Suggestions for Thailand January 2008

Old Aug 12th, 2007, 06:41 AM
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Suggestions for Thailand January 2008

We are a couple in our 40s, going to Thailand for 2 weeks in January 2008. This trip is for a special occasion, and we are doing it nicely! We have used points to book airfare in business class on Thai from JFK-BKK. We are planning to stay at 3 Four Seasons hotels, as we've had great experiences at their resorts in the past. So far, we've planned the following, all of which can be changed:
3 nights in Bangkok
6 nights in Chiang Mai
3 nights in Koh Samui

Questions I have are as follows:
1. We basically have 2 full days in Bangkok, which I realize isn't enough to see everything. If we don't change that, what should we ask Tong to take us to on our one day with her (already booked), and what should we see on our own the following day?

2. In Chiang Mai, we want to relax and go to the spa at the Four Seasons, do some trekking/rafting, and take some cooking classes. We have booked Tong's sister (hopefully, or potentially a friend of hers) for 2 days. What should we go to see with her? We want to do some elephant trekking, rafting, and see some hill tribes, but hopefully not really touristy places. Tong has suggested that we should consider going to the Golden Triangle area. We don't want to add another hotel to the itinerary. Is this something we can do in a day? If so, what will we see that we won't see in the Chiang Mai vicinity?

3. I've seen some conflicting reports about the Four Seasons in Koh Samui. Have any of you been there?

We love doing outdoor things, and don't want to see dozens of temples (a few will be plenty for us). Please feel free to comment and make suggestions!

Looking forward to it!
cantwait2 is offline  
Old Aug 12th, 2007, 08:00 AM
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Frankly, I wouldn't go to the Golden Triangle as a day trip. Either stay in the Golden Triange or skip it. Otherwise, you'll just spend your day in a car.

If it were me (and it isn't) I'd cut at least two days from Chiang Mai and add them to Bangkok (but at the end of your trip). And since you are staying at the Four Seasons in Bangkok at the beginning, I'd opt for a river hotel, the Pen or Oriental for the end of the trip.

Ther was a recent review of the Four Seasons in Koh Samui on teh board. If you do a search you should find it. BTW, I understand that the waters are rough around Koh Samui in January (no rainy, but rough waters), which shouldn't affect you too much unless you wanted snorkeling or diving.
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Old Aug 12th, 2007, 08:00 AM
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PS My last suggestion is to book soon - that's high season!
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Old Aug 12th, 2007, 08:27 AM
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I would agree with Kathie about having more time in Bangkok and a bit less in Chiang Mai. The idea of adding a couple of days at the end of your trip is a very good one.

You will enjoy Tong. I've not toured with her, but I did meet her, just last month in Bangkok. She is really very cheerful!

With so many choices for hotels that are upscale in Bangkok, I would stay at FS once, and then try something else, as Kathie suggested, at the end. Riverfront is a good idea.

Four Seasons in Bangkok is located practically in the heart of all the fantastic shopping. I always try to stay in this area. But on my first couple of trips to Bangkok, I did try the riverfront, staying at both the Peninsula and the Oriental, and both are highly recommended.

Hurry and get everything booked, as yes, January is high season!

Enjoy your trip.

Carol
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Old Aug 12th, 2007, 08:39 AM
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Two days is not enough in BKK. It is a magical city. I would trade at least one day from CM. If you have three days in BKK, you can see the must-see places on your own and get Tong to take you to make merit and then the secret place and perhaps the orphanage. We just did that with her last year and it was one of the best vacation days of our lives. Even Bob thought it was special. You'll still have time for all the CM activities in five days.

Also note, hill tribe visits can be very touristy. One must be very choosy to avoid this.
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Old Aug 12th, 2007, 09:16 AM
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like everyone else i agree about bkk and CM---i do not find anything interesting at all about CM other than the big doi S. temple.... plus 4 seasons is way outside the town, but it is a fantastic hotel ...

i would add 2 days at the end in bkk and stay at the penn....
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Old Aug 12th, 2007, 12:17 PM
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I'm not a fan of Samui at any time, but in January, I would be looking at Phuket, Krabi etc., certainly not Samui....unless of course, you have a particular reason for going there.
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Old Aug 12th, 2007, 12:19 PM
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I would suggest to go to Krabi instead of Samui if you want to do any water activities since the weather will be much better on that side of the islands.
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Old Aug 13th, 2007, 09:43 AM
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6 nights in Chiangmai is totally not necessary. I'd give it 3 nights and spend the other nights in Bangkok. Happy Travels!
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