.
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Jun 18th, 2013, 12:02 PM
  #49  
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I'm not even sure about Phuket--just an idea--easiest beach resort to get to, I guess. Maybe fly to Chiang Rai instead. Have to talk to my husband about all this--he's not been very involved in my planning so far.
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Jun 24th, 2013, 07:58 AM
  #50  
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I've asked my husband David to think about whether he would rather do some of the trip *after* his business trip to Singapore. The bottom line is nailing down our international flights--intend to fly Cathay using their Premium Economy. They allow stopovers in Hong Kong, so if he wants to do some touring after Singapore instead of before, we may stop over in Hong Kong for a week. That would be mid-March making it a tad warmer in HKK.

If we did this, we'd probably fly straight in to Singapore, recover for a day or two there, then fly to Bangkok for a few days, and then perhaps Phuket.

Everything's up on the air until I get David's attention (he's wrapping up a term of teaching right now, and writing a paper.) I haven't been able to even consult with him about our trip to Barcelona this fall, let alone find out his specific dates in SIN.

Sorry to be such a waffler.
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Jul 27th, 2013, 10:05 AM
  #51  
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Well, we've decided on the itinerary that includes Luang Prabang, Angkor, etc. Just trying to settle on the dates so we can book the flights, then I can nail down the itinerary. Will be in Singapore starting March 4th to March 16th.

So, Bangkok -> Siem Reap -> Luang Prabang -> Chiang Mai or Rai? -> Bangkok -> Singapore.

Big question between Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai. I'm leaning right now towards CM, since it simplifies the itinerary and makes it cheaper. The two-day boat ride up the Mekong from LP to near CR sounds lovely, but it's fairly pricey. I'm thinking that CM might be more of a contrast after LP. Anyways, thought I'd update my plans. I'm also worried about the boat trip being kind of long.

(I'll submit a separate thread at some point to ask about what I should do in Singapore--I'll be rattling around mostly on my own for the best part of 8 days. Since we'll be staying out in the west end of the island, I'll be using the metro, and hope to know my way around as many hawker centres as I can!)
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Jul 27th, 2013, 11:20 AM
  #52  
 
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Overall, this looks like a good plan. And doing your travel before Singapore means it will be less hot in the places you are visiting.

If CM makes your plans easier, do that. It's a good place for a cooking class, and you can visit the Thai Elephant Conservation Center. Take some time for spa while you are there.
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Jul 27th, 2013, 03:36 PM
  #53  
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Thanks Kathie, I had thought about the cooking class and forgotten it, so thanks for the reminder. My husband and I have taken a couple of cooking courses together, so this might be something that we'd really enjoy! And if I can find a way of doing an elephant park where we don't spend the entire day there, we'll do it.

Spa? Wow, that sounds good. That's something I rarely do except on a cruise ship once in a while, and husband never does. But I'll try to convince him!
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Aug 11th, 2013, 08:57 AM
  #54  
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Okay, well I've booked our flights. We'll have 19 days for travel in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, before we proceed on to Singapore.

I've decided to do a private tour, although we'll spend as much time being independent as we want in each town. But frankly I don't have the energy or desire to plan and manage the minutiae of this trip. So I'm going to leave it to the experts. Haven't chosen one yet, but IOT and Exotissimo are providing quotes.

Haven't yet chosen between Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai yet. This will depend on the cost of the two-day Mekong boat trip. I'm inclining towards Chiang Mai at this time, myself. If we do the latter, we'll have an extra couple of days to spread around among the four places, including Bangkok, Siem Reap, Luang Prabang and CR/CM.
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Aug 12th, 2013, 03:21 PM
  #55  
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I'll post the hotels that we're considering when we get to that stage. (I decided not to bother starting a new thread.)

I have a bunch of books on my Amazon wishlist, appreciate comments:


Lonely Planet Angkor Wat & Siem Reap Encounter 2nd Ed.: 2nd Edition
by Nick Ray

Fodor's Thailand: With Side Trips to Cambodia & Lao​s

Angkor, Cambodia's Wondrous Khmer Temples, 6th Ed.
by Dawn Rooney (Paperback)
(this one's expensive! Perhaps I need a trip to the library)

Any other recommendations for books to read before we go, or guidebooks that would be good to carry with us?
|
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Aug 13th, 2013, 11:09 AM
  #56  
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Oh, and any comments positive or negative on the Luang Say cruise, upriver from Luang Prabang to Huay Xai?
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Aug 13th, 2013, 12:10 PM
  #57  
 
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Here is a link to an old thread about the cruise: /www.fodors.com/community/asia/luang-say-mekong-cruises.cfm

It doesn't have a lot of detail, but it may help you.
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Aug 13th, 2013, 02:14 PM
  #58  
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And another thing. Any Chiang Mai cooking schools particularly recommended?
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