Thailand in February

Old Nov 16th, 2023, 09:21 AM
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Thailand in February

Hello all. I am planning Thailand but not till Feb 2025. At this point just trying to figure out if thatís the best time to go. I was in SE Asia last November visiting Bali, Cambodia, Vietnam and was to finish up in Thailand but ended up in hospital there so it was cut short. It all turned out okay and glad it happened in Thailand as the hospital was fantastic
so. Trying again. I have been to SE Asia a few times, but this will be my husbands first time to Thailand ( other than seeing the hospital )and we were both so disappointed in not being able to go to Chiang Mai last year
There is a flower festival the first week of Feb. in Chiang Mai. Is it worth planning to go then?
I do need to miss the smoke. Will first week of Feb be ok? Months available to us are from January to March.

my thoughts are, fly from Vancouver to Bangkok, probably overnight there, then fly to Chiang Mai. Three nights there, then to Pai for a couple nights, back to Chiang Mai for a night or two and then to Chiang Rai for a couple of nights. Hoping to leave our suitcases at the hotel in Chiang Mai, although we do only travel with carry on, but would rather just take a day pack for two night stays. Is two nights enough in each if these or should we plan longer? We will probably take a bus? We have a week and a half to two weeks here if needed.

of course then I thinkÖshould we cross over to Luang Prabang? I tend to de worsify and do too much. I always say, well Iím there anyhow,,,,, but I think the trip is by a few boats and takes a while. Thoughts?

After being in the North we will fly to Koh Samui for a couple of weeks. I was in Krabi, Phi Phi area a few years ago and loved it. I was also on Koh Samui but that was 15 years ago, but the same time of year in January though. Krabi and Phi Pi were so busy but again, comparing to Koh Samui 15 years previous. I am conflicted on which side? Neither of us like really hot and humid weather, but usually itís ok on the beach just when you want to travel into town or something. What would you suggest is best if we go in February? Or which month would you suggest instead? January?

I love to snorkel and husband loves to swim. I remember going to Koh Tao I think, or a marine park close by Samui and it was great snorkelling.
questions: should we spend a couple of nights on another island close by for snorkelling and swimming?
which area on Koh Samui whould be good to swim out front. I really donít want to be in the thick of it on Chaweng beach
We are in our 70 s. But fairly fit and active for our age. The northern part will be about temples and culture and the south about swimming relaxing and sightseeing. And snorkelling.
We have about a month in total. I will not spend any time in Bangkok at all, just to get in and out of the airport. Iíve been there a couple of times and hubby was there last year. Donít like big cities.
Any advice is most welcome. Thanks so much.
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Old Nov 16th, 2023, 11:18 PM
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The first week of February in northern Thailand should be ok but in these days of climate change, nothing is certain. The Farmers will start burning their fields whenever the fields and forests are dry enough. I have been in late Feb and it was pretty unpleasant.

Another though re February is that Chinese usually falls around that time so do check as there could be masses of Chinese tour groups travelling at that time esp in places like Koh Samui.

Koh Samui wasn’t my favourite place when last I visited (over 20 years ago) way too many tourists back then and I dread to think what it’s like these days. Weather should be good though but choose your hotel carefully, some will just cater to partying package tours. I am / was a keen diver and found KS wasn’t great for visibility so would head to Koh Tao or Koh Phangnan . I understand that those islands now have some pretty decent hotels rather than just the beach shacks that used to be the case ( make sure to avoid the full moon there!)

It May be worth looking at some other island like Koh Lanta . Also, a look at which usually has some useful info.

Your plans for the north seem fine. We really enjoyed Pai and Chiang Rai. Try to be in CR for a Saturday night for the walking market which is much nicer and less busy than the CM equivalent. Getting from place to place by bus is possible but time consuming ( though CR-CM is an easy 2 hour ride) . Other than that a rental car will make life a lot easier or , if unhappy about driving there, consider sourcing a car/driver.

I think it’s a great idea to head down to Luang Prabang, not the quiet backwater it once was but well worth a visit. To get there, I think you can fly from CM but a boat down river would be way more fun. We just organised a private boat at the border. You need a night on the Thai side and then would sail south stopping at Pakbeng for an overnight stay and then continuing on to LP. There are also cruise companies plying that route ( v. Expensive) or public boats ( v. Uncomfortable) . 3 -4 nights would be enough for LP and I think you could then fly south to the beach, probably via Bangkok. ( though personally, I would skip Thai beaches in favour of exploring other parts of Lao!)

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Old Nov 17th, 2023, 07:42 AM
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Thanks Crellston, I appreciated the thoughts. I spent two weeks teaching English in Luang Prabang a few years ago and loved it. And spent the next two weeks travelling south. My husband has never been though.

Yesterday I found a boat service that looks alright, had a good review and lots of photos from a blogger.
have you heard of this? This could be a nice adventure in itself and looks fairly comfy.

I may back it up a bit to be in Northern Thailand end of January instead . This climate change is making it harder to plan. We went to Bali in October last year to avoid the rains and they came early anyhow.
I know when we were in Cambodia and Vietnam last year it was so quiet without all the huge groups it was great , due to Covid. I will try to plan around the Chinese holidays to avoid, but not sure how easy that will be

For the beach part I will go back to the drawing room. can you suggest any nice beaches where we can swim in the ocean in Lao? I never did that when I was there. Snorkelling is not a must .
thanks again
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Old Nov 17th, 2023, 08:46 AM
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You are welcome live42day. Yes, I have heard of that operator. I remember years ago someone on this forum used them and seemed very happy. There is one other - Luangsay , or something like that. We one such trip at entirely the wrong time of year. Thick smoke all the way to LP -

moving your time to the north could be a good move - better safe than sorry!

Lao is a landlocked country so no beaches I am afraid. Not much of a beach fan these days but of those we have been to, Malaysia would be my first choice. Either the west coast of the pensinsula , perhaps Langkawi or over to Borneo. Sounds a long way but there are so many budget airline choices you can reach most places if not direct then fairly easily via Bangkok, KL or Singapore.
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Old Nov 17th, 2023, 08:57 AM
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Oh yes that would not be pleasant at all. Looking at Koh Lanta which may be a contender. Thanks.
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Old Nov 29th, 2023, 08:47 AM
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Hi. see that you are penciling in Pai for 2025 a hotel worth considering is Reverie Siam Resort. We had a fabulous 3 night stay there a couple of years back. very peaceful- comfortable rooms and the food was first class. Great breakfast and excellent evening meals. A real treat.
I am back in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in January- have everything crossed the farmers will be kind and have no burning.

happy planning
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Old Nov 29th, 2023, 10:09 AM
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Hi, live4today,
Just wanted to address the discussion on the Nagi of Mekong boat trip. We took it 10 years ago and found it very enjoyable, but it’s definitely a mid-range option in contrast with Luangsay. But we really did find it a fun experience and were happy with the company.

Between Thailand and Luang Prabang, we stopped overnight in a border town and the hotel was adequate with a range of rooms. We were, apparently, one of the last to get a room and it was clean but very dingy. I think others who got first pickings were very happy. I think the hotel stop varies - of course, this was 10 years ago.

Otherwise, we enjoyed the trip a lot. It was a pleasure going down the river and the food, from my memory, was decent and there was plenty of it. we had several stops in tribal towns along the way which were typical - a walk around a small traditional town, in some cases, kids are busy selling trinkets, and other times, we all are looking at one another in a slightly awkward way.

Here are photos from that trip:

Last edited by progol; Nov 29th, 2023 at 10:14 AM.
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Old Jan 29th, 2024, 08:39 PM
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During December - February in Thailand,
Thai tycoons owning sugarcane farms will start asking the contracted farms to burn the leftover plants after they harvested the production already.
This will cause a high-level of PM 2.5 dust (Particle matter that's smaller than 2.5 microns to fly around and be blown by the wind to cover the whole country.

Not to mention the PM 2.5 from China that came to Thailand all year round.

If you visit Thailand in February, find some mask that made for prevent PM2.5
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