Thailand and Cambodia

Old Nov 24th, 2012, 01:42 PM
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Thailand and Cambodia

My partner and I are traveling to Thailand for 15 days in January. Ideally, we'l like to see Bangkok, spend a couple of days at Thailand's famed beach destinations (Koh Samui and Phuket), visit Chiang Mai, and make a short detour into Cambodia for Ankor. Any advice on how to plan this trip would be much appreciated.
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Old Nov 25th, 2012, 12:46 AM
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Will Bangkok be your point of entry to Asia? If so, you might want to start with a couple of days in Bangkok to acclimate to the heat and the time. Choose a comfortable hotel with a good location and a nice pool area. If you give us a per night price range, we can offer suggestions.

From Bangkok, take Bangkok Air to Siem Reap. This is a pricey flight, but you can save money by getting the Bangkok Air Discovery Pass. Take a look at their website for details, and do a search here for lots of details on booking the pass and your flights. In January, the Andaman Sea side of Thailand should have perfect weather. Look not only at Phuket, but also Krabi, Koh Lak, Koh Lanta, etc. Get a copy of Dawn Rooney's book, Angkor: A Guide to Cambodia's Wondrous Temples to prepare for your trip. It takes three full days just to see the so-called major temples. If you are a temple fanatic, you'll want more time - we spent a week. You might also look at something else you could do in Siem Reap... www.theplf.org

Then fly through Bangkok to Phuket. Bangkok AIr has one flight a day that is considered a single flight to Phuket from Siem Reap. This is relevant for your Discovery Pass.

Fly back to Bangkok for a few days at the end of your trip. This is the time to do your shopping.

Make hotel reservations through one of the discount booking services like www.sawasdee.com or www.agoda.com
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Old Nov 25th, 2012, 06:47 AM
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Hi. Thanks for your reply. I am flexible as to as a budget for places to stay. Looking for clean accommodations at a minimum but wouldn't mind a splurge.

Do you think I can squeeze in Chiangmai Mai?

I am hoping three days in Angkor will be plenty.

Can you recommend a book on Thailand's beaches? I was planning on doing Koh Samui along with Phuket. Do you recommend otherwise? How does one get from destination to destination on the coast?

Does anyone recommend taking a scenic train route at least for one leg of the trip?

Finally, how many days is appropriate in Bangkok. I was planning on four full days. Thanks for everyone's help!
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Old Nov 25th, 2012, 07:04 AM
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Also, any suggestions on itinerary order would be appreciated.
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Old Nov 25th, 2012, 11:23 PM
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Hi
I think 15 days for Koh Samui and Phuket ,Chiang Mai and Cambodia might not enough. you might need to choose to go to North or South.
otherwise cut Samui or Phuket and do one beach and go to north instead.
For Samui accommodation if you would like to stay close to the beach and not too expensive maybe Ibis Samui Bophut might be nice for you.
you can see more on their website http://www.ibis.com/gb/hotel-6688-ib...ut/index.shtml
or choices for booking discounts sites
- http://booking.hoteltrip.com/hotel/1...11388259O.html
- http://www.orbitz.com/hotel/Thailand...ophut.h283263/

For Phuket just not sure what kind of beaches do you like or interested about?, Patong,Kata,Karon or quiet beach like Nai Harn,Kamala,Surin etc?

About how to get to the beach:
2 choices go by fly or buses for Phuket and Train can go to Surat for cross to Samui.

Cheap fare airlines: http://www.airasia.com/th/e/home.page
By Bus take bus at Mochi2 (Take BTS to Mochit station)
By Train here for booking website: http://www.thairailticket.com/esrt/D...spx?language=1
or details about catch train http://www.seat61.com/Thailand.htm

hope this could help
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Old Nov 26th, 2012, 12:21 AM
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Choose one beach location so you don't waste too much of your vacation in transit. For 15 days, I think three locations is ideal. You can go more places, but you'll waste a lot of time. This is your first trip, expect you will return. So make the most of your time by choosing fewer stops, more days each.

If you are going to Siem Reap, you have to use Bangkok AIr, so it makes sense to try to book the discovery pass. Rini's idea of Air Asia doesn't help you with Siem Reap. And with a mere 15 days, you don't want to waste time taking buses. Fly.

I think you are better off on the Andaman Sea side rather than Samui, but get a Thailand guide book and read - Fodors has a good one and there is always the Lonely Planet.

In my first post, I suggested an order - Bangkok, Siem Reap, Phuket area, Bangkok. It works well to have a few days in Bangkok at both the beginning and the end of your trip.
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Old Nov 26th, 2012, 12:29 AM
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I love Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand but it really needs more time than you have available with everything else you have planned.

If you did decide on CM then you could go by overnight train from BKK although the only scenic part is dawn breaking as you arrive in the north.

Three days in Siem Reap should be fine and in proportion to the total time you have. Most people tend to visit the temples in the early morning and late afternoon to avoid the heat. If you are really into temples you could extend this to the rest of the day. You will certainly be hiring either a car and driver/ guide or a tuk tuk driver who will be available for the whole day and will take you anywhere you car to go.

Lonely Planet has a good guide to Thai beaches but take a look at http://www.travelfish.org/country/thailand for info on beaches and general info on Thailand. It is just my subjective view but I would avoid Phuket and KOh Samui unless you like very busy touristy resorts which will also be very expensive at that time of year which is high season ( book soon!).

Getting from place to place in Thailand is relatively straightforward as it has a well developed tourist infrastructure. Flying is arguably the quickest and most expensive. Trains are possible for most parts of Thailand. For longer journeys, overnight trains wil also save on accommodation costs and are a fun way of getting around. Buses are the cheapest but do beware of scams and pickpockets. Taxis can also be relatively cost efficient if there are a number of you and you bargain hard.
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Old Nov 29th, 2012, 11:15 AM
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Thanks for all the help!

I've decided on the following itinerary at the risk of being a little rushed:

Bankgok -- 3 full days
Andaman Coast - 5 full days
Chiang Mai - 3 full days
Angkor - 2 full days
Bangkok - 1 full day

Trying to figure out how to maximize my time on the coast. Any suggestions welcome - looking for beautiful islands off the coast that have accommodations and are not overrun with tourists. WIlling to splurge, if necesssary.
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