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Thailand: how long will I need for Bangkok and Chiang Mai?

Thailand: how long will I need for Bangkok and Chiang Mai?

Old Jun 27th, 2006, 06:00 PM
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Thailand: how long will I need for Bangkok and Chiang Mai?

My family and I will spend about 2 weeks In Thailand next October(maybe more or maybe less than that, we don't know yet). We would love to know your opinion about how many days would be necessary to "know"each city. When we visit a place for the first time, we do not like to rush, we like first to know the most important places, and then "walk aimlessly"in the city in order to feel the place and its people.
THANK you again for those who already answered my previous questions!!!!
lery is offline  
Old Jun 27th, 2006, 07:05 PM
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have you been to thailand before?? i am guessing not...it is very hot and humid there---24 hours per day and 365 days per year...walking is difficult, imo...you will find yourselves better served to take taxis and the skytrain where ever possible to preserve your strength....its not like europe where you can wander a city aimlessly for the full day...your body will not allow that there...in europe you might plan to do 10 things in one day...generally, without aid of a driver, that is not possible in thailand--3-4 max.....its just toooooo uncomfortable...

having said that i love thailand and am planning my 10th trip...

how much time: that really depends on you...in 9 trips i still have not seen it all...and many places i like to return to....

i like to start and end my trip in bkk...with several days total...i should think a minimum of 5 full days in bkk is necessary just to scratch the surface and to do only the city sites....shopping alone could take 5 days...

if you are coming from europe or north america, you will be very tired upon arrival and i find that it takes the best of 2 days to recover completely...for this reason i make sure i book a hotel with a fantastic pool area....for me that is the marriott resort and spa on the river....many of us prefer the river locations, especially for first time visitors...

so i would plan 5-7 days in bkk then head to CM for maybe 4 days and then return to bkk for the remainder...

i personally do not like CM, so let the others give you better ideas there...

choosing your hotels is the most important thing you will do...up to oct 31, you get the lowest prices of the year....that is great...i prefer to book on the discount site:

www.huahin.20m.com

this is a prepay site so do not book until you are 100% certain of your dates...changes have been problematic for some on these sites...

their site includes the 17.7% tax and service which all hotels add and frequently includes a fantastic breakfast...so you can save quite a bit with them...

many initially find bkk difficult...its the heat, humidity, smog, confusion and size of the place...it grows quickly on you....using inexpensive transportation takes the edge off of things....taxis start at 35B and that takes you quite a ways...a one hour taxi ride might only cost $5....
a family travelling together will find taxis much cheaper than going on the skytrain...

i have a restaurant listing for bkk if you are interested...just ask at:

[email protected]


ask as many questions as you like, we love to assist
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Old Jun 27th, 2006, 08:18 PM
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In two weeks I would fly to bangkok and spend 4 full days days there. Then fly to Chiang Mai and spend 4 days there and another 2 days in Chiang Rai area. Return to Bangkok for another 3 -4 days. With travel time that will make the trip a bit over 2 weeks. I love Chiang Mai as much and maybe even more than bangkok and northern thailand is a very special place where you can experience thai culture and crafts.
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Old Jun 27th, 2006, 08:21 PM
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Like Bob, I have been to Thailand many times over the last 20+ years. Bangkok is opne of my favorite cities in the world, and I often spend time there on my way in or out of another SE Asian destination. My first trip to Asia was a 9 day stay in Bangkok. I didn't get enough that time, so I keep going back. Spending some time at the beginning and the end of your trip is good advice.

I was last in Chaing Mai close to 20 yaers ago. I enjoyed my time there, but felt I had exhausted what I wanted to see there in a few days. I am going back to CM this year, and will spend 5 days there. Some people love CM, others are more lukewarm.
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Old Jun 28th, 2006, 01:28 AM
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For a first time visit, most tour companies in the UK usually suggest 4 nights in Bangkok and 3 nights in Chiang Mai.

This isn't a crazy amount for a first time visitor - It will be enough time to see a few of the main sites with a small bit of time for r&r. My partner had her fill of Bangkok after 4 nigvhts and wanted to get back to the beach, me I could have hapilly stayed there longer.
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Old Jun 29th, 2006, 03:51 AM
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Havibg just returned from second visit to Thailand I would recommend a total of 5 days in Bangkok (maybe 3 on front and 3 back end, 3 full days in Chiangi Mai, 1-1 and 1/2 days (2 nights) in Chiani Rai (Karen tribe and other tribes-non tourist with private guide) and 4-6 days in Phuket relax and snorkel in Phi Phi Islands or Koh Samui and snorkel with power boat not big ferry group- to Koh Tao.
That is a lot of stops.We took 17 days to do the above and enjoyed it.A guide in Bangkok, Ratt or MS, Tong in Bangkok for at least 3 days, guide, Poon, Ratt's sister in Chiagi Mai (her English is only fair but a lovely person to escort you around)she would even go with you to Chiangi Rai and in Koh Samui no guide really needed except maybe 3 hours with hotel supplied guide around the island for $25USD.
Tje above would make a nice 15-16 day trip.But as said above, expect hot weather with Chiangi Mai a few degrees cooler if you are lucky.
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Old Jun 29th, 2006, 04:33 AM
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The classic Thailand trip is 4 BKK, 4 CM and 4 beach. This gives a good exposure to three very different parts of the country. Many of us regular posters are smitten by BKK and we believe BKK should get more time than the other locations. One item to remember is that October is a transition period for the weather at the beaches. Essentially, the rainy season moves from the Andaman Sea west to the Gulf of Thailand east during October. Predicting good/bad weather is problematic. We always go in late November when the Phuket/Krabi side is good
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Old Jun 29th, 2006, 07:26 AM
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lery, from your description, you sound like your travel style is similar to mine. I like to be somehwere long enough to really absorb the atmosphere. Given that, let me offer what I would recommend for myself (given what I know now) for a first trip: I'd start with 4 days in Bangkok, knowing that I'd be jetlagged, and I'd stay along the river at one of the lovely hotels convenient to the water taxi and skytrain. Then I'd fly north, spend 3 or 4 days in Chaing Mai, staying in the city, hire a driver to go to the Golden Triangle and spend 3 or 4 days there. I'd stay at the Anantara. I'd then return for three or four days in Bangkok. For me, that would be a perfect intro to Thailand.
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Old Jun 29th, 2006, 07:52 AM
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We've been to Thailand twice - the first time we only did 3 days in Bangkok which was not nearly enough time to enjoy the city. On our second trip we did 8 days in Bangkok which was fantastic. I recommend a minimum of 5 days in Bangkok for first timers.

I too am not a big fan of Chiang Mai - IMO you can "do" the city in 2 days. Whether you will "know" or want to know Chiang Mai has been the subject of debate on this forum.

Northern Thailand is worth 2 or 3 days - you can base yourself in Chiang Rai (less expensive) or at the Anantara (more expensive) near where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet at the border.

We also did 3 days at the beach (Koh Samui) on our first trip. Unless you are a serious beach person, this would be the part of Thailand that you could skip on a first visit.
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Old Jun 29th, 2006, 07:58 AM
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We are currently planning our trip for later this year. I have 6 days in Bangkok and find that there isn't enough to time to visit all the places/sites we want, much less enough of the lesiure/do nothing time.

We have a guide & driver for 2 days, which should help with efficiency, but there still just isn't enough time!

I guess another trip will be in store!
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Old Jun 29th, 2006, 08:30 AM
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The point raised about weather in places like Phuket, Koh Samui in October is valid. If you can move it to early Nov. you increase the probability of better weather. But, you do not need a beach resort unless you love first- rate snorkeling as we do or scuba diving.If so, it is worth,if you can, going 3-4 weeks later.
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Old Jun 29th, 2006, 05:54 PM
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Five to seven full days in Bangkok...preferebly seven so that you can just chill out a bit. It's a great city with LOTS to do plus you can take day trips out of the city...that's why I say seven....five to six spent in the actual city and one or two out of the city. If you have a high energy level and the heat doesn't bother you, then you could do five days. Personally when I was there in December, I landed at 6:40AM off of a 17hr.10-minute non-stop flight from L.A., arrived at my serviced apartment, unpacked everything, and then took about a 2-hour nap, got up and was out the whole day/evening shopping after that. So, like I said it depends on your energy level and age. Everyone is different. I've been going there 1-2 times a year, for vacation, since the 90s and still haven't done everything on my list. Happy Travels!
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 02:22 PM
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In late October for me 4 nights Bangkok, 3 nights Chiang Mai and 5 nights at a beach (Hua Hin in October should be fine) would give a very balnced introduction to Thailand. IMO 6-7 nights in Bangkok is not a blanced intoriduction to this wonderfully diverse country, longer stays are appropriate on 2nd and 3rd trips when you've found out exactly how this country and its climate best suits you
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 05:13 PM
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Bangkok/ Ciang Mai
THANKS everybody for answering my questions. We are still figuring out what we are going to do and your tips will sure be of GREAT help!!!
Geunmai, what trips can we do out of Bangkok?
THANKS everybody!!!
lery is offline  
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