Thailand 6 days in January

Old Sep 30th, 2008, 05:57 PM
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Thailand 6 days in January

My fiance and I are planning on a honeymoon to Thailand in mid-January. How's the weather like at that time? I saw that it's a "cool" season, but wasn't the tsunami at around that time..? We only have 6 days, and I'm wondering what are the best ways to spend it. We like to basically "do what the locals do" when we travel, so eat local food (we can definitely eat spicy food), explore the city, massage, go to the markets etc. We are not that into beaches, but I was hoping I can go to Phi Phi for 1-2 days. But in the other forums, people recommended Chiang Mai rather than the beaches? I only have a rough idea at the moment, maybe 3 days in Bangkok, and 3 days in Phuket/Koh Samui. What do you think? Also, is it only in CM that you can take the elephant ride? Thanks in advance!
gaijin is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2008, 06:27 PM
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not sure where you will be coming from but if from the west you will be very tired upon arrival and day one and part of day 2 should be down time....hang around the pool and adjust to the cool weather---naught.....the norm is very hot and humid but cooler than say april when it often is 100 F....

for this reason i would plan to stay my whole time in bkk....pick a really nice hotel with a great pool and vedge upon suggestions for honeymooners is either the marriott resort and spa or the peninsula for a little splurge....both are excellent and located right on the river....

if you want to be downtown then there are many more hotels to choose from but they do not have the benefit of cleaner air and an oasis feeling like the two above...

four seasons
jw marriott
le meridien
majestic grande
bangkok holiday inn on plenochit rd

one warning about local food....many of us stay away from "STREET FOOD" because of concerns about cleanliness and food storage....
food is very cheap in thailand so eating almost anyplace is reasonable and any kind of food you might want is available.....i have a restaurant listing should you want it, ask at [email protected]
rhkkmk is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2008, 06:29 PM
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it is also suggested that you might want to hire a guide for touring in or outside bangkok for a day or two...many of us like tong who is often written up here...

there are some places around bkk to ride elephants....i would bag CM
rhkkmk is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2008, 08:06 PM
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Where will you be flying from to get to Thailand? As Bob says, if you are flying from Europe or North America, you'll have jetlag to contend with.

When it is said that January is the "cool" season in Thailand, it really just means that it's less hot. THis is the tropics, after all.

With just 6 days, I would recommend you spend all of your time in Bangkok. There is much to see and do and wonderful, luxurious hotels. Going to Phi Phi for 2 days (I assume that really means 2 nights) would involve flying to Phuket, ground transfer to the dock and a ferry or private boat transfer to Phi Phi. All told, you would spend most of a day getting there and most of a day getting back, using up two of your precious days in transit and spending one day on Phi Phi.

I'm not fond of Chiang Mai, it's a huge sprawling city. The only reputable elephant centers are in the north, outside of Chaing Mai or farther north in the Golden Triangle. WHile you can find place to let you ride an elephant near Bangkok, you need to decide if you are ok with how the elephants are treated there.

You could spend part of your time at a beach, Phuket or Koh Samui, Flights to Phuket are frequent and inexpensive; flights to Samui are expensive. You will lose about half a day each way to change locations. Decide whether it is worth it to you.

The tsunami was at the end of December several years ago. Tsunamis are, of course, not weather related, so I'm not sure what your point was about the tsunami.
Kathie is online now  
Old Sep 30th, 2008, 08:14 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Unlike Bob and Kathie, I liked Chiang Mai quite a bit, but for a honeymoon I would vote for Phuket. If you want a very nice hotel right on the beach, see if you can fit the Kata Beach Resort into your budget. It will be more expensive since you will be there at high season, but if you can splurge a bit it is well worth it. You can take a day trip out to Phi Phi if you want.

I know Bob stays away from street food, but our first lunch in BKK was some noodle soup on the street. It was great and so inexpensive. And if you go with Tong to the Floating Market outside of BKK she will feed you until you are ready to burst and it is all great. Didn't get sick at all. Just eat food that you watch them make rather than food that is already made up and sitting there.

You will get so spoiled with the massages. So cheap and wonderful! Try both the Thai massage and a foot massage (it's not just the feet - they also do legs and thighs and some places with also do your shoulders and arms as part of it).

All in all you will wish you had longer than 6 days. Thailand is fabulous! And you'll get lots of great advice on this board. Bob, Kathie, Andy, etc all helped us with our trip and it was one of the best we have ever taken (Africa still ranks #1).
jcasale is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2008, 08:23 PM
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my caution about street food is only a caution....knowing where to eat is one thing that makes guides very helpful...
rhkkmk is offline  
Old Oct 1st, 2008, 03:05 AM
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Bangkok is magical. If you can afford $200 or more per night, you can stay at a luxurious hotel and explore the wonders of Bangkok. You can take a day trip or two outside the city. The way to decide is to be honest about whether you are a city person. If you like New York City, you will love Bangkok.

With 6 days on the ground, you can go to two locations at most. One might be better. But for two, it's either Chiang Mai or Phuket.

I am also not a Chiang Mai fan. Others love it. If you are an outdoors person, CM provides a gateway to outside Thai adventures.

Phuket is a tourist-oriented beach. There are many nice hotels, perfect for chilling out.

Let us know your preference and we will assist.
Gpanda is offline  
Old Oct 1st, 2008, 04:59 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions. Actually we will be flying from Australia, so there shouldn't be much of a jetlag. Normally I like to make the most of my holiday (read: doing as much as possible) on few days, and relax for 1 or 2 days - but I don't like taking organised tour. And thanks for the hotel recommendation too. I am hoping to get one, up to $150/night if possible, but most importantly need to be convenient. Not to sound like a glutton (well, maybe we are) but the main reason we want to go to Thailand is for the food. Is "Tong" a company that provide the local guide? How can I book for a guide? We have lived in Indonesia for a few years, so not too scared of the street food and would love to try them in Thailand. Saying that, I've had food poisoning in Singapore too, of all places! And we are definitely not the sun-lounging type, but I heard that Phi Phi is very beautiful and snorkeling /diving in Thailand is really good.
gaijin is offline  
Old Oct 1st, 2008, 08:36 AM
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I'm in Bangkok, annually Dec/Jan and the weather is cooler than in the spring, for example. It's usually around 85F. However, the mornings can be quite cool. Upon arrival into BK, one December, the pilot announced that it was 65 degrees. That was at around 6:30AM. I remember that that Dec/Jan, which was around 2 years ago, it was cool enough to wear a sweater in the early morning.

As for having 6 days, I'd choose a great hotel in Bangkok, of which there are MANY, and stay there the whole 6 days. Bangkok is a GREAT city that takes time to absorb. It's not the kind of city to rush through. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Old Oct 1st, 2008, 01:08 PM
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Tong can be contacted at She is unbelievable. Her team is great as well. They will make for a very full day(s).

January is a perfect time to visit Thailand. The weather is the best. The best beaches for that time are on the Andaman Sea.
Gpanda is offline  
Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 05:49 AM
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My husband and I were in Thailand 2 years ago in November. It was still hot and humid. Some of the group we were with had trouble with the humidity. It didn't bother us because we are in Georgia,U.S. and we were used to it.
My favorite times there were when we hired a driver from our hotel. He spoke wonderful English. He also took us to stores that were not tourist traps.(His name was Ming. He worked at The Penninsula.) The second thing was going to Siem Reip, Cambodia. The ruins at Ankor Wat and the others were incredible. We needed a visa for Cambodia.
Hope you have a great time.
awgriffin is offline  
Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 10:45 AM
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1. Don't miss the seafood market (open in the evening). It is a simple place but it is the freshest seafood and they will prepare it anyway you want.

2. Ride in "Tup-Tup" these are scooters that have been abilitated as "rickshaws". The locals don't ride in cabs, they ride in tup-tups.

3. Be a tourist and take a tour of the temples, that way you'll get to see most of them.

4. Take a tour to the floating market. It is unique

We stayed at the Sofitel and really enjoyed it.
tatox is offline  
Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 12:33 PM
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I wouldn't waste my time travelling for a day there and back to get to Phi Phi. When we went (also in January - which is very nice weather for beach or touring by the way) Phi Phil was overcrowded and over-expensive. It's beautiful but except for the massive rock formations, not anything you can't see in the Carribean for much less hassle. I LOVED Chaing Mai, and wasn't a fan of the polluted, overcrowded Bangkok. I would only spend a couple days there in Bangkok - make sure you take a tour of the people that live on the water in Bangkok, though, as well as the Golden Temple of course. In Chaing Mai, don't miss a restaurant called the House, and it's sister boutique retail store, Ginger. Ginger has the coolest costume jewelry I've ever seen -- everyone compliments me on it -- and it wasn't expensive at all. I don't even like jewelry that much but I loved this. Also the clothes in Ginger are fab. It's really a chic place you wouldn't expect to find in Thailand. Also even though you like food spicy, you may want to ask for medium spice, since the Thais like their food really, really spicy. Finally never, ever take a tuk tuk in Bangkok unless you want a 2-hour tour of all the tailors that the tuk tuk driver knows. However, in Chaing Mai it's a different story -- tuk tuks are friendly and respectful and don't overcharge, so they're a great way to see the city in Chaing Mai. Finally, regarding the elephants -- the elephant ride should be booked in Chaing Mai and they will take you north of the city. However, the ride is more "touristy" than going to the elephant preserve near Chaing Mai. It's like an old folks home for elephants. It's nice to meet the animals face to face. I would do both the elephant ride and the preserve on two separate days. When you do the elephant ride make sure your trip includes the waterfall. It's fabulous! Bring a bathing suit! But also those trips always include a side trip to the poor, hill country people whose kids beg you for loose change. It's polite to have a bunch of change with you so that you can spread the wealth. A little money to us is a lot to them.
Faith_West is offline  
Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 01:00 PM
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If you're looking forward to doing a lot of sightseeing and such for the first part of your trip and then relaxing for a cople of days, then doing BKK followed by Phuket makes perfect sense. We don't normally spend time just relaxing on the beach, but in Phuket we spent two days doing nothing and it was fabulous (except for the day DH went swimming with his camera in his pocket and almost lost all of the pictures from the previous 2 weeks - oops!).
jcasale is offline  
Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 01:01 PM
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One bit of advice in Bangkok regarding the tuk-tuks: negotiate the price FIRST!!! We made the mistake of not doing that and ended up paying way more than we should have for a very short ride.
jcasale is offline  
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