Thailand and Cambodia Advice

Jun 27th, 2003, 07:26 PM
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Thailand and Cambodia Advice

We are visiting Thailand and Cambodia in February between 2/6/04 and 2/18/04. We want to do justice to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Siem Reap and possibly Krabi, if there is time. How many days do you advise in each? What hotels or serviced apartments? We are thinking of booking Bangkok Airpasses to go to Chiang Mai and Siem Reap for sure and maybe, if time, something further south in Thailand. What sites outside Bangkok do you advise by day trips, also? Air tickets are set from the states to go in and out of Bangkok. We are from the subtropical area of Florida, so beaches are not as important to travel to, but have heard Krabi is gorgeous, but secondary to other cities mentioned above. Also, not to miss restaurants in the areas listed would be lovely. Thanks in advance for all your advice!!!
narob is offline  
Jun 27th, 2003, 08:42 PM
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Are you going to land in Bangkok on the 6th and leave on the 18th? That gives you 12 days including travel time. You simply don't have time to "do justice" to all those places. The absolute minimum time for Siem Reap is 3 full days, and if you're really interested in the temples, you would be better off with 5 full days. You can do Chaing Mai in 3 days. You should plan on 4 or 5 days in Bangkok. That will give you enough time to start to explore. Don't bother with going to a beach. You just don't have enough time. Remember that you'll be pretty jet-lagged after your long flight from Florida.
Kathie is offline  
Jun 28th, 2003, 07:11 AM
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I'm also from Florida and visited Thailand 6 times. I would spend less time in Bangkok- 2 nights Bangkok, 4 nights Krabi, 3 nights Chiang Mai and 2 nights Siem Reap. You'll definitely be on the go, but they are all worth a visit.

Don't miss Krabi! It's one of my favorite places in the world. Krabi has some of the most breathtaking scenery I've ever seen- simply stunning. The jungle limestone cliffs drop down into the sea and powdery sand beaches. The coast is dotted by many tiny islands with wonderful reefs and clear water for snorkeling/diving. Rent a longtail boat with private driver for only $15 for the entire day. My husband took some great photos on our last trip to Thailand and Cambodia in November 2001- he has them posted on his website at

Nicci is offline  
Jun 28th, 2003, 11:34 AM
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When we traveled we landed in BKK late and stayed at airport hotel, as next morning we flew to Siem Reap where we spent 2-nts/2-days - granted we didn't get to see all the temples, but the major ones we did.

Then an early flight from REP to BKK arriving by 11am at hotel. Then with our guide visited Wat Po, Jim Thomson House and Wat Arun; next day did Grand Palace, China Town and something else (don't recall, the heat was already having its' affect on us); third day an early departure to the floating markets at Damneon Saduak and a leisurely afternoon (first opportunity to actually catch our breath).

Flew to Chiang Mai arriving about 10am with first stop at Doi Suthep and the Orchid Jade Factory - Jade was only jewelry I was interested in. Balance of day investigated in/around Chiang Mai and spent nite at trekking lodge. Next morning did the elephant trek, and some hilltribes on road to Chiang Sean/Golden Triangle where we spend another 2-days, even crossing into Burma for a few hours.

You probably won't have time to go to the Triangle area with your schedule, so 2 days Chiang Mai sufficient. From there you can fly to Krabi (via BKK probably) for some relaxation whatever number of days you have left.

While Nicci suggests 2-nts BKK it doesn't provide sufficient time to do the Wats, Palace and the floating market, the latter which is an interesting experience if you haven't seen these. And by cutting 1-nt from Chiang Mai and 1-nt from Krabi you can get in all you want.

The best thing to do is find out what the air schedules (days of week, time) are to/fr these places and then see how the destinations fit in. Bangkok Air flies BKK/REP; Thai Air flies Chiang Mai; not sure who flies Krabi. And while you can get very early and very late flites to most of these places you sometimes get hit with an overnight either on arrival from or departure to the States.

See how the above works for you.
Jun 28th, 2003, 05:57 PM
Original Poster
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Hey,thanks for all the quick responses!! Great advise about checking the air schedules!! Where did you all stay and eat in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Siem Reap and Krabi?
narob is offline  
Jun 29th, 2003, 03:51 AM
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In Siem Reap we stayed at the Sofitel Angkor - new 5*, great rooms, property, amazing pool. We took our meals at hotel.

In BKK, at The Peninsula which included breakfast. Had our dinners at hotel as well, it was just too hot to be leaving the hotel and they had find choices.

Didn't stay in Chiang Mai proper, rather about 30 miles North at trekking lodge operated by Lisu hilltribe - The Lisu Lodge, voted best eco-lodge in Asia. Meals were tradtional Thai food.

Didn't stay in Krabi (rather Phuket) so have no recommendations.

Except for Thai meals for lunch when out on day trips, which were fine, we went for continental choices otherwise: Italian, Chinese, French and even burger & fries. Too much of one kind of food doesn't sit well with me.

Let us know how the flight schedules work to set your itinerary.
Jun 29th, 2003, 08:15 PM
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i want to suggest a few things to are used to humidity but thailand will blow you away...its unbelievable...H & H 24 hours a day....

you will be very tired and excited when you arrive which will probably be late...have a hotel car meet you no matter what price they charge---probably $35....or is the best way to start off....i would stay in bkk first to adjust yourselves....
we like the bangkok marriott resort and spa on the river---price around $85-125 depending on what deal you can find...we do not take breakfast there but rather get sweets at their lower lobby deli/bakery and eat in our room with coffee maker provided--quicker and less to be eating--remember the heat..
by the way they have the best pool area in bkk and you should plan to spend most of the first day there adjusting---you will be glad of it for the rest of your trip...they have a free shuttle boat to the sky train also...and a small mall with thai food, mcdonalds, burger king, pizza hut, american ice cream, bank, etc....drug store---its a plus believe me....
i would then spend the next 3-4 days doig bkk...i suggest tours or a guide for your first time to avoid wasting time....
siem reap---we did it in 2.5 days....just scratched the surface but saw enough...MAKE SURE YOU HAVE AT LEAST A DRIVER AND PREFERABLY A GUIDE AND A DRIVER or you will wasted too much time....$20 each per day....
we flew on bangkok airways and stayed at angkor village but didn't "love" the hotel although it was attractive --$105/nite---hard beds....
SR is very expensive for american standard hotels...the flight is expensive but food is generally very cheap as are most other expenses...entrance to temples is steep i feel too $20/day...but it is all worth it...its fantastic....unbelievable

chaing mai is very different---quite cheap all around and totally different from bkk....about $50 each way to fly for $30-100/day, meals very cheap if you want them to be--good shopping, but not as good as bkk...

i think 2-3 full days in CM is plenty for the town itself..

with your short time i do not feel that you should consider anything more than 20 miles outside CM...

i would skip all beaches on this trip

i would spend a couple of last days in bkk before going home...

see my restaurant suggestions on other threads listed recently under thailand subjects....

you can not rush in thailand like you might in europe...its just too hot and things are slow moving---traffic, exhaust fumes, heat, etc

bottom line if i were you i would divide my time between chiang mai and bangkok and forget the other will be back i can gurarantee you!!! i'm planning my 6th trip in less than 10 years....
rhkkmk is offline  
Jul 5th, 2003, 01:09 PM
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I would agree with Nicci's opinion on travel. 3 days is enough in Cambodia. A little tip for Cambodia...if you stay in a hotel/guesthouse without a pool, you can go to any of the nice hotels with pools and swim in their pools all day. It is usually around $5 per person. Cambodia was so, so hot, it made it bearable there.

I didn't enjoy Bankok that much and if I went back I probably wouldn't spend any time there. THe other places are much more interesting. The beaches are great.
JB is offline  
Jul 5th, 2003, 06:21 PM
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i have never heard of anyone who did not like bangkok...i have heard many who don't like the traffic and the heat and the pollution, but not the city itself....i guess that is what makes all of us different....bangkok ranks with london, paris, prague and thousands of small communities in my book..
rhkkmk is offline  
Jul 6th, 2003, 09:05 AM
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I took a little different approach from the 5-star hotel in Siem Reap. I stayed at the Orchidae Guesthouse which I found to be very nice. As I recall it was about US$5-$10 a night and the staff was very helpful. The guys from the guesthouse took us around everywhere on their motorbikes, including tours around Angkor Wat (about 10 min from the guesthouse), for around $20 for two days. The food they served there was also excellent. Its kind of the budget travel plan but that's how I've been doing it, and its worked out fine for me.

Regarding places to eat, its hard to name specific places because everywhere is great. From nice restaurants to street vendors, I loved it all. I don't think you can go wrong. Just make sure to drink sealed bottled water.

Have fun!
slick8421 is offline  
Jul 6th, 2003, 02:27 PM
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again i must raise a negetive....eating from street vendors in siem reap could and probably would creat lots of problems for westerners??????
rhkkmk is offline  
Jul 6th, 2003, 04:50 PM
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Just wanted to add my two cents-
I've been to Bangkok multiple times and loved it. Most recently my husband and I spent two weeks in Thailand and Cambodia last July.
I would have to agree that 12 days is probably not enough time to see all the places you want to see given the travel time (don't discount all the time it takes to and from airports) and jetlag, heat and humidity.
Were it me, I'd spend 3 nights in BKK (highly recommend the Penisula), 3 nights in Siem Reap, 4 nights in Krabi, and the last 2 nights back in Bangkok. From Bangkok, I'd definately recommend a day trip to the UNESCO site at Ayutthaya.
If you'd like, you can see all my trips and photos on my website,
and email me if you have any questions.
Kristina is offline  
Jul 7th, 2003, 12:13 AM
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My wife and I went to Thailand in September last year and we went to Bangkok and Krabi (Ao Nang). I have posted a long trip report on my homepage Maybe you can find some useful information there?

Hope you'll have a great trip

Stavanger, Norway
gard is offline  
Jul 12th, 2003, 06:53 PM
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Sorry for late reply-I've been in out of town.

The last time I was in Krabi, we stayed at Krabi Thai Village in Ao Nang beach. Their website is
I think it was about $120/night with deal offering the 5th night free. It's located at the end of the beach past all the shops and restaurants. I can't remember the name of this great restaurant, but I'll tell you how to get there- if coming from Ao Nang town area, it's on the right side of the main road just after the right turn to go up the hill to the hotel.
Nicci is offline  
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